Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Learn To Make a Quilt

My favourite, favourite class to teach at PlainStitch is Simple Sampler. Each term I get to encourage and initiate a whole new graduate entry of patchworkers into our wonderful world of fabric and texture.  Every term I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful job!

Simple Sampler is a little bit special and magical. Every term curiously, but with slight trepidation, a new class begins. I LOVE to talk about quilt making, I love to impress on my new students just what deep roots this craft has. In a throwaway world where we're supposed to consume our lives in smaller and smaller more distracted, bite sized chunks delivered by screens in front of us every second of the day, I love to reveal another world. A world where sitting, and sewing, is actually soul food. Where slow sewing is enjoyed, revelled in, such a treat. Where after half an hour of stolen sewing time you feel fuller, more alive, rather than a little bit dazed and drained after 30mins online.

Even craft can feel a bit fast forward these days. Kits stuck on the front of magazines to make in 5 mins flat, new this and new that, make a quilt in a day, a dress in an evening.  It's so interesting that Slow Sewing is starting to be talked about in the sewing community. I've always been an advocate of it. I don't want to make a quilt in a day. I want to enjoy the process, I want to feel like i've earnt the feeling of pride that completion of a project brings. I don't want to just move on to the next thing.

Simple Sampler is about Slow Sewing. It's a hand made quilt. It's traditional. It uses block patterns whose origins are lost in the mists of quilt history. We choose lovely modern fabrics. Who can't fail to be beguiled by the latest lovely fabrics, a small indulgence in a demanding life. But we sew by hand. We look at the work as we make it - mindful, lost in the simple repetition of a running stitch. It's not rocket science but it holds powerful secrets to well being. It's not an accident that our graduates are evangelical about their sewing. It makes you feel much better about...well everything!

Our Simple Sampler classes always sell out, so do let us know early if you'd like to join us next term. If you feel like you'd like to step off the merry go round for a few hours every week or so, come and sew!

Our next Wendover Sewing Bee is given over to a celebration of the Simple Sampler. Everyone is welcome, graduates of the class, current students and interested visitors. Come along and see a gathering of students past and present with their Simple Sampler Quilts and their current work. There will be cake and tea and lots of fabricy chat, it should be a lovely gathering - 7th Oct 9.30am - 12pm at St Anne's Hall, Aylesbury Road, Wendover. Do pop in, you'll be very welcome!