Machine Quilting with Alex Anderson Class Plan

by Alex Anderson

Note to Shop Owners and Instructors:
When I talk to store owners, I often hear that classes for beginners are very much in demand. These are the ones that fill up first and many times have waiting lists. My new book offers a simple format to ease the novice into the exciting world of machine quilting.

As a shop owner, you want to encourage the interest of new quiltmakers and grow your existing client base.

Machine Quilting with Alex Anderson is designed to help you entice and educate both beginners and also those who would like to learn to machine quilt. This book gives the basic information your customers need to get started:

  • 7 simple exercises
  • 7 projects
  • Quilts ranging from beginner to intermediate
  • A small whole cloth quilt at the end of the book combines all the quilting exercises discussed.

Acquiring confidence from these simple lessons, the first-time machine quilter will be eager to continue exploring machine quilting.

How to Teach Using Machine Quilting with Alex Anderson:
This book adapts beautifully to classes for beginners. I've given you plans for two classes:

  • "Perfect Practice" Placemats: A quick 3-hour introduction to machine quilting basics.

  • Floral Fiesta Quilt: A 4-class series. In this class the students will make an easy quilt from start to finish.

"Perfect Practice" Placemats

Class Description:
Welcome to the wonderful world of machine quilting! In this class, you'll learn everything you need to take the plunge and start using your sewing machine to quilt your own projects.

Skill level:
Beginner

Approximate class time:
3 hours. For a shorter or slightly more advanced class, have the students piece the place mats ahead of time at home. For a longer class and for real beginners, have them piece the placemats in class.

What each student will get:
4 quilted placemats to perk up your table!

Project supplies:

  • Required text: Machine Quilting with Alex Anderson
  • 1/4 yard brightly colored, large-scale floral print
  • 9 fat quarters of different coordinating fabrics with subtle stripes
  • 5/8 yard coordinating subtle striped fabric for binding
  • 4 pieces of thin batting, 20" x 16" each

Advance preparations:

  • Make sample placemats to show the class the different quilting styles they'll learn.

During the class:

  1. Use pages 5-12 of Machine Quilting with Alex Anderson to give students an overview of machine quilting equipment and setup.
  2. Following the instructions page 29, demonstrate how to cut and assemble Placemats 1-4.
  3. Demonstrate how to mark, layer, and baste a placemat (pages 13-15).
  4. Demonstrate the styles of machine quilting shown on page 30.
  5. Demonstrate how to assemble the binding strips and bind a placemat (page 52).

Floral Fiesta Quilt

Class Description:
Welcome to the wonderful world of machine quilting! In this class, you'll create a charming quilt and learn how to machine quilt it yourself.

Skill Level:
Beginner

Approximate class time:
4 sessions of 3 hours each

What each student will get:
A colorful floral lap quilt, pieced and machine quilted by you!

Project supplies:

  • Required text: Machine Quilting with Alex Anderson
  • 1/4 yard brightly colored, large-scale floral print
  • 9 fat quarters of different coordinating fabrics with subtle stripes
  • 5/8 yard coordinating subtle striped fabric for binding
  • 4 pieces of thin batting, 20" x 16" each

Advance preparations:

  • Make a sample quilt to display in your store to encourage signups.
  • Make sure you provide each student enough space to work on the quilt in class.

During the class:

  1. Session One. Share with students the teacher's personal history of quiltmaking and the impact quilting has had on her life. Use pages 5-12 and 51-53 of Machine Quilting with Alex Anderson to give students an overview of quilting basics: tools; fabric selection, properties and preparation; and general piecing information. Demonstrate basic piecing techniques. Help students pick out fabrics for their quilt. Homework: prepare fabric and cut and sew strips for border.

  2. Session Two. Trim the quilt center to the proper size. Demonstrate how to cut and sew strips to the quilt center. Classroom work: sewing time. Homework: complete the quilt top.

  3. Session Three. Discuss battings. Show how to prepare a quilt for machine quilting (pages 13-15). Discuss machine-quilting basics and demonstrate machine quilting (pages 17-27). Class work: students baste their quilts. Homework: start machine quilting. Students can use the quilting patterns shown on page 33 or make their own.

  4. Session Four. Demonstrate how to assemble the binding strips and bind the quilt (page 52). Class work: students bind their quilts.
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