Feature

Start up Library: Quilting Craftsy Class Review

Start up Library: Quilting is a new Craftsy class by Christa Watson of Christa QuiltsCraftsy 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Blog Hop · Feature

I Wish You A Merry Quilt-A-Long!

I wish you a merry quilt-a-long, I wish you a merry quilt-a-long, I wish you a merry quilt-a-long, and a happy new year!  I’m already caroling for this holiday season!  Join me along with a dozen other bloggers in this fun quilt-a-long adventure this fall to get a Christmas Quilt done before Christmas!

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So what exactly is a Quilt-A-Long?

A Quilt-A-Long (or QAL) is a quilt you make following a host who posts each step on a schedule.  You share your progress and in this case you will get entered into some pretty awesome prizes!  There are some QALs that are set to make a known quilt and others (like this one) that are a mystery, where you won’t know what the quilt looks like until the very end!  There is no charge to enter the QAL and the patterns will be posted for free from each designer.  Make one or all of the blocks!

Why would you want to join?

  • You love Christmas and want to make a Christmas quilt before the holiday gets here.
  • You love meeting new quilters/designers/bloggers!
  • You love to try new things.  These blocks will be incorporating different techniques with support of the hosts and designers to help you along each step of the way.  This quilt is for experienced and new beginners alike.
  • You love to win prizes.  If you complete a block prior to the next block release, you’ll be entered to win a prize. There is also a grand prize for the finished quilt.
  • You don’t want to be left out!  (We’re a fun bunch of ladies from around the globe.)

How can I participate?

There are several ways in which you can participate in all the fun!

  1. If you are on Facebook: Join the “I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long” Facebook Group. Each Designer will be posting links to their tutorials there, and it will be used as a place to ask questions and post photos of your finished block for prizes.
  2. If you are on Instagram: Use the hashtag #iwishyouamerryqal on your finished block to be entered to win.
  3. Each Designer will have a Linky Party on their block tutorial post so you can link your progress to their blog to be entered to win.

How much fabric will I need to complete this quilt?

This is a tough question.  Each block will be 12″ finished, and there will be 12 different blocks. I will be planning on using my scraps to make this quilt with a color palette of red, green, white, yellow, and blue from my stash. I figure I’ll need approximately a yard of each.  I will need scraps of black, orange, and brown for embellishments.  Plus, Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts says, “If you plan to put your blocks together to make a quilt top, then I suggest 1 yard for sashing and 1 yard for a border. To finish the quilt, you will need 4 yards for backing (or 2 yards of extra-wide backing), a twin size batting, and 1/2 yard for binding.”

What is the schedule?

The fun kicks off Tuesday, August 1st with block tutorials released every other Tuesday.  There are 2 dates that will have 2 blocks releasing the same day.  If you forget, don’t worry!  I made a quick links page to each tutorial that will be updated with each new block release. I will also be posting here for each block release!  The last block tutorial will be published December 5th to give you time to finish off the quilt before Christmas!

What are the prizes?

We’ve line up plenty of prizes, and the list isn’t finalized yet. It’s best to keep an eye on the Facebook group, as we will begin sharing the prizes there soon. Prizes include patterns, batting and other products from The Warm Co., thread from Aurifil, a gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop, signed quilt books, precuts, and much more. International participants are eligible to enter for all prizes.

I want in!  What’s are my next steps?

Yippee!  First, go ahead and join our Facebook page so you’ll know when the next block tutorials will be released.  Second, gather your fabric you’ll want to use on your quilt.  The QAL starts August 1, 2017 so you have about 2 weeks to get hyped!  Finally, invite your friends to join in on the fun!  Share the quilt-a-long graphic on Instagram and use #iwishyouamerryqal. Share this blog post or a post from the Facebook group on your own Facebook account and in your quilty groups. The more, the merrier!

Who all is running this QAL?

All the bloggers who are participating in the QAL met through the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.

Some of us will be sewing along and making every block, too. These quilt-a-long hosts will share tips and tricks for each block, plus you’ll get to see the same block in many different fabrics. Hosts will be there every step of the way to encourage you to finish the quilt.

Abbie at Sparkle On (Host)
April at JANDA Bend Quilts (Host + Block 2 Designer)
Becca at Pretty Piney (Host)
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting (Host + Block 9 Designer)
Diane at Cwilt Fabrics & Haberdashery (Host + Block 10 Designer)
Jan at Cocoa Quilts (Host)
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter (Host + Block 4 Designer)
Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats (Host)
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing (Block 11 Designer)
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts (Host + Blocks 3 & 12 Designer)
Sandra at Sandra Healy Designs (Block 6 Designer)
Sandy at Sandy Star Designs (Host + Block 7 Designer)
Sherry at Powered by Quilting  (Host + Block 5 Designer – That’s Me!)
Sola at Alice Samuel’s Quilt Co. (Block 8 Designer)
Vanda at Quilt in Piece (Host + Block 1 Designer)

I hope you’ll quilt along with us! Can we count you in?

