Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Teaching Time

Designing a project for a large group of sewing machine dealers at a conventon is an interesting experience.

The first consideration is that it be small enough that it can be finished by everyone within a short amount of time.  I have 1-1/2 hours per session (and ten sessions!) -- that time has to cover explanation of the features of the machine as well as the sewing time to complete the project.

The second consideration is that the project utilize and show off the features of the particular machine that they are going to be selling in their stores this fall.  So with those two things in mind, and thinking of the book cover that I recently completed, I came up with the project for the Brother convention.

Each dealer received a kit containing pre-cut strips of fabric, a piece of stabilizer and two spools of thread.  There was a variegated 50 wt. thread from Mettler (thank you, Phil!) that was used for the piecing, decorative stitching and the main part of the embroidery.  A second thread was a copper metallic from Brother that was used as the second color in the embroidery.

Using the flip and sew method, the dealers sewed the four strips to the stabilizer and used decorative stitches on the outermost strips.  Then the piece was hooped and embroidered on the machine. 

I showed everybody my finished book cover and Jake Finch's book on how to make it (if you didn't see that post, you can  click here).  Jake's book, "Fast, Fun & Easy Book Cover Art" is out of print, but she does have copies on hand to sell.  If you have questions or would like a copy, you can e-mail Jake at  In fact, next time I see her I'm going to snag a copy for a giveaway, so watch for that.

I liked making the book cover enough that I bought two more journals so that I will have more samples of this project.  I can definitely see teaching this for dealers in their stores.

Here's a glimpse of my classroom set-up and dealers ready to learn all about the new machine in front of them.  It's so exciting when something brand new is coming out!

This is the beauty that all the fuss was about!  I will be getting one soon and then I can tell you more about some of the industry-first features -- couldn't resist giving you a sneak peek, though!

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