Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Craftsy Review: Inspired Modern Quilts

I am excited to bring you my review of Inspired Modern Quilts by Elizabeth Hartman on Craftsy for Sew Sweetness. Please check out her blog for a review every weekday of Craftsy classes to choose from to expand your learning!

This class is comprised of 7 small projects designed for the person who has knowledge of basic quilting skills. However, the Craftsy platform is designed to ask the instructor questions and you own the course forever so you have access any time at your own pace. There is also a projects page so you can share your projects with everyone else enrolled. There is access to a download of your course materials.

Lesson# 1 Is an introduction to the course and all about Elizabeth’s background and quilting accomplishments. She also discusses the reasons she considers herself a ‘modern quilter’. She has a very pleasing voice and explains instructions in a clear and concise manner. One thing I love about the Craftsy platform is the ability to take ‘notes’ electronically as you’re watching a lessons that will remain in the lesson for reference!

Lesson# 2 is creating two simple design tools you can use in your quilting, a Design Board and a Pressing Board. These are fantastic tools that I don't think everyone realizes how helpful they are.  I didn't have any idea about them for years and I can't imagine getting by quilting successfully without them now!

I already had made both but discovered that it was best to cover my pressing board with Canvas fabric rather than quilting cotton (I had scorched it before), so I took some grey canvas from my stash and re-covered my board and I like it so much better!

Lesson # 3 is Selecting Fabrics. She reviewed elements of solid and print fabrics with tips about complementing your print fabrics with solids to prevent a mish-mash of prints in your design.

Lessons #4 - #10 are modern patterns where Elizabeth walks you through the whole process from beginning to end. She displays her sample quilt on the wall for reference and starts with suggestions for fabric selections, progressing to cutting, pressing instructions and finishing with placement on the design board and finally assembly.

I chose to make the Modern Crosses quilt pattern. The improvisation appealed to me (and is also the best pattern to create a new quilt for my middle sister as a Christmas gift!). Improvisation can be defined in different ways for quilters; above is Elizabeth’s definition. I like that you are actively involved in the process as you work instead of planning everything in advance. It’s quite fun and freeing, but doesn’t appeal to everyone! I was able to cut my squares in a few hours and started assembling my squares the same afternoon and was having fun with it from the beginning! Now her quilt is a wall (or small baby) quilt so I am making mine 4 times as large to make a lap quilt. In the course materials, Elizabeth gives dimensions and fabric requirements for her smaller version as well as the lap size version. That in itself adds value to the class in my opinion!

Here are pictures of some of the blocks I made; 3 versions that I was able to play around with on my design board.  One aspect of modern quilting is the use of negative space, something the modern crosses design lacks.  So I decided to keep some of my solid black squares without the cross bars to audition them with the design and I am so happy I did!

Here is what the original design would look like as Elizabeth's instructions. I like it but think it is a tad bit too busy for me.

Here is the addition of black squares to rest the eyes. I like it much better. 

This is the design I am going with.  My sister's favorite colors are pink, purple and black so I am adding a total of 3 Kona Gumdrop crosses in the design.  This was at the suggestion of a friend of mine who I value her opionion.  She said it would give it visual interest and I agree wholeheartedly and love it!!  This is a big benefit of the design board!  You can step back and see if anything is askew more readily than placing your squares on the floor which I used to do.   

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed the class and look forward to making some of the other patterns in her class. Needless to say, I highly recommend Inspired Modern Quilts class if the modern quilting aesthetic appeals to you. I love that although I’ve been quilting for nearly 5 years (link to my first quilt here), there were still a few tips and tricks I learned in this class!

Additionally, I know a lot of Sara’s readers are bag makers. I too started out making bags (a few years longer than quilting), but when I felt it was time to broaden my sewing skills, I took an online quilting class to learn and I never regret it. Making quilts to enjoy and give has been very gratifying to me!

Thank you for stopping by today!!  

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