My Spin Class

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It was a happy moment when I realized that my friend, Amanda, was teaching a quilt class while the boys and Bill were at camp. It didn’t matter that the class was being offered in a city about as far away from mine in Indiana. Getting to quilt with her has been on my bucket list so I was thrilled.

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I packed the car with my luggage, my class supplies and my special birthday flowers. Amanda and I touched bases at 8:30 AM. She was traveling from Minneapolis but experiencing travel delays. I wished her well and hoped she would on her way soon. In the meantime, I went to knit with my friends and then headed north to Butler. Around lunchtime I heard from Amanda that she was finally on a flight to Detroit. Detroit? Detroit was two and a half hours from Butler. She was supposed to fly to Fort Wayne. Detroit was the closest destination she could get to and still make it to the trunk show roughly on time.

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I arrived at my hotel, had dinner and then drove to the trunk show. When Amanda arrived 45 minutes late, she didn’t miss a beat. She quickly unloaded her quilts and began her presentation which centered around her new book called No Scrap Left Behind. The quilts were beautiful in the book but I could tell that the photographs didn’t do them justice.

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She told stories about each design and showed at least one done in two color ways.

After the show, Amanda signed books and I waited around to say hello. I’m glad I did because it allowed me to offer my services as her chauffeur to the hotel. I was happy to help but even happier when Amanda came down to my room to chat. I loved the extra time to visit and was thrilled to show her the Slopes quilt I had just finished making from a pattern in her book. I was tickled pink that she curled up under it while we talked.

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My room looked especially cozy with it laid out on the bed and with the flowers I brought from home. Those bouquets were sent by Bill and the boys and I wanted to enjoy them every minute I could.

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Friday morning Amanda and I met for breakfast and then I drove us to the class at the library where the group meets.  They had decorated the room with finished quilts and fabric pennants. I found a seat and set up my machine.

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Amanda set up a table with all the quilts from the book and had some variations in color and size.

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This mini version of the Remainders quilt won my heart for both color and size.

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Isn’t this a clever idea?  They put an office table on risers to make a pressing/cutting station. 

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Amanda started the class by sharing how she worked with scraps and offered some tips to the group. She brought some blocks she was currently working on from the book including a version of the June Quilt which is a current quilt along on her blog.  Then she invited us to get started with our own spin on projects from the book.

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I decided to use the scraps from my Slopes quilt to start the Ring Me quilt. I spent much of the day trimming and preparing my blocks.  As I worked, I listened to Amanda offer suggestions to others as well as eavesdropped on conversations. It was my first quilt class and I soaked it all up.

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Though I didn’t make tremendous progress on my blocks, I did have a great lesson in listening to my gut. I initially sewed a grey square to each of my scraps but the grey fabric felt too thin.

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Rather than press on, I stopped and ripped out what I had done using a white on white fabric instead.

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As the class was winding down, we all put our work up on the design wall for show and tell. Folks had created fantastic versions of the patterns.

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As a group we discussed what happens to the design when the blocks are swapped. We replaced a pieced block for a solid block and got a whole new look. 

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This little section is my progress.  Most of my day was spent in setting up for sewing so while I don’t have a lot to show yet, I will be flying once I start sewing again.

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This quilt is another example of color and placement. One of the members designed a block of the month and over the course of a year,  the quilters in the group all spun their own versions of it.  The rainbow one is Teri’s, the one who created the design.   

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Look at all the variations hanging on the walls.

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Amanda showed my quilt during show and tell.  Hers in the book was made in all solid fabrics and mine in prints. (I plan to do a full post about my quilt soon.)

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After class dismissed, two of the quilt leaders invited Amanda and me to dinner and then to see one of their studios.

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Each sheet on that baker’s rack represents a project and all of those little containers contain squares she has cut measuring 1”, 2” and 2.5”.

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This is proof that I do not have as much fabric as some. 🙂

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She made this quilt for a Swiss exchange student they hosted.  It’s a smart idea to tag a quilt top with the dimensions and date. 

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She had also made pineapple blocks with a special ruler.

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These bags were the brainchild of one of the other members. I hope to make some of these in the future because I like being able to see the contents inside the bag.

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That night I went to Amanda’s room for a cup of tea and a tutorial on English Paper Piecing. We stayed up chatting far too late but enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

It was hard to say goodbye after breakfast on Saturday but I had something to look forward to when I got home. The boys were returning after a week of scout camp and I was sure I would get to hear all about it.

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