myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Starry Table Runner

I have been very busy this week getting all the new classes listed for Summer and Autumn. I have 2 classes left next weekend and then I’m having a week off and the classroom will be ‘resting’ until our Summer School begins in August.
I have been teaching for nearly a year now and (I am sure I have said this before but bear with me) I really never expected it to be such a wonderful, rewarding experience. This week I got my first ever Teacher’s Present! One of my lovely students brought me in a bag with some Ruby Star Shining Typewriter fabric and a bar of chocolate! (Thank you Nikki!!). I certainly never expected presents!

When I first started the classes nearly everyone I taught was a beginner, but now some of them are ready to move on, so last term I introduced an evening class block called Modern Patchwork Techniques. Every week we worked on a new block using all the clever and quick piecing I had learnt from all the on-line tutes. So for the first week we did a Scrappy Trip Around The World. And then we did Spider’s Web…

Curved piecing and…

 Paper-pieced New York Beauty, and finished with…

A free-style House block like I made for this quilt top. Most of them had only made a log cabin quilt before (my beginner’s course) so I thought they had come a long way to be tackling this on their last week!
So every week I had to make samples and demonstrate in class, and though I know I should just put these away for the next class, I have been itching to use my samples to make stuff.

On the second week we made this Ohio-style Star block. My Christmas Star quilt hangs in my classroom and is always a big hit with the students, and they are always asking how to make it.
I had 2 blocks made when the class finished and a friend with a special birthday coming up (yes another one!), so it didn’t seem too much work to make 3 more and turn them in to this Starry Table Runner!

Julia moved quite recently and I still haven’t visited her new house and so had no clue as to her colour scheme. So I thought I would make this quite Christmassy too, so that if it didn’t work in her dining room she could at least use it at Christmas. But Julia says it is perfect to have out all the time – phew!

 I outlined the stars with some perle cotton 8 and used an old damask table cloth as a backing.

 I do like using things up! Of course now I will have to make new samples when I repeat this class in Autumn. And of course now I have to do Modern Patchwork techniques 2, as of course, all my students just want to keep going (Sheila did warn me about this!). But I am struggling a bit to come up with enough ideas!
I thought I would do Double Wedding Ring and something with HST’s, maybe some FMQing. I could do Cathedral Window but that’s going to be a full day later in the year, as is the Porthole Technique (I’ve already checked this is ok with Lu, in case you think I am being very presumptious!).

So, any ideas you lot? It’s not that I am being really lazy and getting you to write my class plan, it’s just you are always so amazing at coming up with great suggestions 😉


  1. I wish I lived closer so I could take your class. Everything you've made is so beautiful! I love the house block!

    I would like to learn the Dresden plate or y seams.

  2. I'm sure they would love the dresden like on ORBC. What about string piecing and ticker tape. Or free piecing where you start with say a 4 or 9 patch then cut it up and add pieces.
    What about the asterisk or wonky cross. Crazy nine patch or disappearing nine patch?:)
    How about a spool block?
    The HST class could also involve graph paper and colored pencils so once you show them how easy it is to make them that the possibility for layout is endless. Actually using cut up colored construction paper triangles is a great way to hands-on show different variations!:)
    How about a class on the different ways you can make a label for their projects?!:)

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