Welcome to Day 10 of How to Earn $ From Sewing and Quilting! Today we are going to answer the question – Can YOU Teach Others?
And of course the answer to that question is…… YES you can!!!!
Here’s my story to give you a bit of encouragement…
How I Started Teaching Others to Sew and Quilt
I had been sewing since I was a young child – first with a needle and thread sewing clothes for my dolls, then mucking around with Mum’s old Singer sewing machine 😊I started sewing clothes for myself when I was a teenager, and made most of the children’s clothes when they were little.
I even made a quilt of sorts when I was expecting my eldest… I call it a “quilt of sorts” because I had no idea what I was doing! I wish I had a picture of it, but it didn’t last long because the batting I used was polyester and I hadn’t actually ‘quilted” it properly so after a few washes it went into a big wad… and that was the end of that.
I finally learned how to quilt “for real” when I moved to Arabia the second time. A lovely American lady, Evelyn, was teaching a beginner’s class and I was one of the ladies lucky enough to join. We made a simple Fence Rail quilt, and I was SO PROUD of myself!!! I had made REAL quilt!! I immediately made another Fence Rail… and another… haha!
A year later I moved to another part of Arabia where I met Nora and started going to her shop. That is where I started teaching others how to quilt. Yes, I was a beginner myself, but I knew a few techniques that they didn’t know, so I taught them!
When I moved back to Australia I also taught beginners, some ladies in the neighbourhood – we met at one lady’s house and I taught them the basics.
And then I came back to Arabia again, started my shop, and taught classes almost weekly….
What Gave Me the Confidence to Teach Others How to Sew and Quilt?
When I started to go to Nora’s for a sit & sew, I thought to myself – here I am, a complete beginner… I’m sure all these new ladies I am meeting are super confident and know way more than me.
Guess what? They did know a lot more than I did! But I also knew some things they didn’t!!! And they asked me to teach them…
Has anyone ever asked you to teach them something with regards to sewing or quilting? Did you say, “oh, no, I’m not a teacher… I couldn’t teach you that…”
Well, I think you can. We are all teachers. If you have children you have been teaching them all their lives. If you have a partner, you have been teaching him/her all your life! If you have siblings, you have been teaching them all your life! We have all taught someone something…. so as far as I am concerned, there is no reason you can’t teach other people how you made that bag or quilt they so admired.
Are Some Teachers Better Than Others?
The answer to this is probably yes…. “better” is a relative word, however. Teaching styles are different and we will go into that in a later blog post and more in depth about what makes a “good” teacher.
We all learn in different ways. We all respond to teaching in different ways. So some teachers will suit different people. One person may have taken a class with a certain teacher and thought he/she was wonderful! Another person may have taken the same class and thought the teacher was terrible!
Don’t think you need to cater to everyone’s learning style… you can try your best of course, but you can never please everyone!
Do I Need to be Perfect Before I Can Teach Others?
Ok. I am done laughing.
You can guess the answer to that! NO! Of course not, because if we were waiting to be perfect, there would be no classes! You know the areas of sewing and quilting that you are good at and those that you are not good at.
I was recently asked to teach a class on reverse applique…. I was rather puzzled, because I generally teach free motion raw edge applique… so why were they asking me to teach that? I had tried it once… and was better at it than regular needle turn, but there is no way I would teach a class on it!!
Don’t get me wrong – when I was helping to run the block of the month at our local guild many years ago, I taught classes where I had only just learned the technique so I could teach the other guild members. And they all went well 🙂 But I would never teach a technique that I felt I was not great at.
I have taught free motion classes and by the end of one of the classes one of my students (who was trying free motion for the first time) was clearly better than me!!! Does that mean I will never teach free motion again? No! My free motion skills are nowhere near perfect, but I am quite capable to teach others.
Teach What You Know
My basic motto is – teach what you know. Then you can’t go wrong!
That’s it for today folks. Come back tomorrow for Teaching Others How to Sew and Quilt – What to Teach
PS Please remember I am answering your comments in the comment section below and not via email like I usually do. Sorry for the hassle, but I am hoping this month we can share ideas!
PPS The main page of this series is here along with links to each post for this series.
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