Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pies and Points

I was lucky to get into Victoria Findlay Wolfe's Pies and Points class at QuiltCon this year. I was on the wait list, so it was great to find out with just enough time to find some good fabrics to bring with me for the class. I bought American Made solids in several colors that would go with

a beautiful bright bundle of Amy Butler designs that I already had on hand.
The class was one where we were provided with machines which was nice because everyone didn't have to travel to QuiltCon with their own machines. But I admit I struggled with finding my groove with my class Juki, nothing at all wrong with the machine, but it takes a while to get used to sewing on something so different from your 'daily driver.' All the things I'm used to doing without a thought were a bit of a struggle, like finding a consistent 1/4" seam which impacted how much I was able to actually get done in class. 

Here is the sum total of what I got sewn together. I love the way the solids and the crazy prints play together in these blocks. The biggest thing I took away from the class was Victoria Findlay Wolfe's crystal clear directions on how to sew curves. She's so enthusiastic about it and very prepared to take the class along with her to get to competence on mastering thosecurves. It's a big stopper for a lot of sewers, myself included so that was particularly important. But after practicing a few times, I think I really got it. There are some great videos that she's made for Sizzix that pretty much cover what she said in class that are worth checking out.  If you ever get a chance to take a class from her, jump at it, she's a wonderful instructor.
Back home I played with arranging the bits I'd gotten sewn together, realizing that I'll have to pay attention to where the individual solids or prints will come into contact with themselves because it really changes the look of the block. This of course, can be used intentionally...hmmm....

The other big thing I learned in the class was how to use a die-cutting machine. Everyone in the class received their own Pies and Points die to use (and take home, what a great marketing tool!) There were several of the Big Shot Pro machines set up in the classroom and one of the Sizzix reps was there in the class to instruct us on their use. It was great fun and much easier than I'd thought it would be. Since I wasn't doing so great on consistently sewing a 1/4" seam I decided to spend more time on cutting pieces out since I didn't have a Sizzix to use at home.

 Here's what my "Parts Department" (as Victoria Findlay Wolfe calls it) looks like with all the pieces stacked up in the box my laptop came in. It's the perfect size with a foam insert that holds everything in one place. Also in the picture is the Sizzix die. Several of the elements of the block have to be oriented one way, so it's important not to get them reversed, so it's good to have them sorted out like this.
And yes, I do now have a Big Shot Pro because I liked using it in the class so much, so well done on that Sizzix marketing but more on that later.

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