The Best Online Quilting Classes

Learn how to turn scrap fabrics into beautiful quilts

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Best Online Quilting Classes

Treehugger /Design by Amelia Manley

If you’re considering picking up a new hobby, quilting is a relaxing and therapeutic art form, and the result of your efforts is a colorful, useful product. It’s also an excellent, old-fashioned method to create a greener home environment by reusing and repurposing fabrics. The quilting community is gaining new members thanks to a surge in online classes that are making it easier than ever to learn how to quilt from the comfort of your home. We’ve researched available virtual quilting workshops and lessons and compiled the best online quilting classes. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: National Quilters Circle

National Quilters Circle

National Quilters Circle

Why We Chose It: National Quilters Circle has a treasure trove of articles and videos full of creative ways to reuse quilting scraps, including a notebook cover (can also be used for tablets), fabric necklaces, and our favorite, a dog bed made from discarded fabrics. Even if you don’t have a dog, the teacher includes some suggestions in the video on how the scrap bed can be donated to charity.

National Quilters Circle first began creating helpful quilting videos in 2010, and the organization now offers a wealth of information from experts in the field.

Its extensive video library has over 300 instructional videos (about 200 of them are free), with tips like properly applying batting, or trending techniques like image transferring. You can even stream its videos straight to your television. 

In addition to its video library, National Quilters Circle adds new, online classes daily. Longer, more in-depth, and structured than the video library, courses are offered in basic skill levels like Beginner Quilting, to more advanced lessons such as Learning to Stitch Free Motion Script, both for around $35.

Best Budget: Creativebug

Creative Bug

 Creative Bug

Why We Chose It:
Check out Creativebug's upcycling and repurposing videos, with great ideas like transforming bridesmaid dresses into wearable frocks or turning old T-shirts into totes. Creative Bug believes that the arts should be shared with everyone, so a percentage of each subscription goes to non-profits in art education.

Creativebug is an affordable, membership-based educational center, but unlike other skill-sharing programs with a broad range of topics, Creative Bug is entirely dedicated to crafts (so joining will also unlock quilting, ceramic classes, knitting, painting, and more). All of the courses are reviewed by existing students, and there’s an interactive question and answer section where you can chat with teachers or classmates. 

The mother-and-daughter duo, Sue and Ashley Nickels, host an immensely-popular, one-hour class on modern and traditional quilting that comes with downloadable patterns and a detailed supply list. You can also learn how to make a wagga star quilt, a quintessential Australian quilt, with Kathy Doughty, owner of the quilting site Material Obsession. Doughty brings more than 25 years of quilting experience to her classes. Liza Lucy’s Quilting Tools 101 is a perfect introduction if you’re just getting started, with details about what materials you’ll need and what you don’t. 

After the one-week free trial, membership to Creativebug costs around $10 per month (although it does occasionally offer sale pricing).

Best for Artistic Quilts: iQuilt (American Quilter's Society)

American Quilter Society

 American Quilter Society

Why We Chose It: The goal of American Quilter's Society (AQS) is to empower quiltmakers and artists across the globe, and it has been doing so since 1984. Each year AQS hosts QuiltWeek, a chance for independent quilters to showcase their hand-made products. In addition, at each QuiltWeek event, the American Quilter’s Society partners with a local charity.

American Quilter's Society is a world-renown quilting community with more than 70,000 members, and iQuilt is the branch of AQS that’s dedicated to classes. With iQuilt, you’ll find a large variety of artistic-themed quilts as well as other unique projects.

Take their Paint and Stitch class, for example, a fun, seven-part lesson (totaling just under two hours) that combines painting with acrylics and quilting. Or, learn the art of landscape quilting, how to create thread portraits, or the process of transforming photos into fabric art. All of the iQuilt classes are broken down into searchable categories such as beginners, traditional, crazy quilts, modern quilts, wall hangings, pictorial, and more.

Most courses cost around $35 for non-members and about $28 for members. Discounted class rates are available for members of AQS, with annual memberships costing around $25. There’s also an interactive forum, as well as events like quilting retreats found on the partner website, MyQuiltPlace.  

