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Thread: LQS Classes

  1. #1
    Super Member Cindy60545's Avatar
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    LQS Classes

    I've a question for everyone. Myself & a couple of other quilter friends teach various classes at our local quilt shop. They advertise the classes well in advance of the class, the price for it is reasonable, time good for most quilters too. But, we're not getting people to sign up for the classes. This shop isn't the only one it's happening to, several others are having the same problem. I'm wondering why people aren't signing up for classes? Is it the economy? Or could it be the internet? With so much available to us via the internet for free, could this be the reason? The stuff we're willing to teach is different stuff. One teaches about sergers, one teaches OBW variations, I've tried a new type apron & some smaller sewing room organizers. Could it be we're just not offering the right things to make? Clue me in gang!

  2. #2
    Junior Member Future Quilter's Avatar
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    Answers may vary by location.
    I see three answers, most ask about classes then they say.
    I don't have time to come to class.
    Thats to much money.
    I can find that block on youtube.
    I decided a while back asking about class gives them something to talk about with the shop owner, when they had no interest in class.
    Last edited by Future Quilter; 05-08-2015 at 02:47 AM.
    He who loves crazy scrappy quilts.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Future Quilter's Avatar
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    I'll add, later after class/workshop when pic get posted to Facebook they say man I wish I could have been there looks like fun. LOL There are things happening in class/workshops that don't happen at home watching youtube. Sometimes all I get done in class/workshop is one block to busy talking laughing with all the girls. LOL
    He who loves crazy scrappy quilts.

  4. #4
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    Hi there, sorry to hear things are a bit slow at the moment.

    I'm just about to sign up for some classes as I am totally self taught but getting frustrated with the simple things. If it helps you to know, one of the things I want from my class is the opportunity to ask all the questions I can think of! To have a real person show me, answer me and quite possibly humour me is a massive part of what I'm looking for. While it would be great to make something beautiful too, for me this is the unique selling point for lessons.

    Have you considered offering 'open workshops' where quilters bring in their own projects and seek help. Our local shop has this as a regular even.

    Also I'm sure you have already considered it but an 'after hours' time slot would offer greater flexibility to those working. It's a tricky one I know, but it could be just what your local quilting scene needs.

    I hope this helps a little and good luck with it all

    Much love
    Mags
    X

  5. #5
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    I've learned most from this site, public t.v., and attending quilt shows.
    Personally, I don't want to haul a machine to a class.
    I don't want to be tied down to a class schedule.
    I sew slowly and want to take it at my own pace.
    I will feel obligated to buy much more expensive fabrics while in that quilt shop.
    Hey, but that's just me!
    Mavis

  6. #6
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    In my guild of 40 members, there are about nine of us that will sign up for classes and workshops with enthusiasm as soon as the list is ready. All it takes is one of the bunch to say let's do this together it will be fun. Some members will hear us talking about the class coming up and and sign up before the deadline. The loners of the membership will wrinkle their noses and complain about the cost, the teacher, or anything else.

    Talking the class up to a group of shoppers that come in the store it will be a group decision to do something fun together, the individual shopper will usually say no I don't think so.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  7. #7
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    We have a teacher at our LQS who does remarkable, gorgeous work and I love her classes, but she seems to schedule all of them on Friday. Friday is my day with hubby. He comes home from work mid-morning and we go to lunch and shop or whatever I want to do. Saturday and Sunday afternoon (after church) he spends with his other mistress - our yard! So I don't sign up for any of these wonderful classes any longer.
    Then there is another class going on at our LQS that just doesn't interest me - although the finished project is unbelievably beautiful - just not my "thing."
    And there is another class that is too pricey for what I would be taught - things I learned from my Mom when I was a girl but probably could use a refresher on.
    So I attend a Bee there each week and depend on the expertise of the group when I have questions or problems.
    So maybe it's the cost, or that people are too busy or that they aren't interested in what you are teaching. Ask you LQS to post a survey of what people want to learn and if you have the skills, offer what the ask for.

  8. #8
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    Hmm, maybe what you are offering is not what is wanted.......again depending on the clientele.....why not offer customers a questionnaire on what their interests/wants/needs are......and go from there........

  9. #9
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    Sorry to hear about your dilemma but I believe that most quilters get what lessons they need thru the internet, youtube or friends that may be a more advanced quilter that is willing to help. I am a slow sewer and have taken classes but never finish in class time and it is very discouraging to me to get home and put the project in a corner and forget about it because I have forgotten what to do. Hope things pick up for you.

  10. #10
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    I think there just aren't enough new sewers/quilters to fill classes. If they are interested, most families need two incomes so both are working and any free time is for chores.

  11. #11
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    I have a couple of observations: With the price of LQS fabric quite high, I wonder if quilters want to use their money for fabric instead of classes, since so much can be found on the internet and other free sources.

    I wonder if quilters fear having another UFO, when the class is over. I have to Really like the project to sign up, so that there is good probability that I will finish it at home, if not in class.

