I decided to register for a New York Beauty piecing class and have really really really been looking forward to it since. I have been all over Pinterest searching for inspiration. I have been pulling fabrics from my stash and have been daydreaming of the mini 4-block quilt I want to make. It was a wonderful boost to my imagination (and winter spirit) just to have registered.
This past Friday (20 March....my Dad's birthday) my day had finally come! I popped into the car with my sewing machine, a small suitcase of fabric (but what if the absolute perfect fabric was left at home? you had to bring it all....) and a pillow case filled with my mini ironing board and rulers and set off for Dublin. Happy happy happy.
This class was hosted by the Quilter's Guild of Ireland, taught by Ana Buzzalino using this quilt, New York Sate of Mind, as our guide.
There were 12-15 people in the class, with each and every one (no exception) using a full array of batiks. Some were full of lively colors (gorgeous oranges and purples) but others had more shades of brown and green than I have ever seen in my life. I was the weirdo. With lots and lots of Sesame Street in my child hood, it bubbles up in my head at times like these:
One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?
We were given templates to make four blocks or one full circle. The instruction was quite brief and basic - quick intro to paper piecing and how to fit a curved seam (with many pins). Really the huge bonus of having a teacher with you for the day was to ask questions and get practical hands on help. In that way it was brilliant.
I started piecing (using techniques from my Craftsy class) the arcs immediately, loving every bit of it. I used a Cotton and Steel basic print (yellow) in combination with a rainbow of charms from our last charm swap. They give you so little space in these classes I was always digging to find what I wanted.
Before I knew it, though, I had four arcs pieced!
And struggled a bit with the inner piece but just learned more pins is always better than fewer pins. The outer L-shaped piece was a treat after I got that inner curve squished in there.
By the end of the day I had four blocks pieced, making one circle. Woo hoo! It's not perfect. I cut off a few triangle points, but I at least know now why that happened and how to avoid it in my next block. I'm delighted with the layout, the color, the yellow pulling it all together.
I absolutely love it. There will be three more to make a four block "mini". It's not too mini, though, as this piece is 16.5 inches square UF.
At the end of class we all gathered as a group holding our block for a photo. Everyone had their batik block in hand except me. The really nice woman next to me in the photo (who was on the other side of the room and hadn't seen me piece all day) looks at mine, looks at me and says "well, that's different". Um, yeah. Hilarious.
I'll sign off with a photo from Friday morning. While I was driving to Dublin, I had the perfect view of our eclipse. It was a really stunning even to witness. This photo was taken by my friend Dion back in Galway. Thanks, Dion! x