The Free Motion Quilting Project: Craftsy Class - Free Motion Quilting a Sampler

Friday, November 2, 2012

Craftsy Class - Free Motion Quilting a Sampler

Okay! I've been chomping at the bit to share more info about my new class that has just launched on!

This class is called Free Motion Quilting a Sampler and in the more than 7 hours of class time, you'll learn how to quilt many filler designs and apply them over the surface of a sampler quilt.

Which sampler? It's actually Amy Gibson's Block of the Month Quilt!

Amy Gibson has taught this free class for Craftsy since January. If you run through the lessons, you'll learn many fantastic piecing and applique techniques and end up with 20 beautiful blocks to turn into a sampler quilt.

But what about quilting it?

Sampler quilts can be tricky to quilt. All those piecing lines, all those shapes and angles, can make it really hard to see where the quilting design will fit. Many quilters love making samplers to learn new techniques, but they often become UFOs because there's always that giant unanswered question - "How do I quilt this?!"

So that's where my class comes in! I took a look at Amy's quilt design and immediately began sketching fills over the surface. All of Amy's beautiful blocks were perfect to explore many interesting designs, so the free motion quilting is almost like a sampler of it's own!

Along the way of learning the designs, I've also shared all of my tips and tricks for mastering free motion quilting. Taking a look here on the Free Motion Quilting Project, I see all this information is here, but scattered across hundreds videos and tutorials that you will have to dig around to find.

Craftsy has enabled me to combine ALL this information into this one huge class because for once I finally didn't have a limit to how long I could talk and teach!

Of course, this also means some of my lessons are really long, but the nice thing is you don't have to take it all in at once. You can pause the lesson for days or months and come back right to where you left it with no hunting and searching for the right place in the video.

What I love most about Craftsy is it's much more like an in-person workshop. From a teacher's perspective, I can easily see and respond directly to every question posted to the platform. I LOVE helping quilters learn free motion quilting so being able to directly respond is making me feel like a really effective teacher.

From a student's perspective (and yes, I'm taking multiple Craftsy classes right now. I may be a teacher, but I will ALWAYS be a student) the system is unbeatable. The videos are high quality, the teachers awesome, and the ability to ask questions anytime, any place and get an answer is phenomenal!

There's a reason why I'm able to be enrolled in 9 classes at once - I can attend class whenever I want! Sometimes I'm needing a bit more info about fabric dyeing, so I check out that class.  The next evening I might want to continue learning how to spin, so I turn on that one. It's so easy to pick up where you last left off, jump forward, rewind, or start the whole class over at the beginning that there's never a risk of missing a step.

Honestly I feel that the way the lessons are delivered and the level of interaction has created classes that are more like college courses, or artist intensives. Growing up I drooled over the class cataloges for Penland School of Crafts and John C Campbell Folk School - two AMAZING intensive craft schools in North Carolina that my dad attended as a blacksmith.

However, when will I ever have 8 weeks to take an intensive class at Penland now? It might have happened before I got married, and it might still happen when James has left for college, but at the moment, that will just not fit into my life.

I did take a week long beadmaking class at John C Campbell Folk School, but can I still get in touch with that instructor? It's sad to say I don't even remember her name. Can I go back and watch footage from the class and remind myself exactly how to make a goddess shaped bead? Nope. That was an amazing class, but most of the knowledge was lost because I didn't take great notes and my interaction with the teacher ended as soon as the class ended.

With Craftsy, you will have that same awesome class experience, but now with the ability to interact and learn on your schedule, as your time allows, and you'll never lose access to the videos and instructions. It might not be in person, but you can watch the lessons repeatedly, ask questions, get answers, and you're guaranteed years of interaction with your instructor.

That's another thing - I occasionally teach workshops at Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shop in Greensboro, NC from around 9 to 4. Usually by 2 pm, most of the students are so "fried" they can't take in anymore. Our brains can only absorb so much and as a teacher, I've always felt very frustrated by how little I can teach before I've worn everyone out!

I was finally able to teach my basting technique properly with a large quilt!
When teaching Free Motion Quilting a Sampler, I intentionally threw in as much information as I could because I knew you wouldn't try to watch all the lessons at once. If you get overwhelmed, just turn off the class and go quilt for a bit. Digest the class in small chunks so it's not overwhelming. This is also a better way to learn because you can try a design, quilt it out, and if you hit snags, come back to the platform and post questions, or a picture of a stitching issue you're experiencing.

