While it’s only been about five months since it was last safe to be out in groups (in person), it feels like it has been eternity. Attending in-person quilt programs are a great way to learn new techniques, be inspired, and connect with other quilters. I miss it and I know many others do too. It appears that due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, it’s going to be a while before it is safe to meet in classrooms and meeting spaces again. Over the past few months, I’ve been working with quilters from all over the world, giving live presentations/trunk shows and teaching workshops virtually from my Studio. While it doesn’t replace the in-person experience, there are lots of benefits. In some cases the live, online experience is even better!
Here are 7 benefits of participating in a live, online quilting program:
1. You get to work in your own space and on your own sewing machine.
If you’ve ever taken an in-person class you know it can be a bit uncomfortable. The table, and therefore the machine, is never the same height as what you’re used to at home. The chair is typically not as comfy as what you normally sit in. The lighting in the classroom can be tricky. When you take an online class or attend a presentation, you’re in your own comfortable environment. While the major benefit is that this situation is cozy, it can even make you more productive during class. You also will never be without a tool that you forgot at home and will have your entire fabric stash at your fingertips. Another bonus: you don’t have to pack and move all of your supplies including your heavy, bulky sewing machine!
2. You get to sneak a peek into the instructor’s studio space.
We all are naturally curious about what other quilter’s spaces look like and how they’re set up. By participating in an online quilt program, you get to see inside the instructor’s space. This is especially helpful when learning techniques like walking foot quilting. You get to see exactly how the instructor works and get setup tips that might help and inspire you.
3. You get to see details in quilts and demonstrations you may normally miss in an in-person program.
Most in-person presentations/trunk shows that I present at are in medium or large spaces. Due to lighting and the nature of projectors and screens, the quality of the display of the images aren’t great. It’s also often challenging for most people in the room to see details in quilts that are being held up while I’m speaking. With online presentations, I’m able to share my computer screen and present high resolution photos of my quilts as I’m talking about them. I also keep the actual stack of quilts close by so I can show them on camera.
In online workshops, I’m able to position my camera as if you are using my eyeballs to see what I’m sewing. Typically at an in-person workshop, students gather around me while I’m giving a demonstration of a technique but can’t get a close-up view.
4. You still get to ask questions and get one-on-one time with the instructor.
My presentations/trunk shows and workshops are all held on the Zoom platform. This enables participants and students to ask questions, either through the chat or face-to-face. Not only can you see me, but I can see you! Instead of walking around the room like I normally would when students are working in an in-person workshop, instead I get to “walk around the Zoom” and see what students are working on, answer questions, give additional demonstrations and one-on-one help, and chat. Students can even add multiple devices so they can view the majority of the class on a tablet or computer and add a smart phone and use the device’s camera to show me and other students closeups of their work. Through the technology and cameras, I’m still able to guild you through techniques and troubleshoot issues that arise.
5. You can stay connected with members in your guild/group as well as meet quilters around the world.
In this day when social distancing is important for our physical health, staying connected to others and meeting new friends is even more important now for our mental health. Many guilds and groups are using online meetings as a way to stay connected to one another. I’ve been invited to a number of virtual meetings of guilds to both present and teach. It’s heartwarming to hear members catch up with one another as well as share laughs.
In workshops I’ve taught to the general quilting community, it’s been so much fun to connect with quilters from around the world and see them connect with one another. It’s a reminder that quilting is a wonderful way to make new friends.
6. You have access to quilt presentations/trunk shows and workshops you may not normally have.
When it’s safe to do so, I travel around the country giving presentations and teaching. That said, until I clone myself I can’t be everywhere. Also, the costs associated with travel can be a barrier for guilds/groups to host me or for students to attend my presentations/trunk shows and workshops. With live, online programs, travel expenses don’t exist!
7. You don’t have to be tech savvy to participate!
To some, the technology required to connect to an online presentation/trunk show or workshop may feel a bit overwhelming, but it really is easy. With a quick 10 minute technology orientation and a compatible device like a smart phone, tablet, or computer, you’ll be up and running in no time. Zoom is SUPER user friendly—seriously!
Want to hear more about what it’s like to participate in an online presentation/trunk show or workshop?
This week on Whole Circle Studio LIVE! I we chat about this week’s happenings in the Studio and we chat about what it’s like to take a live virtual quilt class / workshop through Zoom and participate in a quilt presentation / trunk show. Lots of benefits and fun!
Want to learn more about my quilt programs and workshops for guilds/groups or the general quilting community?
Have me present or teach at your Guild or Group meeting!
Meet me and other teachers!
Is your guild looking for ways to keep your membership connected and engaged while adhering to social distancing guidelines? This virtual meet the teachers event is an opportunity for your guild program chairs to meet teachers from all over the globe who are offering live virtual online workshops and lecture programs. I’ll be presenting in the second event on Wednesday, September 2, 2020!