In a recent conversation with a friend we both had questions for one another. Most of her questions answered fairly easily. My question of her is something I know the answer to in several ways however I’ll be asking for comments later.
I’m going to preface the question with a little background for those who are recently reading my blog and a couple of classroom experiences.
I started quilting in my early 20’s learning mostly from patterns, magazines, and the basic sewing skills learned at home and in home ec. I have all the classic stories:
sliced the edge of my finger with a rotary cutter (as an aside this is an effective way to share with newbie quilters…I don’t have to say much and they get the PSA),
stitching my finger on more than one occasion, stitching safety pins to quilts,
over spraying with basting spray (nothing like Kimmy Brunner’s but still),
I’ve been a pin thief, I’ve made quilts from patterns and made up my own,
I’ve used icky batting,
bent and broken needles,
cracked more acrylic rulers than I cared to admit,
had a machine tech get irritated with me because there was lint in my machine (geez, seriously, lint…I quilt just about every day). Alright it was a lot of lint…but I’ve seen worse? I think.
I learned that using the good stuff makes a huge difference.
I’ve learned that not being afraid of my machine is a key component to good quilting.
I’ve learned a lot on my own, like so many other quilters I know. I was part of user groups back in the day and learned a lot from the experiences of the other quilters in those groups…internet groups, blogs, fb are all part of that learning experience. Quilters are some of the most generous people I know, sharing their knowledge freely.
I’ve taken few classes over the years due to work, location and scheduling. When I take classes, I listen in to the instruction then want to (and usually) explore the technique on my own. I listen in for tips and hints, ask questions and pretty much want to, and need to, work on my own. None of the teachers I’ve taken classes from have ever said anything about it. The gift of taking classes is two-fold 1) getting to learn and hang out with quilters and 2) getting to hang out with the teachers. I’ve taken a couple of classes over the last few years just to see how other teachers teach. I’ve always thought I’m a bad student, however I’ve accepted that this is my learning style, by honoring that I end up getting more out of it.
My students teach me a lot as well. I feel, to some degree, I’m missing a some necessary component when I teach and in working on writing the book. So I’m coming to you and asking what you want in a class. Here’s the thing the comments must be positive and encouraging. Feel free to say I like this teacher and here’s why. Or I liked this class and here’s why. In the conversation with my friend she had some clear thoughts on what she wanted and needed in a class. I’m going to explore this more with her and a couple of other teachers as well.