Monday, February 15, 2016

Angela Walters Rocks My World--Final Day of the Hop

By now, if you've read a few posts, you will know that I have a MAJOR CRUSH on Angela Walters.
Adoration.  Admiration. Awe.
Wonder.  Wizard. Wicked talent.
AW, yeah!!
April 21, 2015
I do hope you've managed to keep up over the past 5 days with all the bloggers' posts on this Craftsy Sweetens Up My Quilting Life blog hop.  I hope you've seen that yes, there is a wealth of excellent educational classes to be had (remember those reviewed in this hop are on for 50% off through the particular blogger's blog until next Sunday), but I hope maybe you've been shown that there is more to Craftsy than you may have thought.  I myself learned about sewing tools like that nifty iron that Jayne reviewed.  I may also have bought some floral fabric (thanks Preeti!) in a 6" strip, a precut that I had never heard of before.

Today is my friend Julie's turn at Pink Doxies, and also mine, to tell you about some of our loves at Craftsy.

Remember there is a fanTABulous giveaway still going on for the rest of this week; to enter click here
  • 2 people will win their choice of a Craftsy class
  • 1 lucky person will win this:

That person gets the Boundless Solids Crown Jewels quilt kit and over and above that, the 6" strip and the 10" squares precuts.  Amazing.

If you missed any of the stops since Wednesday of last week, simply check the schedule at the bottom of this post, or click the heart button on the top of the sidebar to be taken back to the Intro Post for the hop.

Even though it's the last day of the hop, I hope to charge you up and inspire you just as Angela (and Craftsy) inspires me.  Hit it, Mick!

Now about my undying love...

Besides Angela, I have an undying love for feathers.  Always have.  Always will.  Free-Motion Quilting With Feathers (click there or on the picture below for 50% off!) was my first Angela Craftsy class purchase, the second one I'd bought, in August of 2013, (Leah Day's Free-Motion Fillers Vol. 2 was my first).  This class helped me rock feathers.

Craftsy classes have many cool features, which, if you've followed this hop, you've heard about but worth mentioning again:
  • watch wherever you have an Internet connection
  • watch on any device (phone, iPad, laptop, tablet)
  • it remembers where you left off even if you switch devices (wee-ooh, wee-ooh)
  • student/teacher interaction with the Discussion sidebar (I was intrigued by the chalk pencils Angela was using. I wanted them! I asked; she answered very quickly!
  • make your own notes right on the screen at the spot in the video you need to
  • fast forward; reverse
  • speed up 1.5X or 2X (hear Angela sound a little like the Chipmunks!)
  • 30-second repeat (you can watch her do something over and over until you get it)
  • handouts (a former teacher, I LOVE handouts)
  • a place to upload photos of your finished projects made using techniques learned in class
  • a tab where you can browse through all the questions and answers from the entire class
  • Angela's classes have a little over 2 hours of instruction
  • it's yours for life
  • did you know there are a TON of free classes?? Click here for just one of the many that I have!
  • Close-captioned.  Subtitles!!  
This last bullet bears a little expansion, because I don't think Craftsy promotes this feature enough.  If you are hearing-impaired, or if you are like my mum and my youngest daughter, Dayna, and you like to have subtitles on things you watch (I do too sometimes, "Broadchurch"--love!--for example as the accent is tricky at first... but I digress) Craftsy does not discriminate; in fact, Lara of Buzzin' Bumble told one of the hop bloggers how excellent their close-captioning really is. The video will go right back along with the sentence you want to review again.  Exactly like the reverse or fast-forward feature with sound.  Hooray.

