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9. The Modern Quilters Academy

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Hey there, I’m Nicole Gilbert and you’ve joined the Stop Scrolling and Start Sewing podcast. Are you new to sewing and want to start quilting, but have no idea where to begin? Each Wednesday, join me as I share the ins and outs of that quilt life. If you don’t have a sewing machine, have no idea how much fabric you need, or you’re just trying to figure out where the heck to stick that bobbin, this is the podcast for you.

Welcome to episode 9 of the Stop Scrolling, Start Sewing podcast. I am super excited about today’s episode because I finally get to let you guys know that the doors are officially open to The Modern Quilters Academy, comprehensive quilting lessons for the beginning sewista. So today’s episode is going to revolve around some of the conversations I’ve been having with potential students. And then at the end, we’ll discuss what The Modern Quilters Academy actually entails.

So let’s get sewing.

Now, one of the conversations that I’ve had recently was exactly what kind of machine do I need to be able to complete The Modern Quilters Academy. And I truly believe that the best machine to use is the machine you have, especially if you’re a newbie, there is no reason to go out and get a super expensive all bells and whistles machine. It’s just, it’s just not the time yet.

I do believe there are some modifications that you should make to your machine though, in order to have the best success, not only in finishing The Modern Quilters Academy, but having your machine live with you until you really have outgrown all of the features of your specific machine. So I would say what you should do is go ahead and grab a walking foot, which is a special presser foot that I know I have mentioned time and time again on the podcast, but it is so important. If you get a walking presser foot, it will make a huge difference in your quilting and it will be so much easier to use. So that’s how I feel about the sewing machine. The sewing machine you’ve got is the best one. And the only one you need now, other people have asked how big of an upfront investment is quilting.

And I know I spoke quite a bit about this on the previous episode, and you can go ahead and listen to that Um, but you can truly get started for a hundred bucks. So for the less than the price of a pairof running sneakers, you can have all the supplies you need to complete a quilt. So really it’s not a huge investment in the grand scheme of hobbies, obviously like any hobby, there are so many, that’s so cool and nice to have, um, accessories. So there is like the, sky’s the limit on how much you want to spend, but if you are just going for quality things that you need a hundred bucks, will do. Yeah. So it’s really not that big of an investment. And I can think of like five really silly things that I’ve spent a hundred dollars on recently.

So that’s just me telling you a little bit about my own personal shopping habits. Um, and now if you don’t have a specific room for quilting, I know it can seem daunting because we have all spent way too much time on Pinterest. And we’ve seen these gorgeous sewing and quilting rooms and the storage cabinets and armoires and special, um, sewing machine tables. And guys, you don’t need any of that junk. I mean, is it nice to have? Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff that’s nice to have, you know, it would be nice to have a super baller Maserati, but my minivan is doing just fine. And actually it’s working really well for me in the current stage of life that I’m in. So I just kind of want you to reframe your mind space. Because when I started quilting, I used a TV tray for my sewing machine table, my kitchen table for a cutting table.

And I basted it, my quilts on the dining room floor, you don’t need special space. You need the space you’ve got. And as long as you use the space that you’ve got, you are going to have the time of your life. And you know what, if you fall in love with quilting and you have the room to create a quilt room by all means do so, not going to lie. I currently have a courtroom, but you know what? I have a quilt room and two of my kids share room because that’s how much quilting is important to me. So it’s just kind of something you got to think about. Um, now when it comes to actually The Modern Quilters Academy, I’m going to answer some very specific questions in regards to The Modern Quilters Academy. Now, how long does it take to complete the course? The course is a series of six modules with several lessons inside each module, and it is completely self paced.

So you consume all of the content probably in a day or two. Um, so I mean, if you just want to sit down and binge watch me. Sure you can complete it ASAP, but it’s really a do-ers course. Meaning I want you to have a quilt pattern out, follow the directions and go through the Academy step by step, completing every task. And that could potentially take a few weeks depending on what kind of time you have on your hands. I know the ‘Rona has us with kind of a little bit more at home time and a little bit less on our schedules. So maybe you can complete it a little quicker than usual, but if you’re in a part of the country, that’s already open and you’re starting to go back to work and kids are having activities. Again, it could take you quite a few weeks.

