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Class Act & An Elephant Update

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015 by Lorna McMahon

It was -18 Celcius when I got into the car to head out to the class.  That’s -0.4 in Fahrenheit.  Let’s just say it was cold.  Really chilly.  Frosty.  But as I drove along, I warmed up.  Stopping in at the Tim Horton’s drive through on my way and picking up a toasted pretzel bagel and a coffee.  Breakfast of champions!

Within 1/2 hour I arrived at Emmaline’s shop.  E & E’s Cloth and Creations is located in Newton, Ontario.  A small village just west of Kitchener.  A quilt lover’s paradise with excellent prices on over 2000 bolts of quality quilting cottons, flannels, quilts and supplies.  Emmaline has been in business for quite some time.  As well as being the local Pfaff dealer, they built on an addition to their building and added the classroom.  And recently acquired a long arm machine.

I was nervous at first.  Feeling a little awkward.  But as I was meeting and introducing myself to the participants, I was put at ease when one of them thought I was also one of the students.  The class was a blast!  I got to meet and make 4 new friends – Melanie, Margaret, Janice and Leslie.

Margaret was the first one to sign up for the class.  She had the foresight to choose out her backing fabric ahead of time and will be using that same owl minky that I did here.

Melanie made the most progress on her quilt top, finishing the piecing of 9 rows out of the 12.  She made such quick progress as she had developed her own way of doing things.  Bravo!  Gotta give that girl some credit.  She finger pressed the seams and added her pieces onto the rows instead of pressing as she went.

Leslie – Oh, I was worried about her at first.  She looked so unhappy piecing her first row.  But then soon got the hang of those triangles and made quick work of the next three rows.  Her piecing improved as she went along.  Then joined those four rows together and was happy to see the quilt take shape. 

Janice’s choice of using greens for the background had me wanting to race home.  Right then I decided that when I make this quilt again, I will be choosing some sweet greens for the background.  It really did look that good!  She was a thoughtful piecer and, wanting to have her different background fabrics placed in a particular order, she finished piecing her first two rows.

Fox & Friend quilt in green

For the purpose of this post, I really regret not having asked to take photos during the class.  But once things got going, I realized that what we were sharing that day was just for the moment.  It was personal.  And we connected.  You will probably agree, having your picture taken is not always the most comfortable feeling.  And I didn’t want to ruin the good thing that we had going on.

Following the class, at the end of the afternoon, I spoke with Emmaline about our day.  She applauded my efforts to overcome my feelings of anxiety in leading the class.  I assured her that I may not have overcome the my feelings, but certainly had a wonderful time facing my fears and was glad to have made four new friends!

Would I do it again?  YES!

Now… About those elephants.

This week I have managed to get all 5 of my large elephant blocks completed.  And shared on instagram, photos of each block using some proposed ideas for eyes.

I also completed the 14 small elephant blocks….

The turtle block….

The frog block…

And the 2 bird blocks…

There are still 3 flower blocks to piece.  And of course all the blocks displayed above still require eyes and a few other details.  But I hope to have a completed top to post about soon!

There has been a lot of interest shown in this quilt along.  And I am so happy about that!  Looking forward to February 1st, when the official start of the quilt along begins.  Thank you to each of you for sharing about the Elephant Parade quilt along on your blogs, for displaying the quilt along button, and for all your kind comments and support on instagram and facebook.

Sew Fresh Quilts

Sew Fresh Quilts

All of the fabric requirements, cutting instructions and the schedule are up on the Elephant Parade quilt along page.  I have had a few people mention their intention to quilt along using prints instead of solids and I am especially looking forward to seeing all the different versions of this quilt as you post about them on your blogs or share them on social media.  Please do remember to use the hashtag #elephantparadeqal so we can all see what everyone is up to as we Quilt Along!

Keep On Quilting On!

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28 Responses

  1. Hello. I have been to that shop in Newton!!! It's. to too far from my parents place and my mom thought I would love to see it. I bought a couple books and fabric to help my daughter make some clothes for her doll. I wish I could have been in your class as well! Take care. It's even colder in eastern Ontario LOL

  2. Congrats on teaching your first class Lorna and I am positive you were fantastic at it! Pretty soon you will be traveling all over……maybe even to Iowa! Keep warm and your elephants are adorable!

