|Susan giving the intro to her technique|
Immediately, we signed up for the only open class which was a two day class to learn Susan's technique. I signed up March of 2017 for the September 2018 class!
|Fabrics ready for play time|
I sorted my scraps into colors. I took a tub of batik scraps from Martha's sewing room. I reviewed the blog posts recommended to read. I reviewed Susan's book. I purchased the swallowtail butterfly pattern, enlarged it and transferred it to a piece of muslin. I was ready for class.
|Learning to cut interesting lines|
|Susan giving a "smoosh" lesson|
After my first critique with Susan, she suggested that I build one side of the butterfly which was a great thought. As I pulled my scraps, I put aside similar scraps for the other side. She said the first step of the process was like a rough draft or the messy stage. The second step was the second draft and a refining of the shape stage. I learned to cut the shapes following the lines on the design. If there weren't lines on the design, I learned different ways of cutting the edge so that there would be an interesting line shape.
At the end of the first day, I learned that I would have been much further along had I a collection of Kaffe type prints. Susan suggested that I not trim the scraps and to use the shapes that I had as they were.
|Rough draft or the message stage|
Then, she demonstrated what she meant. In about ten minutes, she moved some shapes around in her method of working with fabrics. I can tell that the smooshing and placement of fabrics is a Zenlike process for her. Her parting words of wisdom to me was to "cut loose!"
I took the project and my scraps back to the hotel and spent another four hours trying to make some progress. It was tough. I liked the smaller shapes; but, it is a class. I paid a huge fee so it was to my betterment to follow through with her advice in doing the homework. (At least, this was some of the self-talk I engaged in as I worked.)
|Progress at the end of day one|
At the end of the day, I had two parts of the butterfly wing completed. I liked the side I had done in class with the smaller pieces much better than the side I did as homework with the larger pieces. I was glad that I had done both versions because now I knew which I liked better.
I was disappointed with how the wings looked as there just wasn't enough contrast. I was disappointed that I hadn't done more than those two sections!!! Also, my body was in rebellious mode as my back, neck and shoulders hurt from bending over my work all those hours!
JoJo provided lots of positive feedback and offered constructive comments as well as asked some great questions during the evening. After a good dinner, a soak in the hot tub and a fair amount of shut eye, I decided that I would continue with the process to learn all that I could. I was determined to at least fill all the spaces and then decide if I was finished or if I wanted to re-evaluate and quilt/embellish the piece.
I was thankful for JoJo's encouragement. Good friends are so dear!