I’ve mentioned before that I love teaching.
Teaching offers so many opportunities for problem solving and being creative in finding an approach that will work with this particular student. In a smaller student setting I can be as individual as possible and I wonder how this approach will work in a larger setting. It will be interesting!
Earlier this year I had a student who is an artist in her own right. Amazing jewelry work and works independently quite well. Letting her take off in class and begin exploring the creative side of quilting was so fun to watch. She’s come in from time to time and shared her work with me & asked me for some input.
A while back she brought in this piece that she was planning on entering into a show.
I strongly suggested that she add quite a bit more quilting. She took my suggestion to heart and quilted…and won best in show…
This is thrilling….
but then there’s Sarah…new to quilting…listening to the machine reach a quiet medium hum, shoulders relaxed and intent concentration on the quilt in front of her. A few moments later her excited, “I get it now!!”
A few minutes later I was at the machine demo’ing something and the chorus of: “relax your shoulders”, “I’m issuing you a speeding violation” came right back at me. Mind you I had a short amount of time in which to demo so I was going faster than normal.
One of my long term goals has been to enter Houston or Paducah so when I teach I work on sharing good technique with the students as we quilt. One student asked me if she needed to learn a particular thing since she never planned on entering shows. Take the time to learn good technique now, so that as you improve with time you know the techniques. I have take 1 very good machine quilting class at the Quilters Heritage Celebration a few years ago. That’s it. Learning good technique from the instructor changed how I quilt and opened a new level of quilting for me. Even if I had no desire to enter the big shows this class made the biggest difference in how I quilt. Having good friends who are quilters share their tips has been an invaluable source of information.
Another student shared with a friend of hers that the best part of the class is the shoulder rubs. When the quilting begins…I do tell the students, keep your shoulders down and relaxed as I demo the first technique. Easier said than done. So as they quilt, I like to walk around and place my hands on their shoulders gently and remind say what’s up here will translate to the quilting stitches. If they’re really uptight I will rub their shoulders to help them relax a little bit. It’s amazing how this then translates into easier quilting.