Saturday, April 25, 2009

Would you consider teaching?

Today I went to my local library, after posting notices at the grocery stores, library bulletin board and on my local online newspaper, to teach anyone who showed up the basics of a sewing machine - for free.

I've given lectures about quilting before and was surprised at how many of the attendees had never threaded a sewing machine and were afraid to! Yikes! We can't let these gals be afraid of sewing!!

I set aside 2 hours, wrote up some notes (which I would be happy to share with you) and made arrangements to use the meeting room at the library (also free to non-profits!).

I had several people tell me that they were excited to attend, but who turned up was two young girls, sisters, who's mom had seen the posting and suggested that they attend. What a treat!! I LOVE teaching kids! We had the whole room to ourselves and they felt free to ask any question that they thought of - and boy did they!

I explained and then demonstrated: how a needle and bobbin work together to make a stitch; how to test bobbin tension; how to clean the bobbin and race area and what the parts are and how they are used; how to thread the machine and the major differences between the three machines that I carted down there.

They were enthralled! And then they got to sew! Straight stitch, decorative stitch and free motion! They had a great time. They enjoyed the quilts I brought along and the handled all the parts, checked out the machines with a flashlight and watched the gears in motion - - these two will never be afraid to change their bobbin tension!

I talked about threads (my favorite subject) and had them touch and then break many samples so that the understood how different threads can be. All in all, a great time was had by we three, and I am SO glad that I did this and that they patiently and then eagerly listened, learned and then tried for themselves.

Would you consider doing the same? For your local Girl Scout troup? Your after school program? Anyone who shows up for a Library gig? I can and will do all I can to help, you only have to ask - - and the reward of a new sewing enthusiast's smile is payment in full.


MyJourneyBack said...

Oh what a wonderful idea to offer classes. I actually teach too I teach girls that are in jail living in a halfway house. It is so much fun and so rewarding.
Thanks for sharing this post. And thanks for sharing your skills with others.
Many Blessings,

Rannyjean said...

Our local quilt show offers a class for young children 6 & up on how to sew. I would love to teach the girls on my own! They can pin a quilt and tie a quilt, I guess they should know how to sew one!

Anonymous said...

Oh! Marguerita! how I would have loved to have had you around when I was a teen! no one in my family or anyone I knew, knew how to sew, but I was drawn to sewing like a moth to a light. It was some-thing I had to do....I had no one to teach me. Thank-you for doing such a wonderful thing!!!!
You our a great lady!!!! Ferne

tessahjake said...

quite rock.

animal lover, quilt lover said...

I would like

to get an e mail from you. I know you are getting your sewing room painted & everything moved so I

know you are very busy! When you have time, I would love to hear from you. Ferne

Nettie said...

A friend'daughter wants me to teach her to sew and i'm hoping to get around to it soon. She complains that her mom is "crafts-impaired." Your lesson sounds inspiring, but how did you find out all about the secret workings of the machine? I only know how to use it. Any suggested resources?

Marguerita said...

Hi Nettie,

Your post to my old blog got me thinking about all the resources that I know of on the internet for teaching sewing and I put up a post on my new blog here

about some of the resources that I use. I really love Pam Cortese's videos on how sewing machines work and how to clean them :)

I hope the links in that post help and I would love to talk about teaching sewing more with you!


Indiana Art Online said...

I would love to get the directions you typed up. I am a beginning quilter but have never touched a sewing machine before starting to quilt. Yes, I'm afraid of tension or touching anything on my machine. If you could email me anything helpful, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Marguerita said...

Hi, I actually wrote up what I had on a Squidoo Lens (

Don't be afraid - it's just a machine. In fact, one of the best ways to learn is with a pile of scrap fabic and to turn the dials and knobs, sew a little, turn the knob more, sew some more - - - so that you can SEE what that knob does.

Can you watch video on your computer? I have a video about bobbin tension and bringing up the bobbin thread that are useful.....they are on YouTube.

Take a look at my learn-to-sew tute and then let me know what your questions are, okay? I can probably direct you to either websites or videos that can help you :)

Hang in there and remember, it DOES get fun after the learning curve!