Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Handstitched, Curves Class & Penny Sampler eBooks!

Did you miss out on 1 or more of my classes?  Here's your chance!   

For 2 Weeks this December I'm offering all 3 classes  - Handstitched, Curves Class, and the Penny Sampler - as stand-alone eBooks.  The eBooks ($55 each) include all class materials in a professional PDF with a linked table of contents and links throughout for easy navigation.  This document can be viewed on any computer.  You do not need a special reader.  You'll have access to literally all class materials - directions, photos, templates (embedded in the PDF!) and instructional videos.  The journey is yours for the taking when the time is right!

Oh Christmas Tree Project
a project from Curves Class

I will not be encoring any of these classes in 2014.  Fair warning!  I have new classes planned.  The first of which, Color Intensive, is not project-heavy and would pair well with any of my previous courses.

Here are 2 comments from students of my most recent class:

"Rachel, I enjoyed this class so much! ...I learned many things: the wonder of spray starch, loved sketch stitching, and color placement.  I already knew how to paper piece but I am now more confident and comfortable with it.  Thanks for your hard work, you're a great teacher.  Can't wait to hear more about your upcoming classes. " - Sharon C.
"This was the first of many classes Ill be taking with you!  It's been a challenging experience for me. I've learned a lot and I've gone out of my comfort zone a lot too!  Your tutorials are super clear and easy to follow.  Exceptionally detailed and always a pleasure to read through.  Congratulations on this wonderful class." - Mariana G.

Visit my Pattern Shop to buy your eBooks.  You'll receive the link to download your eBook at your Paypal payment address!   Buying a gift?  Indicate the giftee's email address in Paypal comments during checkout.  Then send your giftee a note right away to let her know it's coming!

Details follow about each class...

::Curves Class::

"In the past you may have been intimidated by tight little curved seams, even downright petrified by curvy quilt blocks and more than a little skeptical that a curvy outlook could be in your stitchy future.   That all ends now.  No longer shall ye be limited to the straight edge.  No longer shall ye look with fear upon that which inspires you..."

Yep, that still sums it up!   As a quilter it's easy to get oh-so-comfortable with straight line sewing (which is golden!) that you believe the naughty little voice that whispers "curves are too hard."  They're not!  I promise!  This course caters to both the beginner and intermediate curves sewist.  We'll cover Basic Curves, Improv Curves, Precise Curves and Advanced Curves with full, detailed photo tutorials and many downloadable templates. Each theme includes 3 very different projects!  Then we'll celebrate with full on curvy quilts.  Yes!

Here's a bit more detail on what we'll cover with a project preview...

Scallop Bunting Project

Basic Curves - Truly, really basic.  So basic that you beginners are most welcome to join in.  If you've sewn 3 or so projects (of any kind) you should have the basic sewing know-how to get a ton out of this class!  And for those of you that are already comfy with the most simple curved sewing, I do have a "challenge" level project to keep you on your toes. 

Rainbow Road project

Improv Curves - This stuff needn't be hard.  By the time you finish this theme I think you'll be seeing a whole new world of curvy possibilities. All three of these projects are super fun to make.  It's going to be hard to choose - you'll see!  Yes, your enthusiasm is building and your confidence is running high so we'll continue on to...

Scallop Quilt project

Precise Curves - Let's tackle them head on.  We'll start off with that curvy classic - the drunkard's path - and then move on to a mod curved block of my own creation.  There's a fancy challenge project this week too.  If you go that route, you'll know you can sew any curve darn well with precision.

Slices mat project

Advanced Curves - Yes, I'm partial to improv piecing. It's really fun and funky and makes for such an original creation.  We'll learn some new techniques this week and what you can and cannot do with improv cutting.  (Because knowing what you cannot do can really save some fabric, let me tell you...) We'll also learn how to draft precise curve patterns so you'll be able to move forward with your own designs.

Curvy Quilts - It's time to create your masterpiece!  The class will include detailed tutorials for two quilt designs, Oodalolly and Wheel Quilt, with links to my free tutorials for finishing your quilt (ie. basting, quilting, binding) at your leisure.


