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Thread: Any advice for teaching quilting classes?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    57
    Cathe - Thank you for all of the wonderful advice! The sample is a great idea...I hadn't thought of that yet, but I will definitely do it. I'm thinking of more of a one on one basis, though I figure some people may want to come with a buddy. Until my youngest is in school I don't know if I could handle large classes out of my home. I have never finished a project I've done in a class, lol*, so I definitely won't be offended! Usually because I make so many goofups, I'd rather start from scratch at home with my new found knowledge! My Mother is a sewer but not a big quilter, so she often asks for help with binding and quilting, so I'm thinking the $10 a lesson, on whatever it is they need to learn will work. Either from start to finish, or just a lesson on binding or hand quilting. Whatever they want to learn. SO GLAD you pointed out the one iron issue - I had thought we'd share my iron anyhow, but now I know that is a must. Thank you so much for all of your help! :)

    Reva - I'd planned on being fairly relaxed also, and am not extremely concerned about going over the hour limit, as long as it's within reason and I'm not taken advantage of. But in all honesty, I would probably pay someone else so I could blab about quilting, so, I think this is going to be a lot of fun for me! Lol*

    Thanks for all of the advice and ecouragement, I'm pretty excited now! :)

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    54
    Sounds like a good idea! my father used to have a saying "find something you like doing and make money doing it ' I thought this was good advice Wilma

  3. #13
    Sara Street's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sapulpa, Oklahoma
    Posts
    37
    Don't forget the above-mentioned issue of liability insurance! Check with you r homeowner's agent to make sure your covered if someone trips on your front steps and breaks an ankle or whatever! It's sad to have to worry about this, but a reality of life nowdays!

    Good luck!
    Sara

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    57
    Sara - this is a bit of a concern for me. I'm going to sort of go on good faith that since right now anyone who comes will be referred from friends or relatives. Something to think about though. I wouldn't want someone to trip on a toy and then go off and sue me! Geez, what's with the world today! Lol**

  5. #15
    Sara Street's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sapulpa, Oklahoma
    Posts
    37
    Good faith is fine, but a quick phone call to your agent may help to reassure you that you already have coverage! Not for a full-fledged business venture, of course, but for the type small scale project you're talking about. Most home-owners policies do cover that type of thing, but it's better to know that you don't need to be worrying needlessly.

    Good luck!
    Sara

    PS AND, in the event that you do have an incident, you have shown your good faith by having done your homework ahead of time!

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Rice Lake, WI
    Posts
    487

    What a great idea.
    Here's another thought, you may want to think about charging a set fee for the class as a whole. That way you would have the $$ up front and they would be more inclined to continue the class until their piece is done. When making your sample, you might want to consider keeping track of your time to see how long it takes from start to finish and guage your fee and class times by that. Even though it's for family, friends, etc. I'd be cautious about them taking advantage of your time and talent because of that fact but you can still be as flexible as you want to be.

    I think the relaxed environment of your home is a great idea for you, your girls, and the students. I know I would like that type of environment myself if it were me taking the class.

    You have a great idea, have fun with it, you never know where it might lead you.

    Now, when does your first class start.....can I be your 1st student? lol

    Deb

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Snowbird: WI & FL
    Posts
    314
    It's good that you mentioned the pattern thing. ..everyone either gets a copy or has to purchase their own. I get really irritated when I take a class and we don't get the patterns. We have to wait in line to look at the instructor's pattern book. Because I'm new and a very visual person, I might miss what the instructor is showing because I'm not at my machine...I'm at another table looking at her book. Arrrrggggg.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    57
    Deb G - That's an idea...I will really give that some thought. That's how they tend to do it up at the local quilt shop, and I can really see some advantages to doing it that way. Lol* You can be my first student sure! Lol* I think I'm going to give it a test run on my Mom. She's a sewer, but not so much a quilter, so she could maybe tell me if there's anything I could do to make it easier for her. Thanks for the advice! :)

