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Advice for teaching my 1st beginner quilting class

Advice for teaching my 1st beginner quilting class

Old 07-15-2012, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 8
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The most important thing I ever was taught is accurate measuring. This makes for a lot less
frustration. One tidbit I pass on to everyone is when you need to use the bathroom do it, you can almost bet that one more thing you do will need to be ripped out!1
Originally Posted by Happy Treadler View Post
Thanks for all the advice!! My 'goal' for this class is to make it fun. I think my thing that I will stress is learning how to do an accurate 1/4" seam. I like Eleanor Burn's method of teaching it (sewing strips together & measuring). I'll be bringing magnets to attach to their machine (all vintage ones are iron), so once they're set up they just need to keep their fabric against it. HOPEFULLY most people will actually know how to use their machine (never thought of that!) since it IS a sewing machine conference. They will have the rest of the weekend to work on their project, and I'll be around to help them if they need it. The pattern is really simple (all squares and rectangles) and it LOOKS complicated but it isn't. My 10-year-old is even taking the class on her old hand crank. It's always a very laid-back atmosphere every year, so maybe we'll sew and eat and talk and sew and eat... I'd really hate to scare anyone away from learning to quilt. My motto will be "No worries!" OR "Sew what???".

Thanks again,
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:13 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Bosque County, Texas
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If someone brings a modern computerized sewing machine to your class, I would hesitate to have them put a magnate on it. Aren't magnates and computers incompatible? Or is that no longer true?
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:22 AM
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Location: North Essex, England
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Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
do a little (practice class) with your Helper-friend and maybe another person to play (student) for you- and make sure said friend is on the same page as you for your project---
one time i was asked to teach a technique at our little sewing group- a friend offered to help out---
i started the class with an intoduction to the block and a description of the process and we gathered supplies---
within 1/2 an hour everyone was so upset and frustrated...i was showing a (beginner technique) she was running around behind me trying to get people to try something different...one of those situations where once we learn how to do something then we learn some (short cuts)
no one managed to make their block that evening- and many were (irritated to say the least) half of them arranged with me to come to my house the next day and learn to do it...it was a terrible mess- and i refused to even consider doing another with the group (while the helper was present) luckily she is a seasonal resident and we can accomplish things when she is elsewhere...
and it's not that what she was doing was wrong- it was just assuming you already knew the basics of the block- and i was teaching ... the basics...she was way beyond them...caused alot of wasted fabric and hard feelings...
so my advice--
get together with helper and come up with a plan together...
good luck
I was cringing as I read this. As an ex-teacher, I could so visualise your frustrations on this occasion. You did well to find alternative ways to assist your confused pupils.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 1

First, let me say that I commend you for taking this on. I am doing the exact same thing here with a small women's group that I have formed. I have at least 3 ladies that want to learn and your post has given me a start to organize my class. The suggestions you received are in a file for me to start working on. Any other ideas you or others would like share would be helpful. It's great that we can share our skills with others. I especially like your quote, "No worries!" OR "Sew what?" Very cute!
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:38 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: kansas
Posts: 6,407

good for you Treadler! I co-teach beginners classes with a partner for our Guild. We cover basically everything other than paper piecing and Y-seams--but we do it in 21 hrs over 7 weeks! With your class, I would emphasize accurate cutting with rotary/rulers, pressing seams and that elusive 1/4"seam. I'd get them started on the pattern, but also make sure to tell the that they likely are not going to finish in the 2 hr class but you'll be around to help during the conference--maybe give them your email for follow-up? I'd be sure to emphasize that perfection is not a must! Someone on this board has a motto something like--perfection stifles creative, striving for excellence is what is important. One think to consider: will your instructions include how to finish (quilt & bind)? We use "story boards" in our classes--showing samples of the different steps, along with written instructions and demos--that way we are teaching to all styles of learning (yeah, we're both retired educators). Sounds like you'll have a good class--time will be your only obstacles cause I can guarantee they won't want to stop at 2hrs!
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