Posted in classes, Quilting, Teaching, Uncategorized

How to get the most out of your quilt class

Heading out the door for quilt class and your car keys are nowhere to be found. Maybe it’s a flat tire on the way to class, spilled coffee, a fender-bender — or all of the above and total mayhem of a morning.

 We’ve all been there.  That’s real life — and it sure can get in the way of a wonderful day.

 While we can’t control everything, there are some things we can control to minimize the chaos in class. Here are a few tips to follow so that everyone can get the most value from a day of learning new techniques and patterns.

 At least a week before class

• Gather supplies. Review the teacher’s instructions for what tools you’ll need for the class. If you are missing a tool, check with the teacher to see if one will be available to purchase in class.

• Select fabric you like. Use good-quality, cotton fabric. If cutting is needed before the class, don’t wait until the night before or the morning of your class! Call or email your teacher if you have questions – don’t rely on your best friend’s help……

• Give your travel sewing machine some spa time. Make sure your travel machine is in good working order. Give it some tender loving care with a good cleaning and oiling. Or, take it to a local dealer if you have not used it in awhile. It might need a tune-up.

• Give your machine a test run. Replace the needle with a new one. Select a good thread, wind the bobbin (and maybe an extra) and give the machine a practice run.

• Pack up.  Be sure to pack an all purpose foot, an open toe foot, a quarter-inch foot and any foot specified on the class instructions. Bring extra needles, bobbins and don’t forget the power cord and foot pedal for your machine!

• Questions? A good teacher welcomes questions before, during and after class.With a week to go, you have plenty of time to ask before the class bell rings.

 On class day

• Pack some snacks. (Your teacher loves snacks too!)

• Bring a beverage — just be sure to use a covered container with a tight lid! (Really, you don’t want to be that person who spilled coffee all over your neighbor’s favorite Kaffe Fassett  fabric!)

•  If you need help during class –  ask your teacher.

• Likewise, if your neighbor is struggling, let your teacher help. (Your teacher wants everyone to get the proper information.)

• Seeing friends and meeting new people is a great part of taking a class. Just please be mindful to catch up or get to know each other when you take a break — not when the instructor is walking everyone through something new.

• Go at your own pace. Everybody learns and works differently. So don’t compare your progress with others.

• Take breaks.

• Have fun!

 What would you add to this list?

For more information on Barbara’s classes –

Posted in classes, Quilting, Studio 180 Design tools and techniques, Sue Pelland Designs tools and techniques, Teaching

Top 8 Reasons to take a quilt class!

  1.  Most obvious – learn a new skill.  Whether its a new tool, new technique, or new pattern, taking a class is a great way to learn. Your teacher is an expert in class content and can explain to you in a way you can understand.  We all learn a little differently and a good instructor will be able to help you understand the concept.
  2. Refresh or perfect a skill.  If it’s been a while since you’ve quilted or you’re struggling with a tool or technique a class is a great way to get “back in the saddle”.
  3. It’s the little things. In class you may learn a new way to pin, perfect your quarter inch or learn to spin your seams..
  4. You’ll be encouraged to change your rotary cutter blade.  None of us change it often enough – go change your blade right now!  You will thank me!
  5. You’ll “need” to buy new fabric – like you need a reason!  Of course you can use something out of your stash – but that new fabric line would be perfect!
  6. In class you’ll get to see the fabric combinations of all the other students.  I’m always amazed by the different styles and colors chosen for projects.  And inspired!
  7. Sometimes there is Show and Tell – more inspiration!
  8. Make new friends, hang out with other quilters, share ideas and laugh!

Do you take quilt classes?  What would you add to the list?

Click HERE to check out my classes – I just added 4 NEW classes!  

Posted in Quilt Stories, Quilting, vintage quilts

More vintage fun!


Another vintage top finished!  I added muslin borders to make it bigger and quilted with a simple butterfly meander.

jean-hoy-2The butterflies are all done by hand.  Look at the details in the stitches – especially that Blanket Stitch!  Amazing art!


It’s always a privilege for me to finish these vintage tops.  Most have been “safely” tucked away and no one gets to enjoy the art from the past.

Years ago I would cringed when one was brought to me – Should I quilt this?  Is it valuable?  Will machine quilting lessen the value?  Will the “quilt police” show up?  Can they be quilted by machine?  I had lots of questions and the only answer seemed to be -NO – never machine quilt vintage quilts!

Never being one to take NO for an answer I’ve quilted many vintage tops over the years.  And many who’ve had those quilt tops tucked away are now able to use, display and enjoy some family treasures.

Do you have some quilts or quilt tops tucked away?