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Taking a Stitch With Teaching

By Dr. Candace McGregor

McGregor quiltI love quilting! I spend hundreds of hours dreaming, planning, shopping, designing, measuring, calculating, cutting, and connecting. I look at what others do, follow the experts, seek advice, follow my gut, try, fail and try again.

I also love teaching! I spend hundreds of hours doing exactly the same tasks!

The more I quilt, the more I teach, the more the two loves of my life are connected. Each is filled with joy, creativity, collaboration, individual achievement, hard work, frustration, self criticism, failure, embarrassment, realization, and the elation that something you created uniquely for another was embraced as a part of their life experience.

And technology plays an integral role in both. Quilters daily see new tools, refinements to old ones, and an abundance of gadgets promising to revolutionize the industry. We have come a long way from that pioneer woman in the sod house hand stitching each seam to my digitized long-arm quilter with computerized design stitcher. Just as the classroom slate is now an interactive whiteboard board, the one-room schoolhouse is globally connected. But the technology, for both passions, is only effective if driven by the human heart and hand.

At the soul of both quilting and teaching, we see the commonalities.
We learn by doing–
The work creates a state of flow–
Each requires the intimacy of intellect, emotions and the body–
Both will cause reflective and critical self feedback–
The results are an unrivaled joy.

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