Earlier this month I got to present to my own guild the Foothill Quilters Guild and teach a class the following day. It was nice as I just had to load up my car, take a short drive and speak to familiar faces. No packing of suitcases, trips to the airport , flights etc it was all quite relaxed! In 2014 I did my first ever presentation to the afore mentioned guild and I just remember my dry mouth, heart in my chest and a feeling I might pass out! I am happy to say things have come along way since that day.
My lecture was titled Journey to Creativity and was a combo lecture of my Journey in Art Quilting and my Living a Creative Life. I was able to tell my story of how I came to be a quilter whilst at the same time encourage my audience to be more creative by taking away the fears and limitations we set on ourselves by stepping out of their comfort zone.
The following day I taught my Love of Pets Class that is an all day class where my students will bring in an enlarged photo of their pet, learn to turn this into a pattern to use for their fabric collage project. It really is my most popular class and I think this is because we all love our pets and being able to make something so personal, not just the same pattern as the person next to you, is really special.
Usually most people work from dog photos either their own or a family members, we had a couple of cat photos and one monkey, not a pet I assure you. Students are open to make quilts of animals, birds, fish or their pet.
Once the pattern is made, which can feel intimidating, I am happy when everyone comes out with a unique, really workable pattern. Then work starts on the eyes. This is probably the most time consuming part of the process, has the smallest and most pieces and is the part that has to be right. Working on your collage after that is fun as the animal or pets personality will keep you going. Also I am there for advice, tips and support.
I always try to get work in progress photos with the original color photo of the pet. But sometimes students pack before I get a chance. I also encourage them to email me pictures of their finished work.
Quite often previous students will email me for advice on finishing the collage or choosing backgrounds as they continue to work on these projects at home.
Students work at their own pace in class so end the day with a varying amount complete. I have to remind them that apart from drawing up their own pattern to begin with, they are learning a new technique and also working those eyes.
Part of my lecture about stepping of your comfort zone and trying something new in your quilting I talk about not expecting perfection. When learning a new technique things might not go perfectly but you will have learned something and by repeating the process you will feel more comfortable and get better.
Now here are a couple of finished works. I am always happy to see and hear that students have carried on with the process. I get totally addicted when working on a collage and set up a folding table at the back of my family room so I can carry on in the evenings.
Scroll through these to see a couple of examples of finished student work from my workshop at InBetween Stitches quilt shop in Livermore
Love of Pets Workshop, this really is my most popular class and is usually 1 day, which suits quilt guilds, but could easily be extended to 2 or 3 day. I am teaching it at InBetween Stitches in Livermore in November and hope to set up some classes locally soon. If you are ever looking for a class look up my teaching schedule and I have them all listed there. Now I’m a week away from heading to Houston to teach 4 classes so my next week will be an update on my experience there.