Posted in classes, Quilting, Teaching, Uncategorized

How to get the most out of your quilt class

Heading out the door for quilt class and your car keys are nowhere to be found. Maybe it’s a flat tire on the way to class, spilled coffee, a fender-bender — or all of the above and total mayhem of a morning.

 We’ve all been there.  That’s real life — and it sure can get in the way of a wonderful day.

 While we can’t control everything, there are some things we can control to minimize the chaos in class. Here are a few tips to follow so that everyone can get the most value from a day of learning new techniques and patterns.

 At least a week before class

• Gather supplies. Review the teacher’s instructions for what tools you’ll need for the class. If you are missing a tool, check with the teacher to see if one will be available to purchase in class.

• Select fabric you like. Use good-quality, cotton fabric. If cutting is needed before the class, don’t wait until the night before or the morning of your class! Call or email your teacher if you have questions – don’t rely on your best friend’s help……

• Give your travel sewing machine some spa time. Make sure your travel machine is in good working order. Give it some tender loving care with a good cleaning and oiling. Or, take it to a local dealer if you have not used it in awhile. It might need a tune-up.

• Give your machine a test run. Replace the needle with a new one. Select a good thread, wind the bobbin (and maybe an extra) and give the machine a practice run.

• Pack up.  Be sure to pack an all purpose foot, an open toe foot, a quarter-inch foot and any foot specified on the class instructions. Bring extra needles, bobbins and don’t forget the power cord and foot pedal for your machine!

• Questions? A good teacher welcomes questions before, during and after class.With a week to go, you have plenty of time to ask before the class bell rings.

 On class day

• Pack some snacks. (Your teacher loves snacks too!)

• Bring a beverage — just be sure to use a covered container with a tight lid! (Really, you don’t want to be that person who spilled coffee all over your neighbor’s favorite Kaffe Fassett  fabric!)

•  If you need help during class –  ask your teacher.

• Likewise, if your neighbor is struggling, let your teacher help. (Your teacher wants everyone to get the proper information.)

• Seeing friends and meeting new people is a great part of taking a class. Just please be mindful to catch up or get to know each other when you take a break — not when the instructor is walking everyone through something new.

• Go at your own pace. Everybody learns and works differently. So don’t compare your progress with others.

• Take breaks.

• Have fun!

 What would you add to this list?

For more information on Barbara’s classes –


2 thoughts on “How to get the most out of your quilt class

  1. What would I add? How about, make sure to do all prep work as directed PRIOR to the day of the class.

    There is NOTHING more annoying than having that ONE person who shows up with a pile of fabric in fat quarters (or larger) that they were directed to pre-cut into 2.5″ strips or whatever and then they expect either someone to assist them IN class or get angry when the teacher proceeds to teach the class without waiting for them and then they disrupt the class complaining and/or asking questions at 11am that were addressed at 9am.

    And, yes, I’ve had it happen several times. The last time the teacher got a standing ovation when she told the woman “I’m sorry but, in my class it’s VERY important to be willing and able to follow instructions. The information in the class description and in the email I sent CLEARLY said this needed to be done BEFORE class and that anyone who arrived unprepared would be asked to leave to prevent disrupting the rest of the class. Since you either couldn’t or wouldn’t follow the instructions I will have to ask you to leave because I cannot devote a large chunk of my limited teaching time to help one person.” The woman whined about it (or course…it wasn’t HER fault the directions weren’t clear….despite the fact she was the ONLY one out of 24 of us who was not prepared) and she was really unhappy when the shop owner refused to refund the class fee. Sorry but, the teacher is going to be paid for the number who enrolled, not the number who actually end up participating.

    Oh…and the part about a new needle?? I would say bring along spares, at least two. Needles break and always at the most inopportune time….


    1. I’ve had it happen in class too. Before class prep is very important – otherwise you will be behind in class all day and miss parts of the instructions. And more than one needle is a good idea…………….. remember the days when the only time we changed a needle was when it broke!?!?


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