Monday, September 10, 2012
Inspired Modern Quilts with Elizabeth Hartman and Craftsy
What a treat to get up this morning, take my daughter to school. take my dog for a walk and then take Elizabeth Harman's Inspired Modern Quilts class on Craftsy! The best part? I got to take this class on my computer at home with a latte and some fresh chocolate zucchini bread (courtesy of my good friend Tanya.) Life is good!
Many of my fellow PDX quilters have taken classes from Elizabeth but I never have. I have followed her blog, Oh, Fransson! for a few years now and have been in several presentations she has given for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. I always learn something new from Elizabeth and this class proved to be no exception!
The length of the video is around three hours. During each 20- 30 minute class I found myself thinking (more than once,) "but wait, there's more?" There is so much packed into those three hours! The ten lessons, including how to create a design wall and pressing board, great information on how to select fabrics for your projects and the seven patchwork projects are worth every penny (I seriously think this class should cost more!)
My favorite project by far was the Low Volume Tiles Quilt. Two friends of mine are having twins this winter and I thought this would be a great project to make for the four babies. With this clever design I could highlight a different color solid for each child. I also just got a package of low volume fabrics from the Big Ten Inch Swap run by Monica Nauart who blogs at Button Counter. The only challenge was that these fabrics were all 10" x 10" cuts. I decided I could change the measurements from Elizabeth's original pattern which used a larger size to start with. There were a few math problems to solve before I cut into my stack, but I made some quick design decisions and went for it. Here is the layout I decided on.
If you take this class you will notice I also eliminated a row. I didn't want to make the strips smaller than 1 1/2". This was a tip from Elizabeth from a different project and I thought it was sound advice. I also planned to work with a few less fabrics than Elizabeth's original design which would yield three less blocks in my finished version. It didn't take long to cut the pieces -- Elizabeth gives very thorough instructions in her class and it was fresh in my mind from just having watched it. Also, once you take any class on Craftsy it is yours forever. This is really cool - it never expires! I could watch it again as many times as I needed to. The written instructions are clear and easy to follow as well. They are in a downloadable pdf format and I had them up on my desktop to refer to as I worked.
I got as far as cutting all the pieces and laying them out on my design wall. I am really excited to finish this project and make it's 'twin'. I love how the low volume green and blue fabrics do their job and make the solid blue really vibrate in the composition. I was worried that they weren't neutral enough to get the same effect as Elizabeth had in her grey and yellow sample, but the beauty of Elizabeth's designs is that there are so many ways to create variations! She does a great job of showing this concept in her class, which is something I enjoy about her books as well.
One thing I will add about the Inspired Modern Quilts class is that it is somewhat cumulative. Elizabeth shares so many useful tips and techniques through out the class but if you start in the middle you might miss some really great stuff. One of my favorite things I learned today was a technique she showed for cutting matching angles during her Wonky Log Cabin Quilt. And she introduced a product in the Clementine Applique lesson that I had no idea even existed. I won't spoil it too much, but she does get points for saying the word 'lubrication' in a quilting video (sorry, had to go there!)
Well, if you have made it to the end of my super long post (seriously I could write another thousand words on this class!) I am happy to remind you that you get 25% off this class if you sign up from the link at the beginning of this post. This will be available until the end of next month, so I hope treat yourself to this class. You will be happy that you did!