Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Student Work and Class Offerings

 I spent some time with students last week at Sweet Home Quilting, a local quilt shop and INNOVA dealer.

In the morning, the monthly lecture/demo class met for Color My World. This runs all year, and allows those making the 2021 Block of the Month quilt for The Quilt Show to show off their progress in person and get specific help as needed. Great ideas come from this sharing experience.

Cyndi always has good ideas and she adapted the Little House in the City pattern to have fewer seams in the background. In the lower portion, she combined sections 1, 2 and 3 first, then added the one piece of background to either side. Very clever: 

On the left, is the original pattern, blocks made by my friend Pam. On the right are Cyndi's blocks, before the trees are added. 

Cyndi's Tall Buildings, ready for the Little Houses to be sewn in  place:
Paula's progress, made completely from silk, a lot of garment remnants and ties: 

As every fabric is interfaced, it's quite heavy: 

Beverly is making progress:

Beverly got help designing the Saturn V rocket pattern that is a highly recognizable landmark in Huntsville, AL. The pattern was the 2016 Row by Row block from Patches & Stitches, another local quilt shop. They still have this pattern available for sale:

By increasing the diagram on the pattern above by 200%, Beverly has an almost perfect size paper pattern. Here you see the original full size design and the design area for the Corner Skyscraper: 

For those looking for Lighthouses,  the Washington Monument, Windmills, etc.,  first search online for such patterns. You may find exactly what you are looking for and will only have to adjust for the size needed. The Seattle Space Needle is very similar to the Centrepoint Tower which will be provided November 1--it would be very easy to change the shape at the top of that pattern to create your own version of the Space Needle.

Mary-Louise hasn't let some medical issues keep her from making progress:

I have seen several photos of fussy cutting cute things in the windows and doors of these buildings:

In the afternoon, six students gathered to learn how to make Scrappy Trips,  a free pattern from Bonnie Hunter, available here, on her blog  This is Bonnie's version--I love that green border: 

A quick description of how to select fabrics, the size to cut, and how to get started had everyone ready to begin: 

Each student quickly got the hang of it and blocks started to  appear: 

In less than 3 hours each person had two blocks done, or very close, and declared this a great "scrap buster" quilt. It is good for donation quilts, or a Girl Scout/Boy Scout project or to teach someone who wants to learn the basics of making pieced blocks without much stress: 

Sadly, I had to cancel two local classes recently, due to lack of interest. If you are not interested in taking a local class at this time, I would like to know why. Some  have really gotten used to sewing at home, taking ZOOM classes. Some are not ready to gather in public spaces yet.  Maybe it's just lack of sufficient advertising. 

The classes were good ones I was eager to offer locally, and the couple people who signed up were disappointed the classes were canceled. I will try one of them again locally next year but the other will not be offered again as the sample quilt is a gift for a friend and I won't own it any more.

The one I will offer again, Charming Sampler, uses 5" charm packs and teaches a LOT of tricks for making 4 different blocks quickly, as well as paper piecing for those who want to give that a go. I also sneak in some "quilters math" on how to make these same blocks larger than the 3" used here. It has been a successful class the previous times I've taught it:

As I am starting to travel to teach again, there will be less time to offer local classes. If you see a class you are interested in locally, mine or other teachers', sign up or perhaps miss the chance on that project. This is true for all shops/guilds--support them when they provide learning opportunities whenever you can.

Let's quilt.



  1. It is fun to see the variety in the different fabric selections and how they come together in the overall look. I really like the idea of the personal touches with the shuttle and the other structures unique to an area.

  2. I do not live even in the same state as you so can only give you a general opinion about classes.

    Prior to the Delta variant becoming such a huge spike and we were able to go to church and run errands without a mask, I had enrolled in a three hour class at my local store. That class was about two weeks ago and covid here is at about 1/4-1/3 of the last spike (things are better but not great and even though masks are still required, many have stopped wearing them again). I have to say that I was a little nervous about attending the class and even talked to my hubby about it. I decided to drive to the store (almost an hour away) but if I did not feel comfortable, I would leave (and hubby said he would not even blink about it). Thankfully they are serious about the mask mandate and everyone in class wore theirs properly plus class size was 1/2 of pre-covid with tables very spread out. I am very high-risk, but felt very safe.

    So included in advertising a class, maybe a shop needs to also advertise the safety steps they are taking and that they are serious about everyone participating in creating a safe environment.

    I was so glad that I attended my class. There was such a spontaneous creative flow that is just not possible over Zoom. We were exploring different feet for the Bernina and this class covered mostly feet in the 70-80's range (the fun ones!). It reminded me of pre-covid days. :)

    While I think some types of classes are suited for online (like ones in which you would be working fairly independently in class and require lots of creative choices), I would think a class aimed at a beginner level would be so much more difficult. But maybe those quilters don't know what they are missing with an in-person class... Again, advertising about the benefits of in-person.

    Wishing you success in your teaching - thank you for sharing the photos of your wonderful students' work!

  3. Please, please tell me you know that's not a shuttle. ;)

    Looking forward to seeing some of these in person, hopefully.

    1. Yes, of course, slip of the fingers—all fixed. Thanks, Ben!