Posted by: jbaner | May 9, 2016

Beginning Quilting Class

I was so busy in April that I had little time to blog what I was doing. I taught a Beginning Quilting class which I like to call “The Basics” which I may change the title to. Even though we make a table runner in the class, it is just a vehicle to learn all the basics.

On the first night we start out by talking about fabric, grain, color, value, contrast, etc., and how to pick out fabrics that go together for this runner and quilts in their futures. Students learn how to use a rotary cutter, safety, and caring for it and the mat. Then how to sew an accurate 1/4″ seam. This is where they get to know their own machines very well. They learn how to read a pattern and how to pick out mistakes that are often written into patterns. I also explain that the table runner is simply a small portion of a large quilt, so if they can make it, then they can make a queen sized quilt! So they go home with homework to pick out their fabric to use for this runner.

The second week they come with their fabrics and we start cutting according to the pattern instructions. Our goal on the first night is to make one block. In that block they learn how to make four-patches, half-square triangles, and all put together into a 9-patch. Their homework is to finish putting all the blocks together.

The third week they learn how to cut setting triangles for putting the blocks on point. Although this may seem like it’s not a beginning task, it’s really not that difficult and  then they are able to go pick out patterns that are on point. They learn how to cut and sew on the bias with all the challenges that come with that. It’s quite satisfying to see that it’s easy to learn. They also learn how to cut and sew borders properly so that their table runner comes out flat and square. Their homework is to finish up the top ready to quilt next week.

The fourth week the students learn how to sandwich and quilt. We stick to stitch in the ditch by using a walking foot. Not enough time in this class to learn free motion, but I did have a separate free motion class the Saturday after this class for those that were interested. They all got it started and we discuss how to create a quilting path so as few as possible thread breaks are needed. Their homework is to finish the quilting.

The fifth week we finish up by squaring the quilt and putting on the binding. We talk about adding a label for history. Then we take pictures. I was so focused on this class that I neglected to take pictures until the last night. So here they are!

And one had to leave early, so I grabbed a photo before she left. Everyone got the binding sewed on, so they just needed to finish up sewing it down when they got home. It was a very fun class!

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One changed up the order of the blocks in the pattern which is a lovely change. One took liberty with the size of the borders which turned out great for her fabric, and another added an extra border before binding….again added interest changing the size of the finished product. Isn’t that what quilting is all about? If you know the basics you can take liberties with the patterns to make them work the way you want them to. A very successful class!!

I’ll be teaching another one in the fall, so stay tuned!

Happy quilting!

~Jo

 

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