Keep Quilting with Alex Anderson Class Plan

by Alex Anderson

NOTES TO INSTRUCTORS AND SHOP OWNERS
It has been an honor and pleasure bringing new quilters into the fold. Start Quilting with Alex Anderson has been a valuable tool for ushering in new quiltmakers around the globe. Many of you have had the pleasure of watching the joy of quilting enter into an eager heart. A major goal of a successful beginning class is to leave the student hungry for more. Keep Quilting with Alex Anderson addresses the "next step" in quiltmaking after Start Quilting.

Keep Quilting teaches several basic quiltmaking skills that will provide a broad base of knowledge for beginning quiltmakers. The book (and your class) is built around a star sampler. Here are the basics:

  • The class is designed as a sampler class using the 12" sawtooth star as the unifying unit. The star is presented with 3 different piecing possibilities (the flying geese units). The class encourages quilters to "do their own thing" in a safe learning environment.
  • The "bellies" (6" finished centers) of the stars present 7 different piecing lessons: strip piecing, pieced triangles, matching points, sew and flip, partial seams, Y seams, and diagonal piecing. Block piecing instructions are given in the order of difficulty.
  • Quilting basics are discussed, including: rotary cutting "magic" cutting numbers, choosing fabrics, pinning, piecing, pressing block sets, basting, quilting, and binding.
  • After learning more basics of quilting, students will gain confidence to approach more challenging projects. Piecing is not always an exact science, and is open to interpretation, but through the process of learning traditional techniques we can grow into confident quiltmakers.

Materials to Stock in the Shop
Your store may want to supply some of the basic tools to keep the student's initial investment low.


CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

Demo Class #1: Multiple Piecing Techniques
A 15-minute demonstration
For patrons who come into the store with piecing questions, have stepped out demos ready to show them.

Demo Class #2: Multiple Piecing Techniques
A one-hour demonstration
Choose one day a week (Saturday morning) and offer a few demonstrations highlighting one specific technique. Schedule this class on a repeated basis, bringing the customer in on a recurring schedule, until the 7 techniques have been taught. Offer a reunion where the students can bring and brag with their finished quilt.

6-Week Class: Star Bellies
A 6-week class, 3 hours each session

Student Supply List

  • Required textbook: Keep Quilting with Alex Anderson
  • Fabric in suggested amounts for desired project
  • Rotary mat, Omni Grid 6" x 12" ruler, and Olfa ergonomic rotary cutter
  • General sewing supplies
  • Sewing machine in excellent running condition

In the Classroom

Day #1

  1. Discuss basics: tools, fabrics, and general information.
  2. Demonstrate rotary cutting. Have students try on scrap fabric that YOU provide. This gives you the chance to evaluate the skill levels in the class.
  3. Demonstrate cutting and piecing the 12" sawtooth block, demonstrating the 3 different ways to make the flying geese units.
  4. Sew time.
    Students go home to finish up and practice the 3 different piecing techniques. Encourage them to return with a sawtooth star within a sawtooth star (pages 13 - 14).

Day #2

  1. Look at completed blocks.
  2. Demonstrate cutting and piecing blocks with Strip Piecing (page 15) and Pieced Triangles (page 16).
  3. Sew time.
    Students go home to finish up.

Day #3

  1. Look at completed blocks.
  2. Demonstrate cutting and piecing blocks with Matching Points (page 17) and Sew and Flip Seams (page 18).
  3. Sew time.
    Students go home to finish up.

Day #4

  1. Look at completed blocks.
  2. Demonstrate cutting and piecing blocks with Partial Seams (page 19) and Diagonal Piecing (page 21).
  3. Sew time.
    Students go home to finish up.

Day #5

  1. Look at completed blocks.
  2. Demonstrate cutting and piecing blocks with Y seams (page 20).
  3. Discuss setting options and creative ways to finish their quilts. Use the 6 quilts in the book as a springboard for ideas.
  4. Sew time.
    Students go home to finish up.

Day #6

  1. Look at completed quilt tops.
  2. Discuss finishing techniques.
  3. Work time.

That's it! Easy as 1-2-3. Working with new quilters is a rewarding experience.

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