Totally Tubular Quilts Class Plan

by Rita Hutchens

Notes to Instructors and Shop Owners
These classes from Totally Tubular Quilts are suitable for all quilters, from beginners through advanced level. Plan to allow 3-4 hours for each session. Beginning students will need more attention, which may take more time. Students should have the ability to sew strips together accurately and use a rotary cutter. Allow enough time between lessons so students can realistically do the homework. Fabric should be selected before class, washed, and ironed folded in half selvage-to-selvage.

Class #1: Rainbow
"Rainbow" is shown on page 25, with instructions on the following pages.
Notes on choosing fabrics: Black represents a fabric with high value contrast (light or dark) to the rest of the fabrics. A wide variety of fabrics can be used and will look great in this pattern.

Supply List: Required text: Totally Tubular Quilts by Rita Hutchens. In addition, see page 26
Tool List: See page 12

Lesson 1: 3-4 hours

  1. Demonstrate how to cut strips (page 12) and have students cut strips. (30 minutes)
  2. Demonstrate how to cut the ends off the strips for a diamond pattern (page 13) and have students cut the ends off the strips. (30 minutes)
  3. Show and explain how to sew diamond strips together (page 13). Remember to explain that they should use a small stitch and iron the seams open. Have students do the same and sew one strip set in each colorway, a total of 6 in all. The remainder will be completed as homework. (1 hour)
  4. Have students sew all 6 strip sets into one strip band as in step 3. (30 minutes)
  5. Demonstrate how to trim a diamond strip band and sew it into a tube (pages 14-15). Have students do the same. (30 minutes)

Homework: Repeat steps with the leftover strips and sew them into another tube exactly as in class.

Lesson 2: 3-4 hours
Students should come to class with all of their strips sewn into the 2 tubes needed for this project and all of the seams ironed open.

  1. Demonstrate how to square a diamond tube (page 16), and how to cut continuous strips. Have students do the same and cut ten 2" continuous strips from each tube (page 27, step 4). (30 minutes)
  2. Demonstrate how to mark continuous strips (page 17; page 27, step 5) and have students do the same. (1 hour)
  3. Demonstrate how to line up, rotate, pin, and sew continuous strips together (page 16; page 27) and have students sew two strips together in class. Remember to explain that they should use a small stitch and make sure the seams that are ironed open stay ironed open. Iron the seams open. Students can use the sewn-together pair of strips for reference when sewing additional strips together at home. Use any extra class time to sew continuous strips together.

Homework: Sew all of the continuous strips into pairs and then sew those pairs into pairs, etc., until all of the continuous strips are sewn together (page 28; step 8).

Lesson 3, Option 1: 1 hour (no sewing machine needed)
Plan a 1-hour demonstration to show students how the tube is cut apart. Students should come to class with homework completed (all 20 continuous strips sewn together into one tube) and without their sewing machines. They can cut apart their tubes and complete the quilt on their own at home. If students feel confident cutting apart their own tubes, they can even skip this lesson.

Show how to mark a cutting line across the tube (page 28, step 8) and have students mark their line and cut the tube apart with scissors. A brief critique can be included in this lesson if time allows.

Lesson 3, Option 2: 3 hours (requires a sewing machine)

  1. Have students press and square their quilts.
  2. Have students cut strips for the border.
  3. Have students sew strips into 4-strip sets for the border. Two of the sets will be made from 2 lengths of strips for the long sides of the quilt.
  4. Demonstrate how to add a mitered border.

Class #2: Pinwheels

"Pinwheels" is shown on page 31, with instructions on the following pages. Suitable for beginner to advanced level. Lessons should be 3-4 hours long. Beginner students will need more attention, which may take more time. Students should have the ability to use a rotary cutter and to sew strips together accurately. Allow enough time between lessons that students can realistically do the homework. Fabric should be selected before class, washed, and ironed folded in half selvage-to-selvage.

Notes on choosing fabrics: Fabrics used should be small prints or read as solids for the little hooks to really show. Black in the illustrations represents a fabric with high contrast in value (light or dark) to the rest of the fabrics.

Supply List: Page 32
Tool List: Page 12

Lesson 1: 3-4 hours
Have students come to class with their strips cut (page 12).

  1. Give a brief demonstration on sewing strips together (page 13), and explain to use a small stitch and to iron the seams open. (15 minutes)
  2. Give students one hour to sew strips for one color scheme and complete through step 3. To save time students will work with only one color scheme while they are in class. The other color scheme will be completed as homework.
  3. Demonstrate how to trim a strip band (page 13) and sew it into a tube. Have students complete the same. [15-30 minutes]
  4. Demonstrate squaring the tube and cutting the continuous strips (page 15). Have students complete through step 4. (15-30 minutes)
  5. Demonstrate how to line up, rotate, pin, and sew continuous strips together (pages 16, 33-34). Explain to use a small stitch and to make sure the seams that are ironed open stay ironed open. Iron the seams open. Have students complete through step 6. (1 hour) Some students will be slow at this but some will get far enough along that you will be able to demonstrate the following step.
  6. Demonstrate how to mark and cut the tube apart and have students complete through step 7 (note correction to book: the caption under the illo in steps 7 and 8 should read Make 1 for each color scheme).

Homework: Students complete work on the color scheme started in class and repeat steps 1-7 for the other color scheme.

Option 1
Use one color scheme and make Lesson 1 a one-day, four-hour class. Take students through step 11 (page 35), which when cut apart into a square makes a great block, or through step 12, which makes a great border.

Option 2
Lesson 2: 3-4 hours

Have students come to class with completed homework.

  1. Demonstrate marking (where to put the dots and draw the lines) and cutting. (15 minutes) Give students one hour to mark, cut, sew, and press the seams open, for both color schemes through step 12 (note correction to book: the caption under the illo in step 8 should read Make 1 for each color scheme).
  2. Have students measure their strips from step 12 and cut 8 black strips as in step 13. (15 minutes) Using two pattern strips from each color scheme, sew one black strip to each, as in step 14. Press seams towards the black (30 minutes). Others to be completed as homework.
  3. Demonstrate marking and have students mark and cut to complete step 15. (30 minutes)
  4. Have students complete through step 16 using only two of the strips from step 17 (others to be completed as homework). (15 minutes)

Homework: Have students complete steps 14-17 with the rest of their strips. They should sew all of these pairs of strips together to make one tube as in step 18.

Lesson 3: 1 hour
Students can come to class with homework completed and without their sewing machines.

  1. Demonstrate marking and cutting as in step 18. Have students complete the same and cut their tubes open.
  2. Demonstrate marking and cutting as in step 19. Have students complete the same and cut apart cutting line 6.
  3. Guide students through step 20 and they can complete the sewing at home.

A brief critique can be included in this lesson if time allows.

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