Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Alrighty Then!

(Any Sex and the City fans out there know to which I am referring? Stick with me, we will come back to that...)

It looks like I am going to teach a virtual Turning Twenty class!

I am sooo excited!!!

Thanks for all the great feedback on my last post... it was just what I needed to kick-start this idea...

Here are some things you should know if you are interested in taking the class:

• This class is aimed at the absolute beginner! Don't be shy if you have never made a quilt before: I like 'em that way because then I can teach you all of my good habits before you get "corrupted." You will need to be familiar with your own sewing machine, though, and know how to thread the machine, wind and thread the bobbin, etc. Each machine is so different that a virtual class will never be able to help you as much as some quality time with your machine and your manual will!!! If you are a little uncomfortable with these functions on your machine, I recommend setting your manual out beside you and threading the top of the machine ten times in a row and stitching a little on a piece of practice fabric. I know it sounds a bit boring- and it is - but it's the only way to learn it good!

• The class will begin in early April, giving me about a month to prepare. I will nail down the exact date and time for the start of class in a few days and list it on our class page, but of course I will keep you updated via this space as well.

• All students will be required to purchase the Turning Twenty pattern booklet. I would love it if you purchased your copy from us, but you are not required to do so. You will need to buy or borrow a copy from somewhere, though, as it would be super-duper illegal for me to provide you with a copy free of charge and I am way too pretty to go to jail! However, we will be able to offer students a 10% discount on the pattern booklet!

• All students will be required to sign up ahead of time and pay a class fee. I don't yet know how much this fee will be, but I will confer with my esteemed colleague (Mom) and get back to you as soon as possible with that figure.

• I will set up a space on the website to purchase the virtual class: look for it on the class page. Once you have purchased the class you will be e-mailed the materials list for the class and the address for a top-secret website containing the virtual lessons. I am very confident that I can translate the process into a series of photos and written instructions, but I am a first timer so I will count on you all to point out where my instructions need improvement. The website will be in blog format, so you will be able to comment with your questions and please do speak up, because everyone will learn from your curiosity.

• Class size will be limited... I have never done this before and most of me is very excited but part of me feels cautious not to bite off more than I can chew! I want it to feel intimate like a "class," too, and I want us to get to know each other via the internet as much as we can, so let's say that this time around we will only be taking 10 students (not including the 2 lucky students who will win free seats in the class... keep reading for more info on that!). Hopefully this experiment will be a huge success and once I have recorded the lesson plans I will be able to do it again much more easily. For now, you are all my guinea pigs!!!

• I will also be setting up a Flickr group for the virtual Turning Twenty class so we can all post pictures of our progress and more importantly of our fabric choices!!! I get such a thrill from seeing so many different versions of the same project and I think you will, too!!!

• The class will be divided up into "lessons" and each week I will post a new lesson. Most lessons will only require about 2 1/2 hours of "homework" ... that's just 30 minutes of sewing a day over the course of five days! And the beauty of doing this at home is that you can divide that 2 1/2 hours however you like. And if you aren't quite done by the time the next lesson rolls around it probably won't matter at all.

• The class will cover the following (some of these will be their own lessons and some will be grouped together into one lesson):

1) Purchasing and preparing your fabrics, including how to calculate how much fabric you need for the Turning Twenty size you want to create. You can make any size from baby to king!
*Alewives will offer a 10% discount to anyone taking the class who purchases their fabrics from our site/shop. Again, you don't have to buy your fabrics from us, but we would love it if you did! We will gladly hold your hand and work with you on an individual basis to get your combo right... that is our job, after-all!

2) Learning how to cut your pieces with a rotary cutter, mat and ruler.
*Alewives will soon be adding these items to our online store, again with a 10% discount offered to anyone taking the class. So, if you do not live near a store that carries these supplies, we will be your one-stop shop!

3) Learning to "Assembly Line" piece your blocks (this is a great technique! It will blow ya mind and save you time and make your thread last longer!).

4) Proper pressing and pinning techniques (In my opinion the most under-utilized part of the sewing process!).

5) Sewing the blocks into a quilt top (Again, I have some great tricks for this step that ensure even the most novice-y of novices will have perfectly matching seams!).

6) The proper way to add borders (Yes, there is a "proper" way!)

7) Sewing your backing (Including how much to buy for your quilt size).

8) Choosing a batting.
*Alewives will be putting battings online soon, as well! You will have many different options to choose from, and I will guide you ad-nauseum through all the different choices! And of course, if you choose to purchase your batting from us, you will receive that 10% discount.

9) Sandwiching your backing, batting and quilt top (no matter how big your quilt is, I have some great tips for doing this at home... and at no point will you need to crawl around on your kitchen floor!).

10) Machine quilting your quilt (We will be learning simple, straight line quilting with a walking foot, which looks great on a Turning Twenty quilt!).
*A note to anyone who does NOT want to machine quilt their own quilt: Alewives has an arrangement with a local long-arm machine quilter. This gal is very affordable: as a frame of reference, she can quilt a Queen-size for about $80. She offers a variety of different quilting patterns and she has an excellent turn-around time, too. It may be a great investment to send her your finished quilt top and let her do that step for you, particularly if you are making a larger-size quilt, which can be bulky and difficult for a first-timer (this is due to the fact that the larger your quilt is, the harder it will be to fit it under the throat of your machine). Machine quilting a larger size is possible, but it may not be the most "encouraging" process for your first time. I know a lot of you want to make a quilt that is large enough to use on your bed and would prefer your first quilt be a larger one... because that is exactly how I was when I made my first quilt! Should you go this route, you would also skip the "sandwiching" of the three layers, as machine quilters need the three layers separate. I admit that machine quilting is not my favorite step: I hand my quilt over to this lady any chance I get and so do lots of our students and customers at the store. I know she would be happy to have some "mail order" customers, as well, and will work with you on an individual basis to come up with something perfect for your quilt!

