Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I've been working with a really wonderful woman (D.C.) who wants to learn to do all quilt-related things (cutting, piecing, pressing, etc.) better than she does now. She hasn't been quilting for very long, and she has a relatively new machine. She really struggled with rotary cutting so that is where we started.

On my first trip to her house, I took a bunch of scrap yardage and misc. scraps and we cut and cut and cut. I like to do that with students because they really do stress out about wasting fabric and that is often reflected in their learning. When they didn't buy the fabric, it's easier to make mistakes and not get so upset. :-)  I have a big bin filled with fabric that includes some not-so-great quality pieces so I don't mind if that gets wasted; but I also have a bin of fabric that I don't absoutely love so I have students cut that into usable pieces that are often pieced into donation quilts.

Anyway, back to D.C. After practicing quite a while, I decided she was ready for some  "homework". I gave her a list of pieces to cut and left the bin of fabric with her. I wrote the list out as if she would be reading from a pattern. She had to cut strips by width of fabric and then sub-cut them into appropriate sizes. I never told her she was actually cutting fabric for a quilt, but I knew she'd figure it out.

She did a great job picking fabrics and cutting the required pieces! Our next move was to start some piecing. I decided she needed to learn some strip piecing as well as some more traditional piecing techniques since so many patterns are written that way. We spent a fair amount of time working with her machine so she was more confident with it and then we began the "real deal." When I left, she had pieced a half dozen or so four patch units that were perfect!

When I returned today, she had peiced 96 four-patch units that looked great. She had a few she wasn't thrilled with so we spent some time figuring out what was wrong with them and how to fix the problem. Ahhhh, we used our friend the seam ripper.  :-)

The next step was to make some half square triangles and she did an awesome job. After she had about ten of them done, I laid out some of the four-patch units and half square triangles to reveal the block she'll be sewing together very soon. She's making Buckeye Beauty blocks!

I can't wait until we start putting the blocks together. We're going to add sashing and cornerstones so she can learn that and then we're going to add a border. This is going to be a really cool quilt and I know she's going to learn a lot. I'll try to remember my camera next week so you can see her actual blocks.  


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Sounds like a great 'lesson' plan, and that she is enjoying it.

Cindy Sharp said...

Fantastic way to start!