Stitching Times serves up stories, examples and tutorials about needlework related crafts, especially quilting and crochet. Almost all of the projects shown have been designed by Kay Stephenson

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What a Busy Month It's Been

Finally a chance to catch my breath. Yesterday I even found time to have lunch with a girlfriend -- I had the Cubanito at Super Pan and those that live in Atlanta know why Top Chef, Hector Santiago's sandwich shop is worth writing about -- but I digress.
I've also been quite busy with a new undertaking. I've decided to offer private lessons in crochet. I thought initially to just offer a one-on-one "learn to crochet in two hours" class, and set about putting that together. It turned out to be a more challenging task than I expected. How to limit class to just those very fundamental skills the student must master to go away and make a simple dishcloth or scarf is not easy. But I persevered and came up with a lesson plan that I thought would work.
Now to find some students. While hopscotching around the internet one day I stumbled on a new web service called Betterfly. Though the service is still in beta (that means test mode for non-techies), it is already a fantastic tool for people with expertise to connect with students who want to learn. I listed my "learn to crochet" session, made an announcement on Facebook and my neighborhood electronic message board, and within days had two students. One was a true beginner and the second wanted to book a lesson to address specific problems she was having and learn some new stitches. I now have several private session options set up and after teaching my first two classes, I'm sure I am going to really enjoy this new way of sharing with other crafters.

In between prepping, promoting and teaching classes I have found time for a few quilting projects as well. I'm working away at the hand quilting for this zoo themed baby quilt or play mat. It's hard to tell from this photo, but I'm trying lots of tight echo quilting around the animals so that, when it is washed, they will really pop up. I also used some chocolate brown for borders - partly to make it a bit larger, but mostly to give the quilt a nice soft cuddly edge. The fabric is from the Wild Friends collection by Leslie Grainger for Robert Kaufman. Here's a link to a free pattern from Robert Kaufman which uses the same center panel.

And I've pieced this simple "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" throw (fabric also from Robert Kaufman). I'm not sure if I should admit that it is late for 2011, or just pretend I am way ahead for 2012. But since I'm still pondering how I want to quilt this one (machine or hand; all over design or customized for each vignette) I guess I should go with the latter. Would love to hear quilting suggestions from my quilty friends out there.
Now back to the studio. As much as I might try to convince you that spending time in the studio is hard work, I just can't. I love my job!


  1. When I come up for air, I would love a "part 2" for my crochet abilities. I also want to eat at that place! I just emailed Tim.

  2. Part 2 coming up whenever you are ready! Contact me through Betterfly (link on upper right) or the email link from my blog profile.