Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Worlds WORST Quilt Lesson


I am about to tell you about the worst 2 hours I have spent in a LONG time. I told you guys I was going to a quilt class on Saturday. And go I did...and wish I didn't!! Can I just tell you IT WAS THE BIGGEST WASTE EVER!! The class was called Quilting Part 1: Rotary Cutting. Perfect I thought. I know that quilting is mostly made up of cut up pieces of fabric. Cutting and measuring is HUGE in quilting so I thought getting a class on the right way to cut would be a great start to my new adventure. I was sitting in my chair for 5 minutes and I knew things were not going to be good. The lady teaching the class was there chit chatting for the first 15 minutes of class...just shooting the breeze like we were not there to do something specific!!


Me, not being the most patient of people to start with, started getting a little antsy. The class was to go from 11:30-1:30. It was 11:45 and this gal was yakking like we had all day. So when she finally begins the class she starts talking about the dangers of rotary cutting. You know the sharp blade and the needles that are used in quilting. She talked about this for about 30 minutes. I am not kidding. We got to hear about every story she knew where someone left the rotary blade exposed and nicked themselves while they were doing the dangerous deed of cutting quilt squares!! I was DYING!!

 But I figured after we covered all the possible things that could go wrong while using a rotary cutter, we would be on to actually USING the dangerous tool. ..

.but alas, she had to talk about the SELF HEALING MAT!! And why it was called self healing and the many different stories that all came back to using the DANGEROUS rotary cutter on the SELF HEALING MAT!!! I am about to DIE at this point. All I can think about is raising my hand and shouting..."CAN YOU PLEASE SHOW ME HOW TO CUT, MEASURE and USE ALL THESE THINGS...AND JUST STOP TALKING!!!"

 I was running all these different scenarios through my head...should I say it nicely like, "I really have to keep to the time the class is supposed to end, do you mind showing us some the cutting techniques while you tell us every story that has ever happened to you relating to the ROTARY CUTTER!!! Or should I say what I really wanted to say, "I have paid $20 to learn how to cut a piece of fabric..move it along lady. I do not care about your stories!!"


Instead I just sat there thinking that I must be going insane and I have entered my own personal hell. I finally get a few hours out with no nursing baby and I am STUCK listening to the most ridiculous precautionary stories involving a rounded scissor!!! Finally at 1:15 (I am not exaggerating), we finally stand next to the cutting table. By this time I am so mad I can not even stand to watch her "SAFELY" use her cutter.

 I left the class!! The owner said, "I hope you learned something!" I said I wish I actually got to cut a piece of fabric instead of hearing about it!!" I plan on writing her an email giving her some real feedback. But I have to wait until I can do so without sounding so MAD!! I think she should know that her instructor just lost her a customer on many levels. I will NEVER take another class there again and I will not be buying my expensive quilt supplies there either. This story could have gone so differently. If the class was even a small bit more informative and productive I would have signed up for the next class and left that  store yesterday with a quilts worth of fabric!! The owner should know . I plan on telling her..very nicely!


OK...that being said I have a few quilting questions. The first is this...with a regular sewing machine is it possible for me to quilt the whole quilt myself. The way the lady at the store made it sound NOBODY quilted their own quilt. EVERYBODY sends their quilt off to a long arm professional quilter. This can not be the case!! Does all top quilting have to be done by hand if you have no special machine. Do you quilt each square on its own they sew the squares together? I am having a hard time getting all the parts of quilting straight. Can I quilt with a regular sewing machine? Anything you can offer would be helpful!! Until then I am making a small practice quilt project...very carefully cutting out 2 x2 squares!!!


  1. The answers to your questions really depend on the kind of quilt you intend to make. I make baby quilts all the time and quilt them on my machine. But nothing fancy. I either quilt in the seam or make simple diagonal lines. I almost always make random square quilts (all the same size but randomly placed different fabric pieces) because they look simple and old-fashioned and that's what I like. I even made a king sized quilt that way and quilted it on my machine. I don't recommend it though -- I almost lost my mind!

    Just practice on doll quilts until you get the hang of piecing. With the exception of rag quilts (to my knowledge) you piece then quilt.

  2. Yes, you can quilt on a regular sewing machine! My teacher recommended using a walking foot, I don't know if you have to though; I have yet to actually "quilt" my quilt because I am afraid of messing up the quilt top when I worked so long and hard on it ;) (My teacher has since moved, so I'm my own now!)

    Oh, the self healing mat and rotary cutter stories NEVER END!
    Good luck with your quilt!!!

  3. I'm no expert quilter by any means... but yes you can quilt on a regular machine - and I have! They were small blankets and I used a walking foot. It was a great way to try quilting before investing in another machine.

    I piece all the squares together and then machine quilt it. There are a lot of good quilting books for more information on quilting - maybe check out your local library. Also, there are some fabulous blogs/websites too. I like for simple quilting ideas.

    I did end up getting a "quilting" machine so that I could quilt larger quilts (more easily) because it has a bigger arm and more space to move the quilt around. I haven't sent any of my quilts to be done by a long arm machine (so expensive!) but since I'm a beginner I've had to learn to be alright with imperfections (lots of them!).

    I hope that helps a little. Don't fear the rotary cutter... I haven't lost any fingers... yet ;)

  4. You should check out the quilting classes at I love that you can watch the class over and over again until you get it right.

  5. The only person that I know that quilts is here...

    I hope she can help you...


  6. I am by no means an expert, but I have made a quilt, and I've learned a lot from my sister who has made many quilts.

    Basically you cut out the squares and sew each one together according to your pattern (you can even make up your pattern as long as you end up with the shape you want in the end). You can make a border around the edge too. THEN, once your quilt top is complete, you layer the quilt top, batting (the soft stuff that goes inside), and the back piece. Pin those together - safety pins make it really easy to fold the quilt up and work on it a little at a time, without getting stuck by those dreaded pins! :) Then you can quilt it together by sewing all three layers together. Just "stitch in the ditch" - stitch in the seams of the quilt top.

    This works well for a baby quilt size and a twin - I would not recommend trying to quilt much larger than that on your own, simply because the quilt has to be bunched up and fit under your sewing machine arm - NOT easy to do with a larger quilt!!!

    There are several options for finishing the quilt, but this should get you started! Good luck, and I'm sorry you paid money to have to sit through such a bad class. Not fun!