August 22, 2010

A Learning Experience...

The sun set on Sunday evening with a finished needle turn applique' first. I did what I said I'd do. I searched for information and videos to help me accomplish this technique, and finished it my way...without using glue to secure all the edged for sewing.

I can't tell you how much your comments helped bolster me through this process. I suffered a serious loss of confidence because of the methods used in "teaching" this class. I've been a needleworker for the better part of forty seven years, but I felt like a complete and utter imbecile when the instructor looked at what I had accomplished as of our last session and then critiqued it. (She didn't like the fact that I hadn't glued everything. She didn't like my "baste method", and said that my work was not neat enough because I hadn't used glue.)
You cheered for me when I managed to obtain the pattern for Block Two (when the instructor said she "didn't hand them out before Block One was complete"), and I thank you for that. But here's my question: Do I now work on Block Two (above), or do I let this go and learn how to do another applique' method...from someone else?

My completed Block One will be incorporated into a quilt which I will proudly keep and display. It will remind me that my job as a teacher is to instill confidence in my students. To do less is to rob them of a joyful learning experience. As teachers, we all owe that to every one who seeks new information from us. Whether we teach our children, grandchildren, friends, acquaintances or class students, they all deserve to learn in a fertile environment full of belief in their abilities. We need to give it to them until they know it for themselves. This is what I will remember every time I look at my finished block.

8/23/10 a.m. - Edited for clarification. This was a free class taught by a member of our quilt guild to other guild members. She has taught before and everyone raves about her. This is my first experience taking one of her classes and I was really enthusiastic. I'm really sorry that I was less than enthralled with her methods. Oh, and just one more thing. When she held up her latest finished quilt during our "Show and Tell" part of the meeting, you could see her (multiple) block mistakes from the back of the room. I guess it's true...Nobody's perfect! ;-)


  1. I think I might be looking for another tutor - maybe one who is able to teach more than one method or is at least not so biased towards one. I would also be letting this tutor know why I was going elsewhere.

    You work is wonderful as always.


  2. If you think that you can learn much more from that instructor, then you might want to continue for a while, but if you have the basics down, and there isn't much to learn from her I sure would be jumping into another class where at least it will be new ideas, and a new teacher. The block is beautiful - so who needs so much glue.

  3. Donna, Your work is always beautiful, do not doubt that. as for continueing on with this instructor, it sounds just too frustrating, these things are suppose to be fun.

  4. Well, you can always use that next block for a different style of applique. Please don't go back to that instructor...

  5. Obviously this teacher is not a warm person and wants thing only done her way and disencourages any other method.
    I think she forgets you pay her for it. This is so not you! You shouldn't go back to her in my opinion.
    It should be fun and you should get enthousiastic and motivated by her. I say: "run, run, run, run as hell away from her!" ;-)

  6. Finish the block only if you really want to. If it were me I would not go back, I think you have already "learned" what you can from this person (I"m going to pray that she has learned something from you). Glue has it's place but but but....well you know :))

  7. I have to say that your work is amazing and beautiful and poop on the gal who thought it wasn't neat enough.

  8. Dearest Donna, your quilt block turned out beautiful! It seems to me that you found a better way to finish, than using GLUE?? I wouldn't want to be taught by someone who was so negative and oppressive...move on friend. I'm very sure that you can find another class with an encouraging teacher, and you will have Fun learning. (Personally, I think YOU should be teaching the class!) Hugs~Sharon

  9. Your completed block is lovely! The instructor seems more interested in the process, than the results. There are many routes to one destination. The goal is for everyone to arrive safely and in good spirits!
    I find some teachers strive very hard to develop a technique they can call their own, so they may promote it as unique. They may see it as a means to be asked to teach more classes in more places. Some stores also ask teachers to encourage using certain notions or merchandise. Completing Lesson One, before handing out Lesson Two seems to follow that thought process as well. While I don't necessarily agree with that, it is understandable during these difficult economic times. I admire you for sticking with the project and completing it, even with all the frustrations.

  10. Your block looks beautiful, Donna! And bravo to you for sticking to your guns. As a teacher for many years, I always find I get more from my students when I give them lots of positive feedback. I let them know that I know they can do it.

    Sometimes an experience like this helps one to see clearly what NOT to do.


  11. Hi Donna! wow!! I don't know how you do must have a great eye for perfection - the other quilters I know are perfect as well!! what a gift you have with a needle and thread!! I would LOVE to learn how to do that....but in time I'm sure :)

    Anne Marie

  12. At least you have something to show for your efforts - I tried to make the "sweet and spotty" wallet recently - It had needle turn also

    I had finished all of the embroidery and when I went to iron it someone had turned up the settings on the iron - Melted the project - Completely ruined - Oh well

    Live and learn
    I'm glad to hear I am not the only one who isn't perfect -:)

    (I wish my successes looked as good as your "mistakes")

    You website is beautiful, and so is your work !!!!!!!!!!

