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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Monday, September 29, 2008

When I posted to my blog yesterday I forgot to say the charity top was pieced by my friend Riea in Texas and I quilted it. Riea is one of the best toppers I've seen in my long career as a machine quilter. Riea sent that top (and two others) to me just about this time last year. The other two have not gotten quilted yet. They will also be given to charity. Geeze, this year has been a hard one for getting things done.

I went to guild meeting yesterday... no Ike this time. I think it was a very good meeting. Lots of helpful critiques were going on. I wasn't as far along on my own quilt as I should have been. The other people in the group are at various stages of completion.

I mentioned to a couple of people in the group that I would be teaching machine quilting at the Happy Heart Shop starting hopefully in January. The new machine is still sitting in the boxes. Neither the shop owner, nor I, have the time right now to set it up. We agreed to wait until after the rush season is over before working on it.

One guild member asked me what I would be teaching and how it would be helpful to her as a sit down machine quilter. You know what? I couldn't explain it. I could see it in my mind but just couldn't find the right words to explain it.

This got me to thinking.... ooo, dangerous.... about how will I describe the classes? What will be my class outlines for the different stages of machine quilting? Will I be a good teacher? How helpful will I actually be to others who want to learn machine quilting? Can I really be helpful to a sit down machine quilter? I have to do some serious thinking and planning before January!

My origianal thoughts for the first class were that I should show how pantographs could be used to do custom quilting. Pantos are used with a stand up machine and wouldn't be helpful for a sit down quilter. Pantos are quilting designs on long rolls of paper. In most instances pantos are as long as the machine table and are followed with a pointer to stitch from one side of the quilt to the other. The rows are repeated until the whole top is quilted. The stitching falls wherever on the top.

But..... with a little ingeniuity.... pantos can be used to create a custom quilted top. Pantos can be used to quilt individual blocks or around an outside border. Even on a small shortarm machine. A person doesn't need a hugh machine or learn how to freehand in order to do custom machine quilting. A person can do large 15 inch designs with a machine that only has a reach of 5 inches. It's all in how you do it that matters.

Some of the other classes I though I would teach are:

How to load a quilt - floating the top while keeping it square
How to create your own pantos, including nested designs
How to freehand quilt - good for sit down quilters
How to use line dancing for custom quilting - good for sit downers too
How to combine pantos and freehand designs to create very intricate custom quilting.

I have other thoughts for classes but I need to save some of them for later.

Well I could sit here type-talking for a long time but I must get off the computer and get busy. First order of the day is to wash the dishes! For one person I sure do make a lot of dirty dishes.

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