Another point I just thought of - cost. My dad sent me to the folk school for my high school graduation present, and I believe the total cost for the class, room to stay, and amazing food was well over $500. Yes, it was a terrific experience, but not something I could do very often.

The average in-person quilting workshop can cost anywhere from $35 at a guild meeting to well over $200 if your teacher is a big name in the industry. You'll still need to buy materials, and possibly a kit, so in-person workshops can get pretty expensive pretty quick.

In comparison, Craftsy classes cost between $30 - $50 and if you get on the newsletter and are patient, you'll typically get special offers and coupons for classes every few months.  You can even enroll in my class right now for 50% off the regular price right here!

So overall, Craftsy ROCKS! It's an unbelievable place to learn, it's a terrific place to teach, and I think it's going to blast the crafting world off it's feet as more people are able to learn, able to access awesome teachers, and able to crank their craft up to the next level.

I hope to see you in class!

Leah Day


  1. ciao,mi piacerebbe prendere lezioni on line volevo chiederti le lezioni sono solo in lingua inglese?purtroppo,non conosco molto bene l'inglese e i video non si possono tradurre.ciao lorenza

  2. Thank you Leah. Always teaching us new things.
    I won a quilting prize in my community and it was because of your talent and generosity.

  3. The Craftsy platform is a great idea. I've taken several of their classes. I am already signed up for yours! Even tho' your info is right here on your blog, I want a place where I can access all of it in one chunck. Thanks for all you share... I can finally FMQ and it is thanks to you! With more practice, I expect to improve.

  4. I just bought your new class on Etsy! I am almost ready to quilt a queen size! What a happy coincidence!

  5. You are such a great saleswoman!

    I'm so glad you had such a good experience with this. I went ahead and bought the class - yay! So I can watch bits and pieces whenever I want.

    I think what nailed it for me was the half off class fee. For Just $20 I thought that was a great deal - less than the cost of a new quilting book.

    Also, I watched some of the preview first. Your tips on starch were invaluable as I had an issue with that just this week.

    Anyway, can't wait to watch the rest now!

  6. Hi Leah,

    I love your instruction, you have signle-handedly taught me how to freemotion quilt this year! I plan to purchase your craftsy class, and want to get the cheeter print from spoonflower. However, it seems that the "add to cart" feature isn't working for me on spoonflower at all. I put in 3 yards and then click "add to cart" and then nothing happens. There is not even a cart on the website. Any recommendations?

  7. Katie - It looks like you need to be logged into your spoonflower account to add fabric to your cart. Not sure why they are doing that. It's a bit obnoxious.

    Just login (upper right corner) and search "craftsy" in the top middle search box. The BOM panel should come up, click on it and add 3 yards to your cart. That will buy you all 20 blocks.



  8. Awesome resource....will definitely be promoting this!!! Am quite amazed at the number of people who still believe it's not possible to quilt anything larger than a tablerunner/small wallhanging on their DSM!!! Blessings on this latest teaching avenue...we are all better for it....hugs, Doreen

  9. i too have enrolled in your class. I watched the first 3 and am so impressed with your style. You give SO MUCH information,offering a different slant to stuff i thought i already knew. Really looking forward to getting down to the nitty gritty as i have a pile sampler quilts to work on.

  10. First class at Craftsy....excellent. I am enjoying very much. I can now hear your voice saying "it doesn't matter". I am going for it on my new quilt..... (big girl panties)you are a good teacher .

  11. Congrats on teaching a Craftsy class Leah! Looks like lots of fun!

  12. Congratulations, I only found Craftsy because of you and am delighted I have another way to experience your teaching.

  13. I am already through lesson five of Leahs class at Craftsy. I give the class two thumbs way way up. I have more than gotten my moneys worth just in learning how to pin baste a quilt so large it won't fit on two tables pushed together, and the truly excellent section on how to modify your free motion quilting foot. The thirty second replay button, and the ability to take video notes is so convenient. I live way out in the country and even with my pitifully slow internet access I can watch the videos, as long as I turn off the HD function. Love it.

  14. Yes, also signed up to new class. Even though I have not completed the sampler, I am looking forward to watching the whole time I might even complete the sampler. Thank you Leah ...for me this is also very much about giving back something in recognition of your amazing generosity. always, I will learn heaps from it. You have real talent as a teacher.


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