Christa’s Soap Box – I Love Teaching Quilting!

I love teaching quilting. I mean, I really, really love it! I just wrapped up a couple of modern quilting classes last week at Quiltique and I am feeling such a sense of satisfaction that teaching is a regular part of my life once again.

Quiltique_preview_dayA couple of my samples were on display during class preview day at Quiltique.

I first began teaching quilting about 17 years ago when my oldest was just 7 months old! My mom, whom I taught to quilt, had walked into a local shop at the time (which is now out of business) and the owner asked her if she had any suggestions for quilting teachers. Mom recommended me and the rest as they say is history. :-)

Mom and MeLike mother, like daughter – we both love to sew!

The fact that I could get paid for sharing something that I would gladly do for free was just icing on the cake! I developed a series of beginner’s basics classes and outlined methods for teaching how to make an entire quilt from start to finish. As the local shop was beginning to go out of business, I moved my teaching to a nearby Joann’s where I quickly developed a loyal following.

I would get a new set of students each summer and most of them would take classes from me all year long until I cycled through my entire curriculum. It was such fun to see them not only grow as quilters, but to watch as they developed friendships with other students in the class. They were with me through the births of my last 2 children and we would joke about how I liked to sew barefoot (and pregnant).

jenna_quilt

My daughter’s baby quilt, made by former students in 2003. She still uses it!

I had just started my online fabric shop in 2003 right before I had my daughter (who is now nearly 11) and I knew then that I would have to take a break from regular weekly teaching. On the last night of class, my students surprised with an impromptu baby shower complete with a quilt for my daughter. I was so touched it made me cry. No one had ever made me a quilt before!

Over the last 11 years I’ve kept up my teaching skills by sharing with friends, developing tutorials online, and offering occasional classes through my guild and at retreats. However, I’ve missed the interaction that regularly scheduled classes affords. Now that I’m back, it feels like old times! :-)

log_cabinsA former student of mine, Ofelia with her first quilt – a traditional log cabin!

A highlight of my most recent class is that one of my original students (whom I hadn’t seen in about 14 years) came to join us. When she heard I was teaching again, she quickly signed up for my Modern Logs class. Just for fun, she brought in her first quilt that I had taught her to make all those years ago. And guess what – it was a log cabin. :-)

sara_fussy_logsSara is showing off her fussy cut centers – aren’t they just adorable?

Although my methods have changed over the years along with my style, what hasn’t changed is the sense of satisfaction I get from interacting with my students. Seeing the smiles on their faces, and feeling their pride with a job well done is just priceless.

I don’t plan to take a break from teaching anytime soon. In fact, I’m expanding my reach and have already started booking traveling gigs for next year. It’s just too much fun to pass up! (And for those of you that are interested, I do sell my Modern Logs pattern here.)

modern_logs_student

Barb is excited to baste and quilt her version of Modern Logs.

What’s the most fun class you’ve ever taken?

This entry was posted in Quilting Classes, Sew and Tell, Soapbox, Teaching and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Christa’s Soap Box – I Love Teaching Quilting!

  1. Christa, Your passion for quilting really comes through in your blog, and in your quilts, so I have no doubt that it comes through in your teaching!
    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  2. Ruth Sunday says:

    Saw a mention of you from, I believe, a Craftsy subsidiary this a.m. on Facebook. They were very enthusiastic about you and your work. Congratulations!!!!!

  3. Jess says:

    I LOVE your tutorials!!! You really are a natural for teaching :-) I’m currently making your Jolly Jelly Roll quilt and your instructions are perfect!

    ~ Jess ~
    Everything Is Coming Up Rosie

  4. Susan says:

    The most fun class I’ve taken was in Virginia and (for buying so much) I got to invite several of my friends to the store for free appetizers and wines from a local restaurant. We all got a 3-hour class that night and could take a 15% discount on whatever we purchased during the party.

  5. cushmangal says:

    I often think of the classes we took at Joann’s with you. My first quilt which was a log cabin and has been displayed in my living room ever since. If I was living in Las Vegas again, I still would be taking your classes. Not only was it informative and beneficial to quilting, but I made so many friends.. Your classes has helped me tremendously with my ongoing love for quilting.

  6. Dixie McIntyre says:

    Any hope for an online tutorial for the modern log cabin? I live in Texas and its a bit far to come to your class. Love reading your evolving blog!

  7. Great post, Christa! It is nice to see the students showing off their works. Looks like you are a natural born teacher!

  8. Teaching is just the best. I love that moment watching a student get it, that sparkle in their eye and …oh you get it! Enjoy your teaching gigs. Teri

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