If you are lucky enough to have quilting teachers near you, or if you belong to a guild which brings in "big name" quilters, I would like to encourage you to take classes. I find that I usually learn something, although sometimes I wish I had understood a bit more how the classes were being offered. There was, you see, one time which I signed up to take two classes with George Siciliano. While I had done a little paper piecing, I didn't know what I was in for.
The first class was teaching us how to make little 2 1/2" square blocks with some horrific number of pieces...I think 72. What I didn't know was that they scheduled the hardest class first, then the intro class second. Frustrated wasn't the word for it. I have since learned that George no longer teaches the itty bitty class, so I feel a little vindicated.
This year, I took a class with Carol Taylor at NQA in Columbus. The class I took was doing the first quilt shown in this post. The other class she taught was for the arcs you see at left. Carol is a cheerful and fun teacher. Take a look at her website here.
I pretty much enjoyed the class...except for one small thing. I was at a table with a table hog. I had never experienced this before. I can't imagine what would have happened if we had had the 4 people to a table for which the set up was intended. I also felt a little embarrassed as I know that other people are able to work with much less space. I've heard that Japanese quilting classes are smushed together like sardines in a can with no ill will or problem.
So, yes...I'm whining. Here's what I was working with. The Bernina and the cutting pad (which flips for ironing as well) is my stuff. The lady on the other side of me had the area next to her, plus that's her quilt which is unrolled next to my pressing/cutting station. All my materials were on the floor.
So yes, I admit it, I'm a cry baby. I don't think I would have been if it weren't for the lady's comment. "Oh! Isn't it wonderful that we don't have two other people at the table so that we can spread out?" I can honestly say that I certainly was not spread out. However, I now know what other people sometimes complain about when they sit with a table hog.
One good thing, Carol has a video out which is a workshop of this technique. It's produced by Interweave Press and is available at their website, the Quilting Arts Website, and I even saw it at our large JoAnn's the other day. Of course, you can always order it from your favorite brick and mortar store as well as any number of online sources.