summer greens at Mountain Glen Farm

summer greens at Mountain Glen Farm

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Getting Back To Quilting

Recently, I signed-up and attended an English Paper Piecing class.


My quilting activities have been on hold for years.  Now, I was feeling the urge to return to an interest that had once been my passion.


Maureen, a wonderful customer of Becky’s from the Staunton Farmers Market, was going to be teaching English Paper Piecing, a two-session class, through the Staunton Parks and Recreation Department.


I had previously taken classes (cheese making, soap making, cake decorating, jewelry making) sponsored by this program and was always much satisfied and so satisfied with my efforts. 


Knowing Maureen ahead of class time was a bonus.  Maureen is very friendly and sharing, so I knew the class would be a hit and a perfect beginning to my return to quilting.


Unfortunately for Maureen, I was the only student.  Fortunately for me, I was the only student.  The one-on-one, private lessons were marvelous. 


I had tried English Paper Piecing once before without much success.  Maureen passed along new techniques, amazing worksheets complete with detailed photos, and the encouragement I needed to continue with an art I had abandoned for other, new pursuits.


My biggest hindrance was that, over the years, my eyesight has been deteriorating.  The close handwork was more of a challenge than I had anticipated.  But, purchasing an inexpensive pair of reading glasses was a blessing.  Yes, I am getting older but I can still manage the detailed handwork with the proper tools.  The old saying, ‘If there is a will, there is a way’ is so true.

Appalachian Piecework - in must visit this shop


Our work area - what a fun spot to have class!
An unanticipated benefit was class location.  Maureen held her classes outside a most wonderful shop, Appalachian Piecework.  The shop is located in a charming old depot.  Behind the building, we sat on the wide walkway next to the platform surrounded by flowers, old train cars, and towering old buildings that comprise what is known as ‘The Wharf’.  And, modern tracks.
Maureen, my fabulous instructor with a couple of her amazing 'hexie' projects

Occasionally, a commuter train would pass us, stop at the current operating station to unload/load passengers, and continue on its route.  The Engineer would wave as he passed Maureen and I stitching.  I waved back.  I was quickly reminded of my childhood when waving at a train’s Engineer was a must as we sat in the car waiting at a railroad crossing as a long and slow train passed. 


The English Paper Piecing class was a success.

my home workspace for this English Paper Piecing project

Class is over and I am still stitching on my project, a table topper for daughter Becky.  I decided to use the typical Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern with my paper pieced hexagons, more commonly called ‘hexies’.  After all, the topper will be going on the table I gave to Becky which, originally, was my Grandmother’s kitchen table.  My fabric choice was based on the beautiful sunflowers Becky had growing around her barn and silo this summer - so bright and happy. I have no doubt that this is a project I will finish. 


Now that the class is over and Becky’s Farmers Market days are over, I am sure Maureen and I will stay in touch. 


Making a new friend…so worthwhile!


P.S. Check out Maureen’s blog at

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