Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Return to the Studio

After teaching a class on Saturday, and then a different one on Monday, there were a lot of things to put away.
In other words, my studio was trashed!
Oh, my!
I had to root through almost everything just to get the supplies ready for the classes. That is bad enough, but the other consequence is I find a lot of interesting things and start thinking about new projects.
Can you say "distraction"?  (I knew you could!)

The Saturday class was for The Art Center. I had been thinking about artists using fabric, but not wanting to sew. "Fabric Art Without Needle & Thread" included lots of information, products, and playtime. Most of the students are painters, so the part they liked best was painting on Wonder Under (fusible web) and then ironing it to fabric.
I think I'll re-title this class to go along with another I'm thinking of. They will make a nice pair: "Your Iron as an Art Tool" and "Your Sewing Machine as an Art Tool".
As usual, I was too busy teaching to take any pictures.

Monday's class was for my quilt guild, in response to the need to finish Community Service quilts. I call it "Utility Quilting", which basically means using the walking foot and getting the work done! Quilts made to give away and be used do not need a fancy heirloom quilting job, but they do need their layers to be well quilted so they will last as long as possible.
While you can just do long lines of stitching in one direction, most of the people in the class decided a grid works better. I would agree...both for support of the layers and for a nice texture.
One of the main problems with a class in machine quilting comes from the set up . It's impossible to get ideal chair or table height, though we talked about it so changes can be made at home. Another problem is getting table support on the left side, without making everyone bring a card table...and I solved that problem at long last! It uses more tables, so the class has to be smaller, but staggering them in pairs length-wise provided just what was wanted.
And the third problem is most classes practice on a small sample. If you want to really learn machine quilting, you have to start figuring out how you are going to handle all the bulk of the quilt as it goes through your machine.
Perfect over-the-shoulder technique!
Everyone in class had to bring a basted quilt that was no smaller than 36" square. They did a great job learning to "Fluff & Stuff" among other techniques.

What was the most important thing we learned in each class?
To let go of that idea about Ideal Perfection and just do something!
And is it an old saying, or can it be attributed to Richard Bach or someone..."You best teach what you most need to learn!"

BTW: I did get everything put back in place, and am now ready to mess up my studio again with some new projects!

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