Discover the Best Quilting Classes in Los Angeles
Strictly speaking, quilting is the stitching together of a “sandwich” of fabric so as to combine them into a whole. You can quilt anything (a quick inventory of your household goods will reveal quilted potholders and perhaps a quilted bathrobe or pillow), right down to a protective garment to deflect arrows shot at you from longbows. That said, quilting is most frequently used for bed quilts, which are frequently adorned by designs on their top layer, those frequently made of patchwork (scraps of fabric) that can be combined and arranged into very intricate patterns. Although it’s a misnomer, the word quilting is understood to mean the entire process of creating one of these elaborate pieces of bedding, and it has developed into a popular hobby in the contemporary United States. Although practiced mainly by women over the age of 60, quilting has caught on with a broader constituency, and the quilting public is estimated to be some nine to 11 million strong.
Why You Should Learn Quilting in Los Angeles
Why quilt? You might just as easily ask why knit, or why work on a model train set, or why collect Disney pins: quilting is, first and foremost, a hobby, like all hobbies, it allows its practitioners to disconnect from the stresses and strains of everyday life and immerse themselves in a world that gives them enjoyment and satisfaction.
Quilting is, of course, needlework, and concentrating on the needle as it goes up and down (or on the whir of the sewing machine) can be particularly relaxing. Moreover, it will eventually give you the signal satisfaction of having made something that is both attractive and useful. A warm quilt will come in handy on those unexpected chilly Southern California evenings when you wish that houses were better insulated, and a so-called summer quilt (one without the insulation layer) can be perfect for those more typical warm Southern California nights.
Those nine to 11 million quilters also make up a community that you can join. Sewing, while it can be relaxing, can also be a social activity through which people come together to do needlework, share what they’re working on, and, since quilters are humans too, discuss the latest celebrity scandals. There are quilting guilds and groups galore throughout the Southland (there’s even a Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds to keep them all straight), meaning that you need never quilt alone and that there will be plenty of people available to guide and advise you as you become more adept at a craft that dates back at least to Ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom.
Not everyone wants to be a quilter, however. On the other hand, everyone can use a quilt, and there’s a market out there for handmade quilts into which you can tap as an amateur quilter. You can monetize your hobby either by selling your finished wares on platforms such as Etsy or Amazon Handmade or by taking orders for quilts for people who have something specific in mind but who would never dream of picking up a needle. You might not be able to buy a long-arm quilting machine from the sale of your work, but you can probably amortize the cost of your home sewing machine faster than you think.
In-Person Quilting Classes in Los Angeles
If you wish to take a quilting class in Los Angeles, you’ll find dozens of possibilities at the aptly named Quilt Emporium in San Fernando (essentially, it’s in Woodland Hills.) Priding itself as the “friendliest quilt shop in Southern California,” Quilt Emporium is both a shop that carries anything you might need to complete a quilting project (they even carry bamboo batting) and a school that teaches novices and experienced quilters alike. They even have a once-a-month class in the History of Quilts and one in Hawaiian Quilting (a hand-sewing quilting technique that can encourage mindfulness.) Most of the courses at the shop demonstrate how to make specific quilt tops and give students a chance to work on them with a teacher to guide them through intricate patterns with names like Shimmering Stars, T-Shirt Quilts, Porch Quilt, and, of course, My First Quilt, which you’ll piece, assemble, baste, quilt and bind by the class’ last session.
In the City of Orange (aptly situated in Orange County, to the south of greater Los Angeles), you’ll find Fabric Land, a family-owned enterprise that has existed for over fifty years. The store even has a fourth-generation employee. The current owner’s mother decided to open a fabric store because she loved to sew; the shop carries everything a sewer (or sewist) could want to complete a project with needle and thread. That includes quilting supplies. The store also hosts copious classes to further its customers’ knowledge of all aspects of needlecraft. Recent offerings include a Beginning Quilt Sampler class that teaches novice quilters how to piece and sew a variety of quilt blocks, how to use a rotary cutter without doing serious injury to yourself, and how to finish and bind your quilt. Other quilts you can learn to make at Fabric Land include a charming Whimsical Bike Quilt, an ingenious adaptation of the classic Dresden Plate design, a Crazy Eights Quilt that employs eight different fabrics to make the top, and a niftily simplified take on another classic, the Bow Tie Quilt. There is also a class in the T-Shirt Quilt, in which students bring in T-shirts and, with some creative cutting and arranging, turn them into a charming memory quilt.
