Total Time: 15 hours 18 mins 25 secs
The results are in! These 20 classes were the most popular across all of the categories on our site – from Daily Art Challenges and drawing and painting lessons, to classes on sewing, quilting, cake decorating, knit and crochet. A big round of applause to our instructors for teaching these fantastic classes! And thanks especially to all of you for making these classes so popular.
Top 20 Classes of 2016
CBTV
Thanks to our incredible instructors for sharing their knowledge and talent with us, and thank YOU – our students – for showing up to learn. Watch this quick video to see which classes were viewed the most in 2016. To watch the full classes, click here.
Playing with Watercolor
Lindsay Stripling
In this 3-part series, artist and teacher Lindsay Stripling teaches you core watercolor techniques, and then encourages you to use your creativity to make the medium your own. Throughout this series, you will learn watercolor essentials like mixing colors and handling brushes, and then move on to more advanced techniques like adding depth with glazing, working “wet into wet,” playing with light and dark, and creating textures with masking fluid and salt. This comprehensive course is the perfect skill-builder for those who want to push their artistic limits.
 
Creative Doodling
Pam Garrison
Stretch your creative muscles and join Pam Garrison in this fun four-part celebration of doodling. In Pam’s classes, mistakes are embraced and you are encouraged to think outside of the box as you play with your designs and develop an expanded visual vocabulary. The great thing about doodling is that anyone can do it, nearly anywhere! If you already doodle while on the phone, in meetings or in the margins of your notebook, Pam’s class will help you take your creative doodling practice even further. 
Beginning Watercolor
Yao Cheng
This two-part foundation course is a perfect entry point for beginners, providing a basic understanding of how to paint successfully with watercolors. Yao begins the course by introducing artists to the array of colors everyone should have in their palette, and shows how to mix and apply pigment to paper. From there, she goes on to explain the uses of specific paintbrushes and demonstrates how to make beautiful expressive marks to create leaves, trees, and simple geometric shapes.
Intuitive Painting
Flora Bowley
Immerse yourself in the world of abstract artist and intuitive painter Flora Bowley.  In this epic three-part course, you'll not only learn how to observe the world around you and tap into your creative intuition, but also how to take a brave, curious and open-minded approach to painting with acrylics.
Basic Line Drawing
Lisa Congdon
Learn basic stylized line drawing from one of today’s most sought-after artists. In this four-part course, Lisa covers the basics of line drawing, showing you how to build beautiful patterned drawings and integrate line drawing into your repertoire. Lisa shows you where to begin and the principles of composition before moving onto basic geometrics and patterns. Then she shows you how to use line work to decorate vintage photos, and finally, how to create a block-lettered alphabet. Whether you are just learning how to draw, or you want to deepen a regular creative practice, this class will fuel your imagination and show you how to create infinite designs from simple shapes. 
Daily Drawing Challenge: 31 Things to Draw with Lisa Congdon
Lisa Congdon
There’s nothing like giving yourself a big creative challenge, and boy do we have one for you: Every single day for a month, we challenge you to draw along with Lisa Congdon. Lisa has hand-picked 31 objects to draw, and demonstrates several ways to render each object using just your imagination. This creative exercise is designed to help you embrace wonkiness and imperfections, all while learning to see everything around you—be it bird or bikini—as artistic fodder.
 
Daily Drawing Challenge: 31 Things to Draw with Pam Garrison
Pam Garrison
Jumpstart your creative practice with a 31-day drawing challenge, taught by artist and professional doodler Pam Garrison. In this draw-along, Pam shares her playful, encouraging style, providing prompts and colorful demonstrations every single day for a month. Not only will you learn how to draw ordinary objects and add splashes of color, but you’ll also learn how to strengthen your creative muscles and develop a new habit. You’ll be amazed at how much your skills will grow in just one month. Be sure to post your drawings on Instagram using #cbdrawaday 
 
Daily Painting Challenge: 30 Things to Paint with August Wren
Jennifer Orkin Lewis
In this 30-day painting challenge, Jennifer Orkin Lewis (known as @Augustwren on Instagram) draws inspiration from objects found in real life and imagination. Using gouache and watercolor, she demonstrates her approach to painting without fear and reminds us that it’s never too late to start painting. Jennifer started her daily painting practice three years ago, painting for just thirty minutes every day. In that time, she has cultivated the loose, colorful style that she’s known for, inspiring thousands of people along the way.
Holiday Craft-Along: 30 Days of Cards, Tags and Packaging Ideas
Courtney Cerruti
This holiday season, join us for a month of merry making (literally!). Every day for a whole month, Courtney Cerruti shows you how to make handmade cards, gift tags, and creatively wrap gifts. This challenge is both practical and fun, giving you a reason to gather up your paper crafting supplies and find holiday inspiration every day. 
Sewing for Little Ones
Rae Hoekstra
Blogger and sewist Rae Hoekstra (a.k.a. Made By Rae) introduces you to sewing for babies and toddlers in this three-part foundation course. Rae will teach you how to set up your sewing space, read and work with patterns, and sew a pair of little pants and a sweet little dress (patterns for sizes 0 and 3 are included with the class). You will also learn how to trace favorite t-shirts and leggings, creating brand new garments based on your old ones. Creating children’s clothing is a great way to learn the basics of garment construction, and this primer is the perfect place to start.
Easy Home Décor Sewing
Annabel Wrigley
Create a complete bedroom, bathroom and living room set with this easy-to-follow sewing class from Annabel Wrigley. Learn how to make everything from pillows to curtains and duvets, plus a gathered apron to boot. This class will show you how easy it is to create custom pieces for your home using your favorite decorator-weight fabrics, and it’s a great way for beginners to learn their way around a sewing machine. 
 
