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Teaching Quilting to All Ages

For the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of teaching a Beginner Modern Quilting class at my local quilt shop here in Arizona. The class is three weeks long, however I wish it was more like 4 or 5 weeks. I am really digging deep into the important foundational aspects of quilting. 2014-07-17 20.00.55The first week we went over the different tools used for quilting, the quilting lingo, the elements of fabric, choosing fabrics, working with color schemes, fabric preparation, and how to properly, safely cut fabrics. 2014-07-17 20.27.55The second week we went over how to set up our machine for proper piecing, seam allowance, piecing our quilt top, quilt backings, and then I demonstrated how to thread baste a quilt. Coming up this week I will be teaching the students how to machine quilt, bind, and tag their quilts. I cannot express how much I enjoy teaching, especially teaching beginner quilters. My daughter who just turned 5 years old kept asking me to teach her how to quilt too, so this weekend we got out her mini Janome and a mini charm pack. A few years ago we made a doll quilt together but I had to do most of the work while she sat in my lap. This time she is doing almost everything on her own. I even taught her to glue baste her squares together, which makes it even easier for a child to learn to quilt because when they go to sew the pieces together there are no sharp pins and they don't have to worry about anything shifting. I just kept a close eye on her while she ironed and she was doing great! 2014-07-27 17.49.01Here we are both sewing together, a mothers dream come true! gwenny-mommyAnd then here we are again after she got frustrated over her seam allowance. :) She has just come to an age where starting to learn what practicing means, so I keep encouraging her that the more she practices the better she will get. Mommy's seam allowance was all over the place when I started! gwenny-mommy2I truly love how quilting can bring strangers and family together!


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  • Tracy says...

    Such a wonderful post. I have three kids (soon to be) g-12, b-10, b-6. They ALL like to ‘sew’. I love trying to teach them the basics but they SO want to skip ahead and ‘create’. My oldest son has a lovely straight seam, now if he could just figure out following directions. We had to buy an extra sewing machine 2 years ago for us to tandem sew.

    On August 21, 2014

  • Adrienne says...

    What a lovely post! I am going to be teaching my very first class ever on quilting this fall. It will be a beginners class making a baby quilt. I am nervous and super excited all at the same time. Any advice?

    On August 21, 2014

  • Rosemary says...

    I realllly enjoyed reading this too.
    You are wonderful Alyssa.
    I have two grown daughters and remember these days together.
    Good memories for both of you.
    And, you touch the lives of the other youngsters too. You know that, right?
    God bless you dear.

    On August 21, 2014

  • Cindy Dahlgren says...

    I really wish my first quilt teacher would have taught me all these basics! Really, I was only taught how to cut and sew a quarter inch seam, and how to stitch a half square triangle, and how to match seams. None of the good stuff. Good for you, you’re teaching your students how to be successful with quilting. Your daughter looks like I did when I first was trying to get those quarter inch seams, posture, lip and all. I love it!

    On August 21, 2014

  • Eva says...

    This was a very nice post – especially the last two pictures. My daughter is 16 months but really does love my City Sampler blocks an always wants to get my scissors, pencils and iron so I suppose these are very good pre-conditions for cuncurrent sewing ;-)
    I should have also taken a real beginners lesson for all basic techniques but I had a project to do and this was only on a “I need some help with that” basis – everything else I learned or didn’t learn by doing or in the internet. But still – it might not be too late unfortunately I live real far away of a big city offering courses like that… :-(
    Wish you loads of fun with your students :-))

    On August 21, 2014

  • Malini says...

    This is just awesome! I loved sewing with my daughter too last year. But now that she is 7 she is more interested in playing with her friends than sitting down for sewing. Her first blocks where wonky log-cabin and it kind of took the pressure off of having perfect 1/4 inch seam. That might be the trick ;). So, glad to see that you’re sharing your passion with your daughter!

    On August 21, 2014

  • Laura says...

    Oh I love both of those photos, but the second one is just perfect. I try hard to enjoy my son at the age he is, but I will be really excited once he is old enough to learn how to quilt and knit. At this point (19 months) he just wants to press all the buttons on the sewing machine, and since he tries to grab the needle I can’t even sew with him on my lap. Enjoy your time sewing with your daughter!

    On August 21, 2014

  • Alyssa says...

    I am actually taking all the lessons I prepared for this class and turn them into and online class with video tutorials. The class should be launching in late August :)

    On August 21, 2014

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    On August 21, 2014

  • Holly says...

    I can attest to Alyssa’s skills as a teacher. She is wonderful! I would recommend her class in a heart beat to anyone whether or not they have made a quilt before. She is very thorough with the basics and beyond and her patience and eagerness to share her wealth of knowledge is a blessing to all who know her. I can’t wait until the next class with her begins and perhaps one day I can share what I have learned with my nieces and maybe nephews. It’s so sweet to see mother and daughter working together seamlessly. You look so patient and easy going with her and I’m certain you are! Keep up the great work and inspiration!!!

    On August 21, 2014

  • Rachel @ Quiltineering says...

    Such sweet pictures of you and your daughter! What a great skill for her to learn!

    On August 21, 2014

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Alyssa Lichner from Pile O' Fabric

Welcome to the Pile O’ Fabric blog, my name is Alyssa Lichner, I live in sunny Gilbert, AZ. I am a freelance web and graphic designer turned avid sewist. I write modern quilting tutorials and share techniques and inspiration here at Pile O’ Fabric… Read More

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