Mindful Meandering Class Plan

By Laura Lee Fritz

THREE EASY LESSONS IN CREATIVE MEANDERING

Class Description:
When "Oh, just stipple it!" isn't enough any more, it's time to add character to your meandering designs. In each of these three sessions, you'll make a set of 12 basic meandering swatches, and use them as a catalog of ideas to choose from next time you have a project to quilt. Teachers:  each session can be taught as a standalone class, or you can combine them to make a longer class. 

  1. Session One: The Wandering Wiggle—Learn to make a dozen variations on the classic meandering quilt design
  2. Session Two: Wet and Wanting—Learn a dozen variations on the "still water" design
  3. Session Three: Snapshots from Planet Earth—Learn to quilt designs that look like landscapes, seascapes, and skyscapes.  Don't worry; these are fun and easy to learn.

Teacher's Tip: 
When your students complete their swatches, they can be compiled into a sampler quilt, as in Quilt as You Go, or each block could be bound into a book of swatches. 

Approximate class time:
Three standalone sessions of 3 hours each

What each student will get:
You'll leave class with 12 fun meandering designs ready to use in your next machine-quilting project.

Project supplies:

  • Required text: Mindful Meandering by Laura Lee Fritz
  • For each session, you'll need one dozen small quilt sandwiches per student, 12" square, with plain fabric and cotton batting, fused or basted before class, OR quilting pins to pin-baste layers for quilting
  • "Machinger" quilting gloves
  • Sewing machine with free motion foot, and a working knowledge of how to use it
  • Thread and loaded bobbin. For fun, load the bobbin with a fancy thread
  • Thread snips

Advance Preparations:
Prepare 12" x 12" quilt sandwiches for your students to use during class. 

DURING THE CLASS:

Session One: The Wandering Wiggle

The designs you'll teach in this session are:

  • The classic "stipple meander" on page 7 of Mindful Meandering
  • All four designs on page 8
  • Designs #5, 6, and 8 (page 9)
  • Design #9 (page 10)
  • Design #21 (page 13)
  • Design #26 (page 14)
  • Design #47 (page 22)

Follow the same steps for each design:

  1. Have the students study the design by fingering the lines to get the feel of the moves involved. This makes the moves a physical memory when you replicate the design with a sewing machine. 
  2. Have them draw the design on notepaper, also to gain comfort.
  3. Quilt the design on a swatch.
  4. Repeat with the remaining 11 designs.

Session Two:  Wet and Wanting
This session's designs are all variations on the "still water" image drawn in oriental art. To the classic still water design, we'll add various things that float on water or reflect in water. With this design, it's important to keep the horizontal lines flat, the turns like hairpins, and the turning places staggered so you don't develop towers of turns.

The designs you'll teach in this session are:

  • Design #10, the classic "still water" design on page 10 of Mindful Meandering
  • Designs  #43, #44, and #45 (page 21)
  • Design #36 (page 17)
  • Design #42 (page 20)
  • Design #30 (page 15)
  • Designs #14 and #15 (page 11)
  • Design #17 (page 12)
  • Design #57 (page 27)
  • Design #49 (page 23)

Have your students follow the sequence of steps from the first session to learn the new designs.

Session Three: Snapshots from Planet Earth

The designs you'll teach in this session are:

  • Design #48, a "roller coaster" design from page 22 of Mindful Meandering
  • Design #53 (page 25)
  • Designs #32, #33, and #34 (page 16)
  • Design #52 (page 24)
  • Design #56 (page 27)
  • Design #73 (page 32)
  • Design #76 (page 33)
  • Design #55 (page 26)
  • Design #39 (page 18)
  • Design #46 (page 22)
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