Sewing with Simplicity: Garment Sewing for Beginners
Joy Macdonell
Learning to sew clothes can be intimidating, especially if you’re working with a multi-size pattern. Joy Macdonell of Simplicity Patterns breaks it down for you in this comprehensive course. Learn everything from how to set up your sewing machine and read a pattern to how to create darts, facings and hems—basically, all of the must-know sewing techniques that you'll use over and over again to create your own clothing. This class is the perfect introduction to garment sewing for newbies, and a great way to brush up on your skills if it’s been awhile since you last sewed.
 
Whippersnapper Block
Anna Maria Horner
This month’s block is gorgeous, graphic and quick to whip up. Textile designer and quilter Anna Maria Horner shows you how to bust your stash of scraps and create precise seams using foundation paper piecing. Learn how to create your own template, audition fabrics and balance light and dark tones. 
Free-Motion Quilting
Sue Nickels
See how expert quilter, Sue Nickels, transforms a traditional Amish quilt top in this three-part free-motion quilting course. Not only will you learn how to design your own quilting patterns, but also how to create templates, trace patterns, and transfer designs to your quilt.. Along the way, you’ll learn a wealth of free-motion quilting wisdom. Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or brand new to machine quilting, you are sure to find this course filled with helpful instruction and inspiration.
Paper-Pieced Quilts
Carolyn Friedlander
Explore the time-honored tradition of paper-pieced quilting with Carolyn Friedlander. In this two-part class, Carolyn guides you through her process of designing a paper-pieced quilt from beginning to end. Not only will you see how she turns sketches into schematics for paper piecing, but you’ll also learn Carolyn’s techniques for quilting using free-motion and straight-stitching techniques. This fresh take on paper piecing equips you with the knowledge you need to take your skills to the next level.
The Wilton Method: Mastering Buttercream
Wilton Instructors
Learn the ins and outs of decorating cakes with buttercream icing in this four-part Wilton masterclass. Certified Wilton instructor, Stephanie Michel, leads you through all of the basics and then some, demonstrating tried and true techniques for decorating beautiful treats. You’ll start off with the basics, and by the end of the course you’ll be using professional techniques to create ornate patterns, floral motifs and fanciful borders with a variety of decorating bag tips.
 
The Wilton Method of Cake Decorating
Wilton Instructors
Want to learn how to bake and decorate cakes but not sure where to start? In this 4-week foundation course, you'll learn a little bit of everything--baking tips, buttercream basics, and an introduction to fondant and royal icing--straight from the pros at the Wilton Test Kitchen. The course begins with a lesson on baking the perfect chocolate cake as well as proper techniques for torting and icing layer cakes. After that, we move on to easy cake decorating techniques, such as applying buttercream with a decorating bag, creating a beautiful two-tiered fondant cake, and making gorgeous drop flowers from royal icing. This information-rich course is perfect for beginner bakers, giving you the core techniques that will get you started on your cake decorating journey.
How to Crochet
Carla Scott
Learn the basics of crochet with hook-and-needle expert, Carla Scott. In Part 1, Carla will teach you everything you need to know to get started, from fundamental stitches to the importance of understanding gauge. Then, in Part 2, Carla will walk you through more advanced techniques, like changing colors and decreasing and increasing. You’ll even learn how to read basic crochet patterns, so you can take these skills and follow any beginner pattern you like. These techniques are all endorsed and used by the Craft Yarn Council to educate new crocheters, making it a great course for newbies or anyone who needs a refresher.
 
How to Knit
Carla Scott
Learn the basics of knitting with Carla Scott, the editor of Knit Simple and Vogue Knitting magazines. Carla will teach all of the essential skills a beginner needs to know, from casting on to binding off and troubleshooting mistakes. Best of all, you’ll learn how to read knitting patterns, so you can take the information you’ve learned here and try it out on any beginner’s project you please. Everything included in this information-packed class is used by the Craft Yarn Council to educate new knitters, providing a perfect foundation for anyone who wants to learn how to knit, or simply needs a refresher.
Weaving for Beginners
Annabel Wrigley
Learn the basics of making one-of-a-kind woven tapestries with Annabel Wrigley. This course goes beyond simple warp-and-weft weaving, teaching you how to add long, dramatic fringe, color-blocked shapes, fluffy clouds of wool roving, and loads of texture and color. Best of all, Annabel teaches you how to mix and match all of these techniques so that you can design a unique tapestry of your own in any size you like.