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Thread: Tips for a Quilt Class Instructor :-)

  1. #11
    Power Poster
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    I agree with MadQuilter -

    show ONE technique (maybe explain that there are other ways, but that you won't be going into them in this class) that works well

    probably whichever method works best for you

    and then tell them about the QuiltingBoard.com :-)



  2. #12
    Roben's Avatar
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    These are all great responses, and are giving me lots to think about - better now than the day of class, right? :lol:

    I designed the wall hanging to focus on 3 specific techniques - trying to keep it limited a bit. I'm thinking about half an hour to demo the techniques, and then on to working the actual pattern so I can get to everyone with some individual attention. The wall hanging may take longer than class time, so I'm putting together a companion 'free project' that I know can be finished in class - at least that way all the techniques have been practiced a bit. I played with the instructions as I did one sample today, and tomorrow I'll time it and see where I'm at.

    I agree that there are many, many ways to do the same thing and just about as many gadgets as well - I'm sticking to the best way I've found for a newbie like me to be as successful as possible, with tools that I've found work as advertised. I've seen a lot of different techniques, and they do get confusing - but I also know that what works for me may be greek to someone else and vise versa. I also want to encourage participants to help, chat & laugh with each other - those are always the classes that are the most fun!

    Thanks for letting me think this thru out loud and for all your input - it helps, it really helps!

  3. #13
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    thanks for letting me play

    you might also consider having them do an (optional) evaluation sheet at the end

  4. #14
    Roben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    thanks for letting me play

    you might also consider having them do an (optional) evaluation sheet at the end
    Egads! Ya mean I get evaluated too??!!!!

    I'd better bring chocolate, and lots of it..... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

  5. #15
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    Watch the students. I think it becomes clear by their action if they "got it" or not.
    Have fun.
    I think these are the two key points.... you can see on people's faces whether they "got it" or not, and whether they feel confident or not.
    And when people are having fun, they're relaxed, and more likely to say "sorry, what am I supposed to be doing again?"

    :-)

  6. #16
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roben
    Egads! Ya mean I get evaluated too??!!!! I'd better bring chocolate, and lots of it..... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
    You can phrase the evaluation to find out the things you did RIGHT! Also, asking about classes they might want, techniques they are interested in, and such - could lead to more classes, should you feel inclined. The only suggestion that hasn't been mentioned yet is a handout, so six months from now, when a wip re-appears, they aren't left scratching their heads trying to remember what was covered. Foam-core boards from the dollar store would be easy to pin samples onto, and rigid enough to stand up where folks can refer back to.

    And if it's an all day class, definately a candy jar or something sweet at lunchtime to help anyone who gets stressed.

  7. #17
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    There are no real right or wrong answers obviously. One thing that came to mind is to think about the classes you took. What did you like about them? What didn't you like about them?

    When it comes to being in front of everyone, assume nothing. Smile, be approachable and ask questions to your audience. Will your class time allow you to spend a few minutes with each student? That could be a time to specifically address any potential "roadblocks" and tactfully share with the class, so as not to embarrass the student.

    Do you have some friends that quilt? Even those that don't, you need a range. Have a girls night at your house and practice with your friends. This way you can see if you have any gaps or aren't comfortable with the flow as well as gain a feel for what you are about to embark on.

    Pace yourself comfortably. While each one will have a different learning curve, be mindful of those that aren't quite getting it then and there. Will you have the time outside of class to be available to answer questions?

    Even knowing in reality, you can't please everyone all the time, is your class content, style, delivery going to give your audience the feeling that it was money well spent? Any little "freebie" thing you can pass along---measuring guide lists, small glossary list, differences on needle sizes, batting, a few websites, just a little perk of something to involve them more after they leave and keep you in mind. Get their info so that you can invite them to another class you teach. Personal interest goes a long way.

    All that said, I'm so excited for you! Did I overlook when you'll be starting? Please keep us posted on how it turns out! Above and beyond all else-----have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. #18
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    I always like it when the instructor includes some of the history of quilting. Information on when and where the techniques were developed. I would imagine information on prairie points, when they were first used would be of interest to a lot of people.

    I always love the names of the blocks and the variations (like churn dash and monkey wrench being so similar).

    Elizabeth

  9. #19
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    One of the things the teacher did in the last class I took was take a pad of sticky notes and write the person's name on one and stick it on the back of their machine. That way she could call everybody by name without having to try and learn 20 people's names in 10 minutes!

  10. #20
    omak's Avatar
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    My experiences at quilt classes to date have not been very good, and I hesitated to say anything, but here are some things I observed.
    Be prepared ... do NOT promise a technique and only manage to put out three of the five steps ...
    Have the pattern/technique you say you are going to teach MATCH the technique/pattern that you hand out in class ...
    Do NOT tell the class that you will get them some part of the information sometime when they come into the shop next time.
    Do NOT blame the students for not following instructions when the instructions you spoke or handed out were about as clear as mud because you were doing it all on the run, off the top of your head, while planning what you are going to do that quilt top coming up next week.
    And, if a student manages to do something backwards, take a good look at the block to see if it isn't exactly the same thing, just in a different direction ...
    Ask! I will tell you the whole sordid tale ...
    oh! And! do NOT tell students what they need to prepare before they come to class, figuring that you have told everyone ... have the instructions WRITTEN down BEFORE class time if you want your students to come prepared ...
    I am pretty sure you have never been to any of the quilt classes I have attended , I am looking forward to how your students did.

    I know that some of us students are not the brightest bulbs on the tree, but most of us aren't as inept as some instructors think we are. Nor, are we so naive that we can't figure out when an instructor is more impressed with itself than anyone else in the shop ... if you get my drift .
    I know that you have never taught a class I attended, but since you wanted to know what a student wants, I just HAD to vent a bit!
    If I thought it would make a difference, I would be doing it in person, but ... I just don't take classes there any more, so ... if I sound bitter, I apologize in advance! :roll:

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