Craftsy Class Review!

Have you tried out any of the great classes offered by Craftsy yet? One of my local quilty friends, Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts, recently filmed two great classes for Craftsy! Her first class, A New Look at Long Arm Quilting, is totally free, and it's a great intro into playing around with a long arm. A lot of the tips will work for free motion on a domestic machine as well! I definitely recommend viewing it - and hey, it's free!

Mandy recently had a second class pop up on Craftsy, this one is called Creative Long Arm Quilting. I had the chance to view the class, and I wanted to share a little bit with you! First I'd like to point out that all of the ideas in the class can be achieved without a long arm. If you have a basic understanding of free motion quilting on a domestic machine, you can tackle all of these projects!

The class is split into 5 techniques, with 20-30 minutes of video for each of the techniques. Mandy provides great tips that she's learned in her quilting experiences, including how to avoid pitfalls and "fix" issues such as cutting fabric a bit too small. These little things can bring a project to a grinding halt if you're not prepared to deal with them, and Mandy's suggestions are always a unique and easy solution to keep your project moving forward!

My favorite project is the first technique, which uses freezer paper templates to create an abstract, raw edge quilt. Mandy shows how to create an entire throw quilt with the technique! There is a great combination of free-form piecing and quilting to give this project a lot of depth and texture. I can imagine really spectacular wall hangings made this way!
This project is absolutely doable with a domestic machine, and I think it's also a great project for many skill levels. It is very free form and forgiving for beginners, yet it is a new and different technique that many advanced quilters will enjoy. The project also gives many opportunities to practice new free motion styles!

If you'd like to hear a bit more about Mandy and the projects in her class, hop over to Quilting Is My Therapy where Angela interviewed Mandy a few weeks ago! I hope you decide to give Mandy's classe a try, and if you do please share your finished projects with her. It's always so much fun to see!

Seeing Stars Quilt

I made this quilt for a friend's daughter. I actually designed a king size quilt for my friend first, and then created this one to coordinate with the king size. But I want to share this one first. :)

I wanted to make a star quilt, something fun and whimsical for a sweet 6-year old girl to enjoy now and as she grows. I certainly added touches that she will love now (such as the awesome Art Gallery Menagerie print from the Indian Summer line), but tried to stay away from anything too cutesy (which isn't her style, anyway!).

I used the Sparkle Punch quilt by Oh Fransson! as a jumping off point, but added in 3 large stars (centers are 9" square, stars about just until 27" from point to point!) and some itty bitty stars (centers are 1" square, and less than 3" from point to point!).

Warning: Picture colors are off a bit...I was short on time and my lighting options were either full sun or full shade!
Seeing Stars Quilt

I played around with arrangement a bit, but ultimately decided to not disrupt the flow of the majority of the stars. Because of that, I ended up with a decent amount of background around the larger stars. I filled it in a bit with the tiny stars, and I'm really happy with the layout! I like the extra background space, as I think it calms the design down a bit.

Seeing Stars Quilt

Here's that great Menagerie print! I initially bought this for my stash, but I had to use it for this quilt because it suits the recipient so well. (And now my LQS has the print in BOTH colorways, so I restocked my stash!)

Seeing Stars Quilt

If you follow me on instagram (I'm TheGirlWhoQuilts), you probably know that I've been keeping a quilty secret for a few weeks now...I took the plunge and bought a long arm! I'm now the proud owner for a Handi Quilter Avante 18, and I'm so happy with it! It was quite a whirlwind for a bit though, as we set up the machine and I practiced a bit before diving into these customer quilts. This was only my second official quilt on the long arm, and I'm pretty happy with it! I went with a simple swirl design to keep my stress level low. ;)

Seeing Stars Quilt

For the back of the quilt I used mostly the solid from the front, plus a strip of this fun peacock print:

Seeing Stars Quilt

Quilt stats:
Name: Seeing Stars
Size: 75" x 90"
Background: Kona peacock
Prints/fabric lines include: Dear Stella (peacock feathers), Constellations Lizzy House, Architextures, Cuzco by Kate Spain, Pearl Bracelets, Backyard Baby, Indian Summer, Children at Play, Bella by Lotta Jansdotter, Luxe in Bloom
Binding: Constellations by Lizzy House, Supernova pint in purple