Friday, October 5, 2012

From parquet to patchwork – new workshop’s first round!

Last weekend I had the first chance at my newly developed workshop that uses old parquet patterns for patchwork patterns and designs.

It took place at the perfect house to be in for a workshop, the Catholic Community College Petersberg, where I have been teaching patchwork classes for over eight years now – it has a large classroom, great rooms to stay in, great food three times a day without having to do anything but clear off the table after the meal, and very pleasant and efficient staff. Paradise!

Spacious workshop facility, with lots of light.
Can be hot in summer, but no problem at this time of the year.

I’d been preparing for this workshop for several years after the initial idea. But the last samples were sewn only last week, after my return from Alsace. And I have to admit that I have yet to complete a full quilt using one of the patterns – the participants are further along in that now than I am!

Everyone had to start with the same pattern to get a grip on the trick of it all: half-sewn seams, practised on a pattern called ‚long slabs’ (or something like that – please forgive my lack of appropriate woodwork terminology!)

the pattern...

and the samples.

I was a bit surprised that the choice of patterns later on, when the participants got to choose their own project was almost unanonimous. I could have saved me a lot of work indeed had I known that! But most likely next time the choices are going to be different, and I really don’t consider the preparations a wasted effort.
Only one participant chose to stick with another version of the practise pattern, this one called ‚alternating slabs’.

The pattern...

and the sample.

Most of the others picked one pattern that I had not even prepared a sample for, but had included in the notes only as a sort of addendum.

The pattern...

and several samples.

And two participants spent their time successfully searching solutions for the best construction of this gordic knot:

the knot...

and various solutions.

All of these patterns are easy to work with a rotary cutter – I had been told last time that the ‚hard core participants’ at this venue don’t really like to work with templates, and had prepared accordingly. (The pattern at the top of this blog, which I really like a lot, would have required templates and a lot more pinning!)

It was an inspiring and fun weekend, and I was very pleased with the results. This workshop certainly premiered successfully! I have gained a few insights into the structure and procedure of the class, and will make sure to include these before I teach it again. Two occasions have already been scheduled for March and November of next year, one in the north of Germany, and one in the south (see here for more information). And another chance may happen in England in April, a week after the AGM in Nottingham. Check back for more details on this!

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