Wednesday, June 26, 2013

the Penny Sampler {prelude}

Teapot for the Penny Sampler

I like to be challenged.  There's something about a grandiose project that draws out my best efforts, changing me and refining me in the process.  When I first envisioned this class, this quilt, it became something I couldn't refuse.  I knew it would make me reach and learn... and it has.  I've spent 6 months developing and creating, and now I'm just delighted to be sharing it soon!

::Inspiration::

folk Scandinavian, from StorybookWoods

It began with Scandinavian inspiration, its folk notes and modern melodies combined.  That first vision became a framework of ideas - miniature pictures, small geometric piecing, intricate sashing, a pointy border.

modern Scandinavian, paper art by Fideli Sundqvist

But I wanted it to be lively, unexpected, definitely different than your everyday sampler quilt.  So, I threw out regular gridwork and traditionally placed sashing.  Instead blocks are a smorgesboard of sizes, sashing falls here and there for movement, layers of interest.  The border is broken up and resized in a decidedly unpredictable way.  All this aiming to be true to the quirky charm of modern Scandinavian style.

little Village {project}

I'm not revealing the finished quilt today... you'll have to wait until registration!  These phtos are a collection of bits and pieces I've shared throughout the year.

::the Class::

My Penny Sampler class in an invitation to a fun but challenging journey.  The online class centers around the making of an epic quilt - the Penny Sampler - while developing three themes:  machine applique, precise piecing and machine paper piecing.  These skill sets go beyond basic quilting to equip a quilter to face with confidence tricky traditional geometric piecework and picture-motifs made by applique or machine paper piecing.

Penny Sampler blocks

Previously my classes have been designed with 5 weeks of instruction, sometimes interspersed with time "off" to sew.  This time I'm going with a whole different approach.  I've heard so often that my classes are rich with projects and learning experiences, but really too rich for most to digest in the time allotted.  Sure, I want you to be challenged, but I don't want you to be rushed.  To enhance enjoyment, this class is designed so that you have the time to do all the projects along the way.  Of course, you can still choose to skip some, in which case you'll have time for independent sewing pursuits while still keeping up with the Penny Sampler.

Queen of Hearts for the Penny Sampler

This time I've spread out our journey over the course of 3 months.  Each month we'll focus on one theme, beginning with machine applique.  Week 1 of Applique I'll get us started with videos teaching applique techniques, plus 2 independent applique projects.  These are "skill-building projects" available for you to experience before diving into The Quilt.  At the close of Week 1, I'll share the first and simplest applique block in the Penny Sampler.  Weeks 2-4 of Applique month you'll have 3-4 block assignments for our quilt per week.  That's a doable, though upbeat pace, designed to keep you engaged but not overwhelmed.  You might also be finishing the applique skill-builder projects, if you chose to do them.

After 4 weeks total of applique (intro week and 3 more) we'll move on to 4 weeks of Precise Piecing and then 5 weeks of Machine Paper Piecing.  Yes, there's a little more time spent machine paper piecing than the rest!   Since it is a time-consuming (though super rewarding) process, I've spread blocks out over 5 weeks, with quilt assembly and quilting tips mixed in too.

Snowflake for the Penny Sampler

I hope this makes sense!  So, for each theme - machine applique, precise piecing, machine paper piecing - the course includes a first week of learning with helpful videos, tutorials and 2 practice projects.  Then, what follows is 3-4 weeks spent making blocks that become part of the Penny Sampler.  The Pixie Churns quilt you saw yesterday is 1 of 2 skill-building projects for our month on Precise Piecing.  See?  

Also new - this course will include a prelude week immediately after registration focused on choosing colors and fabrics for your quilt!  That's a total of 14 weeks of instruction.

Teacup for the Penny Sampler

Will class fees be higher?  Nope, they'll be the same!

the Dates

Registration opens Monday, July 22nd.  Choosing fabrics week of instruction starts July 29th.  We'll start sewing with our first week of Applique on Monday, August 19th.  (I tried to hold out until pretty near to school starting in the States in hopes of making this more doable for those with kids!)  Our last week of instruction is the week of November 11th.  We'll be finished before the holidays!

Small Diamonds for the Penny Sampler

I hope that your interest is piqued.  For myself, I have to say I am totally humbled to have the opportunity to develop and teach classes online.   I hope that the things that I am passionate about making, continue to be inviting and interesting to this community.  I am determined to always and only teach from my passions, because that's where I'm able to do the best work.  Thank-you!

xo,

Rachel

39 comments:

  1. Overjoyed in the three month time period! Oh joy, I can't wait!!!!!

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    1. I also wanted to say that the other day I was thinking about why I enjoyed your classes so much? I think that as a mom with two little kids who doesn't have the opportunity to take classes, go to conferences and that sort of thing your classes allow me to "leave" home and be part of a learning experience that otherwise I wouldn't be able to do. So thank you for that!