Um, and it’s, it’s really about your own personal commitment, but you aren’t going to be ahead or more importantly, you’re not going to be left behind depending on your own personal schedule, you set the rules and that’s what I love about it. You set the rules. Now, somebody else asked me what the refund policy was for the Modern Quilters Academy. And I don’t even like answering this question cause I’m just like, Oh, you’re gonna love it. But my biggest concern is that you do love it. Now The Modern Quilters Academy is centered around what I call the modern quilters framework, which is a comprehensive five stage, um, framework for you to work through creating a quilt. And I know that this frame work works because I use it in every single quote that I make. So if you are not a hundred percent satisfied that you are able to make a quilt within 30 days of purchase, I will refund you your money.

I don’t want you to be unhappy. However, because I’ve put so much time and effort, and this is something that you get immediately all at once on your computer. Um, I do want to make sure that you have actually attempted all the steps and that you can say, you know what, your thing doesn’t work. And if you can say that, then you deserve your money back, but I’m going to tell you right now, I know this framework works. It’s so good. Now, something else that kind of piggybacks on that is the amount of access that you’re going to have to meet with me throughout this course. This is not something where I’m just giving you videos and PDFs and having you learn on your own. The whole point of me creating The Modern Quilters Academy is because I learned by hunting and pecking all over the internet and taking, you know, onesy twosy lessons at fabric shops and piecing together a method for making quilts on my own.

And I wish I had somebody to bounce these things off of, and that’s why I created this course. So with that, there is a private Facebook community created just for students enrolled in The Modern Quilters Academy. And not only am I going to be an active participant within that community, I’m going to be posting what I’m currently working on. I’m going to be commenting on all of your posts, answering your questions, but every week for eight weeks, I will have a live question and answer segment for you guys. So the day before a post will go up asking all, asking you to post all of your questions, no matter where you’re at in the Academy, you post your questions of anything that you’re running into. And I will take the time to answer every single question live. And if you are in an, on the Facebook live, you can, you know, ask supplementary questions and I’ll hit those up too.

Like I am here for you. I’m not just like giving you this information and running like I’m here to help you throughout this course. So I wanted to go over kind of exactly what the modern quilters Academy is. And so, like I said before, it’s a doers course. It’s not about worksheets. It’s about starting with a bag of supplies and ending with a finished quilt, a giftable finished quilt. I’m not saying like, things are going to be drinking or whatever I’m saying this, if you follow the steps in this, you will have a beautiful quilt at the end. And you will have learned all of the fundamental skills that you will use in every subsequent quilt you make. Like it’s, it’s great. It really is. Now, like I said, you get six modules with several lessons in each module and the modules are delivered in a mixture of videos and PDF support documents.

And they’re all loaded into an easily navigated student portal. This is not something where you’re going to be like, Oh my gosh, she just dumped all this stuff in an email. And now I’ve got to download it and what’s going on. No, you are going to have a designated website to go to enter your username and password. And there is going to be an very easily navigated curriculum and lessons. You’ll be able to see exactly where you’re at in the program at any given time, you can go back at any time and rewatch things. And that I think is huge about the program as well, because I have taken lessons at fabric shops and they were amazing and they teach you a specific skill and then you go home and you forgot a part, and there’s no way to kind of get that information back.

But with this, you can, because you can just go right back into your student portal and rewatch that video and you can watch it over and over and over again until you master it. And then you can watch it again if you wanted. So what I going to want to break down? What’s going on in each of these modules? So in the first module is what I call like the jump star or the, before we begin module. And in that module, we’re going to learn how to choose an appropriate pattern that will both challenge you and also facilitate you actually wanting to finish the dang quilt. I don’t want you to pick a super easy quilt that yeah, you got it done. Yeah, it’s pretty, but it hasn’t stretched your limits. So we’re going to teach you how to stretch your limits a little to grow a little while still not being so challenging that you’re like, well, screw this.