    I wonder what is your "audience's" skill level. Perhaps most are somewhat experienced quilters and need a class offering of more advanced designs. I have taken two EPP classes; both just showed the basics, step one, making the hexis and rosettes, but neither wanted to show how then to assemble into different designs, etc. See what I mean?

    I take classes to learn new techniques or because I love the sample project, but also to get acquainted with other quilters and pick up tips and techniques from the teacher. There is always something to learn.

    Just some things to think about. Best wishes on figuring it all out!

  12. #12
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    Looks like alot of us had the same ideas!!

  13. #13
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    I have a friend who has made hundreds of quilts but will sign up for a class anytime she sees something interesting and challenging. If I am around her, I sign up too, even though most of the time, I could do it on my on. It's the friendship, comraderie thing. If it is a small item, she will finish it in class. It takes me much longer. I'm like the lady who wishes there was a follow-up class to remind me what I need to finish doing.

    Some thoughts....

    Maybe 1 price for 1 person with a discount if they sign up a friend. 5 friends come, you get a free class. Groups are much more fun.

    I like it when the shop offers a 10% discount on anything we buy on class day or for the project.

    Definitely find out what people want to learn how to do. A friend of mine just taught Night & Day by Eleanor Burns and had 10 people sign up. Surprised the heck out of her. Another purse class she did had more sign up than she anticipated.

    I find I want to learn something new that I can't figure out on my own, or wouldn't try on my own.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  14. #14
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    One problem ls the use of kits. Most of the time I prefer fabric of my choice and color. I did a Celtic Heart class that wasn't a kit and chose southwestern colors rather than the traditional reds.

    The other objection is class taking cliques. My personal life is none of your business and I'm not interested in your gossip.

  15. #15
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    I have been quilting for many years, but I still sign up for classes. Some are for complicated patterns, but most are for the talking and friendship. My favorite shop offers a discount for the supplies for the class and the prices for the classes aren't too much. Dinner and a movie costs more that a class. If it is a quilt that looks like fun, I sign up. One thing I miss is the class pass. I used to take a lot more classes when the class pass is offered.
    Sue

  16. #16
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I read posts about quilters all the time watching u-tubes and taking classes from Craftsy. I think a lot of new quilters don't understand the one to one connection one gets from a live teacher being there.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  17. #17
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    I like the 'open class' format where you bring something to work on and get help with it as you need it, and everyone gets to know each other so it is social, and we help each other as well. You would be surprised at the variety of projects people bring in, from bags and bowls to applique to red-work and paper piecing and huge pieced quilts. It can be more of a drop-in which is great for working people.

    I don't like "Make This" classes where you have to buy the package of material and pattern from the LQS, show up and do all the work right then and there. Sometimes I am slower than others and I get behind. Plus these classes - though they use a technique I want to learn or improve at - have a really dorky pattern or colors. Too structured for me!!!

    I also don't like classes where there was a little clique of quilting-guild types who already know it all and are there to show off to everyone / bug the instructor while I'm struggling along trying to learn something.

    If you are doing a make-something class, try doing it in the fall for Christmas gifts, and make it quick, painless and clever, like those fabric bowls, or a bag or potholders or whatnot where you can chose the fabrics. And avoid classes requiring some dumb ruler you'll never use again.

    Love the suggestion from poster above about discounts for all fabric bought that day - definitely saw this successful at my local LQS!

    I think it is great that you are not only skilled enough to teach but good enough to want it to be a great success for the good of the LQS.
    SueSew
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  18. #18
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    For me - the cost of the class is probably manageable -

    If I knew that it would be okay to bring supplies "from home" - instead of having to buy them from the LQS for that class - I would probably be more interested/willilng to sign up for classes.

    I also don't want to deal with the snobs/elitests who have better/newer/more expensive things to use.

    (Only exception to that - if people are learning how to use a particular machine - then it makes sense for them all to be using similar machines.)

  19. #19
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    for me most of the time classes are offered I am at work our LQS seem to cater to the retired who are available during the day during the week so I have been doing mostly online unless its a weekend seminar. I also find monthly clubs seem to be more popular and my LQS than classes. They have an embroidery club, serger club, scanncut club, applque club and they meet the same time every month. It may be the topic of what is taught, maybe the regulars are just looking for different choices. I know when I take in person classes at the quilt show I always do a totally different topic. If one topic is the only topic taught you may be pushing out people who aren't interested in that topic and limiting the amount of student by some that have already taken it not wanting that subject anymore.
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  20. #20
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy60545 View Post
    . I'm wondering why people aren't signing up for classes? Is it the economy? Or could it be the internet? With so much available to us via the internet for free, could this be the reason? The stuff we're willing to teach is different stuff.!
    Because the constant refrain here and other on-line places is "nothing matters, there aren't any rules, do it your way, there is no wrong way"

    youtube and blog tutorials have made huge inroads in any kind of formal learning classes. Free and always convenient

    It isn't up to us if points get cut off, but I so seldom see any real encouragement for learning the basic fundamentals for sewing anything.