We are modern sewists, and we do so love that sewing machine.  But, actually, there are still beautiful effects that are best realized needle in hand.  There's also something simply delicious and inexplicably relaxing about the slow, steady pace of handwork.  I hope you'll consider joining me for some slow stitching, making beauty stitch by stitch, and developing new skills piece by beautiful piece.

Handstitched class quilt

Handstitched starts at the very beginning discussing needles, knots and threads.  First-time sewists can enjoy one project per week that's designed to be sewing-machine free and super easy.  We'll discover many categories of handwork, moving from Reverse Applique through Embroidery, English Paper Piecing, Applique and Hand Quilting with full, detailed photo tutorials and many downloadable templates. Each theme includes 3 very different projects!  Because of the variety of projects, this class is suitable for beginners to intermediate sewists. 

Handstitched encore

Quilters will love that each theme includes an installment in a handstitched masterpiece, the Modern Medallion quilt.  This special quilt is best for the intermediate quilter, who has some experience with rotary cutting and piecing.  I don't recommend this as a first quilt, because we'll be using so many techniques and it would become overwhelming.  If you've made 2-3 quilts before, so that you have basic quilting skills, then you'll really enjoy this one!  And, you'll love bringing so many new techniques to your quilting!

Here's a bit more detail on what we'll cover with a project preview...

Eyelet Needlebook project

Reverse Applique - Think of applique as a simple way to achieve any shape you desire. With reverse applique, the shape emerges by layering two fabrics and cutting away the top fabric to reveal what's underneath. Much easier to master than patchwork piecing, applique also allows for unbroken backgrounds and unbroken prints with no distracting seams.  I love that!  This week we'll be using felt, knit jersey and quilting cottons for reverse applique.  Projects will cover raw edge and turned-under edge reverse applique.  And, no, it's not needle-turn applique. I'll show you an easier way!

Sashiko coasters project

Embroidery - Throughout the entire class you'll be learning basic skills essential to hand sewing such as which needle to use, what threads to consider, and basic stitches including the back stitch, running stitch, French knot, blanket stitch and whipstitch.  In this theme we'll focus on techniques unique to embroidery such as options for transferring patterns, as well as experiment with using embroidery to label quilts.  You'll also be taught some special embroidery stitches such as satin stitch, chain stitch, split stitch, herringbone and eyelet stitch.  Plus, it's your chance to finally try Sashiko embroidery!

 Star Blossom project

English Paper Piecing - Patchwork addicts, like myself, are always charmed by the perfect points and difficult seams made simple by English paper piecing.  This method of patchwork is entirely handstitched with the use of paper printouts that establish perfect geometric shapes.

offset Star Blossomblock

I've designed an original English paper piecing motif, my "Star Blossom", which makes a large hexagon block.  There's also one project that combines this technique with embroidery and applique! Fun, fun.

Loop de doo project

Week 7:  Applique - In "regular" applique, as opposed to reverse applique, the desired shape is layered over a background fabric.  I'll show you how to use fusibles to simplify applique and make it more durable.  In addition to applique with fabrics, the Loop de doo project works with continuous lines.

Loop de doo...

Ok, I'll confess, I'm entirely smitten with this skirt.  You can use this simple technique to embellish any hem (skirt or dress) or even a tablecloth.  Oh, the possibilities!

Modern Medallion quilting

Hand quilting -  Learn all the ropes to hand quilting, from hiding those knots to using a thimble.  I'll be demonstrating all hand quilting with pearl cotton, that chunky, luminous thread that we modern quilters love.  One project is designed to hone neat, even stitches.  Otherwise we'll be experimenting with how to use hand quilting to add beauty or make a strong statement for your quilts or patchwork.

