I went to a "Learn to Quilt" workshop this week, and it has taken me two days to decide that I am willing to share my product. I had to work up some courage, especially since I am proud of it, despite its many imperfections. Our instructor kept reminding us that we were doing this to learn techniques, not to create a perfect square.
I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to create this again on my own, so I took some pictures along the way, mostly to help me remember in which direction to press the seams. Linda Williams, our instructor at Joann Fabrics, told us to press toward the dark. OK. That made sense to me, because you won't see the seams as much under the dark. However, later on, she told me to press some seams toward my lighter color - for construction purposes. We don't want our seams going in directions that work against each other when we press them open once the block is finished. Unfortunately, my brain just doesn't work that way. How did she know what that was going to be? Will practice help me be able to predict, or should I purchase a few extra seam rippers?
Here are some of the photos I took of the process, incuding the back side, where I discovered that my 1/4 inch seams were anything but that!
I learned many things in this workshop, including the importance of being very careful with your fabric selection! I thought the fat quarters were really pretty in their little bags and would be perfect for Easter, but I now know that I will not be using my left over fabric for anything else but practice. I should try an X square, since we were given instructions for one.
All in all, it was 2-1/2 hours well spent. There was only one other student in the class, so we both received a lot of personal attention. Cheryl P lives in the same town that I do to boot. So, we exchanged information and will try to find a way to connect. How lovely!
Every December, my community has a tour of homes to raise money for worthy local charities. Always a very popular event, this year was no exception. Each of the six homes had something unique to showcase for the holiday season. What immediately caught my eye as I entered one of them, were the garlands adorned with magnolias. They looked real, but it was December. I was curious as to where they came from and was stunned when the homeowner explained that they were made of balloons on wire frames. They must have been admired by many visitors, because the talented crafter was invited and generously agreed to offer a workshop showing us how to make them. I signed up as soon as I got the notice and felt lucky as the class immediately filled up. Additional sessions are coming, but mine was today! It needs a little adjusting, but here is my first attempt!
In case you are wondering, the center of the flower is real. The crafter told us she waits a few weeks after the petals drop to pick the conelike carpel clusters and stamens off the tree. She then lets the pods air dry. They will shrink during this process, so they need to be about twice as large as needed when picked. The leaves are faux; a source for nice ones in my area is Carolina Pottery. We used 12 inch balloons for the petals.
If you are interested in making these, there are instructions and videos available online. Here is one site that should help you get started:
Here is a good video showing other types of flowers:
These flowers were made by our instructor, Jo Ann Crystal.
A friend was generously sharing knowledge and experience with me as she shared her expertise on quilting, something I want to try. As I was reporting my progress back to her, she suggested I blog about it. So, here I am, post #1 of my new blog, Pursuits and Endeavors. We'll have to wait and see if there are posts yet to come, but thanks for the suggestion, Linda B.
I retired. I moved. I organized my new home - well, sort of. I relaxed. I floated in the relaxation. After 40 years of teaching and non-stop activity, I felt like relaxation was my new major. Then...I was done. Although I still had some activities that connected me to my old professional life, I needed to add some new ones. I tried classes - all sorts of arts and crafts. I joined a book club. I pulled out my telescope and joined the local astronomy club. I joined the local gem and minerals club. Now, I am going to try quilting!
It came to me quite unexpectedly. I don't even remember what I was talking about with Linda B a few days ago, but one thought led to another, and the conversation came to quilts and quilting. I started to believe that, just maybe, I might be able to make something that I have not been able to find for purchase. (I'm pretty picky.) There are many challenges, including the fact that I haven't sewed anything in many years. I do have a new sewing machine. It has sat unused since I bought it as a treat to myself right before Christmas, 2015. However, I have done some light sewing in the past, so I believe I will be OK, once I sit down in front of the machine.
So, true to form. I did a lot of online searching. I also pestered my friend, who gave me a a lot of advice, including a list of basic supplies. I registered for a "Learn to Quilt" class at my local Joann store this Wednesday. While in the store shopping yesterday, I met a lovely woman, Belinda R, who invited me to a meeting of Community Threads, an extension of the McCormick Arts Council at the Katurah, SC. Unfortunately, the club is quite a distance from my home, but I do look forward to making it there once in a while.
I'll let you know how the class works out.