Moving right along... I attended a fantastic class taught by Kaye England on Saturday at my local Bernina dealership. When I signed up for the class, I had no idea who Kaye was or what the class would be about, but it turned out to be time and money well spent. I've learned most of what I know about patchwork and quilting from books, magazines, and the Internet, so the whole experience of a room full of quilters learning together was a novelty for me. Although I didn't expect to know anyone else taking the class, I was pleasantly surprised to see the realtor who helped us find our first home in Charlotte in 1999 AND my very first customer, back from when I first started sewing draperies to justify my expensive sewing habit in 2001. This is a woman who lost my unlisted phone number and actually went knocking on doors in my neighborhood to find me again the next time she wanted to hire me. It was so nice that she recognized and remembered me after so many years! I had no idea either one of these ladies was even a quilter.
But, even without the surprise reunions and hugs, this class was more than worthwhile, and here's why:
- Kaye showed me a little engraved line on my sewing machine's stitch plate, just in front of the needle, that marks a perfect quarter inch seam for patchwork. I've had this sewing machine since 2005 and I had NO IDEA that little guide line was there. This is going to make it a lot easier to get a consistent quarter inch patchwork seam so that all of the pieces fit togethe properly and my blocks finish the correct size.
- I learned that my rotary cutting tool was skipping because it had a dull, nicked blade, and that the blade was screwed in too tight, causing me lots of unecessary aggravation, difficulty, and wasted time when cutting fabric. I bought a new blade for about ten dollars, and now my rotary cutter is gliding through fabric as effortlessly as a hot knife goes through butter!
- I learned -- and this is going to sound blasphemous -- that I can get better results by NOT ironing every seam after the entire block is completed! Hallelujah!
Anyway, I highly recommend that you take a class with Kaye if you ever have the opportunity to do so.
Next on my sewing agenda: I want to finish up an in-progress window treatment for my laundry room in the next few days that my husband has been nagging me to make for over a year, and then I need to complete Paula Reid's September Free-Motion Quilting Challenge, hosted by SewCalGal, before the end of the month.