quilting 4.012

=================================

Question

What’s wrong with my sewing machine and how much would it cost to repair it? While I was sewing, I heard a loud pop and then the machine sounded like it was running low on power. I turned it off and realized the needle was bent. So, I replaced the needle. But when I pushed the foot pedal the needle did not move, but I could hear the motor running. When I turn the nob on the side, the needle moves. Do you think it’s a belt, or something, that broke? If you think you may know the problem, how much would it cost to fix it?
Best Answer Impossible to say from the information given. Broken needles are generally the result of trying to push or pull the fabric under the presser foot instead of letting the machine transport the fabric. Or trying to sew through fabric too dense for the machine, or with too light a needle. Start by taking out your manual, turning to the section on cleaning the machine, and start by taking all the thread out of/off of the machine. Remove the bobbin, bobbin case, needle plate and any and all lint, bits of thread and needle shards you see. Use a vacuum, not compressed air, and brush to get the machine clean. Oil only as directed by the manual, and use only sewing machine oil, not 3-in-1 types nor WD-40 types, both of which will freeze up a machine (for different reasons!). Reassemble correctly. Once you’re done cleaning, rethread the machine from scratch and try again. Does the needlebar move? Does it stitch? (If it doesn’t, is the needle in the right way around?) Do the feed dogs move properly? Does it sound right? Is the machine in time? (see http://preview.tinyurl.com/smtiming) What you’ve done (new needle, clean machine, rethreading correctly) may fix the problem. I’ve become the neighborhood “last stop before taking the machine in for professional service” person, and in my experience, about 90% of the dead machines I’m asked to look at are magically fixed by cleaning and rethreading and new needle. My guesses as to what might be going on that you can’t fix with the above treatment include timing, a broken gear or cam, a broken belt (though most machines now lack one), an electrical fault, a broken sewing hook, a popped fuse or circuit breaker…. could be a lot of things, and the cost to fix may range from nearly free to “not worth fixing this machine”.

Question

Do you know how to fix my sewing machine? When I push down my foot pedal, my needle gets jammed. when I take the fabric away, it works fine, with nothing under it. I usually solve this problem by re-threading my needle, this time that didn’t work. I would really like to avoid going to the repair shop because they have lost my foot pedal on my previous machine. Its a Singer Tradition so if anybody can PLEASE help. :)
Best Answer Try a fresh, new needle of the right type and size for the fabric being sewn. If that doesn’t work, here’s a procedure that fixes almost all user-fixable things on a sewing machine: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100207053658AAclWSs

=====================

Question

How much money to repair sewing machine? timing might be up on my sewing machine, and if that is the true problem, i will have to take it to get repaired. Anyone know an estimate on how much it would cost to readjust timing on my sewing machine? I called a sewing machine repair place and told them my needle was running into the bobbin case, so they said i might need the timing readjusted.
Best Answer Typically a COA (clean/oil/adjust) aka tuneup around here is $50-90, usually a bit more if the machine is electronic. Why do you think the machine is out of time and not just a bad needle or misthreaded or in need of cleaning? http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090925205957AAq0xc4

Question

Is there an online guide to sewing machine repair and problems? We have 2 Singer sewing machines that have bobbin problems and are quirky at times. I would like to diagnose the problems and fix them at home. Anyone have any ideas or links that might help? Thanks!
Best Answer My first suggestion is a good, thorough cleaning and oiling. Use a vacuum, not canned air, to get dust out, and pull the needleplate to get good access to the bobbin area. Oil per the manual’s recommendations using genuine sewing machine oil, not 3-in-1 type household oils nor WD-40 (it’s a solvent, not a lubricant.) If these machines are modern (last 10-20 years)non-mechanicals, and they have not had a COA (clean-oil-adjust), they’re probably more than overdue. If they’re mechanical machines, you can learn a lot about doing a basic COA by joining the yahoo group “wefixit”. Electronic and computerized machines probably need to go to the sewing machine mechanic for a COA. At any rate, first try the cleaning and oiling regimen found in the owners manual, and then put in a new needle and rethread with manual in hand. Make sure you’re using the right bobbin — visually, there’s not much difference between a class 15 and a class 66 bobbin, but the machine will pitch a fit with the wrong bobbin. Many user problems are directly traceable to misthreading, poor quality thread and worn or damaged needles. Give yourself a break when troubleshooting and start with good quality replaceables and the full instructions. Fault tracing: http://sewandserge.com/tshoot.asp http://sewing.about.com/od/sewingmachineindex/a/mtroubleshot.htm http://www.sewusa.com/Sewing_Machine_Repair/Sewing%20Machine%20Troubleshooting.htm http://cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/c-202.html http://www.singerco.com Most of the problems I talk people through are traceable to misthreading (especially threading with the presser foot down), bad needle, crummy thread and bobbin in backwards. Next most common problem is filthy machine that also needs oiling. Timing is almost never an issue unless you’ve broken a needle or had loud noises just before the machine quit. Suggested reading, probably available at your library: John Giordano’s Sewing Machine Book and Gale Grigg Hazen’s Owners Guide to Sewing Machines, Sergers and Knitting Machines. Hazen’s section on bad sewing habits is excellent, btw.

