Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My First Class...

It’s what got me through the winter. Back in November a friend and I scheduled a Punchneedle class at Primitive Gatherings in Menasha WI. It’s something we’d always wanted to learn to do and I had never taken any kind of sewing class so it was an opportunity to try something new.



On the day of the class we left early and stopped at a couple of shops on the way down. I kept remembering to pace myself because our destination was ..Primitive Gatherings. We arrived about 3 pm. We had the shop to ourselves so my friend and I thrived on being the center of attention. When we had signed up for the class they had put hoops, needles, and threaders aside for us. For the class, we could pick any needle punch design they had in stock. There must have been 30 samples to pick from. I picked the Blue canning jar. Tired of snowmen and pumpkins by February, I knew it was the right choice.



We literally knew NOTHING about needlepunch. The ladies talked to us about which patterns were easy and which were a little more challenging. There were three types of embroidery threads and we learned about each. Keep this in my this was like the “free’ class before the class.



We scooted out for a quick bite of supper and returned ten minutes before the class started There were six other ladies in the class. Everyone had a different project, so it made things really interesting.



Lisa Bongean, shop owner taught the class. She’s nothing like I thought she would be. But the real deal is even better. An Artist is the first thing that comes to mind. I tried to be quiet and poised… but about thirty minutes into the class I broke out like a TV reporter on a request for the evening news. She told us how she started. We learned how important family was to her. She has two sons and a husband that believe in her business, along with a houseful of uncles, brothers, nieces, nephews, and cousins that all help. Perfection was never a word in her vocabulary. She even talked about how lack of perfection in Primitive crafts is what gives it its charm.



She told us of her travels and the seminars she does --- and all I kept thinking was…” Wow, and I’m getting all of this for $15.00…” We learned what is involved when she creates a pattern. She let us try different kinds of hoops with our projects. She talked to us about forgiving ourselves when you make a mistake. She even talked to us about different ways to use punchneedle projects.



I have to get busy on my project now.



When the class was over she even walked us to our vehicle. It was a chilly 19 degrees that evening and she said we should have let her known how far we were coming from…. We could have stay with her. Yep, she was inviting complete strangers to stay at her home, saying she has empty rooms with her sons grown up now.





We had traveled the farthest so we got first pick at a drawing of free punch needle patterns… I couldn’t help myself… It’s probably an addiction – I picked the crow on a pumpkin piece :)

16 comments:

Gypsy Quilter said...

What a wonderful way to spend a chilly day. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece.

Darlene said...

What a fun class - thank you for sharing your story, Melanie. I love the design your chose. I can't wait to see it finished. Very sweet, indeed.

Quilterbee said...

It's great that you had such a wonderful and sharing teacher for your first class. Your project is turning out cute.

I love your blush quilt in the post below this one.

Your son did a good thing and the shirt will get alot of attention for breast cancer.

It's crazy weather here in my part of Michigan. Warm one day and then cold the next.

Denise

Cornbread and Beans Quilting said...

Sounds like a fantastic day and fun class! Darn! Don't ya wish you would have had an overnight bag packed? It would have been fun to see Lisa's house! (giggle)
Take Care!
Melissa

Karen said...

I have only tried punch needle once and did not have good luck with it. I know what I need to do to improve but just haven't taken time to find the kit and supplies that I put away. There are lots of cute designs on the market. Have fun.

Colleen said...

Thanks for your story, Mel! They are truly wonderful at that shop and I agree with you completely about Lisa. She must meet thousands of people doing what she does now all over the United States, but she makes you feel like you are special and important to her. She is one of a kind!

Pat said...

I want to go there! We were in Madison WI last year and we ran out of time. Lisa sounds like a lovely lady. I enjoy her blog and her website. Lucky you!

Libby said...

What fun! Can you share the learnin' on the three types of floss? Inquiring minds just gotta know *s*

Loris said...

Wonderful class experience! Thanks so much for sharing it with us :-)
Awesome!

Quilts And Pieces said...

What a fun day! And the ball jar pattern is just too cool!

Mrs. Sew and Sew - Karen said...

Oh, what fun? I am glad you went. I can tell it did you good!I bet it was fun meeting Lisa. I purchased a kit, needle and hoop but haven't started it yet. Guess I am a little leary of starting something new. I usually don't take classes. There are none on needle punch in my area. I will read up on it on the internet. Let me know how you like doing
needlepunch. I think my project is fairly simple...LOL...I hope!!! Better scoot to bed. Jak gets here at 5:45 every morning! Boy this granny needs her naps. LOL! Have a great day tomorrow. Hugs, Karen

Muddling Through said...

Oh, that sounds like so much fun and how nice that you had such a good and giving teacher! Sometimes it just does us good to get out of our comfort zone and learn something new, doesn't it?

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

What a great post! Thanks for all the details. So do you think you'll stick with needlepunch? I haven't tried it either, but the patterns are just so darn cute! Love the mason jar. What are you going to do with the finished piece?

McIrish Annie said...

I have thought about needlepunch but was afraid to add to the list of "crafty" addictions. Can't wait to see how your piece turns out!

PS love your son's shirt!!

Cheryl said...

What a great day and such a sharing person your teacher was. It is always so much fun to find out about the person behind "her" craft, and her love of what she does is very apparent! Nice to find your blog.

Greenmare said...

wow how cool! I can't imagine such a wonderful teacher!!! I'm looking forward to seeing pictures................ ;-)