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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of teaching at Wisconsin Quilt Expo. My topic was Turn Your Embroidery Machine into a Longarm.  The one-hour lecture covered everything from selecting designs to placement of designs to handling the bulk/weight of the quilt.  I had a blast! I love that topic and my students were really interested in mastering the technique. I shared everything I know about the topic that I could fit into 55 minutes. You know, I’m originally from New Jersey so I can talk really fast! 

That experience made me wonder what you look for when you want to learn new embroidery techniques.  What motivates you to attend a teaching event? What’s your preferred learning environment: at your local dealer in small groups, large group, hands-on, short lectures, online, TV or in print?  If you prefer a mix of environments, I’d love to hear our thoughts. Would you take a moment to share your thoughts on classes/events?

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19 COMMENTS

  • Laurie

    For me hands down on site, small class. Too many distraction at home. I have taken Your classes on line. I like interacting with people. It’s more fun!

  • Maga

    I appreciate the ability to learn in my own home very much because I don’t have to travel and I have all my tools around me. However there is much to be said too for classes if the teacher is well organised and everything is provided for said class – the interaction and learning from fellow students is great especially when there is time enough. There seems to be a trend where I am for classes of 2-3 hours instead of 6 hours where you have time to try the technique and ask questions after you have had a go. Lectures with lots of samples is more useful I find if time is short especially if there are handouts but they seem to have disappeared now which I can understand because they have been misused in the past by unscrupulous people but all the same they were useful.
    I would love to attend a 3 day class or retreat where I could submerge myself in the subject but that is just a pipe dream

  • lynne e.

    Short lectures with detailed printed handout so I can follow along.

  • Sue Winnie

    I prefer hands on because that’s the type of learner I am. And I like the commradery of a class setting

  • Carol Coleman

    I love hands, going to events and videos so I can go back and review.

  • Merci Norwood

    I love small classes, with lots of hands on, especially if we are trying a new technique. I have taken many classes at my local dealer. Things like open work or puffy designs are something I would not have done if I had not seen it done at the dealer. I also took a quilt class with embroidery included, where each month, we had to try a new technique. Again, many of them were things I would not have done on my own at home. I like finding out what other people are doing. I also love to see pre-made samples of designs. Many times, you can not imagine what something looks like unless you can see it already made up. However, I also attend sewing expos to see what new techniques are out there…..so exciting!!!!

  • Joanne Scarbeary

    My sewing/embroidery business is a full time gig and I have young kids, so getting to a class is a burden on the whole family. I would LOVE to see more online tutorials or web/podcasts that I can watch or listen to on my own time or while I’m ironing. If you wanted to make a series of video classes on a topic that would be fantastic and then I can go back and watch the parts I need help with repeatedly. With the DIY movement in full swing there are a lot of young people interesting in sewing and embroidery, reaching them needs to be online; I think there’s a HUGE audience waiting for you. I’m always the youngest person in the room for the sewing or embroidery classes, usually by 20-40 years. Topics involving upcycling or embellishing things you already have, as well as anything baby, gardening or house fix it up would be interesting. Projects that are useful and fun to make without a huge expense.

  • Donna Fecteau

    I prefer hands on events. The store where I bought my machine does several retreat events a year and I try to always attend the embroidery one. Now that I live 2 hours away from the shop its a little harder to attend a 3 day event, but I do when I can!

  • Carolyn G Ford

    I prefer hands on classes. I have attended two Stitching Sistetd events. I liked the four to a machine concept where we collaborated. It was fun and I learned even when I watched. I enjoy a trunk show with a variety of projects.

  • Karen

    I enjoy all the types of learning.

  • Judy

    I like all of the options, but I learn so much from the people at the hands-on workshops. You can always pick up a great tidbit.

  • annette rady

    I enjoy embroidery and all sewing events. Although I am not a quilter, i recently attended an event with Mary Fons. I feel that learning about this was not only enjoyable but really did open my mind and broaden my horizons so that i may think about making a quilt in the near future. What i would really love is an embroidery retreat to explore more possibilities with various techniques.

  • Marti Morgan

    Love going to classes, but have to admit it is much more fun and I seem to learn more when I am interacting and doing the technique. And as for what do I really want to learn – digitizing layered applique.

  • Shelly

    For many things, I love hands on (smallish) classes because I like to be able to ask questions, and I like the interaction with others in the class. I recently bought PEP and a few other software products, and would love a multi-day format where there is technique, time to try it (like homework) come back with it for a critique…think a college type class maybe over several weeks. The software is so expansive, it would be great to get an overview with practice of the whole thing, then be able to hone in on one skill as I get more proficient… I just need to know the possibilities so I can create without having to learn when I get an idea (which slows things down and takes the fun out of it for me…)… Also, classes for quilting with my embroidery machine which include using a frame would be great for a hands on experience…

  • Patricia Oishi

    I love hands-on classes, If I can’t touch it and do it myself, I’ll never remember it. I also prefer smaller classes so I can ask questions every time I mess up.

  • Sandy

    Hands-on no question. But please give me detailed notes so I can listen, touch and do without having to write at the same time. I have been in the classroom these past two days too much lecture and not enough touching the machine. To the teacher, please be prepared. I spent 35 years in the classroom trust I would never lasted that long if I taught like what I have seen these past two days.( my opinion, I know math is not sewing)

  • Ellen

    I prefer hands on classes so I can practice what teacher is explaining. I remember better that way and find myself doing and completing more of those projects.

  • Betty

    I like to take my time watching videos online. Craftsy is a favorite. I like to be able to play a lesson over and over again until I get it. I have no problem being hands on in this environment. Too many people making too much noise in a crowded hot classroom is not my idea of fun.

  • Doreen Linehan

    I like classes & lectures. I belong to ASG & enjoy the neighborhood group meetings.

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