When Christina Cameli, of A Few Scraps, first announced that she had just filmed her third class with Craftsy, I was so excited! I had gotten a glimpse of the free spirited, improvisational direction she was taking lately with her quilting and so hoped that was what her class was going to be about. Much to my delight, it was!
The class is called "Wild Quilting" and it is a joy to take! In Wild Quilting, Christina teaches you how to get creative with free-motion quilting and how to quilt in a freer, more organic way. You don't have to be an experienced quilter to benefit from the class. Christina takes what look like the most complicated designs and breaks them down into very doable steps.
|Christina in the Craftsy Studio - courtesy of Christina Cameli|
Take it from me: I was the biggest free-motion quilting scaredy cat before Christina came along. Her free-motion quilting lessons, through her books and classes, have made me so much more confident! Christina has a gift for teaching quilting in a very encouraging and easygoing way. She fills you with a "Can do!" spirit!
I loved all of Christina's Craftsy classes, but most especially Wild Quilting! It's my favorite Craftsy class yet. She does such a great job communicating and showing us how to put together what look like incredibly complex designs, by building on skills and knowledge step-by-step. My husband Jim even came in and sat and watched part of the class. He thought is was really cool!
|A sample of Christina's Wild Quilting - courtesy of Christina Cameli|
It seems so much more natural and fun to quilt this way. By learning how to divide and conquer a space, quilting becomes less intimidating and much more manageable. The only problem I had is that it got so exciting at times that I had a hard time sitting still and learning, because I wanted to jump up and go give it a try. But that is part of the beauty of taking a Craftsy class. You can hit "pause" and go try out what you just learned and then come back and watch anything you want all over again.
When I was a student I used to cover my folders in designs like this, so I hoped to be able to do that with a sewing machine and fabric instead. Thanks to Christina, I now can do that!
Usually I free-motion quilt with one my vintage Singer sewing machines, but this time I was determined to learn to do it with my modern Janome. I'm going to show you the down and dirty practice piece I did first, to get myself used to the machine and the flow of movement and designs. When I am practicing, I don't much care what it looks like. To save on fabric and from having to make more practice quilt sandwiches, I usually do the first layer of practice stitching in dark thread. Then when I want more practice, I re-use the same sandwich and use light colored thread right over what I did before. Okay, brace yourselves, 'cause this ain't pretty:
|My first Wild Quilting practice sandwich - Messy, but fun!|
From there, I started getting more serious with my practice pieces. I try to set those up so that I might actually use them to make something when I'm done. I wanted to try a layered design with Charles Rennie Mackintosh style roses:
|Charles Rennie Mackintosh style rose design Wild Quilting|
It looks a bit too structured and that is probably because I drew the roses on with chalk first. (Which is perfectly fine to do.) One thing that Christina teaches, which I should have done around the leaves, is to echo quilt around your design to give it more emphasis before filling in the background. My rose practice piece isn't perfect: my designs are wobbly and my stitches are not nearly all a uniform length, but I like it a lot! I think I might make this panel into a small zippered case, by folding it down the middle, with roses on each side of the case.
Next I wanted to try layering designs again, combined with what Christina calls a "showboat" motif. Since I have an ocean themed quilt in the works, I thought it would be a good idea to practice with ocean themed motifs:
|Ocean scene Wild Quilting|
This piece was a lot of fun to create. Again, you can see that it isn't perfect, but I like it a lot anyway. After taking Wild Quilting, I'm a braver and more confident free-motion quilter. Wow - I just wrote that I'm a free-motion quilter, which is the first time I've ever thought of myself like that. It's pretty exciting to realize that and to think I can handle quilting some fancier designs now!
Christina teaches so many important skills in Wild Quilting. Some of the things you will learn are:
- How to create stitching combinations that fill the space organically.
- How to sew a travel stitch to take you where you want to go next.
- How to echo stitch your designs to give them greater impact.
- How to vary the density of your quilting to make the various parts of the design stand out.
- How to divide a space and fill it with motifs.
- How to handle awkward spaces.
- How to combine motifs in clusters and choose motifs that compliment each other.
- How to choose the right scale.
- How to create focal points, or "showboats".
- How to create layered designs.
- Tips for creating your own unique quilting motif "recipes".
Free Motion Quilting Essentials
The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting
I highly recommend every one of them!
Now I should also say that, even though I am sort of a Craftsy affiliate, I have backed off of doing it for now. I'm reviewing this class purely because I love Christina Cameli. Therefore, none of the links I've provided are affiliate links. If you do think you'd like to take "Wild Quilting" it would be really nice if you find one of your other blogging friends who is an active affiliate and click on one of their links and then enroll in Wild Quilting. That way they can earn a small commision. You will be so glad you did!
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