"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Patchwork Class.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered a small advert. in the "What's New" section of our local paper. It was advertising Patchwork classes being held in Greensborough, a suburb near me. I called the number given, and spoke to J, a lady with a charming New Zealand accent. She explained that she conducted the classes from her home, during the day or at night, whichever was more convenient. J. said she only had four or five girls in a class at one time, so she could give more one-to-one help than if there were a lot of people. Her course goes for 10 weeks, during which time she teaches us a different technique each week, so by the end of 9 weeks, we should have 9 blocks with a variety of patterns, i.e. Dresden Plate, Fan, Amish, and so on. On the 10th week, she would show us how to apply the sashing, padding and backing. The beauty of her course is that she is very flexible; if you can't come for a class, you just pick it up the next time, so your 10 weeks might not run concurrent with the other students. She is planning to conduct another workshop in the future on how to quilt your patchwork.
I booked myself in for the Tuesday class for 10 weeks, starting this week. J. had given me a list of supplies, and I had great fun going through my stash of fabrics and deciding which ones to use! Over the time I've accumulated fabrics, I didn't have anything particular in mind - I just bought stuff because I liked it (or as S. would say, it "called to me"). Now it has a purpose!
On Tuesday afternoon I set out for J's house, and was introduced to the other three girls who were in varying stages of their blocks. There was one other beginner like me, so J. got us cutting out plastic templates for our first block - "Amish Diamond". She helped us select which fabrics to use from the ones we'd brought, and then we cut out the shapes. After that, she explained the order of piecing them together (hand piecing, no machining in this course), and showed us what to do. In the meantime, one of the other students had brought the block she'd started in the previous week, and asked J. why the fabric was distorted. J. pointed out what was wrong, and advised the girl to unpick it and start again, so that kept her busy for an hour!
J's method is to get her students to finish half of the block under her guidance, then take it home and finish it on our own - which I think is excellent teaching, as we have to think for ourselves instead of asking her help. If we mess it up, or don't finish the block, we just carry it over the next week. I finished mine, and am quite happy with it. The other girls loved the chocolate cake in the centre! Depending on what I do with it at the end, I may embroider or applique some small motif on the white homespun fabric, as it looks a bit empty. What do you think?

9 comments:

Miss 376 said...

I wish there was something like that here, I'd love to go to a class like that. The block looks lovely. I'd leave any decisions about what to do until the other blocks are completed and you can see how they all fit in together

Cheryl said...

It was so nice to hear from you Gina!
Congratulations on finishing your first "newbie" square. I like the way you used a focal point novelty fabric in the center...you already have the thought process of a quilter! Don't forget that your blocks will be quilted, and that quilting will add a lot of extra texture to the white areas. If you quilted in the pink color that area would really pop!

Just wait..soon you will be as addicted to fabric as you are to peacocks. (Ask one who knows!)

Virtual Quilter said...

Wonderful, a convert! I think you will love patchwork.
It sounds like you have found a good teacher too, and will be able to work by yourself in the future.
Judy B

zetor said...

Lucky you. That sounds like a fun class. Do like your blocks.

Liz said...

Oh my! That sounds like a wonderful class! How great to get such personalized teaching. There are too many options for embellishing to make a decision at this stage. Once you have all nine blocks, you can spend as much time as you need to mull over what to do. Imagining the details is half the fun! Love that cake fabric!

Joy V said...

Good for you Gina. The block looks lovely. I would wait until you have all the blocks made before adding anything to it. When they are all together it could look very different and then the quilting itself might be enough.

Pear tree cottage! said...

what a great idea, taking a class would be so much fun.....it sounds purfect Gina. I like it plain and would wait to see how the others look beside it before you decide to embroider on it.....but that is me.

Lee-ann

Gina E. said...

Thank you all for your supportive comments. I agree with those who suggested to leave the blocks alone until I've done them all, before attempting to embellish any of them. I just look at that blank fabric and itch to do something on it! But I won't. Yet...

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

How I wish that there was some kind of class or stitching group in our local towns. Your block is so cheery! Great job! blessings,Kathleen