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Thread: Tips for a Quilt Class Instructor :-)

  1. #1
    Roben's Avatar
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    I'm getting ready to teach a class, and having taken a class or two :-) I have on occasion wishing the instructor could read my mind and cover things I had questions about. Since the shoe is about to be on the other foot :twisted: and I haven't learned to read minds, I thought I'd just ask:

    What do you wish a class instructor would cover? What do they assume you know that you wish they'd go into more detail about? Was there anything you really appreciated?

    Our class will be on a wall hanging I designed, and will cover how to make the blocks and do the border treatments (folded border and prairie points.) We'll talk about quilting options for the final piece, but probably won't have time to go over how to do each one.


  2. #2
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    Roben, is this a class for beginners, intermediate or professional quilters? Find out the level and experience of your class members and then teach to that level. Just keep asking "do you have any questions? are you with me so far? etc." If you make yourself accessible to the class then they are more likely to ask you any questions they have.

    Good luck---I know you are going to be a success!!

  3. #3
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    An instructor at my LQS was once a kindergarten teacher, she always tells us so, and that she is used to the simplest questions being asked over and over!!! :lol: She asks everyone to introduce themselves and to tell about their sewing/quilting experience. Be very encouraging and upbeat, and you've got it made :D

  4. #4
    Roben's Avatar
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    This helps a great deal - thanks so much!

    My instructions are geared to beginners; if the intermediate or advanced quilters are like me, they will skim over what they already know. I just always hated it when an instructor would mention a term or technique, assuming everyone knew all about it - except me :shock:

    If there are any other little annoyances that I can plan out of my class, then I'd like to do that.

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I've been teaching a community quilt class for several years. I have a mixture of beginners to advanced. I have a beginner block and a more difficult block pattern at each class. Everyone can choose which block they want to make or both. I show them the finished block and during class fabric is cut allowing the beginners to learn that. It's a fun time and very informal. We try out different methods and lot of different rulers and tools. The blocks can be sewn there or taken home an sewn. I have big box of scraps that I let everyone pick through for different colors and many bring more scraps to add to it. I learn a lot from everyone too. I encourage the class to bring show and tell, anything they want to share and of course bring the blocks from the previous classes to show. Before class everyone pins their blocks or items to a piece of felt along the wall. One thing that is a big hit is to have a drawing each class for a simple door prize! It's something I find a free pattern for and make. Everyone gets a copy of the pattern and the door prize winner gets the finished item.
    I have a big easel with every step of the block pattern made in advance. that really helps the members to go look at it and see exactly how it is done. I may have four to eight blocks of the same pattern in different stages of piecing. Teaching is a lot of prep work and be prepared for the smallest detail to throw you off! :shock:

  6. #6
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    define abbreviations - HST - for example

    talk about grain lines

    talk about prewashing - why or why not

    are the students to bring items with them - or to the next class?

    have spare items available to lend for the class members to use - chances are someone will forget something

    (or not- that way everyone may be more apt to remember everything???)

    is this a class that the students are "supposed" to buy their things from a certain source or can they bring their stuff from "wherever"?

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Woo Hoo Roben!! I bet your class is going to be so much fun!!! :D :D :D
    I think that as much thought as you have put into this class, you will have most of the bases covered! If you plan enough time for questions during each segment you should do great!!! I look forward to hearing more about your class! :D :D :D

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I would want the instructor to be up to date on the best methods for making basic four patchs, HST etc.
    There are so many different ways and gadgets for doing this.
    By watching many experts on QNNTV and QuiltersTV I have learned so much and I would expect the teacher to be well informed on all the different ways to make quilting easier.
    Also have lists of everything you need to bring to class.
    Knowledge on all the different sewing machine feet would be nice to know also.
    Make the class a fun and memorable expierience.
    I think it is great that you are asking for our input, that shows me you really care and want to do the best class posible.

  9. #9
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    Is this to be a hand quilting or machine quilting class?

    I'm really glad I took a hand-piecing class first.

    I think I learned to "see" how to put things together better that way.

    Also might cover where "precision" matters and where/when it really is not important at all.

  10. #10
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    If you have beginners and advanced, the advanced students may want to assist the newbies.

    I would recommend using a MAIN method for a specific technique and cover it in detail. If there is time and interest, you can cover an alternative method once the main method is understood. I have been in classes as a newbie where the instructor tossed out 3 competing methods and the instruction became confusing.

    Watch the students. I think it becomes clear by their action if they "got it" or not. I remember a sample sewing session where I was the only one who had the button holes going the wrong direction. :oops: (Had I realized that I was making button holes, I might have realized that I was off.)

    Have fun.

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