I don’t want to do this anymore. And then you’re right back where you started, like we’re not doing that. Like, Nope, we’re completing The Modern Quilters Academy and you are going to be so happy with your results. I’m also going to teach you how to read a quilt pattern and kind of go over the anatomy of a quilt pattern. What all the sections mean, what they’re teaching you in the sections. There’s also a basic quilt pattern terminology guide in there. So it’s like a little mini dictionary that you can reference when you’re looking at your quilt patterns. And, and this one I am so excited about. I have also created a quilt pattern just for the modern quilters Academy and you have full access. You have, you can totally use it. And what’s really cool is that I actually make this quilt throughout the lessons in The Modern Quilters Academy.

So when I’m teaching you how to make half square triangles, it’s because I’m actually working on the half square triangles that go in this quilt. When I show you how to bind it’s because I’m binding this quilt. And so it really helps, especially if you are a more visual hands on learner, if you’re doing the same project I’m doing, you’re going to be able to do it right alongside me. And when you ask me questions, I’m going to know exactly what you’re hung up on. Now, if you choose to use a different pattern, by all means, please do like, that’s one of the awesome things about quilting is that you get to be creative. I’m just going to need a little bit of back information. And I don’t mind doing that kind of research, or if you send me your quilt pattern that you’re using, I totally don’t mind looking into it, but just kind of keep that in mind, if you use the quilt pattern that I provide, I know exactly what’s going on immediately.

When you ask a question and then I’m also including a quilting supplies checklist where I have all of the absolute must haves. You need to get this supply as well as where to get it a discount option, a luxury option, and also links where you can buy. Now, if you want to. And it’s not just all from one store, it’s, you know, some of it’s Amazon, some of it’s Joanne’s, some of it is stuff that you can get at Amazon or Joann’s, or you can go into your fab, local fabric shop and find them if you kind of want to like touch and feel and, and figure that out. So it’s, it’s a great, great supply lists like Uber supply list. Now in the next module, which this is technically module one, we’re going to go over, setting up your workspace and including each of the stations.

I think that you should have set up why they’re important and exactly where I put every supply within the station. So that at any stage you are easily able to grab what you need just in the moment. It’s huge. And because I just couldn’t help myself, I have created my own chairside ironing board, and I’ve had it for years and I love it. So I included a tutorial in case you wanted to make your own as well. You will see it featured throughout several of the videos in the Academy. So if you’re like, Oh, that’s cute. You could totally make your own. Cause I’ve included the tutorial for that as well. Now in module two, we’re talking fabric and we go over the basics of color theory, tint tone. What makes a harmonious color scheme? How do use gray scale tools to Uplevel your color choice and so much more, we’re talking about preparing your fabric when to wash your fabric, how to iron and fold your fabric for ideal cutting results and the perfect way to store it, to be able to easily shop your stash in the future.

Uh, I’m teaching you about rotary cutting, you know, rotary cutting. One-on-one also basic fabric terminology. What’s a selvedge, what’s on the grain, on the bias. And so, so much more. Now heading into module three. We’re working on piecing the top of our quilt top. So I go over the basics of pinning your fabric for easy piecing and smooth nesting seams. I go over how to chain piece to save you time, thread and sanity, how to create half square triangles, how to create flying geese and pressing while we’re, while we’re piecing. And then once we move over to module four, we go over building your quilt sandwich. So this is how to choose the right batting for your project, how to base your quilt with pins or spray, which quilting method will show off your quilting versus the patchwork design and what batting highlights those choices best.

And also I will demonstrate how to stitch in the ditch and stitch by the ditch. So it’s pretty robust there. And then in module five, you graduate, which is so sad, you graduate, but you’re in the Facebook community. So I know you won’t be going very far, but we go over how to trim and square your quilts. So you end up with a crisp professional finish instead of what I call the beach waves, which really takes all of the professionalism out of your already beautifully pieced quilt. And I show you how to make your own bias tape for binding both by hand and with a bias tape maker. And I take you through a step by step tutorial for binding your quilt. That includes magic mitered corners, which are basically the Holy grail and how to machine bind. So you never end up missing the back.

