When Will I Ever Use This?

When I was a HS science and math teacher, my students learned that the one question that irritated me more than any other was, “When will I ever use this?”  I even had parents ask the question.  When a father of a prospective nurse asked why his daughter should learn chemistry, I wanted to scream!

Six for Sylvia

The ladies who come to my house each month to quilt have yet to ask the question.  I am so thankful for their willingness to try new stuff.  While we are doing the Sylvia blocks some have discovered that they enjoy paper piecing.  Some have learned that they do not enjoy hand stitching or needle-turn applique, but they are still making blocks!  The above photo shows the 6 blocks they took home to make.  For two of the blocks they will use paper to make the 1″ finished HST.  For another block they will be doing some machine applique.  We have done both techniques before, but it has been awhile.  Review is good.

Sandi’s tube quilt top

In addition to the Sylvia blocks, I also try to have a lesson to learn something else.  Last time we did the tube piecing.  It was so exciting as Sandi came with a quilt top done using the technique!  It is so simple, that once tried, it can be done without a pattern.  Sandi’s block placement was different and delightful!

“Hidden Moons” from Elisa Wilson

An advantage of being the leader of a group is that it forces you to try new techniques and learn.  Next time my friends come, they will be trying the circle blocks.  You have seen this quilt before, but it now has the borders and is ready to find a quilter.  While cutting out the borders I was watching an old Simply Quilts I have on VCR tapes.  I loved that program and watched it twice a day while I was first learning to quilt.  The program I was viewing now was about borders.  The consensous was to not just wrap fabric around the quilt.  I started to feel guilty.  I did have extra blocks.  Could I use them somewhere?  I am not sure I like it, but I tried!

Extra blocks going into the border

What I really wanted to learn was piping.  I still have the tape of when Susan K Cleveland was on Simply Quilts.  She is the queen of piping in quilts.  I was attracted to her booth at market and her school house.  She was so gracious at her booth.  She discussed my sewing machines and which one I would have the best luck with.  She shared exactly which pressure foot I would want to use.  I came home from market with her starter kit.  And both of her books.

blue piping between the two borders

I was determined to try it and learn something new.  I have used  1/4″ flanges and thought I was sort of cool.  Micro piping was a challenge.  I got out the book for my Phaff machine and learned how to alter the needle position.  I layed out all the pressure foots I have never used.  I found the correct one.  I was ready to do micro-piping.  I used it in a not to obvious place incase it did not go well.  I can do it!  So can you!

Susan using piping with all her binding.  I think I will learn that next

Finding a good Long-Arm Quilter:

Reflections of Arizona

Donna tried a new gal to do her quilting.  We were all pleased with the results.

Linda’s snap bag

After show-n-tell the ladies tried making the snap bags.  Eager  Linda came with three new ones. She was actually making them before me.   I fell in love with this one!

I am thankful that some students along the way learned the ‘base two’ in math.  Someone needed to as it is the foundation of computer technology!  Even if you never use something you learn, you are exercising your brain muscles!  May I encourage you to try something new in your sewing room!


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