Saturday, February 12, 2022

Quilt Class Etiquette

Tips For Having a Great Quilt Class Experience

I write this as someone who has taught many classes, and have taken many classes over the years.  Yeah, I have been quilting since the late 1970's (yes, I started quilting as an infant), and it is frustrating when others come to the class unprepared, or taking a more advanced class and want help  troubleshooting why they can't get their sewing machine to work.

Oh, that's a thing.  Don't bring your brand spanking new machine that you have never sewn on to a class.  Sorry if that  sounds snarky. Don't ask how many times that has happened over the years in classes that I have taught or taken.  
  • Be Prepared
  • Be a Good Student
  • Have a Great Attitude

Before Class: Preparation, Preparation, Preparation!

Quilt Classes!  Whether this is this your first class, or the hundredth quilt class; everyone is excited to learn a new technique, an interesting  quilt idea or maybe just socialize with other quilters.  I LOVE to take classes.  I have many UFO's as a result of those classes.  Some projects just weren't meant to be finished.  BUT, I always learn at least one thing from each class (uh, like I NEVER want to dye fabric...)

Guidelines For Being a Great Student

  •  Be on time. Classes start at the stated time. Set-up is done (generally) half an hour before class. If you know you are going to be late, contact the teacher so class is not delayed waiting for you.
  • Know and be familiar with the sewing machine that you bring to the class*.  Nothing is worse than someone bringing a NEW machine to class and expecting someone else to educate them on how to thread the machine or provide a bobbin.

    (This does not apply if attending a class where the machines are supplied).
  • Be prepared.  Look at and bring the supplies that are mentioned in the supply list
  • Do the prep work before the class.  Follow the supply lists provided by the instructor and bring exactly what is listed. (i.e. don’t bring fusible interfacing when the supply list indicates fusible web… There IS a difference).  
  • Don’t wait until the night before the class to begin preparing your fabrics or gathering the supplies.   Read the Supply list and gather the items before the night before the class.
  • Don’t ask the teacher to customize the project to YOUR needs.  You know what the project is.  The Teacher is teaching a technique or process.  If you want to customize, do your own calculations after the class. If Teacher is demonstrating a wall hanging, don't expect her to convert it to a full sized quilt for you.
  • Don’t bring another ruler or tool other than the one requested in the supply list and expect the teacher to accommodate your method, especially when they are teaching their own method.
  • When you sign up for a quilt class, come prepared to learn and have a great time.
  • If you are NOT signed up for the class, DON’T show up.   You are a distraction to both the teacher and those who have paid a significant amount of money to be there.  No one in the class wants you there looking over their shoulder.  
  • Don’t be ‘Miss Chatty Cathy'.  Some people need to concentrate a little more than you do.  It can be distracting and frustrating to those who are just trying to keep up.

  • Don't try to teach the class.  Sure, you have experience doing this process, but you are not teaching the class.  Keep your comments/suggestions to yourself unless asked.
  • No question is stupid. If you don’t understand, then someone else who is shyer may not either. Be brave and ask the question – others will be grateful, and so will the teacher!
  •  Listen. When the teacher speaks to the class, stop sewing, winding bobbins, and conversing with your neighbors. Some quilters have hearing issues exacerbated by background noise.

Have a Good Time

Most importantly, when you sign up for a quilt class, come prepared to learn and have a great time. Quilting is supposed to be fun; it’s a time to learn new skills and refuel your creative mojo! It always surprises me when a student shows up for class as a bundle of nerves or consumed with anxiety. 

Relax and enjoy your time with the teacher! She or he is there to share a new technique, method, or knowledge and you’ll have a great time if you just keep an open mind and enjoy the process. 

Classes are YOUR time to learn, to create, to grow and ultimately to quilt!

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Quilting for Beginners

Quilt Swaps and Exchanges

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

this is spot on! I've taken and given quilt classes over the years and it is surprising how often a class is derailed. Some don't even realize their actions (or lack of preparation) impact the flow of instruction. Thanks for posting.