The Free Motion Quilting Project: Craftsy Class Adventure

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Craftsy Class Adventure

Yay!  I just got finished shooting my first class for Craftsy.com!

It's shocking how well I've kept this little HUGE secret in the bag for the last 3 months, but I have been literally bursting at the seams to tell you about the awesome class we've been putting together for free motion quilting.  Note: I'll share more details on the actual class later when it launches in November!

So for the last 3 days I've been in Denver, Colorado hanging out with Justin, Jared, and Carolyn, doing what I'm always doing - making videos about free motion quilting!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
This was a really interesting experience because while I've taught quilting on video an enormous amount, I've never done it like this.  Every morning started by having my hair and make up done by my stylist Danica or Tiffany:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Next, we'd start shooting in a studio with lots of hot lights and 2 cameras to catch every detail on the machine.  In the back of the room Carolyn was editing the videos as they were shot.  While many aspects of teaching were the same, I had to get used to many new things - like watching out for loud sounds.

Normally I don't worry about this at all (which is why you can usually hear a rooster crowing in the background of my videos), but for Craftsy, we'd stop and wait when loud cars drove by or loud music was being played.  The guys operating the cameras (and often standing for hours at a time) had to be super careful not to make a sound while I was talking or quilting.  Try holding a cough or sneeze for 10 minutes and see how hard that can be!   

This attention to detail went far beyond background noise.  I'm so super excited about my class because I feel like I was finally able to go into some intense detail that I haven't been able to go into before because of time or shooting limitations.

Having made over 500 videos, that's a pretty bold statement, but keep in mind I'm still limited to 15 minute videos on YouTube, and the constraints of shooting videos all by myself.  While no, I hardly get any complaints about my videos, personally I've always felt like they could just be...better.

With Craftsy, I've finally found that missing element that's always bothered me - the workshop feel.

When I'm at a workshop, all I have to worry about is teaching and sharing the information as clearly as possible.  I don't have to worry about lighting or editing or squishing the video into 15 minutes.  I just stand up and teach!

The really terrific thing about this class is it will be just as interactive as a real workshop.  Just in case you're not familiar with Craftsy you should really check it out!  Not only can you post questions to the platform of your classes, you can also post photos and have discussions with other students.  You can find all the quilting classes posted so far right here.

It's an awesome learning environment because each class is quite meaty with lots of focus on the little details that can easily be missed.  Ultimately a Craftsy class ends up feeling more like a college course or an artistic intensive, but with the added benefit of being able to return to different lessons again and again and interact with the instructor at any time.

It honestly blows away anything I've been able to teach in a traditional quilting in-person workshop or in all of my YouTube videos.  I guess the big difference is I was encouraged to focus on the tiny details, but also moved steadily through lots of designs and information.  Meaty is really the best description!

While here in Denver, I met many people that will be involved in taking the videos and turning them into the finished class.  Overwhelmingly, every single person I met was super excited and happy to be working at Craftsy, even though it's obviously a demanding job with long hours (one day we shot from 8 am until 8 pm and no one complained at all!)

That might seem like a silly thing to notice, but personally I know that positive attitudes, excitement, and this kind of dedication only come when everyone is super psyched up about what they do.  It was so much fun to hang out and work with so many like-minded people!

Again, that might not seem like a big deal, but over the last two years whenever I've started a conversation with a new person I've met, like at a mom / kid outing with James or at yoga class, I've always felt a bit like a freak.

I'm not sure whether I intimidate other women or if it's something else, but it's often hard for me to find people to relate to in Shelby, NC.  Here in Denver, I met 3 women, all published authors and professional in their field of quilting, weaving, or crochet, and I'm sure there are many, many more working for Craftsy that I just didn't have time to meet and gab with while I was here.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I guess the point of all this rambling is simple: we all want to belong and feel good about what we do.  Teaching this class for Craftsy, I found both.

So now after 3 solid days of shooting videos, talking almost constantly, and smiling my face off, I'm feeling super tired, but also super happy.  I'm ready to go home, but I'm also most definitely ready to come back to shoot more classes whenever I can!

Time to shut up and quilt sleep...

Leah

P.S  Super, super, super thank you to Linda, Jared, Carolyn, Justin, Nicole, Sadie, Tiffany, and Danica who all made my experience 100% awesome, and to everyone else that will have a hand in turning this raw film into a finished class!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

And an extra big thank you and hug to Alissa who helped me plan and outline this class - without you, this class wouldn't have happened!