  3. It sounds like you had a great start to instructing! I am sure the women all went away with new skills and tips, and it sounds like you gained a lot from the class, too. 🙂

  4. Preeti says:

    I wish I could be in your class. Adorable critters!!!

  5. Glinda ♥ says:

    Lucky ladies! I would love to meet you and be in your class, I know we would have fun and I would learn loads. Congrats, my friend 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    So darned cute!!! Wish I'd been there!

  7. that shop looks very historic! y'all are very brave to venture out in that weather 🙂 I'm afraid I would be sitting by the fireplace not wanting to even open the door!! I do remember those kind of temperatures though having grown up in the north – I just haven't faced a northern winter in years!

  8. Ruth says:

    Great stuff Lorna, I can see you teaching – great project to make too! I do like it in green. Looking forward to the elephant QAL!

  9. Unknown says:

    I wish I could be in your class💑

  10. Glad you class went so well.. I enjoyed your synopsis and agree .. maybe a pic at the end next time would work.. then all could show their progress :)Great blocks you are doing for your QAL Kathi

  11. Sounds like a wonderful class! I would love to have one-on-one instructions with those triangles!

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is going to be such a cute quilt!

  13. I bet you're a phenomenal teacher. Its always scary to lead a group of people, but I bet it will get easier the more you do it! Love the elephants!!

  14. Julie Cefalu says:

    I remember my first time teaching. It was frightful, but such a wonderful experience. And I learned a lot (from my own goofs as well as from my students). I'm sure you are a great teacher and will continue to get better. I Love your parade so far! Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

  15. Ioleen says:

    Congrats on your first class. Sounds like it went well and making new friends is always a bonus. Love the green background fox quilt.

  16. I am so happy that your class went well. I can imagine it would be nerve-wracking the first time. I like the no-picture idea in a class as well – not everyone wants to be shared.

  17. Jasmine says:

    I really enjoyed reading about your first class. Sounds like it went very well. Last night, the manager at my LQS asked if I would teach a beginning free motion quilting class in the shop. I was so excited about the possibilities I could hardly sleep. I will be getting together with her soon to discuss it in more detail.

  18. Stephie says:

    So glad to hear your first class was such a success Lorna – the first of many I'm sure! Your baby elephants…tooooo cute! x

  19. Love the blocks! Lucky students!

  20. Wish I could come to one of your classes! You sound like a very good teacher, very attentive. The blocks are so cute!

  21. the elephants are sooo cute-

  22. SarahZ says:

    Oh yay for your first class! It looks like a sweet shop, too! I haven't taken a class in so long, it just sounds like such fun!!!! Seeing your elephant parade blocks so makes me think of my (elephant crazy) sister….will be weighing my options and abilities…the blocks are super cute!!

  23. Lara B. says:

    What a charming looking quilt shop! I'm glad you had a good time with your class Lorna! I knew you would do great and gosh I would take a class from you in a heartbeat! LOVE the blocks for Elephant Parade. Is't it funny how exactly they match your design concept? That's the cool thing about designing it to completely beforehand.

  24. So glad you faced your fears and the class was a hit! I've been there, believe me, many times, and it's not easy. At. All. But so worth it in the end. Woo! I do like that Fox quilt on the green background!!! Isn't it interesting to watch each student as they approach and work through a project? As a teacher, I find that absolutely fascinating, and I learn so much. Not missing those kind of temps. At. All. I don't know what the eye conversation is about, since I'm not on Instagram, but I do like the very first elephant eye the best, the top left block. It's very realistic. Have you read The Elephant Whisperer? One of my favourite books of all time.

  25. I bet you were amazing!! Congratulations! And I love what you are doing with the elephants! I used that fabric for a baby quilt backing…so adorable!

  26. JanineMarie says:

    Oh, this quilt is so cute! It makes me want to do this quilt along. I have other commitments, though. Sigh. I bet you are a wonderful teacher. Don't you love to see all the creativity come out in a class?

  27. Ann says:

    Congratulations on a successful class. I know they learned so much and it seems you did, too.

  28. Michele says:

    Congratulations on the class. I'm sure it felt good after it was over. The new blocks are just adorable.