Teaching Philosophy

I feel successful when I teach people:

- to see what they look at!

- that it is ok to be different!

- to open a whole new world of creativity for them....

- that there is a solution for every problem (mostly with a quick-unpick!)

- that it is a joy to be creative......

The Creative Mind Plays with the Object it Loves -
Carl Jung

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Being a Quilt Teacher....

On reflection, creating the two Transition quilts also had a huge influence on my teaching repertoire which actually started when I created the Fun with Chain Stitch cushion.

For a teacher, developing new workshops is very important...!    Although it really is hard work to keep producing interesting workshops, it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm with which students react to new concepts.        For me it is wonderful to be instrumental in giving students the freedom to explore beyond what they are taught in a workshop....

I like to offer new workshops for the National Quilt Festivals in South Africa.     It keeps me motivated to constantly push my own boundaries by exploring and developing new ideas.    Currently I love mixing hand and machine embroidery with other freestyle techniques and of course, lots of beading....!    As developing new workshops is hugely experimental, a great deal of waste occurs....    Huge amounts of expensive embroidery threads are unpicked and discarded not to mention wasted hours....    Often I will struggle with a piece for weeks/months and then suddenly, things will fall into place and I will find my way how to teach it.    It is not only about making a new piece, but working out the teaching sequence as well as avoiding potential problems.....    Unfortunately not all good ideas, make great teaching material...   So, workshops are carefully planned to challenge students to explore within the safety of a workshop environment.    The teacher has to advise them how to avoid pitfalls and give them the tools to experiment on their own...    It is also very important to allow students to work in a way with which they are comfortable as it keeps the stress levels low and put them at ease as not all students work well in a classroom environment.    Above all, the teacher must have a good knowledge of her subject, be in control of her workshop and show respect for  her students....

Personally I prefer to offer technique workshops which I present in a small wallhanging format or a usable article - that way the student  has something to show for her effort.    I love it when students take my ideas and make it their own.....

I developed two workshops in 2010 which I taught at the 2011 National Quilt Festival in Stellenbosch, Fun with Free Motion and Explore Machine Stithing & More....    I really enjoyed teaching both these workshops and I continue to do so....    

Explore Machine Stitching & More 2010
Irregular shape quilt with focus on embellishing techniques, discharging of fabric and  free motion  machine stitching.  More info on Workshops page

Fun on the Edge 2010
Raw edge applique with free motion machine quilting and embroidery.  
Use of oil and pastel paint sticks for shading.
More info in Workshops page

Both these samples were made using scraps!


  1. I have found your blog and feel I can learn so much just from reading your posts. I am following your blog only because I added it to the list of blogs I follow. I couldn't find a way to follow on your blog. If there is a way, let me know. I'm glad you found me and I hope to keep up with your posts! Wonderful to meet you!

  2. Hallo Rosemary, Only saw your comment today. I have a problem with vertical spaces which I cannot get rid of.... So I moved the follower function upwards on the right column. Otherwise, be my friend on fb @ marilyn stevens pretorius, I always update new blogs on fb. It really is wonderful meeting quilters from all over the continent reading this blog, hope you enjoy my trip down memory lane.... xxMarilyn