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Aug. 98: Teachers & Students! What Do Students Want from A Computer Quilting Demonstration? A Glimpse from the Student Side of a Computer Quilting Demonstration. by Cindy Thury Smith

Expressive Quilters' Newsletter
Supporting The Expressive Quilter In Tradition, Innovation, Art & Computer Quilting

Issue 3, August 1998 continued
Editor: Sharla Hicks

Teachers & Students!

What Do Students Want from
A Computer Quilting Demonstration?

A Glimpse from the Student Side
of a Computer Quilting Demonstration.

by Cindy Thury Smith


I have taught quiltmaking classes featuring many different techniques for several years, but recently I found myself back in a beginner's class: I took a class in computer assisted quilt design. I won't mention the specific program covered in the class, but I would like to make some suggestions to computer quilting teachers using my dual perspective of a novice computer user and an experienced quilting teacher.

If possible, you should determine the students' level of computer expertise BEFORE the class. Perhaps a few specific questions at class registration would help. You can use this info to plan your demonstration process. By starting at the lowest level of expertise you will include ALL the students in the learning process. You will be teaching new material to the novice, and providing a valuable review (with a different perspective) for the more experienced. We can all pick up a tip or two seeing how another person does a process.

Please plan a progressive demonstration with practical applications. Take the time to verbalize each step (don't dance over the keyboard leaving some of us in the dark). Please don't rely on the machine to wow us--you still need an orderly class presentation.

Good handouts are a definite plus; especially if they give references for further study. It's always nice to go home and do some more checking at your own speed. If you can show some of your designs through the entire process (design, construction, finished item) better yet! We quilters always love to see another's completed quilts. Something about to quilt is human, to finish--divine.

Allow time for a questions and answers period at the end of the session. Answering questions after the demonstration will save you time and give you more specific questions. You also need to check out your equipment BEFORE the class at the class location. Glitches (or slow responses) during your demonstration do not inspire us to get that particular program.

Computers can obviously speed up certain steps in making a quilt and as more Americans get home computers, more crafters and quilters will want to learn how to use them. There will definitely be a growing need for more computer savvy quilting teachers who will take the time to guide us novices through the process.

About Cindy: Cindy Thury Smith has been a quiltmaker for over 30 years. Her quilt designs, articles and poems have appeared in QUILT ALMANAC and QUILT magazines. Ms. Smith is a recipient of the American Quilters Society Shannon/Flynn scholarship in 1997 to study quiltmaking at the AQS Museum in Paducah, KY. Cindy's particular emphasis is on making beautiful, STURDY quilts using her sewing machine. She especially enjoys scrap quilts and crazy piecing. Ms. Smith is owner of CRAZY QUILTS by CTS which produces printed fabric foundation sheets for crazy piecework. Some of her work can be seen at her website at:

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