classes, Piecing, Teaching

Class report – first week

It was great being back at The Station in Stone to start our autumn series of evening classes – the wonderful caretaker  had made sure everything was sparkling clean and suitably warm, so we unloaded all our gear and re-arranged it to look like a class before everyone arrived.  This time we have a good mix of beginners and returners which should work really well – here’s what Barbara’s new camera (yes folks, she’s still fiddling around getting to grips with it so the focus is still not the sharpest) recorded at the end of class –

As you can see, no people!  We were so busy with all the things that go on during a first night, like introductions, demo the block, demo the techniques, remember to check the payments, make the tea and coffee, reassure everyone that we are quite harmless really, that neither of us took any pictures of the assembled masses hard at work.  So, until the fabled homework arrives next week, we’ll have to make do with showing you the block we featured  this week and a few very very simple settings of it.  The block is a 4patch called Domino and is just squares and rectangles.  We cut and stitched part of the 12inch version for our demo so that we could cover the absolute basics of rotary cutting and the start of machine piecing for our beginning students.  Here’s the sample we had made before class, followed by the EQ generated arrangements –


4 Domino blocks set together – looks different if you turn the blocks around

Four blocks together with a narrow border would make a table centre or very large cushion.  Or six blocks together lengthways would make a table runner –


Now we need to repack our boxes ready for next week – Chris has a full day class Thursday, Barbara will be in the (almost) wilds of southern Wales Friday and Saturday, so time is at a premium!


classes, Inspiration, Piecing

Turning on the charm …

..  was the slightly mysterious title for our Saturday class at Tittensor.  It was probably too much to expect that we could both manage to turn on the charm ourselves for a whole day, although we tried hard.   A good turnout, but not full to bursting, and a very happy atmosphere made for a thoroughly enjoyable time.  From the requirements list it seemed harmless enough –  a charm pack or two, or 5in squares and let us surprise you…. and we did!!  All that was required was joining squares together in random or slightly ordered fashion, depending on Chris’s instruction and then applying the rotary cutter a couple of times to make a little magic.  Our original inspiration for this class came from a couple of books that have been on our respective shelves for years and years – Fast Patch and Scrap Quilts using Fast Patch, both by Anita Hallock.   After the first demo session all that could be heard was the soothing hum of sewing machines and some happy murmuring.  After the second demo session you could have heard the proverbial pin drop as some of the possibilities sank in, and after that the machine hum became a little faster paced as everyone got fired up again.  We think there may be a number of quilts/quilt tops produced quite quickly from this class – no pressure everyone!  Barbara’s roving camera captured these glimpses of fabrics and production during the day  –

then a few carefully-placed cuts and everything looks different –

Then the discovery that you can make other things happen –

We were all far too busy to take the almost-mandatory “happy class” picture at the end of the day, so we’ll end with a  look at one or two things from the lunchtime show & tell, plus an acknowledgement of what helps to keep everyone on the right track –