FullSizeRender copy 1024x1024 Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

I hope all of my friends who celebrate Thanksgiving had a lovely day, filled with food (lots and lots of food) and family and friends. We are spending the weekend with my parents and aunt and uncle. I feel very thankful this year.

Screen Shot 2014 11 26 at 7.14.36 PM e1417066622601 1024x569 Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

Recently, I have had a lot of time on my hands where I am holding or feeding a baby.  I have finally started watching a bunch of Craftsy classes that are in my queue (and have been for… a long time!) Additionally, they are all on sale for $19.99 right now!!! See the end of my post for more details.

Over the last week or two, I  finished Jaquie Gering’s excellent class, Online Quilting Class: Improvisational Piecing, Modern Design.  I have done some improvisational piecing in the past, so the information in the class wasn’t completely new to me. Even still, I really enjoyed watching the class, learning from Jacquie, and being inspired to actually sit down and sew!

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screenshot from my phone, Jacquie’s Blue Ice quilt is in the background, found in her book Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

Here are some thoughts on the class:

Jacquie is very comfortable behind the camera–she is easy to watch/listen to.  She offers very clear directions, step outs, demonstrates by sewing at the machine, and offers suggestions on how to fix common mistakes.  I would classify her improv style as carefully considered improv. She is incredibly precise, and definitely follows the adage measure twice, cut once.

She teaches to the quilter for whom improv doesn’t come naturally, as well as showing how she really puts together blocks, which is more of a make decisions as you are sewing, or, improvise! method. If you don’t love improv piecing, I think you would like her very methodical, pre-planned manner: sketch a design, follow the design, take the design to the design wall when placing blocks, etc. Her techniques and quilts build on each other, which is a plus.

FullSizeRender 2 Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale [screenshot from my phone--the Craftsy platform lets you ask instructors and classmates questions, provides quilt instructions to design and save, and lets you pause, rewind, and add video notes...]

Jacquie’s Crosscut Quilt (above) was my favorite (an update of her slice and insert technique, also found in her book and I believe she teaches in person classes on it, as well.) Overall, I would highly recommend this class. I was impressed with Jacquie’s precision and the care she took when making the quilts (look how flat and straight they hang!) I tend to be a slap something together and see how it goes type of quilter–this class inspires me to be a little more careful–and amazingly, I was when I was making these blocks! 

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My quilt blocks aren’t from a pattern/project in her class, per se, but were definitely inspired by watching it.  Jacquie’s love of orange and one inch strips comes through in the video!

craftsy logo Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

I like the Craftsy platform. It cut out on me a few times, which was annoying, especially as I was watching in the middle of the night.  I like that I can watch on my phone, iPad, or computer, and go from device to device without losing my place. Additionally, I appreciate that Craftsy has added a ton of classes recently, including cooking and gardening classes (as well as painting, drawing, apparel sewing, cake decorating, etc.)

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A few I have been eyeing:

Tara Rebman- Quilt-As-You-Go: Patchwork Bags
Sew the Perfect Fit  (how to alter patterns, which I seem to always need to know how to do but never get it quite right!)
Sewing With Knits (my experience sewing with knits has not been awesome)
A Modern Take on the Mother Sauces (food, glorious food! I can eat again!)
Mexican Comfort Food (w/ Deborah Schneider) (you had me at street tacos!)
Homemade Italian Pasta with Giuliano Hazan (again, food, glorious food!)

 

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Finally, Craftsy is having a giant sale! All classes are $19.99 (some usually go as high as $49.99), and there is a huge sale on fabric, yarn, clothing kits, etc. Go have some fun shopping! I know I’m going to. I have a lot of up-during-the-middle-of-the-night nights in my future.