I can’t wait to sew with you!

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Feature

Nominated for the Liebster Award!

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by my fellow quilter Liz of Savor Every Stitch.  Liz also participated in the  New Bloggers Blog Hop earlier this year, and we bonded via our engineering backgrounds!  She is so inspiring with her quilting and how much she’s done in such a short time.

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The Liebster award is a blogger to blogger nomination to help blogs gain more exposure.  It was started in 2011 and Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome which I have to say is what we quilt bloggers are all about.  I’m very honored to be nominated, so a big thanks to Liz!

According to the 2017 requirements for the nominations, I am to include a short commentary on a blog I follow and, this is where I can give a shout-out to Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts.  When I first told my sister I had started quilting, she asked me if I followed Crazy Mom Quilts because my sister loved that blog even though she didn’t sew at the time.  I started following Amanda’s blog immediately and found out she also lives in Minnesota.  I haven’t met her yet, but I’m sure I will!  She make so many amazing things from tiny pieces of scraps, and I am always impressed!  I dislike using tiny pieces myself but have so much admiration for those who can create something beautiful from them.

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As a part of the nomination is answering a few questions Liz has prepared:

Who inspired you to quilt/sew?
No one really.  I grew up hand sewing and ended up getting a sewing machine off Craiglist that collected dust until my mother came to visit.  She read the manual aloud to me so I’d know how to thread the machine.  I started little projects and then taught myself how to piece for quilting.  I completely failed on my first quilt when I tried to quilt it.  Who knew there was a thing called a Walking Foot?!  Not me.  I learned more at the Original Sewing Expo, and I was hooked!

If you could meet one Quilt Personality, who would it be?
Camille Roskelley or Bonnie Olaveson.  HUGE Bonnie and Camille Fabrics fan, and I would love to meet them someday.  Their fabric lines and quilt patterns are so unique and cute, and I really admire them working as a mother and daughter team.

Your preference while quilting (Listening to Music, Watching a Movie, Listening to a Book on Tape, Whistling or Total Silence)
I listen to music or podcasts.  My favorite podcasts are How I Built This, Planet Money, Modern Sewciety, Ask Me Another, and Our Fake History.

Do you have a favorite snack/munch while quilting?
I have water usually, and occasionally I’ll have coffee if it’s early in the morning.  However, I need to be super careful to not spill the coffee!

Do you look for quilts while watching a movie?
Uhhh…. I’m not sure since I can’t tell you the last movie that I watched. But I assume I’d look for quilts if I watched movies!

What comes first when you make a quilt: (buying stash then look for a pattern or buy the pattern first and then the fabric)
Buying a stash.  I have a lot of fabric, and I don’t sew nearly fast enough.  The good news is when I’m writing a new pattern, I have plenty of fabric to choose from!

What is your favorite quilt?
I love all my quilts, and each has their own aspects I love.  But if I had to chose a favorite, it’s probably the Moroccan Getaway quilt because the Ombre fabric I used by V&Co. is absolutely amazing.

Hand Quilt or Machine Quilt?
Machine Quilt! Or really send it to my longarmer Rhonda to get quilted!  I haven’t tried hand-quilting yet.  On one hand I feel I’ll love it, but on the other hand I think I’ll be so slow that I get frustrated!

Favorite Color?
Green or Blue!  But I love all the rainbow colors.  You also won’t find much brown at all in my stash.

Favorite Quilting/Crafting Item?
My Bernina. Absolutely love my machine…. Too bad it’s too big to travel with, but it’s my baby!

Do you work on one project or many?
I have more projects than I can count going at one time.  I use plastic containers to separate my projects so I can keep everything together. I do get into these “MUST FINISH EVERYTHING” phases, and I’ll finish a few projects (mainly so I can start new ones).

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My Nominations!

April Adams of JANDA Bend Quilts.  April was a part of the New Bloggers Blog Hop earlier this year too, and we are cooking up a new Quilt Along for everyone coming up soon!

Pam Selkirk of Charlotte Loves Henry. Pam is the owner of Serendipity Woods and the fearless leader of a few BOMs I’ve participated in.  The Block of the Months are so much fun, and Pam creates a great community for all the BOM participants.

Becca Fenstermaker of Pretty Piney.  Becca and I first met at Sew Pro Convention last year.  She is an amazing quilter and a runner like me!  She is also absolutely hilarious, and I love reading what she shares!

Here are the questions I’d love to see them answer:

  • Who inspired you to sew/quilt?
  • What is your favorite quilt/sewn project/craft?
  • How do you bind a quilt? Tuck or Join the ends? Hand sew, or machine sew the binding?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
  • Do you work on one project or many at a time?
  • What is your favorite quilting/craft item you can’t live without, besides your machine?
  • What is your favorite podcast/movie/tv show?

I hope you check out everyone’s blogs during the Liebster Award season and discover new blogs to follow!

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