Monday, September 27, 2010

Lalli's Baby Quilt

A few months back, a local blog reader of mine here in Cary reached out to me with a question I've never been asked before. Lalli, who blogs at Passion2Sew, asked me if I would be interested and available to teach her how to quilt. Lalli is an accomplished garment sewer who happens to be 7 months pregnant, and she wanted to learn how to make a baby quilt for her daughter-on-the-way before her impending arrival.

Lalli first called around to several of our local shops but alas, none were offering their beginner classes anytime this past summer. So, on a whim, she reached out to me to see if I'd be willing to help her out.

On my end, I was pretty shocked that someone would be interested in having me teach them anything about sewing! In so many ways I still consider myself very much a beginner. And looking at the complex pieces of clothing that Lalli is already so skilled at making, I questioned what in the world she'd be hoping to learn from me. But I'm a sucker for a pregnant woman asking for help, so I agreed!

We had 4 classes over a 3-week period or so, all in Lalli's sewing studio (which is to die for!) We (roughly) broke the classes out like this:

Class 1: Intro to block construction (including some essential pieces, like flying geese and HST's), seam allowances, tools (e.g. rulers, cutting mats, etc.), fabric selection, and determining what type of quilt to make

Class 2: The basics of cutting for quilts, finalizing a quilt design, and starting block construction

Class 3: Continued block construction, final layout, assembling quilt top, and making binding

Class 4: Basting, quilting, and binding the quilt

Here is Lalli with the quilt that she made in just four classes!:

Quilting with Lalli

Lalli was a bit shy to take too many pictures, but I convinced her to let me get a couple.

As you can see, we made a basic sampler quilt of 12" blocks in a 3x3 layout. BIG THANKS go out to Amanda Jean, because we primarily used block tutorials from her first two quilt-alongs. (Hey, making those blocks was basically how I learned to quilt, so why not share the love?)

Throughout, I tried to emphasize not just how to make this quilt, but also the basics of quilting that can be applied to any design she might pick in the future.

Quilting with Lalli

Here's a picture of the back. Lalli selected a soft flannel print because she wants her new baby to actually use this quilt, so she wanted it to be as warm and snuggly as possible. As you can see, the binding isn't hand-sewn down yet. We both thought that was something Lalli could do in the final stages of her pregnancy!

The best part? Lalli free-motion stippled this quilt all by herself, with only a cursory overview from me. I know that the actual quilting step is something that scares a lot of people, so it was great to see Lalli jump right in with a determination to finish it herself.

Lalli insisted that she take a picture of me with the quilt as well:

Quilting with Lalli

Lalli has blogged about her quilt, too! Want to hear what she had to say about our class? Check out her blog post.

I had a lot of fun with this experience. I think I'd like to do more teaching in the future, and have considered proposing a few class ideas to my local shops. What do you think? Have you seen anything on my blog that you think would be good material for a quilting or sewing class?

By the way, are you a beginning quilter like Lalli? Looking for good easy project ideas to help you build your confidence? In my next post, I will be sharing a free, tutorial that is great for both a brand-new quilter as well as an easy-to-complete project for someone with a bit more experience. Stay tuned!

27 comments:

  1. Saw your Tweet about this so had to come and look! Well done with the teaching - you must be thrilled to facilitate such wonderful work. I am a very slow quilter myself and would not get so much done is so short a time!!

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  2. Yes. I do need to boost my confidence. I love piecing and have a couple ready for quilting. I'm terrified of the quilting. I don't want to ruin the quilt. I think part of my problem is basting. I'm not sure I'm getting it tight enough.

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  3. Oh that is fantastic, I think by the look of it she will not look back now. You have created another "Quilting Monster"...

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  4. What fun! I strongly encourage you to share your love of quilting with others - teaching something you are passionate about is such a gas! I think that your table runner designed for Fat Quarterly would make a great class to perfect flying geese blocks and also colour placement. Good luck (and remember not to 'give' your precious time away...charge a fair price for your work & knowledge!).

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  5. What a lovely experience for both you and I think you both did a great job.

