Since January 1st, 2020 I am a member of the Patchwork Gilde Deutschland e. V., so just under a year and four months, a relatively short time when you know how long others have been members there (the guild was founded on November 2nd, 1985). When I discovered patchwork and quilting years ago, I was immediately hooked and plunged headfirst into this world. I couldn’t watch enough videos about certain techniques, couldn’t read enough blog posts about beautiful tutorials, couldn’t look at enough inspirational pictures on the internet. But what I missed was contact with like-minded people. Certainly you quickly make contacts via the well-known social media channels, but I still wanted a little more, including a course offer. I live in Schleswig-Holstein in the countryside in a village with 430 inhabitants, far and wide there were no patchwork courses in sight. Even in Hamburg, 60 km away, I didn’t really find anything. But if you research the Internet, you will immediately find the Patchwork Gilde Germany with the office in Dortmund. And when I joined the guild, I immediately booked the first courses.
Wide range of patchwork and quilting
The Patchwork Guild has a wide range of offers for its members, including:
- Courses and Guild Seasons
- Education: Basic training and course leader training
- Announcement of competitions
- hands-on activities
- regional agencies
- Quilty library
- Access to international tenders
- Appointment calendar around patchwork
- Patch Kids
- patchwork days
- QUIP Day
- member magazine
- Quilter’s dictionary
Up close and personal with the guild
Shortly after I had sent off the application for membership, there was a very nice response and a wonderful welcome package with the current members’ magazine, the dictionary and the member’s pin. And of course – very important – I got the access data for the website. A lot of information can be accessed without it, but it is much more comprehensive if you can log in.
The basic courses
I immediately decided to complete the basic courses . Although I had been quilting for a number of years, I had never attended a course before. Module 1 deals with the basic techniques of patchwork and quilting, Module 2 deals with traditional design options, Module 3 is devoted to modern quilts and their techniques, and Module 4 deals with colors and color contrasts. Since the modules do not build on each other directly, you can complete them in a different order.
02/2020: Module 3G “Modern”
At the end of February 2020 I took part in the “Modern” module with Gabriele Schultz-Herzberger in Dortmund – at that time I had already booked the follow-up courses, Corona was already a concept, but we didn’t know that everything would be different then. In this course I met really nice women with whom I still have contact almost every day and sew them together via Zoom. Modern quilts form their own direction and differ from traditional quilts in important design aspects. I have already introduced some designers here. And this is my homework quilt that I made from the blocks I made in class:
08/2020: Module 1G “Basics”
My next course took place at the beginning of August 2020 via zoom with Bea Galler. On the one hand, it was very pleasant to be able to sew at home with your own machine, on the other hand, there was a lack of direct exchange with the other course participants. However, our course instructor is very media-experienced and was also able to convey the content virtually very well.
02/2021: Module 4G “color”
I then completed the third course at the end of February 2021 with the lecturer and juror Gesche Leinweber. As a designer, I studied the subject extensively, but in relation to patchwork it was simply something different and gave me important impulses for my further work and created the incentive to develop further in this area. My quilt treats color-in-itself contrast:
09/2021: Module 2G “Traditional “
This module is one of the basic courses – but it was postponed due to the stupid pandemic. The guild admitted me to the course leader training anyway, because I had already booked the module. Little easter egg: I actually started the training because of this course, because here you design your own blocks and place them on the surface – that’s the pinnacle for me! And this module of all things was the last one I could complete 🙂 Lecturer Annette Tatchen opened a new door of creative activity for me this weekend, here you can see my homework quilt, which I then finished the following month:
The course instructor training
For a long time I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do the training to become a course instructor, but then I decided to do it quite spontaneously – now I’ve completed the basic modules and I want to make a big deal out of it. If you want to complete this training, you have to make homework quilts from the basic modules. These works are a nice conclusion of the respective courses and are then later also evaluated and publicly exhibited at the Patchworktage days held every year. Do not miss: The next Patchworktage will take place from 27 – 29.05.2022 in Meiningen!
