We did small things like finding our individual machines perfect settings for different stitches...so even though I have been happily using a satin stitch for a long time we were shown what to look for in the stitch to make sure it was as perfect as it could be.
You may also remember that I chose a machine that had no decorative stitches...but we were taught how you can go about creating some of our own by winding the stitch width dial backwards and forwards as we sewed...silently counting to try and produce an even decoration (top photo...no, they aren't perfect or quite what a machine with decorative stitches could produce, but I had no idea that I could even attempt that on my machine and was surprised at what could be achieved in the two minutes we had to play with the technique.)
We also learnt how to make cord (the yellow cord above, making it was a bizarrely aerobic activity) to use in corded buttonholes. I've only ever created normal buttonholes before, but making a corded buttonhole is much easier than I'd imagined. She also taught us a fantastic way of seam-ripping your buttonhole accurately. You'll see that I've placed a pin over and in front of the bar tack - if you start in the middle of the buttonhole and keep the unpick perfectly straight you can rip right up to the pin without risking ripping on through the bar tack. Once you've done one end, repeat the process for the other end.
I am so looking forward to using all her tips and tricks which will just make everything a little easier. Zebra-girl and Dinosaur-boy also had a fantastic day with their grandmother who came to babysit for me. She arrived with huge rolls of wallpaper for them to decorate and I returned home to find that I was the audience for a show that they had put together complete with recitals of poems from Roald Dahl stories, dancing and a gallery featuring homes for pretend guinea pigs (obviously!).