===================================

Question

on-line sewing machine repair? my machine’s foot pedal isn’t triggering a response. if i wiggle my foot it will eventually make a connection but it starts and stops suddenly. sewing is next to impossible and i’m having withdrawal symptoms. can someone point me to an on-line DIY repair site so i DON’T have to take it in to a shop where they will charge more for repairs than the machine is worth?
Best Answer I have similar problems every few years with one of my old kenmore machines. Rather than trying to fix it, I’ve gone to partscentral.com and ordered a replacement for about 25 bucks. Mine seems to be not with the switch in the machine, as others have suggested, but with the cord, as I could get it to work if I kinked the cord just so, but it is such as hassle. No reasoning as to why it happens – my cat isn’t chewing on the cord or anything.

Question

What’s wrong with my sewing machine and how much would it cost to repair it? While I was sewing, I heard a loud pop and then the machine sounded like it was running low on power. I turned it off and realized the needle was bent. So, I replaced the needle. But when I pushed the foot pedal the needle did not move, but I could hear the motor running. When I turn the nob on the side, the needle moves. Do you think it’s a belt, or something, that broke? If you think you may know the problem, how much would it cost to fix it?
Best Answer Impossible to say from the information given. Broken needles are generally the result of trying to push or pull the fabric under the presser foot instead of letting the machine transport the fabric. Or trying to sew through fabric too dense for the machine, or with too light a needle. Start by taking out your manual, turning to the section on cleaning the machine, and start by taking all the thread out of/off of the machine. Remove the bobbin, bobbin case, needle plate and any and all lint, bits of thread and needle shards you see. Use a vacuum, not compressed air, and brush to get the machine clean. Oil only as directed by the manual, and use only sewing machine oil, not 3-in-1 types nor WD-40 types, both of which will freeze up a machine (for different reasons!). Reassemble correctly. Once you’re done cleaning, rethread the machine from scratch and try again. Does the needlebar move? Does it stitch? (If it doesn’t, is the needle in the right way around?) Do the feed dogs move properly? Does it sound right? Is the machine in time? (see http://preview.tinyurl.com/smtiming) What you’ve done (new needle, clean machine, rethreading correctly) may fix the problem. I’ve become the neighborhood “last stop before taking the machine in for professional service” person, and in my experience, about 90% of the dead machines I’m asked to look at are magically fixed by cleaning and rethreading and new needle. My guesses as to what might be going on that you can’t fix with the above treatment include timing, a broken gear or cam, a broken belt (though most machines now lack one), an electrical fault, a broken sewing hook, a popped fuse or circuit breaker…. could be a lot of things, and the cost to fix may range from nearly free to “not worth fixing this machine”.

=============================
==================

Quilter’s Profile

Dolores MacKinnon

I am thrilled to introduce you to the first quilter I ever knew: Dolores MacKinnon, my mother. Mom discovered the joys of quilting during its great revival period in the mid-seventies; but, how she was first introduced to the concept of quilting is a story worth sharing.

One day at work, Mom saw a fellow 3M co-worker, Barb Corriveau, going through the machinery rag bag. Mom asked Barb what she was doing and learned that Barb was looking for new cottons to give to her aunt for her patchwork quilting. Mom asked Barb to explain further and was absolutely fascinated by what she heard. While Mom’s own mother made tied woolen blankets from worn out trousers, it was done out of necessity and never was the word quilting mentioned.

Not long after this introduction, an ad appeared in the London Free Press announcing quilting lessons at Fanshawe College. The instructor was Anne Laroque, who would eventually become one the founding members of the Oxford Quilter’s Guild. Mom signed up for that 10 week course and never looked back.

