Wednesday, August 25

Creative Craft Workshop

Day One: Getting familiar with the new sewing machine by zigzag stitching on moleskin notebooks!

Many of you know how much I had been looking forward to my sewing class with Fairmont Summer Programs. Last week's class truly was one of the highlights of my crafty career--I was lucky to have an amazing group of junior high girls in a workshop packed with fun, projects and learning to sew! A special thanks to all of you who helped by donating supplies--and for the ideas and inspiration!

Day Two: Handsewing the Tomato Pincushion Pattern by Valori Wells

It was so exciting and fulfilling to see my students get engaged, get excited and be so proud of what they created. I was amazed at how quickly they picked up the concepts and techniques, and how readily they tackled their own creative endeavors. I loved the fabric combinations they came up with and how they each had their own style and ideas.

Day One: Taking home completed Notebooks & Totebags

We started off the week learning to operate the Viking E20 that each student got to keep at the end of class. Monday's projects included moleskin notebooks from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, as well as canvas totebags that the girls sewed scraps of fabric onto in the same technique as the notebooks.

Day Two: Skyping with Valori Wells

On Tuesday, we were fortunate to skype with fabric and pattern designer Valori Wells! It was so great to see Val again as I haven't seen her since I moved from Central Oregon, over a year and a half ago. Val is so wonderful and she talked to the girls about designing fabric and even showed us some new designs she is working on, as well as her latest fabric collection. I loved hearing the girls whisper things like "Do you see her shirt? She made it!" It was definitely one of the highlights of the class for me to be back in Val's studio--virtually...

Wednesday brought a visit from a very special guest, Alissa Haight Carlton from Handmade by Alissa. Alissa spoke to the girls about modern quilting, and the process of making a quilt--and we were treated to an incredible quilt show and tell!

Day Three: Modern Quilting with Alissa

She also shared about her day job as casting director for Project Runway which definitely got the girls thinking about what could happen if they keep sewing! It was amazing to have her share her passion with my students. A few of the girls were so inspired that they have already started making their first quilt! Wednesday's project was to sew wonky log cabin quilt blocks.

Day Four: A visit to the Purl Soho Warehouse

On Thursday we turned the log cabin quilt blocks into covers for composition notebooks. (Tutorial coming soon!) We also visited the Purl Soho Warehouse in Tustin. It was great to see what fabrics the girls were drawn to (Echino, obviously! Can we blame them?). One of them purchased some of Val's Nest fabric, you know, because they are buddies now :) Jen was so nice to come in (she just had a baby after all!) and meet the girls and answer all of their questions. On the field trip, they each picked out oilcloth for Friday's class project.

Day Five: Working with oilcloth & zippers!

Our final project was a zippered oilcloth cosmetic bag. I was a bit nervous about this project... the pattern is very simple but oilcloth and zippers are super tough! But the girls were awesome and fearlessly jumped in. The paper towel (or tissue paper) trick helped, along with a denim needle. I was so impressed, and I think the cosmetic bags were one of the highlights for the girls.

Day Five: The Next Generation of Crafters!

In short, it was an incredible week. I learned so much, felt such pride and have immense satisfaction knowing that there are 6 new crafters who are off to a great start in making amazing things. The best part? Realizing that I love to teach others to sew more than I love sewing. The worst part? I've had Justin Bieber stuck in my head for a week...


Courtney said...

Yay--thanks for sharing! So cool! I'm glad A and I got to see you live in action. These are great photos. I'm so excited for these girls who have been changed forever!

jennifer said...

what an awesome bunch of girls! thanks for bringing them to the warehouse - it was great to meet them :)

a girl with an opinion said...

James...I just (heart) this. It made me get a little teary because I honestly think one of the best things that was done for me in my youth was being taught how to sew by an incrediable patient woman. She taught me to take pride in what my two hands could design and created. Hats off to you for giving these girls such a great start!


Summer :) said...

Can I be one of the "girls" in the next week you do!?!?! :) Sounds great! :)

belle:) said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Sounds like a fabulous week!!! PS. I'm SO sorry about Justin Bieber. ;)

jamie said...

Thank you all! I heart it too!

Melissa said...

I'm so jealous! That sounds like a ton of fun for the girls. :o) And good for you for continuing to teach this beautiful tradition!