It’s Rulers For Rookies!

 

My First Class of Rulers for Rookies!  

Eleven Students

One Longarmer

Ten Domestic Machines

These Students Were AMAZING!

This class was composed of students that would be entering the world of rulers for the first time.  I can only imagine the feeling of excitement and apprehension that filled each of them.  I was so eager to lead them on this new journey, one that I knew would bring unlimited possibilities to quilting.  They, however, weren’t so confident; and the hesitation that mentally consumed them was evident.

One of my students was a Longarmer who almost left before class started. I was relieved she chose to not give into her fears as her willingness to take on this new challenge proved her to be a natural with rulers.

Another one of my students had previously taken a free motion class that created extreme frustration; she did not find that session beneficial in the least.  She was highly concerned that my class would provide similar results.  I am ecstatic to report that this “Rulers for Rookies” class empowered this pupil, allowing her to feel that she would be successful with rulers! Frustration DENIED!

 

 

 

 

Thought I’d share a few pictures from this wonderful session.  Here’s the sample cloth of what they were taught.

These individuals were dedicated to embracing rulers and allowed themselves to remain open to all that this “Rulers for Rookies” class offered.  Launching this class exceeded my expectation!  Introducing these beginners to rulers filled me with an abundance of joy.  I witness eleven students enter my class with fear, reluctance, and lack of confidence.  These eleven individuals exited their time with me free of all those emotions.  They had now gained a sense of power over rulers, and they happily casted aside the word ROOKIE!  How can I not love what I do when my day ends like that?  Are there anymore Ruler Rookies out there?

I’d love to share how much fun and simple rulers can are to use!

The Inner Struggle of Teaching

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 I LOVE teaching! I actually beginning prepping for an upcoming class weeks ahead of time, partly because I am OCD and need to be super, duper prepared, but mostly because I am just that enthusiastic about teaching!  I look so forward to the actual day when I am able to walk into the classroom and share a morning, afternoon, or entire day with those that are willing to endure my instruction for a length of time and share in my passion.  But I cannot ignore the fact that prior to every session I teach my mind starts the playing “The Doubting Game”.  images-111

And here is how this game plays out.  I gaze upon my class roster, I look at what I am teaching that day and the wheel starts spinning.

At the first spin the wheel stops on:

Will it be worth their time?  

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After all these students have paid to sit before me and learn something.  I always to strive to give my student quality instruction.

Next spinner lands on:

Will they absorb the information I am trying to convey?  I can prepare materials, go over what is being taught in my head and feel confident that I am going to nail the information I will present. But then that nagging uncertainty creeps in and this is what I always fear will be looking back at me when the day is upon me (and I will see about 15-25 of these faces)

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Then the spinner slowly falls upon:

Are my students enjoying what they are learning?  Let’s face it these individuals should enjoy their time of being educated.  No one wants to sit in a classroom and feel like they are sitting before Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

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Ah, NO way! I want my students to have a great time AND learn!

Lastly, the wheel comes to a halt at:

Was this class productive?  Did my class give my students what they expected, and wanted over the last several hours AND for what they paid for?  I want these quilters to exit my session feeling as though they have gained at least a few new tools, and concepts.  My inner voice has me wondering if they will all  feel better equipped to take tackle their design.images-99

For me the major challenge of teaching is creating an environment where I give those before me the opportunity to learn, and feel empowered to take the next step in the quilting journey.

This is what I hope to witness at the end of each lecture, or class.

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For all my fellow instructors out there, do you have an aspect of teaching that you find most challenging? If so do tell!

Class is in Session

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The BERNINA Ambassador Reunion in Chicago IL, December 2016

I recently spent a few cold days in Chicago, very COLD days, uniting with BERNINA Ambassadors.  The time in this more than chilly state placed us in the roles of students as we embarked upon three classes that would give us insight on concepts, machines, and tools we may not have experienced until now.

It has been quite awhile since I have been placed on the side of the desk where our class participants sit; it was refreshing and quite an educational experience.  I walked away after those few days reflecting on my style of teaching and realized I might just need to tweak my instructional ways a little bit.

Talk a Little Slower Lisa!

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I know I get very excited and have a tendency to talk a million miles an hour when I begin speaking to my students.  And although I feel I’m making perfect sense I am quite certain those sitting before me feel a bit like Sally.  Time allotted, and speed at which my information is relayed could be balanced just a tad. My enthusiams may come across as a few very, very fast run on sentences.


Cramming in Too Much Information 

Again, finding a balance is challenging.  I am always working to make sure that my students leave their time spent with me feeling that they have gotten their monies worth.  One of my greatest fears is an individual exiting my class thinking “I just spent my afternoon for what? AND it cost me ____???!!!”  Working and reworking the information I share in my lectures, and classes is a continual revision.  I would hate to think I have pupils looking at me feeling like they are out-of-order half way through my class.

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Onto to two things I know everyone can benefit from in my class:

CHOCOLATE

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 and BREAKS!unknown-22

Whether it’s a Hershey’s Bar, Twix, or Kit-Kat, whatever floats your boat; chocolate is never a bad thing to get you through my classes.  Secondly, providing breaks is a Lisa MUST! If you are going to tolerate me for half the day or go big and endure a full day worth of Lisa’s instruction giving time to stretch, and regroup is a big deal! I don’t want any eyes glazing over during my class!

So I thank you Chicago, and those at the BERNINA Ambassador reunion that gave many thoughts to ponder over.  I am sure those entering my future classes will thank you too!  I love knowing that I am forever finding growth which will enhance my business and personal craft.

Oh, I did come back to Pennsylvania with one very selfish realization…I really, really WANT the BERNINA Serger!

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What have you learned while being attending a quliting conference or class?

Every now and then it does a teacher good to sit on the other side of the desk; gaining a new persepective is never a bad thing.

Priceless Advice

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As a child, student, parent and professional we have all been provided with guidance, and advice on how to find our way along the different paths of life.  “It’s not about winning”, “More working and less talking”, “Practice what you preach”, and “You gain more out of the mistakes you make than the success you achieve”.  I am sure they all sound familiar and will remind you of phrases heard from your past.

When I first began long arming I would look at feathers, admiring their beauty and wishing I could allow them to float across my fabric.  My biggest challenge was obtaining uniformity.  The perfection I yearned to portray on my quilt never made an appearance.  After struggling with this technique for quite some time I decided to pose my situation to an online forum.  I asked my million dollar question, “How does everyone get their feathers to look the same, mine all look different.”  I stared at the empty screen, and after several seconds an answer popped up.  The words scrolled across my monitor screen would forever change my way of designing.  The million dollar answer was “Why would you want them to be the same?”  That short sentence would be a HUGE  “Aha” moment for me and would be carried on forever in my way of quilting.   

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During my classes I can often be heard telling my students  “Don’t let anyone tell you there are rules.”  Designing opens a pathway to forgoing rules and encouraging our uniqueness.  Dare to be different, and dare to show the world you.  There isn’t always a right way, or a wrong way, but there is YOUR way.

Do you have an important piece of advice that has played a significant part of your quilting journey?  If so I loved for you to share it with me.