Have you ever thought of what is means to be self taught? I have. Is it self taught when you get help from all the sewers and quilters that you know?
I started sewing around the age of 12 and got my first sewing machine at 13. My mother taught me what she knew about sewing and my father showed me how to run my first sewing machine. Friends and family, like my Aunt Carol and college roommates, gave me pointers from time to time. I became a seamstress who dabbled in quilting. No formal education such as Home Ec or classes, no 4-H either. Then, the quilting bug really took hold of me when I purchased my first quilting book, Quilt in a Day's Irish Chain.
On occasion, we have had quilters come into the shop and proclaim that they are self taught. They don't need our help because they say that they know how to quilt. When you ask them about their quilt, you find out that they saw a picture and copied it. Sometime, it is just an idea that they have. They are very proud of the fact that they have never use a pattern--never read a book--never took a class. I guess they learned by osmosis. When we get the chance to see their quilt, it doesn't lay flat and is not square. The seams don't match and the seam allowance varies from an 1/8" to 1/2".
The thing that I like about quilting is that we enjoy sharing. It maybe a new pattern or technique or the show & tell of a finished quilt. Of course, we enjoy discussing the quilts that were at the last quilt show. Maybe, we are talking about colors, fabrics and the latest design. One is always trying out a new trick or using an old one with a new twist. From all this we are learning and expanding our quilting knowledge.
In some ways, we are all self taught. It all depends on how you receive your information and share it with others.