My favorite work day is Tuesday, because that’s when our office holds show-and-tell. Given the array of quilters, sewists, and mixed-media artists in our group (many of whom also knit, crochet, and make jewelry), you never know what to expect.
|Managing editor Rose deBoer (L) and Assistant editor Kristine Lundblad (R) made
these quilts (each using Carrie Bloomston fabric) for a quilt group challenge.
When they were finished, they brought the quilts in for show-and-tell.
Handmade books, guild challenge quilts, baby sweaters, upcycled thrift-shop skirts–they all go from hand to hand around the circle as the maker explains her inspiration, motivation, and (sometimes) frustration with the project.
What excites me about Tuesday show-and-tell is not just seeing and touching the artwork my coworkers make at home, but how we inspire each other to try something new and, when advice is asked for, how warmly and willingly we help out with quilt tips, alternative designs, and more.
I have had similar experiences with my own quilt group and with other quilters and artists at classes and workshops. If you haven’t experienced this kind of support and exchange of ideas–or if you just want to expand your opportunities–I have several suggestions for you:
1. Join a local quilt group or guild. You might have to try a couple of different groups before you find the right fit for your personality and style of quilting, but when you do, you will be amazed at how much you can learn and the boost of confidence you can receive, especially if you’re just beginning quilting.
2. Take a class in person. There are as many classes for basic quilting, art quilting, surface design, fiber art, and machine embroidery as there are techniques, at every level. Ask about learn-to-quilt classes at your local quilt shop, adult ed center, community college, and guild. Or choose a destination location and make a retreat of it.
3. Take a class online. I often hear from quilters in more remote locations that they just can’t get to a class or workshop without traveling for hours. That’s why I love online quilting lessons and seminars. You can learn any technique or even be trained to teach your own class through online certification. You can work at your own pace, on your own time, but still get the benefits of feedback from the instructor and classmates.
For example, hundreds quilters and sewists have taken advantage of Sulky’s Magical Thread Art Online Teacher Certification courses and gone on to open their own businesses doing what they love.
Sure, I love holing up in my studio with nothing but piles of fabric and the whir of the sewing machine. But just as much, I enjoy sharing my creations and the joy of discovery with others who share my passion. Fortunately, those opportunities are often just a click away.
P.S. What have you learned from other quilters? Leave your comments below.