Orange peel hand quilting

::the Penny Sampler::

Penny Sampler Welcome

The Penny Sampler is a skill-building course with Scandinavian style.  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. 

the Penny Sampler

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.

the Penny Sampler

This 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.  All lessons include full, detailed photo tutorials and many downloadable templates.

the Penny Sampler

Plus, for each theme, I've created 2 practice projects, including:  Dogwood Blossoms, Pixie Churns and Pantry Shelf.  These stand-alone projects are optional creative outlets and/or opportunities to practice the skills before sewing your sampler.  Of the two projects, one is relatively quick and one is an actual quilt. 

Pixie Churns for the Penny Sampler class

Wondering if this class is the right fit for your level?  See the Penny Sampler product description for more details!

Here's a bit more detail on what we'll cover with some examples...

the Penny Sampler

Machine Applique - Think of applique as a simple way to achieve any shape you desire, especially curves - see the hearts, mitten and bird blocks!  Applique also allows for unbroken backgrounds and unbroken prints with no distracting seams.  I love that!  Projects will cover 2 different user-friendly methods for turned-under edges with options for attaching by machine or by hand.  For more project examples see "why Applique?"

the Penny Sampler

Precise Piecing -  At some point most quilters yearn to refine their piecing skills, to chase down that perfect seam and be able to create small-scale traditional patchwork in triumph.  We'll discuss the merits of both the scant and true 1/4" seam and when to use which, plus other little details that can effect the accuracy of your sewing.  Each fancy block is another gem for your quilt!  To see lots of these projects visit "the key to Precise Piecing."

the Penny Sampler

Machine Paper Piecing - Patchwork addicts, like myself, are often charmed by the perfect points and unusual made possibly by machine paper piecing.  This method of patchwork tends to be intimidating, but it's actually not hard at all once you get the hang of it!  Starting from some really easy diamonds to wrap your mind around the process, projects will gradually build up to include my favorite block of all- the Dala horse! See more at "the Joy of paper piecing."

the Penny Sampler

Remember, visit my Pattern Shop to buy your eBooks.  You'll receive the link to download your eBook at your Paypal payment address!   Treat yourself to a holiday gift that pairs so well with that new fabric.    Happy sewing!!!


  1. Ah, Rachel. Thank you!! Although I am disappointed not to have these as classes with something to look forward to week to week, I am overjoyed to get the e-books instead. After doing Penny Sampler I love your style of teaching and your designs. Your classes really hit the mark in terms of level of instruction, design of projects, and pace. Can't wait for the 2014 classes too!!

  2. I did so enjoy the Penny Sampler class and learned so much. I've purchased the Curves class--Love the Oodalolly quilt! How long before I receive the link?

  3. Pretty excited to get Curves. I'm like JudyB - every time I see Oodalolly, my heart swoons, and I agree with Ali w - I really enjoyed your teaching methods in the Penny Sampler class. I can't order tonight, but I'll be back! (Will you post one last reminder before you take them out of your shop?)

    1. Thanks, Daisy! Yes, I'll post a reminder on the last day the books are in my shop. =)

  4. Hi Rachel, I would love to buy the Penny Sampler e book - the quilt looks so beautiful and varied but not sure my fairly new quilting skills are up to it. Not sure what you mean by 'e-book' - can it still be printed, or do I need a e-reader? Many thanks

    1. Sorry for the lack of clarity regarding the eBook. These are pdf documents, so they can be viewed on any type of computer. No special e-reader is required. I do not recommend printing them since they are 250-400 page documents with lots of photos!

      For details on what quilting skills are required for Penny Sampler, please see the eBook description here:

  5. Your ebooks are a great idea and almost serve as a portfolio, don't you think? Good for you, Rachel.

  6. I have been waiting for your curves class ever since I found out about it but now that you are not considering of offering it in the near future I'm thinking of getting the e-book... Just a question: can I download it in both my computer and my I-pad? My computer is old and what if something happens and I loose some of my files? I'm not very familiar with all that.

    1. Yes, you can download it to both! Just open the Dropbox email from each device and use the download and save link multiple times. That should work!

  7. Hi, Rachel! Is there any way I can purchase the ebook for Penny Sampler? I tried to via Sarah's site but there's no link to purchase. Thanks for your help, I NEED that sampler!!! lol Happy 2014!


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