Like poetry anthologies, quilts combine pretty scraps from different sources into something ultimately used for picnic seating. Fit form to function with today's Groupon: for $30, you get a full-length sewing class (a $60 value) and $15 worth of fabric, patterns, and notions at quiltfabric.com's retail shop in Willowbrook (a $75 total value).
Owner Chris Sass and the rest of quiltfabric.com's nimble fabricators equip fingers with textiles and the skills to sew and quilt them. Most classes on the schedule meet once a week for two weeks to allow ample time to finish homework. Instructors awaken introductory sewing students to cleaner bonding methods than slapping on molasses Band-Aids, and challenge stitchers to cobble a quilt from scratch in the Whip It Up class. Depending on their projects' scope, students can tote their own fabric and thread to class or buy it from the store, and may also arrange to borrow a sewing machine from the shop. Quiltfabric.com's racks boast an array of fabrics for tricking out quilts, including bolts of vibrant batik prints ($9.20–$10/yard). The Easy Breezy bundle-quilt pattern ($8) leads scissors down a straight and narrow path, and a band of 12 red, white, and black 1/4-yard fabrics in the stash pack ($22) guard against color clashes and border conflicts between patches.