Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mystery Quilt Class success

When attending a mystery quilt class, or any class for that matter, I like to come as prepared as possible. The instructor has structured the class to optimize your time together, so make the most of it. Notwithstanding the times I have completely forgotten my power source cord for my machine and had to get home and back and try not to throw my schedule too much.

This preparation includes servicing my machine...check. I like to wipe out the bobbin cage with an oil saturated cotton swab to catch any caked on fuzz and debris. When your machine puts on those many miles of stitching, it is amazing what you will find in there.

New needle...check. I have just invested approx $300 in fabric for this new quilt (well at time when I was accumulating this staff that is what I may have paid for it), how about blowing that budget wide open and put in that new $1.89 needle.

Pre-winding or purchased pre-wound buttons...check. I like to use "Bottom Line" in a neutral shade, and do up at least a half dozen or more. Also pictured are some pre-wound "Super Bob's".

Colour fabric map...check. The class hand-outs includes a class supplies list along with a fabric map page, and pre-class cutting instructions. I do that home work and label (re-inforced with a pin) my pre-cut pieces. These piles of pre-cuts then will either go into a zip-locked plastic bag or small bin designed just for classes or small projects.

Staying organized in class...check. My favourite method are the plastic sleeves in a small binder that is dedicated to that project for the duration of the project. I take photo's (like the ones used here) and file those with the instructions as I go along. Once completed, a summary documentation page is added and the whole thing is then filed in the "Year of Completion" binders. The whole binder system is another blog-about-entry.

For personal care and comfort throughout the day, I pack my own tea mug, de-cafineated tea bags, some pre-cut fresh fruit, a non-greasy hand lotion (all time favourite is Melaleuca's Renew) and a water bottle. This is of course all over and above the pack a lunch or lunch money-in-pocket options.

It is also an opportunity to collect more small pieces (or seed) for the next quilt. Something along the lines of a sour dough starter. Here we were making 'flying geese' and while I was marking one sewing line, what would it take to make the second sewing line and create these adorable hst's for the next time I need hst's that size? They always seem to find a home. They would make an especially elegant border for the label. And to some people that is a really big deal. I have since learned how to make the most of those bonus hst's. (pity I wasted so much fabric!)

Honest, I have been known to smile...alot.

Thought I would deviate a bit from the original instructions and make a pieced border of 4-patches on point.

Love on a Hot Afternoon: Custom Machine quilting by Kim Caskey

I love to quilt and the process is made even more enjoyable by being prepared and staying organized.

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