Thursday, April 21, 2016

Quilting with Claudia

The sewing lessons with Claudia are becoming more and more focused as she is really getting the hang of all the basics of the craft. The lesson we had on Tuesday was more about efficiently cutting fabric for an entire quilt. Getting a good, workable system down makes the job go faster, as we all know.

Claudia had done a great amount of work prior to coming over. She'd collected 24 different fabrics of the brightest and most vivid variety and tried to closely imitate the colors in the pattern picture. Her system for keeping the colors straight was highly organized; she'd gone so far as to cut a swatch from each piece, label it, and glue it to a color guide that she created for the pattern. It was impressive.

We set about cutting from about 5 of the fabrics to see if we could establish a sort of rhythm or system that she felt comfortable with. I think she will do fine, as she refines her techniques at home with the other 19 fabrics.

Establishing a system for the sewing part was another of Claudia's requests. So we sewed a couple of 9-patch blocks. An added bonus to going ahead with this step was that it introduced her to the notion of 'subcutting.' After she has her 3 strips (light, dark, light) sewn together, she then had to press, then go back to the cutting table to cut the sections (in this case we were working with 2.5-inch strips). So subcutting is now something she understands and can refine at home on her own.

Teaching sewing and quilting-related classes has been interesting. I've enjoyed meeting and helping novice quilters. And I, myself, have learned so much in the process. I have been a teacher all my life, and it makes all the difference in the world when your student is eager to learn - and enthusiastic about gaining new skills. Claudia is this type of student. But it goes both ways, you know? I am an English teacher by profession, so I am having to learn as I go how to best teach this quilting stuff. I'm glad Claudia's so easy-going, for I certainly have been slow to pick up on a few things from the teacher side of things. My hat's off to those many home-ec teachers I know and love, for I can now relate to your situation! *wink*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

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