Learn How to Quilt with These Free (Beginner-Friendly!) Online Classes
The editors from the Better Homes & Gardens Crafts Group are hosting classes all month long. Here's how to tune in.
As our editors have been practicing safe social distancing over the last several weeks, we’ve been looking for ways to relax and de-stress during our non-work hours at home. Activities like knitting, quilting, and sewing have been shown to help lower stress levels, which means they’re an excellent choice for this unprecedented time. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the news lately, this may be the perfect time to pick up a new hobby or finish an abandoned project. Luckily, the editors over at American Patchwork & Quilting are making it easy to get started: They’re hosting free online classes all month long.
The classes are on the All People Quilt Instagram page, which is hosted by the three Better Homes & Gardens Crafts Group publications: American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilts and More, and Quilt Sampler. The classes (which run through April 29) are hosted by an editor from one of the brands and include topics like How to Sew a Basic Pillowcase, Learn to Embroider, and Decorating with Quilts.
We chatted with Lindsay Mayland, multimedia editor for the Better Homes & Gardens Crafts Group, who explains why they created the online initiative. “We heard from many of our readers that they’re using this time to learn a new skill or start a project that’s always been on their to-do list,” she says. “Community is more important than ever right now, so we started Quarantined Quilting, a series of day-long classes on the @allpeoplequilt Instagram feed. Each class is taught by a member of our staff from their own home, and is a series of posts or videos teaching a basic technique.”
“Usually a quilter would take a class at their local quilt shop or rely on encouragement from a quilting guild or other group when beginning something new, but because we’re all sheltering in place, there’s a need for that personal connection and support,” Mayland says.
Luckily, the editors have found the perfect way to provide that support. All online classes are documented on the brand's Instagram feed in real-time and are saved in the Instagram story highlights, so they can be viewed any time. All classes are beginner-friendly and provide basic instructions so they’re accessible to anyone, regardless of quilting or sewing skill level.
Mayland explained how this effort has been a comfort to the participants. “Working with your hands has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide an outlet during times of stress,” she says. “Spending time making something beautiful can really brighten your day and focus your mind on a positive and creative venture. And because quilting is usually a solo activity, it can easily be done in your home with the supplies you have on hand.”
She said it’s also helped their staff get through days spent social distancing at home. “Our entire staff and many of our readers have said they’re using quilting to relax after a long day or even just escape the stress of dealing with their new ‘co-workers,’” she said. “The “me” time we’re getting in our sewing rooms is how many of us are choosing to fill ourselves up, so that we have the energy to help others.”
Check the brand's Instagram account for each week's class schedule. If you're looking for more quilting and sewing inspiration, head to the All People Quilt website for project ideas and help getting started, or join the private Facebook group American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, a support group of more than 11,000 quilters helping each other to finish half-done projects (otherwise known as ‘Unfinished Objects’). You can also tune in to the American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast (we recommend listening to episode 464, How to Support Quilters During a Pandemic).