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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The quilt on the machine is going to take more than one day to finish so no pictures today. I worked as much as I could on it and took it easy. I was still feeling weak.

I'm scheduled to do a machine quilting demonstration at Happy Heart this weekend. It's very hard to do a demonstration without a working machine. I thought about this problem all day yesterday and I think I figured out a solution.

Normally I would use the shop machine to draw a design then let others give it a try. Since this is not possible right now; I can demonstrate with paper and pen. I can show the students how to practice the designs without a machine. Other teachers around the country say..... teach yourself with paper and pen first then use the machine. Well that's what I plan to do.

The theme of my Saturday class will be...... If you just can't figure out what to quilt; then just start dancing.

I want very much to be a good teacher! The last few times I've done a class/demonstration without a machine and the classes have been less than adequate. I left feeling like a failure. Yet, I keep trying. I always felt that sooner or later I would get this fear of failure conquered and get more people there. More than anything I want to see faces in the classroom at the shop! My confidence is stronger with each face I see. If I come out feeling like a failure again I'm not sure I will want to try again.

After the last class; I happened to overhear a couple of ladies taking about how they didn't feel they had learned anything in the class. One lady told the other one.... well you get what you pay for. My classes are alway free. So how do you think I felt after hearing that??

One thing I will do Saturday is ask the people there for suggestions for classes. (If any bother to show up.) What do they want me to show or teach? If I understand what people want for a class it won't be so hard to come up with a teaching plan. My goal is to be at the shop on a regular basis with new class material for each time. The classes can be listed in her newsletter with the dates. That way people can pick and choose which class is appropriate for them.

I'm going to do my best to make this teaching thing work for me and potential students!! Not for the money because I don't get any. I want it to be successful simply because I want others to see the art in machine quilting. I have ideas for machine quilting that haven't been done before. I would like nothing better than to be the one to bring fresh new ideas to the machine quilting profession. I won't ever be famous around the world..... but I can be a good teacher right here at home. I want to be a good teacher almost as much as I want to do portrait quilts.

Does anyone reading my blog have any class suggestions? If you could take any machine quilting class you wanted without cost what would it be? Beginner classes for those who just got a machine and don't know how to load a quilt? Advanced classes for how to draw your own designs? Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

Ok, I've pouted enough for today. Time for me to get into the studio.


Trish said...

I have been machine quilting for about a year now and I know it would have been a lot less frustrating if I'd had the opportunity to take classes.

I think the pen and paper idea will work fine, I would make sure the paper and the designs are large enough so that it is easy for everyone to see as you demonstrate.

If you had time, you could do a sample piece on plain fabric with a section for each design you are going to demonstrate. I think an actual quilted example would help because even though the line drawing explains the mechanics of the quilting, the quilted piece shows how it translates onto fabric.

It will also show that you are very good at what you do and that you know what you're talking about. (I've been reading your blog for a few months now and I've seen how beautiful your work is).

Whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP on teaching. I used to teach computer classes for adults and teaching is great.

Look at each class as a learning experience. If you can improve on one thing with each class you teach, your classes will always get better and better.

Good Luck! (and have fun...)

Becky said...

I have not been quilting on my machine for a long time, mainly because I was intimidated at first. So as a beginner, I think your idea of loading the quilt is great. That was a HUGE AHHA moment for me. Talk about floating the top and then using the bar to attach the top (see I don't know the technical terms). Explaining thread and needles is huge. I still stuggle with that, which again is frustrating. Locking that first stitch. I hear that over and over and still can't seem to catch on. Right now, I would love to take a class that could show me how to use some of the fun templates. I get the concept, it's just the visual of putting them to use.

Also, the ladies that made the comments of you get what you pay for - ignore them. There are always going to be people that complain they didn't learn anything. I think those people are impossible to please. If they would have opened their ears, they would have learned something they didn't know or hadn't tried.

Don't know if I helped with suggestions or made your dilemma worse.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I get very fusturated with tension
Wish I could learn more about breaking thread and what to do.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog daily and love to hear what you have to say. I don't have my shortarm anymore, but when I first got it, I wished that I could see how someone approached a quilt from beginning to end. How they loaded it, basting the edges, securing the blocks before quilting. Everything from A to Z. I wish I were closer because I don't think I'd miss a class.