After I had been teaching patchwork and quilting classes for a couple of years I was asked to teach at our local quilt store. Happily I took on the new challenge and readily accepted the job. I then started to think about what I would teach.
When I first started making quilts I had always thought that a sampler quilt was a great way to learn a broad range of techniques and so I decided that this would be a great quilt for my new class. The only problem with some sampler quilts is that they can be a bit on the dull side. I didn’t know anything about my soon-to-be-students but I was pretty sure that they wouldn’t want anything dull, so I decided to set some traditional sampler blocks into a feathered star quilt.
The design came together and over the next couple of weeks I set about making the quilt for the class. My life was on hold as I cut, hand-stitched, and hand-quilted my Feathered Star Sampler.
The class started and the students were a delightful bunch of women. Wednesdays nights were a joy. Fabrics were chosen and the blocks were being stitched.
Decisions on placement were made, and each week, as they cut and stitched the tiny feathers, there were the occasional murmurs of mild consternation, but the quilts all started to come together beautifully. This quilt was a challenge. There were lots of points to match. Accuracy was key. This quilt was not for the faint of heart and each of the students stepped up to the challenge.
It wasn’t until about five weeks into the class when these complicated, perfectly-stitched feathered star quilts were almost complete that I discovered that each one of these amazing women were absolute beginners. Unbeknownst to me, they had signed up for a beginner class!
When I look back at the challenges they faced I also look back at the challenge I took on in guiding them, encouraging them and helping them to bring out their best.
Quilting is never just about making a new quilt. With every quilt we make, regardless of our skill level we always step up to new challenges. This is what being creative is all about. It doesn’t matter whether it’s making a quilt or teaching a class – when we extend ourselves we learn and grow.