Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year!

Only two more days before we all embark into a brand new year. A new year is just like a brand new journal...exciting, fresh, and so full of wonderful possibilities.

One of my goals for 2015 already has a fixed date.  Beginning Saturday, January 31, I will be teaching an English Paper Piecing Mystery Block of the Month class. After all, who doesn't love a good mystery!

Designing the first two months has been exciting. Initially, my goal was to have the class use the hexagon shape only, but during the designing, I couldn't help but experiment with other shapes as well. After many hours of designing and redesigning, I settled on three shapes we will be using for the year: hexagon, diamond, and triangle. I chose a 3/4 inch size which I think is perfect....not too big and not too small.

The unfinished blocks measure 11 inches, and the class fee includes a choice of either a light or dark monthly background fabric. My first dilemma was that I could not decide on just one design for January. I liked both of them so much that I decided to include them both and allow the student to choose which they prefer. One block has fewer pieces and is lovely. The second choice looks more complicated but it is not. It just has more pieces. Both designs utilize all three shapes so no matter which you choose, you will start getting comfortable with the shapes right away.

The class will be at Pioneer Quilts which is located at 3101 S.E. Courtney Road, Portland, Oregon. This is near the Oak Grove/Milwaukie Area. You can call and sign up for the class if that is more convenient. The phone number is 503.654.1555. The class is scheduled to be the last Saturday of each month and will cost $10 each month. Class fee includes the design/designs for the month, choice of dark or light background fabric, and 'me.' We will go over last month's block, uncover the new block, and I will provide instructions for how I approached the block.  As the year progresses, it will be wonderful to see all of the variations during show 'n tell. I'm so excited for this year-long journey!

I'm still working on the Christmas tablecloth. I'm so close to finishing the quilting that I almost can't stand it. I have incorporated a bit of machine free motion quilting on several areas that needed more quilting. These are areas where the quilting doesn't show up so it was a perfect opportunity to get some more practice improving my free motion. This is another goal for 2015 that must get more work because The Lady 'must' make her entrance.

I have a couple of new tools arriving soon that will enable me to post some short tutorials. In my last class a student mentioned how nice it would be to have handouts of some of the techniques we covered. Showing certain knots and such in paper form is not as easy as it sounds. What looks understandable to me because I know how to do it, looks undecipherable to someone just learning. However, posting a video showing the technique is much more doable and gives you the best of two worlds:

  • You will always have access to the instructions (you don't have to worry about one more piece of paper to keep), 
  • You get to watch my hands and hear me describe the process so it's like having me their right with you at home.
I hope that you will let me know what you think when the videos go live.

And remember to follow Dillan's advice: "dive into the wind face first for the most fun and adventure!"

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