I attended my first quilting class today at the Quilting Box and this is what I achieved. I have done some quilting over the years, and been quite pleased with what I have achieved but I knew I had a lot more to learn – I just didn’t quite know what. Textile crafts have so much to tell us about learning in general.
I joined an ongoing class where participants make a series of 12 inch squares, each one from a different quilting pattern. It was social and inspiring to see what others had achieved. I started with log cabin that I had done many years ago. Prior to the class, I had chosen fabrics to use for this square and subsequent ones in my quilt.
Something I have learned from my recent baby quilt projects that are all about colour and fabric, was to be bold in choosing fabrics to go next to each other. Other people at the class commented on the strong colours I had chosen and liked the finished effect.
I brought my own sewing machine and bits and pieces to class but I did encounter some new technology – a square transparent ruler that helped me measure what I had done, a sewing machine foot that helped me make 1/4 inch seams and flat-headed pins to mark places where I had gone wrong. But what I really learned from dear Edna, the teacher, was how to make a perfect 12 inch square by measuring and correction. So I measured and cut the fabric pieces and sewed the seams as accurately as I could, and then Edna showed me how to press and measure at each second round so that errors could be marked with a flat headed pin and corrected on the next seam.
The measuring was under my control, for improvement not for a final judgement, and Edna was around for advice. That gave me the confidence to achieve a 12 inch square, knowing that I can also apply the measuring/correction technique to other projects. And I was delighted with the finished effect of the fabric combination. So checking, measuring and correcting are all part of learning, with a teacher to support learners’ development of confidence and resilience in a social setting with other learners. Even things that can’t be measured such as choosing fabric combinations are learned by individuals in social settings.