Sunday, October 26, 2014

There's nothing like an on-site quilting class at YLS

Over the last several days I was surrounded by walls of colorful fabrics and threads, beautifully stitched and quilted fabric pieces, the hum of sewing machines, and above all, convivial and inquisitive quilters eager to hang out with like-minded stitching enthusiasts and add a new tip or technique to their quilting repertoire.
Intro to Free-motion Quilting class at MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Yes, you can peruse books, watch YouTube videos, and post questions to on-line message boards, but there's nothing like the experience of attending on-site quilting classes at YLS [your local quilt shop]!
Here are a few of the many reasons:
  • You get questions answered on the spot. 
  • Someone is there to troubleshoot and help you. 
  • Fabrics, notions, tools are readily accessible if you need or have forgotten something. 
  • You learn from the teacher as well as other students in class—in addition to making new friends who share your passion.

Free-motion quilting students at MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Your local quilt shop owners and staff are knowledgeable, supportive, encouraging and dedicated to helping YOU be successful in your quilting, sewing and embroidery projects. They seek out fabrics, equipment, supplies and educational opportunities so their customers can learn, grow and continue to enjoy quilting, sewing and embroidery.

This week I was fortunate to be part of the educational offerings at both MidSouth Sewing in Knoxville, TN, and Pins and Needles Quilt Shop in Chattanooga, TN.
Student free-motion work. 
Karen, the owner of MidSouth Sewing in Knoxville, TN, invited me to teach my Intro to Free-motion Quilting and Paper Piecing the Celebration Tree classes at her shop.
Piece by Numbers: the Celebration Tree class at MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Thank you to Karen, Carolyn, Kathy, Kathy (there are two Kathys) and the rest of the staff at MidSouth for coordinating the class logistics, classroom set-up and for being lovely and gracious hostesses during my visit!
Paper piecing examples and patterns were on hand in the classroom.
Karen also hosted a Fabric Party at her shop that featured the newest fabric collections from Blank Quilting Corp. and StudioE Fabrics.
A preview of upcoming fabric collections from Blank Quilting Corp
and StudioE Fabrics at MidSouth Sewing.
MidSouth customers previewed the new fabric lines and filled out their "Fabric Wish Lists" with choices from upcoming fabric collections, Fabrications pre-cut 2.5" strips, 5"charm collections, as well as popular blender fabrics and 108" wide backings.
Store customers previewed upcoming fabric lines.
Sample quilt tops, wearable art, tote bags and patterns showcased the fabrics and provided inspiration.
Sample quilt tops, tote bags and garments showcase current Blank Quilting Corp fabric lines
and popular pre-cut 2.5" fabric strips and 5" charm squares.
On Saturday, Pins and Needles Quilt Shop in Chattanooga was near capacity with two quilting classes—my Intro to Free-motion Quilting as well as a hand quilting class. 
Free-motion quilting students at Pins and Needles Quilt Shop, Chattanooga, TN.
Thank you to Stacy, the shop owner at Pins and Needles, for inviting me to teach Intro to Free-Motion Quilting—one of my favorite classes. Stacy always goes these extra mile for her customers. This time we were treated to a plate of delicious cookie bars… pecans, almonds, chocolate chips and other chewy morsels on a Oreo cookie crust. A perfect complement to free-motion, wouldn't you say??
Students working on free-motion designs.
Student samplers from my Intro to Free-motion Quilting class.
Along with having the opportunity to share my passion for quiltmaking, I meet a lot of quilters and make many new friends through teaching my classes. Here are some of my new quilting friends from this past week.
Class attendees from Intro to Free-motion Quilting, MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Class attendees Intro to Paper Piecing: the Celebration Tree
MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Many students comment on the take-aways they get from my classes. Here are a few of them:

  • I didn't know I could combine different quilting designs on one quilt. Now I have some ideas.
  • The explanation of thread and needle sizes was very helpful.
  • I now have more ideas/designs I can use for meander quilting.
  • I picked up some new tips for paper piecing.
  • I'm glad you covered the other steps in the quiltmaking process. This was very informative and helpful.
  • Great handouts!
A bonus for me when teaching out of town is sampling the local restaurant fare that my hostesses recommend. To accompany my pork Tacos Mexicanos (be sure to get the homemade, fresh guacamole), I didn't dare buck the "Wednesday night tradition" [per Kathy at MidSouth] of having a margarita at El Charro's in Knoxville.
The Tomato Head restaurant, The Gallery Shopping Center, Knoxville.
I also enjoyed revisiting The Tomato Head restaurant—this time at The Gallery Shopping Center location. The enticing homemade cupcakes in the glass case at the entrance where swirled high with lush frosting. The pasta salad I had for dinner had lots of fresh vegetables. However, even the small size of the salad was very filling, so my dinner companion and I passed on dessert this time. The whimsical fish-themed bottle-cap artwork on the walls was an added delight.

Thanks again to all my new friends who came out to join me in class! Visit your local quilt shop (YLS) and let the owner and staff know what classes and topics are of interest to you. And, leave a comment for me as well! We will connect and I hope to see you again very soon.

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