Yesterday’s class for beginners in the world of freehand cutting and piecing had an element of additional brain activity for all of us – three languages were being spoken in class – there were several of the brasilians in class most of whom spoke a little spanish but no english, I speak spanish enough to manage, but not very elegantly imho, and understand a bit of portuguese if it is spoken slowly and clearly, and fortunately one student could clear any roadblocks ( which I am proud to say were rare) with enough ability in all three. There was meant to be an interpreter around, like pin boards and enough table space … but we managed, as quilters always do. One of the sponsoring sewing machine companies provided machines for the class, plus a techie who was in the room most of the day – so someone dropping a pin into the mechanism of one, and another just not working well, did not present me with any worries at all.
The morning session included demos, some sample making, then deciding which aspect of these techniques the quilter was going to put into a small wallhanging. As we proceeded I was a bit concerned that a couple were just not getting the freehand bit, couldn’t handle the freedom actually! which I did understand, they were all from the traditional quiltmaking world with its necessary attention to precise measurement and careful cutting. But in the afternoon these two in particular really ‘got it’ , which pleased me to see.
At the end of the day, as class wqas starting to pack up, one student asked me would I mind if she taught classes on this. I immediately thought ‘You have to be joking surely, you are not any kind of expert dear! ‘ but of course, I said that since it is just a technique, and if she makes all her own samples and images – with absolutely no permission to use any of my quilt images, of course, she could. I discussed this response with another teacher later, who agreed. It’s technique, and I am very glad I have long had the teaching policy of never giving out copious class notes – there is the one page basic instruction sheet which is (c) I pointed out – but free to anyone who asks – and the half page list of points (c) covered in class in the order of the sample sets I demo-ed. Another student asked if I had a book …. answer = no – for the same reason. I teach, and the student has to learn what I am teaching in this class, making note of anything they need to remember – which is the point of making samples and having a pen and notebook. They all have my email, and I welcome any follow up inquiries to my classes.