Classes by Connie S. Silber

The goal of all of my classes is to encourage and educate quilters of all levels. The 'norm' these days is to buy a pattern often with the fabrics already provided. While quilt makers learn the construction and technical skills, the creative portion of quilt design has been omitted. I often hear quilters talk about how uncreative they are. They just do this or that because it always works. I personally believe all quilters have creativity within them. As a result, few of my classes make a single project that is identical to the one the student next to them made. When a student asks, 'What do I do now?' My typical reply is 'What do you want to do? Creativity and risk taking are encouraged in every class. I want quilters to learn how to design and create their own creations. The following workshops all allow creativity for the student. Several of the classes are designed to teach a technique and give design parameters.

  • Cutting Bee and Template Use

  • This is a fun class that begins with a fabric swap. All cutting is done in the workshop. Then after the fabric exchange, blocks are made using the Marti Michell Templates. Often, quilters have puchased these templates and have no idea how to use them. The class time is used learning how to make basic units and create blocks with the templates.

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  • Scrappy Two at a Time Blocks
    Also Known As: Exploring Triangles

  • This class demonstrates a clever technique to generate two blocks at a time. You may wish to coordinate your fabrics or bring an unrelated assortment of fabrics. Whichever you choose, your wall hanging will be a hit and fun to make. Working at reasonable speed, the student can expect to finish the blocks and be ready to set them during the class. The class requires 18 pieces 9"x12" of dark fabric and 18 pieces of 9"x8" of light fabric.

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  • Sally's Strips

  • Sally's Strips is a variation of an old string piecing technique updated with a serger finish. Using a variety of strips and a central dominant fabric, blocks are pieced onto a foundation. The serger finish is optional but adds an interesting accent to this fun, fast, and easy quilt. Ideal for a throw or dorm quilt. This is a great way to use up oddball strips left from other projects.

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  • Living With Color

  • How do you choose color? Do you know how to add zing to your quilts? Did the swatches look good but the quilt did not? Do you know why your favorite quilts 'work' color wise?

    This class is designed to help answer these questions with a series of hands on exercises in color. The goal of the class is to make you more aware of color and value in your future fabric choices. Attendees are encouraged to bring fabric they may wish to use as a theme fabric in a future quilt, quilts with which you are either well pleased or very disappointed. The class will examine fabrics, quilts, value, and color, color, color. Then participants will learn how to apply this experience and be able to translate color awareness into future quilts.

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  • Finish It Off

  • This class is a hands-on practice of the basic finishes used for most quilts. Accurate application of mitered borders will be demonstrated. Participants are encouraged to bring a project they may have at the border stage. If you bring a center ready for borders, bring border and binding fabrics so that you can start the cutting process for the finished quilt in class. During the class, we will cut and apply basic bindings and learn how to execute the elusive 90° mitered corner. Experienced as well as novice quilters will benefit from the tips, techniques, and methods demonstrated.

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  • Make One Get One Almost for Free

  • This is a two-day class that utilizes the cut-aways from the first quilt to make the second quilt. The quilts are not the same but very different in styles. The first quilt is a working exercise in value and value placement. Participants can achieve a visually complex quilt with very simple piecing. Fabric and value manipulation are the emphasis of this class. The second quilt is created from the cut-aways from the first quilt. Precision piecing and use of value are emphasized in this class.

    If your guild is close to Bryan, TX, I am willing to make two trips to your area for this two day class. It is helpful for participants to have some time between the classes for the prep work for the second class. If you are a more distant guild, consider this project for a weekend retreat or use the second day as a work and learn day. In either case, participants will have all the information needed to complete both quilts.

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  • Deconstructing and Reconstructing Clothing for Quilts

  • This is a process class. You will learn several techniques to harvest usable pieces from the clothing you bring to class. The greater the variety of pieces you bring, the greater opportunities you will have for variety in your quilt design elements. You will also learn techniques for incorporating the harvested elements into quilts. Your design possibilities will be as varied as the clothing you bring.

    If you are unwilling to cut and harvest from your actual pieces, go to a resale shop, the mission store, or a garage sale and purchase a few used pieces.

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