Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen some sneak peeks of a free motion quilting project I have been working on this past week.  I've been trying out some completely new-to-me designs that I learned in a Craftsy class by Christina Cameli called The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting.  I made a set of placemats for my family using Essex linen, matching Aurifil thread, and Kona solids bindings.
Christina generously offered to let me take the class and share a review with you (and a discount code you can find at the end of the post), and I jumped at the chance because I've been an admirer of hers since I found her blog A Few Scraps.  What strikes me about her free motion work is the freshness of her designs.  I think it is easy to get stuck in a quilting rut and use the same few designs over and over, and she uses some really unique shapes and patterns I've never seen before.
a Follow Along Design
a Climbing Design

First Steps to Free Motion Quilting is Christina's book, which is a wonderful resource.  Even if you own this or other books on the topic, I encourage you to try out the Craftsy class.  It offers so much that expands on what a book can do.  This was my first time taking an online quilting class, as well as my first with Craftsy in particular.  I loved the experience!  Not only do you get to see Christina's instruction, but you can post questions (which she answers super quickly!), see classmates' projects, print out an index of the designs, and insert your own notes to return to specific points in the video later.  The class is broken up into seven segments, each about 20-30 minutes long. As a mom of young kids I loved that I didn't need to leave home to take the class and could watch whenever I had a spare moment. You can go back and watch it as many times as you like too, and you can pause the video or put it on a 30 second repeat to practice a particular shape or really focus on particular movement.

Christina is a wonderful teacher.  I enjoyed her warm, encouraging demeanor.  She definitely makes free motion quilting approachable and clear.  I liked that she didn't edit out little mistakes but instead showed how to avoid them or overlook them.  It's true that so many small inconsistencies disappear when you look at the quilt as a whole, and if she has bloopers as an experienced quilter, I feel better about my own quilting. 
Beads on a String
a Beads on a String variation

In the class Christina quilts on solids with contrasting thread, so it's very easy to see just what she's doing.  She also sketches designs on a tablet, so you can see how the designs are made.  Sometimes it can be hard to figure out how free motion designs are made, so Christina also shows you how to decode designs you like and figure out how to reproduce them yourself.  I really can't recommend the class enough!
And right now, all Craftsy classes are on sale!  For those of you reading this post later, Christina has generously offered a discount code of $20 off the class price (although for now I think the sale is the less expensive option, so jump on it).


Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty said...

I saw your beads on a string quilting on IG and had to get the full scoop here. Thanks for your thoughts on this Craftsy class. I really love some of these FMQ designs and look forward to giving them a go myself.

Christina said...

I love seeing these designs in your hand Alex, you are great! Thanks for sharing the class with everyone, and helping them get a good deal on the price too!

Unknown said...

My fiancé and I have been watching her class too! We absolutely love her fresh perspective and vibrant personality :) I hope my FMQ practice sandwiches look as great as yours!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant job!!!! Very impressed with your level of skill!

FlourishingPalms said...

Just looking at these quilting designs makes me happy. They're fresh, and have so much texture. You've done a great job applying them to a project that shows off what you learned to do. Thanks for sharing these, and this great review.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Those look like so much fun!

Laikabear said...

Christina has some great designs, doesn't she! I took her Craftsy class and then immediately bought her 2 books, all of which have been so inspiring. And, she reviewed YOUR book on her blog, which led me here! :) I just finished reading it and I'm very excited to try some improv piecing. You have a wonderful set of quilty projects in there.