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Quilting in Woodland

March 14, 2006

So, I started teaching Beginning Quilting in Woodland. Before starting the class, I put together an outline of what would be done during each of the three 2-hour classes. Wow, it sure looked good on paper.

The first week's classes (there are two separate classes, you know) had a couple of bumps; in the first I skipped an entire section which was informative but in no way crucial. In the second, smaller, class, I got the skipped part in, but for some reason the class ran about 30 minutes longer than the first. Actually, "for some reason" is quite vague. In truth, the skill level of the second class was much more widely varied. From the nice lady who has been sewing longer than I've been alive (sure hope I didn't offend when I mentioned that) to the one who had just bought her new sewing machine and didn't know what a seam allowance is...

After the second class, one of the participants took me aside and explained that she would be out of town on the day of the second class. Well, hey. That's the class where we learn to rotary cut and to sew our strips together and, um, basically DO everything.

Fortunately the other half of my brain was there (that's J, of course) and she suggested we do a Saturday class for the person who was going to be out of town. After I got home, I had the bright idea to call the brand-new sewer and invite her on Saturday, too, since I expected that she'd benefit from some good one-on-one attention.

We get together on Saturday, J & I start with finding grainline, how to safely use a rotary cutter, cutting strips, sewing them together, pressing tips. THREE AND A HALF HOURS LATER, we're packing up to go home. Three and a half hours! Two people! And I expect to do this for four and six people in TWO hours and WITHOUT J? Well, hand me the paper sack, girls, I'm starting to hyperventilate.

After about 24 hours of "WTF was I thinking", I finally got over myself and decided that what will be, will be (yep, big fan of Doris Day songs. Grew up listening to them at my grandparents home every summer vacation).

The official second class of the series is on Tuesday. I actually hadn't overbooked myself for the day, so I had time to start dwelling and worrying again. By the time I got to the afternoon class, I had a mid-sized lump in my stomach. Four people. I've already figured that I can't trim anything from the class, so I start off by telling everyone that we will need to put the pedal to the metal and move it along.

Whaddaya know, we made it in 2 1/2 hours. I will have to remember to thank mybrand-new sewer for her help - even though she is still 'learning the language', she gets it. And she was a big help.

The evening class started showing up about 5 minutes after the afternoon class had cleared out (so much for an hour between classes!). Fortunately, one of my friends who have been attending the Vancouver classes came up to lend a hand - and bring McD's, which I wolfed down while the ladies were setting up.

Again, we managed to get to a finish point at about 2 1/2 hours. Not so bad. It was immensely gratifying when The Light Came On for one of the ladies and she started twirling around saying, "I get it! I get it!"

The third and last class of the series next week is all me - demonstrating basting, quilting and binding. Originally the plan was to have everyone bring their machines and work on finishing their quilts, but I think it will be more effective if they can give their undivided attention, refer to the handouts and take notes. Oh, and they all can have my phone number...

(Technorati wants to tell you this post is about so who am I to argue?)


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