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Quilting Teachers Unite: Embracing the Joy of Collaboration

Tori McElwain

Grab Your Free eBook, Design Your Workshop, here. 

Quilting is more than just a craft; it's a warm and welcoming community.

I’ve been very inspired by the teachers in the quilting community recently as I reach out for collaboration for my upcoming book, Workshops Unleashed.

I’ve had some heart warming conversations about the state of the industry and how we can better support each other. I’d love to share some of my thoughts around how quilting teachers (and really all craft teachers!) could collaborate.

Within this vibrant community, quilting instructors play a pivotal role in inspiring and teaching others to create beautiful quilts. While teaching is often seen as an solo gig, the power of collaboration among quilting instructors should never be underestimated.

There are incredible benefits to collaboration! I’ve listed some practical tips on how quilting instructors can work together to enhance their teaching, ignite creativity, and foster a strong sense of community.

Sharing Ideas and Techniques: Let's Inspire Each Other!

Collaboration among quilting instructors creates a magical space for sharing ideas and techniques. By coming together, instructors can freely exchange their unique approaches, tips, and tricks, empowering one another to expand their skills.

This collaboration also opens doors to a more diverse and enriched quilting community, offering students a wide range of techniques to explore and ignite their creativity.

Imagine you’re a quilt pattern designer who enjoys teaching their patterns. You specialize in large block quilts, however during a workshop a student shares how they would love to free motion quilt their project and asks if you teach how to do that. You don’t, but you know a few amazing free motion quilting teachers that you could recommend! You would not only be building up the quilting community with your recommendation, but also building up your own trust and authority.

Where could you meet these fellow instructors? Trade shows such as the International Quilt Festival or h+h Americas are great places to meet fellow instructors. Locally, you can join a Quilt Guild and ask at local shops.

Virtually, you can reach out to other teachers in communities such as Facebook Groups or communities such as the Global Quilt Connection and the Academy for Virtual Teaching. Or you can reach out to individuals on different social media platforms, say “hi” and engage with them.

Co-Teaching and Workshops: Let's Team Up for Unforgettable Experiences!

Collaborative teaching experiences, like co-teaching or hosting joint workshops, or summits bring a fresh and exciting perspective to the quilting classroom. By combining our expertise and teaching styles, we can create dynamic and engaging learning experiences for our students.

Collaborative workshops also provide a fantastic opportunity for instructors to learn from each other, building on our individual strengths and fostering continuous professional growth.

These could be projects like blocks of the months, or learning a technique such as appliqué or free motion where each teacher teaches a piece, but brings their whole audience with them.

Group Projects and Challenges: Let's Embark on Inspiring Adventures Together!

Quilting instructors can collaborate on group projects and challenges, creating a sense of camaraderie and community among ourselves and our students. By joining forces on shared projects, we can showcase different quilting techniques and inspire our students to explore new creative avenues.

Group challenges also encourage friendly competition, motivate our students, and generate a thrilling sense of accomplishment within our quilting community.

Block exchanges, color challenges, or round robins can be fun ways to incorporate group projects. A pattern designer and a long arm quilter could also have a fun collaboration!

Professional Development and Mentoring: Let's Support Each Other's Growth!

Collaboration among quilting instructors offers wonderful opportunities for professional development and mentoring.

By openly sharing our experiences and expertise, we can support each other in navigating challenges, exploring new teaching methodologies, and staying up-to-date with the latest quilting trends. Let's establish mentoring relationships where experienced instructors guide and uplift newer instructors in their teaching journey, creating a positive and nurturing environment for everyone.

Need a place to start? Andi from True Blue Quilts and I host a podcast dedicated to helping quilt industry professionals called Quilting on the Side. You can listen to it on your favorite podcast platform.

We have a great episode with even more Collaboration ideas. Watch on YouTube below.

Community Building and Networking: Let's Connect and Inspire!

Collaboration among quilting instructors is the foundation for a strong and connected quilting community. By working together, we can organize events, quilting retreats, or online forums where we and our students can connect, share ideas, and celebrate our shared passion for quilting. This networking not only strengthens the quilting community but also opens doors to new opportunities for collaboration and personal growth.

Quilting instructors are an incredible source of knowledge and creativity, and when we come together in collaboration, we unlock boundless potential.

From sharing ideas and techniques to co-teaching, group projects, and professional development, collaboration among quilting instructors enriches the teaching experience, nurtures creativity, and builds a vibrant and supportive quilting community.

So, let's embrace the joy of collaboration, unite our talents, and work together to create a quilting community that radiates warmth, friendship, and endless inspiration for generations to come!



ebook Presale for Workshops Unleashed

Grab Your Free eBook, Design Your Workshop, here. 


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