I'd already been doing feathers for years on my Elna and then on my Bernina, but this class totally changed and improved them and proved to me that yes! I could do them free-motion! I didn't have to trace the gold leaf tracing paper or use Press 'n Seal, or have the spine exactly spaced...
Before taking this class:
March 2005 - attempt at free-motion. They look more like joined hearts, but I tried! Sulky Blendables thread in 12 weight.
early 2011  Mostly quilted by following gold leaf tracing paper upon which I'd traced the spine and the start of the feather arcs, a little free-motion on the rest of the arcs and the humps of the feathers
I mainly got this Free-Motion Quilting with Feathers class to help me get comfortable with Avril, my Avanté I'd purchased in early 2013.  The class is taught mainly on an Avanté but Angela gives lots of domestic machine tips and instructions too.
In a nutshell:
  • emphasis on no-marking
  • however, she gives the option of marking
  • different types of feather techniques ("basic"; "custom"; "custom variations")
  • she teaches you fern feathers and that cool rope design
  • addresses the feeling of a quilt, whether it's whimsical or classical and which feathers would work
  • 5 pages of motifs to practice drawing
  • "Should be fun!" "Don't stress out about it!" "Don't take it too seriously." Angela repeats these two mantras over and over throughout the class.
I go back again and again to this class; I can skip ahead or forward, or use the table of contents to find the exact section of a particular lesson I need to review.
After her class:

This is Angela's demo of a Custom feather variation

Here are my most recent feathers (on Avril), using this Custom feather variation she taught:
January 2016 - only the curving "C" of the spine is freehand drawn with that chalk pencil ;-)  not traced, no template. Echoes!  Background fillers!  Eeep!

Background fillers...great segue into the second class I want to rave about/review, another of Angela's.  I have them all, but one, and two of her books, like I said, mad love.

Machine Quilting: Small Changes, Big Variety - $44.99 NO! $19.99 if you click here

This class is taught on a domestic sewing machine, but she gives lots of suggestions for on a longarm.  She goes through six FMQ motifs: pebbles, squares, swirls, feathers, clamshells and ribbon candy.  Meh, you think got 'em.  However.  She then takes the basic motif, say pebbles, and shows you how you can spice them up with echoes, changing scale, overlapping, and changing their shape (think ovals!).  Like who knew.  Each lesson then takes the motif, maybe swirls and shows you how you can do those same things, but then incorporate a previous motif in that swirl!  No, not simply throwing in some pebbles among the swirls, around the swirls, how about inside the swirls?!  How about a little different style of echoes along with those pebbles inside swirls?  Are you picking up what I'm laying down here?!

There are 6 lessons here, over 140 minutes of instruction.  This is another, like her books, that I refer to pretty much every time I quilt a quilt.  I get new ideas pretty much every one of those times, or I remember a motif she taught us (spiraling squares for example and mixing those babies up, oh my).  She discusses where in a quilt to use these designs, borders, or blocks or all-over fillers, and how to go about doing that.  Again there are handouts; this class comes with 16, yes sixteen pages of practice sheets.
A few quilts where I've incorporated techniques learned in this class
Some of the wisdom I've taken away from this class:
  • turn off your stitch regulator (you'll get better flow)
  • speed up; "Go for it; don't obsess," Angela says. "I'm not a show quilter; I make quilts to use at home." Um, hello, have you seen Tula Pink's quilts?! Only Angela, and no one but Angela is allowed to quilt them and they are stupendous.
  • She is so incredibly humble:  "But again that's just my opinion; you do what works for you."
My current quilt was started on Avril, my longarm, and is being finished up on my Bernina, since my longarm is not portable!
Can you see the influence of "Machine Quilting: Small Changes Big Variety" here?
My favourite line from this class:
"Nobody's gonna really notice if the lines aren't straight, and if they point it out to you, they're not really your friend."  (mwah! I love her.)
Speaking of favourite!! Both of these classes are 50% off (actually the Small Changes one is 56%off) today and all this week if you buy them through the links in this post!  How's that for a sweet treat that won't add any calories or hurt your teeth?  By my reckoning, you can get 2 for 1 with this yummy deal.


It was in November that I read this blog post by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts that spurred me to finally make a fabric purchase off Craftsy.  I'd looked before, but thought that it was all precuts and kits.  Not so.  When I saw what she had scored, I had to investigate and oh boy, I got my very own 1-yard bundle!!
10 yards of blues and greens from Michael Miller fabrics for under $50 Canadian! Yes please!

