2021 Classes with Deb Louie

Sharon Thomson

Deborah Louie is one of Berry Quilt & Co’s most experienced regular tutors. In 2021 her classes with us will take place at our shop monthly. Beginning in February, on the third Tuesday of the month, they run from 9.30am to 3.30pm. There are usually 10 or 11 classes across the year and we have a break in December and January. Class dates and payment conditions for 2021 are listed in another document linked to here. Have a read of that if you are thinking of coming along. Are you looking for the images..? Scroll to bottom for a gallery of quilts.

How do our regular classes work:
Our regular classes are set up with the idea that a core group of people will sign up for a block of classes and work through a project or projects with the tutor over the course of six months or a year. Occasionally we have space for people who would like to dip in for a lesson or two but in 2020 and so far in 2021 we will have limited spaces for these casual visits because social distancing requirements mean we can fit fewer participants in the classroom. Because of this space limitation, we encourage you to make the commitment and book in for a block of classes. Contact us if you are only interested in casual spots because you never know, things change and it might be possible.

About Deborah as a teacher:
Deb is known Australia-wide as an expert domestic machine quilter. She ran a successful career quilting for others on her domestic (home) sewing machine years before long arm machines were common in Australia. Deb estimates that she single-handedly quilted over 300 quilts on her domestic Bernina sewing machine. So she has the experience!! In addition, she has been teaching these skills to people with all levels of experience and with all types of sewing machines at workshops Australia-wide for over 20 years! So please don’t think it’s only a class for Bernina owners or advanced sewers. Deb definitely has the skills to build up your knowledge and experience whatever your starting level or whatever your machine.

How you learn with Deb:
Students can work though specially designed projects that Deb has designed to teach particular techniques. Many of these projects have companion booklets that have step by step instructions which you can use to jog your memory when Deb is not present. The projects are often ‘intro sized’ to start with and each one can be adapted into much larger and more demanding projects such as quilt tops. In class, some students are working on the same project at the same time but quite often everyone is working at their own pace on different stages or different projects. Some ladies join the group to get the best from their machine in an ongoing classroom situation which keeps them ‘focussed’. Working through projects and/or a stitch diary helps you learn as you need and provides an environment where knowledge is reinforced by using over again with Deb’s support each month. It helps to see other’s progress in class and get inspired by the projects and progress of others.

What you can learn:
How to sandwich and quilt together the layers of your quilt. Learn either straight line quilting with your your walking foot OR free motion quilting. Walking foot quilting does not always mean ‘dead straight lines’ and free motion which you do with with your feed dogs down and a darning foot on, is not all flowers and swirls! There are so many different ways you can undertake the quilting of your quilt and Deb can take you through many of them. She will help you focus and take the fear out of starting. Bring along a pieced quilt top of your own and Deb will help you choose the best way to quilt it with her guidance. Usually you will do drills and exercises on sample sandwiches and practice at home and slowly work through all the stages to get your quilt completely quilted. She will show you techniques to deal with the bulk of the quilt under the machine and ideas about what quilting techniques will look best on your top.

Depending on your confidence and experience this might take a few months or only one lesson. It can vary. At the end you will have a series of quilted sample pieces and with a bit of determination and focus, a quilted quilt top. Here is a blog article I wrote a while ago about Deb’s free motion quilting teaching program called Quilting Between the Lines which I talk about in a blog post here.  and there is also her new book Let’s Quilt: The Theory of Walking Foot Quilting which you can learn more about and purchase here. This book is all about quilting with your walking foot. You could work through the project ‘Its Cool to be Square’ and then quilt it with your walking foot. There are other projects that Deb has invented to help people learn free motion and walking foot techniques such as the clam shaped George and Georgie quilts, chevron projects, or a triangle based free motion quilts.

How to make decorative stitch appliqué projects while learning to understand and get the best stitches from your computerised Bernina or other machines (manual or computerised) . This is usually done by making a stitch diary and working your way through the decorative stitches, memory functions and other capabilities of your machine. Once completed you have a reference to go back to but as you work through its all learning! Learn all about which needles, threads, fabrics and waddings go together and interact for different purposes. What your machine is doing and how to trouble shoot it and not jump out the window while getting it right! The Glam Clams project designed by Deb is an excellent one to work through to learn about the machine and how it handles different stitches and threads or the quilt Hearts and Lollipops is great for learning about stitches too. At the end of it you will have a lovely, quilt, cushion or wallhanging completed covered in wonderful machine stitched embroidery.

How to use your machine to do raw edge ‘sketch applique’ to create amazing floral appliquéd pieces. Deb’s Daisy Paths Projects or Secret Garden cushion or quilts are great for learning the’ sketch appliqué’ technique or for more advanced ‘stitch painting’ you could try the Dad’s Dahlia or Mum’s Hibiscus patterns. The Floral Garden Baltimore is a large fabulous heirloom that you could work though with Deb’s Assistance. Learn how to use your machinate achieve ‘hand look’ embroidery projects like the triple stitched Mandala Cushions or the brand NEW in 2021: Couched wool embellished projects.  

Jump into some more advanced techniques: Have you been interested in learning trapunto work or improvised pricing? Have a look at the Summer Days Quilt or the hand coloured Floral Painted Garden Pieces these are all projects that you can discuss with Deb as you progress through the skill building projects and want to extend your knowledge.

What special equipment do you need to take Deborah’s class? You will need a machine that can have a walking foot attached and you will need the walking foot. If doing free motion you will need to be able to lower the feed dogs and you may also need a quilting table extension for your machine. Some ladies find these useful if they are doing lots of free motion quilting. It is always helpful to have the instruction manual for your machine to help Deb trouble shoot if Deb hasn’t encountered your machine before. You’ll need to be prepared to buy from us some different types of thread, stabiliser and/or needles depending on the projects that you undertake. You will get the most from this class if you are prepared to articulate what you want to learn from Deb at the outset or if you’ve chosen a project of Deb’s to work through. If you have a little time to do some homework or practice you will progress very quickly. Please chat to Sharon about the possibilities if you are still not sure after reading this material. Or perhaps contact Deb directly via her website she is always happy to chat about which project will suit you. 

A list of Projects that people have worked through in Deb’s classes with us. * means that there is a project book available as a ‘textbook’ to work through the project with.
Glam Clams *, Mums Hibiscus *, Dad’s Dahlia *, Covid Clams *, George and Georgie *, The Floral Garden Baltimore, Hearts and Lollipops *, Summer Days *, Secret Garden, It’s Cool to Be Square *, Quilting in the Grid Project *, Daisy Paths Cushion or Runner *, Daisy Paths Quilt*, The Madala Cushions*, Freeform Medallion Quilts or runners, The Happy Quilt

Click on images below to open them up full size and generate a gallery to scroll through.  


Deb’s classes are such great skill builders!

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