I have been an embroidery teacher for over 30 years and I still take embroidery classes. basically there are three reasons why I take a class.
Some times it is because I want to learn a new technique or find out more about one that I already know how to do. Even if you know the basics of a technique, it can be like taking a graduate level class where you get so many new tips about how to stitch in ways that you might not have thought of or you secretly do something and lo and behold others do it that way also. So much of embroidery is self taught unless you are lucky enough to have been able to attend an embroidery school and there are always new things to learn.
At other times it is because you want to learn from a certain teacher. You like the things that they design or have been told that they are a fabulous teacher and want to take a class from them. I have taken classes where I was not too fond of the project but it was worth the cost in time and money just to study with them. Plus you always learn some new tip that makes it worth it.
The third reason is that you fell in love with the design or project. You may already know how to do it or have taken from the teacher before but the project just sings to you.
I am now involved in an on-line class about couching. It is a brave new world that we live in. Some of the ways that we have always done things are not possible right now. Personally, I hope that on-line teaching stays around. It is not the same as an in-person class but has some genuine advantages. In the hands of a well prepared teacher you get a wealth of information both about the history and uses of the technique and how to actually do it. The classes can be recorded so that you can refer to them later and there is a place to ask questions during class time. This may the only way that you will have the opportunity to study with a teacher because it is impossible to get to an in person class. All those things are good but in person classes have other good things going for them. The personal interaction cannot be duplicated if you are not there because you can connect on a one to one level in class. Everyone learns a little differently and only in class can you get a unique answer to your question.
These are two of my stitched samples.
Has this class been worth it? Oh yes, it has. Natalie Dupuis has been a wonderful teacher and has managed to make a large class feel personal. I have learned so many new things, tried some new techniques (one which I never intend to do again) and perfected ones that I had done before. A good class pushes you to expand and grow as an embroiderer.
Here are two of the projects that I have finished in this class. The first one is a pomegranate couched over silver Japanese thread using Chinese flat silks. The couching threads run horizontally across the design with the design threads running vertically.
The second one is a pear and the gold Japanese threads are couched in a circle using shades of brown, gold and green #50 sewing thread for the design. I had always wanted to couch something that had the threads going in a circle.
We have one final project that we get to design. In it, we are to use many of our couching techniques. It is still in the "how am I going to make this work" stage but I am excited about doing it.