Quilting Class Tips

Sandy Cook and Michele Scott
Quilting Class Tips

Getting the most out of your class

1. Make sure you know exactly what is being offered in the class. Are you making a project or is it a technique or design class? Have you seen the sample? Are you there to make a project, learn something new, or just to visit? Knowing exactly what you want from the class makes it a more enjoyable experience.

2. Read the supply list carefully and make sure you bring everything required. Sometimes the teacher will require certain things for a reason. If you want to bring an alternate brand, or don't feel you want to buy a particular supply item, be sure to contact the instructor and ask if it is satisfactory. Anticipate things that the instructor may not have put on the list, such as extra bobbins or needles, a new rotary blade, etc.

3. Always buy the book or pattern being offered. You may need the reference material when you get home and it is important to support the designers.

4. Make sure you are familiar with your well-tuned sewing machine. Nothing ruins a class faster than a machine that does not work properly! If one of the requirements is a special foot for the machine, try it out at home first. It is important to be prepared just in case the store or show doesn't have what you need.

5. Be prepared for a room that may be too hot or too cold.

6. Be sure to follow good classroom etiquette. Do not show up to a class at the exact starting time. Arrive with enough time to set up and be acclimated to your environment. Leave your cell phone at home. If you absolutely need to make a call, leave the room. Make sure you are listening carefully while the instructor is speaking. Chatting at the wrong times can be very disruptive to others and annoying to the teacher.

7. Although you know a different method that can achieve the same result, always try what the teacher is demonstrating. You may learn something new!

8. Don't bring your best fabric to the class expecting spectacular results, especially for a techniques class. Sometimes you have better results if you learn the techniques and then try it again on new fabric at home. This way you can relax and not worry about the cost if you don't like how the project is turning out. On the other hand, don't bring your 1970s junk fabric. Christmas fabrics are good, because you can always use a Christmas project—either for yourself or as a gift!

9. Give yourself permission not to finish every class sample, especially from a technique class. You may not like the technique, or you may be ready to start a whole new project with that technique.

10. Be careful of comparing your progress to others in the class. Don't fret if someone is going faster than you are—it isn't a race! Don't worry that others in the class have a better color combination than you. Most quilts look wonderful with different color combinations, and it is normal to like a lot of them. Instead of letting it discourage you, look at it as a bonus lesson. You just discovered that you like the look of a certain color or fabric grouping that you have not considered before.

11. Be patient with yourself! Many people sew better at home without distractions. Learning new things is never easy and it is even more difficult when you are hard on yourself. If you find yourself falling behind, make sure you listen to the instructions. Let the teacher know you may be having trouble. She could show you why you are having difficulty and even offer some extra help when you are behind.

12. Come prepared to have a good time. Remember that is why we do this—for fun!

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