Class Report: AQA Perfecting Circles

The AQA Convention on 18 & 19 September 2010 was a fine example of organisation. The organising committee had left nothing to chance and the event was really impressive. I attended the Saturday class lead by Margaret McDonald which was also excellent.

On arrival at the registration desk we were given gifts of a pair of snips and an AQA coffee mug. The coffee mug came in handy at morning and afternoon tea where we were able to be environmentally responsible. We had even been encouraged to write our names on our mugs with a non-permanent marker pen so they wouldn’t get mixed up. The organisers left nothing to chance! And let me tell you, those ladies can bake as well as quilt. Special mention goes to the whoever who baked the mini cheese scones, which were delicious.

At lunch and morning tea we were treated to door prizes and I was thrilled when my name was called and I unwrapped a beautifully crafted drawstring bag.

Margaret McDonald talking with a group of students

Margaret McDonald Discusses Methods for Perfecting Circles

Margaret McDonald was an excellent tutor and I would recommend taking the perfecting circles class that I attended. She gave us her Moonbeams quilt pattern to use but stressed throughout that this was a technique class and that we would not have a big output. That was quite correct, especially for someone like me for whom many of the methods were new. What I liked about Margaret was her repetition of key concepts to make sure we understood them, that she encouraged us to try different methods and tools (including borrowing hers) and her encouragement for the students.

Incomplete fabric spiral made from 10 scraps of fabric

Spiral In Construction

I managed to complete (well almost) a reverse applique circle and about 80% of a big spiral.

I was easily the least experienced quilter in the group and found myself repeatedly putting up my hand in response to questions like, “Who has never used Pellon before?” or “Who has never done foundation piecing?” I just had to remind myself that I was there to learn. One saving grace was that I do at least have a fair amount of sewing experience. That spiral was a bit tricky.

Oh, and my sewing machine was easily the oldest in the room, probably by about 20 years. And the heaviest to carry, I’m sure.

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