    Brenda - Oh I TOTALLY understand what you mean. I took a class once, and the woman was basically volunteering her time so I couldn't complain, but it was really difficult because we all had to gather around one of her books. She asked only for a $3 donation that went to support our local library, so, I understand why she did it that way. I will be sure to print off patterns for everyone to have. Thanks for bringing that up! I'm going to start a little notebook of all these great ideas! :)

  9. #19
    Bernadette Harwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    107
    Hi, I'm sooo busy don't always reply like I would like too. I would love to chat with you all all the time but just don't have the time.
    I have been teaching beginners sewing and quilting for 4 years through Jo Ann Fabrics and just left last summer to teach at home. I love it and the students love the homey atmosphere. I set up my daughters bedroom into a classroom and then we also use my sewing room across the hall and through our bedroom for ironing and cutting. I was nervous at first as I wasn't sure how my students would feel going through my home to get upstairs but it has worked out quite well. Stick to word of mouth only and I will not teach men in my home alone for both of our sakes and reputation. I limit my class to 3 but usually there is one or two as someone has something else come up. More than 2-3 is just too hard as I want them to get their moneys worth and it is too tiring for more. I teach them once a week for 2 hours for $15.00. I let them stay a little longer at my choice. Some people will try to tell you when they will come and want to stop by any time of the day and you need to set the rules and stick by them. If it is convenient you can say yes if not offer a time that is good for you and your family. I'm a softy and can get runned over easily but I'm learning to stick to what is good for my family. One lady keeps trying to get me to start afternoon classes and I can't as I still need time to do my sewing, housework and whatever I want.
    I have all the supplies they need, pins, scissors, needles, seam ripper etc. They supply thread, fabric and notions. I have machines for everyone or they can bring their own. I asked for $1.00 rent for my machines to go towards repairs and only one student was paying me that so I think come fall I'm just raising the price to $16 for everyone whether they use mine or theirs. My repair bill for my 2 embroidery machines and serger was over $400.00. I have 6 classes a week, Tues. and Thurs. evening , Thurs and Fri. morning all for adults and then on Sat. during the school year I have 2 sat. classes for girls and teens. Also I think it is best not to have mother and daughter to come together unless they are older as kids rather listen to parents and or they don't get along so you get to hear them constantly bicker, not obey or whatever. Best to have them separate. I take Sat. off for the summer!!! to spend with family. Most of my students quilt. I have made my own patterns and or they can make whatever they want and I walk them thru the project.
    I also have an Ebay store I started last month, going slow but going fine along with sewing and making alterations for people so I need Mon - Wed. to do my own things. One of these days I'll get a few of my pictures posted for you all to see. I have a couple of patterns I want to get on paper and sell on Ebay as soon as I get a chance to check them out. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer. Stick to word of mouth and put all valuables away. Enjoy the classes, you won't get rich but nothing like seeing a students finished quilt or a new sewer finally learn to sew straight. Another tip is to have someone make table leg extenders to have a table up high for cutting. saves the back. I have rattled on long enough feel free to ask questions, I'll be happy to try to help you. :roll: Bernadette

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    357
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned by anyone..........list sewing skill level in your flyers.--Beginner, Intermediate, etc.
    I volunteered to teach a group at church how to quilt--it was a year project, we meet once a month and they had a finished table runner when we were done.
    The one problem I found was that not everyone who wanted to learn to quilt had even basic sewing skills. One gal brought what was basically a toy sewing machine. Now I'm willing to help anyone who wants to learn, but she did not have any basic sewing skills what so ever. It made it hard to move forward with the class as a whole.
    It will be easier since you are thinking one on one teaching, but an idea of their sewing skills will help you plan the lessons. Ask them if they have sewn before and if so what have they sewn. Someone who has made even a couple of small things will understand your directions and be able to follow them better than someone who's not really sewn anything.
    Just my 2 cents worth! : )
    I hope your venture goes well for you! I'm all for making money at quilting!!!

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