Thursday, December 6, 2012

Video Review - Inspired Modern Quilts on Craftsy

Hi everyone:

If you haven't heard about Craftsy, you'll be hearing about them from me now. Craftsy offers on-line classes in such areas as quilting, sewing, knitting, and crochet. They even have classes on cake decorating and food craft. The class instructors are chosen for their expertise in their particular craft and the classes are organized, informative and thorough. 

I've enrolled in many several of the quilting and crochet classes and although I haven't yet actually made all of the samples, I have made some and have really enjoyed the process - and learned a lot at the same time. In addition to learning by watching the videos, you can ask questions of the instructor as well as other students and receive quick responses. You can post photos of your project in the Projects area and get help with any problems you may be encountering. You can make notes anywhere in the video to remind you of pertinent information, and these, as well as the patterns and materials, are all available for download. The best part is that you can watch the classes over and over again as your access never expires. Am I enjoying my classes? You bet I am! If you have an iPhone or iPad, they have an app to allow you to watch the videos on them and it works really well (ask me how I know!).
Photo courtesy of
Craftsy recently allowed me to review one of their classes and I chose Inspired Modern Quilts by Elizabeth Hartman, as I thought that this would put me a bit out of my comfort zone and allow me to experiment with different patterns than I would normally choose. This class consists of 7 quilt projects; I have been working on one of them. 

Rather than jumping ahead and tackling one of the projects that appears later in the video, I (for once) decided to start at the beginning and make the first project, Scattered Squares Quilt. This is not to mean that I haven't already watched the entire class and am itching to make some of the other projects :)
Materials printed out, fabrics cut, now what?
Scattered Squares is a simple 24" x 30" quilt (instructions are also provided for a lap size quilt) using 3 1/2" squares, where you're encouraged to "embrace randomness". After cutting your fabric squares, you mix them up and randomly choose each piece and start composing your quilt on a design wall. 

Fabric squares being mixed up before being randomly selected
 Okay, randomness really isn't my thing and I would usually spend hours rearranging all the fabric squares until the quilt was perfect -at least in my mind - but I complied and randomly selected squares and built my design. You can rearrange the pieces if there are too many of the same kind in one area, but I found that I didn't have to do much of that. The idea is to have an asymmetrical design, which is one of the characteristics of a modern quilt.
Squares "randomly" arranged on the design wall
Surprisingly enough I found this exercise very freeing and less stressful as I didn't have to ponder and analyze over the design. Being a simple pattern, if didn't take me long to stitch my squares into rows and my rows into a small quilt. I was even able to use fabric that I have in my stash, which made me feel even better about the quilt. 
Rows stacked up and labelled before construction
This part is not random
One row stitched together
Having completed this project (almost - still deciding if I want to add some borders), I'm excited to try some of the other ones, especially the Improv Pods pattern. 

The patterns in the class are definitely modern and are simple enough for beginners to make. In addition to the 7 patterns, Elizabeth discusses fabric choices and has included directions for making a simple design wall and a pressing board, again helpful for beginner quilters. Her instructions are clear and thorough and the pacing is such that you have no problem working along with her. 
Squares stitched into rows and ready for row construction
This would be a helpful class for new quilters and a wonderful introduction to modern quilts for those more traditional quilters. Projects are easy, effective and quick to construct. Elizabeth explains all the steps as she constructs the quilts and gives helpful tips along the way. 

I know that you'll love this class and you'll be pleased to know that you can currently sign up for it at a discount.

As a special treat for Chatterbox Chitchat readers, Craftsy is offering a special 50% discount on Inspired Modern Quilts. What a great early Christmas present! 

I'm sure that you'll want to check out the Craftsy website to see what other courses they offer (lots of quilting classes - yum!). Sign up on Craftsy to receive emails about special offers on other classes, as well as to be informed when new classes are offered. You'll want to visit the Craftsy blog and sign up to receive future posts. 

They also offer great pricing on fabric packages, such as fat quarters and jelly rolls, as well as yarn specials, and are currently shipping to the U.S. and Canada. The best part: they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

I hope you'll sign up for Inspired Modern Quilts at 50% off and let me know which project you're working on. I'd love to see your creation in the Projects area.

Now back to deciding about those borders...

No comments: