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


Some tongue in cheek thoughts..........

Man/Madam and machine: 
  • An expensive fancy sewing machine does not guarantee wonderful workmanship!   It takes practice to become perfect!    Wonderful work can be produced with a very basic sewing machine.   Get acquainted with your machine!    Remember you are in charge of your machine, not the other way around...!
  • Relax while stitching - one cannot use a sewing machine with taught muscles....
  • Sit properly behind the sewing machine - align your nose with the machine needle!    That will ensure that you can see where you are stitching!   
  • The majority of machines have a speed function - use it!    One cannot control a runaway horse, reign it in!
  • Make sure you use the correct needle for the thread you are working with!   Metallic threads especially snap easily....
My Sermon:
  • One never knows everything!   There are always new things to discover whether it is inspiration, techniques, gadgets...........   Quilting is also influenced by the cycle of your life......
  • Find your own working rythm and work in a way you feel most comfortable.   Don't be intimidated in a workshop situation by fast workers if you tend to work slowly. 
  • If something bothers you about your design or workmanship, change it or unpick.   It will always bother you.
  • Don't be afraid to be different.
  • Shortcuts normally don't work...!
  • If you get stuck, take time out!    Put your work up on a design wall and just look at it when you walk past......    Let the mental process take over, it will sort the problem out, trust me....  OR phone a friend!   
  • Listen to your inner voice, it seldom fails one.
  • Quilting teaches patience!    It takes time to make a stunning quilt.  
  • Explore and find your own expressive voice....!
  • Enjoy the process........!
When machine quilting:
  • I don't pin, tag or use spray adhesive to hold my quilt sandwiches!    Straignt pins are like swords and always draw blood somewhere while safety pins are always in the way of the machine foot.   To machine quilt painlessly - tack the quilt properly!   Take care to stretch a quilt properly to ensure that all straight lines of the quilt top are indeed straight.    I tack bigger quilts on a tacking frame as it keeps the sandwich stable while tacking.   I also tack in a ray formation about 2 centimetres apart instead of a grid, it is easier to ease the little bumps out while quilting.   It ensures troublefree quilting.
  • Quilting is part of the making of a quilt and deserves equal attention to selection of fabric, cutting and construction.   It can be the difference between mediocre and stunning!
  • When machine quilting, the intensity of the quilting must be evenly distributed across the quilt.   It will ensure that the quilt lies flat (it means that if you do a lot of quilting in the centre, you have to do the same on the border section and vice versa).
Fusing and ironing:
  • A dry iron is best for fusing.   Small pieces often get caught in the holes of a steam iron and spoils it.
  • A teflon sheet keeps the iron clean.
  • Gently fuse when placing motifs.   If you change your mind about placement, it is easy to lift and reposition.
  • Once you are satisfied with the placement of motifs, fuse properly.   
  • When selecting fusing materials, keep the project in mind.    Some are suitable for hand work, some are heavy weight etc etc.  The project will determine what weight you need to use.   
  • If your hands are slightly clumsy, use tweezers to handle small pieces.