Why Take Classes (and why blog about it)?
Why am I even writing blog posts about anything I make in a class? I guess it’s partly to document the process for myself, and partly to have a place I can direct people to look if they are interested.
I started taking sewing and machine embroidery classes years ago so that I could have expert instruction on how to use all the wonderful features on my Bernina machines. Bernina sewing and embroidery (and quilting and serging) machines are top-notch, beautifully engineered and beautifully made machines. Bernina machines have very well-conceived features and accessories, and yes, they’re very expensive.
The reason Berninas are expensive is that they’re built to last a lifetime and function at an incredibly high level. These machines are so durable and so useful that you can pass them down in your family, or trade them in for newer models. From the smallest, entry-level model to the fanciest, biggest model, these machines are incredibly capable, tough, and versatile.
Learning from Pros
I’m fortunate to live near an award-winning Bernina shop, The Presser Foot in Longmont, Colorado (and they also have a location on Fort Collins). The Presser Foot is an award-winning store because of their excellent customer service and because of all the classes and workshops they offer. Their knowledgable, friendly service and variety of classes truly help you can get the most out of your investments. Let me not leave out the most important detail, which is, the classes are fun!
All the class teachers either work for the stores or otherwise have expertise in the topic they’re teaching. As well, so many of the students in the classes are also highly experienced sewers, generous with their tips and advice. It’s really a little community there.
My first proper class was actually an owner’s class called Care and Feeding of Your Machine. This class teaches both how to maintain your machine (cleaning and oiling, for example) and how and why to use some its different features. I would recommend this type of class to any sewist.
After the initial care and use class I signed up for a project-based class, and it happened to be for a bag, The Professional Tote. You can read my blog post about it here: Bag Blog – First Bag I Made In Class . The Bag Classes are usually held about once a month. During 2015, I decided to take as many bag classes as I could, and after that I’ve still taken quite a few per year. I have so many bags! Some I’ve given away. My intention is to eventually write a post about each of them.
Another regular class they offer at The Presser Foot is Embroidery Club. You either bring in your own machine, or you can borrow one of theirs if you arrange it ahead of time. At Embroidery club you get a supply kit, access to just about any color thread you want to use, the software design for the project, and you get instruction. Each month features a different project. We’ve embroidered everything from towels to curling iron bags, and also used freestanding lace on napkin corners or standalone items. Maybe I’ll write posts about some of these as well.
Workshops and Other Classes
Finally, I’ve taken weekend workshops, multi-month classes, and regular classes for other projects. The workshops have been a great way to try out a machine I’ve thought about buying, and they usually have fantastic specials on machines and supplies. The main multi-month class I took was a for a quilt using embroidery software. The class was back in 2018 (I think!), and I’m still working on that project. Other classes have been for things like a garment or for little projects using an Accuquilt cutting machine.
Read About my Work
I have some pages here that talk about designs I’ve made or technique tips. I also have blog posts, which I’ve realized are different from the static pages. To make it easier to find my posts about my projects, I’ve made a page listing the links to the posts. Go check it out!