Monday, December 14, 2009

My View: Jackie Robinson's Weaver Fever DVD with pattern pdf

Sharon Pederson's company Nine Patch Media produces a Quilters' Schoolhouse DVD Series featuring some of the leading quilt designers, artists and artisans in the quilt art community.

Nine Patch Media also offer high quality video, audio and presentation. No distractions, no faltering, no stammering, no camera shyness. The presentation is professional and proceeds in easy to digest segments allowing a watcher to pause whenever necessary. In fact in Jackie Robinson's presentation, she encourages you to pause, do what she's taught, and then proceed to the next step.

The DVDs they have produced, at least those I've viewed, have been outstanding and covered all of my questions and then some.

Weaver Fever by Jackie Robinson is a DVD that really delivers. I can remember way back in 1991 when Jackie Robinson introduced her innovative bargello inspired Weaver Fever with her threefers and four-fers and five-fers. Well, the pattern, published by Animus Quilts Publishing (Jackie's company) has never gotten old and the pattern continues to sell. Now she has taken the time to show the process complete with tips for assured success with this beautiful interlaced pattern. And she includes a downloadable pdf file of a booklet to lay on your work table and reference again and again and again while making your own Weaver Fever quilt.

Jackie has a delightful on-air personality and her presentation is delivered with a twinkle in her eye and an easy-to-follow pace. The process she advocates may not be the most exciting, but it is organized. She doesn't snip willy nilly. She doesn't throw tidbits of cloth over her shoulder. In truth, she's a bit anal about the whole process.

She emphasizes the pre-cutting preparation -- the choosing of fabrics, the way to determine what cuts must be made, and how to organize the fabrics -- which leads to a manageable, few surprises procedure when it comes to the actual cutting and piecing. In the design she presents, success depends heavily on the proper placement of each of seven fabrics, in a repeating pattern. The quilter needs a process that keeps the fabric separated and ready to grab. Jackie's brochure gives every bit of information required to know just how many strips of each fabric to cut and then how to lay the fabrics out so that piecing is easy. She also throws in handy tips and facts about sewing fabrics together.

For example, when sewing strips together, alternate which strip is on top directly beneath the presser foot and which is closest to the feed dogs. The feed dogs will not stretch fabrics, presser feet will. If you sew Strip A to B with B ontop, when you sew B to C, make sure C is ontop. It is a simple process that will prevent your strips from bowing into a half circle.

She also demonstrates the easy peasy way of making mitred corners. Even I could do this! Even I want to try this. And up until now, I avoided mitred corners like alligator meat or sneezing colleagues.

Since 1991 Jackie Robinson has taught the making of this quilt and has seen just about everything that could go wrong -- go wrong. In this DVD she addresses all of those possibilities and by the end of the DVD, you'll be googling Maywood Studios and ordering your fabric from Jackie's collection. (Although, I tried and they don't sell it at that site.)

Her border prints make the finish easy -- and she even demonstrates how to cut those! Jackie doesn't forget a thing.

As I said, she may seem a bit anal in the beginning about how she folds her fabrics, how she cuts from the back to the front, how she carefully stacks each cut piece of fabric in the order of how it will be sewed into the quilt. But she speaks from experience and gives great advice. All of that attention to detail pays off and eliminates headaches and ripping. And I can see how easily this quilt design could get messed up.

When it comes to price -- I'm not quite such a staunch advocate. At $29.95, I hesitate. It is a professional quality video that runs for 77 minutes and includes a trunk show, outtakes and complete pattern PDF.... The trunk show was a little disappointing in that it is simply the same design with different colors. Still, its good inspiration.

For the experienced quilter, the booklet alone may be enough. Also, the prices for fabric packages and the booklet quoted at Animus, seems like more for your dollar. For example Jackie offers the booklet separately for $8. For the fabric to make a 50x60-inch lap quilt: $67 (which, I understand includes the booklet), plus $30 for the backing.

Yet, for someone like me who is math challenged and easily confused, the video is essential. If planning to make several quilts using this technique, then definitely buy the video.


Shirley J said...

it was like looking at my own wf quilt
or look at my quilts on the left side of my weblog:
I made this quilt 5 years ago on a 1 day-workshop
thanks for the tip of the feeddogs, does the fabris on top also stretch with build-in transport, like with a Pfaff? love your blog!

Dawn said...

Shirley! Your quilts are beautiful! It doesn't matter what language your site uses, the quilts translate without any missed communication.

As for your question about the build-in transport -- I don't know. It wasn't addressed in the DVD. You might ask your Pfaff dealer or perhaps someone else here has an answer.

Glad to see you at Subversive Stitchers!