So I know that seems like a lot of steps and things to remember, but if you follow my framework, I promise you can master this. Plus you even have the option of upleveling your enrollment with two, one hour private one-on-one zoom calls with me. When you choose this option, we’ll schedule the calls for a time that works for both of us, and I’ll help you troubleshoot a specific lesson you’re getting stuck on or help you learn a new skill. So if you are the type that knows they could benefit from a little extra handholding, I encourage you to consider that option. Now my quilting framework is so good. I know it works because I use it myself and I’ve taught it to others to get them started on their quilting journeys. But I couldn’t help myself because I just love helping others fall in love with quilting.

So of course I’m doing a little extra and my first extra, I already kind of touched on a little bit, but it’s a Facebook community with all of the enrolled students and me I’ll go live once a week and answer every single question you ask in the group, how it works is that the day before the live Facebook event, there will be a post asking for your questions or clarification or whatever has you stumped. Then the following day on the live I’ll answer them and I’ll do eight weeks of live Q and a calls. I encourage you guys to show me where you’re at along the way. And I’ll be making posts in the group of projects I’m working on and I’ll even pop up for occasional additional technique lessons. It’s going to be pretty flipping cool if I do say so myself and now the other bonus I’ve put together for the modern quilters Academy and enrolled students is a mini course called sewing machine one Oh one.

And now I realize a lot of people want to learn how to quilt, but their sewing backgrounds are kind of different. And so I wanted to make sure that you guys were all on the same playing field. So with sewing machine, one-on-one, that’s especially helpful for those of you who are brand new to using a sewing machine. So I share with you sewing machine anatomy, how to wind a bobbin and how to throw thread a sewing machine. I also have included a video on how to sew a straight seam and like how to get it started because sometimes, and I know when I first started, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was going like a hundred miles an hour and my fabric is getting sucked right up into the machine. And I was like, what’s going on? So I’ve even covered that. So if you’re thinking, Oh wait, I am not ready to follow the modern quilters framework I have got you covered.

And on that note, um, I just want to say there’s so much that you’re going to be able. So that’s like all that you get from the modern cultures Academy. But I also want you to think about what you’re going to do once you complete the modern quilters Academy, you’re going to be able to confidently piece based and bind a quilt with all of the information at your fingertips. I feel like that one’s kind of obvious, but I also want you to think about the fact that you’re going to be able to make things that brighten your kids’ bedrooms or that you leave tied with a bow under a Christmas tree. You’re going to have made time all your own, where you can lose yourself for a few hours between the demands of work or your kids or whatever you have going on in your schedule.

You’re going to gain a sense of accomplishment because you made that like, how cool is that? And you’re going to show your kids that it’s okay to take time to do something because you just love to do it. I mean, I can go on and on. I truly believe that quilting is my own personal version of self care, and I think it can be yours as well. So enrolling in the modern cultures Academy really can be a game changer for you. And I didn’t want there to be any roadblocks. So I’ve even made it super easy to start by allowing you to make payments over four installments. So there’s zero roadblocks in your way. Um, it’s just, I just want you to be in my quilter circle because you guys are awesome. And the feedback that I have been getting, um, on the podcast on the Facebook page, it’s just, it’s overwhelming.

I love seeing your emails in my inbox. You guys brighten my day. I love helping you. I can’t even tell you how many emails I’ve gotten asking me about different sewing machines or techniques, and I am here for it. And that’s why I put together the modern quilters Academy, because I wanted to just give you all of the things and more of me. So there you have it, guys, if you are interested in learning even more about the modern quilters Academy, please head over to the modern quilters, and you’ll get the full breakdown of all of the things. And also, if you are interested in dressed a quick breakdown of this particular episode, you can go to And there you have it folks you’ve just finished another episode of the Stop Scrolling, Start Sewing podcast. Thanks for hanging out with me and make sure you never miss an episode by hitting subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Now, stop scrolling and start sewing.

Quilt Love

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and...

Noelani T.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and Nicole’s expertise was invaluable for this large project. Nicole is very patient and explained the different steps and their purposes clearly. She improved my original idea to better accomplish my overall goal. I highly recommend Nicole as an instructor and would personally have another session in a heartbeat!

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked...

Michelle L.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked me through everything step by step. And it was amazing. She taught me the ins and outs of my machine and how to add each basic concept together. It was invaluable, because now I can figure things out and get creative without fearing the dreaded unravel!
The Modern Quilters Circle