Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Home from China, part 6

Katie Zahn below wall quilt
I was delighted to find the Slow Life Patchwork Quilt Shop in Beijing, run by Ms. Katie Zhan. She teaches quilting and has fabric and tools that quilters need. About 15 women (and one man) brought their sewing machines and supplies for my Ghost Quilting Class. Although we had the interpreter with us, many English sewing terms--stitch, fabric, binding, machine, rotary cutter, mat, straight grain--were familiar and did not have a Chinese translation; they knew what the feed dogs were but not the name we use (feed dogs), so this was a lightbulb moment! The interpreter explained the process along with my demonstration and hand signals. The students had their center focus fabric and solid background and most brought fusible. After we adhered the center square to the background, I demonstrated how to continue an object (flower, fruit, leaf, etc.) out into the border with Neocolor II crayons. We passed crayons back and forth among the students until everyone had their piece ready to layer and begin quilting. I showed them how to start and stop the quilting stitch and how to bury the thread tails and how to add thread painting to enhance their design. Most had done some free-motion quilting before and made excellent progress.
Close examination of facing method
We discussed various edge treatments for their work--rat-tail cording, single- or double-fold binding, and facing, as well as adding a sleeve to the back to make it ready for hanging. Notice that the students are all wearing coats to be more comfortable in the unheated room.

Interpreter Describing Process
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