  13. Life is much too short to waste your positive energy on one that exudes such a negativity. (Wow, that sounded like Chemistry 101.)
    Move on to a greener pasture, a more furtile field and plant your sweet self there.
    When she held up her quilt for the class to "admire". I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall.

  14. In high school, my art teacher held up my project (a very delicate mobile) for the class to see. It had been damaged between when I turned it in and when he held it up. He said "What hath God wrought" as he held it up, and as I felt my face turn bright red, I said that it was not turned in that way. He replied that art should be durable.

    A few months later in college, my professor held up my work for the class to see (another delicate rice paper piece). As I started to cringe, he announced that it would be displayed in the student gallery.

    My point? Trust in yourself. Do what you believe. There may be some that do not understand. There may be some that do. But most importantly - do what you love & do it your way - because God made each and every one of us unique & beautiful; not all the same.


  15. You have done an exquisite job, despite the atmosphere of criticism from the "tutor". That speaks highly of your character and much less of hers!

    There is one fact that I would be overly concerned with in her method of teaching; "What happens chemically to the fabric over time with that much glue applied to it? Will it become weakened, discolored, disintegrate faster, attract unwanted invading "bugs" of some sort. Just how will the heirloom quality of the applique be affected? Did the stitchers of all those beautiful antique appliqued quilts use tons of glue? I think not!

  16. Donna honey you know what I think before I even put it on paper. Loose that inconsiderate teacher and move on.
    Honey why do you need a class your work could not get any better. We are all in awe of you now.
    Love how this piece turned out..I can't imagine using glue on a quilt piece.
    Wish I lived close we could let Ms. Pearl resign you from her classes.
    Glad you stopped by my site today.
    You are so right I am feeling my visit very much so but loved every minute I was around them.

  17. Donna, you did a lovely job on this, your first, needleturn applique block!

    I prefer using wash away thread while sewing the shape on a used dryer sheet which is on the RIGHT side of the fabric. Then I cut a little opening & turn the whole thing inside out, making a beautifully smooth outline. Iron first WITHOUT steam to get a wonderfully creased edge, then spritz with water to dissolve the thread & iron till it is bone dry. You will be able to pull the dryer sheet right off & there will be a wonderfully creased seam allowance turned under, ready for you to stitch down by hand. Its known as Madeira Magic in heirloom sewing.

    Go see Bunny's explanation here:


    Regarding another class with this woman...a very wise college nursing professor told me "life is too short to do anything that doesn't make your heart sing". Great advice that I've relied on many, many times!

    Hope you get to try my method. I made the little bag from the Inspirations magazine with that method. Shown on the cover here:


  18. Very Pretty!

    I like the "anything goes" rule with creating, but I must admit I've never felt that glue and quilting go together.

    You made a beautiful block! Stay on your on creative path!

    Have a happy week!

  19. Hi Donna Girl,

    I swear, some people just make me wanna' smack em!!!! The superior instructor needs to go enroll in charm school, manners, etiquette, ect., and possibly learn how not to bully! Being the charming, intelligent LADY you are, just don't go back. There's no need to support or encourage someone who's so tactless, with your presence. I pray you find a decent human being to help you on your journey. Take care sweetie.

    Hugs and love,

  20. Sweet Donna, I'd be joining another teacher ... people like this are sad. I am so sorry you had to endure such a thoughtless person ... you are above it all, Donna. Your work is AAA Class ...

    Have a lovely eve ~
    Hugs & love, Marydon

  21. Hi Donna, your quilt block is outstanding! Personally, I wouldn't go back to that instructor. I'd find someone different that I could learn from, be able to talk to and not be frustrated with. Life is way to short for aggravation, we need more time being with those that make us happy inside! Fantastic work Donna! I hope that you have a lovely day.

  22. Hi Donna,

    I just realized that my link above doesn't work.

    I just did a post on my blog about using wash-away thread for applique so others could see how its done.

    I mentioned you & linked back to your site. :-)

    Now let me see if I can get THIS link to work!!! LOL


  23. Glad you are done with that lady..geez! As you said, a true teacher knows how to share the joy of learning and encourages.
    xx, shell an sugie

  24. Hog wash I say...she must be blind , becasue this is a beautiful finished project even if not done her way...cannot wait to see the next one done..



Thank you so much for leaving a comment today. I'm using new settings on my comments so that I'll be able to respond to your messages to me. Be sure to come back to see my replies!

Blessings, Donna