Plentiful Possibilities Class Plan

by Lynda Milligan & Nancy Smith

There are many classes that can be taught from the quilts in this book. We have chosen four of them to highlight.

Class #1: I Spy Napping Quilt
The emphasis in this 3-hour class will be on cutting accurate hexagons and triangles in order to piece the quilt together easily. Students will learn how to choose and fussy cut the conversation prints and will begin to construct the quilt top. If desired, teachers can add an extra class to discuss borders, binding, and quilting. If you sell sewing machines that do lettering, you might want to include an optional class to letter the borders.

Student Supply List:

  • Required Textbook: Plentiful Possibilities by Lynda Milligan & Nancy Smith
  • Fabrics as listed in book--students can be encouraged to share fabrics and/or shops can prepackage conversation prints in 8" squares.
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Rotary ruler, 6" x 12"
  • Small, sharp fabric scissors
  • White chalk pencil to mark darker fabrics
  • Quilter's Ultimate Mechanical Pencil to mark lighter fabrics
  • Template plastic or pre-cut template sets
  • 100% cotton thread for piecing
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine in good working order, with appropriate feet

Class Outline

  1. Make the hexagon and triangle templates or discuss the options of pre-cut template sets.
  2. Look at several different conversation prints and discuss placement of templates. Talk about placement vs. fabric waste. Teacher can show that another, tinier I Spy quilt can be made with leftovers. Encourage students to share their fabrics since many times more than one character can be cut from each fabric. This is a good time to discuss making theme I Spy quilts, such as Halloween, Pets, and including photo transfers of people.
  3. Demonstrate marking using the different pencils and then the cutting of the hexagons and triangles.
  4. Teach the quilt construction and the special ironing tricks.
  5. Discuss trimming the sides to straighten edges, making sure that students know to allow for the 1/4" seam allowance along the edges.
  6. Talk about the different options of lettering around the border--hand embroidery, machine embroidery, machine appliqué, hand lettering. For those who are hand lettering, discuss marking pens and using freezer paper to stabilize fabric.

Class #2: Grandmother's Garden
This would be a great advanced beginners class. A simple 9-patch block set with sashing but placed on-point will give the student practice on familiar techniques, while introducing slightly more complicated piecing. The emphasis in this 6-8 hour class will be on accurate cutting and piecing the quilt as well as demonstrating different methods with half-square triangles. The class should be divided into two sessions with perhaps two weeks between the first and second class. If students feel confident in their cutting skills, time will be saved if they come with the squares for the nine-patches precut.

Student Supply List

  • Required Textbook: Plentiful Possibilities by Lynda Milligan & Nancy Smith
  • Fabrics as listed in book--to simplify purchasing yardage, shops can make up kits for the brights and bright pastel blocks as well as the greens
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Rotary ruler, 6" x 12" with 1/8" markings
  • 100% cotton thread in a neutral color for piecing
  • Straight pins
  • Design wall
  • Sewing machine in good working order, with appropriate feet

Teacher Supplies
Half-square triangle samples made from Thangles, Triangles on a Roll, and special triangle templates to demonstrate the different way to make half-square triangles.

Class Outline

1st Class

    1. If squares have not been precut, demonstrate the correct cutting. Do not take up entire class cutting squares. Be sure to also cut some sashing squares and rectangles.
    2. Piece several nine-patch blocks and press.
    3. Help students arrange blocks, half blocks, sashing squares, and sashing rectangles on design walls, discussing balance as necessary.
    4. Begin sewing into rows.
    5. Discuss stay stitching and trimming the sides to straighten edges, making sure that students know to allow for the 1/4" seam allowance along the edges.

2nd Class

  1. Demonstrate the correct way of measuring for borders.
  2. Students measure and stitch on Border 1.
  3. Discuss and demonstrate the different options for making half-square triangles.
  4. Discuss appropriate quilting designs and binding methods.
  5. Show different options for labels.

Class #3: Country Hearts
This quilt makes a wonderful 7-8 week Sampler Quilt class. Each class should be 2 to 2-1/2 hours in length. The emphasis will be on accurate cutting, piecing, and hand or machine appliqué, depending on shop's choice.

