Recently, I taught for the Needlechasers Guild of Iuka, MS at their winter retreat. This was the fourth time I have been to their guild over 15 years so it's like going to a family reunion.
I have been teaching locally for 35 years and on the national circuit for almost 10 years. Eventually, that will stop--travel is tiring. But for now, when I have an experience as great as this one, I know I am doing what I should with my time.
Held at Pickwick State Park in Counce, TN, the Lodge is a lovely facility with a great staff, good food, and very nice rooms. An easy 2.5 hour drive for me, I was checked in by 3 pm on travel day. The view from my room:
There are a few new techniques for most students to learn for this particular quilt. But I want to to teach more than just the specific project. For me, it is a successful class if EACH student, regardless of skill level, leaves class saying "I learned MORE than I thought I would."
Teaching is my legacy for the future of quilting. I share tips and tricks for successful piecing: the cutting, the sewing, the pressing and, other steps if there are any. Like drawing diagonal lines on the back of fabric. Or making big circles. Hand or machine applique that big circle to the block with it's secret part that holds it all together. There is so much to learn.
Class is run with military precision as you might imagine. Having two days to teach all I want to share with this quilt was a luxury. I wasn't the only one tired at the end of the day. About half the students had their first block on the wall at the end of Day 1: