Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quilting Class

Fortified by a bowl of mac'n cheese that I had gulped down before running out the door, I met SLD for our class at the quilt shop in Annapolis.  Both of us had decided to make our quilts twice as big as what the teacher suggested, only because we wanted to be able to actually use it! The rest of the students were only making a baby-sized quilt. Lemme be frank: neither S nor I have babies to make quilts for.  So, we cut our fabric strips ahead of time in an effort to try to get ahead so that we could keep up with our classmates.

That's where the first problem happened. I had trimmed TOO much of my fabric and no longer had a 'selvage edge'. Yeah, when the teacher found out, she didn't say it but I know she was thinking, "That's why you shouldn't get ahead of the teacher," so I went ahead and said it out loud just to clear the air.

After four hours of grueling work our backs were killing us, and we had had nothing but salt-free pretzels to sustain us. We had cut, sewed, and ironed block after block of fabric. This--by the way--was all of our own doing. Our teacher didn't actually teach anything. She just sat on a stool for four hours.  If we had a question, she was happy to answer it, but really, I paid a lot of money to read and follow directions by myself.  Lesson #1 - don't pay for classes at this place ever again!

Fortunately, all of our hard work was paying off and things were starting to shape up (literally) although we still hadn't connected any of the blocks. It was kind of a bummer to leave feeling like so little had been accomplished.  Still -- I have to say I'm proud of what I did achieve because I'm starting to get a feel for what the finished top will look like.  Too bad I won't have a freakin' clue of what to do with it after that point! That's where the second problem comes into play. I mean, as a quilt teacher, if you had 50% of your class showing a clear interest in attending a second class that would teach us how to sew the front to the back as well as how to do the actual "quilting," wouldn't you at least pretend that you would look into setting up that follow-up class?  Well, not my teacher. But I mean, what do I know about being a good teacher?

So as we were all packing up to leave, I overheard one of my classmates relating a conversation to our teacher. It turns out that this other classmate never got the supplies list mailed to her, and so she showed up for this class completely empty-handed. As she was out front in the shop making up for lost time by buying what she needed, one of the saleswomen snippily said, "Didn't it occur to you that you might need supplies?" This was apparently the same woman who acted like I must be an idiot for mentioning that it would have been a good idea for the quilt pattern to mention in the supply list that you needed to purchase batting (you know, the fluffy filler stuff).  When I said this out loud, she cut me short by saying that it didn't seem to be a problem to her--she had always known that quilts needed a filler.  Apparently, we're not all born with the same knowledge base!  SLD rationalized it all for me, explaining that quilting ladies are just old bitties who don't have the patience to actually teach their craft. So what was Lesson #2? You're either born with it or you're not!


  1. bummer about the class. sounds super frustrating. I say you an S have a 'teach yourself' follow up class, or go to JoAnns or something. You've come so far! I want to see these awesome finished quilts! Don't give up.

    So, was there a review process at the end of the class for the class/teacher? If not, call the store or organizer and let them know that this person was less than pleasant and that a beginner class should not assume you know certain things.

  2. That's such a bummer! My mom takes quilting classes, and she loves them, but they're in TN so they don't really help you. I'd say find a fabric store that comes highly recommended (Yelp or something) and hit them up and see if they have tips or something. Sounds like that store was ridiculous and unpleasant women!

    The squares look good though!

  3. I'm gonna have to agree with L and E - that whole thing about the teacher is a total bummer! But keep your chin up, little one, and stay motivated, I know you can do it!!!

  4. Next time bring some back up muscle. I got your back. hehe.

  5. what a great description of our class! we could have bought fabric for a whole new quilt for what we paid this delightful woman to lord over us.... but everyone should be on the edge of their seats because we will be posting our quilts on our blogs before you know it :)

  6. Um... SLD, was that pun intended? I mean, you called her "delight"ful (tee-hee)


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