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teaching quilt class

teaching quilt class

Old 02-16-2013, 05:05 AM
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Question teaching quilt class

Hello All,

I have volunteered to teach a quilting class to a girl scout troop -- yikes. I may have bitten off more than I can chew and I need your thoughts.

The class will only be one day on a Saturday from 9am-5pm-ish. I wanted the girls to have a completed quilt, so I'm leaning toward doing a rag quilt or using the Fun & Done method --

I do plan to pre-cut the pieces to save time since the girls will be at different skill levels and various ages from 8-17 years. I think I could manage with a maximum of 10 girls & more if some parents pitch in.

I have an Accuquilt cutter so I can cut the strips/squares fairly quick.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:11 AM
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Not to criticize but if you dont teach them how To cut out the pieces, how does this "teach" them to sew/quilt?? I think teaching them how to get started. With the basics is part of the process. The older gals can assist the younger ones esp if using a rotary cutter. Yes, involve those parents.
I look forward to hearing how the class goes.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:19 AM
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I agree with you. Cutting is the easiest part and if they ever want to sew on their own it is something they can learn in a heart beat, with a rotary cutter or with scissors. It is the sewing, assembling, tieing or quilting that you need to concentrate on. Congratulations on getting 10 DSMs for the girls to work on.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:20 AM
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I teach quilting for my home school group. You will have lots of fun but it is a lot of work too, the kind that makes you feel good at the end of the day :-) 10 girls at once might be a bit much even with helpers. Do your helpers know how to sew/quilt? If not they tend not to be much help at least this has been my experience. My helpers offer to help so they can learn too, haha. If you have all older girls 13 and up then 10 I think would be okay but the younger ones tend to need lots of one on one help.

9-5 is a long day for an 8 year old they will want food and plenty of get up and run around time. I think you are wise not to let any of them cut with rotary cutter but if you change your mind there are gloves you can get to protect their hands. Even we adults have our battle scars from messing with the cutter :-) The accuquilt will save you lots of time with class prep so you are good there. I would suggest that you start with a few small projects to see where everyone's levels are at and so you can try to get them all on the same page. I think you will have a great time with the girls.

I have my lesson plans I am happy to share with you if you want. Mine cover a semester and classes are only an hour long so you will have to adjust them for a full day but you will get the gist of them I think. :-)
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:27 AM
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I just volunteered at the library to help instruct some ladies to learn quilting and we let them choose from three different blocks and then we had pre cut fat quarters and some scraps to choose from of course this is for a bit older age group but it is a little challenging being limited to supplies that the library offers I told them of you tube tutorials and books since that is how I taught myself but if they continue to be interested in quilting I will start teaching them more like cutting fabric correctly and all other small details.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:46 AM
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I had older Girl Scouts and we did quilting. We cut the squares ahead of time. If the pieces aren't square, that is an aggravation for the kids when they don't go together correctly. They worked in groups so they weren't sitting the entire time. Each sewed a row then helped each other as they sewed the rows together and put the border on. They then birthed the quilts and tied in the corners. They were all given the same amount of squares but it was fun to see the different designs each group came up with. These were all donated when finished.

With my 4H group, they each did a block and I put the blocks together and quilted it so it could be given to one of the moms who had just had a baby. This was one of their first projects. We only had an hour to work.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:47 AM
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Good for you for volunteering to teach the girls how to quilt. You will have a really busy day...hope it goes well for you. It will help having mothers there to assist. 10 is a lot of girls to be teaching, especially if you have younger ones too. I think having the precutting done is a good idea. Maybe you could give a demo on how to cut so they do get a glimpse of that.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:05 AM
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I would have the fabric precut, like you have planned. It sounds like a fun day, but you will sure be tired when it is over!!

Good luck.

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:22 AM
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If they have not used a sewing machine before, I start them out with a piece of notebook paper and an unthreaded needle. When they can stitch on the line and I have to hold it up to see the stitching, they are ready for fabric. I would also suggest doing a threading diagram for each machine (if you have more than one) and laminate it. Use red to show the thread path. The older ones should be able to at least get a start. Setting up your 1/4 inch will be needed too. A pile of 5-more layers of blue painters tape on the 1/4 inch line will help give them a place to guide their fabric to. If possible, meet with your helpers before to talk about what you have planned.It will help to have a feel of your helpers experience. A few bonifide sewists/quilters will be more helpful than a room full of newbies. Newbies can be stationed at the ironing board...after a lesson in press press press..and not scrub scrub scrub! Let us know how it goes!
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:37 PM
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My thought is that the girls will be happy with a finished product and fellowship rather than learn the mechanics of quilting in a spoonful of time. I can do a demo on rotary cutting sewing a 1/4 seam. I will also do a tiny trunk show of my quilts. As of this writing, I have no idea on what sewing skills any of the girls have or if any have sewn on a machine before. I live an hour away from where I will be instructing and my non-quilting BFF is one of the troop leaders.

Sandygirl: I don't have time to teach them from the ground up. I only have one day. Usually, if you go to a LQS a beginning quilting class is about 5-6 weeks; so I need to compress as much as possible.

Plumtree: Yes, it will be a long day, but I plan to ask parents to bring a dish to share.
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