Last weekend I went to a two day class held by the Austin Area Quilt Guild. The teacher was Sally Collins and the subject was precision piecing.
I've been quilting for a bazillion years, and precision is not my forte.
For this class, I was determined to really pay attention, to try to do things exactly as the instructor directed, and to actually learn something instead of just going for a good time and maybe an idea or two.
Sally is a really good teacher. I was able to do really good piecing as long as I followed her rules and processes. It's slow. Very slow. But accurate.
Because my car had some problems, I caught a ride with a fellow guild member. So, when I set my machine up and it wouldn't go, I had no choice but to sit and listen and make do. I managed to get most of my three inch basket block pieced by turning the wheel by hand. Talk about slow - this is REALLY slow. But it looked good.
That evening, I finished the basket using my Singer Featherweight. And I looked at my block and realized that the colors I had chosen were too pale for its intended use as a pincushion. So Sunday morning I proceeded to piece another block. I went to the class in the afternoon and pretty much finished the pincushion. It is not perfect, but it looks damn good.
I put the pale block on my design wall and let it speak to me. It said that it didn't have enough contrast. I had just seen a post from a friend about a class that SHE had taken, in which paint was used on fabric. I had also read a blog post from a quilter I admire in which she talked about accenting a block with paint. And I said what the heck. So I got out the fabric dye that I bought at quilt festival probably 10 years ago. There was no pink, but I diluted the scarlet and carefully added a little dye to the 3/8 inch triangles that needed more color. It looks better to me now, and I know that I can continue to make it darker if I need to.
Will I continue to use her processes? I don't know. I'd like to think so, but I do know my limitations.