11) Making and applying binding. There will be some hand-sewing required at the very last step, but I find this step so relaxing and "full circle" that I have never minded doing it and it goes by quite fast in the end. Good "in front of the TV" work.

I believe that is it... it will be very interesting to see how our business changes with the addition of virtual classes and the offering of quilting tools and battings as well.

Let me know if you have any questions and look for the class listing on the website soon.

I have one last tidbit for any of you who are still with me...

We have a giveaway coming up with SouleMama the weekend of February 27th where we will be debuting a brand new Turning Twenty kit (assembled by yours truly!) and as part of the giveaway we will include one free "seat" in our virtual Turning Twenty class!

Look for it on Amanda's site next weekend (not this coming weekend) and good luck!




Here's another deal for you... I will provide one free seat in the class for anyone who leaves me a comment and correctly tells me what "Alrighty Then!" refers to... If you are a "Sex and the City" fan like me you will have no problem remembering this one! I will have Ollie randomly pick one of the correct responses to receive the virtual seat in my class! Good luck, ladies! Make me proud!


Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jenni said...

The first thing that came to mind when I saw "Alrighty Then" was Jim Carey but the real answer is that Trey said "Alrighty Then" when Charlotte asked him to marry him to get married.

abbie said...

Trey said that to Charlotte when she asked him to get married...Ohhhh, can I just say I am Sooo excited that you are doing a virtual class. I can't wait to hear more. I am already looking at fabrics!

Colette said...

ha ha Trey's response to Charlotte's marriage proposal. So excited for this class~thanks for the chance!

Nina said...

Please post a blog when the class info goes up I really really really want to learn to quilt!

Have you considered using youtube to for demos?

Anonymous said...

Trey said that to Charlotte when she suggested they get married/proposed. Carrie had a field day with the phrase afterwards.
I am so excited for this class, I certainly have not touched my sewing machine since I had my own B.S.E. but have always wanted to learn to quilt. I am glad to have a chance at this...I too am recently engaged and am forbidden to spend any money on yarn or fabric (but if it's for a free class...).
I am enjoying your blog so far, just happened upon it this week!

Jenny said...

I am not a beginner to quilting, but my sister is and I would LOVE to win this seat for her! Alrighty Then...Trey's response to Charlotte's marriage proposal. I need to re-watch this's been a long time! great show. Thanks for the chance.

Beej said...

Yay Rhea! Count me in as wanting to be one of your guinea pigs if there is room. :-)

Molly said...

Ok, does it still count if I had to copy it from the other posts? Have to admit that I didn't know that it was from the episode that Charlotte proposed to Trey. What a great opportunity...thanks!

kendra said...

just the opportunity i need to learn to quilt! after charlotte's proposal, trey said, alrighty. but i had to look it up too. an 'a' for effort? please, quilting goddesses?!

jenny wren said...

Is it too late to enter? Alrighty then was Trey's response to Charlotte's proposal. I would love to learn to quilt. Turning 20 and a virtual class, what a combination.

Heathir said...

It was how Trey said yes to Charlotte's marriage proposal...and she married him anyway. I would love, love, love to take this class!

Unknown said...

It was Trey's answer when Charlotte suggested they marry...

I am definitely a beginner sewer and have never done a quilt before. I am so keen to give it a go though! Since I live on the other side of the world I am thrilled that you are starting e-courses... so exciting!!

Cheryl said...

It was Trey's anwser to Charlotte's marriage proposal. Carrie said it all the time. I'm a beginner who does know my machine. Pick me!

LISA said...

Trey's response to Charlotte when she said they should get married.
Because I had quilt I am not able to give away what I would like to; hoping machine instruction will change that.

Elizabeth said...

Great question! Looks like the competitiion is stiff. In this episode - Charlotte proposed to herself. She suggested that they eat some kind of food and get married. Trey responded, saying "Alrighty" - When C told the story, you can imagine Carrie's reaction. I love those girls!

Beth said...

Alrighty then - what Charlotte learned was the way to get Trey to agree to anything - including marriage.

Claire said...

Alrighty then...was a very awkward yes by Trey to Charlotte's proposal.

Danielle said...

This was Trey's response when Charlotte suggested he have a tomato salad and then suggested they get married.

Dana+Martin said...

Hi there, everyone above me already gave the answer (but it is also findable on the web, for someone like me who has not seen a single episode, horror). I did have to google whether they got married, and luckily there was wikipedia to the rescue :)

Anyways, I would love to get a chance at this class, I am a beginner but sounds like this is a great project for beginners. And I am glad it is a virtual class, since I am a bit far away to attend :)

Jennifer S. said...

Trey's infamous response to Charlottes proposal. (my husbands was "sure". sigh...)
Saw your feature on Soule Mama, what a great shop you have, I'm sure to be a new regular!

EP said...

That was Trey to Charlotte in the episode "Easy Come, Easy Go" - boy am I glad she ended up with Harry!

Thanks for the give-away! I'm a recession-hit girl with modern fabric tastes, so I'm crossing my fingers tightly to win a spot in your virtual class! West Hill and Moda and stripes, oh my!

Juanita said...

As everyone else has already said, it was what Trey said to Charlotte's marriage proposal.

I would LOVE to take this class! I've never done a quilt bigger than table topper size, and I am just dying to do a queen sized one!

Joan and Kevin said...

I would love to be entered in the drawing for Turning Twenty. I love to quilt and have never taken a class.