It's a lot of work to travel and teach. That might sound a bit obvious, but I sometimes wonder if it's really understood just how much effort it takes to travel to an event, unpack, prepare, then stand and teach for hours and try to give every student the best experience possible.
When I first got into quilting and attended guild meetings, workshops, and quilt shows, I never really understood how much work goes into just getting the presenters, the teachers, the vendors all in place and ready to do their thing.
It was a surprise to me in 2010 when I started seriously traveling and teaching around NC and SC just how much work it was. It only took about 6 months for me to realize that a life on the road was just not for me. I couldn't relax, I couldn't find my balance. I found myself wearing thin and my patience and understanding a shorter and shorter fuse.
|Yes, this is exactly what my feathers looked like|
the first time I stitched them! Super thank you
to the students that donated their practice
squares. It helps to know exactly what you can
expect from the very beginning!
But I still need to do this. Occasionally.
It's hard work and I'm tired, but I'm not at all resentful of the effort because I needed this reconnection with real quilters. I've come from several months at home where it's easy to forget what those early beginner struggles are. I love to get around real people, in person, and see and hear the issues that are happening right at the beginning and hopefully be able to supply the courage, confidence, and inspiration to keep working at it. It's because I do this very rarely that I can do it well and put forth loads of effort on demand.
Yesterday we broke darning feet, worked on speed control, practiced stitching on a line, then dove into free motion designs. This was the first class I've ever taught out of From Feathers to Flames, the first time I'd tried using printed practice squares from Spoonflower, and the first time I drew out feathers for each student to stitch over. Trying all these new things helped me learn more about teaching and gave me loads of ideas for improving my videos online and more projects we can work on together.
|These practice squares were simple, but a nice place to start. |
I plan to play with more designs and larger sizes to see what works best.
So the advice I repeated to everyone is this: find ONE design that works for you and go quilt it.
Quilt it on everything and anything. Finish 3 quilts from your stash with that single design. Just QUILT and learn and grow with it. Ignore your mistakes and don't obsess about perfection. Just QUILT.
So that's what I'm off to do myself!
Let's go quilt,