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NQA Certified Teachers

Simple Beauty, Intuitive Precision and Glue?...

NQA Certified Teachers DemosTeachers love to teach and the attendees of the 37th annual quilt show in Columbus, Ohio were fortunate to see NQA Certified Teachers providing free demonstrations on a variety of construction techniques at the Certified Teacher’s booth just inside the exhibit hall. These presentations offered something beyond the basics.

Barbara Arnold, NY, shared her knowledge of Sashiko quilting. Not only did her written instructions include an authentic stitching pattern but some history of the craft, necessary supplies and encouragement to try this Japanese stitching method.

Barbara says "The art of Sashiko is in its simple beauty and the skill that creates long stitches and small spaces." She provided inspiration and instruction and got many viewers involved in this creative process.

"This method of putting on borders is intuitive", says Jennifer McCann, OH. And it must be fun too - at one point Jennifer had so many observers that visitors at the nearby NQA membership booth thought "she must be giving away money". No, she was sharing something much more lasting - knowledge. Jennifer's demonstrations on applying a mitered border pleased many spectators. Especially intuitive learners who like to discover possibilities and find relationships among the parts of a quilt. Her audience enjoyed solving the problem of mismatched patterns and observed how to avoid surprises during the final corner construction.

Jenny Carr Kinney, CA, shared machine appliqué and cut-out-chintz preparation techniques requiring glue sticks and paper-backed fusible. She paid attention to details so that in a short period of time (15 minutes) an observer could grasp the concept. These presentations were supported with written instructions on the necessary supplies and steps to complete these processes on the sewing machine.

For those who saw these demonstrations, it is hoped that the excitement of learning a new skill or creative technique generated an interest to learn additional skills and perhaps open a door to the possibilities beyond the basics of quilt making. If you missed these presentations offered by veteran NQA Certified Teachers, don't worry - there will be more to see in Columbus, 2007.

Teacher's Certification Program

The National Quilting Association, Inc. (NQA) has established The Teacher’s Certification program to certify teachers of basic quiltmaking.

To be certified, you must demonstrate and be evaluated on your own quiltmaking skills, and your ability to teach the basic skills of quiltmaking: piecing, appliqué, quilting, and quilt finishing. You must be able to perform each skill by hand and by machine. To become a candidate for certification, you must submit your teaching resume, as well as a list of teaching objectives, an outline, lesson plans, and examples of teaching aids to be used for your basic course.

The Program is open to NQA members worldwide. The fee for teachers in the United States is $80.00, and for foreign teachers it is $95.00. This money is used to defray the cost of printing, postage, and other certification expenses. As a candidate you will receive a copy of the teaching handbook Teaching Basic Quiltmaking, published by NQA. Common Thoughts, the Certified Teacher’s newsletter, is also available to all candidates enrolled in the Program.

Upon admission to the Teacher’s Certification Program, a mentor, who is also an NQA Certified Teacher, will be assigned to you. Your mentor will maintain your file and be your advisor until you complete the certification process.

This process involves three steps:

  1. Submission of your resume, teaching objectives, course outline and lesson plans to your mentor, who will review them for completeness.
  2. Submission of descriptions and samples of your work, as well as examples of your teaching aids to your mentor, who will review them for completeness.
  3. A personal meeting with, or alternate form of evaluation by, three members of the Certification Panel who will assess your qualifications for certification.

Most candidates complete steps I and II within a year of beginning the Program. These two steps must be successfully completed before a step III Panel session may be scheduled. After 3 years as a candidate, anyone who wants to renew candidacy for an additional 3 years and has not submitted paperwork for step I and/or step II must pay a renewal fee of $65.00. After 5 years as a candidate, teachers who want to renew candidacy for an additional 3 years and have successfully completed steps I and II must pay a renewal fee of $25.00.

The three members of the Certification Panel, which will convene to evaluate your qualifications, are all NQA Certified Teachers. Before your session, these Panel members will be provided copies of all the information you have submitted. They will consider all your paperwork, class samples, examples of your work, your personal evaluation, and your teaching demonstration when deciding whether to award certification. You will be notified of the results by mail within 3 weeks of the meeting date. Comments and evaluation sheets from Panel members will be included.


  1. A Honey Bee Block.
    • This will demonstrate your ability to piece and appliqué.
    • The block can be any size and color.
    • The block can be sewn by hand and/or machine.
    • DO NOT layer or quilt the block.
    • Following a critique, the block will be returned to you.
  2. Appropriate fee.
    • $80.00 United States resident
    • $95.00 foreign resident
  3. Format preference for Teaching Basic Quiltmaking handbook.
    • Loose-leaf notebook or compact disc (Macintosh and WiSndows compatible)
  4. A brief letter of application that includes:
    • Name, address, telephone, email/fax, NQA Membership number.
    • When you learned to quilt.
    • How long you have taught basic quiltmaking.
    • How many sessions there are in your course, as well as how long the sessions are and how many students you usually have.
    • Whether or not you have developed a course outline and lesson plans for your course.
    • Briefly, why you want to become a National Quilting Association Certified Teacher.

Send to:

National Quilting Association, Inc.
Certified Teacher's Program
PO Box 12190
Columbus, OH 43212-0190

If you are awarded certification, you will receive a certificate, a wallet card and a Certified Teacher’s pin. Your name will be included on the list of Certified Teachers posted on this website, and provided to interested parties upon request to NQA. You will be entitled to use the initials NQACT professionally, and to use your status as a Certified Teacher as proof of your competence. You will be asked to file an update of teaching activities with the NQACT Coordinator once every 3 years.

The process of becoming a Certified Teacher will be a learning experience, encouraging you to examine your techniques, methods, and class organization.

If you are not already a member of the National Quilting Association, Inc., a membership form may be found here or by writing to the address above.