Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sitges - class 2 Art Quilts by Numbers 3

 Well here is another picture heavy post. I just couldn't decide which ones not to put up, so there are rather a lot. Besides this is the first time I have run this specific class so I need to share more to give people a better idea of the class right? In the past this class has always been as an extended Art Quilts by Numbers 1 course where I had multiple days to cover the options I use in my art quilts.

As you can probably see this class specialised in making cows. This is a more fiddly class than the other art quilts classes, partly because the cutting is more intricate and partly because it needs more shades of fabric.

It was interesting in my first class that the students struggled more with identifying different values than I would have expected. Especially as I had a lot of very talented quilters in the class. I was concerned that this would be an even bigger problem on the second day. Fortunately that wasn't the case. There were still a few glitches but on the whole people did well with the values of their fabrics.

The hard part was actually getting the concept of the technique across to them, I suppose that's a good thing given that is what they had paid for. I did learn that the Spanish need the why of a technique before the how. In the UK I generally find people learn better by doing and then understanding the why. I guess there is some cultural difference, unless I just got a very unusual bunch of students :) I did get a fantastic class, several of my students had picked up awards in the competition, in fact some are scary good. People I don't want to come up against in competition!

After we went through the technical side of preparing the patterns and how that then translates in to the quilt I think most of the students were pretty happy with what they were trying to achieve. Most still had moments when the very soft rules of the process caused them trouble. On the other hand running into the exceptions and tricks means you get a lot more information out of the class.

I also realised how far I aim to take my students in this one day class. It covers most of what I learned over several years and 7-8 quilts. Like most of my classes you get worked hard, but you will learn a lot.

Having had a day of practice, France, my long suffering translator and I managed to start communication some of my humour. That may not sound like a big deal, but I think it's quite important. Firstly I want my students relaxed. There isn't much in quilting you will do better tense. I can't actually think of anything right now. If you are laughing or giggling or even just smiling you tend to be more relaxed, then you do better work, which makes you happier. However, translating humour is really hard, especially with a tutor who uses a lot of colloquialisms and somewhat archaic language. It's also hard to know how the students are responding. I think by the afternoon of the second day we were doing pretty well at it. Now I've started learning these skills I can't wait to put them to the test again. I would love to get another chance to teach in Spain, ideally with some of these students.

I'd also love to see if these skill transfer to other countries. I was quite nervous teaching with a translator, but it's good. It is very different but not in a bad way, and maybe it makes both sides concentrate more on the little things. I will also be interested to see if different countries want/need different ways of presenting data.

Something that did surprise me was how different the working pattern was. The Spanish students were slower to start than UK students, but boy once they get going! They settle in a work hard, fast and well. They are also still going strong at the end of the day. I'd love to get this lot on a residential course, we could move mountains

 Looking over these pictures I am still thrilled with their cows. I can't wait to see the finished quilts. Bear in mind you are only seeing two patterns here. All the students had one of them and have then used their own fabric choices. I was surprised that only two went for non cow colours. For me it was hard to work in brown, these cows clearly want to be mad punk cows,, so yes my dear difficult student, your fabrics were kinda cool as well as hard to sort ;) Maybe I will have to make a few of these beasts.  I would quite like to try out the different quilting options on them too, but it will have to wait until I have some spare time and who knows when that will be.

Now I am back home for a while I will be working very hard on catching up with my longarming orders. I am very lucky to have a lot of understanding customers, but even so I would really like to get on top of things again as soon as possible. I would also like to make a new quilt or two for the Sandown Quilt show this year. They have a charity category that I have been encouraging people to enter and I want to have a go as well. There is also a challenge category that looks fun, but that will only happen if I really get a wiggle on.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing what my students got up to. I hope they had as much fun as I did. It really was a great experience. France (translator) was amazing, without her I really couldn't have done it. Not only did she translate but she also worked as a classroom helper which made my life a lot easier.

To any of my students who are reading, please please share your finished cows with us, and do feel free to comment. Google translate isn't perfect but it works well enough.


Clare smith said...

The coo beasties do look great, I probably would have ended up doing a blue one lol

Ferret said...

I think they would look great in blue.