Friday, February 13, 2015

SPARK! Class

That little gig I had last month teaching a basic 9-patch block has led to my being enlisted to teach a real class on quilting to beginners. Whew! Am I up for this? I certainly hope so!

The class I had before was just a little "get-your-feet-wet" sort of thing. I belong to a local organization of women and at each meeting we have a program; January's program was my teaching to make a 9-patch block by hand. Here's the link, if you want to see pictures and read further details.

One member of our organization is also a member of SPARK! Creative Spaces. Now you have heard me mention SPARK! here before - remember when I tried my hand (twice!) at calligraphy and again at painting? This link will refresh your memory of the first time I attended a calligraphy class. They offered a second class in December, and my DD Erin wanted to go, so I went again with her.

The folks at SPARK! asked me to teach quilting; apparently there has been enough express an interest in this that we are moving forward with it. Cool! But that meant I needed to put my thinking cap on and figure out what to teach, what to cover, what to include, and a myriad of other considerations.

My thinking cap seizes up if I tax it too much, so the process has taken me awhile. *wink*

Finally, I have decided the content of the 3-part class; set down all the details on paper; agreed on some dates; and now we are registering participants. It's really going to happen. Yikes.

Here, in a nutshell, is the gist of the course for making a little quilt. I would be quite happy to entertain ideas from you quilters out there of things I ought to be sure to include or mention to my beginning quilters.

The first class (2 hours) will consist of getting 4 blocks completed. We will piece 9-patch blocks. When folks register, they tell me the sort of theme they want, and I prepare the blocks for them. Everything will be cut out ahead of time to eliminate wasting time and wasting fabric. During the time we are stitching, I will talk about things like fabric selection, cutting on the grain, all those basics that one must pick up when starting.

The second class will include adding sashing and borders - still hand piecing. Then we will mark the quilting design on the block, make our quilt sandwiches, pin and put in a frame/hoop for quilting.

The third and last class will be quilting and finishing. Instead of adding a separate binding, I am going to have them use the backing and fold it over to the front to form a binding. My grandmother did that on many, many quilts - and I have, too, for that matter. It isn't so much done today, but for the little quilt we are making, I think it will be fine.

The result will be a square - roughly 16 inches - table topper or wall hanging. 

What I have pictured here is the sample I am finishing for the class - this weekend, I hope, and then I will send a picture of it to the SPARK! people who can distribute it to potential registrants. I will let you all know how it goes. The first class is set for March 3.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. Sounds very thorough. I like that you are also covering the quilting and binding. So many directions and books just drop you after the top is done, which if you are experienced is not a problem but a beginner is left to figure it all out.

  2. sounds like you have it covered! what fun. when I first learned to quilt we made a sampler by hand and cut out pieces with cardboard templates. more work but rewarding in its own right.
    have fun!


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