Workshops Are Fun!

I just returned from a road trip to a delightful quilt shop, The Cotton Cupboard, in Bangor, Maine where I taught a 2-day Fire & Ice Workshop from my Mariner’s Compass Stars book. It occurred to me when I downloaded some of the photos I took during the workshop, that some quilters might be interested to know what it is like to take a workshop. I travel almost 40 weeks a year to teach, so teaching workshops is something that I do often. Although I teach the same classes, each class for me is different simply because the students are different in each class. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job, is the opportunity to meet so many delightful quilters from all the world.
They come for different reasons. Some come to learn a technique, some come to perfect the technique, some come so they will enjoy the technique, some come just to make the project and some come to just have fun.
Typically the students come from the surrounding area when a workshop is local and bring their own sewing machines. When the workshop is at a national event, they can come from all over and many times the sewing machines are supplied by one or more sewing machine companies. The plus to having your own sewing machine is that you are familiar with it and therefore in a comfort zone. When sitting at a strange machine, it can sometimes be unsettling at first, but often times, it is a great way to explore other machines and what they have to offer.
Students tend to become a group throughout the day and enjoy each other’s company. There is often lots of sharing and support. Quilting, after all, is a hobby and is supposed to be fun. If I can teach students techniques that will add to their enjoyment of their quilting, then I feel it has been a good day. We tend to have lots of laughs in my workshop and that often leads to students relaxing, learning and enjoying!
And at the end of the day, some students will have completed the entire project and others will have completed parts of the project. The goal is not to work as fast as you can, but to work at your own comfortable pace. That is different for each student and a student who works more slowly has not learned less or is less accomplished. They simply worked at their own pace. A student who works quickly is not an “over achiever”, they are simply working at their comfortable pace.
If you leave the workshop feeling as if you enjoyed the day, enjoyed learning worthwhile techniques and laughed a bit along the day….then it was a good day.

One Response to “Workshops Are Fun!”

  1. Barbara in Georgia Says:

    Having attended a couple of Carol’s classes, I can testify that they ARE fun! And I would highly recommend them to anyone even vaguely interested in paper piecing–or even anyone not interested. You learn a lot and have a chance to make really striking blocks that look good even if you aren’t an expert at precision cutting and sewing. And, the camraderie that develops during the class is worth it, just for that part of the experience. Classes ARE fun–especially with Carol in the lead.