Sunday, March 28, 2010

Test Driving the New Class

Yesterday I taught my new workshop for the first time; there were four people in the class, able and willing to critique the supply list, handouts and demo technique and timing. After I do this "bullet-proofing" session, I know the workshop is ready to go out on the road. I was very pleased with the day; their suggestions were to add three items to the supply list, including a quarter-inch foot and the darning foot, both of which I had assumed everybody would just carry around with them to this type of class. That's why this type of trial run is so invaluable; things get pointed out that a teacher might just overlook.

The first hour and a half of class was spent piecing the quilt top; loved that Anne Marie's blue iron matched her fabric choices!

After the tops were pieced, I did a demonstration of the trapunto technique, using the pink fabric as an underlay for the butterfly.

Anne Marie's top after the trapunto stitching was done and the excess batting cut away.

Karen chose Asian fabrics; at left, she's tracing the motif on her blocks. Below, she's cutting away the batting so that just the motif will be puffy.

The cutting is definitely the "bottleneck" in this technique; it took longer for them to cut the polyester away than to piece the top. Getting the timing down for a class is crucial -- the tops were pieced quicker than I had planned for, which left more time at the end of class to talk about variations and stippling techniques.

Karen's top after trimming; her fabric selections were especially interesting. The white fabric is a semi-sheer tone on tone, which gives a totally different look to the trapunto. Bolts in the Bathtub was out of the fabric, but Dawna is going to try to order more. I want to get some and play with it a bit....

I've known the other three people in class for a few years, but Sheryl was new to me and identified herself as a "newbie". However, she was the first one to finish the piecing and she was ready for the quilting by the end of the day. Her peachy-coral accent fabric was actually a print; it really showed through the white nicely.

Sheryl's quilt top is laid out on the batting, ready to pin up; her thread choices are below: a variegated King Tut for the border and the quilting around the motif, peach for the background of the colored blocks and white for the paler blocks.

This is Vickie's top -- I really liked the batik sashing she chose and the blue accent fabric shows through the white well....

And, of course, the April pillowcase! Destiny stopped by the shop in the morning to pick it up from me; she's on Spring break next week and on her way to Cabo San Lucas with her mom and dad. Destiny is not with me when I buy the fabrics, so every pillowcase is a mini-surprise. I love making these for her; seeing how she likes the seasonal fabric choices has made this particular gift giving tradition fun for both of us....

Now to get my supply list corrections to the two shops where I will be teaching Positive/Negative (Shiisa Quilts in Bloomington IN on April 9 and Sew From the Heart in Scottsdale AZ on May 4) -- judging from the reaction of my workshop testers, this is going to be a very popular class! Hooray!!

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