|I had read Rosemary Eichorn's book, The Art of Fabric Collage, and had made several vests based on what I had learned from the book. So when I was wearing one of my vests while shopping at Northwest Sewing in Northgate and the gal at the counter said, "She's coming here to give a class." I had to sign up!!!
The class started with her going through all the various types of sewing thread you are likely to encounter, and giving us hints and tricks on how to make it behave going through your machine. Such as that the thread is labelled with how many plies make up the thread (usually 2 or 3) and then for thickness, thin threads having higher numbers than thick threads. If you have a sewing machine where the source spindle is placed sideways, you should use thread that is spun onto its bobbin in a crosshatch layout, but if the thread is spun onto the bobbin in parallel lines, then you should use an upright spindle for it. I knew you were supposed to use needles that had a name that started with "met" for metal threads, but I did not know why - they have a larger eye, and a deeper groove for the thread to hide in when going through the fabric... This may be elementary for some of you, but it was great and useful new information for me!
She then had us break up and try some Free Motion Stitching (FMS) techniques on our own machines. We were to make a nine-patch sample, with a different technique in each square. She walked around and helped people set up their machines for free motion stitching and generally continued to share tips and tricks.
In the afternoon, we learned how to do bobbin couching, free motion lace, and how to make a scarf out of scraps using water soluble stabilizer.
I bought some angel hair from her, and some quilt-so-easy disks. I had read about the disks in her book, and she talked about them in the class, and I thought - Oh, what the heck - I'll give them a try... Well, WOW! They are fabulous! They hold the fabric Soooo steady while you are doing free motion stitching - I am very impressed! And my work is much better now. As a last evidence of how this class has helped, I saw a question on the Threads forum the other day - that before I would have just gone, "Oh well, I can't help that person." I responded by rattling off a series of three of Rosemary's hints and trips for handling threads - I'm sure I seemed very knowledgeable! However, it is just because I had the information from the class fresh in my brain.
I recommend this class for all levels of sewists - there were professional level seamstresses there, and fairly beginer level folks, and everyone got a lot out of the class and had a very good time.