Basic Sewing
Want to learn how to sew but too afraid to try? Forgotten what a Sewing machine looks like? Need curtains for your den? Help is here.

You will learn the basics of the Sewing machine, of Hand Sewing, Ironing and Sewing tools. We'll review the best resources for information and supplies. And, by the end of the course you'll have completed 2-3 small projects.

Home Decor
For most of us, making our homes beautiful is satisfying and enriching. In this course, you'll learn how to make window treatments and home accessories for far less money than store-bought items.

In this series of classes, we will go over how to pick the right materials, tools and resources to make a project appropriate to your level of Sewing experience. By the end, you will have at least one project completed and installed.

Quilting is a fantastic artistic expression in the medium of fabric. It can be ordered with simple to complex geometric patterns. Or, it can be used to paint a picture or an abstract visual effect.

In this class, you will be choosing a wall-hanging or pillow project to explore techniques in the area of your interest. Delve into something new or get help finishing that last quilting project. We will cover color theory, composition, cutting and Sewing techniques. It will be an intimate forum to share ideas and inspirations of design and construction. Basic Sewing ability is required.

Boston Fabric Stores (PDF, 156k)
Sewing Resources (Word Document, 40k)
Sewing Tools List (PDF Document, 104k)
Click here to download Microsoft Word Viewer if you do not have Microsoft Word

About the instructor
Laura Wirkkala is a seamstress and quiltmaker with over 30 years of experience. For the past 16 years, she has owned and run an international business that makes customized accessories for musical instruments. Her quilts have won recognition on the state and local level. She has taught quilting, home decorating and clothing construction. She has also worked as a Sailmaker, Canvas worker and Upholsterer. She brings her varied experiences together to help you learn whatever you want when it comes to the art of Sewing.

What students have to say about Laura:
Laura sets you up with the basics of machine sewing so that you can navigate your way on practically any machine. As a result, you skip the typical headaches most first-time sewers encounter. You learn to approach sewing from a logical perspective, you never learn "how" something is done without understanding the "why." Laura's teaching style ensures this.

You also benefit from her many years of experience by adopting an invaluable list of tested and tried tools and resources (catalogues, local stores and web sites) that she provides you from the very first day of class. What a relief it is to know exactly what to buy and what to avoid when getting started.

That first trip to the fabric and notions store can be so intimidating. Laura actually takes a class to get you acquainted with a fabric store, shows you how to buy fabric and even purchase a good machine if that's your interest.

What is also remarkable about her classes is that they are small and students work individually at their own pace on their own projects. You get individual attention and independence simultaneously - a great combination when learning sewing. You need that extra attention to guide you through the beginning or through more challenging parts. But, it's the balance of independence that allows you to build confidence, work on you own - with the comfort of knowing the she is there ot help you when you need it.

Above all, Laura's generous spirit will keep you learning tons about sewing and home decoration, as she is always eager to share her knowledge and experience. She provides a warm, inviting environment at her studio in Arlington. All in all, you leave with a very personal, friendly exposure to sewing.
Melissa E.

I enjoy Laura's classes so much! I had sworn off all new classes because, even if the class description promised it, I NEVER finished the class project and was overwhelmed with the unfinished projects. Laura's flexibility and wide-range of experience and skill has made it possible for me to tackle projects I had gotten stalled on and get the satisfaction of finishing them!

Laura is a phenomenal teacher! She is an extraordinarily talented and versatile artist. And boy - does she know how to teach! After taking classes with many other teachers, I know the hard way, that finding a good teacher is a rare event. Those who can DO, CANNOT always teach - but Laura CAN.

Her own grasp of the subject matter always amazes me. ...........

She never makes me feel bad for having to have something repeated, in fact, she understands that such repetition is often necessary for true learning to occur. I appreciate so much the way that Laura explains WHY we need to do specific steps - it helps me understand the task at hand and remember the technique for the future.

Laura is generously/genuinely appreciative of the work that her students do. I end up feeling encouraged and inspired and accomplished at each step along the way as well as at the end!
Ruth F.

Intent and structure of classes
These classes are structured to be semi-private lessons. You can learn a lot from "one on one" instruction, but sometimes, it's even better to be in a small class where you can learn from each other's questions and solutions. Most of the time will be hands-on learning interspersed with more formal instruction as needed. Each student works on their own projects at their own pace. Often there is a mix of both. One student may be an absolute beginner, while another is more advanced. Quilting, home dec and clothing can all be learned in any of the class sessions. The small class size is key to this being able to work.

Cost $210 per set of 6 classes - 3 hours apiece
Class size limit 5

Days of week:

Quilt above titled "Elephant Walk." Machine pieced using above method on compass, flying geese and sawtooth border. Hand appliqued and machine quilted. Inspired by a class with Judy Mathieson. Completed by Laura Wirkkala in June 2004. It was shown at the EQA's A Quilter's Gathering in Nashua, NH, November 2004. And at the Quilter's Connection Annual Quilt Show here in Arlington Center, May 6-7, 2005.

205A Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474
NEW Address as of November 27, 2006
Google Map
NEW WEBSITE Laura's Sewing School

Register by calling 781.646.2463 or by filling out the form below:

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Check the class or classes you are interested in:
Basic Sewing
Home Decor
6 Hour Paper Piecing Workshop

Check the class times that best work for you:
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Class spaces are reserved upon receipt of payment.
Refunds are not the policy of Wirkkala Designs
unless class is cancelled due to lack of enrollment.

Make up policy:
I endeavor to accommodate requests for makeups if there is space in another class. If you miss a class, you must give a minimum of 24 hours notice to be eligible for a make up and so that your space may be offered to another student to do a make up. Make up lessons must be done during your 6 weeks of class. One make up allowed per 6 week session. Make ups are not guaranteed.

I have read and agree to the above refund/makeup policy.