Monday, January 11, 2010

Teaching? Am I ready?

I have been tentatively contacted about teaching a short workshop about how to use different threads in free motion quilting and I believe I am ready to take the plunge.  I have been saying that I'm not ready to teach yet as I am really committed to creating my fiber art, but when this possible opportunity was presented to me I felt like it was something I could really do and am ready to do.  I have done extensive quilting on many of my quilts and used numerous types of thread in the process.  I know what kind of needles I like, what I do when I have tension issues, how I handle skipped stitches, and how I plan/determine motifs for quilting.  I can share what I know in a short workshop that may be very helpful to people who are just starting to venture into quilting their own work, particularly small pieces.  Even if they are making placemats, tablerunners, or pillows, this is a topic that could be helpful to many and just maybe I could make a difference.  I'd like to see more beginners learning how to do their own quilting instead of sending everything they make to a long arm quilter to complete for them.  

If I hope to make any money at this endeavor, I really need to start teaching, writing, and sharing whatever knowledge I might have.  Up until now I haven't really thought that I had anything unique or original to share, but I have been doing a lot of free motion quilting and working on perfecting it for myself.  So maybe I have enough knowledge and have worked out enough problems that I would be able to help others to improve their free motion quilting.  

Now that this seed has been planted in my head, I have begun thinking about what other workshops I might offer, like how to plan out your free motion quilting or fit designs into specific spaces.  How to use the quilting to draw the eye across the quilt or to highlight or mute certain areas of a piece.  How to use doodling on paper to help come up with new quilting patterns and practice the rhythm and motion of certain quilting designs.  How to vary quilting designs in order to have variety in a piece and maintain some unity or cohesiveness.  How to create an abstract piece that is balanced, interesting, and completely original.  How to use embellishments such as beads, yarns, paint, stamps, etc. to enhance and create interest in a quilt.

Any of those interest YOU?   We'll see if this current opportunity with the local quilt group pans out or not.  If there is enough interest I'm very willing to give it a go.  If not, maybe I can try setting up a class through the local fabric shop since she has been looking for people to teach classes.  

There seems to be no end to the ideas for quilts in my head these days.  I have been able to create one piece after another with very little down time in between.  Some have been more successful than others, but most of them are acceptable pieces and several of them have sold in recent months.  My only problem is not having enough time to just create without the other obligations of life getting in the way.  Even the business aspects of my activity take more time than I would like---entering shows, pursuing gallery exhibitions, keeping track of expenses, keeping an updated and accurate inventory, etc.etc.etc..!  

I don't have any new quilt pics to put out here just yet, but here a couple of pictures I took the other day when there was some wonderful early morning sunlight and frost patterns in the yard and garden.  Enjoy!

Stuffed Turkey Thigh/Legs

Disclaimer: This is a cooking post not an art post!  But I will say that there is an art to boning, stuffing and baking this recipe--and it ...