When I agreed to design and teach a Block of the Month class for Craftsy last year, I have to admit that I had no idea what to expect. I have been quilt teacher for decades now. Even though I’ve written many books and had lessons recorded for viewing either online or on TV, most of my teaching has been face to face. I was hoping to get a good response to the Craftsy class but in no way did I ever imagine that well over 60,000 of you would sign up.
While I’m thrilled by your response, I do miss the interaction with my students. I’m fortunate, though, to have the Studio here in Virginia where I get to see several students who are making each month’s blocks and talk to them about their experience with the class. Here are just two of them and their experiences.
Margot is a frequent customer who brings cheer into the shop when she visits. If you follow us on Facebook, you have often seen her work. She is quite an enthusiastic quilter and we love when she walks in the door to share her work.
Up until January, Margot had been very busy completing large bed quilts, pillow cases and smaller children’s quilts for donation. She decided to take a break to study, to learn something new, and signed up to take my Craftsy class. She says, “It was just too good an opportunity to miss.”
Hand stitching the first block was difficult for her. The stitches were not uniform; the blocks were not the right size. But she hung in there with the project and completed the block. Each block became easier and her stitches became more regular. Not as small as she would like but acceptable to her.
As she now has the first four blocks completed, hand piecing has become a habit. This success arose from constant work and locating help on Craftsy when needed. She is happy to say that at age 77, she can still learn a new skill.
Cathy is also taking the class. I first met her on a trip to India over a year ago. Just this past month, when she expressed interest in working at the Studio, I quickly hired her.
Her quilting addiction, as she calls it, began a few years ago when visiting her sister and being told they were taking a beginning quilting class together. Having only worked on fairly simple blocks so far, Cathy decided that she needed to step out of her comfort zone and signed up for the BOM class.
“I was apprehensive and was afraid of failure. I loved the fabric and before I knew it, I was on the website, signed up for the class, ordered the kit and now I was committed. “
The first block appeared to be going well but once the top of the basket was sewn in place there was an issue–it did not match up with the bottom. She soon discovered that she had cut one set of the triangles the wrong size. After recutting and sewing, she was happy with the results. (Don’t worry. We’ve ALL been there, Cathy!)
Cathy writes: “I have discovered if you watch the video (more than once) and carefully read (and re-read) the instructions for assembling the block, you will be successful. My fear and hesitation has now turned to excitement and I am anxiously waiting for the new month so I can learn more. Bring on the appliqué and paper piecing!”
Often we hesitate to try new things when they seem difficult or unfamiliar. Learning new skills can be exciting yet intimidating at the same time. I have found, though, that with practice, these new skills become easier and, eventually, even natural. As my students have told me, the best thing to do is to just jump right in and give it a try.