The next month I saw Preeti's Terrace Garden, and I knew I wanted to make a quilt like that with these fabrics!  Here is my version, constructed from a 2.5" strip I sliced off of each yard cut.  I added in two more from my stash so I had 12 fabrics, and then yardage of Kona Snow.
Love the palm tree shadows
and the stained glass effect:
Sew Preeti, yes?!
This will be for sale in my soon-to-be-opened (a goal I have for this year) Etsy shop, as well as here on my blog.

Craftsy's offerings in the fabric department are pretty amazing and plentiful.  They have incredible deals, and you can sort by price, or newest, in any given category.

Pattern Store

There are a few things I love about Craftsy's pattern store.
  • loads and loads of free patterns
  • ability to contact the designer
  • any designer can upload any pattern for free; Craftsy takes no cut of the sales of your pattern
  • ability to share your version of the pattern on Craftsy
I have tons of patterns from Craftsy, both free and purchased.  One of my, if not my most, favourite ones is a set of Snowflake patterns from Joanne at Canuck Quilter Designs.  I've made every single one.  She first ran these in her Snowalong series on her blog.
Aren't they gorgeous? They are paper-pieced.  Joanne has a great tutorial on her blog where you do not have to tear off the paper but can reuse them a few times!  Cool.  Warning: these are addictive! And at a couple of bucks each you will want and can afford them all!

I have a very small growing pattern store, with currently two patterns, both free.  One is an original design for a block, and the other is my quilt, Pocketful of Sunshine, which you can download for free here or by clicking the photo below.

I hope to soon have a couple more quilt patterns uploaded in the near future.

I also hope that you've seen over the past 6 days that Craftsy enhances your creativity with:
  • classes at your fingertips, 
  • supplies, fabric, and patterns to satisfy your sweet tooth creative cravings.
  • access to that knowledge, those tips, those methods, 24/7 at the spot you left off
I know a few items have jumped into my cart and onto my Wishlist (love that feature) since the hop started.  Good thing we have one more week for me to peruse the recommendations, and investigate the store sections as I know more items will be jumping into that cart!  Remember the class that is reviewed is 50% off through that blogger's site!  Here is the schedule once again in its entirety in case you missed a stop or, like me, want to pop back and catch the details once more.

Blog Hop Schedule

Wednesday, Feb. 10
Judy at Quilt Paradigm: Review of classes "Design It Quilt It" and "Machine Quilting Wholecloth Quilts" both with Cindy Needham
Helen at Midget Gem Quilts: Review of class "Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot" with Jacquie Gering
Thursday, Feb. 11
Cindy at Stitchin At Home: Review of class "Quilting With Rulers on a Home Machine" with
Amy Johnson
Vicki at Vicki's Crafts and Quilting: Review of fabric purchases:  Stonehenge Strips and Christmas Fat Quarter Bundle
Friday, Feb. 12
Zenia at A Quilted Passion: Review of classes "Start FMQ" with Elizabeth Dackson; "Secrets of FMQ" with Christina Cameli; "Help! How Do I Quilt It?" with Angela Walters
Jayne at Twiggy and Opal:  Review of quilting supplies: Pressing/cutting mat and mini iron
Saturday, Feb. 13
Tish at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland: Review of classes "Dot to Dot Quilting" with Angela Walters; "Product Photography at Home" with Jessica Marquez; "Shoot It! A Product Photography Primer" with Caro Sheridan,
Anja at Anja Quilts: Review of patterns  Postcard from Sweden; 1 Hour Basket; Star Bright; Reusable Handwarmers
Sunday, Feb. 14
Beth at Cooking Up Quilts: Review of Amanda Murphy's class "20 Fresh Appliqué Techniques"
Preeti at Sew Preeti Quilts: Review of fabric purchases:  Kaffe Fassett Classics Design Strip 
Monday Feb. 15
Julie at Pink Doxies: Review of class: "Color Play for Quilters" with Joen Wolfrom
Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon - mmm! quilts: Review of Classes "Machine Quilting: Small Changes, Big Variety" and "Free Motion Quilting With Feathers" with Angela Walters; review of fabric purchases: 10-yard bundle and fat quarter bundles; review of patterns:  Paper-pieced Snowflakes Snow-along

If a review piques your interest, and you decide to buy a class, remember that buying it through that blogger's site will give you the 50% discount on that particular class.  These discounts are available for one week following each post.  While you're there, you can click through any of the  bloggers in the hop sites to enter the Craftsy Giveaway.  Once again, entries close Sunday, Feb. 21, 11:59 MST.

