|Cindy Needham teaches this seminar all over the country, so the place isn't really relevant. However, it did add to the fun, as it was given the end of June here in Vermont at the annual Vermont Quilt festival. It is an all day class, and very well organized. May I add that Cindy is amusing, and a nice person, as well as extremely proficient in sewing and quilting. Her work is dazzling in its intricacy, and looking at the samples and quilts she brought was a rare treat.
I really enjoy a class that is well organized, doesn't waste my time or anyone else's and at the same time has room for some scope in exploring the subject matter oneself. All these were incorporated in Cindy's teaching methods. Would that our kids had such a great teacher. Cindy is a real teacher, she has complete control of the class at all times, and in a friendly manner moves it along so that it never bogs down with irrelevant or time consuming questions from the floor.
This class is relevant to all sewers regardless of the type of sewing they do - garments, home dec, crafting or quilting. All these use threads and all can benefit from some variety of thread used, and in a sewers increased knowledge of thread selection and use.
The morning session is the Thread Therapy portion, which is the Superior Threads threadology class Bob from Superior Threads has online and on a DVD. VERY informative about not only Superior Threads, but all brands and types of thread. The class is not a commercial although the threads you play with are Superior Threads.
Cindy has handouts that are a terrific backup to the lectures for the morning, and they function also as a workbook when you hit the machines in the afternoon. The handouts have a place for a sample of each thread she talks about, and a list of the settings you need, and hints on the needle size, and other hints apropos to each thread. In addition, before the break for lunch, she handed out a number of other items, including a CD with her handbooks on it and the worksheets we used in class so we could print more for home if needed. :) Now that was magnificent of her! There was a chance to buy more handbooks and sign up for her yearly additions to the handbooks as well. No high pressure.
In the afternoon, you decide which threads you care to try from a variety available for all to try. I skipped glitter to try more King Tut and some of the Tri-Lobal Polys and the silks. After sewing with the Kimono Silk, I was euphoric I can tell you. We sewed on Janome 8900 machines, and they handled all the threads with panache, and no tweaking except a bit with top tension. To go from King Tut at 40 weight to very fine silk was so fun, and the machine handled it well.
I point this out because if you have a classroom full of machines, and a lot of the folks in the room had not used those machines or ones like them, there is potential trouble. These machines were all perfectly set up, and Cindy and an aid went around and were very hands on in the afternoon session, making sure everyone could use the machines, and asking what particular needs each person had in the area of thread use. It was really fascinating to watch Cindy interact with so many people who were rather diverse in experience and interests. Some were old hands at quilting and had lots of use of threads and free motion quilting experience, and some had never sewn free motion at all. So Cindy had a mini-seminar right there on free motion quilting as well.
Having a chance to try only the threads I wanted to try was really nirvana. I really wanted to put a few threads through their paces, rather than take up the specialized threads at this point in my experience, as I haven't a lot of experience so far in quilting with special threads, and wanted to see how some other fibers worked, I chose silk and King Tut cotton thread and Masterpiece to try. There was a nice selection of variegated and tri-lobal poly as well, and it was all very nice on the eyes!
My hubby commented "How can you do a whole day on thread?" and intimated perhaps it wasn't the best choice of class money, but oh my goodness, it IS!!! I do highly recommend any class you can get to with Cindy Needham, and I would actually take this class again, should it come around again in my territory!