On one of my summer road trips, I stopped at Common Threads in Waxahachie, Texas, south of Dallas. I love this place. In fact, when I was paying for all beautiful reproduction fabrics I had found, they even threw in a free copy of Quilt Sampler, which featured their shop. Yes, it's that good. As I was paying, I noticed a flyer advertising an applique class in November taught by Piece o' Cake's Becky Goldsmith . Sadly, the class was full, but I managed to get on the waiting list. Fast forward from June to October. They best day ever- the phone call I had been waiting on-- I got into the class!
Shame on me, but I had double-booked. I had tickets to BBC's production of Walking with Dinosaurs that very day. Oh, well, dinosaurs have been hot for thousands of years and would probably be talked about for thousands more. But a Becky Goldsmith applique class? Baby, that's something special! I sent my husband and son to the dinosaur show, and I was off to my class.
Actually, I'm leaving a lot out. I obsessed about this class and the supplies for the entire month preceding the class. I have a lot of fabric, but none of it seemed good enough for The Real Becky Goldsmith! I shopped. And I shopped. I bought 30 new spools of applique thread, a desktop Ott light, every kind of fabric-marking pencil (and soap), and an assortment of fabric that just didn't seem Becky enough but would have to do. Yes, I even pre-washed my inferior fabrics. It just didn't look like Aunt Millie's Garden.
Did I mention the class was four hours away? Thank goodness for my mp3 player (My ipod is hidden somewhere in the house. I hope.). I listened to quilting/sewing podcasts the entire way there and half the way back (until I had listened to everything the ridiculously small mp3 player would hold). I listened to Material Mama and Driven to Quilt . Yes, I recommend both. More on these and my auditory faves in a future post.
My applique history is brief. I have been doing it badly for years. I've had no formal training, and you can tell. All of my friends (okay, both of them) don't applique, so I don't have anyone telling me what I can do to do it better. I found an applique society, but they meet while I'm at work. See, my job is getting in the way of my quilting. So, meeting Becky was everything I had ever thought it would be. This is actually our second meeting, which I didn't mention to her for fear of being viewed as a stalker. I had met her at Quilt Market in Houston a few years ago. Added Note: I've only been to market once, and it was magnificent. I'm trying to find my way there again.
Once I got home & practiced my applique handwork, I showed my husband the before & after (I even used the same fabric to reduce the variables in this experiment!), and he couldn't tell a difference. He said the old one looked better. I'd hate to think he's right because I learned a ton. The two major things I learned are: 1.) prewash, and 2.) finger-press. (am I allowed to repeat this very pricey information?) Hey, I'll keep you posted on my progress.
Oh, and all those spools of thread? They aren't the right kind. So I had to buy these. darn.