Friday, August 22, 2014

Teaching Beginners

The other morning while I was at my sewing machine a flock of turkeys came across my front lawn, right in front of my window. The cat popped her head up out of a basket with a purple quilt in it, looked around and went back to sleep. I chased after them and got a pic on the neighbors lawn. They come down from the oak hillsides in the fall, looking for water, birdbaths, kiddie pools, or the creek on the other side of a busy highway. They don't usually come into my yard, because I have a 2-4 foot river rock wall, but they can fly. I saw the other cat stalking them for a moment, but then she ran passed them, just too darn big for her.
My friend Bonny has recently retired, and is looking for something to do, so I gave a beginning quilting class. She wants to make a quilt for the veterans, as she is a air force vet herself. She hasn't gotten a sewing machine yet, so I set her up with one of mine. Susan of the discharge birthday party, came along too. She has only made quilts by hand, the old fashioned way.
After a little lecture on the basics, and safety with a rotary cutter, they cut out some patriotic fabric that I had. Beginning patchwork "Hole in the Barn Door" was quickly and easily sewn, and they were both so proud of their finished blocks. I love the moment when a student gets addicted to quilting!
I taught beginning sampler classes for years when I used to work for Joann's Fabrics. But as I became addicted to art quilting, teaching beginning classes lost it's appeal for me. No one in our smallish town wanted to pay money for advanced quilting and art quilting subjects. I almost wish we were closer to Eugene, Oregon. It's at least an hour drive North, and has a more varied quilting community, with more opportunities. But I do love our textile art group Fyber Cafe, that I am a member of. I sent them each home with a little bit of fabric for homework, to make a few more blocks. A friend gave Bonny an old "Jaguar" sewing machine. Has anyone ever heard of that brand before? So now I am back to my UFO's, I've got a few more tops finished, as soon as I can get my husband to hold them up for the camera, I'll post them.

I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column, to see what other talented textile artists are doing.


  1. I taught traditional quilting years ago and it was so rewarding to have someone come up to me years later and tell me that they had made 40 quilts and that I had gotten them hooked on quilting. I no longer teach and only make art quilts now.
    Your students did a good job.

  2. I am still friends with two ladies, who took my first quilting class, one is in the quilt guild now. The other worked with "seersucker" that the fabric store lady helped her pick out. She persevered and made 30 blocks over 2 years and assembled them into a king size quilt. It was so wonderful and rewarding, that she stuck to it.