Sunday, November 1, 2015

Spark Class Wrap-Up

Yesterday we had our day-long class at Spark Creative Artspace in Greenfield. I expected 7 participants, and prepared for 7 participants. In the end, I had 2 participants. Initially, I was really disappointed, because I had put so much effort into preparing a good, fun class. But my little group was so eager and energetic, that I couldn't wear my disappointment for long.

You know, I'm a 'glass-half-full' kinda' gal, too. That helped. *wink*

So let's get on with this wrap-up. The Spark room is really spacious. The picture below shows my tables set up at the far end of the room where the light is brightest. I brought both of my Ott Lites from home, to enhance lighting.

Interspersed with the artwork on the walls, I have tacked up two design walls (aka the backside of  plastic, flannel-lined tablecloths).  Also, I hung three examples of the quilt we would be making - two with the borders, one without.

 Eleven-year-old Aly worked on her first-ever quilt alongside her grandmother, Pam. Shawnda was also making her first quilt and she selected flannel fabric. We pressed seams open to keep things simple. I mentioned that pressing to the dark is also an option, but open seams work best when you know you might be moving units around later in the process.

Seamstresses remained focused all day, and made significant progress with their skills, becoming more confident and comfortable with their machines and with tools such as rotary cutters and mats. We stressed to Aly the inherent dangers of that cutter, and she did just fine with her grandmother's supervision.

You can see in these two pictures that we ended up on the floor even though I had those design walls. Trouble was, as the quilts got heavier, the pieces just wouldn't stay up. Aly is deciding how to place the pieces for her piano-key outer border in the photo above left. Shawnda is "shuffling" her outer border parts to mix up colors and patterns. We agreed that it's really hard to shuffle flannel fabric. *grin*

 Our fabulous finishes! Shawnda did the 50-inch version which is how I billed the class. Aly went with a smaller version; hers finishes at 40 inches.

Ta-da! Two first-time quilters with their finished quilt tops. It was a long day, but the results were worth it. They both have suggestions for finishing, and know that they are free to call me for moral support or suggestions anytime.

I learned a few things throughout the day, and will adapt my instructions accordingly. We started at 9am and finished around 5. That's a long, long day. I need to figure ways to cut that down. Can you imagine an 11-year-old maintaining her focus that long? It's hard for adults. I wonder how long we would have been if we'd had our full class of 7? Perhaps this is the silver lining of that earlier disappointment.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

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