Piece, Patch, Quilt – free beginners quilting class

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

I bought some fabrics with the intention of starting a quilt. I've never made a quilt before because I usually sew clothes, but I've been so attracted to the bright colors and especially some of the really modern designs so I HAD to give it a go.  But then I got scared because the fabrics were so beautiful that I was afraid of making just one big mess and wasting or ruining the lot.  This is my new quilting stash.

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

I bought:

Craftsy to the rescue!  Did you know that Craftsy offer some great FREE quilting classes to get you started?

Check out these:

I had always enrolled in the free Block of the Month classes, but never ventured in to actually start making anything.  Before going back over these blocks, I wanted to get a thorough grounding in the fundamentals so I watched the free Piece, Patch, Quilt class.  It's good!  Here is my review.

Piece, Patch, Quilt Craftsy class review

Learn How To Piece, Patch, Quilt with Craftsy for FREE!

Lesson 1 quilting fundamentals.  What is a quilt?  Explanations of common quilting terminology (such as blocks, sashing etc)  and examples of typical quilts.

Lesson 2  getting started.  Essential supplies you'll need for quilting, and tips for the organisation for your sewing space.

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

Then the most exciting part for most sewers – choosing fabrics.  Gail shows us how to take the ‘Mommy fabric' of our choice and use it to chose the co-ordinating pieces, including a light and a dark to go with it.  I found it really interesting how when she picked out a different set of fabrics, which still co-ordinated, the overall feel was completely different.

Lesson 3 fabric preparation and cutting.  Starting out with a discussion on fabric quality and why it's important.  Discussions on the terms used to describe fabric, ideal for beginners, including looking at how fabric moves and stretches.  I never realised how important that was until now, just seeing the difference in the stretch of the fabric in the length-ways and cross-ways grain and how this could affect how my pieces could fit together!

Then a really interesting section about whether or not you should pre-wash your fabrics before quilting.  Gail says she never does ! I think I'll be following her advice on this.  (I'm always too keen to get started!)

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

Then onto cutting and a look at rotary cutters and important safety tips.  I needed those!  I've given myself a couple of nasty cuts so that advice was overdue!  Then on to how to use quilters rulers and the grid and squares on your rotary cutting mat.  I only had a silly little mat so I've treated myself now to a 24×36 inch especially for being able to cut this way.

Once Gail had shown us how to cut really accurately, we even looked at Fussy Cutting, to get the best placement for patterns when using regular prints or larger designs.

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

Lesson 4laying out and designing your quilt.  Gail shows us the importance of a design space for your quilt so you can preview layouts, see patterns, highs and lows, quiet and busy spaces. There are some awesome tips from other students on how to do this sort of thing at home which I'll certainly be making use of!

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

Gail also gave us examples of other types of quilting such as paper piecing, strip quilting, scrap quilting, applique, hand-stitched quilts, and more.

Lesson 5 – sewing and pressing.  Starting with chain piecing to save time and keep yourself organised while sewing.  A look at the 1/4 inch presser foot and how to use it.

Then onto pressing and how to press seams, use of Best Press to give the fabric some body – the students all discuss their preferences and even their own recipes!  Gail explains about pressing to the side and when and why to press to alternate sides.  All new to me!

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

One area of advice I know I'll be using a lot – what to do when your seams don't line up correctly at the junctions!  My biggest quilting fear – lack of accuracy.  My favorite quote from the class-

“Don't get mad – get even!” Love it.

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

We also get a great visual example of how really accurate seam allowances are so important in quilting.  This example above is exactly how I imagine my first quilt will turn out – disastrous.

Lesson 7 sashing and borders.  This class opens with a revelation about thread and the difference between cross-wound and horizontal wound thread and how it should be taken off the spool when sewing.  I had NEVER seen anything about this before but I'll certainly be following this tip going forward.

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

Gail adds sashing to her quilt to break up those very bold patterns with plain white strips and shows us how to do this while still keeping things lining up both across and down the quilt.  Then we look at borders and Gail talks though how to make decisions on the direction of prints on borders for best effect.

I also learned about ‘corner stones', a term which was new to me, but I love the look of this on the border of the quilt.

Lesson 8 – layering and basting.  Some good examples of the types and designs of fabric to choose for quilt backing.  I know now that stripes are best avoided, especially for beginners.

Then a look at basting the layers including both spray basting and pin basting.  Pros and cons of each and again, the students provide lots of good tips and experience here too, especially about how to work on large quilts.

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

Lesson 9 – tying and machine quilting.  We started with the hand tying, and I admit, I really didn't like how this looked.  Kind of messy, but it would probably be nice on a much thicker, comforter style of quilt.  But I really wanted to learn more about the machine quilting – I never was a big fan of hand-sewing.