Best for Beginners: Annie’s Craft Store

Annie’s Craft Store

 Annie’s Craft Store

Why We Chose It:
Annie’s Craft Store partakes in a number of craft-themed charity projects and contributes to more than 15 charitable organizations like Hats for the Homeless and Care Wear.

Annie’s Craft Store is a one-stop-shop for crafting materials, fabrics, patterns, and classes, and has a top roster of quilting experts to help guide beginners.

It has been a valuable resource to the quilting community since 1975, and also offers lessons in sewing, knitting, and needlework. The company is constantly adding new lessons and topics weekly, with each detailing what to expect from the class, instructor experience, supplies needed, and downloadable patterns.

Topic-specific lessons like Learn to Machine Bind Your Quilts will help you get the basics down before graduating to “confident beginner” classes with topics like Machine Quilting with Rulers, or Learn to Machine Quilt Negative Space. You can also check out some of its beginner quilter kits with fabric and instructions included. 

Most classes cost around $10 to $15, or a membership costs about $8 per month with access to more than 1,400 craft tutorials.  

Best Scrap Quilting: Academy of Quilting

Academy of Quilting

 Academy of Quilting

Why We Chose It:
The global staff brings international techniques and influences into quilting. We liked that they have numerous “scrappy art” quilts from recycled fabric bits that are elaborate works of art in their own right.

Created in 2008 to help quilters learn and improve their craft, the Academy of Quilting now consists of a team of experts from every corner of the globe. It has nearly 90 workshops available, including some excellent lessons on using scrap fabric bits. 

The Academy offers two types of classes: on-demand and scheduled ones. Scheduled lessons run on a set date for four to 10 weeks, but on-demand options are available to begin as soon as you set up an account. 

Two scrap fabric courses that are offered on-demand are Bits & Pieces Scrap Fabric Landscape (around $53), which takes around 10 weeks to create a stunning landscape quilt, and the Great Scrap Quilt, a project inspired by the stained-glass windows in England (about $74 for 12 weeks).

If you’re feeling comfortable with your skill level, consider the Entwined Star, a scrap art lesson for beginner to intermediate quilters. 

How We Chose the Best Online Knitting Classes

To select the best online quilting classes, we considered instructors’ expertise and student reviews. Liza Lucy’s class on Creative Bug, for example, has more than 300 rave reviews from satisfied students, while Debbie Brown at Annie’s Craft Store first began quilting in 1986. 

We also reviewed the length of time the organization has been in business participating in the quilting community, but that’s not to say that new organizations weren’t included—particularly if they offered standout classes and reasonable pricing for students getting started. 

We also chose organizations that had numerous options for repurposing and reusing materials, like National Quilters Circle. And all of the teachers at the quilting classes we chose are passionate about sharing their love of quilting.

What Materials Will I Need?

To get started with machine quilting, you’ll need a sewing machine, steam iron, wadding/batting (the layer of material that goes in between the backing and the quilt top), fabric scissors, pins, needles, a ruler (or tape measure) and thread. (You can always add more items and perfect your tool kit later once you advance your skillset.)

There are a number of places where you can find quilting fabrics including local craft stores and online shops like Etsy. However, some of the best materials can be found right in your own home. So, before buying fabric, consider reusing T-shirts, old tablecloths, and other scraps. If you’re looking for more options, check out local thrift stores, or websites like HoneyBeGood and Gaia Conceptions that sell sustainable hemp blends. 

What Are Some Easy Projects for Beginners?

Start off with the square-based quilts like a four-patch pattern or a T-shirt quilt. Baby quilts are another quick-and-easy-way to get started in quilting. Once you’ve mastered the square patterns, there are Sundance quilts and triangle quilts, just to name a few beginner options. 

How Long Are Classes?

Class lengths vary. If you’re checking out specific tutorials on certain skills, they’re likely not to last more than 20 minutes. Beginner courses with an instructor are usually an hour to two hours. The more in-depth the project is, the longer the class can take, and some are spread out across several weeks. Be sure to verify details with the instructor before committing.