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  6. I am not surprised Lalli wanted to learn to quilt from you! Your quilts are so much fun! I think you should do a class on fabric selection. I always love the fabrics you pick, and I would never think to put them together like you do.

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  7. good teaching job John , is a bit different going from garment construction to quilt construction, and once you've been doing quilts only is hard to back to the those 5/8" seams, too much extra fabric waste in seams to trim, lol!!! just had to make a dress for dd#2 if I had known the dress would fit her right off the pattern I wouldn't have cut them 5/8,.....oh well. Lots of true beginners and "semi" beginners(those who know how to handle scissors, irons, sew a seam and re-thread their machine!!!) out there dying to learn, have a great time teaching.

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  8. How fun!! What an awesome experience for you both!

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  9. Oh I am so excited about your next post. I am a beginner too. I loved this story about how you are sharing your experience with Lalli. I am headed to her blog to see what she has to say. I was gonna suggest that you teach on the blog. I don't guess the pay would be good but you would be helping a lot of people that want to learn like me.

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  10. What a neat experience this must have been for you! I'm getting ready to teach a bunch of quilting newbies, and I may use some of your ideas for how to teach to set up my class. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. A friend just pointed me to your blog. This is beautiful and how nice of you to teach her! Her baby will be so happy with such a bright and cheerful quilt. I think it is great when men quilt! My husband does some Christian work at a men's prison and they have a group of men there who quilt...they were written up in one of the quilt magazines a couple months ago.

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  12. I just read through the comments and can't believe no one commented on how tiny she must be! She made the quilt look big and you made it look 3x3! Too funny! The lovely Amanda Jean will be coming out here to Colorado for our second Quilting retreat with her in November(still spots available!). If you get into teaching, expect an invite to come and teach for us! I for one, love what you do even if you are a newbie. Really, who isn't!

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  13. what an awesome response to an inquiry John! reaching out to someone like that in friendship and sharing your talents is an inspiration.

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  14. You did an awesome job teaching John...and Lalli did an incredible job on the quilt.

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  15. what a great job!

    You should so teach - you'd be awesome at it.

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  16. how nice of you! i think you'd be a great teacher. your posts (and general attitude) are always very encouraging. nothing like sharing the quilting love! :)

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  17. I've taught quilting for years. It's both rewarding and frustrating (depending on "who" you are teaching). Make sure it's a quilt that can be completed in the classes and make sure it's something that "you" love. Good luck ~ I know you'll be great.

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  18. you are very humble! and a very good teacher! that's a wonderful quilt!

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  19. What a wonderful quilt for a new daughter. It's hard to believe that this is Lalli's first quilt! Well, she had a great teacher, so no wonder it turned out so well.

    The two of you made an awesome team!
    Yvette

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  20. FAB! i've just bought mt 1st jelly roll! tomorrow evening 2 of us will start our first jelly rolls together!!
    i love looking at what you've been quilting!

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  21. well done teaching can be very gratifying.

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  22. Lalli's baby will have a lovely quilt to keep her warm. And a wonderful heirloom. You should definitely check out your local quilt shops for teaching possibilities. I think you would be great!

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  23. I'd love to have someone like you to post beginner quilting tutorials. I'm contemplating my first quilt...

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  24. What a cool experience for you! That was so generous of you to offer private quilting lessons. Lalli caught on quickly, too! Her quilt is beautiful!

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  25. Oh QD, that is so lovely. I've got a few tears. What a really wonderfully kind thing for you to do for Lalli. Sounds like you both got a lot out of the experience. How fantastic.

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  26. Hello, there I am amazed with your talents, Yes it is odd a guy to quilt but you are a GREAT ARTIST... keep up your work. I am new to blogging and I do have many interest too one happens to be u=quilting. I have taught this by myself from books and talking to people who loves to quilts...
    I am totally amazed by your talents. I love the pattern you have describe I might start a quilt but I have to learn so much machine quilting I don't have a very good machine but I will get one one day...
    you are welcome to drop by my blog sharmiladabare.blogspot.com

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