For the last 13 years the project has been this quilt, Mix n Match Stars by
Glad Creations patterns:
|Class Sample, 48" x 60"|
Students come from all age groups, the youngest being a very motivated 14 year old, to those much older, even older than me. Many are women but over the years there have been a few men. Some are young mothers eager to make a baby quilt for their child. Some are newly retired women who say "now is my time, I want to learn to quilt". As I live in Rocket City USA, Huntsville, AL, many of the students are engineers or are married to them. The engineers take to the precision of piecing a quilt pretty quickly. Some are more "laid back"--whatever their style, the desire to learn what I can teach them is all that matters to me.
I am not the quilt police. When asked how perfect something has to be, I give them the 3 tests:
1. How does it look from 6 feet away?
2. How does it look to a man going by on a galloping horse?
and the MOST IMPORTANT TEST of all:
3. Can YOU live with?
This is supposed to be fun, not stressful, and everyone gets to decide their level of perfection as they learn.
Some student work:
|Sophie, on the right in the photo|
Currently, one of the students is really making this project her own. Catherine has taken several classes from me and is most definitely not a beginner. She showed me a quilt she found on Pinterest that inspired her fabric selection. Her blocks take much longer to make than the other students since she cuts all the pieces separately, arranges the block, takes a photo--very smart!--then sews the block together--every piece in the block is a different fabric but a specific color:
Having taught beginners for 30 years, I usually change the project every few years but this one has proved to be such an excellent project for those who really want to learn as much as they can. AND I have kept it because in 2009 I was asked to work with a film crew to create a "class" for the website Monkey See. Over the course of 6.5 hours we recorded 7 three-minute videos that supposedly teach you How To Quilt. I jokingly say "I can teach you how to make a quilt in 21 minutes."
The block I am making in the video is the block from this class, Students have found it so helpful to go home and have me continue to "teach" this block online. I still find it pretty hokey, BUT students tell me they really benefit from it. So, this is the project I'll stick with for now.
Many of the students have become friends, many have joined local guilds to continue to learn and find support. It is really my honor and privilege to teach all these students. My goal for every class is that I addict ONE of them, completely and totally to quiltmaking--so the industry will continue to grow and we all benefit from that. And I am always successful at that.