It was from Anne that Mom learned the fundamentals of quilting: drawing on graph paper, cutting templates, layout, hand piecing and appliqué, English paper-piecing, hand quilting, colour and design. And from Anne, Mom acquired her strong belief in accuracy and her love of a good quilting library.

The greatest challenge for Mom and all quilters at this time was finding good cottons which were few and far between. Barb Corriveau soon had competition at the 3M rag bag. It wasn’t until two extraordinary women, Lou Farnell and Willi Powell opened Quilters’ Supply on the outskirts of London that quilters found a home away from home. The two women made an annual pilgrimage to the International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas and everyone waited for the new products to arrive just before Christmas.

Another difficulty for Mom was balancing a full-time job, looking after a household and trying to squeeze in time for her new passion. Her ability to get by on five hours of sleep a night was awe inspiring. Until she joined the Oxford Quilter’s Guild in the mid-80’s, Mom continued to learn on her own from her extensive library. With guild membership, came workshops and new friends with whom to share her love of quilting.

Mom finally retired from 3M in 1992 but within a year she lost her husband, my step-father Perc. Mom, who was living in Thamesford at the time, decided to fill the void by teaching quilting in her home. She continues to teach at her new home in London which she shares with her sister, Elizabeth Bruegger.

Mom is now in the process of finishing the many quilts constructed in the years before retiring. However, working with her hands has taken its toll and she will only hand quilt small projects. She has discovered a wonderful machine quilter near London and now sends the big projects out to be finished. The love and passion for quilting remains and she is passing those sentiments on to a new generation of quilters. Mom was delighted when I finally decided to take up quilting after years of encouraging me to do so. The exposure to her quilting has meant an easy learning process for me as I already knew the basics. A true quilter loves to share! Also, I am now the lucky recipient of Mom’s stash culling and overflow and have become extremely easy to buy for at Christmas.

Women who are taking up quilting today owe a great deal of gratitude to women of my Mom’s generation; it is because of them that the art of quilting flourishes. So, Mom, thank you for sharing, thank you for your passion, and thank you for being you. I love you
Anita Louise

Happy 25th Anniversary to the Oxford Quilter’s Guild

(I send a special thank you to guild members Karen MacKay, Dorothy Vaughan and Chloe Truman for answering my many questions.)
======================= Quilting can be fun and easy. Plus, your new skills can produce a beautiful, unique gift.
By using a few tricks and techniques, patchwork can be easier than you ever imagined. Really. It is also a hobby that fits into whatever time you have be that five minutes or five hours.

All you need is the desire to learn and the right information.

It’s all I had when I started out. I taught myself patchwork from a book after a life-long interest in the subject. In less than a month, I finished my first project I started a new one.

So, if you have the desire, here you’ll find the information, tips and encouragement to start your first project or finish that U.F.O. (unfinished object) lurking in your closet.

Ready?

Here’s an overview of what’s here on the site:

Best Beginners Quilting Patterns Books
Beginners can make beautiful quilts. You just need the right information. Here you’ll find reviews of my favorite, can’t-go-wrong, beginners quilting patterns.
Quilting Tools for Easy Quilting
What quilting tools do you absolutely need on your easy quilting journey? Find the essentials here.
Easy Quilt Pattern – How to Find One
Everyone needs an easy quilt pattern in their pattern stash. Here’s how to spot one in a quilt shop or if you are looking at them on-line.
Fast and Easy Quilting Techniques
Today’s quilting techniques make beautiful quilts in half the time
Quilting Supplies – What you need to keep on hand
Do you know the basic quilting supplies you need to keep on hand at all times? We’ll walk you through what supplies to stock.
Quilting Tips – Tips to make quilts easier and faster
Having trouble finishing your first quilt or are you always on the look out for ways to finish quilts faster? Check out this page for quilting tips.
Quilt Book – Valuable Books for Your Quilting Library
The three quilt book types that you need in your library.

============================

If you’re looking for a beginners guide to quilting, Alex Anderson’s Start Quilting book is a good choice.

Like a typical beginner quilting book, it starts off with a series of instructions. If you are like me, you may be tempted to bypass this section, to “get to the good stuff” like the quilt patterns.

