I have been a founder member of my local quilting group, Campden Quilters, for several years and was always very interested (and sometimes a little envious) when we had “Show and Tell” and some of our more experienced members brought in beautiful quilts to show what they had created. When my mother moved from Scotland into our family home needing 24 hour care due to advancing dementia, this meant that as her carer I was at home for long periods and I wanted to fill my time doing something worthwhile besides “caring”. This led me to search online for a City and Guilds Patchwork & Quilting Course I could do by distance learning.
I really wanted to build on the skills I had already achieved so decided that Level 3 Patchwork & Quilting would provide the challenge I needed. I often listened to my fellow quilters talking about what they had done on their C & G courses and decided that was the route I would take to develop my hobby.
At the time I had no clear plan of what I would do with a qualification but felt that accreditation would be attractive for the future. I chose SST because I wanted to do distance learning and I was impressed with what I saw on their website – I was able to look at the detail of what the courses consisted of and read testimonials from former students. I also had a chat with a member of staff before signing up to decide which level would be appropriate for me – this was very useful.
The most helpful thing I have found on the course is it has taught me that inspiration is all around in everyday things! I learned a lot about colour and design so I can now move away from just following magazine patterns/books and taking part in workshops, and think about my own designs. Also, I have found that I am able to give advice to the less experienced members within my quilting group on problems they are having. At one time I would have been the person seeking help!
I would definitely recommend this course to others and have already done so! As a new student I was apprehensive about joining Facebook and sharing my work and thoughts. However, I found it a great way to be in touch with fellow students through a “closed group” and to get advice from the other members. Help from my tutor was always instantly available. In the beginning it was by video broadcasts and by email whenever it was required. My advice to new students would be just go for it! There is lots of back up help to get things right as you move through the modules.
What now? Well, when I was doing the course I received a commission for a single bed sized quilt. The delighted recipient showed it to friends and this has led to several more commissions.
Who knows what this will lead to? Maybe a small business……..
A huge thank you to Christine for sharing her story with us. We wish her every success for the future and look forward to sharing updates with you. You can read more graduate stories here.