Craftsy Month – Disappearing Blocks with Precuts

IMG_6172This post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness.  To see a schedule of all posts, click here! Today’s post is from Tiffany. Please visit Tiffany on her blog and check her out on Instagram!
Good morning! I am super excited to be guest blogging and sharing about Craftsy! I have purchased several patterns from Craftsy and jumped at the chance to check out and review a class for Sara.
I have been quilting and sewing for about 6 years and the majority of what I know was learned through tutorials. I do really well with written instructions and photos/diagrams so I was interested to see how a video class would differ. I decided to take a class geared for beginners, in order to compare the before mentioned learning methods as well as to have another resource for friends who want to get into quilting.
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For this review, I chose “Simple to stunning: Disappearing blocks with pre-cuts” by Angela Pingel. Let me just start by saying how much I admire Angela and her work. I have enjoyed following her blog for years and her book is one of my absolute favorites, especially since it showcases my favorite quilt block! Not only is she representing my home state (go Hoosiers!) but her style and creativity never cease to amaze and inspire me. Her written work is well organized and easy to follow so I knew she would do a good job teaching in a video class format as well.
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To begin the class, Angela gives a brief introduction to pre-cuts. When I started quilt I was in love with pre-cuts. They are a fantastic way to get a little piece of each fabric in a line, without breaking the bank. I appreciate that Angela talks about the different types of pre-cuts as well as the names and differences across the manufacturers. I think this is valuable information for anyone starting out, especially since all of the blocks in the class are made with pre-cuts.
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In the next lesson, Angela moves on to some basic blocks using charm packs (5″ squares), starting with the most well known – the disappearing nine-patch. This was a block that I ran across as a beginner and it is a fun and versatile block to make. It is so easy to make and looks a lot more complicated when finished.
Throughout the lessons Angela gives some great tips which I found useful even as an advanced quilter. I like how she explains her fabric and color choices for each of the blocks, as well as her choice of how to turn each block once cut. She talks about how to press each of the types of blocks to make them lay down and fit together the best. She even discusses the usefuless of a rotating mat and explains how to measure and cut each block. All of these tips are a great reference for beginners which you may not find when just following a written tutorial on how to make the specific blocks.
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When working with 10″ squares, Angela shows us the disappearing hour glass block. I really love how after she explains the process of making the basic block, several layout options are shown which really give you a great idea of how versatile and unique this block can become.
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Last but not least, Angela discusses using pre-cut strips and shows some lovely blocks using these pre-cuts. My favorite block in the whole class is the disappearing strip triangle block. It is such a quick and beautiful block to make. Once I got started on my practice blocks, they were so addicting that I decided to make an entire baby quilt out of them!
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To finish out the class, Angela has 2 final lessons on double disappearing blocks and designing your own blocks. I think these final lessons make this class useful and interesting even for an intermediate sewer, as she gives you ideas you may not have come across before – or ways to create and modify your own blocks to make new and unique disappearing blocks you may not have imagined before.
All in all this is a great introductory class for someone wanting to learn a variety of simple disappearing blocks, as well as gain a lot of useful beginner tips from a pro. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow, with enough information to guide a complete beginner without talking down to the viewer or showing unnecessary repetition of steps.
The only critiques I would offer for Craftsy and this class are:
1. Craftsy should provide written instructions for the blocks, as it becomes tedious to constantly review the video. I’ve seen this complaint from other classes as well.
2. Several viewers discussed in the notes that some blocks were not squared up before cutting, or that measurements seemed off. Angela was great at jumping onto the discussion board and explaining that pre-cuts are not all cut the same, and seam allowances can be off when sewing – so it is important to square up blocks as you deem necessary. I think this should have been referenced in the video, but I’m glad she is so attentive to the discussion forum!
Angela’s class was a wonderful first introduction for me to Craftsy classes and I look forward to taking advantage of them more in the future!
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