Guild member Jenni Smith introduces a new quilting course for beginners that supports The Quilters’ Guild.
The Guild plays such an important role in celebrating quilting in the British Isles and beyond, and The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection inspires many people to get involved. But taking the huge leap from thinking you would like to make a quilt and actually doing it is where many people get stuck. For the past ten years I have taught quilting to beginners of all ages, starting around my kitchen table, via the local theatre and eventually to my own studio, where I teach weekly, together with my studio manager Kay Walsh (who was one of my early students).
This year we launched an education platform, Just One Quilt, to allow us to reach many more people, starting with Jenni’s Ultimate Quilt Course. The course is basically everything I wish I had known before I made my first quilt. It is broken down into bitesize videos which can be watched as many times as needed until people feel confident enough to have a go.
It goes through a basic patchwork quilt, covering all the questions a person new to the craft might have, and demystifies the language surrounding fabric cuts and the tools quilters use. We have taken nothing for granted – the aim is for the course to be engaging, fun and accessible, whatever people’s budget. With that in mind, all processes are shown, whether sewing by hand or on a machine, so people can start with an essential toolbox.
We think of it as the bread and butter of quilting, so that having completed the course people will have a firm foundation of knowledge that they can return to as they move on and explore all the creative possibilities of quiltmaking.
Feedback on Jenni’s Ultimate Quilt Course so far has been very positive. Absolute beginners have made a quilt they feel proud of. Quilters have bought the course for other family members who they want to share their love of quilting with, and parents who quilt have bought it for children who respond better to being taught by someone not in their immediate family (that was me as a teenager so I totally understand!).
We have collaborated with The Guild to donate 50% of the total cost of each course sold. If you would like to support The Guild by donating 50% of the total cost of a course, just use this link when you visit the website and buy the course for a one-time payment of £60.
Quite simply, our dream is to get more people quilting and for The Guild to be able to carry on with all the wonderful work it does. So it is a collective effort to increase the number of new quilters, and to build a bright and positive future for the practice and preservation of our beloved craft.
Jenni has been sewing for the last 25 years and her goal is to share her knowledge and enthusiasm, and to inspire a new generation of makers. She is also author of the book Quilting with Liberty Fabrics, which will be published by Lucky Spool Media later this year. You can find out more about Jenni at her website.