Saturday, March 5, 2011

Paper Quilts at the BCAE

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

On Monday night I taught my first class in the Boston Handmade series at the Boston Center for Adult Education. Partnering with the BCAE has been so great for our group; we've made new friends, shared our love of all things handmade, and had the opportunity to reach out to a segment of Boston that is new to us.

My experience on Monday was really wonderful. I didn't know what to expect since this was only the second time I have ever taught a Paper Quilts class, and it was my first experience teaching at the BCAE, plus I was nervous about the energy level that could be sustained late on a Monday night, but my worries were all put to rest as a very enthusiastic group began to arrive!

After introductions around the room, and finding out what interest everyone had in creating paper quilts, we dove right in, set up all the sewing machines, and began experimenting with different types of thread, stitches, and how it felt to put a needle through paper. I've always found something very satisfying about sewing paper, and I was glad to hear the students in this class quickly began to feel the same way.

I was delighted to see the students really take to the medium. Several of the students had extensive sewing experience (one was a fashion design graduate from MassArt, and one student is the costume designer for the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, and one a seasoned quilter), but just as many students had little to no sewing experience at all, and they did great!
There are indeed a few sewing techniques involved in creating this type of artwork, but a large portion of the effort is related to issues of composition, considering how each paper element relates to it's neighbor, and accessing levels of creativity that might not otherwise get enough daily exercise.

It was so inspiring to witness the creative process and the beautiful results being achieved by everyone in the class. I'm so glad to have had this opportunity, and I am really looking forward to my next Paper Quilt class at the BCAE, on March 21.

For more information on this next class, and to register online, please visit the BCAE website.

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