Gail starts off by stitching in the ditch around the big squares of the quilt, then marks up the individual squares for straight line quilting inside too.  Ok, I can do that, but all the time, I'm wondering what the back of the quilt looks like – would mine be all folded and puckered?  Only time will tell on that one.

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

Lesson 10 – hand quilting.  Nah, that's not going to happen for me, but I watched the lesson anyway and it was interesting.  I kind of skipped through this one.

Lesson 11 – binding and the quilt label.  Now I know that quilt binding is a whole big subject all in itself and probably warrants a set of classes.  Since I started to learn a little about how to use bias tape for binding, I've learned how difficult it is to get a neat finish and to make sure that you always catch the back of the binding when sewing from the front.

We learned how to do a squared off corner binding rather than a mitered corner and I thought it was a good idea for those new to quilting and binding.  After so much work, it would be a shame to mess it all up with some dodgy binding.

Review of the free beginners quilting class; Piece, Patch, Quilt.

The binding was sewn to the front by machine and then hand sewn on the back with invisible stitches.

Lastly, Gail gave us advice about how to add a label to our quilts to document when and by who it was made and how to use a museum quality archival pen so the quilt can be handed down for generations to come!

The total running time for this class is 197 minutes I think – that's  3 1/4 hours of expert quilting tuition for free.  I'm really glad I took this class, and should I ever gain enough confidence to actually cut into those lovely fabrics and start to sew – you'll be the first to know about it.

Learn How To Piece, Patch, Quilt with Craftsy for FREE!

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11 Responses to Piece, Patch, Quilt – free beginners quilting class

  1. Pam MacConnell says:

    Start with a simple quilt pattern that doesn’t have too many matching (if any) seams. I love the Lemonade Layer Cake quilt from the Fat Quarter shop. Pattern is free and they even have a easy to follow video for you. My other favorite quilt that I do in the lap size for babies has no matching seams! It’s called the Five and Dime quilt. You cut most of the pieces all at once! So easy and very pretty. Good luck! You’re half the way there with those beautiful color choices.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thank you for all your tips Pam. I’m going to look at those patterns you mentioned, but I’ve already got something very simple in mind I’ll probably start with and see how it goes. Fingers crossed.

  2. Cherie says:

    You gave an excellent review. I will admit that I started the class – liked it and learned a lot from it – but never finished it. Now, with your review I want to go and finish it.

    • Joy says:

      Thank you Cherie. Hope you enjoy the quilting, I’m finding it very relaxing now I’ve decided that it doesnt have to be absolutely perfect (the occasional mistakes give it ‘character’?); I have hopes that the cutting / patchwork / quilting becomes more accurate as time goes on. Have done a cushion-cover and now started on a small quilt,(but to be honest, as a ‘newie’ to both, the quilting shares space with the dressmaking passion and ‘time, she is short, n’est pas’? ). Are you living in the UK? Thinking of going to the Quilting Exhibition at the NEC in August? It should be good!

  3. Joy says:

    Thank you so much for your recommendation about the free mini classes from Craftsy – I have bought a few of their classes before and thoroughly enjoy /learn so much from them, but didnt realise there are so many free ones too. This Piece Patch Quilt is REALLY GOOD. I love your site Deby and am gaining so much help and info from you and others posting comments and ideas – keep up the good work and all the best for your partnership with India.

  4. Edith says:

    Thank you for the recommendation, I will check it out for sure. I wanted to make a quilt myself but didn’t know how to tackle such an “enormous” project.
    Don’t you want to cut into the fabric because you haven’t decided on a block/ design yet? Because otherwise I can’t see why your quilt shouldn’t work out just fine, I’m confident you are able to sew precise lines- it will be alright 😉

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’ve got some jelly rolls so I’m going to start very simply with strips sewn together and see how I get on. It’s not so much that, I’m worried about the actually quilting when its done – my previous attempts at free motion quilting have been so embarrassing.

      • Brenda says:

        I just made my first real quilt. (Had done a table runner and wall hanging.) My seams are not perfect but I love it anyway. I stitched in the ditch with a feather stitch and it looked really pretty. Any decorative or quilting stitch looks nice and is easier to sew than actually trying to stay right in the middle of the seam. If you get off a bit it still stitches both sides so not as noticeable. Hope this helps some.
        I am scared to death of free motion quilting as my doodling is even horrible!

  5. M. Inez says:

    I took advantage of this free class also and thoroughly enjoyed it. Like you I had wanted to quilt before but was intimidated. After watching the class I made a baby quilt for my newborn niece. I thought the class was packed with lots of good info for a freebie!

  6. Gina says:

    Quilting is so much fun and I see a beach quilt in your future. Mixing and matching colors and prints is a bit addictive! I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

  7. Great review! I know you can do it!

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