Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Quiltmaking 101

This is a very rare winter day for me: SNOW and it's my day off.  No where to go so I can play in my studio all day.  

I did just make  8 phone calls to postpone tonight's first class of my Quiltmaking 101 class.  I've taught this class at my local shop for 25 years and love teaching new quilters.  While the roads will probably be fine by tonight, everything is closed right now and I knew people would worry all day about having to go out, so I decided we would wait a week to begin.

My beginning class is different than the kind taught in many quilt shops.  My goal is to get the students excited about all they can accomplish and to create a quilt they will be proud of.  So while it may be more challenging than the usual "beginner" quilt, it is also much more satisfying for the students too.   Most of the students get through the 5 week class with a completed top and dreams of more quilts to come.  Here are just a few samples from previous classes:

Barb P
Barb P's plan on paper--NO one does this but Barb did--won't it be great?

Brenda M
JoAnn M, Brenda's sister--they challenged each other
Debbie E

Mary Ann M

Melanie D

Lainie F--as posted on her Facebook page
Here is my current class sample:
Based on Glad Creations Pattern:  Mix and Match Stars
Some students make a bigger quilt, some make a smaller one, some add their own border treatment, some follow my example to the letter.  All are encouraged to make the quilt their own:

Sophie--black and white and red--yummy!

Linda R after having hers' quilted on a longarm

Dawn--isn't this sunny?

Peggy H--with the perfect border

Many students go on to make more quilts, many join a local guild, many form quilter friendships that last a lifetime.  Introducing brand new quilters to the "sport" of quilting, or helping the self-taught to improve their skills is a real treat for me.  I have learned much from more than 1000 students over the last 25 years.  I hope to teach many more students in the future. 

It's interesting to me how things have changed.  In the beginning, 25 years ago, the quilt was hand-pieced after creating and tracing around templates.  Then we moved on to machine piecing, but everyone hand-quilted their quilt.  Now, many of the students leave the class with a list of longarm quilters names, planning to "quilt by checkbook".   Some will machine quilt it themselves, on their domestic machine.  Few have any interest in hand-quilting.  The times they are a-changing!  As long as there are folks to want to learn some of what I've come to learn, I'll be there to teach them.

Let's quilt!



  1. Some beautiful pieces have come out of your class! I've always wondered if I shouldn't go back and take a 101 quiltmaking course. I was self/book taught and picked up some classes along the way, but sometimes wonder if I didn't *miss* some basics! :)

  2. Wow, great student work! And Barb P's is divine!!

  3. Great quilts and wonderful color selections! I spent the snow day getting my "paperwork" caught up - (really trying to figure out QuickBooks and getting frustrated when all my income was doubled - haha) I think I will do a little appliqué tonight!

  4. What beautiful beginning quilts! How awesome that you convert more to the joys of quilt making. As a hand quilter, tis a shame, to me, that more don't have any interest in hand quilting. Guess I'm just a dinosaur. ;-)