Designing a New Class: Finishing and a Give-Away


Step outs for creating the Pretty Planet quilts. Yes, that is a paper plate.

Now that all the step outs are made for my new Pretty Planet Class, I have several other things to finish up:

  • Write an outline of the class. These are notes kept with my class materials. I’ll review them before class so I don’t look like an idiot.
  • Draw templates or patterns for the circular grass, clouds, waves, and other shapes. My students will use these along with a fabric kit for pattern transfer.
  • Rehearse. By talking out loud and practicing with the step outs I make sure I have everything needed to teach the class.

planet9I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on how I go about developing a new class. If you happen to turn up in my Pretty Planet Class in the future, (you can see where I’m teaching it here), please be sure to mention that I don’t look like an idiot.

And for those who would like a chance to win the Timtex, batting, and fabrics for your own Pretty Planet Quilt, please leave a comment today and you may be the lucky winner!

Designing a New Class: Step Outs


I believe these are boats.

The more prototypes I make for Pretty Planet Quilts, the more excited I get about teaching this new class. My goal in teaching is to reveal this to my students: there are infinite possibilities when making art. And you must be fearless in exploring those possibilities.


I believe those are birds.

In this class, students are presented with some pedestrian concepts that lead to those many possibilities. Here’s a list of what I’ll present; they’ll do the art part.

They’ll learn how to:

  • construct a quilt from the inside out,
  • work with fused fabrics,
  • work in the round,
  • free-cut and build fused collages,
  • transfer, adapt, and alter patterns,
  • vary a design theme,
  • and that old standby- improvise.

Samples of collages.

With these goals in mind, I begin to make the step outs. These are visual representations of the stages of the quilt construction. In class, students will see step-by-step progress of how to assemble the quilt along with variations on the Pretty Planet theme. Tomorrow, we conclude the process of designing a new class.


Designing a New Class: Prototypes

planet1Do you take on projects that get you in trouble later?  I do. You see, when I proposed the Pretty Planet Class to a venue it was easy to write the description, provide images of my own Pretty Planet quilts, and even make up a supply list. (I confess. I just adapted elements from other classes.)

planet3But when it was time to prepare the items to teach the class, my brain froze up. And, like a rusty wheel, I slowly woke up and squeaked through several false starts. Then it dawned on me: make the class project from start to finish. Make a prototype.

planet2Making a prototype helped me to:

  • come up with the order of assembling the project,
  • develop the visual step outs that show the construction process,
  • decide how much fabric is need for the kit,
  • discover the various design options, and, most importantly,
  • making a prototype helped me define a list of skills for my students to learn.

Now that my brain is thawed out, I’ll show how I went about designing this new class tomorrow.

Designing a New Class: Guidelines


Pretty Planet #9 by Laura Wasilowski

My next project is setting up a new class for my students called Pretty Planet Quilts. Preparing to teach a new class means making step-outs and examples, measuring stuff and talking to myself. For the next few days I’ll show you the evolution of how I make up a new quilting class. Please join me!

Planning a Project?


Do you doodle?

How do you plan your next project? As quilt artists we are always looking forward to the next project. Ideas swirl through our heads and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. I’m curious. How do you plan your next project?

  • Are you a day dreamer who visualizes the project?
  • Do you make notes and doodles?
  • Do you pick up fabric and audition it with other fabrics?
  • Do you follow guidelines for a contest or class?

Machine Stitching: Free-Motion and Free on Fridays!


appstitch10A fused art quilt has lots of organic shapes that need free-motion stitching. And the beauty of free-motion stitching is that you can easily adapt your stitch designs to those shapes. For example, the spool has stitchery across the face of the spool that echo the fabric’s lines and the idea of thread wound around the spool. Different patterning is used on the top and bottom of the spool using that same thread.

appstitch9After the free-motion work is complete, the edges of the shapes are stitched too. My BERNINA has a great blanket stitch I used around the iron to give it a finished look. Would you like to make an iron of your own? Then please click here for a free pattern for an iron quilt called Pressing Matters. Enjoy!