Friday, November 22, 2013


What is Craftsy?
Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Craftsy Logo

Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Craftsy Class
Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience.

Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, rewatched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting.

What IS the Craftsy experience?
Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right.

Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee.

Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So wotcha workin on?

WIP Wednesday in da house!!!

finishing up (backing/quilting/binding) this plus baby quilt.

finishing putting together my frugal girl top.  I have all the ring strips finished. Just need to cut the white and sew the circles together. Here's hoping that goes well.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced.

Make things.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Two weeks off - OVER. New leaf turned.

I recently took some time off from sewing and blogging. I just needed to clear my head (I think I actually came up with more things to do) and get away from things for a little while.

Today, I come to sewing with a new attitude and a new quilt.
My new attitude is: I need to sew/knit/stitch/create something everyday. If something is bogging me down that I don't want to work on - work on something else. The worst thing that can happen is that I make more quilts. I'm also trying to come up with ways to have my daughter help me. She is at an age now where she wants to help with everything and I get so down on myself when I just want to do my work (laundry, dishes, sewing, cooking) alone. I want her to do all of these things later on, so I need to encourage her eagerness to help and learn - it's just hard, sometimes.

Today I worked on two projects that my daughter helped me with. We are making a Single Girl quilt using our own template. I'm calling it our Frugal Girl quilt. It's made with scraps from all the other quilts that I've made and a few bits from bees and stuff along with a few charms that I've been hoarding. Penelope helps me by choosing the order of the scraps for the rings. It's looking pretty good, so far. I'm not usually a fan of scrap quilts, but I like seeing all of the small pieces of other quilts that I've made and remembering those quilts, etc... It's really like a scrapbook for me.

scraps in a heap

two quarter rings.

four quarter rings stacked and the rest of the scrap heap
We have had so much fun making this today. Just 12 more quarter rings to go and I'll have an 48-ish" x 48-ish" quilt. I'm hoping to have this one finished next week. We will probably start another top before this one is done. I'm planning a girl baby quilt for a friend of mine. I think I know what I want to make, but I'm not sure - I've been pinning like crazy the last few weeks.

Oh, I've also been using my new Brother machine and it is a dream. It basically sews by itself. I just have to line up the fabric. I'm so not used to this. Penelope likes to push the button to make it sew and she likes to cut the thread.

Another project that we finished is a blanket for Camp Snowball/Project Linus. Since I learned to knit 12 years ago, I've wanted to make blankets for Project Linus. It just takes me a while to knit a  blanket, but sewing a fleece blanket takes no time at all. I made my blanket in about an hour and I will drop it in the mail tomorrow. I sure hope a kid gets it and likes it. I'll have photos tomorrow (it's in the dryer right now).

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation (Hi, Kelly!)

Make some stuff with a good attitude.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Finish Friday - I Fixed My Sewing Machine

I wanted to post about fixing my sewing machine. It was a labor of love that I did out of frugality. I have never been afraid of looking inside of machines and figuring out how they work - I'm a bit of a grokker. I like to understand the "why" and the "how" of things. Once I opened up the sewing machine I was a little surprised - it is such a simple machine.

I thought I needed to open the whole case, but I just needed to open the bottom.

This was such a learning experience for me - and I forgot how accomplished I feel when I can understand something that many others do not.

I learned that when you think your machine is broken, it probably just needs cleaning and oiling. It is unlikely that a part is broken, but it can happen. The part that would break most often is the belt, or a plastic gear.
I learned about the timing of the machine and that is a simple adjustment of a screw lining up the needle and the hook, so that the hook is grabbing the thread after the needle is leaving the race. In fact, most new machines have a timing notch or lines marking the timing on the needle bar so that you can see the position the needle should be in as it's leaving the race.

My problem wasn't the timing, but I had a gear that needed cleaning near the race - there was a lot of cotton fluff that I blew out with a can of air. Then I removed the old grease with WD-40 and cleaned the gear really well and then I reoiled the gears and the race and it's working great, now.

If you ever need help with your machine, just let me know, I may be able to troubleshoot with you. Linking up with crazy mom quilts.

Now, make something - but clean your machine first!


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