Monday Feb. 22
Julie and Sandra will announce the winners on their blogs.

Please note that there are affiliate links on this page and by clicking through the links, and making a purchase, I do get a small monetary compensation.  Thank you for your support. ;-)


  1. I have a ton of quilting classes already bought on Craftsy. I just haven't had chance/mojo to watch hem. I'm determined to work my way through them this year and finally get the loads of flimsies in my box quilted

  2. I read this remembering it was you that got me hooked on Angela's classes! No way I could travel to one like you did originally, but I feel I've had very close to the same experience--just lacking a gorgeous selfie like you got!

    I've loved sharing this blog hop experience with you, Sandra, and mwah! Back at you, dear friend! ❤️

  3. I have a few of Angela's classes and love them. Your feathers are fabulous my friend!!

  4. This was a great blog hop that you hosted. I signed up for two Craftsy classes based on the review of others. Thank you. Always enjoy your site!

    1. Hi Carol! Yay, glad we could highlight the value in Craftsy classes. And thank you, glad you enjoy what I write about. I wish I could contact you directly, but you are a no-reply so I imagine you won't be checking back to this post, but in case you do, can you include your email next time please? Or see below for how to fix this issue. :-)

  5. Holy cow, what a big difference from your before feathers and your after feathers. Angela does do a wonderful job of breaking them down in this class. And thanks to the great info from you, Anja and Preeti, I can't wait to check out the pattern and fabric side of Craftsy. Big thanks to you and Julie for making this hop possible and letting me be a part of it.

  6. Great post, loved seeing your beginning and after feathers! Thanks for asking me and giving me a gently push in participating in the hop!! It's been fun :-)

  7. I love your version of Terrace Garden....I can already "see" the beautiful feather than could be quilted on the diagonal white sections...just gorgeous. I look forward to seeing your etsy shop....will it be named MMM?

  8. You were saving the best for the last :-) Your feathers are indeed awe-inspiring and also aaw...inspiring!!!
    Thank you for the huge dose of endorsement, you make me blush. I have already downloaded pocketful of sunshine and it is now on my to-do list. Big Hugs and a Huge Thank you for this opportunity.

  9. Wonderful post Sandra and soooo amazing to see your growth as a quilter in the photos of your feathers! You talked me into taking Small Changes! I love Angela Walters! One thing she says that I love is something like this: "If you work hard and be nice, you can do anything."

  10. When I see a feather I think of you now Sandra. And because of you I have my Angela Walters class to watch . It will be a while before I'm quilting feathers though . I love Angela's sensible comments , it's like having a friend stand beside you

  11. I can't wait to start watching my classes by Angela Walters. I have Small Changes. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Great post Sandra. You've made amazing progress with your fmq over the years and it's wonderful to see it. I also really love Angela's laid back style of teaching. She makes it seem less intimidating. Christina Camelli's style is similar.

  13. It's still not you like Craftsy or not?? LOL

    Wow, informative post!! Gotta say how I'm enthralled each time, by the stained glass effect!

    Angela should pay you a cut for your before and after feather pics....Wow, beautiful! And a great shout out to her!

  14. So much great information here. I loved seeing your before and after photos for the feathers. My earlier feathers look a lot like yours.

  15. Thanks for all the good info. I've gotta get another of Angela's classes. Your feathers are fabulous. Also loving the colors in Terrace Garden.

  16. I am a Craftsy lover too! SMoooooch! They offer so many incredible deals, free patterns and ideas that I could spend a full week in my sewing room to create beautiful projects. Now only if I could find a hunky chef to cook and serve meals, I'd be set!