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Valerie Yeaton Shares Advice for Wannabe Quilting Teachers

Valerie Portrait

Occasionally, I am asked for advice on becoming a quilting teacher. Teaching can be such  a rewarding means of sharing your passion with a group of eager students. Let’s be honest: I think we all enjoy spending time working on projects, and working alongside friends makes the process even more enjoyable. I have been on both sides of the table and each has wonderful advantages. There always seems to be something to learn and wonderful people to meet.

It’s a win-win situation for both a quilt shop and teacher when classes are full and buzzing with the sounds of happy students. I started teaching before I had my own books and patterns to work from. At that time, I taught anything that was both interesting to me and requested by the customers, and I quickly found my love of the classroom.

Valerie Yeaton is a long-time local quilting teacher who shares my passion for teaching. I always enjoy seeing her beautiful samples on display at The Cotton Patch, a local shop where we both teach.

I asked Valerie if she would share some advice for anyone interested in stepping into the teacher’s role. Here’s what she had to say.

What do you look for when choosing a pattern or book for teaching?

I am looking for a new technique or tool.  Something I personally want to learn.

A design that is visually interesting, that will display well in the store, and that will attract potential students.

I think about what class participants will want to learn. Lately, I have been looking for “stash buster” patterns and patterns that use pre-cuts like “jelly rolls.” My friends purchase these and then want a project that will use them. I have a new class that uses pre-cut 2-1/2″ strips and I am amazed by the numbers of strips that the students bring to class.

My newest class is “Stack-n-Whackipedia.” It is based on the Stack-n-Whack books by Bethany Reynolds. It was one of the first books I ever taught from and I’m sure the store has sold dozens of copies of the book as a result.