Monday, July 09, 2007

The rest of the week

The next class I taught at CraftSummer was a combination Dyeing and Machine Quilting class. Before the class started I polled the group to find out if there was more interest in one technique over the other. If most of the class wanted to spend more time dyeing then I could adjust the segments. But they all said they were interested in both segments equally. OK, so we would spend 2 1/2 days dyeing and machine quilt until Friday afternoon.

Each student received 10 meters of fabric and 3 colors of dye. I had prepared samples to demonstrate each of the exercises I had planned and as I pulled them out, the class could hardly contain themselves. They were eager to get going.

Into the second day, when it became apparent that 10 meters was not nearly enough fabric, they were able to purchase another 5 meters. And they brought in t-shirts, tote bags, aprons, cotton duck, and threads.

I told them that they had to put their last fabric in to batch no later than Wednesday noon. Then they cleaned up the dye materials and pulled out sewing machines, ready to begin machine quilting.

This segment of the class turned out to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated. The abilities ranged from experienced machine quilter to not having touched a sewing machine in a very long time. We had some problems with incorrect sewing feet, sewing machines that couldn't do free motion work, and unfamiliarity with the machine in use. (That would be me since I borrowed a machine and was always forgetting to lower the presser foot. The machine let me sew but would leave a lovely lacey tangle on the backside.)

But they all perservered and everybody discovered new skills and new stitches and cool techniques. It was amazing how much their free motion skills improved just over the course of 2 days. By Friday morning they were ready to work on the small quilt I had them bring to class.

Michelle, Shara, Jeanie, and Carole are concentrating on their form. The table and chair heights were uncomfortable and we had to remember to take frequent breaks.

Meg and Mel stitch away.

Michele demonstrates the eyeball technique for threading a machine.

Don't know what Shara is doing, but it's got her undivided attention.

Mel zipped through all the exercises, then quilted an entire piece on Friday morning. Working with metallics presented a little challenge. I told her she needed to slow down a little with metallic thread and that was difficult since she normally quilts at about 90 miles an hour.

Meg is demonstrating the proper tongue position.

I was so proud of all of them. They accomplished a great deal in 5 days of class. I would like to think it's because I'm such a fabulous teacher but it's probably due more to their interest and eagerness to learn.

I arrived home Friday night and have mostly unpacked. Now it's time to get back into my normal routine. June was extremely hectic and I haven't done any of my own work since early May, it seems. Been concentrating on class preps and other stuff.

1 comment:

Gerrie said...

I find the tongue technique to be very effective. What a beautiful array of work!!