Sunday, 29 September 2013

New York Beauties - I am dreaming + a giveaway!

A little while ago I was contacted by Fons & Porter to ask if I wanted to review one of the class on offer at Daily Craft TV.

There is a range of classes on offer: quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet, scrapbooking and paper craft. The choice of quilting classes was quite varied and it took me a while to choose one I must admit. I finally settled on How to Make the Paper-Pieced Beauty: Times Square by Jodie Davis and Diane Tomlinson.

I have always wanting to make a New York Beauty quilt and I am sure I have enough batiks in my stash for it... but it is so intricate that I had never started it. I even joined a New York Beauty quilt along on Flicker a few years back but I never got started!

The package comes as a 40-minutes video and also a document to download (which I believe has been previously been published in Love of Quilting magazine) which gives you the pattern, templates, fabric requirements and also the explanation on how to make the quilt. So you could actually make your quilt just from the pdf but obviously the video gives you a lot of hints and tips and guide you through what is classified as a challenging pattern!

Once you start watching the video, they first go over how to plan your quilt and select your fabric for it, in terms of balancing the colours. They then cover the construction of the block unit which is paper pieced in 4 sections with 3 curves to sew. They then explain how to paper piece the arcs. The explanation is detailed enough so you can do it even if you have never tried before. It moves onto the dreading curve piecing (don't forget your pins!). The next part is about the square in a square blocks, which after the curve piecing should really be a piece of cake! And finally they cover the border blocks and how to make it. The class doesn't cover the final assembly of the top or the quilting etc but really focuses on how to make the 3 different blocks in the quilt presented.

So what did I think of it?
I have to say that I didn't manage to open the video on google chrome on my laptop (but I did on my tablet!) but it did work on internet explorer. The video didn't run very smoothly unfortunately and stopped and started quite a lot which was a bit frustrating after a while. I am not sure why it wasn't streaming very well. I believe our home connection was good but...
One technical detail that I thought was a little annoying is that you have to start at the beginning of the video every time you launch it again. And because my streaming wasn't good, I couldn't really travel further in the video to where I left. It would be great to be able to add some bookmarks to the video so you could quickly move to where you wanted. I am thinking if you are actually making the quilt you might want to watch one specific part of the video for help.
Once you get over the technical issues, I thought the class was very good with lots of explanations. The close up of the curve piecing was very good too, curve piecing is tricky and intimidating so to been shown a good technique to do it is very useful. It is a real step-by-step demonstration of how to make the 3 blocks used in the quilt.
On the other hand, I think I would have quite like to see different variation of New York Beauty blocks, maybe some words about the final assembly of all these blocks.
The class is priced at 9.99$ which is very reasonable I think. And of course you can watch any time and however many times you like. There is no expiration date on it. Always a bonus if you are not ready to work on your project straight away!

Now Fons & Porter are generously offering one of my readers a free class of your choice from Daily Craft TV. All you have to do is to go over their site, let me know which one you would love to try and why in a comment on this post. I will pick one winner next Sunday 6 October. If you win and decide on another class from what you had originally picked, that's fine! Good luck.


  1. Yes You can piece curves. Would be the class I would choose.

  2. Thanks for the review! String Piecing 7 Ways is a class I'd like to take! Thank you!

  3. I would love the # diffrent applique techniques.Your review was enlightening. Thanks

  4. I think it would be the thousand pyramid, maybe.
    smjohns63 at yahoo dot com

  5. ohhh i'm tempted by Ozark Star Table Top. I love Craftsy courses but it's interesting that these are cheaper and different tutors, always handy

  6. I'd really love the New York Beauty! I've got the fabrics all ready, but am still proctastinating. This would be a no excuse signal for me.
    Thanks for the chance to win1

  7. The New York Beauty looks lovely! On the list!

    Think class I would like to try is Yes you can piece curves as the last time I did this turned into a wonky disaster...

  8. Thanks for the great review.
    After much debating, I've decided to go for the Master Inset Seams and Miters for Perfect 8-Pointed Stars. - I love quilts featuring stars, and would love to be able to make the more complicated ones. Would also be good to learn how to mitre borders.


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