04/2021: The application quilt
You have to apply officially for the course instructor training and submit an application quilt in which you have to complete certain tasks. You get a selection of 30 blocks, from which you make at least nine and make a quilt of a specified size. A two-part tunnel and a label are also required. After the assessment by eight lecturers, you get a dedicated rating. However, there was one abstention from my review for personal reasons, which I am not aware of. But the abstention has nothing to do with the preparation of the quilt. Since I decided on the apprenticeship just a week and a half before the application deadline, I had to reduce myself to the required nine blocks. Here is my quilt that got me approved for training:
06/2021: Module 1K “Didactics and Law”
I took part in this module, taught by Silke von Hoffmann via zoom, from June 18th to 20th, 2021. This is theoretical knowledge about course planning and description, the creation of material lists and worksheets, advertising and exhibition preparation. Personally, I think this course is very important – anyone of you who has ever had training from someone who was ill-prepared or absolutely incapable of imparting understands that! “Recht” was established by the notary and lawyer Dr. Wolfgang Heinz mediates and deals with copyright, the use of photos and texts and much more.
09/2021: Module 2K “Communication”
This module will also be held by Silke von Hoffmann and will take place in Dortmund from September 17th to 19th, 2021. I will report.
06 – 10/2021: Preparation of the teaching sample
At the moment I am preparing my teaching sample on the topic “Hawaiian Application”. With the promise that you will be admitted to the training, you receive a topic that you then teach a few months later in a one and a half hour course. The other course participants act as test subjects. It is evaluated here how well you can convey content, because appreciative didactics that convey a topic profitably are of course very important for a course instructor. For this teaching sample, a concept is developed, course documents including a list of materials are created and examples are made. In the teaching rehearsal, the focus is not on how technically adept you are in the subject.
There is always a first time – or two first times! You’ll have to be lenient here, because this is the first time I’ve made an appliqué using the Needle Turn technique and it’s also the first time I’ve quilted by hand.
Needle turn appliqué works wonderfully with batik fabrics because they don’t fray as much. I quilted the center first and later saw that it was already getting better towards the outside, ie the stitches were more regular and smaller.
I once watched an explanation of hand quilting in a YouTube video. It only lasted a few minutes and ended with the sentence: “And now practice 20 years!” And that just says it all 🙂
11/2021: Module 3K “teaching sample”
In mid-November the time had finally come, let’s go to Dortmund to the guild’s office for a teaching rehearsal, the pinnacle of training. Super nice to finally see the other participants in real life! I was very lucky, because dear Katja swapped the day and time with me, so that I was the first to turn – so I could really enjoy the other teaching rehearsals! Katja, on the other hand, preferred to look at the others first so that she could better get in the mood for her hour and a half. After 10 seconds all excitement was gone and so the one and a half hours flew by. On Sunday afternoon we were all happy, relieved and satisfied. In any case, the weekend taught me more than pure patchwork techniques! You can really see the exuberance:
05/2021 – 02/2022 Certificate Quilt
The making of this 90 x 90 cm quilt was a lengthy and exhausting process, because the final award of the certificate depends on the evaluation by the judges. First of all, you are told directly with the news that you have been admitted to the training: “Something always comes up”. After an aberration, I then decided to make a fresh start in the fall of 2021, opting for a Spider Web block with a wedge of silk in between each time. Machine quilting emphasizes the space between the blocks, and a Big Stitch quilting emphasizes the blocks.
Bottom line: as much fun as the process of designing a quilt actually is, it was stressful to work with in terms of grading. My thanks go to Silke von Hoffmann, who has accompanied us as training director for what felt like an eternity!
Why I am a member of the guild
I think it’s great to be a member of the guild because I’ve met many women who share my passion for patchwork and quilting. And it is enriching to see how diverse this craft is practiced. The contact with like-minded people and the associated exchange simply gives the whole thing a face and makes my life colorful. It’s also nice that your own work gets a stage and you can show your work to others.