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QUILT MAKER

Education And Training

While quilt making is popular throughout the United States, Bob Ruggiero, publications manager at Quilts, Inc., part of the International Quilt Association, says, “We've found that the Midwest is a real hotbed of quilting, along with areas of the Southeast and eastern seaboard.” Many communities have local quilt shops where quilters can buy fabrics and other supplies. These shops are usually a hive of activity, where quilt makers can share ideas and take a variety of classes. Some classes are geared to beginners while others are tailored to people who have been stitching up storms for years.

“There is also a large network of traveling teachers who go to cities, sort of like ‘quilting rock stars.’ Large shows, like international quilt festivals, also give people an opportunity to meet big names in the industry, show their work, take classes, and network,” says Ruggiero.

“For beginners,” says Elaine Van Dusen of Quilts by Elaine, “I strongly suggest starting with a very small project. Many fabric stores want students to start with bed quilts, but this is definitely not the way to go. Beginners will be overwhelmed and never finish. You want to see results sooner than that.” Ruggiero adds, “The most important way to learn is to just quilt, quilt, quilt!”

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