Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts Class Plan

by Monique Dillard

Notes to Instructors and Shop Owners:
Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts is an excellent teaching tool for several reasons:

  1. There are 11 patterns included with multiple sizes to satisfy any student.
  2. The price of the book is very reasonable and will add little to your class fee.
  3. Included in the book is a both the Fit to be Ruler method and traditional approach to making flying geese and square in a square units. With the Fit to be Ruler methods, you will be able to show your students how to use a new tool that can be applied to many other patterns. Also, it is a great way to add extra sales for your shop.
  4. The book is designed to use fat quarters for the darks of the quilts with a main background. This helps ease the choosing of fabrics for the quilts in that the students can pick their main background and borders then choose coordinating fat quarters.

Easier projects for the advanced beginner/intermediate:
* Solitaire, page 8
* Canasta, page 11
* Euchre, page 21
* Pyramid, page 26
* Golf, page 37
* Memory, page 41
* Baccarat, page 45
* Freecell, page 50
* Poker, page 55

The following choices are excellent for the more advanced class:
* Canfield, page 16
* Spider, page 32

Class Description:
(Name of Quilt, Date, Time (1 all day class, usually 5 or 6 hours))
Learn clever shortcuts and streamlined techniques for easy piecing with (name of quilt) from Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts. Choose a main background, borders and fat quarters to create a handsome American-style quilt that is both comforting and cozy and perfect for everyday enjoyment. In class you will see how to use fat quarters to give you a planned scrappy look.

If you are using the Fit to be rulers, add the following:
To create accurate flying geese (square-in-a-square units), learn how to use the Fit to be Geese (Fit to be Square) ruler. The Fit to be Geese (Fit to be Square) ruler is designed to trim flying geese (square-in-a-square) units with little waste.

Class Preparation:
Choose a project from the book. Make a sample for display. An option is to take a few fat quarters an make a small wall hanging. For example, I took 3 fat quarters and made 4 blocks from Poker. This gives the student enough to be able to visually imagine the large quilt and takes a fraction of the time. Most of the quilts in the book are designed so that a set of fat quarters and the background makes a certain number of blocks. For Poker, two fat quarters and the background make 4 blocks and then adding the border will make a nice table topper. By making the sample, it gives the teacher experience in making the block and she is able to demonstrate in class. If you use any of the Fit to be rulers, it also helps the teacher to get familiar with the tools.

Before class, prepare samples. Take each step of the instructions and break them down into sample pieces.

Supply List:

  • Required book: Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts by Monique Dillard
  • Fat quarters, main background & borders (refer to each individual quilt for exact fabric requirements)
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Mat
  • Ruler
  • Fit to be Geese or Fit to be Square rulers (if applicable)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Basic sewing supplies including thread (small scissors to trim threads, seam ripper, sewing machine needles, etc.)

I highly recommend pre-cutting before class. It helps the students to get sewing done during class and gives them a feeling of accomplishment during class.

During class:
Set a reasonable goal for your students. Most of the quilts in the book are 1 block quilts. Therefore, having them make 1 block is reasonable and achievable. If you are doing a 2 block quilt, for example Canasta, which has 2 similar blocks, have them make 2 blocks. Tell them your goal is for them to be able to get 1 block done during class so that when they go home they have a sample that they can use. Show how to use tools, which direction to press and tell the students how many to make.

Display each step on a sample board. After the majority of the students have finished one step, show the next step. If you decide to use the rulers, demonstrate how to trim the pieces using the rulers. As each individual student is at the point of trimming using the rulers, watch the first few to help if needed and to encourage. I usually help with the first and watch on the second so that they learn and gain confidence.

At the end of the class, explain how to set the blocks and go over pressing directions and adding borders.