Always Learning!


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Last month I got recruited mid-school year to teach a sewing class to a small group of girls in the local homeschool cooperative.  It was kind of an “emergency” situation because the regular sewing instructor had a family emergency and couldn’t teach the second semester.   I told them I would gladly do it but only if I could teach a quilting class!




My first plan of action was to quickly design a little miniature quilt that would require a little more than just the basic patchwork but would also be simple enough to make in approximately nine classes of only one hour each.  I wanted the girls to learn the process from start to finish and not cut any corners.  That’s kind of a tough assignment in such a short time.  I also felt that everything needed to be done in class time and not sent home as home-work.




The little quilt I designed is a simple miniature Half Square Triangle Scrappy Quilt.  A lot of skills will be learned in this little quilt, without it being ridiculously hard and I’m so happy about that!


We’ve only had a couple classes so far but I feel I can honestly say that it is going really well and the 6 girls seem to be loving it!




This may seem off the subject here but have any of you read the book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert?  I read it a couple years ago and there were so many things that struck a huge chord in my mind.  But one of the things she said in the book was this: “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”   She was specifically referring to having the courage to act on an idea in our creative mind… and that when we are given the gift of creativity we really have an obligation to carry it through.  In the back of my mind for a few years now has been the niggling idea of teaching an online quilting class for beginners; especially geared for children.  I’ve set that idea aside so many times.  Why?  Fear of failure.


So the really cool thing that happened as a result of this beginner quilting class is that it has generated a real desire among some of the local ladies that have always wanted to learn to quilt.  They have reached out to me about some lessons.  And when I posted it on Instagram I had an amazing number of people write to me asking if I would consider some online lessons.   Immediately the quote I mentioned above came to my mind and I just felt like I had an obligation to move forward with some online classes.  And I finally had the courage.


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I’m here to share with you that I jumped right in and began putting my heart and soul into developing an Online Beginner Quilting Class.  I got it done!!!  And putting it out there was hard, but the response has been great and I couldn’t be happier.  (You can read more about it on my personal blog here.)




My advice to you, farmgirl friends, is this:  if you’ve got an idea brewing in your head that you just can’t shake, but yet you’re too afraid to try… just put fear aside and DO IT!  There is such a great feeling of satisfaction when you do.




I have no idea where my Online Quilting Class will go, if indeed it goes anywhere.  But the satisfaction comes from having the courage to actually do it.  From sitting down for days and putting in the time to make every lesson perfect.  And to finally recognize that I have something to offer and that there is nothing to be embarrassed about in that.




I think we have no better example of this than in our own favorite farmgirl, MaryJane!!!  I’m sure happy to be her Farmgirl Sister and to have learned a few things from her in courageously sharing our creative treasures.  It is because of her interest in things I do that I’ve had the privilege of having so many of my articles printed in her magazine.  My favorite one is all about the summer quilting camp I taught to five precious girls.  (If you missed that article it’s in the Oct/Nov 2017 issue.) Thank you MaryJane!  You are such an inspiration to all of us!


So here is my question for you.   What is that creative treasure within you that fears are keeping hidden? Sometimes just having the courage to talk about it helps us actually DO IT!


Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.



  1. Janice says:

    Bravo! One of my favorite quotes is from Alexandra Stoddard: “Perfection halts the creative process.”

  2. Lynn Marie says:

    “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” Boy did this line strike a chord within me—thanks for that and for a wonderful post.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thank you- you’ve started in me a fire to have the belief which I have in myself to carry out what I feel I’m supposed to be doing too. I love the message of woman supporting woman. You go girl! ❤️

    • Dori Troutman says:


      The best thing we women can do is support each other! So thankful for those in my life that have been so supportive of me.

      I’m happy I was able to start a fire in you! Feed it!

      ~ Dori ~

  4. Sandi King says:

    Dori, I would like to do this class with you. I joined the list on your blog page. I am hoping with this class I will avoid a lot of mistakes I could make when I try doing a full size quilt later on. I watched my mother and her sisters and friends make a quilt when I was a small child and it was the old fashioned everything done by hand way. My hands are not as good as they once were and I am not sure I will be able to even do this class but I am willing to try. I want to make a quilt just to be able to say I did it. I think it will be fun and learning the ins and outs will be wonderful.

  5. This is so awesome and inspirational. Thank you for sharing your heart and the creativity planted inside of you with all of us. Fear is a domineering creep that we must demand to leave immediately!!
    We have all been given great and amazing gifts and talents that must be brought forth to enrich each other’s lives. MUST BE BROUGHT FORTH! For one another. Take courage.

  6. bonnie ellis says:

    You’re a natural…I knew you could do that despite any book. You love your grandkids and work well with them or any kids…plus you can sew! Great job!

  7. Susie Heller says:

    I’ld love to receive and be a Farm Girl blog receiver. Thank you.

  8. hi dori,

    Elizabeth Gilbert was very much inspired by an earlier book , the ” Artist’s Way ” by Julia Cameron.
    There was a recent New York Times article about her.

    try and get a copy of this wonderful book too.

    it is a “workbook” to delve into your own creativity – much referred to by many artists and writers

    good luck with your quilting project too.


  9. Cindy says:

    I don’t want to be critical because I admire your wanting to teach the younger generation quilting, but sewing on a diagonal can be so tricky. If you cut the squares a little larger and sew 1/4 inch either side of center and then cut the square in half you won’t have that distortion. One quilter to another!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Cindy,

      Thank you! I actually had that concern but crazily there hasn’t been a problem with this with my little beginner students in the homeschool class. They’ve sewn all their little triangles into blocks and had no distortion because of the bias. So fingers crossed… no one else will either! But yes, you are right! Sewing on the diagonal can be tricky! Thank you for the tip!

      ~ Dori ~

  10. Barbara J. Deming says:

    Dori, this was such a great post! What amazing things you undertake. I love the idea of the quilting class. I love quilts. Have some from deceased women in my family. My daughter quilts. I even wrote a short story collection “The Quilt Maker” with all titles quilt patterns. But I don’t quilt! LOL

    And you are looking so trim and fit! Go, Girl!


  11. Marilyn says:

    Congratulations on teaching quilting. The on line course sounds interesting and challenging. Continued success.

  12. Lisa says:

    I love this quote! I do have the courage and am now going into the next faze of my business-out of my house and making a rental house in the back of our house into the gluten free bakery I own. Everytime I read this quote something really stirs me and wants to come to the surface. A twist perhaps to what I’m doing.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. Very exciting! Blessings!

  13. Carole Walsh Scott says:

    I would love to be part of your blog please

  14. Linda Kohn says:

    What great ideas you have! These ladies will have a nice knowledge of sewing and quilting.

  15. Jobi says:

    Beautiful words of wisdom from everyone, yes I love that woman encourage each other no matter the journey.
    Thank You All

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