Actually, the instructions are “the good stuff.” A quilting book at this level assumes you are an absolute beginner. So, while you may be anxious to start your first quilt, take time to read through the first part of the book.

Yes, it may be boring. But what you’ll learn is worth the time you take to read.

So, let’s go over what you’ll be getting.

This quilting book contains pages on tools, fabric, rotary cutting, pressing, basting, hand quilting (yeah!) and machine quilting.

Her supply list is on point. It is brief. It is thorough. And you can feel like you could easily purchase the items.

The keyword for this book is “fundamental.” If you read all the information and follow Alex Anderson’s advice, you will end up with great quilting fundamentals.

A couple of things make this beginners guide to quilting stand out.

First, there is a section on fabric. It is hard to find a beginners book that will give you through fabric selection tips.

Another good thing is the section on hand quilting. Like the rest of the book, you will get just enough information to get started. This is the only beginner quilting book this small that will even tackle hand quilting.

The book contains six projects. All are wall hangings. All include either squares, triangles or both. The book does not cover applique. A good suggestion would be to go through all the patterns from front to back.

The fabric selection for these quilts really makes the difference. These are not some practice projects that will sit in the back of a closet.

You will want to put these on display.

What could be improved on:

There is an easier method to attach binding than what is presented here. Every time I’ve used this method, it looks bulky on the edges.

Also, the author assumes you know how to slip stitch. I don’t. (Is this where I admit that I never took Home Ec?) It is why I machine stitch my bindings.

I only mention this because I am the type of person that one thing would stop me from buying the book. I would say in my mind – I can’t finish it so I’m not going to buy it.

There’s an easy fix for this, though. Just machine stitch your binding down. Use the invisible thread for the front of your quilt. Done.

All in all, this is a great book for your quilting library. It is also a great book to give to someone who is interested in starting to quilt. It is both thorough and encouraging which makes this quilting book a winner.

Return from Beginners Guide to Quilting to Beginners Quilting Patterns
Return from Beginners Guide to Quilting to Easy Quilting Central

==================================

How do you find an easy quilt pattern from all the patterns available? After all, you want to spend your time quilting, not struggling to finish a quilt top. First, I’ll go into how you can spot this elusive quarry. Then, I’ll give you some examples from my own pattern stash.

The first thing you want to do is read the pattern’s instructions. I’ve never had a problem at a quilt shop looking at the actual directions for a pattern. If someone did raise a question or request that I not look at them, I would ask the assistant questions about the pattern.

Actually. Can I be honest?

The folks at my local quilt shop know me. They know what I like. And the second sentence out of their mouths when describing a pattern is usually, “It’s so easy to make.”

So, if you can not get a look at the directions, ask for help. This could come from someone who works at the shop or another customer. Quilters are very giving people. I’ve just looked lost, in the past and folks have offered assistance.

Now, you need to do your part, too. Ask questions. Let folks know what tools you have at home. If you are not comfortable with triangles, let them know. On the other hand, if you have a triangle ruler and want to try it out, let them know that, too.

The great thing about local quilt shops is their expertise. That’s why you pay a little bit more than with on-line shops. I consider it a consultation fee.

But what if you don’t have a local shop? What if you’re happy just to have a Joann’s or Hancock’s with folks who are there strictly to cut fabric and ring you up?

Then you’re going to have to go on what you see. Here are some questions to ask when trying to find an easy quilt pattern:

Is this a Strip Piecing Quilt? – Strip piecing is always good. These patterns are mostly made of squares and rectangles. Go for it. If you are not familiar with curves, this is not the time to experiment. We’re talking about an easy quilt pattern, here.

Do the instructions have lots of pictures? – Are there lots of pictures? I like pictures. I like knowing how I’m going to make this pattern when I get home. Actually, I like knowing that I can make it when I get home.

Pictures and different layouts help me make that decision. Which brings me to another point.

Can I understand the directions? OK. I’m sure none of y’all reading this has fallen in love with a pattern, taken it home and realized you had no idea what you were doing? Right? And, uh, I haven’t either.

OK. I have.

Again, make sure you know you can make this thing at home when you get it.

If you can not look at the directions because the pattern is on line, see if you can find a free pattern by the same quilt pattern designer. If you can understand their directions for their free patterns, you will probably be good with a purchased pattern.

How large is the block size? – More blocks mean less piecing. Everyone needs this type of easy quilt pattern. You need a baby quilt in a weekend or you want just an easy project? You can take this one out and whip out an easy quilt.

