Sunday, 3 August 2014

Instructions for Dummies Like Me

It took me almost 3 hours to figure out how to assemble a garden cart using barely translated from Chinese instructions with a bizarre exploded diagram. I fared better with fixing the legs onto a mini BBQ and it got me thinking that if I ever had a stab at writing a school text book for primary school maths it would be a huge volume of blow-by-blow demonstrations and explanations. The garden cart and BBQ came with us to the beach laden with blankets, deck-chairs and sausages but the gale-force winds made it impossible for the kindling to catch fire then we ran out out lighter gas. I was chastised by my kids for not taking a backup box of matches as we valiantly tried and failed to use a jam-jar as a magnifying glass substitute in the brief snatches of sunshine.

Spurred on by my Book’s draft cover, I continued to number the many photos that I hope to include and I started to review the clarity of instructions for the completed projects. I  have written the instructions assuming that everybody is as hopeless at interpreting written procedures as me. Freya read the hand-out for the Festival of Quilts workshop on Mini Metallic Wholecloths and reckoned that she could follow it successfully. 

I decided that I needed to make a sample piece for the FOQ class from scratch using my small domestic machine. I discovered that the new gold spandex is rather challenging on a domestic machine but if it is very heavily stitched any imperfections should be impossible to detect. My quilting skills on a small domestic machine were rusty but I needed to experience any problems that my students may encounter. That included not being able to use a machine that was sunk flat into the table and my left shoulder certainly ached afterwards. Personally, I would far rather longarm-quilt even the smallest projects but there are more opportunities to teach domestic quilting, particularly in the UK. 

My workshop table gradually became cluttered with kits, gadgets, paperwork and supplies for FOQ next week to which I added several bottles of wine and some posh crisps for the APQS team to enjoy in the evening;) The progress of my preparations was impeded by a page-turning detective novel by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling. It is a good job that she has only written 2 of these novels so far otherwise I would get nothing done! 

No comments:

Post a Comment