I chose the Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine by Ann Petersen class to review for you all. I love to make bags and clothing but quilts are my passion. I currently have six quilt tops that are ready to be quilted, three of them are pictured above. I also moved on to a boat 7 months ago so I don’t have room for a long arm machine and these quilts have been begging to be finished for a couple of years (the black and white one has been finished for over three years!)
I learned many new techniques in this class and love the flexibility that video classes offer. If you only have five minutes at a time, then you can watch five minutes at a time and it saves your place too! This feature was super helpful to me as my four legged baby recently had major surgery and requires lots of extra love and attention. I was able to pause when I heard him stirring and then go right back to it once he was comfortable again. Even if you have to turn the computer off, when you log back in to your Craftsy account, it takes you right back to where you were previously. You can also take notes right in the video down at the bottom of the screen and go right back to that spot!
This class has 8 lessons that are divided in to shorter chapters. Lesson 1 is the introduction and an overview of the techniques that will be discussed. Lesson 2 is about 21 minutes long and dives right in to choosing the design of the quilting, the theme and also goes over thread selection. She uses fabric samples to show how different weights and colors of thread can change how the quilt appears from a distance and up close.
Lesson 3 is 25 minutes long and is all about getting ready to quilt. You’ve already chosen your design, theme and thread so now it is time to baste the quilt, grab your needles and check your tensions. I always like to practice on a mug rug or smaller project before starting on a quilt so that I can get my arms warmed up and ready for the motions. Similar to how you would warm up before exercising because trust me, even a twin size quilt on a small machine really works your arms. I highly recommend using gloves such as Machingers to help you keep your grip on the fabric.
Lessons 4 through 8 go over the five different techniques she mentions in the introduction including whole quilt, split batting, splitting the top, block by block (also known as quilt as you go) and medallion quilts. I had never thought of splitting the batting to reduce bulk under the arm of the machine. That tip alone is worth the cost of the class and I wish I had learned that technique sooner!
The classes also have different camera angles so that you can see close ups of the different steps as she is showing them. I have a Tula Pink Elizabeth Layer Cake that I think I will do a block by block quilt with now. I have read tutorials but nothing beats being able to watch the construction of this style quilt. All of the word tutorials were confusing to me but they make sense after being able to watch one being constructed. I can not wait to take some more of these classes. Each one is full of tips and tricks that are super useful and there is something for everyone from the novice to the expert to learn.