Student Supply List

  • Required Textbook: Plentiful Possibilities by Lynda Milligan & Nancy Smith
  • Fabrics as listed in book--to simplify purchasing yardage, shops can make up kits
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Rotary rulers, 6-1/2" x 12" with 1/8" markings, 3-1/2" x 18"
  • Small, sharp fabric scissors
  • White chalk pencil to mark darker fabrics
  • Quilter's Ultimate Mechanical Pencil to mark lighter fabrics
  • 100% cotton thread in a neutral color for piecing
  • Straight pins
  • appliqué thread to match appliqué fabrics
  • Your favorite supplies for hand appliqué OR
  • Your shop's favorite supplies for machine appliqué
  • Sewing machine in good working order, with appropriate feet

Class Outline
The quilt will be divided into sections. Students may or may not learn a different technique in each class. Various methods of hand and machine appliqué can be taught.

1st Class

    1. Blocks 11, 12 plus spacer strips above block 12. Students will learn the proper technique for cutting the appliqué backgrounds. Teach your favorite method of hand or machine appliqué.

2nd Class

    1. Blocks 8, 9, 10, and C
    2. Teach students how to machine piece block C
    3. Emphasize good rotary cutting skills, caring for your sewing machine, and stitching an accurate 1/4".

3rd Class

    1. Blocks 1, 2 and spacer strips between 1 and 2
    2. Discuss reason for filler strips
    3. Review half-square triangle methods
    4. Demonstrate alternate ways to machine appliqué and discuss various threads and needles.

4th Class

    1. Blocks 5, 6, 7 and spacer strips below 5
    2. Since the wreath is the most detailed of the appliqué so far, discuss different methods of accurately placing pieces.
    3. Suggest other ways for using these designs in other ways--pillows, small wall hangings, clothing, etc.

5th Class

    1. Blocks 4 (2) and B
    2. Discuss basting options--pin basting, thread basting and spray basting.
    3. Talk about batting choices

6th Class

  1. Borders 1, 2, and 3
  2. Also discuss appropriate quilting designs and binding, or alternately leave quilting designs and binding for class #8.

Class #4: Best Buds
This quilt makes a great 3-session class with each class 2-3 hours in length. It would be helpful to allow at least two weeks between the first two classes. The emphasis will be on accurate cutting, piecing, and machine appliqué.

Student Supply List

  • Required Textbook: Plentiful Possibilities by Lynda Milligan & Nancy Smith
  • Fabrics as listed in book--to simplify purchasing yardage, shops can make up kits and students could be encouraged to swap leg and hair fabrics
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Rotary ruler, 6-1/2" x 12" with 1/8" markings, 3-1/2" x 18"
  • Tape measure
  • Small, sharp fabric scissors
  • White chalk pencil to mark darker fabrics
  • Quilter's Ultimate Mechanical Pencil to mark lighter fabrics
  • 100% cotton thread in a neutral color for piecing
  • appliqué thread to match appliqué fabrics
  • Straight pins
  • Your shop's favorite supplies for machine appliqué
  • Sewing machine in good working order, with appropriate feet

Class Outline

1st Class

    1. Measure and cut background squares.
    2. Discuss and demonstrate your favorite method of machine appliqué.
    3. Students should start drawing and cutting the appliqué pieces.
    4. After each student has one set of girls cut, demonstrate the fusing technique showing how to leave the hands unfused and unstitched until the blocks are stitched to the sashing.
    5. Students complete appliqué at home.

2nd Class

    1. Stitch the blocks and vertical sashing pieces together.
    2. Finish appliquéing the hands.
    3. Demonstrate the Easy Triangle method for making the Flying Geese in Border 2. Discuss other half-square triangle methods. Students start making Flying Geese to make sure they understand the process.

3rd Class

  1. Demonstrate how to measure the borders.
  2. Discuss quilting ideas. Discuss basting options--pin basting, thread basting, and spray basting.
  3. Talk about batting choices.
  4. Demonstrate binding.
  5. Show different options for labels.
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