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Beginner’s quilting class in Beckley, WV

March 15, 2016

Beginning in May, 2016, I will be offering a Beginner’s quilting class at the Hobby Lobby in Beckley, WV. We will meet on Tuesday evenings from 6-8 pm on May 3, 10,17, 24. In the class, students will learn a variety of piecing techniques to get them started on making quilts.  We will explore 2-3 blocks each of the first 2 weeks. Students will then produce more of those blocks as homework, so that the third week, they will learn to put the quilt top together, using sashing techniques and learn to determine border size, cut borders and assembly of the top. The final week of class, students will learn to sandwich their quilt in preparation for a trip to the person who will quilt the final product, or for these students to hand or free-motion quilt it themselves.

Students who don’t get their quilt blocks made will continue to work on additional blocks and improving their skills. No one needs to feel left behind. Each person has their own pace in sewing and quilting. There is no reason to feel that you are “behind” if you don’t reach the final step in a single session of the class. I do offer classes very frequently in Beckley and if yo udon’t finish in one session, it’s important to remember that there is ALWAYS more to learn in quilting.

We will cover some traditional quilting techniques and some quick-quilting techniques. I teach both adults and children, so there is no reason to think that you are unteachable. Often, when adults feel that way, they are just defeating themselves with that though process, and fear of stepping into something. Let’s work on quilting together and get you into the fun.




Teaching quilting

March 13, 2016

Yesterday I participated in a quilting race in my community. We were all doing jelly roll quilts. It’s a very quick method and can produce very simple quilts, or some that look a bit more complex.

As you know, I teach adults and kids and I have a 10 year old student who I thought would be very inspired by this contest, so I offered to team up with her so she could compete/participate. She did. I did a small amount of the work, to get her started and show her the ropes, then she did the sewing and I just cut for her and ironed for her so she could just plough through the sewing. IMG_1967

She did a great job. I showed her how to do a pair of half square triangles, use halves of each one to produce something like a churn dash for the center of the quilt, then used the strip of 4 sewn together as the strip pieces that would be used to produce a log cabin. I’m attaching a photo, so you can see. She did a beautiful job. I’ll attach photos of some of my friends participating in the day and the quilts produced.

Her success in the workshop has motivated us to offer a similar workshop later in the year for adult quilters to be matched up with kid quilters to a similar fun day, inspiring the next generation of quilters and helping them find their place in their local quilting community. I love teaching sewing and quilting!

Feb 2016 kids classes complete!

February 26, 2016

These classes are sort of ongoing. I try to offer 3 in the spring, 3 in the fall and 3 weeks of summer sewing camp. Feb. classes were kitchen fashionista. The kids made beautiful hot pads and fun aprons. Here are a few pics:  

pics….. later than promised

February 24, 2016

Though it took nearly a week, here are the pics, as promised. This is the Beckley, WV class. I have two moms and a 7-year-old. That’s not my typical class. Generally, the classes are either adults (16&up) or kids, or mother-daughter classes, which are sometimes mother, grandmother, daughter classes.

The ladies in the class did pencil skirts. Here is week 2, as we are tracing the patterns and cutting out.

The following week, we did darts. DSC_0003 And then we installed our zippers, sewed up the sides the following week. And this week, we fused our facing and interfacing, attached the interfacing and checked for fit. My younger student has done her inner and outer seams and the crotch seam.

Here, you can see one of the skirts just an hour from completion. When we return, I’ll teach this student to blind hem. The pink PJ’s will get elastic next time and will be hemmed. The black skirt will have the facing/interfacing done, then we will hem. It’s been a very fun class. As you can see, a very handsome man helps me get my machines and equipment into the classroom and safely home again each week. This past week, as my husband was wandering the store after delivering me to my class he had a very flirtatious encounter. A lady, aisles away, saw my sweetie looking at all things chicken and came hurtling at him from across the store to pick up a conversation with him. “What color chickens do you like?”,  “Where are you from?”, “Let me tell you about…….” He finally sort of tucked his head and swooped around her and loped for the exit and into the car. Hahaha. I had just given him a lovely haircut and he must have exuded confidence and sophistication 😀


Our local fabric store owner is hosting a Jelly Roll race in March, and I’m looking forward to participating. I don’t really want to just zip through strip after strip of jelly roll, so I’m looking for a fun twist to make it fun. Maybe I could do some blocks using the strips, or maybe one of my very young students would like to pair up with me and we could be a team to produce a quilt together. I like to encourage the kids to begin joining a quilting group at a very young age. Perhaps I’ll encourage our adult group to host the kids periodically, or try to begin a quilt with a kid day once a month or so.   Food for thought.

Have a good week. I’ll try to post again soon.

Sometimes I’m weaving instead of sewing

February 17, 2016

We had a great sewing class in Beckley last night. This is my first year of teaching in the WV winter. I was worried there might be a lot of class cancelations due to weather, but it’s been pretty good this year. I’ll post pictures of class later, or tomorrow.

I quilt, sew clothing and home decor and I teach folks those things, but I also weave and spin yarn, and make hand-made felt. Those things, I’ve been teaching for over 20 years. But 2 years ago, my husband retired and we moved to WV and our belongings have been in a state of upheaval between various places and not easily at hand. Two weeks ago, though, my husband finally finished the renovation on our living room. We bought new furniture and just about a week ago, I began setting up a loom to weave a new throw for the new living room. We wanted the colors to nearly match the floral print of the new chairs. I finished the throw today and here is a picture of it on the new furniture.

It’s big and has long, soft fringe. We think the colors are a very good match and I can’t wait to take a nap under it. That’s not likely to happy though, because before I ever finish one project, I’ve got another 2 or 3 plotting in my mind.


Yesterday’s projects

February 12, 2016

Yesterday, we finished the double oven mitt that’s shaped like a heart. The kids loved it. Now, we will move on, to the apron. We are doing that as a recycle project.

Too busy to blog!!!???

February 11, 2016

I’ve been teaching in Marlinton, Hillsboro and Beckley and really enjoying it. I’ve been teaching the kids in Pocahontas county off and on for a year now and some of the students have stayed with me the whole year! They  are getting very good. In addition, I’ve had a couple of adult classes in Hillsboro and I’ve had a couple of classes in Beckley now. Although it’s a long drive, I like going to Beckley because it’s our chance to go to the city periodically.

Right now, I’m weaving some pieces for our new living room, sewing a quilt for one daughter, making drapes for the house and developing lesson plans for the kids in town. I also try to accomplish a task each day toward the decorating of the house. My husband and I recently made a pair of storage ottomans for the new living room. Here they are:

We’ve also been working on the guest bathroom. I made a steampunk light fixture: IMG_0920DSC_0003As you can see, we are having so much fun, that I fail to get the camera out most of the time, but when I do, it’s for something really pretty. Our house in the snow is a good reason: DSC_0036In addition to all this, I’ve taken 3 quilts from UFO state to complete and am hoping to get 3 more (the last 3 UFO quilts) completed before I go to Quilt Week in Paducah with girlfriends. Let me see if I can find some recent sewing pics……

I made a pocketed pillow for a friend. No more lost remote 😀  IMG_0858I did a hats and mittens class with the kids in town:

And I’ve been hand-quilting another soft door:

It’s been a lot of fun, but it has meant a min. amount of posting. I’ll try to keep up better.