Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's a workshop! (well, it will be...)

One of the too many things I have been doing during the last few weeks – when I had originally thought I would have a bit of a quieter time after returning from Veldhoven – had started as a “what if...?”-kind-of-question last July.

When Kathy Loomis was visiting, we had talked about the fact that there weren’t really a whole lot of people signed up for her workshop at Nancy Crow’s Barn, and how much fun it would have been if I could have come, because a Master Class there was the place where we first met in person and worked side by side to each other for two weeks. This idea of me going, however, was completely out of the question, not only due to financial reasons. Then we started talking about whether we would ever have the chance again to spend several days in a workshop together, working, enjoying the company of other quilters. And a small idea started to take form – what if Kathy, who was already then planning to come to the Prague Patchwork Meeting in April 2015, for the exhibition of our group International Threads, flew in and out of Munich and spent a few extra days at our place again, and could we organize a workshop with her as a teacher...? Kathy left for her holidays in Italy and then returned home, and for a while it wasn’t quite certain whether my family would move before April, so any serious planning was put on hold.
Then in the end of October a decision was made that we wouldn’t be moving anywhere before March or April, and I started reconsidering that workshop-idea. Wasn’t it too late to start now – definitely too late to get it published in any kind of magazines – how much interest could be generated – would it be possible to get the room where I teach my local patchwork classes for several days in a row during daytime (other activities take place there, so that wasn’t exactly easy)...? For a little while – to be precise: for a whole a week after we knew that we would not be moving – I hesitated. Then I met quilters in Hamburg, talked to them about this idea in a hypothetical manner, and met with a lot of interest from several sides. That’s what spiked my organizer’s instinct – would it be possible to get a full class for Kathy even on short notice?
After I returned from Hamburg, I talked to the person responsible, and I managed to get the room, and Kathy and I agreed on how much each participant should pay. Kathy was generous enough to say “hey, if we have only three people, we will have three days of fun sewing and intensive teaching, never mind the payment.” She supplied me with several e-mail addresses of people who had expressed interest to her directly, should she ever teach a workshop in Europe. And I went through my own list of e-mail addresses.
Just after the middle of November – late on Saturday night - I sent out a mass mailing announcing that Kathy would be teaching her “Fine Line Piecing” here for three days in April. By Sunday morning I had the first sign-up, many people replied and were interested, even two people from England considered coming, and by Wednesday the ten spaces were filled through receipt of down-payment. I had thought that if we received only a few sign-ups I would then go on and post the possibility first on the blog, then on facebood, perhaps the Contemporary Group of the Quilter’s Guild of the British Isles, on the German Guild’s page, one after the other... But it never got to that. In the end the last space was filled through a head-to-head race of receipt of payment on my account. We have a waiting list of four people, currently. If there were a larger room available I suppose we could go bigger, but that is not the case.

I had never thought that I would ever start organizing workshops for other teachers. In fact, I kind of like having people organize workshops for me, that I don’t have to bother about taking care about advertising etc. And I don’t think I will be doing this more often or on any kind of regular frequency. But it was an interesting experience to see the huge interest that could be created – and I am really looking forward to the workshop in April! Which will take place approximately nine months after Kathy and I first talked about it...

1 comment:

  1. l see, it will be a workshop!
    I will be one of the well-wisher and I am looking forword to seeing the baby!