The It's Okay if You Sit on My Quilt Book Class Plan

by Mary Ellen Hopkins

Classes based on my book are excellent for beginners and a great review for experienced quilters. These classes use a lecture format, meaning all student work is done at home. All students need to bring to class is the book, and pencil and paper for taking notes.

Two hours allows time for lecture, show and critique, and choosing fabrics for the next quilt. Most students will create one pieced quilt top for each class! The "It's Okay" book plants the seeds for ongoing classes. Samples displayed with the book spark interest and class sign ups.

The "It's Okay" Quilt Series
Learn to make a variety of blocks, accumulating skills and ideas as you go. Create a unique pieced quilt top after every class!

My motto is: It's Okay If You Sit On My Quilt NOW! Because I made it for you and if you wear it out, I'll make more!

4 2-hour classes
Leave a week between classes so students can catch up at home

Beginner to Advanced


  • Required Textbook: The It's Okay if You Sit on My Quilt Book by Mary Ellen Hopkins
  • Sample quilt
  • In-progress block samples to illustrate construction techniques
  • Tools and supplies to demonstrate sewing the block


  • Required Textbook: The It's Okay if You Sit on My Quilt Book by Mary Ellen Hopkins
  • Basic sewing supplies including rotary cutter and mats, rulers, scissors, pins, etc.
  • Fabric for each project (to be selected during class)


Session One

  1. Introduce the book. Explain that it is not a step-by-step project book, but a concept book, and students will learn to design their own projects.
  2. Cutting demonstration (pages 5-6)
  3. Tool tutorial
  4. Fabric discussion: talk about color, value, size and shape of prints, etc. (pages 3-5).
  5. Introduce the Triple Rail Fence block (page 15). Discuss its construction. Show samples of in-progress blocks and finished project. Have students gather around as you sew a block.
  6. Explain how to figure yardage (page 14). See page 15 for fabric requirements for a 72" x 81" quilt. Students are likely to need your help deciding how much fabric to buy.
  7. Adjourn to shop and help students choose fabrics. Make sure to check fabric value before they buy. Back to classroom to be sure of position of fabrics and that they know what to do before next week.
  8. Go over these points:
    • Seam allowance does not matter as long as you are consistent. Explain PPM (page 10).
    • Proper ironing technique (page 6).
    • Layout and joining of blocks (page 16).
  9. If time permits, talk about block variations including Mayan Maze (page 75), Scrap Rail (using scrappy fabrics to make the blocks), and adding more strips to the block.

Session Two

  1. Show and critique quilt tops from the last class.
  2. On to Log Cabins! Discuss the basic block (page 19), variations (page 20), and layouts (page 21).
  3. Show how the Log Cabin block is related to the Amish Shadow block (pages 17-18).
  4. Discuss the connecting block (page 25). Point out blocks which, used as connectors, can create secondary patterns. Show the Star Blocks (page 42), Snowball (page 54), and Bow Tie (page 43).
  5. Show the example on page 48, which alternates stars with nine-patches.
  6. Talk about how to eliminate seams to simplify work (not every "grid" line in the designs is a seam line).
  7. Adjourn to shop and select fabrics for Log Cabin, Amish Shadow, and/or Connector block.

Session Three
In advance:
Prepare in-progress samples of making pieced triangles (page 7).

In the classroom:

  1. Show and critique quilt tops from the last class.
  2. Introduce PPT's (Perfect Pieced Triangles). Demonstrate the process using the in-progress samples.
  3. Discuss Bell Blocks (page 46).
  4. Introduce 9-Patch set-ups and show the examples (page 47 & 109).
  5. Suggest using the small Bell Block pictured at the bottom of page 54 in a 9-Patch set-up with PPT's (Perfect Pieced Triangles). Any Bell Block will work.
  6. Adjourn to shop to select fabrics. Suggest choosing a wide variety to "scrap it up good." Explain how students can even "muckle" the background (page 6).

Session Four

  1. Show and critique quilt tops from the last class.
  2. Introduce the Diagonal Set (pages 31-34).
  3. Go over the examples on pages 96 and 39.
  4. Talk about "floating" blocks (pages 28 and 30).
  5. Review combining blocks as discussed in previous classes. For example the Arkansas Traveler block (page 55) is composed of rails and connectors; the Jacobs Ladder Variation (page 107) combines the Buckeye Beauty block and 4-Patch blocks.
  6. Review design checklist on page 2.
  7. Discuss adding border(s) to quilts.
  8. Briefly demonstrate layering the quilt elements (top, batting, and backing), and quilting and binding.
  9. Your students are now ready to use the book as a workbook. Encourage them to apply the concepts they have learned, and come up with new ideas!