Monday, September 24, 2012

Piecing for a purpose

Nine months ago, I took a risk and booked my favorite retreat location, The Inn at Amish Door in Wilmot, Ohio for a weekend in order to present a seminar focused on piecing with hexagons and the shapes related to them (60 degree diamonds and triangles).  For the past 6 months, much of my quilt making has been focused on preparing for this weekend.  And this morning, I am happy to say it was a successful weekend!

I had twelve willing participants most of whom have been long-time students.  It's fun to teach for them.  I know what they know and they know what to expect from me.  They are all part of my regular winter retreat at the same location and it was delightful to be welcomed with beautiful fall displays instead of ice and snow.  It was easy to settle into the familiar space and soon everyone had their table organized and work walls set up -- ready to learn and sew!

We alternated lecture/demonstration sessions with sewing sessions.  There wasn't a BIG project as I wanted everyone to enjoy learning the necessary skills and experimenting with all the design ideas I had gathered together!  Once the basic skill of set-in piecing is learned, the design possibilities of this group of shapes is vast!!

The best skill is learning how to chain piece set-in seams -- it's a skill I'll be sharing regularly with several new workshops I'm developing as a result of this seminar.
Soon everyone was working on the blocks that caught their eye.  Everyone in the group benefitted from all the different experiments that were going on -- both from the point of helping with decision making and enjoying the results of other people's work.

My goal was to teach people the skills necessary to enjoy this challenging group of shapes and based on all the smiles and activity and chatter, that was achieved.  I look forward to seeing the results of this seminar over the next couple years as these gals start their own projects fearlessly.

Of course, we weren't all about sewing!  There were leisurely meals with friends, a bit of shopping, a proper English tea on Saturday afternoon to tide us over until supper, some great spasms of laughter, and lots of singing Happy Birthday to one lucky gal. 

And all of the preparation moved me a bit closer to my goal of using up 212 yards of fabric this year -- I'm still on target with the bonus of having some great finished quilts!!  Daily sewing can lead to finished projects!!    Look how this piece has grown since I posted the first photo of it in early August -- one more row to be added at the bottom and then the borders.

155 3/4 yards down 
 56 1/4 to go!!!