59 comments:

  1. ...major super awesomeness! ~ congratulations!... ...xXx... ...Samantha...

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  2. WOW!! I am so proud for you Leah! I know you are on cloud 9 and you should be! Congratulations!

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  3. Wow, how exciting, congratulations!

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  4. Exciting news, I bet it will be brilliant, can't wait to check it out!

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  5. That's fantastic. I love those online classes. I've just finished the Beyond Basic Machine Quilting. I will definitely sign up for yours in November. Can't wait.

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  6. So excited for you Leah! You are having a fantastic year... Little james graduated... new book published and in print form and now an online quilting class with Craftsy... Yeah! Looking forward to adding your class to my Craftsy classes! Can't wait to see what you show us on there!
    Congratulations dear~
    Godspeed,
    mary

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  7. I'm so excited. I have taken ALMOST every quilting class they offer...and I will be sure to be among your first students. I have really enjoyed your teaching and I'm thrilled that Craftsy found you, too.

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  8. Leah -- this is great. I've been following you for a while, and even have a hard copy of the BIG book. A craftsy class seems like the perfect venue and I know it will be wonderful. As a student, their platform is really nice. Lookin' forward to signing up....

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  9. Yeah!! So exciting!! Can't wait to check it!! I'm sure you did a great job!!

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  10. Through all of your hundreds of videos, I have never felt that a subject wasn't covered to the highest level. You always manage to overcome the constraints that faced you resulting in a quality product from which so many have been challenged and grown in the art of quilting. I am so thankful I 'found' your site and have grown to know and admire you as a quilter and the strong sweet person that you are! I always rejoice when others recognize these qualities that we know you to have.....Blessings and hugs always to you and your family (who support you so beautifully)....Doreen

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  11. Leah, Congratulations!! I am really glad to hear that. I love Craftsy, and have bought some online courses from them. I love Jenny Doan's Quilting Quickly classes.

    I love your style of teaching on your videos that I've seen so far, so I'll definitely be purchasing your lessons from Craftsy when they are available. I secretly hope that your FMQ lessons replace the current FMQ course, as I was a bit disappointed in it, and always thought that you would teach it better, and now you are!! YAY!! Can't wait!
    Love from Kathy in Australia xoxo.

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  12. Congrats! That is major awesome!

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  13. Leah, Your presence at Craftsy was nothing less than sparkling, and your instruction and dedication meant so much to us. Thank you for being our ambassador!

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  14. Leah, You are sparkly and dedicated and... amazing. You and Craftsy are a perfect team. Thanks for the wonderful post!

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  15. I have enjoyed your tutorials and found them VERY helpful. I'll sign up ASAP for your craftsy course. Congratulations, Leah. Noone has given more to us quilters and you deserve this!

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  16. Congratulations! So excited for you and looking forward to the class.

    Way to go!!!

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  17. Awesome, awesome, awesome! Congratulations! You, my dear, are no freak! You are just plain wonderful. Can't wait to order your course.

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  18. How Awesome for you! And us! I will be signing up in november. I love Craftsy. I have taken 2 classes already:)

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  19. So exciting Leah! It will be fabulous, that is for sure. I have so enjoyed your at home videos I have no doubt this class will be stellar!

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  20. Wonderful news, Leah. You must be so proud. And you look as fabulous as one of your quilts in the photos.

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  21. Hi, Leah, been following you for a couple of months...so helpful! I also have a class going at Craftsy...love it. I'm so looking forward to your first class. Congratulations!!

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  22. congratulations on your amazing efforts as always. Leah, as a mom with daughters almost the same age as you, I just want you to know I am very proud of all the things you have accomplished and shared. You are a blessing to so many. Never forget that.

    You also look really lovely in all of these pics, gorgeous happy smile :-)

    love always Rosemary

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  23. Awesome! Craftsy really has a hole in their quilting line up missing a class from you. I can't wait to see what you offer. I've taken like 16 craftsy classes.

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  24. Leah, it was so wonderful to work with you this week and I can't wait to see what's ahead for you. You are a thorough and patient teacher, I can't wait for the class!

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  25. Congratulations! What a fantastic opportunity! Very exciting!!

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  26. I am SO excited! I love your blog, your videos and Craftsy!!!! I cannot wait until November! :)

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  27. Oh goody, goody, goody I'm so excited to see this but it's sooooo long till November.

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  28. Congratulations Leah. I am slightly addicted to Craftsy courses and look forward to seeing yours up there soon. C

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  29. Congrats!!! And wtg Craftsy!!! Oh I've been waiting for you to have a class. Can't wait to say I'm IN!

