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Need ideas for teaching a class...

Need ideas for teaching a class...

Old 08-27-2011, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,134

I would go through Jillaine's recent thread on hand quilting.
She asked a specific question, but there was a TON of information about needles and batting and thread and marking and even what sort of fabric to use to start. Also some great links to sites and videos.

Also, most any thread by borntohandquilt (Andrea in Germany) also ends up with fabulous information. She's such an artist.
Here's a tutorial she wrote:

Are you going to use a frame or not?
That affects the cost for the student as far as supplies go.
Should they baste their 18" square before class so you don't have to waste time in class while everyone does that (see handout link below)?
Maybe you'd provide the kits for a nominal fee of the squares already basted, but you could do a demo for them.

Don't make them buy a ton of stuff (I hate that) but bring all your tools and notions to demo and explain why and which ones are better.

But they should come with a marking pen and needles and thread. That will make the shop owner happy that she's selling something to them. ;-) Then they can buy more after the class if they want.

Here's Sharon Schamber's video on hoopless quilting:

You can send the this link to each student so they can print it out for themselves:
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Sturbridge, Ma
Posts: 3,992

Is there a chance you will be at the Cedar Lakes Quilting Seminar at Riply WV in October. If so I'll spend some time with you showing you how I teach beginning hand quilting. Otherwise I'll try to do it by PM.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Sturbridge, Ma
Posts: 3,992

Here are my thoughts after teaching many dozens of hand quilting classes.
1. Students want to get to the quilting immediately.
2. Save all the technical part until later.
3. Technical stuff such as: what kind of needle, batting, fabric, etc.
4. Don't give choices initially.
5. Save the projects until later.
6. Make up kits for them which contain: #8 between needle; or the assortment pack mentioned below. Sandwiched piece of 20" muslin, a thin poly batt; and square of the smallest gingham check you can find. You probably will not be able to find this in cotton so I use the poly/cotton for this practice session. The very small check is the key as it gives lines and spaces to follow. Preferably 1/8" or less and hoop.
7. My recommendation for hoop is the 14" Morgan No Slip Hoop. Students who use this hoop, even tho they have others, say they will never use any other kind. It can be purchased from JoAnn's but cost is just under $20. Shop could order.
8. Don't insist on tiny tiny stitches but regular even consistent stitches.
9. Do a short talk about other options in needles but start with #8 and suggest gradually shortening as they gain experience. Have the shop get the Thomas needle pack which contains #8, #9, #11 and #12. This pack is the only one available which includes al the sizes a hand quilter will use.
10. I include one of the Mini Wholecloth preprinted squares from www.quiltingstencils.com for more serious practice.
11. I also include the thimble and incude the inexpensive one from Prym-Dritz that is depressed on the top. Talk about other options.
12. Start all students at the same level and same project.
If you have more than one class session, then start showing and describing other tools and their uses - types of batting, thimbles.
13. I also use the hand quilting thread from A&E. It is their Americana hand quilting thread and available from JoAnn's for .99 a spool. Excellent thread.
I guess the bottom line is:
Start simple
Get them to stitching early in the session.
Don't spend too much time on other products.
I will be teaching hand quilting at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Chantilly Va (end of Sept) and in Atlanta in October.
Hope this gives you some thoughts to start your planning.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:58 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 959

I found some good advice here!
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:25 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,384

I thought my first hand quilting class was fun, but I personally was really looking for more of a CLASS and it did feel a little bit like social hour. We each traced a stencil quilting pattern (provided) on a muslin square that we brought, layered it, and quilted with the teacher for about two hours. It was my first quilting class so I regret not taking advantage of the time to ask more questions. We were sent home with instructions that did answer some of my questions though.

Just my experience if that helps. I like the sound of the class mentioned up there where they brought different needle and thimble sizes to class - I wish my teacher had explained a lot more in that way. I didn't even know what finger my thimble went on when I started and felt silly asking! Lol*
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:18 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: currently living in WV
Posts: 1,386

Thanks to everyone for your ideas and helpful hints! Keep 'em coming!
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Sturbridge, Ma
Posts: 3,992

I believe that those in a beginning hand quiling class want to get right to the quilting. batting, needles, thread etc and all the other tools needed or available can come later.
I once sat in on a class about machine quilting and the entire morning was taken up talking about everything other than getting to the quilting. Finally after about half the afternoon was over we got to actually quilt. I was disappointed.....
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