    Do you ask the students you've had to fill out a little feedback form and give it to the shop owner?
    Can you call past students and say you are working to update classes and what they would like to see?
    Is there a feedback form at the counter asking for this type of on-going input?

    Any business worth beans knows the compliments are wonderful, bring them on, but addressing the complaints is the business builder

  21. #21
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I like classes but only things that interest me. My last class was on different styles of binding and I really enjoyed it. I need to learn something for my money. I've been quilting for 13 years so I have a lot of experience, but do like to learn new things.

  22. #22
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    I love taking classes and prefer doing one with a live teacher, because he/she can always watch what I'm doing and correct me. But like Dolphyngyrl, most of the LQS classes in my area are offered on weekdays between 10am and 5pm, and I work 8-5. Even the open quilt sessions are on weekdays; I haven't seen any that are scheduled on weekends. In fact, there are only two LQSs in a group of about 20 in this area that are even open on Sundays, and both of them take an hour to get to.

  23. #23
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    I think this is quite a dilemma for most of us-whether we are the shop owner, teacher or quilter wanting to gain new skills. A shop owner has to think about the profitability. A class, after all, is a teaser to purchase supplies there and usually comes with a ten or fifteen percent discount. I personally like classes that require a book or pattern because it solidifies the class. I appreciate a teacher who has a lesson plan and sticks to it because students want the whole project presented. Slower sewers should be equipted to go home and finish the project. Students should come ready to learn and to have all the supplies needed (from working machine on down) on hand and ready to learn when the class starts. I personally like the supply list available ahead of time so that cutting fabric and marking it with labels can be done ahead of time.Cutting fabric in class is a big waste of everyone's time and intrusive on space. I do think that so many classes are in the internet-free or otherwise- that many people access them. I do it all of the time. I love to go to classes and do so when one fits my needs or schedule. I like the friendship and warm feelings that come from being with others who sew and quilt. I think a survey from the store is essential to provide what is needed and at what cost. Customers, even quilters, are a bit fickle.

  24. #24
    Super Member SuziSew's Avatar
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    First off, I love taking classes. Love the interaction with new people, and look for common ground during discussions that break out. Even taking "easier" classes is fun because there is always something new to learn or an easier way to do something. As for "cliques", "talker's" or "snobs" I don't let them bother me, I'm there for myself and don't need to impress anyone.

    What deters me from taking more? The biggest reasons...time and money. I know that there are costs involved but many shops overprice their classes and then you have to add in the purchase requirements. Buying a pattern, I understand but smart shops would offer a discount on fabric (even a small discount) to encourage people to buy their fabric there but it shouldn't be a requirement. I'm already paying for the class and over the years have bought tubs of fabric from them, why shouldn't I be able to use what I have?

    Luckily I have two local shops that offer reasonable class prices and buying the fabric there is not required. What deters me are the time schedules. I work full time and can't take daytime classes. The occasional Saturday class is ok but 3 or 4 hours out of a Saturday takes away from home and family. They need evening classes and maybe spread them out, maybe every other week. Having evening classes could be a draw for younger/newer sewers.

    Space is an issue when taking classes; is the class room open and easy to get around? Are there cutting tables and ironing boards set up or do we have to bring our own?

    What kinds of classes? Ask what they would be interested in. Different skill level classes or offer a quilting class from beginning to end for new sewers.

    How about doing a "donation" class? What I mean is projects that will ultimately be donated to some charity. You can charge a small fee for the class portion then offer the same amount in a store credit. One LQS has and all day sew for pillowcases, $5 for however long you can come and then you get a $5 store credit.

    Gosh, didn't mean to write a novel! There are so many reasons people do or don't take classes. Mainly you need to ask what they want or ask them for suggestions. Do remember that the people taking the class are "customers" and often to draw in new customers you need to accommodate them to build up a larger clientele.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!
    Sue

  25. #25
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    I also find monthly clubs seem to be more popular and my LQS than classes. They have an embroidery club, serger club, scanncut club, applque club and they meet the same time every month..
    I've spent the last two months cruising quilt shop websites and guild webpages. Newly retired, the first time in my life I've had time to take in depth classes or actually do a retreat. I started out looking at Judy Niemeyer's classes in Montana, and have worked out in a big circle from there, Nevada Arizona New Mexico Texas Oregon Washington Idaho British Columbia.

    The shops that are in business to be a business have staffs of 20 or more sometimes, and offer 30-50 classes a month.
    Look at the Quilt Shop Sampler annual magazines. Some of these shops only have 2000 bolts of fabric but Something is Always going on in the class rooms and obviously builds on its own momentum.
    And they bring in famous quilters, some of the shops are well known for it and customers wait anxiously for the newletter for the day and time sign ups start!

    And as Dolphyngyrl mentioned I see over and over the Clubs. I'd love to be part of one of these. Oh, Sorry, the two shops here, one never does classes, the other does classes only involving their Babylock side of the business.

    Obviously I've thought a lot about this You have some of the board powerhouses posting great ideas up there, will your shop listen? This is the sort of class I'd be interested in, as something ongoing.
    http://www.quiltfabric.com/module/cl...?classId=63931

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