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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teacher Training at Quilt in a Day

Early February, I had the opportunity to attend the Teacher Training program at Quilt in A Day in San Marcos, California.  This program is offered a couple of times a year, at Quilt in a Day in San Marcos and in Paducah, Kentucky.  Classes are sold out in advance.  I actually signed up for this class in 2010!  It was well worth the wait, the cost, and my time.  While I can't share all the insights on this great Teacher Training program, I do want to share some with you.

First, I want to clarify that while this program is structured for a Teacher Training, there were several attendees that came to build on their skills and have fun.  Yet, the majority of the students are comprised of store owners, existing teachers, or quilters that want to pursue becoming a teacher. 

Participants came from all over, even as far away as Malaysia, Canada, and various places in the US.  They also had a variety of quilting experience with some having learned to quilt in the last few years, to others that have been quilting for 40+ years.  We all came away from this program learning more than we had anticipated, had fun, and enjoyed creating a variety of samples and projects.

Eleanor Burns shared her knowledge with participants on how she became a quilting teacher and has continued to contribute to our wonderful world of quilting, through the publications, rulers, classes, online store, and more that many of us have come to love and know as "Quilt in a Day".  She also answered  question with a smile and honest answer.  Along with Sue Bouchard, who as worked at Quilt in a Day for ~19 years, Eleanor and  Sue did an excellent job teaching this program, along with Orion Burns and other Quilt in a Day team members who helped to make this 3 day class so amazing.

I loved how this program focused on techniques, where participants were given an endless number of cool rulers accompanied by exercises on how to use each ruler.  Likewise, participants were given books and patterns, where we made a variety of teaching samples, as we learned a number of techniques.

We were entertained and inspired in multiple ways, throughout the program. An "American Barn" theme entertainment program had me singing "Green Acres is the place to be" as I fell asleep that night.  We were inspired by sharing of quilts with variations of colors and themes of the American Barns Quilt.

We were given behind the scenes tours, which were quite fun.  And, everyone was amazed with the vast collection of quilts that Eleanor has made and collected over the years, all stored in the Quilt in a Day warehouse.

Techniques were shared on pinwheels, Hens & Chicks blocks, Radiant Star, use of layer cakes, flying geese, creating American Stars, strip quilting, applique and more. 

I didn't anticipate learning "precision piecing" techniques, but I was pleasantly surprised that I definitely learned some great piecing tips and my piecing has certainly improved 10X!  And, while I have done applique quilting for years, I really enjoyed learning some quick & easy methods for applique using Eleanor's techniques that I'm eager to use in my own future projects!

We had multiple non-sewing sessions, where we learned insights about teaching, tools, quilting trends, holding retreats, handling difficult teaching situations, promoting your classes, how to create fun in your classes and more. 

And, we did learn about new products from Quilt in a Day, including cool rulers to help make the Radiant Star, as well as the new book release for the "Radiant Star Quilt". 

I haven't had a chance to thoroughly read this new quilt book, but glancing at it I do think it is an excellent book.  And the quilts that I've seen made with it are spectacular.  Plus, Eleanor has captured techniques in this book to make making this quilt look so easy.
 I can't wait to make a radiant star using this new book.
I've made Radiant Stars previously, but this book really shows some techniques that will make this quilt very easy!

I hope you will have a chance to attend a Teacher Training program at Quilt in a Day in the future.  I think you'll be very happy you did.  I know I'm happy, yet wondering why it took me so long to sign up for this program.   It was excellent, and I truly think I'll sign up for this program again, in a few years. 

What I also found amazing, is that there seemed to be a special bond that formed with many of the participants.  It wasn't a feeling that I get with typical classes, or retreats.  Maybe it was the fact that the majority of the participants also enjoyed teaching, or sharing their quilting expertise with others, on the other hand, I think it could have also been the charisma that Eleanor and Sue radiate.  They give from their heart and it creates an environment where everyone is so positive and enthusiastic.  While this program was packed with information and fun, I know I also came away with a special bond for those in this classroom.  And, I suspect, that a special kinship could be found whenever I have a chance in the future to meet others who have had a chance to attend the Teacher Training Program at Quilt in A Day. 

Excellent program!  SewCalGal highly recommends it! 

One last insight I want to share:  Eleanor has many free videos you can view online.  These are also fun videos that teachers and quilt stores can share.


If there are any fellow Quilt in a Day Teacher Training Alumni out there, I'd love to hear your insights on this program too. 

Easy to see why Eleanor Burns was nominated and viewed as the ultimate winner of the 2010 Golden Quilter Awards for Lifetime Achievement Award and for Best Author.


Barb said...

I know you had such a wonderful time going to this training. Maybe if you had a few minutes you could share a few techniques?

I put those sites in my favorites to view later. I truly would like to be more precise in my cutting and sewing....tired of my old make do ways. Thanks so much for sharing...truly enjoyed the info.

quiltingnana said...

oh how I wish I could have been there....

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Wow Darlene, I would love to do this! Eleanor's Log Cabin really revolutionized my quilting 25 years ago. It would be so fun to learn more about Quilt in a Day. I've heard that Eleanor may be retiring soon. Did they say??

Sinta Renee said...

Thanks for sharing! I went to a week long retreat for teachers put on by C&T publishing before. It was an awesome experience. I really enjoyed your post... I have never tried EB's quilts before... but you sure showed some cute ones!

FabricsNQuilts said...

how fantastic for you to experience! Thanks for sharing!

FabricsNQuilts said...
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sandra said...


Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing about your experience in the Teacher Training course. I am enrolled in the June session! I eagerly await my chance to be infused with many of the tips Ms. Burns has perfected over these many years. She is a pioneer in the field and I'm truly humbled to have the opportunity to join the fun. Thanks again, your update has whetted my appetite even more. I am soo excited! If you have any tips on local accommodations, restaurants or other wisdom from your experiences there I would sincerely appreciate hearing what you recommend. ~~Lisa

kwiltmakr said...

I will have to look for her new Radiant Star quilt book and I have not gotten the barn book yet but I want to. I say this every time some one posts about Eleanor Burns, I just love her! I am glad you had the opportunity to take her class.

Joanna said...

I think one of Eleanor's classes must be the best quilting experience one could have. It sounds as if you learned so much. Thankfully, those of us who can't attend a class have her books:)

Busy Little Quilter said...

I just completed the teacher training program in Paducah this week. Sue and Eleanor were both there. I had an amazing week!

Busy Little Quilter said...

I just completed the teacher training classes in Paducah. I, too, had an amazing experience. Eleanor and Sue were both there. I highly recommend it, as well.

bingo~bonnie said...

I'm so glad that you posted that photo of EB up at the design wall - NEVER in a MILLION years would I have ever thought that this quilt was strip pieced!!! Amazing!

Quilters are brilliant with the techniques they come up with!

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was there at the class with you, We did have alot of fun. I have become friends with a few people in class.
Christine, Yuma AZ.