AmyQuilts Clubhouse



I've wanted to make an online teaching membership for sometime. A place where I can go into more detail and deeper into a subject than I can with a live video or other free content, especially with specific machine training. Since something like that takes more time, planning, resources, and technology, it's always felt out of my skill set.

[This post was edited for clarity 1/15/2020]

As a former Craftsy/Bluprint instructor, I've seen behind the scenes of their professional studios and their talented production crew. They are amazing! Though as the teacher, I had no input into the post-production process and couldn't control what got edited out, making me feel like some key bits of info were lacking, or that I didn't get to cover a subject in enough depth.


So I stuck to my informal Facebook live videos and occasional recorded and edited YouTube videos. My video skills, while still pretty basic improved, and repeatedly I heard that watchers didn't mind. What they wanted to see was real quilting, including what I did when I made a mistake. There have been several times a "how to quilt" video became a "how to fix" video, complete with seam ripper. Because that what happens to all of us. Stitch happens.

As a Janome dealer, shop instructor, and sweetheart to my shop's amazing Janome machine service tech, I have a pretty thorough knowledge base to draw from and help folks understand the capabilities of their Janome machines. You can find me helping out in several FB groups on Janome machines and free motion quilting. I just love to help folks!

I kept getting questions that I just couldn't answer effectively in a FB comment or at times I really couldn't afford to take the time needed to do a deep dive into a topic while also being the main worker of Sew Simple of Lynchburg. I HATE not being helpful! Even if it means losing some sleep or sitting at my computer screen more than is healthy, I'll give it my best.

We will definitely take a deep dive into quilting with rulers. This project never really made it into my Craftsy class. So sad.

The work life "balance" (It's more like a teeter totter, back and forth, back and forth.) was horribly off and I was getting guff from my family and rightfully so. But I was torn between time with my family and improving the business that keeps the roof over their sweet heads.

Then we found just the right employee. Mally is amazing and we are so happy to put her to work and she loves taking work off my plate so that I can do what I do best, while she does what she does best. Now that she's been part of the Sew Simple team for about 4 months, I've decided to make more videos a priority. And to make them available to more than just folks on Facebook. To make it more time efficient, most of these videos will be created in video class format and organized by subject.

We will even take a peek into machine techniques for garment sewing....but...

Over the last 2 years I've been wanting to do this, but put off by the information I found on the "right way to launch a subscription learning channel." Funnels, webinars, scripts and code....that kind of stuff was overwhelming. So last Saturday, I put out a simple call to interested folks who follow AmyQuilts on Facebook, as well as the Sew Simple of Lynchburg FB page and my group, "Amy's Sew Simple Adventures" to send a simple email to info@amyquilts.com with "clubhouse" in the subject line. About the only hi-tech thing about it was that this address actually goes to Mally's email inbox so I don't obsess over the numbers of people who did or didn't email.

While I can sew garments, it's not my thing, so this won't be a garment making course.
We will be sending out an email Monday and again as many times as needed to answer questions about the AmyQuilts Clubhouse until the doors close on membership in March. I will let you know when we begin to take signups for membership, but until then, I'm working on content, projects and videos as much as possible. Pricing is still being finalized. Monthly subscription will be less than a single class at a typical quilt shop. But this first round of members will certainly see the lowest prices possible for their member ship and will retain that price as long as their membership stays continuous. New content will be added regularly and be available for the duration of your membership, so those who get in on the initial round will really see the most bang for their buck.

Because Janome machines are what I know best, the club is limited to  Janome machines of the following models: 15000, 14000, 12000, S9, M7, 9450, 9400, S7, 6700P, S6, 8900 and 8200. I have decided to create an embroidery focused add-on upgrade for the combination embroidery machines above and allow the Janome 500e and 550e machines to sign up for it. This will keep the main group focused on sewing only, a money and time saving benefit for the sewing only machines above.

When you join the AmyQuilts Clubhouse, you will learn the many features and benefits of these feature-rich 9mm machines so you know how to use them best and make the most of your creative sewing time. You will operate your machine(s) without fear and frustration.

