Last week I took a two day class that was probably one of the best I've ever taken on technique (rather than design). It was Modern Machine Quilting with Pam Raby at the Stitchin' Post. Pam is a quilter from Corvallis, Oregon and she teaches at a shop there as well as one up near Portland. Now she's teaching in Central Oregon and I know the Stitchin' Post will have her back after the raves about this class. Pam used the book, First Steps to Free Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli as the main text, but added lots of her own handouts and freebies. The class was organized around doing a sampler/practice piece and 3 projects (pillow cover, fabric bucket and zipper bag). The project patterns are in the book and are really well written, easy and satisfying! It's worth buying the book for that reason. In addition, Pam gave us a handout with measurements to make several other sizes of the fabric bucket. I learned a lot about machine quilting, but also about sewing in general. So good, I tell you!For my sampler/practice piece I brought this small quilt top that got started at the Modern Quilt Guild Sew Down this year. I just realized that I never did a blog post about the Sew Down! How could that be? Anyway, it was great fun on a crazy, snowy weekend in Portland. All participants did all four classes and my favorite was the one with Sherri Lynn Wood. The class was called Improv Round Robin.
We came to class with a box of fabric and a signature fabric that we would add to every quilt that came into our hands. At the start of class we had 15 minutes to create a center for our piece, then passed the box to the next person, adding our signature fabric to whatever was in the box. Every 15 minutes we passed the boxes. It was hectic and fun and only a 3 hour class, so I think 7 people worked on mine. Both of my friends from Bend worked on mine so that's cool. Also, Sherri herself did part of mine. So, this little top was waiting around to be finished. I took it out, fixed a ripple and added the borders and it was ready to be quilted.The main reason I took this class was because when I am faced with a top to be machine quilted I usually go to my standard meander or try some basic other stitches, but mostly I just don't have any good ideas. I liked Pam's class samples and thought I'd at least get some good ideas for patterns, but it was so much more. Most important is that I have increased confidence with the machine quilting.
The pillow is now in my Etsy shop. I grabbed fabric without thinking and realized after that this particular green isn't quite right for my living room. So, if you are interested, check it out here. Also, remember to use the discount code Birthday25.
Lastly, Pam gave us a little bonus pattern & fabric for these nifty gift card holder ornaments. Aren't they cute! So quick and easy to make and I can think of all sorts of other uses. How about for candies, gift tags, 24 for an advent calendar? It was her gift to the students, but she also shared with all the Stitchin' Post employees. Pam was a great teacher, so supportive, enthusiastic and giving. I would highly recommend her as a teacher!