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    2. Marci, I'm SO glad to hear that you like the longer class format. I was/am a little nervous that it'll work for everyone, but as always there will also be time to "catch up" after class ends and the option of the eBook so that the class is yours to keep too. Anyways, I'm thrilled it fits for you!

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  2. You are so incredibly inspiring to me. I'm going to be saving up money for this class. And just hope that some day I can make my passion for sewing work for me as well.

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    1. I'm completely honored by that statement. Seriously, Thank You!

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  3. Exciting! I love the sneak peeks and am really looking forward to seeing the full quilt!

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  4. Sounds very interesting! Off topic - is that a finished Alabama Chanin dress I see in your new profile picture?

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    1. Thanks, Mari! It's actually a tank I designed for Handstitched class last year =) I still haven't finished my Alabama Chanin dress. Tsk, tsk.

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  5. wow, rachel, you really outdid yourself. i'm looking at the teacup and wondering - how the heck did she do that?! amazing. if i were a quilter, i would definitely take this course. since i still haven't fixed my quilt from your class last summer, i think this is definitely out of my league. But I can still appreciate the amazing beauty and complexity of your work.

    i just used your zigzag binding tutorial again. looove it! now i need to snap a few pictures and put it up on zee blog. thanks for that. you rock!
    xo!

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  6. I'm so excited to take this class. I have a different time issue than some others...I am a Grama, with LOTS of grandkids that come stay with me (and sew). So my time is used up in other ways too...grandkids, family dinners, working in our business. I am new to modern quilting, although I have been sewing for (a hundred?) years and quilting for maybe 10. Your blog and website is so inspiring to me, I look forward to it. My calendar is marked. Thank you for making time to do this!

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  7. So what skill level is this class for? I love it but I'm wondering if its too much for a beginner who had difficulty with the advanced projects in Curves.

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    1. That's a really good question! I've also received some other questions by email, so I think I'll need a FAQ post =). But, I was definitely planning to address the skill level. This is not a class for a brand-new quilter, but neither is it a class that requires Curves Class or Handstitched as a prerequisite. This class teaches different skills than my previous classes.

      I feel this class is for an intermediate quilter. In my view, an intermediate quilter has probably made a few quilts and can do these things: use a rotary cutter to cut fabric from yardage, square up a block to 12.5" or 6.5", assemble a simple 4-patch or 9-patch block, sew accurately along a marked line and feel somewhat comfortable sewing a 1/4" seam. Does that help? Let me know if you still have questions as that will help me address this issue formally later on. Thanks!

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  8. Alright, I am in.love. Here's the thing, do you think I can manage it with a newborn? I am due august 4th and will naturally be back sewing asap for the sake of my sanity, so do you think I could fit it in here and there or would it be too intense? I have at least tried each of the skills mentioned and am not a beginner and it sounds like a more spaced out class....hm, I really hope I can make it work.

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    1. The fact that you have tried the skills mentioned puts you at a good chance for functioning in the class even while sleep deprived ;0). Still, I really can't say if it would be too much for you or not. If I were you, I'd skip the skill-building intro projects and just focus on enjoying making the quilt. Watching the videos should be enough for most folks to go right to the quilt, if they're not inclined or able to sew more. So, ask yourself if you could sew 3-4 blocks on less sleep than you have now? Also ask yourself how you would feel about getting "behind"? I think you should feel fine! The fact that you are making distinct blocks throughout the week is in your favor for fitting thins in "here and there", but ultimately no one can tell what your future will hold. I would definitely recommend the Premium version with the eBook includes so that you can finish the quilt when time allows if you do get behind!

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  9. This sounds awesome! Hope I get caught up with all my UFO's in time to take the course!

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  10. I have been waiting for this! So excited. My little will be going to preschool for a day a week in the fall so a lot of time to work!

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  11. Your previews are wonderful and I can't wait!

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  12. Yes! I'm in. Timing will be a wee challenge as we will be travelling for 3 weeks of class time, but will do what I can.
    Sounds like some great diversity!
    Roll on August.

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  13. I am really excited about this class! I loved taking your curves class and this one looks even better. Thanks for sharing your vast knowledge and creativity with us!

