what is a Confident Beginner?

Today I received an interesting question from a reader about Angled:

I am a brand new to the hobby. I have sewn a couple things - tote bags and bunting, but I would not call myself a quilter AT ALL. I do not have a mom or a neighbor who loves to quilt that I can go to, so I have been learning from youtube, blogs, and trial and error. I just started my first quilt.

I was writing to ask how you label a confident beginner? Also, how much involvement you will have with students who take the Angled class. Is it just the pdf, or will you have a Facebook page/place to ask questions?

I can see myself doing this as long as I can ask questions if I am stuck, but I also know I have only sewn squares and rectangles. As I type this part of me has talked myself out of the class, and the stubborn side that loves a challenge thinks I can do it. What do you think?

I really appreciate your blog and designs. Thank you so much for sharing.
— Meg M.

I thought my reply might be helpful to others, so I’m sharing both with her permission:


Thanks for reaching out!  I absolutely understand where you are coming from.  My story is like yours.  I had no family or local to learn from and just found my way into quilting through online resources.  You can learn it all that way, so whether or not you take Angled, I hope you keep enjoying sewing and trying new things.  

I like the term “confident beginner” because to me it speaks to the importance of attitude over experience.  Anyone who’s ready for the challenge can learn to go beyond squares and rectangles to sewing angles.  It’s not so much harder, really.  It’s not that you need to spend a certain amount of time sewing easier quilts first.  What you need is the interest in learning new concepts and the time to focus on putting the ideas into action.   

I design my classes so that there is a variety of projects that build upon each other.  For example, the first quilt in Angled is the easiest.  That’s Indian Blanket, which I plan to make anew next week.  Excited!  The next quilt introduces harder angles, but has an easy finishing technique so that its forgiving.  And so on.  I’d say the most challenging quilt in the course is Tangential, which is a cumulative quilt interweaving all the concepts from the main lessons.  I suggest you approach the lessons in order and take your time to master each one.  If you do, I’m confident you will make it all the way through and be amazed by how much you’ve learned!

That’s such a good question about my involvement with the class.  I’m totally here for my students!  I have some that email me often, sharing their progress and asking the occasional question.  It’s so fun too see what they’re working on and know that they’re benefiting from my course.  Back when blogs were more popular, and I ran the class as a blog, there would be lots of comments there too.  With my last course, I created a private Facebook group for the students, hoping that we would create a community there.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much action and at least half of those who reached out did so by email instead.  

I give you this context to explain why I’m not doing a Facebook group for Angled course.  This time I am accepting that my students seem to prefer email and/or Instagram hashtags for staying in touch.  I hope one or both will work for you.  Please know I would be delighted to answer your questions. 




Angled Course is in progress now through the end of July. There’s still oodles of time to work through the material, so feel free to join in by registering for class. Because it’s self-paced, you’re not a bit late. Everything starts when you’re ready!

Rachel Hauser10 Comments