Of course, if you are really in a hurry you could just purchase a quilt panel. But if you have to make a stash quilt, you do what you have to do.

What are examples of an easy quilt pattern?
Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

Y’all I have not found any book as detailed and picture-intense as this one. This was done by strip- piecing.

The finished block size measures a nice 14 inch. It meets all my easy quilt pattern requirements.

BQ – A favorite.

You want a big block?

How about 18-inch block?

Notice the squares and rectangle shapes?

Yep, this is another strip-piecing pattern.

The picture is of the mini size I made for my laundry room. That smaller size measures a respectable, finished 9-inch block.

Turning Twenty This is a pattern where you cut up twenty different fat quarters a certain way and then have fun mixing and matching.

My version is more like turning twelve because the largest size quilt I make is a lap size.

This is a great pattern if you just want to select a package of fat quarters and start quilting

Return from Easy Quilt Pattern to Easy Quilting Central

=========================================

Make a Quilt in a Day Log Cabin Pattern by Eleanor Burns is a great book for absolute beginners and a good reference book for quilters in general. It oozes with step-by-step instructions and lots of pictures.

You may be thinking, yeah, but there’s one quilt pattern. But, you can work off this one pattern for years if you had to.

I’ve made lap quilts, baby quilts and mini quilts from this one pattern. The book contains the fabric requirements for different sizes from a wall hanging up to king size. Plus, there are layouts galore.

For the absolute beginner, you’ll get a list of supplies you’ll need for your very first strip quilting project. At first glance, the list may seem intimidating, but this supply list will last you a long time.

The actual strip quilting instructions are detailed with a picture to demonstrate every single step.

Most folks I know are fine when it comes to finishing a quilt top. They get scared, however, at the actual quilting and binding or finishing the quilt.

The Make a Quilt in a Day Log Cabin Pattern book details instructions on how to finish a quilt two different ways. You can either machine quilt or quick turn and tie. Both have step-by-step instructions.

The book does not cover hand stitching. But with a title called quilt in a day, you can kind of expect that.

Other projects included in the book are a pillow sham and a tote bag. Yeah! These are basic instructions that you can use for other quilt patterns. See why I love this book?

When it comes to machine quilting, most quilt books for beginners only mention stitching in the ditch (stitching in the seam of your blocks to give it an outline effect). This book suggests quilting lines. The difference in batting choices are also discussed.

I was able to move on to individual quilting patterns from this foundation because the book was short enough to not be overwhelmed, but detailed enough to tell you everything that you need.

Alas, all is not perfect.

There is not an emphasis on pressing your blocks as you are piecing. Pressing makes a difference. I was surprised to discover this after I came back to the book to make a mini-quilt. Another nitpick is that the binding strips are not cut on the bias.

And, uh, a first-time quilter would not care about either one of those things. I used this book to make my first quilt and even without bias-cut binding strips and blocks unpressed until the end, it turned out fine.

Bottom line – this book can get you help you finish your very first quilt totally on your own. It is a book you can not pry from my quilting library.

Note – I used a picture of my own copy for this one. I consider it to be well-loved.

Return from Quilt in a Day Log Cabin Review to Beginners Quilting Patterns

Return from Quilt in a Day Log Cabin Review to Easy Quilting Central

===============

Looking for a quilt book to start or add to your quilting library? There are three types that you’ll need – reference, pattern and inspirational.

The Reference Book or How do I Do That Again?

Most quilting books of any kind will include basic instructions on how to quilt. But, unless they are a beginning quilting book, that is all that they will contain.

Even beginner quilting books will not contain a lot of information because they want to make things as simple as possible for the beginning quilter. You will usually only get one way to perform a quilting technique such as binding a quilt with a minimal amount of pictures.

So, what’s the solution? A reference quilt book. A reference book will give you options. Instead of one way to baste a quilt, for example, you may get three with step-by-step instructions.

Sometimes even a pattern book can be used as a reference book if the General Instructions section is good enough.

The thing to remember about reference books is that you pull them out when you want to know how to do something. That can be a quilting technique or even how to complete a quilt in 90 minutes. It’s a good quilt book to have in your arsenal.

The Pattern Book or The Good Stuff

This is what most folks think of when they think of a quilt book. A pattern book is just that – a book of patterns. When looking for this type of book, look at what techniques you are familiar with.

