A couple of months ago, I found myself seated in a pleasant cafe in a nearby town, armed with a large teapot full of tea, a china tea-cup and an A4 pad and pen. Normally, I work from home and on this occasion, being away from my desk gave me a helpful perspective. I stayed there a good two hours altogether and used the time to clarify the position of my small business as I near the end of the third year since ‘Amanda Jane Textiles’ started. All the main activities are in place: fabric designs which are printed by Spoonflower (click here to see them); patterns which are for sale in my Etsy shop (click here to see them) and patterns for magazines and some teaching (currently one day a week). I also jotted down on my sheet the idea of doing a video class. I enjoy teaching and particularly like to introduce complete beginners to pastimes like quilting. In my mind the video class idea was some way in the future, something I could aim for.
At some point previously I had come across a reference to the online learning platform Skillshare and I had made a note in the back of my sketchbook:
In the time since the cafe session, I saw a reference to Skillshare on another blog and with it was a link for a two-month free membership. I thought this was a great idea and used my free membership to take a couple of business classes with Seth Godin, who is especially helpful in the way he talks about marketing for small businesses in an era of social media.
i also watched Leah Goren’s class ‘Illustration and Inspiration: Using a sketchbook’ (such a privilege to see how other artists and designers work).
Soon after beginning my free membership, Skillshare invited me to apply to join their one month ‘VIP Teacher Challenge’ to create a class in 30 days.This opportunity arrived rather sooner than I planned – but then it was in the plan. I won my place and then got started on my class, choosing to do an online version of the beginners’ quilt class I am currently teaching ‘in real life’, as it were. The once a week class is 20 hours, while the c the online course covers all the essentials for a basic quilt and is just 28 minutes long. It includes everything you need to know to make a quilt for the first time. There are two options: an oblong cot quilt size or a square lap-top shape. The square looks like this, although in the class, each participant is encouraged to choose their own colours and make their own design:
I managed to do most of the filming myself (that’s what happens if you are a one-person business), only asking for help with the introduction, which was the most difficult one to record.
I also had my chance to do some editing. Thanks are due to a kind and enthusiastic guest staying with us at the time who joined in with the editing task and encouraged me along. So by the 30th June deadline, ‘Make your First Quilt’ was ready.
I’d like to ‘pay it forward’ so I am including here a link for you to watch my class and enjoy a special offer from Skillshare. Here it is: http://skl.sh/2tqJnEf
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If you want to make this quilt on your own (without the class) you can find the pattern here.