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Posts Tagged ‘Teacher of the Year’

Meet Lyric Kinard, Teacher of the Year

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Each year the International Association of Professional Quilters selects a Quilt Teacher of the Year. Our 25th Teacher of the Year is Lyric Kinard, from Cary, N.C.,  who specializes in surface design and the basic elements of art and design. Here is some insight into Lyric’s teaching philosophy.

 

What standards of workmanship do you require of your students? What do you do if they don’t attain them?

The only “standard of workmanship” that I ask of students is that they try the technique, give it a fair shot. If it doesn’t live up to some impossible standard in their head after one try, they may then say, “I’m still learning this,” “I need more practice” or “I might just have learned that this isn’t the technique for me.” The only thing I don’t allow is the “I can’t” mentality. Beginners often compare themselves to those who have already put in many hours learning and mastering a technique then feel discouraged by their outcome.

 

How do you encourage creativity in your students?

I never tell students what they should do when creating a work of art. I ask question after question after question until they find the answers for themselves. Helping students to gain confidence in their own creative choices is one of my greatest goals.

 

How do you encourage students’ further growth in quilting, beyond the formal class?

Everything I teach is geared towards giving the students the tools they need to grow and develop their own creative abilities. Sometimes the techniques are simply tools to help them achieve the vision in their minds. Sometimes it is opening and freeing their minds and hearts so that they are able to give themselves permission to experiment without fear of failure. I teach that failure is simply a learning process and often a necessary step on the road to great and creative works.

 

What do you feel is your greatest contribution to the field of quilting?

I’ve recently authored the book Art + Quilt: design principles and creativity exercises. In it I express my firm belief that art can be learned and that creativity is present in every person. It takes time and effort, but it can be done. If I am able to help quilters to reject the inner critic that keeps them from experimenting and moving forward, if I can help them embrace and encourage their inner artists, that is all I can hope to accomplish, and it will be enough.

You can read more about Lyric in the Spring issue of The Professional Quilter, the journal of the International Association of Professional Quilters. The journal is available to members, and you can join here.

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The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business.  Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

 

Meet Peggy Martin, Teacher of the Year

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Since 1983, The Professional Quilter and now the International Association of Professional Quilters have recognized one teacher with its Teacher of the Year Award. This year’s award goes to Peggy Martin, a quilt teacher from San Diego, Calif., who specializes in foundation piecing. Here’s an excerpt from the Spring issue of The Professional Quilter that provides some insight into Peggy’s teaching philosophy.

What standards of workmanship do you require of your students?
What do you do if they don’t attain them?

Students work with different strengths and weaknesses and different levels of experience as well. Presenting techniques and tips to improve the end result is what I try to do; I can’t say I actually “require” any particular standard of workmanship in my classes. I am happy if they try their best, realizing that better results will come with practice. In that same vein, if someone is clearly struggling, I try to make positive suggestions, rather than providing a negative critique. Asking students if they’re happy with their work will often bring up any issues they have had, and suggestions can then be made for improving their work. Students take classes to learn new techniques and to have fun, so I try to create as comfortable and relaxed an environment as I possibly can, which includes an accepting attitude. We all aim for perfection, but making something perfect is not the goal. Learning and feeling appreciated and validated for their efforts are what I try to provide for my students.

How do you encourage creativity in your students?

Part of my teaching always includes showing alternative methods to achieve the same result. I also try to show variations in terms of color and style of fabrics with many different setting options. By showing students the steps I go through when coming up with new ideas, it gets their own wheels turning and they begin to realize how easy it is to explore their own creativity. I’m never happier than when students comes up with a totally different look for their quilts than I have shown them. Seeing that spark of excitement and watching them take the next step beyond is one of my greatest thrills as a teacher.

How do you encourage students’ further growth in quilting, beyond the formal class?

Making sure that students leave the class with the idea that there are myriad possibilities and options open to them and trying to encourage them to have the courage to explore new ideas is one of the things I try to accomplish. Many people lack confidence in their own creativity, and I hope to bolster their faith in themselves, so they leave class with the courage to trust themselves to try their own ideas and follow their own instincts.

You can read more about Peggy Martin in the Spring issue of The Professional Quilter. This journal is just one of the benefits of membership in the International Association of Professional Quilters. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

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