Monday, October 19, 2015

Quilting Practice from Craftsy's Divide and Conquer Class

Divide & Conquer: Creative Quilting for Any Space
Click on the class picture to sign up!
This week I started taking a class at Craftsy. It is the Divide and Conquer class taught by Lori Kennedy who blogs over at The Inbox Jaunt. I don't take classes often but when I do, I seem to be drawn to free motion quilting classes. Free motion quilting is something I really enjoy because the possibilities seem endless. It is also something I get really nervous about if I haven't done it in a while. Practice, practice, practice. That is always the rule when it comes to free motion quilting. And no matter how many classes I take, there is always more to learn. Different tools, new tips, new quilting designs.

Lori's class takes a look at different ways to divide space when planning the quilting design. The first composition she teaches is rows. She demonstrates waves, a sun motif, and sailboats. I decided to attempt the waves. Just in case you weren't sure, those are definitely waves in the gray. Squint if you have to. My waves need more practice and it didn't help that my row wasn't straight. I had to improvise a bit with the ups and downs. But not too bad for a first try.

I really like watching Lori demonstrate each motif. She does a good job talking through the details for each one. As an example, those waves have several places where, if you aren't careful, you can end up with a lot of stitching in one place, which can become distracting. It is one of those things I wouldn't notice in the details of stitching a single motif, but it does make a difference in the overall look of the project. That was a great tip.

I like the way this design looks on the back of the block, too. I knew that it would be difficult to see any quilting on the printed fabric, so I used that opportunity to practice some straight line quilting.

The threads I used were from those I had on hand. All worked well. I had a few broken threads when the weight on top was different than the thread weight in the bottom. That has always been a challenge for me but it is one that is usually overcome with a little bit of trial and error.

The blocks I am using for quilting practice come from another Craftsy class, the 2012 Block of the Month. I really liked that class, too, but did not want to put all my blocks together sampler style. I have been slowly using them for various free motion quilting practice, and will probably finish them individually. They may hang as a set someday.

The second way Lori divides composition is in a grid format. She offered several grid style quilting motifs and my absolute favorite is the square flower. I love how nicely it fit in the four corners of this star block.

I stitched one up in the center square, too, but that busy fabric makes it hard to stitch and impossible to see. I made up the curved lines in the triangle blocks and can see that I need to either embrace my whimsical, wonky, imperfect style or I need to practice a whole lot more. I'll take a mix of both, thank you.

I really like the way this block turned out.

There are eight lessons in the Divide and Conquer class. I am half way through the class and cannot wait to learn more. The remaining four lessons cover medallion composition, radiating composition, diagonal composition, and framed composition. There are still motifs from the first four lessons I want to try.

Lori also encourages doodling before quilting to get a good feel for the flow of the design. I have been a big fan of doodling for quite a while.

If you are interested in improving your free motion quilting skills, then consider this class. It is not a class intended for a beginner but is perfect once you have the basics down. This class is a great way to stretch your free motion quilting muscle.

You can register for the class here:

Divide & Conquer: Creative Quilting for Any Space

Linking up to:
Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
Monday Making at Love Life Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story

Other posts that feature free motion quilting:
Doodling to Improve Free Motion Quilting
Mother's Day Gift Making - Improv Pot Holders
Quilting Practice - Swirls
Quilting Practice - Leaves
Quilting Practice - Circles


  1. Looks like a really good class. Love the square flower quilting.

  2. Beautiful block! Came by way of Main Crush Monday and am new to your blog. Will be sure to come back!


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