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!

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.

Flat Lisa is STILL in Pennsylvania?? Say It Isn’t So!!

WHAT,  Flat Lisa is STILL in Pennsylvania?! Say It Isn’t So!!  img_8873

Where is everyone? I know quilters reside in places other than Pennsylvania, so why is Flat Lisa stuck in Pennsylvania? Okay, perhaps you missed the Flat Lisa Reveal, maybe you skipped the Flat Lisa Reveal, or I suppose there is a slight possibility you aren’t interested in Flat Lisa.? Regardless, I will say it again I am eager to view my quilting friends globally.  That being said I’d like, one more time, to introduce Flat Lisa! Share with me your quilting studio, classes, shows etc.(be creative if you’d like).  Simply right-click on Flat Lisa below, save it to your computer and print out copy.  Take a selfie with you and Flat Lisa and send your picture via email to Lisahcalle@me.com  –It’s that easy!!

****Make sure you include your location so that I can track where my adventures have taken me. All photographs will be posted AND you will be entered to win a copy of my book “Divide and Design”.  A winner will be drawn for end of this month.  You don’t have a lot of time, so come on quilting friends I know you’re out there!!

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Not a Dreary Day at Danner BERNINA

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of teaching at Danner BERNINA.  Although mother nature decided to issue rain showers and bleak skies my time teaching was anything but dreary.  On the contrary, my day was absolutely fantastic!  The classroom was spacious and the energy at Danner BERNINA had me eager to begin the day.  Mother Nature had nothing on Danner BERNINA.

Seeing students that I have previously taught always brings a smile to my face.   I try to remember names and faces, but my age isn’t decreasing in years and my beautiful mind loves reminding me of that little fact.  It’s either I remember your name and not your face or vice versa, I remember your face and not your name.  Don’t get me wrong, I can remember both on a really good day…lol!   For instance, Rose, I will not forget because not only is she a quilter but she is also a ceramic artist.  I often imagine how therapeutic it must be letting your hands and clay work together as they produce an object of beauty.  But currently my hands are more than filled with quilting, so the idea of working with clay needs to be set aside…sigh.
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These three lovely ladies, pictured above, were a treat to teach.  Adele (situated all the way on the left) attended this class on her  birthday! I felt honored that she chose her special day to be here participating in BOTH the templates class and feathers class. I hope someone spoiled her with a cake, presents, and singing later that evening it was well deserved!  Thanks again Adele for spending a good portion of  your birthday at Danner’s. The mother-daughter duo are seated to right. It warmed my heart seeing them again and I love that they not only love quilting, but moreover obviously love spending time together.  Last year when I was in Houston Debra took my Divide and Design Class.  I must not have totally horrified her as she came back for more “Lisa” and attended one of my  feathers classes.  By the way Debra’s quilt was juried into Houston this year! You Go Girl!!!  During the sessions on Saturday I was excited to learn that Donna and Debra will be visiting Houston again this year.  I’m thrilled to hear this but I do need to encourage them to put their Fitbits on and pick up the pace a tad on preview night.  Last year they perused aisles 1 through 900, at that pace they won’t get to mine 1323.   Come on girls don’t let me down this year!

When it comes to quilting Debra is the chief, she does the quilting for this mother-daughter team; so partaking in this feathers  class may have put Donna a little out of her comfort zone. With concentration and perseverance she plugged away, and plugged away, and plugged away, and eventually proudly announced “I did it, I can stop now, I created a perfect feather!”  I was brimming with joy and was extremely anxious to see her design. So I scurried around to her table…AND

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there before me was just that, her one perfect feather. It may have only been one feather but it was perfect and she  had succeeded.

Saturday held so much laughter that my stomach felt as though I had done a bizillion sit ups. It is so refreshing as a teachers when we encounter those students that bring humor and lightness to our time together. Sandy was that individual on this past Saturday. Well, to be honest I had quite a few Sandy’s on Saturday.  My instruction time at Danner BERNINA quickly came to an end.  Soon we would be giggling as we said our goodbyes knowing that this was a class to remember.

These students had me so involved with questions, comments, and yes laughing that I didn’t have time to take as many photographs as I had hoped.

On my 2 hours drive home I kept smiling and giggling to myself knowing that drizzle and the gray clouds were no where to be found at Danner’s.  I hope to hold classes there again soon, I look forward to all the laughter that awaits me.

