Craftsy Class Review: Strip Your Stash with Nancy Smith

I've owned this class for awhile. A l-o-n-g while. I waffled frequently about whether or not I was going to use it to actually make a quilt. I've ultimately decided that this kind of quilt is a fantastic retreat project, and since I'm not likely going on retreat anytime soon due to scheduling issues, I may as well go ahead and review it in concept, because I know it's a concept that works. (I've done similar in the past.) So, unfortunately, no photos of my own work based on the class!

Strip Your Stash with Nancy Smith shows how to cut your stash fabrics into strips of varying sizes, sew them back together to make a new "fabric," then cut different types of shapes out of that fabric to create some really fun quilts. It's more or less string quilting, although with bigger and, in her examples, more color-coordinated "strings."

Why would it make a great retreat project? Because part of the process is extremely repetitive--cut, cut, cut,, sew, sew, sew. Once you've got your new fabric made, of course, then it gets really interesting again. So I need the kind of setting in which I can have all sorts of other things going on to entertain me while I'm cutting, cutting, cutting, and sewing, sewing, sewing. 

In the class, Nancy walks you through how to choose effective color combinations, and then walks you through the cutting, sewing, and pressing of the strips. This is the lesson you'll really want to pay attention to as she gives good advice for how to keep those strips from going all whacked when you're sewing them together. (Never sewn a bunch of long strips together side-to-side? It's not as easy as it feels like it should be!)

After the fabric is created, the remainder of the lessons go through several possible block variations cut from this stripped yardage, including very helpful tips relevant to each one. And let me tell you, the quilts are all just so much fun. I do really like the designs and could easily see myself designating one of them as a retreat project in the future.

The last lesson, entitled "Good to the Last Scrap,' gives several examples of how to use up the progressively-smaller pieces of scrap stripped-fabric you'll have left from doing any of the previous quilts. There are some cute ideas here!

Want to see some pictures of projects based on the class? Check out the class project page here. (You may have to be a member of Craftsy for that link to work--apologies if that's true!)

The Basics

  • 8 lessons, ranging from 8 to 35 minutes, though most are in the 20 minute range.
  • Lesson 1 is Nancy's introduction, as well as a really good discussion of color choices.
  • Lesson 2 is making the stripped yardage. She really takes her time with this and offers a lot of tips along the way, so it's worth paying attention to even if you already know the concept.
  • Lesson 3 starts the block designs with Carnival Squares in two variations--I love this block; Lesson 4 is Candy Strips; lesson 4 is Paint Box--another of my favorites; lesson 5 is Kaleidoscope with some great information about putting the rows together; and lesson 7 is Curved Play, which introduces curved piecing. '
  • Finally, as mentioned above, Lesson 8 gives several great ideas for using up the scraps. 

I did enjoy watching Nancy Martin and I really do like several of the block designs. As I said above, I could see myself doing this sometime in the future--just not right now. So, with apologies for a photo-free-post, I'm giving Strip Your Stash with Nancy Smith two thumbs up.