Wednesday, 15 June 2016

So... the class went well!

Last Saturday I had my first class running a workshop with the Southern Branch of the Irish Patchwork Society in Cork!

I was nervous enough about it as I had done demonstrations at our own branch but never before developed a class, class materials and created a lesson plan!  There was a lot of work in it but I'm really glad now it's happened that I took on this challenge.  Having written and published 2 patterns helped a lot in making the block directions.  Writing practice weekly on the blog here has left me happy enough to just start writing on a blank page and I filled up 18 pages about ways to play with traditional blocks in no time.  At the end of the process I had 3 quilt patterns and 14 block patterns!

Editing it was more work than the writing and I am very grateful for my blogging friends who proof read and pattern tested for me.  Thanks again to Serena, Anja, Abigail and Sandra!  I had really good advice from Paula Rafferty who has been teaching for many years.  The most valuable thing she told me was to have lots of step outs for each block showing how it is put together.    I chose 4-5 blocks out of the 14 and made step by step samples and these were better than the written instructions on the day!

It was a really fun day out starting with the branch meeting and a bit of shopping at the Patchwork Plus pop up shop.  Moya's shop had been to our own branch the night before in Limerick and I had bought some half metres of fabric and seeing it all on display again, I tried very hard but eventually gave in and bought a little bit more!  Though in my defence I did need to replace that 6 1/2" square ruler that I had chipped the corner off so, had to be done!

The branch meeting space is lovely and light in the hall of the Sacred Heart Church on the Western road in Cork.  I had great fun at the meeting socialising an hour before the meeting started, with tea and homemade buns!  Sandra @Sew of Course popped in to say hello and it was brilliant to meet her  and thank her in person for all her help proof reading and checking measurements on the class materials I had prepared!

At the end of the meeting, I gave a talk on Modern Quilting to the branch and after lunch, 13 of the ladies stayed on to do the workshop, Traditional Blocks Made Modern.

Between the group, 5 different blocks were made in the space of the afternoon!  Some very speedy sewers.  As we only had an afternoon for the workshop, I had sent on the dimensions to pre-cut fabric in advance and that helped immensely.  We made the Modern Economy, Offset Log Cabin, Wonky Star, Modern Churn Dash and I think the block that people liked the most was the Wonky Bento Box block.

Everyone's fabric choices were so different.  It was really brilliant towards the end of the day to see the blocks being added to the design wall, one by one.

I had serious fabric envy on the day looking at the ombre effect fat quarters Moya was using.  I love her choice of grey as the accent colour in the wonky bento blocks too!

And her very creative arrangement of the blocks.  Can't you just see a whole quilt made with these?

The design wall was a big hit!  I bought this on Massdrop last year thinking it could come in handy for photographing small quilts but this was its first proper outing and it was brilliantly easy to use!

This is the largest size 72" x 72" but it folds up into a small black bag about a foot long.  Clipping the support bars onto the frame is the hardest part, as you need a bit of finger strength to get them to pop in place!  Erin helped and we had it assembled in about 5 minutes, even less to take it down!

I think it really helped to close the class on a high note as we all got to see how productive everyone was on the day. And also to see how the different fabrics people were working with looked in the block designs.  Strangely I found myself pulled to the warm traditional creamy browns!

Oh, and I came home with an embroidery machine too!

They are a very generous bunch in the Cork branch.  Unwanted fabric was donated to whomever wanted it and one lady offered up 2 unwanted embroidery machines, older models that would only run on Windows XP.  I said if no one else from the branch claims it I'll take it.

I've spent the last two nights trying to get it running on windows 7, even found instructions on the net to make it work but for some reason the software will work but the driver for the machine is missing and the software can't detect when the machine is plugged in.  So I bugged Gordon to borrow an XP machine and after a long time looking at the swirly circle, it installed and recognises the machine, a Husqvarna Viking EM10.  Hoping to play with it tonight and stitch something out!

No idea what to do with it after that - just couldn't bear to see it unloved or on its way to dump!  So all that has left me a week behind my own QAL!  Instructions are up on Modern Quilters Ireland for week 3 - piecing the corners!  It's not too late to join if you like.  You can link up any progress on the Rainbow Rose block to win a prize of fat quarters.  Thanks a million to all of you are Quilting-a-Long.  It's brilliant to see all the gorgeous fabric pulls!  I'll be catching up this week on piecing the middles and getting cracking on the corners!  Links to the blog posts are in the tab above called Quilt-A-Long or on the Modern Quilters Ireland Blog

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  1. It sounds like you had a really great day; congratulations on running your first workshop!

  2. I'm so happy for you Ruth! All of your hard work has paid off - many congratulations!!!

  3. Oh Ruth I am so happy it was such a great day for you and he attendees - and so productive by the evidence!! Wonderful to see all the blocks up on your design wall - fantastic to have such a mobile device. Congratulations!!

  4. Bless your brave soul! Well done!! It's scary to stand in front of veterans and telling them what to do. Hope more to come :)

  5. Congratulations on your class. I knew you would do great and have fun. That's an awesome design wall. Good luck with the new machine.

  6. Congrats on teaching your first workshop, I looks like it was super successful, I am glad you had a great time teaching it!

  7. Congratulations on running your first workshop: sounds like it was a very successful day. Your students covered a lot of ground and their blocks look great; what fun to share what you have learned with other people (and lucky you getting to meet Sandra in person).

  8. It looks like a fun class. All those cheery and eclectic blocks! (Portable design wall envy.)
    My 6.5 inch ruler is starting to develop a chip too. I noticed while using it the other day to cut rainbow squares for you know what.
    You came home with an embroidery machine! Wow!

  9. I would have loved to take your class Ruth! You were so incredibly well prepared and dreamed up the best blocks and patterns. Congratulations on a huge success!
    How fun that you and Sandra met!
    Enjoy your embroidery machine!

  10. Well done, your class was so productive!

  11. So happy to hear about your class. I love your design wall!


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