I’m always ready to learn something new.
. . . but I’m usually in the seat behind the rows of desks, with a bunch of other students, watching the action up front.
Then, last year, after I was the featured artist at the quilt show, it felt kind of natural when the program chair at my local quilt guild (600+ members), asked me hold a workshop. I spontaneously said YES! – why not?
We set the date to April.
Not much later, the inner voice started talking back, – it sunk into my brain… What? Was I ready?
Sure, I previously did some 8-students small-class teaching of machine quilting, and that went well, but this is different. Most students are not from my circle of friends and it’s a paying job! No space for failure.
Never mind, I did’t have anything prepared or even worked out the topic.
A bloody beginner… But, with months to go, I started to plan the – to me – most frighting thing:
Standing in front of many and teaching!
However, planning seems a good thing, but so far in advance, everything felt very hypothetical.
So I did what I do very well, procrastinating. The clock ticked on, days and months came and went, my mind kept mulling for a solution, a “road map”. I knew I had to break it down into steps and make samples.
It got much easier when I pulled out all the quilts I’ve made, using this basic technique. I found, they all look very different, – that’s the key. I was happy to start sewing my samples.
The class filled up quickly, even got to a “wait list”.
Then, last Saturday, it happened for the first time. I was standing behind the front desk, facing a class of 20 eager students, teaching how I piece my “organic” looking art quilts, and how not to be frightened by “making a hole” (or more) into a perfectly fine quilt top!
All the planning didn’t commute anything close to the exhilarating atmosphere of students,
watching me and every move I made, taking notes of tiny details, asking questions and clicking cameras to memorize the samples for later. We had a very good vibe in the class, lot of laughter and Ah-Ha-moments.
By the end of the day, every single student made a substantial piece of work and each person truly understood the processes.
When I’m a student myself, I rarely have the feeling there will be finished work to show some day.
My students did not just make a sample destined to disappear in a dark drawer forever.
I’m looking forward to next year’s quilt show.
To sum it up in short:
I learned so much, – and I’m loving it!