Tuesday, July 9, 2013

the Penny Sampler {FAQ}

{FAQ} for the Penny Sampler

Today I received an email that said, "Please inform me in a detail about online class admission process."  Hmm... seems like I have some explaining to do.  Actually, I've been meaning to write a Frequently Asked Questions post for my upcoming class, as the prelude post generated many good questions.  Here goes!

Q:  How do I get into the class?

A:  At 9 am eastern time on Monday, July 22nd registration will open for the Penny Sampler.  At that time, a blog post will go up here summarizing the class content and structure with links to my Big Cartel pattern shop.  At the shop you'll be able to add your chosen class to the shopping cart and checkout via Paypal, using a credit card or Paypal balance for payment.  

There are a limited number of students, as I want to be able to give one-on-one attention to all students.  I generally answer questions the same day and also enjoy keeping up with projects in the Stitched in Color flickr pool.  In the past, classes have sold out during the first week of registration.

Q:  What does it cost?

A:  The Penny Sampler is structured and priced just like my previous classes.  There are 3 class versions that run simultaneously on private blogs.  The most affordable version of the class is the "basic" version with all content to make the projects for $35.  The Premium version includes instructional videos and an eBook of the entire course delivered at the end of class for your permanent use for $55.   The Camp version is limited to 20 campers.  Camp includes all the perks of Premium in a smaller, more intimate community for $85.  We'll get to know each other via live chats, and you'll have the chance earn a handmade-by-me souvenir for completing your Penny Sampler within 30 days of our last week of class.

Q:  What does it include?  Is this original?

A:  As noted above, this partly depends upon which class version you choose.  But let's talk about general content.   Yes, the Penny Sampler quilt and all other projects are my original design.  Some elements are classic blocks such as the Churn Dash that have been around for ages.  Those are public domain.  All of the picture blocks (teacup, tea pot, dala horse, dilly bird, etc.) are my original design.  All instructions and videos, etc. are mine too!  The class includes all templates, which are delivered via downloadable pdf files.

In addition to our modern sampler quilt, the class includes 2 stand-alone projects or "practice projects" for each theme.  Our skills themes are machine applique, precise piecing and machine paper piecing.  With 3 themes that means the class includes 6 additional projects beyond the Penny Sampler itself.

Q:  What skill level is this class for?

A:  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.

The Penny Sampler is a class 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
  • cut fabric pieces economically from fabric on hand
  • 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
  • is familiar with sewing a 1/4" seam, but desires to increase accuracy

No experience with applique or paper piecing necessary.  No experience with sewing curves or partial seems.  During our second theme on precise piecing, we will work on refining when and how to sew a scant 1/4" seam verses a true 1/4" seam.   Naturally, I don't expect you to already be proficient at that!  

As far as cutting fabric economically from fabric on hand, this ties in with the scrap-friendly nature of a sampler quilt.  Since most all of the blocks are different, using a bit of fabric here and there is likely.  I will not be giving cutting layout diagrams, as I don't find these helpful.  Plus we are usually just cutting 1-4 pieces from a fabric due to the sampler style.  I will give economic cutting pointers when we are cutting lots of pieces from one fabric.

Q:  Will I be able to keep up with the class considering my vacation, baby due soon, etc?

A:  Well, I don't know!  I worked on the Penny Sampler over a 3 month period, to exactly mirror the class pace.  I used 2 afternoons per week to make the quilt at that pace.  Keep in mind that I was designing it, photographing and making construction notes too!  Sometimes when I had design trouble spots I had to do more work on the weekends, but generally I kept up with it by sewing 2 afternoons per week.

If you are strapped for time you can skip the skill-building practice projects and just focus on enjoying making the quilt. Watching the videos should be enough for most folks to go right to sewing the Penny Sampler, if they're not inclined or able to sew more since we'll start with the easiest blocks first.  You'll usually be assigned 3-4 blocks per week.

Also ask yourself how you would feel about getting "behind"? I think you should feel fine!  If you anticipate that time will be a challenge for you, buy the Premium version with the eBook included so that you can finish the quilt when time allows!   With the eBook in hand, you'll also be able to go back to make the practice projects just for fun!

Q:  When can we see more class samples?

A:  Ok, so no one actually asked that... but I can't wait to share more!  Next week I'll be doing a series of posts showing blocks for each skill theme and more practice project previews!  Here's something I've been working on today.  It's the beginning of a fun, independent project made via machine paper piecing.  Can you see where this is going?  

fabric play for the Penny Sampler!

In case you're confused on scale, these are not salt and "m"epper shakers, LOL.  Looking forward to showing the whole design later this week! 

20 comments:

  1. Can't wait! Reminder written on my fridge. :)

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  2. I getting excited too! I think this sounds so fun. Thank you for writing up the FAQ, I am even more excited now!

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  3. I'm very intrigued by this concept and look forward to registering on the 22nd (hope I get in!).

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  4. I hope I do make it into your class this time.

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  5. OOOh I hope I make it into the camp. I was just going to do premium but I think I can do the camp. If chats are on Wednesday I may have to club the children over the head or zombify them with a show as I have yet again shifted a timezone.

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  6. Thanks for all the details. I'm looking forward to your upcoming posts.

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  7. I can't wait for this class although I really do have to finish a few handstitched and curves class wips.

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  8. I'm really looking forward to this. It will be my first online class. I generally take classes at my local quilting store. I can't wait to see how the new medium goes. I might do the camp as well, especially since it sounds like I can use my stash.

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    1. Glad to have you, Elizabeth! I hope you enjoy the online medium =). By the way, you are a "no reply" commenter, so I can only respond to you here.

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  9. Hi Rachel - this looks great, and I've really been enjoying the sneak peeks. Quick question: will we have a picture of the finished quilt at the beginning, so we can think ahead about fabrics?

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    1. Yes! The finished quilt will be revealed on Monday in the registration post!

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  10. Are you planning on running your curves class again?

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    1. I'm not sure. I'm planning to re-run 2 classes in 2015, and will see which 2 classes are the most requested by that point. Maybe I'll take a vote!

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  11. ah man, I'm on Hawaii time at the moment, I hope it doesn't sell out before I wake up!

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  12. What size is the finished quilt?

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    1. Oooh, good question! I did mean to mention that. The quilt can be finished as shown as a twin (66" x 84") or you can leave off the bottom row of large diamonds so that it finishes as a throw quilt (66" x 73").

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  13. I love the fabric ou picked out. Do you tell us what you used in yours?

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! To see what fabrics I used, please visit this listing: http://stitchedincolor.bigcartel.com/product/my-penny-sampler-bundle The bundle is sold out, but I'm keeping the listing up for awhile so that people can see a list of prints I used and then also the solids I used (near bottom). Hope that helps!

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