When Quilters Gather
Celebrate the quilters by offering a class from When Quilters Gather: 20 Patterns of Piecers at Play. Your students can make a self portrait, make a gift for a quiltmaking friend, or choose a block to illustrate their favorite part of the quilting process.
First, familiarize yourself with the material by making one or several blocks from the book. Begin by carefully studying the freezer paper template method on pages 7-14. Please note: THIS IS NOT PAPER (FOUNDATION) PIECING. I use traditional template piecing methods with iron-on freezer paper templates. You will find that this method has a number of advantages over paper (foundation ) piecing while loosing nothing in accuracy.
All of the blocks in When Quilters Gather are simple straight seam piecing. They vary in difficulty only in the number and size of the pieces. Making any block bigger (even bigger than the size suggested) will make it easier to sew. You can select one block for everyone to work on, or in an advanced class, let each student select their own.
Read carefully the enlarging directions for blocks on page 8. Many large copy
Fabric Selection is covered on pages 20-26. I recommend that you have your students choose skin fabrics first, then hair, then clothing. You will find that I have used patternedfabrics for “skin” in this book. Solid fabrics read too “flat” for my taste. In choosing naturalistic colors for “skin”, guide your students toward the colors they would find in the FOUNDATION section of a make-up collection rather than pink peaches, white or black. Remind them they are making quilts, not photographs, and that fabric choices give an impressionistic interpretation. In most blocks you will need 2 or 3 slightly different shades of “skin”.
Lead you students through the freezer paper template method on page 9, tracing the seam lines on the shiny side of the freezer paper with the Sharpie marker. Then have them put the marker away. They should not use it for any marking on the dull side of the paper. Carefully take them through the process on pages 9-14. When the freezer paper templates have been prepared have them pin the enlarged block diagram on a design wall or piece of fome-core. Each fabric piece (with the freezer paper template on the back) is pinned in place on the enlarged block diagram as it is cut to audition the fabrics. Glass headed pins are easier on the fingers for this part of the process, I recommend the use of thin (silk) pins when pinning fabric pieces together to sew. Have the students follow their copy of the list of sewing directions as they sew, crossing off each step as they proceed.
Other topics: Bordering, sashing, joining blocks, P. 101-110
When Quilters Gather book (each student must purchase a copy)
A copy from the book of the selected block diagram, its piecing diagram and its sewing directions
If possible, a reversed (mirror) copy of the block diagram for labeling ease, p. 10
A copy of the block diagram enlarged to the working size
Ultra fine or extra fine black Sharpie or Identipen permanent marker