Saturday was my quilt guild's fall workshop. We vary between having guild members teach us a new technique and having a professional teacher come in. We've held a couple of retreats at Canton Quilt Retreat and asked the owner, Catherine Erickson, to teach our retreat this time. She's a certified Judy Niemeyer teacher and we choose to make the Compass Rose Table Runner. I was a bit hesitant since I hate paper piecing and was even less pleased when I found out that we had to use batiks. (She later changed this, but I had already used my birthday discount in May to get batiks from my LQS.) Needless to say I wasn't very excited on Saturday morning, but I love hanging out with the ladies from my quilt guild so I decided to suck it up.
I have to admit Catherine has really changed my mind about paper piecing. The methods she taught (and the extremely well organized pattern by Judy Niemeyer) actually made it somewhat easy. It also was great that Catherine told us to hand all mistakes to us and she ripped them out for us. After the third time of handing her my fabric I watched how she used a rotary cutter to cut the offending stitches. I probably shouldn't write this since my husband will read it, but on Sunday I messed up my Supernova blocks and had to rip out a double line of stitching on 32 pieces. I tried using the rotary cutter method of seam ripping and it was pretty efficient. It will take some practice before I'm as fast as Catherine, but I'm confident I've mastered the technique enough to avoid ER visits.
I was surprised that in an all day workshop I didn't finish a single block. It was very comforting to see that the other members of the class got just as far as I did so I wasn't really any slower than anyone else. I learned so much with the first block that I think the next ones will go a lot faster.
I'm excited to see this table runner all put together. I think I've pulled off a somewhat modern block using batiks. They still aren't my favorite fabrics, but I do like how these are turning out.