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  30. Is the class listed? I can't find it?? I want to take it! Yay! Sounds fabulous!!!

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  31. Wow! Congratulations. You have earned this recognition so enjoy it. I can't wait to see the lesson.

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  32. Way to go! This is awesome news, I can't wait to check it out.

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  33. EXCITED FOR YOU...YOUR CALMNESS AND CONFIDENCE WILL SHINE THROUGH - NO DOUBT

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  34. Yay, I've been wanting to get a FMQ class on Craftsy and come November I know which one it will be; I'll be able to afford it then too.

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  35. WoooHooooo! Congrats, Leah! Can't wait for your class!

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  36. Now I can't wait until November. I already take classes there and can't to see yours.

    Congratulations!!

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  37. Wow!! That's exciting news! Congratulations. Love watching your videos and love Craftsy classes. I'm just getting back to teaching myself FMQ so you can bet I will sign up as soon as it's available!

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  38. What a fantastic opportunity. Your own videos are a credit to your professionalism and dedication but this must surely be the icing on the cake! Congratulations.

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  39. Wow how exciting. I know how you feel talking with others about what excites you about quilting. thee same happens to me when I talkb to others about my craft, sewingor quilting projects or techniqes they look at yi as if your an alien. I remember my 1St conversation with a fellow filmmaker - She understood me. we talked for several hours she understood me. I child not stop rambling. LOL she still holds a special place in my heart today, although I don't make dolls today. after that I made sure to seek out like minded people. I don't feel weird anymore. :)

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  40. Congratulations, Leah! You have done such an excellent job and now someone else has recognised it and it will take you to another new level. Keep up the good work, you are so inspirational.

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  41. Muchas felicidades,haces un trabajo espectacular,te lo mereces,un beso.

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  42. Oh how super exciting! I've been taking a couple of the courses there and I just can't wait to get yours! Well done!!

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  43. FABULOUS!! I cannot wait for them to post your class - I have signed up for a few classes there and really enjoy them.....I like that I do not have to hurry, nor even look for weeks if I don't have time. LOVE Craftsy!

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  44. So so happy for you Leah I love Craftsy and will be looking forward to your class.

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  45. Leah, this is wonderful, I can't wait!!! Also, just sayin', this part of your post: "It was so much fun to hang out and work with so many like-minded people! Again, that might not seem like a big deal, but over the last two years whenever I've started a conversation with a new person I've met, like at a mom / kid outing with James or at yoga class, I've always felt a bit like a freak." This really got to me (made me cry). I've been dealing with that kind of thing for most of my life (I'm almost 60), but in the last few years I made a like-minded friend who has also felt like an oddball all of her life. We have so much fun making day trips to quilt shops and other places, doing lunch, and having what we call 'show-and-tell' with our quilting projects. We exchange opinions and advice about those projects, never judging but always encouraging, and we also exchange concerns about our husbands (both older than we are). What a blessing for me at this stage in life! Anyway, thank you for all you do, and I can't WAIT to sign up for your class with Craftsy.com!!!

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  46. Congratulations! Craftsy has the best on-line classes and I'm so happy you will be one of their instructors! I'm so looking forward to enrolling in your class.

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  47. I am A HUGE Craftsy fan and you are a perfect fit! You look beautiful and I cannot WAIT to see the finished product. I will be taking your class for sure!!!! Yay, Leah!!!!!!

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  48. Felicidades por este estupendo proyecto. Un beso

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  49. Congrats Leah! That's so exciting!
    Can't wait to see it.

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  50. Congratulations Leah! I have done other quilting classes with Craftsy and can't wait to sign up for yours. I am very excited for you.

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  51. A big congratulations to you Leah. I could almost feel your excitement jumping off the screen!

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  52. Leah, I'm sooo happy for you :) and I look forward to your class!
    Best,
    Jae

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  53. Can't wait to check this out. Congratulations and thanks for all your tips and advice.

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  54. Looking forward to your class..Craftsy is the best! Like minded people are wonderful but don't forget your roots.

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  55. I will SO be on that class when it's open... Great news!!

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  56. You are a great and enthusiastic instructor Leah. Now that I'm not working (I have a seasonal job as an usher) I'm free to focus on quilting over the winter. Looks like your class is just the ticket (excuse the pun)!

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  57. I'm taking your Craftsy class now and it is awesome! You are a great teacher!

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