Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A big question

Hello there!

I have been working with classes lately, one of them a brand new beginner's class for the fall. I'm having a lot of fun planning it, and a lot of debates with myself about what is crucial to include in such a class. I did a little research on a couple of Facebook groups, and, surprise surprise, everyone's opinion i different. 

My big question is: Looking back, what do you wish you had learned as a beginner quilter?

My thought is that I would like to take them through the process from beginning to end so that they have a small finished project (tablerunner) at the end of the class, quilted and bound and ready to use. 

We will start with one simple pieced block and rather than throwing lots of different shapes into the mix, focus on the joy of creating. Through that first project they will learn how to cut fabric, choose colours, sew proper seams, work on a design wall, piece a top, do applique, add borders, basic machine quilting and binding. Then, we will move on to creating a second project where they will calculate block sizes and numbers, working with their own layout. 

I will have to keep my options open whether to introduce a new shape and block, but if time allows, we can.

What do you think, would you be disappointed after such a class?

While I have no regrets about my first ever quilt, colours was the only thing I knew:)
You can read more about it here.


  1. My ideal first class would teach me the basics- quarter inch stitch, pressing,etc. I might not include applique. I think the goal of the first class should be to complete a project in a reasonable time- and make sure it is something the student will love to make and use. My first class included 12 different blocks- two each week. Not fun. I am surprised that I continued to quilt after that experience. Too much, too fast.

    Sally Mortenson

    1. I agree with you; finishing a project that can be used and loves is more important than learning dozens of blocks. When you learn the basics properly, you will be equipped to tackle your next project.
      Your first class sounds rather stressful!

  2. I wish my first instructor had stressed how important consistant 1/4 inch seams were, and also fabric quality. I loved quilting right off the bat and jumped in with both feet. Many of my first quilts have not hold up because I chose color and patterns with no regard for fabric quality. I agree with Sally, finishing that first project, no matter how simple, is what brings you the joy and desire to continue.

  3. My first class was a year long (many years ago), covering all the basics, while making a sampler quilt (size was a personal choice). For me the interest was in the fact that every block was different. I chose to make a double quilt (oh dear! :-), and yes, it took a long time, but the quilt has lived on my bed since and every time I look at it, I think "my first one, I made that, all by hand"; I am very proud of it, with all the mistakes of a first quilt :-)

  4. I like all the recommendations. As I began quilting years before quilt shops and quilt tools, I would have liked to have begun with a class on the basics that had an emphasis on precision piecing (matching points, pressing, etc) vs just sewing pieces of fabric together and accepting it as is. Sloppy habits learned early are hard to change.


  5. I think early success is good, so the KISS rule applies here (Keep it simple). I agree that quarter inch and quality fabrics are important, but I might back up and start with sewing machine basics like thread and tension and oiling and dusting out lint, unless you have experienced sewers already. At a recent quilt retreat, I gave one quilter a quilting needle to use on her machine quilting project instead of the universal needle, and she couldn't believe what a difference it made. So add needles to the list too.

    I was wondering if you had disappeared from the internet. glad to see you here. can you email me back so I can ask you question not about quilting?