By Ronda Mensching

Photos Courtesy of Honey Run Quilters, Chico, Sew Smart, Los Molinos and Sew Simple, Redding


     One of the main activities at a very busy quilt shop is classes.  There are a variety of classes to meet the needs of our community.  Quilters are passionate about quilting and sewing and want to share thier knowledge and experience.  Quilting and sewing offer a hobby that is creative, develops lifelong friends, engages in community service and is just plain fun!  There are classes starting with introductory material to quite advanced techniques.  You can learn the basics of quilting, general sewing, garments, serger and machine embroidery.  Each of these areas has a curriculum of classes that help you develop new skills while creating a variety of different projects.  The classes are designed to progress in a logical manner that build on the foundation from the previous classes.  Students receive a helping hand to get through the steps of the project, eliminating the complications leading to a success outcome.  Classes start with the basics and continue to grow your skills for the more advanced students as well.  

     Classes teach best practices, new technique, shortcuts and how to use a variety of tools.  There is no lack of tools of the trade that are introduced in some of the classes.  The fabric choices these days is never ending, not your grandmother’s calico prints!  The classes are small in size for individual attention.  There are sewing sessions that you can bring in a project that you are stuck on, and get help to complete your project.  Basic patchwork, art quilts, collage, machine quilting are some of the classes on the quilting side.  In the lineup for the serger classes, once you have mastered the introductory classes, there are a variety of projects, including bags, placemats, table runners, and T-shirts.  On the garment side there are basic garment patterns that are taught using knits, cottons, voile, linen and wovens.  There is even a class that teaches the student how to fit and then modify a pattern so your clothes fit perfectly.  Machine embroidery classes help with which stabilizers, threads and fabrics give the best results when stitching out a design.

The teaching staff at most shops is generally local experts.  Shops pull from the community to teach the majority of the classes.  There is an abundance of talent in this area just waiting to be shared.  Quilt shops also work with their city guild to cohost their workshops with big names in the quilting world. 

     Some of the classes are geared towards children. In the summer some shops will offer quilting and sewing kids camps.  These camps give the kids a chance to make a quilt top or some smaller projects.  It is very fun to watch a kid learn to sew and begin a new hobby.

     Shop Hop Mothers Day Weekend Thurs-Sat Hosted By Honeyrun Quilters, Sew Smart & Quilt Corral.