Episode 13 In Which We Get Classy--Some More Info

I posted episode 13, "In Which We Get Classy," last night, and I give some tips for making your class time more enjoyable and effective. I wanted to give a little more information here that may be useful as well.

Just as a point of interest, I saw a blog entry today that gives a little of the other side of the story--issues teachers face when planning classes/workshops: http://elizabethbarton.blogspot.com/2010/06/off-to-teach-workshop.html.

Also, here's the start of a list of basic supplies you probably ought to have in your "go-bag" for classes or retreats. As I suggested in the episode, either have a separate bag permanently packed with duplicate supplies, or post a packing check list on your bulletin board for fast reference. Here's my usual list.

Standard Supplies for Classes/Retreats

  • Pins (your favorite variety and/or specialized pins for planned projects, such as applique or basting)
  • Pin cushion
  • Thread snips
  • Seam ripper
  • Rotary cutter
  • Extra cutter blade/s
  • Disposal case for used blades
  • Cutting mat of appropriate size
  • Pressing mat of appropriate size
  • Travel iron or Clover mini iron (more so for retreats than classes--although check retreat rules since plugging in too many irons blows fuses...ask me how I know...)
  • Rulers (6x24", 6x12" or similar, 6" square or similar, and 1x6", get me through most situations)
  • Sewing machine needles
  • Disposal case for used needles
  • Fabric scissors
  • Bag for scraps/threads
  • Sewing machine, foot pedal, and power cord
  • Sewing machine manual
  • Acrylic extension table (such as this--if you don't have one, strongly consider it!)
  • Sewing machine feet (1/4", standard, and walking foot get me through most situations)
  • Extension cord and power strip (less so for classes, definitely good to have on retreats)
  • Thread in neutral colors (or colors needed for projects)
  • Bobbins with threads in neutral colors  (or colors needed for projects)
  • Pencil/Pen and scratch pad
  • Calculator or Fabri-Calc (my fave electronic device!)
  • Marking tools
  • Hand sewing needle (even if you're not planning to do any hand sewing. Trust me. Been there done that.)
  • Thimble
  • Needle threader
  • Portable light (more so for retreats than classes--lighting often stinks)
  • Pillow to sit on, and/or back rest, or bring your own sewing chair (I haul mine to retreats!)
I'm probably forgetting something. What else?

Also--to tote supplies back and forth, here are some ideas:
  • You can get any number of quilter's supply totes which are wonderful. I used to have two. My dogs threw up on them. Now I have zero. 
  • I'm using a fishing tackle box now (easier to clean off dog messes). It's a new one, of course--no fish guts here. Not sure if it's identical to the one in the link but sure looks like it. I can fit a ton of notions, cutters, scissors, etc., in there. Basically, everything but the big stuff. I still miss my supply bags but I like the fact that the tackle box doesn't collapse on the floor and create a black hole you have to dig through. It's really easy to find everything and it stays compact under my available space in classes or retreats. 
  • Someone in one of my classes had a great stackable drawer system originally intended for nuts and bolts and such that she'd bought at a big box hardware store. She had all her thread, basic notions, needles, etc., in there and it looked really useful. I couldn't find a picture of it online--sorry. But a lot of times you'll find stuff in the hardware section that's perfect and a lot cheaper than buying something from a specialty craft store.
Let us know what your favorite bag or carrying system is!