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Thread: Advice from Quilting Teachers

  1. #1
    Senior Member tellabella's Avatar
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    I need some pointers...
    I have mentioned on the board that I run and after school quilting club at my high school...several co-workers have expresed interest in learning but can't come right after school due to other commitments, etc...and so, because I don't have enought to do....

    I have offered to teach a beginning quilting course in the evening, once a week, to those who are interested...I don't want to charge for this but I have suggested that participants can make a donation, we can buy a bunch of fabric and on the last night we can have a pow wow and make a bunch of pillow cases for the million pillowcase challenge that is going on for charity...

    Now teaching adults will be a little different and if you experienced quilting teachers can offer me some advice, assistance, handouts you use, anything at all will help...also, what is a good pattern to make...I would like to try a sampler..an easy one...can you suggest anything..and please let me know if this would be too complicated...when I took my first class we made a 9 patch Irish Chain..so I don't know if we should stick to a repeat of blocks or mix it up..I have offered 4 classes for now..about 2 hours or so...can we make a sampler in 4 weeks???

    And finally, after I sent out this email to the staff, my principal emailed me back and said this was a great idea and has offered to provide some additional funds for us to buy fabric for charity...he is the such a good person... I was tickled...

  2. #2

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    For a sampler, I have seen beginner quilts with the old standbys, rail fence, log cabin, some version of a star, etc. This should be a fun thing for you to do.

  3. #3
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    When I retired from teaching, I taught quilting at a local sew n' vac shop. I used the Quilts for Baby book by Ursula Reikes & each student would pick out a pattern & make either a baby or lap quilt. I stuck with the smaller projects so that I could make sure they completed the quilt in 4-5 sessions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tellabella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnajean
    When I retired from teaching, I taught quilting at a local sew n' vac shop. I used the Quilts for Baby book by Ursula Reikes & each student would pick out a pattern & make either a baby or lap quilt. I stuck with the smaller projects so that I could make sure they completed the quilt in 4-5 sessions.
    I have this book and just browsed through it...this is also a great idea...all the patterns in here are cute and they can be made using non-baby fabrics too..thanks!

  5. #5
    Senior Member tellabella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellabella
    Quote Originally Posted by donnajean
    When I retired from teaching, I taught quilting at a local sew n' vac shop. I used the Quilts for Baby book by Ursula Reikes & each student would pick out a pattern & make either a baby or lap quilt. I stuck with the smaller projects so that I could make sure they completed the quilt in 4-5 sessions.
    I have this book and just browsed through it...this is also a great idea...all the patterns in here are cute and they can be made using non-baby fabrics too..thanks!
    Forgot to ask...wondering if it gets too difficult with everyone making something different...

  6. #6
    Super Member OneMoreQuilt's Avatar
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    I teach second graders by day and adults at night (remember, their just big kids!!), you'll do fine. For the beginners' class it will be easier for them to all be working on the same project. I like to start them on a project without triangles or curves. They will be and feel successful early on and want to do more.
    I'm going to stop babbling now but please feel free to PM me if I can help at all.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellabella
    [Forgot to ask...wondering if it gets too difficult with everyone making something different...
    I taught a class of three and each one did a different project and it took a lot of extra time for me to get to each one as they were working...also, if one needed help and I was working with another person, with different projects, they often couldn't benefit from the questions from others in the class.

    One thing you might consider doing is having a list of terms and words you'll be using during the class...give the list to each student so they can take notes - it will give them something to do and help you keep on track.

    I agree with the idea to do a small sampler...they can each pick their own fabrics, but do the same technique as the rest of the class.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    Cyn
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    I want to join your class!

  9. #9
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    I've taught a lot of beginners and I would suggest keeping it simple. If you are teaching machine piecing, some people won't even know how to thread their machines or wind a bobbin. If you are using rotary cutters and they have never done it, it takes some practice to get control of the cutter and get familiar with the ruler measurements. It will be simpler if you have them all do the same project.

    I do a four week session - My first 2 hour class starts with how to choose fabrics, what the necessary tools are, terminology such as fat quarter, width of fabric, bias, etc. (All the things we're familiar with but can be overwhelming when you're new). We practice cutting with the rotary cutter and learn how to make an accurate 1/4" seam.

    Second week we piece a few simple blocks for a table topper or wallhanging.

    Third week we layer, baste, mark and machine quilt (straight lines only).

    Final week we learn binding, hanging sleeves and labels.

    So in 4 weeks they've learned all the basic steps needed to complete a quilting project!

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    Senior Member fayza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmer Girl
    For a sampler, I have seen beginner quilts with the old standbys, rail fence, log cabin, some version of a star, etc. This should be a fun thing for you to do.
    I love the rail fence quilt & it is very easy to do. That would be a good place to start :)

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