04 July 2013

Craftsy Class Review - Quilting Quickly - Part 1

A few weeks ago I signed up to be a Craftsy affiliate.  As part of that program they offered me the opportunity to take a class for free. I'm glad they did! After more than a decade in retail, I'm a huge proponant of believing in what you're selling. Taking a class lets me evaluate the service both for myself and for you.  

Here's a screenshot of the class specific overview - this is what you'd see while browsing.

Basic course info

I really like that they list for you exactly what you'll be learning; this is one of the factors that  led me to pick this specific class.  I wanted to learn quilting basics and the finishing techniques specifically. 

This class is taught by Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  You have the opportunity to read about her  and learn her credentials.   As it happens, I ran across the MQC website while searching for charm packs for my summer stitching club project.  I thought it was kind of neat that I was already familiar with that company. 

The next screen is the lesson plan:

List of lessons and their lengths

This list was another factor in choosing the class as I was able to see that the final lesson on finishing techniques was nearly an hour long. 
I watched the entire class before delving into any actual work. I wanted to be sure of what I was doing first - measure twice, cut once - right?

Lesson 2 - the Quilter's Toolkit was excellent. So many tools are available to make your work easier, and while Jenny gives an overview of all of them - she also gives you a list of the essentials so you do not have to break the bank to make the projects.

One of the most exciting tools for me was the needle threader - how had I never seen this before? I could do an entire post about this product on it's own. Suffice to say, here it is, and I will be buying one - an amazing tool for my poor old eyes!

Needle Threader by Clover


Lesson 3 - the Charm Pack quilt was perfect as I've been buying  charm packs like candy.  This lesson goes into depth on all the pre-cut packs available, how many you'll need for the size quilt you'd like to make, and how to separate and arrange them while laying out your quilt.

Lesson 4 - the Disappearing  9 Patch.  This is the lesson I decided to follow for my first ever quilt attempt.  While I've been paper piecing along quite nicely with Wild Olive and friends, this quilting method requires machine sewing. Can I just say ACK!  Up to now machine sewing has been something I have assiduously avoided.  Oh well, I withstood it as long as I could.

I selected Alpine Wonderland by Riley Blake for my 9 patch. This particular charm pack only has 21 pre-cuts, half the amount most charm packs have. I decided to make a little quilt to hang up at the holidays so only having 2 9-patch blocks to work with was ok.

Here are a few photos of my time spent in Lesson 4:

Arranging the 9 patch
Arranging the 9 patch

Yucky, corners don't meet! Pick it out!
Perfect corners!! Did I do that!?
2 finished 9 patches
Back of a 9 patch finished
Using the skills I learned in the class, I was able to complete 2 9 patches as you see above! It may not seem like a big deal to veteran quilters out there, but for someone like me who hand sews everything and never thought to do a fiddly thing like a quilt, this is amazing. A. MAZ. ING!

I couldn't be more pleased with the class thus far.  Jenny has a lovely personality and was fun to watch. She's obviously a long-time quilter but she paid special attention to the beginners and had dozens of tips and tricks to share.

 As part of the class, there is a section for you to ask questions and have discussions. Jenny is quick to respond and very helpful in her answers.   The best part of the question/answer feature is that it scrolls by on the side as you're watching, so the questions & answers that have been asked for the part of the class you're watching are right there for you. 

The class will never expire from my account - which is fantastic.  There's so much info packed into each lesson that I know I'll go back to watch parts again.  Which I already have done.  Many times.

As I continue making my quilt I'll post the second part of my review along with more photos of my project.   I hope you'll stay tuned!

If you've taken a class at Craftsy I would love to hear about it!

If you're interested in taking the Quilty Quickly class, click here to sign up.

xo