C&T Publishing offers a series of 14 DVDs which feature master teachers. I reviewed the DVD featuring Jan Krentz teaching to make Lone Star quilts. It was released August, 2008.
Quilter, teacher, designer and artist, Krentz, has earned her title as master quilter. Involved in the craft since a mere slip of a girl, Krentz has written a long list of how-to books and was named 1998 Teacher of the Year by Professional Quilter magazine. Most of her classes and publications deal with diamond block piecing and the star quilts and variations that result such as the Lone Star or Hunter Star.
Krentz paces the DVD at an easy-to-follow rhythm that could lull you to sleep if you aren't captivated by the tips and techniques as well as secrets and helpful hints. The only time my lids closed was toward the end when she sewed basic seams connecting squares and triangles to the diamond shaped legs of her star quilt top. Her smile and willingness to admit mistakes adds to the lessons' appeal. When she accidentally sewed wrong edges together, she turned it into a lesson and showed how to correct the mistake, acknowledging that ripping is definitely part of sewing.
Her lessons include everything from choosing the right tools and fabrics to calculating pattern sizes, allowing for the width of the pencil lead -- that's accuracy! The design mirrors that allow quilters to see a finished star from just one section worked like a magic trick. The DVD was filled to the brim with helpful hints, tool suggestions, and how-tos. Perhaps my favorite aspect, the one that would send me racing to buy a DVD rather than print book, was watching her doing each step of the project. For a novice quilter, this alone got my fingers itching to try it myself.
Additional features introduce viewers to the quilter through her own words and to a gallery of her work. Of course the tour of her studio left me with fabric collection envy and an urge to visit the closest IKEA store. As a bonus, she breaks down the making of a more complex quilt, although it is a bit misleading. She only addresses the central panel. To finish the quilt one would need to study the 'How to Make a New York Beauty" and probably some paper piecing as well.
The DVD cost, approximately $21, seems a reasonable price to pay for the opportunity to spend a few hours with a master quilter. One-on-one with your favorite teacher, repeat as often as you want. View, rewind, review, and keep learning until you master the lessons. New technology to view the lessons, and modern techniques to construct such a classic quilt -- perfect combination.