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  14. Oh hello tempting! Rachel, these are exquisite! I love the idea of a longer format because I know I work in cycles (probably hormonal!) where sometimes I feel like whipping things through quickly and other times I feel like little, fine details. I think a longer class length allows for other projects to be on the go at the same time.
    What a talented, creative, original lady you are!

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  15. Sounds great. Love your work Rachel! You mention in the post that cost is the same, despite longer time frame for class.... but sorry I couldn't find the prices for classes. Could you please let us know what the price will be, so I know what amount to save for?

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    1. Yes, of course! There is just so much info to share all at once, isn't there =). My classes have three levels: basic, premium and camp. Basic is all the projects with clear tutorials ($35 during early registration). Premium adds video tutorials and an eBook of the complete course for your permanent reference ($55 during early registration). Camp is a smaller community group (limited to 20 participants) with live chat meetings and the chance to earn a handmade souvenir made by me ($85).

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  16. I loved reading this post. Looking forward to seeing the quilt! xx

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  17. I'm ready! Bring it on! The only thing that will be unpacked will be my sewing machine. And, I guess it will give me motivation to unpack my fabric so that I can actually pick colors. I'm digging the longer format. Sign me up!

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  18. I am so excited! I have taken both of your other classes and loved them. The only problem is I am due with a little girl in early September and realistically won't have time to keep up with these projects. Do you have a schedule for when you will offer this class again? I would take it on its first run just to have access to the ebook, but I really love the community aspect of working on projects at the same time as other participants.

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    1. Congrats on your baby! Hmm... no, I don't have a set in stone plan yet as to when I'll offer it again. That does depend on how well it goes, of course. Potentially, I might offer it again spring of 2015. I plan to have a new class spring of 2014 and another new one fall of 2014, so spring of 2015 would be the first chance for repeats. At that time I'd probably repeat the 2 most popular classes between the Penny Sampler and my two 2014 classes, rather than repeating all three. Hope that helps!

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  19. Wow, cannot wait! I'll be there, I've enjoyed your other two classes and this one looks to be as good. Thank you for always being an inspiration.
    Sarah x

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  20. i'm sooo looking forward to this class! i loved all your sample peeks so far, i'm sure this will be an awesome project :)

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  21. I can't wait to sign up. I am so excited but I am on holiday the week of sign ups and I don't know if I will have internet access. Fingers crossed that I will!

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  22. I'm evaluating the WIP pile to see if I can manage this class. I've been tempted by your classes before (curved piecing, particularly) and your Scandinavian houses...and teeny tiny churn dashes...die. It's all good stuff. I'll get WIPing and see where I am 7/22!

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  23. Getting excited for the Penny class! Your samples look great!

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  24. Very pretty! It will be fun to see what everyone creates.

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  25. Looks intriguing, Rachel, I'm still pondering. Your Hand-stitching was my first ever on-line class and I loved it. I passed on the curves because of my skill level and prior commitments, but I think I can do this one. I've only made one quilt, but am proficient at rotary cutting, do the 1/4" seam, patchworks, etc., as I make smaller pieces like pillow covers, pincushions, etc. I've done one paper pieced pincushion and I've worked with hexies (thanks to you)... so, I THINK I can do this...

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  26. Okay, so I've recently given some (more serious) thought to joining in on the Penny Sampling Adventure (I mean, if this is a creative brain child of *yours*, could it be anything short of perfection? I think not..) I just have a question (or 50) re: the different registration levels (I tried perusing subsequent posts but perhaps my brain is a little too fried to find what I'm looking for at the moment): With the basic registration, in what format are project instructions delivered? Only via video? (vs. on paper? though that doesn't sound right for templates/paper-piecing...) But if video-only, then for how long will those videos be made available to us? Or if we do get patterns via email, how do they differ from the mid-level eBook registration option?

    Thanks for your help (with my million-and-one questions!)

    Sarah

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    1. Sorry for the slow reply, Sarah. I've been without internet access! Ok, so all class levels have a private blog. I create one blog for basic, one for premium, one for Camp. The basic level ($35) learns only via picture tutorials - so no video. I use lots of pictures, but you're right to realize that it's easier to learn these techniques via video. The Premium level ($55) has the same access to picture tutorials, PLUS video tutorials. At this level, you also get an eBook at the end of class, which is a nice way to store and access the info ongoing. The eBook has a linked table of contents and links to help you navigate throughout. You will have access to the videos permanently with the Premium level (or as long as Youtube exists) since the eBook includes links to the private Youtube instructional videos. Hope that makes things clear!

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