I’ve been quilting since 1991. You would think by now that I know all there is to know about quilting, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason I would need to take a class. Am I right? Not exactly.
So, why do I still take quilting classes? And, why should you take a class?
- Quilting is a fluid hobby. New ideas, new rulers, new techniques, and new fabrics are constantly coming out in the quilting world. Taking a class is a great way to learn what is new.
- Quilting is a great social activity. The quilting community is one of the most warm and welcoming groups of people that I have ever been a part of. Getting to know others with the same passion is very rewarding, and taking a class is a great way to do that.
- We forget, and a class is a great way to refresh our memory. There are a many techniques that we use in every project, and those are easy to remember. However, there are techniques, rulers, etc. that we use rarely, and a class can really give us a boost in our memory and help us to rediscover a technique that we maybe “know” but have forgotten.
- We tend to get into a “comfort zone” and stay there. I am a very proficient piecer. I’ve been doing it a very long time, and I have no problem with buying a pattern, reading it, and making it. Years ago, I learned to draw up my own patterns on graph paper, and I can deconstruct and create a block or quilt that I see in a magazine or wherever. My issue is that I used to just grab patterns that I knew I could make easily. I didn’t challenge myself. I didn’t choose patterns that I thought might take a long time or that I wouldn’t know how to make. Enter the quilt class… classes allow me to try something new that I might not normally try.
- A class is a short-term commitment. One argument that I hear is, “I don’t need another big project.” Well, guess what? You don’t have to make an entire quilt from a class! Even if the class is for an entire quilt, you don’t have to make the whole thing. Use fabrics from your stash, and only cut or bring enough to make three or four blocks. Turn those blocks into a table runner or topper and call it a day. One thing I do is take the class to learn the technique, and if I don’t like it, I don’t feel guilty at all turning whatever I made at the class into a pillow, or a wall quilt, or even just not bother finishing it. It’s okay!
- Go to class with an open mind, and listen to the conversations around you. I often learn a tip or technique from my classmates that is more efficient or makes perfect sense, yet, I have never thought of it. These little “nuggets” often make the cost of the class worth it! Classes provide a great opportunity to learn from our fellow quilters.
- It’s good for us to be lifelong learners! None of us knows everything! All of us have things that we can teach others, and things that we can learn from others! Even though I TEACH all kinds of classes and methods, I also TAKE lots of classes. I can honestly say that many of the classes I take, I could have figured out on my own or already know how to do…however, that time getting to know others better, and those little nuggets of knowledge from my fellow quilters that I always pick up in classes make that time and money spent totally worth it!