Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey.

Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey. My goal is to share a little about my life, and a lot about my longarm quilting business, Lone Tree Designs.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Eating an Elephant One Bite at a Time

One Bite at a Time!
   When approaching a quilt pattern that looks a bit intimidating, what is the best way to begin?  
There is a saying that any difficult task is like eating an elephant.  You can do it, eventually, "one bite at a time."
  I applied to teach a quilt pattern at Quilt NE 2017 that I had never made!  It seemed unlikely with all the other great teachers out there in the state of Nebraska, that I would be chosen.  I did choose a pattern that I have always thought looked interesting and that I have wanted to make.  Of course, there's never enough time, until there is a DEADLINE!  So, what happened?  You guessed it.  I was chosen to teach at Quilt NE 2017 and it became time to figure out this pattern!
  The pattern is from a book called French Braid Transformation by Jane Hardy.
   Upon first reading through the pattern, I was a bit scared!
It looked very complicated.  I started to wonder how in the world I was going to make, much less teach, this pattern.
Being a person who rarely procrastinates, I quickly proceeded to:  procrastinate! I didn't know how I would start, and, therefore, I didn't start!  Finally, in May, knowing that I was teaching this pattern in July, I decided I better get crackalackin!  
  Opening the book, I decided to just start with the first line of cutting instructions, finish that, go to the next line, etc.  In other words, eat my elephant "one bite at a time."  I was pleasantly surprised in that, though the pattern looks difficult, it is actually quite simple.
As I created my quilt, I was thinking about the most efficient way to teach the pattern.  I have taught a lot of classes over the years, and I have a pretty good grasp of how people learn and the best way to present information in a format that makes it easier to do.  Of course, I have learned the hard way myself enough times, I know what not to do as well!  
  This is definitely not a "quilt in a day" but my class is only a day.  Part of my challenge was figuring out how much before class "homework" my class members would need to do in order to spend their time in class actually putting the quilt together and doing the parts of it that need instruction.  There's nothing worse than paying for a class and spending all your time cutting, and strip piecing.  Time runs out, and you haven't learned anything!  So, I created a step by step written instruction sheet for my class and emailed it to them so they could get the "easy" parts out of the way.
  Finally, I had a completed quilt top.  It is a great quilt!  In order to better teach the class, I started a second quilt.  As I walked through the steps on my second sample, I double checked to make sure the written instructions made sense.  I saved the trickier parts for class time.  I left the second sample in pieces and parts to show my class each of the steps.
I am confidant that the class will go well, and I hope each of the ladies that signed up for it will learn everything they need to know to go home and finish their own "Braided River" quilt.