One of my new upcoming classes is geared to the confident beginner. It was Jo's idea (shop owner), and we're anxious to see how it works. We're calling it "Start to Finish" and the idea is that students will get experience and help with all the basic skills, and complete a project too! (We'll see how that goes!) They will learn proper cutting techniques, stitching a 1/4" seam, how to follow a pattern to assemble a "top," matching seams, pressing, sandwiching and some basic machine quilting, and how to make and apply binding. We have decided to use the Take Four placemats pattern, so our plan is that they will get one placemat entirely finished and bound, and they'll have a start on the other three by the end of the day. Personally I don't put binding on placemats, but they will have the choice to bind the mats, or to bring something else to bind, so they get to learn how it's done. If I have time, I'll show them the slick technique I usually use for finishing placemats. You can see my tutorial on that here.
You never know, the first time you teach a skills class, just how far everyone will get... there are so many variables. I'm hoping we will accomplish our goal. So here are two of my mats. The other two will be completed as demos during the class next Saturday. I'll show you the full set of four after that.
I love this pattern and there are five variations given in the one pattern - how great is that! It is relatively quick and easy and the tops are done with just four fat quarters. If you can't find the Take Four pattern at your local quilt shop, you can purchase and download it here.
"The thing I loved the most - and still love the most - about teaching is that you can connect with an individual or group, and see that individual or group exceed their limits." ~ Mike Krzyzewski