10 Reasons to Teach Your Craft: Teaching Outside the Public Classroom

Updated: Jul 20

by Tori McElwain from The Quilt Patch by Tori


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Have you considered designing a class to teach your hobby? There are so many wonderful reasons why you should consider it! Below I have complied a list of 10, check it out and see how many you agree with:

1. Giving back to the creative community!

"A rising tide lifts all boats."

If we have the chance to enrich others lives by giving them a skill and a creative outlet, let’s do it!

Sharing a craft helps create an amazing community of people!

2. It’s FUN!

You have fun creating in your craft, can you imaging how much fun you can have showing others how to do what you love to do? It’s so much FUN to watch and show others how to have fun!

There’s a pure joy that passes between teachers and students when both are having fun creating! It’s a rare thing as an adult to find such fun!


3. Being a Life-Long Learner - the second best way to learn is to teach!

The first way is to make mistakes. Teaching can be intimidating, but it’s amazing for your brain! Learning new things lights up neurons and gets you out of the every day hum-drum of life.

Take a moment to remember the last time you learned something new. Did it blow your mind? Make you think in a different way? Give you a little inspiration?

Teaching is the best way to learn the intricate details of a craft. Your students will ask questions you never thought of before - you may know the answers (surprising yourself!) or you may have to look it up!

It’s a wonderful way to learn!

4. Extra Income!

Teaching your craft can give you a little extra income to spend on that craft. Or you could go bigger and design a lucrative business with multiple courses, workshops, and presentations.

I teach both on line and in person. Virtual teaching has expanded so much since 2019! You can connect, share, teach, and earn extra income all with out leaving your house.


5. Share your passion and excited!

Excitement and passion inspires excitement and passion! its so full filing - and exciting! - to watch others catch the crafting bug. Whether you are a quilter, knitter, scrap-booker, etc. it’s wonderful to show another person how they can feel excited and passionate about a craft!

Personally, I love to quilt. Piecing a top and watching it come together is SO satisfying! I also love to free motion quilt! It’s wonderfully exciting to show other quilters what these skill can inspire within themselves and watch them get excited about quilting!


6. Challenge Yourself!

You can do hard things! I tell my 3 year old this almost every day. I wish, as an adult, someone would tell me this everyday as well!

Teaching can be tough, especially if you tend to be more introverted like me. Stepping out onto a stage or showing up on a computer screen to a group of adults didn't used to be my idea of a good time. However, focusing on what I am there to do and share helps fuel my confidence. I love seeing what learners create! NOW I get excited to share my craft where ever I can!

I also believe that we, as humans, need to take chances. Step out of out comfort zone and grow to really be full-filled in this thing called life. Teaching can help you do that!

7. Make new friends!

Its so HARD to make new friends as an adult!

I see my 3 year old on the playground shyly walking up to other 3 year olds to ask if he can play and 2 minutes later they are best friends!

It’s almost that easy when you share an interest with other adults. You may not become best friends over night, but you can find a community!

You can also create your own community! I’ve met some amazing ladies through teaching quilting. Emily, my local quilt shop owner and her sister who is quickly becoming a fantastic longarmer quilter! Nancy, who is an avid machine embroiderer and knows everything about stabilizers. Quilters that have been quilting or 30 years or more and have dabbled in every technique, quilters who use their craft for their health, and brand new quilters that slowly discover everything. It gives you a community for help and for inspiration.

My local quilt guild is a bit intimidating and sadly I couldn’t attend the meetings when they were scheduled (small children mixed with conflicting schedules with my husband made it almost impossible), but I was invited to a private group of local quilters who have been warm, welcoming, and they meet while my 3 year old is at preschool (yay!).


8. Make the World a better place!

Art, passion, excitement, skills, fun, passion, creativity, bravery, love, and community! It all makes the world a better place to be and it’s so rewarding to be the one who shares it with the world!

Teaching your craft allows you to be in the drivers seat in making the world a better place.


9. Add Art and tradition to a tech driven world.

As I mentioned before, I am a quilter. There is a lot of tradition in the quilting community and in quilting itself. Having a textile and tactile hobby is very grounding. It has roots is tradition and because its made from fabric it is a substantial art form to manipulate and use our hands.

I love that I can pass that tradition on AND play with the traditional quilting blocks/techniques to create modern quilts. I can also encourage others to do the same!

Taking a traditional art form, passing on the tradition, and encouraging others to express themselves in a textile art has been so rewarding!


10. No one can do what you do the way you do it!

It’s TRUE!

No one has had your unique experiences, adventures, point of view, or tastes! You could be the teacher that explains a concept that finally helps a student understand and it all clicks into place for them!

Ready to start teaching? Have an idea in mind?


Here are a few quick questions to get your imagination going:

1. What are the individual techniques or skills in your craft?

This may take some googling to jog your memory of different terminology, or you can make a list and star your favorite!

2. What do you like to do?

Lets get specific. Are you also a quilter? What is your favorite technique? Favorite pattern? You can teach what you know. Basics, different piecing techniques (that aren't trademarked - check that before you start), how to use all the different feet that come with a sewing machine, free motion quilting motifs, etc.

3. What are you good at?

What comes easy? What are others complimenting you on? Your color choices, technique, experimentation? Don't be