Ever take a class where the instructor didn't know your machine and couldn't tell you which foot or settings to use? That's really frustrating. As you follow the Clubhouse content, you'll be inspired by projects that are designed for this group of machines and their capabilities. No guessing and no frustration.

In the private FB group, you'll be able to share your projects with other members to inspire and get inspired. There will be a monthly live question and answer time with me in the group. The group is optional if you don't do Facebook. No content will be given out via FB, and the lives will be recorded and posted in the Clubhouse Classroom.

There will be some projects that span both groups, using sewing and embroidery for the project, with non-embroidery options for those who won't be doing embroidery. So you will want to join both groups if you have a combination machine.

We won't be verifying machine ownership, but the content will be created for just these models as anything else just requires too many different feet and settings. Or they came out and were discontinued before I became a dealer. Plus I really need access to these machines to make the videos!

Above is a recent YouTube video of mine on the M7, setting up for free motion quilting.

The clubhouse will not be replacing all the other ways I teach and interact online. It's just a new offering. For those with machines not on the list, there will be future stand-alone classes that are not machine specific, including my Troubleshooting Guide to Free Motion Quilting.

Again, send a simple email to info@amyquilts.com with "clubhouse" in the subject line and you will be added to the list of interested persons and we will be getting the details out to you shortly.

Video Post: Pointed Oval Ruler and Freehand Feathers

Here's a video I created from the live Facebook footage from the Amish Bars Quilt-along. It features both quilting with rulers and free hand feathers. It was a lot of fun to do!



I've been adding videos to my YouTube channel nearly every week, so if you don't do Facebook, you can still see some of these segments. I love doing these free motion quilting videos!

Quilted Dream Big Dahlia Eye-Candy

In August, I traveled to Atlanta, GA for Janome Institute. This is the big conference for Janome dealers where we get to see new machines (Have you feasted your eyes in the Janome M7 yet? 13.5 inches to the right of the needle, perfect for free motion quilting!), new product, and learn more about the machines and business in general. We also get to check out various vendors as well.

While I was in a class on the Janome Artistic Quilt Maker Pro 18 (the longarm I now carry in the shop and am learning to use), I spied some fabulous Dream Big Dahlia panels hung up on display. I assume they were done on the long arm, but they were done with free hand free motion quilting, so I snapped some pics so I could share them with you.


 First a detail shot and then the full picture. While up close the loops over the center might seem like it obscures the detail of the panel, from a distance it's lovely!


Now, they didn't have any attributing artist info on them, but thye might have been done by Michael Smith, one of the Canadian Janome educators.


Sorry, no detail shot of this one above.


I really like the look of the variegated thread in the center of this one.


Now, the one below was really stunning with the striped fabric appliqued over some petals.


Finally I took this shot just because I loved the look of the quilting on this vinyl.


Now, here are some in progress shots of my panel from the Facebook quiltalong at AmyQuilts.



I hope you are following along on Facebook, and if not, please be patient as I eventually will share the videos here.

Happy Quilting!



Dream Big Dahlia Quilt Along

I've started another live FB Quilt Along, this time using the popular Dream Big Dahlia panel. I'm almost sold out of my panels, with it available in the Opal colorway only. I'll see if some of my other independent quilt shop owners carry them and post links here if possible.


This panel is a whole lot of free motion fun! I'm echoing the outer edges of the petals and filling them in with free-hand fills and a little ruler work.


You can watch the videos on the AmyQuilts FB page Wednesdays at 1pm and Fridays at 1pm and 5pm. That's Eastern US time. Catch me live and ask questions! The replay is posted as soon as the live ends, so you can watch at your own convenience.


These videos are very long and rambly, so I'm not sure they will end up on my YouTube. Some will if I can edit them down a bit, make it more concise.


The threads on this project match pretty well, so a shot of the back really helps! I'll be using 3 different colors and all of them should show nicely (or badly as the case may be) on this violet backing.

As with my other videos, I'll do an archive post with all the videos on it here on the blog. That makes it a bit easier to find them all in order and get context of what the videos are about.

So....have you done one of these panels before? Do you have one you've wanted to do, but just haven't tried it yet? Let me know in the comments!