Learning on-line

Back in January I stated one of my two key words for my patchwork and quilting in 2015 is LEARN, the other, FINISH, I was able to mention in a positive fashion in a post earlier this week 🙂

So, learning, specifically learning on-line.  I have found the internet to be an invaluable learning resource.  My first encounter with learning P&Q on-line was discovering Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project. (It was also my first encounter with a blog but at the time I didn’t know about blogs!)  From there I discovered the vast number of clips and tutorials stored on You Tube.

I’ve found demonstrations of most of the techniques and skills I’ve wanted to develop just by putting a question into a search engine.  Of course there is lots of conflicting advice to work through!  Take basting a quilt for instance: some say stretch the backing, some say smooth but don’t stretch, some advocate spray basting others are vehemently against the use of glues anywhere near a quilt etc, etc.  But that’s all ‘ok’ I think.  At least there are ideas to try and more chance of finding a favourite method through sifting other people’s generous sharing of their favourites and their trials and errors!

Sometime during my internet searching I stumbled upon Craftsy.  A vast array of crafting tutorials can be found here.  I have subscribed to some but I’ve also made use of the many free lessons and patterns ready to be downloaded at the click of a button.  The great advantages of Craftsy are that once downloaded the tutorials are ready to be watched any time that suits and of course repeats are free! Some of the first classes I followed were the 2012 and 2013 block of the month series – both free and I think they are still available.  To get the best from Craftsy tutorials I found I had to download Google Chrome (free and easy) and switch off the HD button that appears at the bottom right of the tutorial screen. Craftsy is also interactive providing ‘students’ and tutors the opportunity to post questions and comments.  These appear on the side of the screen next to the tutorial as it’s running and I’ve found this very useful for picking up tips and clarifying what I’m watching.

On-line tutorials are particularly useful to me as I like to watch and then do.  As time has gone on I’ve found that I’ve been able to adapt patterns and techniques into my own methods and style.  Never having made a bag, I found Jenny Doan’s lively quilted tote bag tutorial on You Tube.   Inspired by her breezy, let’s-get-on-and-do-it approach I did just that and very quickly had a fully functioning bag made ‘all on my own self’ (a phrase used often by one of our independent-minded children!).

This isn't THE first bag but it's similar!

This isn’t THE first quilted tote bag but it’s similar!

The basic pattern and lessons learned from that initial bag tutorial gradually morphed into my own pattern that I use to make patchwork tote bags.


And now I’m about to write up my bag-making instructions as the ‘first make’ pattern for a lady who wants to learn how to use a sewing machine with a mind to doing patchwork and quilting. Learning has become teaching!

There are lots of other sources of on-line learning – please do recommend them in a comment at the end of this post.  And that leads to my final recommendation for learning on-line: make the most of the excellent tutorials and tips so generously shared by patchwork and quilting bloggers.  Here’s just a small selection of the one’s I’ve used recently:

There is so much deserved bad-press about the internet but there is so much good to be found too!  It’s really up to individuals to be discerning, both in what is searched for and how much time is spent searching…

Time to go crafting!


About allisonreidnem

New Every Morning – About Me Hi! I’m Allison, an obsessive patchwork-quilter who has no desire to be cured! I’ve been developing my skills and knowledge by paying attention at my local quilting group and by putting my questions into the computer search engine. I’m so grateful to the generous people who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me in person, via YouTube videos or their blogs. I’m intending my blog to be a link into the worldwide patchwork and quilting community and a means to contribute helpful hints and inspiration as I continue to discover more about this addictive craft. So, why ‘New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting’? Well! I am a morning person! I often wake in the wee small hours and think through design and quilt construction issues. My woolly–headed evening brain finds such issues far too difficult to resolve! If I’m disciplined enough to be asleep by 10pm, I can be up cutting, piecing, pressing and quilting before sunrise! By the time daily family routine kicks-in I’ve had a satisfying, soul-feeding creative fix. (I should mention that ‘family at home’ is: my patient, faithful husband of 27years; and our equally patient 16 year old son, who acts as our in-house IT support complete with sighs and rolling eyes! Older daughter and son have both recently flown the nest). Not only do I find early mornings my creative time I also find it a time for receiving spiritual nourishment. I often find myself humming a gentle chorus and reflecting on God’s constancy as another new day dawns. ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.’ Edith McNeil’s chorus is based on verses from the Bible – Lamentations 3: 21-23.
This entry was posted in Bags, Learn, On-Line Classes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Learning on-line

  1. Colleen says:

    Good post Allison. I have learned what I know about quilting pretty much exclusively on-line so I completely agree with you regarding online-learning. I was going to mention CluckCluckSew but I see you’ve already got it. I have bought her book and many of her patterns. Love her easy going patterns. She is also so generous with freebies on her site, one could never run out of things to sew just by going there !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s