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I love all things sewing!  It's all about the creative journey.  All my blog posts are letters to my sewing alter-ego - Lola!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Craftsy – An Online Craft Learning Utopia

Dear Lola,

As you know, I have done my fair share of exploiting the Internet to advance my sewing skills.  I visit countless blogs; watch hundreds of You Tube sewing videos; interact on “sewcial” media; spend an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest; and visit online shops that share tutorials and tips.  It’s a wonder that I ever finish any housework, feed my family and find any time to do any real sewing!

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better out there in the virtual sewing playground – I found Craftsy.  I am officially in love.  This amazing platform allows you to pay for a class and have access to that class forever and whenever!  That’s right – I can attend a sewing or quilting class in my home, in my pajamas on my schedule even when I am Sew Sleepless!  This is genius!

What is Craftsy?  According to them:  “We are a community of people who love to make things.  We’re learning from, inspiring and helping each other.  We are dedicated to providing the best education and resources for crafters.” 

All I know is that they have nailed it.  It’s like the perfect marriage of traditional learning and technology all wrapped up into the perfect gift you can give yourself!  I know I will always continue to attend in person classes and workshops, but this is an awesome way to compliment my learning of all things sewing!

The beautiful design and functionality of the Craftsy platform enables you to preview classes you might be interested in taking.  They have been adding more and more classes at a break-neck pace.  They have sewing, quilting, knitting, baking, and clay to name a few.  There are a few free classes you can try to see what it’s all about.  I tried the Block of the Month Club first before I jumped in and made an actual purchase.

My first real effort is StupendousStitching taught by Carol Ann Waugh.  The class is made up of 11 sessions and offers downloadable documentation including supply lists and resources. Like all the Craftsy classes, it even has a built-in feature for taking notes.  Carol Ann is an enthusiastic teacher who clearly loves what she does! 

Here are a few photos of my first efforts.  I haven’t tried the hand stitching yet - but I know I will since I have been able to watch Carol Ann do it about a 100 times!  Can’t believe it but I truly believe I will be able to do a French knot in the very near future!  Craftsy is giving me confidence to try new things!

I love that I can ask the teacher questions and she will respond within a very short period of time!  You can also read what other students are asking and perhaps the absolute best part – lots of students share photos of their work!  It’s all so collaborative.

There is no overestimating the great power of being able to rewind and review the techniques again and again.  It’s great to be able to jump ahead when I want as well.  Let’s face in the traditional classroom setting – jumping ahead is just plain rude!  So whatever mood I’m in – slow like a turtle or fast like a bunny – with Craftsy – I decide! 

Craftsy is a learning dream-come true!  How many times have I attended a class; gotten home to try the technique and said to myself, “I wish I had been videotaping what I saw”? There are at least 10 more classes I want to buy.  Since I signed up, the website just keeps getting better and better.  They have been offering special prices that make the classes really affordable.  

They have been adding patterns, workshops and supplies regularly to the site as well.  I can totally see Craftsy is already the premiere virtual spot for craft enthusiasts.  So if you haven’t stopped by to check out Craftsy – all I can say is, what are you waiting for? 

Hugs and stitches,