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  • Writer's pictureRiverport Quilting

Starting a new Quilt Club

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Have you ever tried to join an established quilting group? Impossible. The ones where I live all seem to have an endless waiting list, but even then they have horrible rules that you have to follow. You know like producing x number of pieces per year or producing pieces for a particular event. Maybe yours isn't like that, let me know if the one you belong to is amazing. Tell me what is great about it.

I ask because about 3-4 weeks ago someone at school asked if I ran classes for quilting - which I didn't and then if I didn't would I? Well not at my house - it's way too small and ill-equipped to fit in lots of other people. However, I'm a teacher in a primary school so naturally we have rooms available after school which can be hired out. As it turned out there were quite a number of people who wanted to learn about quilting. Hmm, fast forward to last Tuesday (after school) and we held our very first session. Goodness did I have a panic - what do we talk about? Should I suggest a project? Etc, etc, etc.

In the end I thought we should all start right at the beginning - at some of the things, if you're self taught, you don't learn until you've been doing it for ages. Mostly because we were all starting at slightly different places so it was easier to start at what I think of as the beginning. So we looked at fabric - how to press it, how to fold it for cutting and at the different grains and the effect they have on stretch. I did provide fat quarters for everyone - nice, but cheap pieces that I got from Doughty's at the Festival of Quilts last year. We also had a look at different pre-cuts and yardage and what things like 'fat quarters' actually mean.

Then we moved on to cutting and had a go at cutting a strip from our fabric with scissors, then rotary cutters, which was a hoot. One brave soul was even brave enough to put her fat quarter through the dye cutter. I suspect we'll not be using that very often due to the 'shocking' waste of fabric. Despite my telling them that generally you'd roughly pre-cut the shape and then run it between the rollers to minimise waste it was only to be used for 'special' shapes. I got the impression those would be the ones no-one could be bothered to cut out.

And that was pretty much it. I think they came to the decision that they'd like to all do the same project to start with but couldn't decide what. I'm not a good person to ask about that - firstly I'm very much a jump in at the deep end and work it out as you go along type of person and if you're still not sure 'google it'. Secondly what seems to me to be quite logical and straightforward looked amazingly difficult to them. I suspect we may start with something like a rail fence pattern.

On to next week - more cutting practice and a catch up for those who couldn't make it because of illness. I think I may suggest sewing next week too. Those that want to hand sew can think about 1/4 inch seams - I wonder if I'll have to actually teach people how to hand sew? Those that want to work on a machine - well I might just put on the 1/4 foot and make life easier for myself.

Until next time. Oh, we don't have a name - the group doesn't have a name. Any suggestions email your thoughts at this lnk.

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