Note: Affiliate links included in this post. If you shop from one of these links, I earn a small percentage. And then I get to buy magformers for my kids for Christmas icon wink Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale  

 

 

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IMG 9180 e1416021692809 1024x1024 Favorite Things: Quick Sews for Baby

About a week before our baby was born, I had a sudden desire to make.all.the.baby.things.  I wasn’t feeling well enough to do that, of course, but I decided I could finish a few small sewing projects. And so I did. A single flannel bib. A wet bag/zip pouch.  A double sided knit blanket (I just had to finish hand stitching the binding). A hemmed Nani Iro double gauze (single layer) blanket.

IMG 9103 2 768x1024 Favorite Things: Quick Sews for BabyMy kids wanted to make something for baby, too, so they each made 1 burp cloth. Sewing with kids requires both patience and energy–I’m glad I spent the time (on one of their many days off this month) to teach them a bit more about sewing. My son did his entirely on his own, even the decorative top stitching.  They were so happy to bring their burp cloths to the hospital.

I figured I have plenty of time to sew matching dresses, and make a Liberty quilt, and all of the other fun baby projects that are swirling around in my head late at night… right?

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Baby Ellie b and w 1024x768 Favorite Things: New baby!

I’m thrilled to share that baby Ellie was born on Friday, November 7. She was 7lbs, 7 oz and 21.5”.  I can’t believe that she is a week old! We are thrilled that she is healthy, happy, mostly calm, snuggly, extraordinary beloved, and of course, the cutest baby you have ever seen.  :) I’m also glad the delivery is behind us and I am healing pretty well.

My big kids couldn’t be happier. I feel almost embarrassed at how much we all just adore her, but then I just think how lucky we all are, how grateful we are she is here, and how happy we ALL are that I’m no longer pregnant and sick. In fact, everyone’s biggest complaint seems to be that they don’t get enough time to hold Ellie. Its definitely a good problem to have.

Thanks for all of your well wishes, in the past and with her birth. I’m not sure if its relief, or hormones, or teetering on the brink of exhaustion, but I feel like our joy is complete.  I don’t know if I have ever felt that way before, so I’m just going to sit back and savor it.

Happy weekend, friends.

Posted in Favorite Things | 42 Responses

IMG 8732 768x1024 Favorite Things: Family

With any luck, our little family of 4 will become a family of 5 sometime today. I’m excited and nervous (and writing this the week before, don’t worry. I’m not blogging from the hospital). We are so happy to be at the end of this pregnancy journey–everyone has definitely grown and suffered and been stretched and hopefully become better versions of ourselves. At least, these three have. I’m not sure about me.  (Ugh. Hyperemesis).

This picture was taken mid-October on my son’s baptism day. 8 is the exciting age for baptism for members of the LDS Church, and I doubt there has ever been a happier, more enthusiastic 8 year old in all the land. We sometimes laugh (but are mostly serious) that if we make it to heaven, it will be because of him. He is kind and thoughtful and enthusiastic and serious, and can run and jump and hoot and holler with the best of them. He has read more bedtime stories to his sister, and helped keep her engaged in activities so I can rest, more times than I can count. He has had to grow up a lot, and I’m so grateful for him.

She has been my little buddy for months and months. She makes me laugh and makes me cry and doesn’t pull punches when talking about how my body has changed! Last week she said, “Man. Aren’t you lucky to have me as an all the time buddy? What if it was just you and baby? Crying baby? You would have no one to talk to all day.” So true. She is confident and carefree, smart and tenacious, always has a project going with paper and tape and glue, and has a softer side that surprises me sometimes.

My husband has been a rock. It hasn’t been particularly easy for any of us. I love him. And we are both looking forward to many happy, vomit-free days in our future.

I’ve had so much help. My mom has lived with us for months at a time, being mom and grandma, and doing so with ease. Each of my sisters has come to take care of me and the kids at least once. I’ve received so many texts, notes, prayers, and love from family members and friends all over. (And did you see the beautiful quilt I got last week?)

Thank you, everyone.  Thanks for being patient with me, everyone, and for reading this post that is much more mommy-blog-appropriate than I normally post.  And as a bonus–no more countdown posts on Facebook/Instagram. Happy November 7!

 

 

 

Posted in Favorite Things | 16 Responses
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