A few weeks later, word got out (by way of my fabulous mentor) about our lesson and my class quickly multiplied. We welcomed two new students as well as another who hadn’t been available for the previous meeting. When I told the girls about our latest project, they each simultaneously cocked their heads and waited for further explanation. Seeing as how this was my third time on the stand, I was prepared. I proudly brandished my travel coffee mug and proceeded to wrap my example cozy around the neck. Again, they appeared confused, as if silently asking me why a group of 10-12 year olds would need a holder for their caffeinated beverages. Flabbergasted, I exclaimed, “You can make it for your moms!” And that’s all it took to get them onboard.
It wasn’t a shock to discover the girls had a knack for sewing curved lines (see previous classes for examples), which is the main focus in this project. They were excited to have the freedom to stray from my weekly preaching of “straight lines are the way” and they excelled beyond my expectations. Even the two sisters who were facing their first lesson caught on very quickly. In fact, at one point, a number of students leaned back and asked, “Is that it?” One girl’s machine malfunctioned more than once and I spent much of the lesson trying to repair what was broken. This was actually quite beneficial for me because I had to familiarize myself with someone else’s machine — without instructions or help of any kind — and I eventually managed to find the problem and adjust to the situation.
I had been expecting the sewing of the Velcro strips to be the most difficult part — due to their size and my girls’ continual struggle with straight lines. But I must have been a better teacher than I had thought because each one finished her cozy with plenty of time to spare. This lesson was effective in teaching the girls about patience and taking pride in their work. My sister, Caroline, had to undo her stitching two or three times before she was finally satisfied with her work. And you know, I was extremely proud that even though she was clearly frustrated, she wanted it to be the best cozy she could make, and she followed through. With or without the product, that determination and focus was something much more valuable than I anything I could have taught her.
If you’d like to make your own cozy, follow the link below for details: