Start up Library: Quilting is a new Craftsy class by Christa Watson of Christa Quilts. Craftsy is a website that has free and for-purchase video classes in quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, cooking, cake decorating, and many more subjects. They also sell supplies for each of the areas as well. For the video classes, there are opportunities to interact with the instructor for questions and clarifications. Full disclosure, I received the class at no cost in exchange for an honest review. The photos used in this post are also photos from Christa. If you only want my top line 2 cents, scroll to the bottom of the post.
The intention for the Start up Library: Quilting class is to have a class that covers making a quilt from start to finish in its entirety. The class has a class quilt pattern, the friendship star quilt, that is used during each lesson which is great for beginners and even experienced quilters. The class duration is almost 6 HOURS worth of instruction so you’re able to go in depth for each technique from the beginning all the way through to binding the quilt.
I would say this class is for new to intermediate quilters. For anyone who has taken a class from Christa in person, you’d probably agree that she is a fast talker! I feel like she slowed down to a perfect pace for video instructions. Craftsy also has the ability to do a video repeat in case there is a part of the class you’ll need to review over and over. Christa is very engaged in the class chat and is very responsive to all of her students’ questions.
The lessons start with the basics of quilting vocabulary and the tools and notions to get you started (this would have been a great lesson for my husband to listen to had I not spent so much time already explaining all these different quilting terms to him). There is even a lesson to help teach you a bit about the features you will need to use on your machine. This lesson does not specifically teach you about your specific machine since it may not be the exact same as hers, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find the same parts on your machine using your machine’s manual. The class continues on to how to prepare, starch, cut, and organize your fabric. The best part about this lesson (and subsequent ones) is purposefully causing an error or a mistake and how to correct it.
Through this point in the class, I think I repeated “Where was this class when I was starting how to quilt?!” no less than 100 times. Best of all, there were definitely times where I learned new techniques and tricks to help hone my own skills.
The next few lessons were spent creating the chain and star blocks. Squares and half square triangles are the only techniques covered in these blocks. Christa gives tips on how to sew an accurate 1/4″ seam for your piecing. She also helps identify what is important in each of those blocks and even some tips on when to rip or leave seams that aren’t 100% perfect. She address the different ways to press your fabric and why you would do it one way or another. The quilt top assembly instructions were given in detail on how to lay out, label, and in which order to sew the blocks together to be the most efficient. These small tips will help any quilter with quilt top assembly for any future project.
But wait, the class doesn’t stop there! There is also a lesson about piecing the back and what to do with the batting. She also demonstrates how to spray glue baste the quilt, however, how to pin basting is not covered. I have yet to spray glue baste, but I am excited to try it out on my next quilt top. In my opinion, pin basting is the worst!
There are separate lessons on walking foot quilting and free motion quilting. The best part of these lessons is teaching exactly how to quilt the class quilt. If you plan on making the class quilt, the quilting part is also taught. The free motion quilting is optional to do on the class quilt, but Christa walks through her process on how she practices and improves her techniques.
Once the quilting lessons are done, she teaches how to square the quilt and how to make the binding with mitered seams. The class ends with sewing the binding to the quilt and hand-finishing the binding to the back. Since I taught myself how to join my binding ends, I really enjoyed learning a new method from Christa on how to join my ends. She even goes through how to sew the binding on with the mitered corners. So from start to finish, Christa is there to teach you the entire way!
So what was my overall feeling about this class? I would absolutely have purchased this class even if I didn’t receive it for the review. There is so much value in the class for the cost as well as the ability to have access to Christa for questions. I think the class successfully met its goal of a video reference manual I would be able to go back to revisit techniques.
I also have a special coupon link I am able to share for 50% off this class, so you too can add it to your quilting reference library. I hope you learn as much from this class as I did! Enjoy!