Hello everyone! It’s been a beautiful summer here in New England. I spent most of the summer working on outside projects. After so many months of being inside, hiding from the winter weather, it was glorious to get outside and move rocks, plant flowers and swim in a Maine lake. I need to find ways to get outside in the winter, to keep moving and not turn into a slug. A new experience need is needed. Any suggestions?
In August, I went to Taunton Press to tape a podcast for Threads Magazine, which will be available in November. This was a new experience for me. Sarah McFarland, Jeannine Clegg, Carol Fresia and I sat around a table and talked about sewing for 45 minutes; it was such fun! I adore these women and could have talked to them for days. They are knowledgeable, open and generous. After the podcast taping Sarah and I discussed a couple of ideas for magazine articles I might write for Threads. Woo-hoo! I love writing articles about sewing!
A Teaser: My next article for Threads involves Chinese Knots and this lovely herringbone wool. The wool is from Emma One Sock Fabrics. https://www.emmaonesock.com/fabrics
In October I am going to Milwaukee, WI for the annual ASDP Conference. (Association of Design and Sewing Professionals). I love this conference; it’s whole conference filled with people who sew clothing professionally. https://www.sewingprofessionals.com/ If this might interest you there are still places in many of the classes, including mine.
I will be teaching a class called An Afternoon of Rose Petals, Sharks’ Teeth and Butterfly Bows on Friday afternoon, October 18th. I am hoping this class will feel like a mini tea party, minus the tea part, with lessons about Ribbons and some of the cool things you can do with them.
It’s interesting how different it it teaching a one meeting workshop class versus a semester of classes. As a teacher you have to be one your toes all the time in both situations. When you have a semester you can learn about each student and how they learn, you can re-phrase your directions in the next lessons to suit the students learning styles, re-visit a point a student made last class, correct a place you may have misspoken last class. When you have a workshop you don’t have those opportunities: there’s the 3 hour session and then you’re done. The student who speaks up gets lots of attention and the quiet student gets less attention. The quiet student may not want the attention; she may want to just soak up everything she can and process things on her own time. But often the quiet student has some really interesting observations that can take the class in a different direction- a place you wanted to get to, too. The vocal student is a wonderful asset to a class too; she asks questions that can make it apparent that my directions were clear as mud or steer the class off on a tangent that is often a place you wanted to go—eventually. The vocal and quiet student are both valuable. In the workshop setting I have to be more alert to the subtle clues that everyone is confused by those clear as mud directions, or that I’ve said the same thing already and it’s time to move forward or really, it’s just time for a break; no one should sit for 3 hours without a break. After teaching in the semester formatfor 10 years, I’m learning to teach in the workshop format. The thing that no one tells you is that teaching is a constant learning experience.
Any advice from other workshop teachers?