Another establishment that offers instruction in quilting is Mayhall’s Sewing Center. They offer Quilting I and Quilting II, plus, for those who’d rather work with a machine, Beginning Machine Quilting I and its follow-up, Beginning Machine Quilting II. Mayall’s Sewing and Vacuum Center specializes in selling those two appliances (it was once a usual combination) and is located in Montrose, convenient to both Glendale and La Cañada-Flintridge. The shop also teaches classes in sewing, serging, children’s sewing, pattern making, embroidery, and extensive training in Bernina embroidery software.
To take any of these quilting classes, you do have to know how to sew by hand and operate a sewing machine. To acquire that knowledge, you may wish to consider the sewing classes taught at Los Angeles City College (located in the eastern part of Hollywood, on Vermont Avenue) as part of their non-credit Community Services curriculum. Their Sewing Made Easy, Level 1 is a five-session venture that introduces students to the wonders that can be created with needle and thread. Students will complete the class with a pillow of their very own making and will be able to operate a sewing machine safely and effectively. Machines are even provided in the classroom, although students do still have to outfit themselves with a basic sewing kit (the details of which are listed in the class description.) The class is followed by Sewing Made Easy Level 2: The Pattern, a further five-session endeavor that introduces students to the arcana of the sewing pattern and how to use one to make a pair of elastic-waist pants.
Virtual Quilting Classes
You can quilt anywhere. You can probably even work on a quilt panel while stalled in traffic on Los Angeles’ infamously congested freeway system. (That said, don’t quilt while actually driving.) Given how difficult it is to get around Los Angeles (and the establishments that teach quilting are definitely far-flung from the city center if Los Angeles can be said to have such a thing), you may well wish to consider a virtual quilting class that lets you learn to quilt while in the comfort of your own home or another private space of your choosing.
Virtual classes are generally conducted over that pandemic commonplace, Zoom, although sometimes other platforms are employed. You follow the class on your computer monitor as your teacher demonstrates the basic techniques of quilting. There is the drawback that you’ll have to purchase all the materials needed for the class: fabric, needles and thread, and assorted sewing notions, and—this may be the real stumbling block—a sewing machine. As quilting classes are designed for people who know how to sew, you may already have the requisite equipment. You may even have a fully outfitted sewing room, which would be a perfect place in which to take a virtual quilting class.
Online quilting classes are to be had from providers such as M Avery Designs of Hoboken, New Jersey. They present quite a complement of classes, most of which aren’t available at their brick-and-mortar shop. Among the interesting offerings is a Quilt Club that meets once a month and gives quilters from all over cyberspace a chance to produce an entire quilt block, as well as to interact with each other and share their love of quilting. Additional classes teach how to create the classic Dresden Plate quilt (sort of a flower or a sunburst pattern pieced out of a variety of contrasting fabrics) and how to put your quilting knowledge to use to create a Hovea Quilted Jacket, which proves that quilting isn’t just for bedspreads. M Avery Designs’ online offerings can also get pretty technical; their Quilt Binding with Continuous Bias Tape is a good example of this type of class.
Private Group Quilting Classes in Los Angeles
Are you in the market for a cool team-building exercise? CourseHorse can help you come up with something original and fun that will promote interaction between your team members and send them home feeling they’ve had an enjoyable experience that has brought them a little closer together. CourseHorse will work closely with you through the planning stages all the way to the day of the event. No booking fees are charged, and group sizes can be adjusted nearly until the date of the event.
Quilting may not sound like an obvious choice for this type of venture, but it actually can be fun and draw people together through the common pursuit of new skills while inspiring some hilarity as people unwittingly sew themselves to their work. You need only a few hours to assemble a small quilt (assuming you’re not bothering about the intricacies of piecing technique for the top), and catching on to quilting technique isn’t all that difficult.
Private group quilting classes for Los Angeles businesses are available from a variety of online providers, which enables your entire team—even if they work remotely or on a different continent—to join in the event. You may use the contact form on the CourseHorse website to put yourself in touch with a member of the event fulfillment team who will guide you to the perfect event for your team members.
If you’re not sure that quilting is exactly right for your organization, but still want to do something that involves fabric (but no sewing), you might want to consider Virtual Tapestry Loom Weaving, a class that teaches participants to make a wall hanging on a DIY loom. All the necessary equipment for the class (including the loom) is mailed by CourseHorse to participants two weeks before the class, which eliminates a major hassle for you. (Do note that CourseHorse can only ship to United States addresses but will work to assist you in getting course materials to international team members.) Up to 500 team members can participate in the event, which has proven itself to be a lighthearted way of getting your team to bond over a new and unusual skill.