Have your local shop contact me if you are interested in having me come teach!!

Lisa

MQX East recap…

The past two weeks were a whirlwind.  I was at MQX East where I spent the week with some very talented quilters.. my students.  I always learn so much from them.  I launched a new class All Marked Up!  It was so much fun.  It was a round table discussion on marking tools and all 25 students participated.  It was such a great class I can’t wait to “teach” it again.

Of course I taught ruler classes, my Divide and Design technique and Mastering the Mini.  Here are some pictures….

Divide, Design, Get it done!

Mastering the Mini!

 

And of course, my Sis, Judy is there with me.  She’s the one that makes sure all the students are sufficiently caffeinated with coffee and chocolate..

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We always try and squeeze in some fun as well…. Judy surprised me with a quilt she made me…. Love it!

Always a great time!  Can’t wait till next year!  Hope to see you there.

Quilt on, My Friends!

Lisa

Sparrow Studioz

I am getting excited for my first ever trip to Canada!  I will be  at Sparrow Studioz July 8-11!  I will be teaching 2 ruler classes, the first is Totally Templates.  This is a beginner class.  The second is Gettin’ in the Groove.  In this class you will learn how to use the Quilter’s Groove rulers.  If that isn’t enough fun.. I am debuting the hands on version of Divide and Design.

Simple Nine Patch

Simple Nine Patch

We will be working on a simple nine patch block.  This is a 6 hour class where you will learn the technique of Divide and Design and then stitch out what you have designed.  It will be loads of fun.  Hope you can join me!

Quilt on, My Friends!

Lisa

Birthday Sale!!

My 21st birthday is this week.  😉  I am celebrating with a sale on my site from 5/4 -5/10!

46% off all digital designs code: bday46

20% off all Quilter’s Groove Rulers code:bday2015

20% off all Paper Pantographs code: bday2015

20% off all Lisa’s Favorite things  code: bday2015

20% off DVD’s  code: bday2015

discounts cannot be combined with other discounts, no wholesale orders- all orders will ship out by the end of next week.

Yippee! HMQS is this week.  I am so looking forward to seeing you all.  I love SLC and this time I might have some time to see some sights.

A huge thank you to all who responded about classes... I have some good ideas and hopefully will find the time to come up with some new classes.  I am always open so you can still email me at Lisahcalle@me.com

Quilt on, My Friends!

Lisa

 

 

Classes, classes, classes….

Hi all, I am getting classes together for 2016…. I know… I have trouble thinking that far out as well.  LOL   So it got me thinking… when you are looking at a list of classes to choose from… what do you look for?  Inviting descriptions? pictures? what draws you in to the classes you ultimately choose?   There  are so many to choose from now a days… any feedback would be appreciated.

I am teaching in Houston this year.  Yeah!  So excited.  I will be teaching a 6 hour hands on class for Divide and Design. on Monday oct 26th. you will be working on a real quilt! We will be designing and then quilting what you have designed.  It will be loads of fun!  Hope to see you all there.   I am providing said quilt.  It will be something along the lines of this…

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What are you all looking for in classes that is not being taught?  One of the struggles we teachers have is constantly coming up with new material for classes… ok, maybe not all teachers.. but I sure do!  I would love to hear your ideas!  You can leave them in the comments or email me directly… lisahcalle@me.com

Quilt on, My friends!

Lisa

 

Bits and Pieces…..

Spring Show season is upon us and I hope to see many of you in some classes.  I recently gave a lecture at a local guild and encouraged them all to take some quilting classes.  Whether you quilt on a domestic, mid arm or longarm, you should peruse the classes.  Many of the classes I teach are drawing classes so it really doesn’t matter how you quilt.  So jump on in and sign up, there are so many talented teachers ready to impart their knowledge on you!

I will be teaching at MQX in April, HMQS in May and I will be in Edmonton, Canada at Sparrow Studios in July.   I will also be teaching this year at the Houston International Quilt Festival!!

 

I have started to mark my hand applique quilt, A Color of its Own, and am in the process of picking out thread colors…. I will be using FilTec’s Allure Buttermilk Silk thread and am in the process of choosing the perfect color of Aurifil Lana Wool.  Getting excited to start this project.

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Tuesday, I will be traveling to Denver to film an episode of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms.  Woo Hoo!!!  Excited to meet them and see some friends while I’m there.

Quilt on, My Friends,

Lisa