I was recently asked if I would review Christa Watson’s new Craftsy class, The Quilter’s Path:
I’m a great fan of Christa’s books, and have spent quite some time in my beginner quilting classes poring over all the options for the students that didn’t fancy just going in a straight line, so I was really happy to find another great option to recommend to them.
The class is split into 2 parts, the first focusing on walking foot quilting and the second on free motion quilting, all done on a domestic machine. I watched the entire class through and then pondered a while on what I’d learned to decide what I wanted to use for my Super-Size Economy Block quilt.
One of the great things about the class is that Christa explains where you might encounter issues, what sort of settings you might want to look at on your machine, what sort of feet you can use, and also how to go about choosing thread colour. Amongst other things I learned was that I might want to look at the foot pressure setting on my machine when using a walking foot. I have to admit that I’ve avoided using my walking foot like the plague for quite some time (well okay, several years) so that was a bit of a revelation, and also that good walking feet can, in fact, go bad, and my old one was a bit, well, squeaky (I had bought a new one, about 4 years ago, but hadn’t actually used it as the markings on it were different from my original one and at the time that wasn’t useful for me). I recognised some of the quilting from Christa’s book, but it was quite a revelation that the way she uses masking tape (where relevant) isn’t at all the way I’d always thought it ought to be used! The quilt pattern that is included in the class was used to demonstrate several quilting options, and other quilts from the book were pressed into action to show off a few more, depending on the type of block and the type of pattern you are using.
In the free motion quilting section there were both simple, easy options for beginners or those wanting a quick finish, and more complex options for those looking to stretch themselves more. Using the quilt pattern from the class, Christa demonstrated a number of options for FMQ, in fact using 2 quilts to show off all the options. This included helping us to solve the perennial FMQ problem of how to travel from one section to the next, and how to try and avoid getting stuck in a corner. This will save me no end of thread in the future as I have a habit just now of getting to a stuck point, cutting my thread and starting in a new bit!
So what option did I go with for my Super-Size Economy Block quilt then? In the end I went with the walking foot. Strangely enough it has daunted me far more than FMQ ever has, so I sucked it up, dug out the ‘new’ walking foot, which turned out to be far better suited to the task in hand than the old one, found where to adjust the foot pressure on my machine (which in itself was a bit of a revelation as I’d never pressed that button on the screen before, and it turns out there’s all sorts of things hidden in there!) and decided to go with the ‘Shattered’ pattern, embracing my new found masking tape use on the way.
Since I only finished the top on Saturday night, and didn’t get to basting until Sunday afternoon, I only got one direction finished last night, but I was pretty impressed that I basically got half of an 84″ x 96″ quilt done in just over 2 hours! Here’s a shot of the starting point, where I was also getting ready to embrace Christa’s smoosh and scrunch technique, which is sooo much easier than rolling the excess (I have to admit I was a bit skeptical given the size of the quilt, but I had no issues). Also, the new walking foot behaved, and I got none of the folds and things that I had got previously, especially where lines of quilting crossed. I am definitely a fan!
So, do you fancy taking this class yourself? Well follow this link to get 50% off the class price, valid until 4/4/17. The discount will be shown when you add it to your cart.
Stay tuned to see how my quilt turned out when I get the other direction quilted, hopefully tonight, then it’s just a matter of binding it and sacrificing several goats and a chicken to the weather gods for a dry day to take a photo!