If you a strip quilting type of person, look for a book that contains strip quilting instructions . Do you love fat quarters? There are plenty of fat quarter specific books out there. Want to try scrap quilting? There’s a book for that. It’s also a good idea to have a pattern book that is just above your current level . This book should should stretch you and force you to try new techniques or develop the patience that it takes to make a beautiful quilt.

I usually have a rule of three when it comes to pattern books – I’ve got to be interested in making three quilts from the book. That makes the book cost effective when it comes to purchasing a book versus individual patterns.

The main piece of advice that I can give you to make sure that either you are comfortable with the techniques in the instructions of the pattern quilt book or you are ready to make the next leap in your quilting development.

Inspirational Book or Ooh and Aah

Some may call these coffee table books. They are usually huge and oversized. I like just looking at them and getting inspired to quilt and also for quilt designs.

Some books, like Quiltmaking by Hand by Jinny Beyer are supposed to be instructional/reference books, but I get inspired by flipping through them because of their intricate quilts.

I also have the book from the Gee’s Bend museum exhibit that traveled the country. That book reminds me that you can make art out of anything.

Those women used what they had, they broke the rules and in the process of making a functional quilt to keep them warm, they made art.

If that isn’t inspirational, I don’t know what is.

So, if you are looking to start or add to your quilting library, consider a good balance between reference, pattern and inspirational books. A good mix will allow you to get more quilts finished, while still pushing you to become a better quilter. And isn’t that what we all want?

Return from Quilt Book to Easy Quilting Central

======================

There are a lot of Gees Bend Quilts products out these days. There are quilt kits. There are books. There were even postage stamps.

But in this mass commercialization, have we forgotten what these quilts were really about? So, how can you can truly bring their spirit into your quilting? Here are three tips:

Tip 1 – They Used What They Had

There were no quilt shops where these ladies lived. When you look at their fabric choices, it is simply because these were scrap quilts in their most basic form – scraps.

The Gees Bend quilts used denim taken from worn clothes. They used corduroy scraps because their quilting bee had a contract to make corduroy shams for Sears.

They did not select material because they were interesting fabric choices. They selected material because it was free.

I mean, when’s the last time you saw a quilt pattern that used the corduroy fabric? I’ve never seen it.

How to put this into use for your life – Think of making a true scrap quilt. I’m not talking about a stash quilt. I’m talking about a quilt from fabric from clothes you are about to throw away or give to charity.

This can be an on-going project. One of mine is a denim quilt. Every time I wear out a pair of jeans, I cut it up and put it one of my gallon plastic bags for use in an upcoming rag quilt. It may take a while, but I’m sure I’ll appreciate the quilt even more.

Tip 2 – They Broke the Pattern

These women prided themselves on breaking patterns. They opened themselves up to experimentation and in that process, they made art.

It’s tempting to follow a pattern to the letter. I mean, I have a tendency to do it even with scrap quilts. I’ll want to make the quilt exactly like what’s on the cover because that’s what drew me to the quilt. I’m guessing that you may be the same way.

The Gee’s Bend Quilts ladies took a different approach – they intentionally took a pattern and made it so that it did not look like the pattern in the book or on the cover. They made their own twist on a traditional pattern.

How to put this into use for your life – Experiment with breaking a pattern. You could have a designated ugly quilt (one of my favorite techniques for getting through a quilt where you are just experimenting.)

You don’t have to copy something exactly. You don’t have to use the sizes given. If a quilt calls for 2 and a half inch strips, you can use 2 inch strips or 3 inch strips. The patterns are only a guide. Strive to make your quilts your own by breaking the pattern.

Tip 3 – They belonged to a network of quilters

For the most part, quilting was woven into the community of theses ladies’ lives. They had a community.

It is hard to be out here on your own. If you don’t have a quilt guild near you, check out some of the on line groups. Consider starting a blog and commenting on other quilting blogs.

I don’t belong to a guild, but I do have a quilting buddy who I visit for a monthly quilting trip. We set goals, hold each other accountable and get each other’s opinions on quilts. It is good to have someone you can bounce ideas off of.

So, you can use the spirit of the Gees Bend Quilts in your own projects. Consider using up what you have, breaking the pattern and expanding your quilting network. Be on your way to making your quilts works of art.

Return from Gees Bend Quilts to Quilt BookReturn from Gees Bend Quilts to Easy Quilting Central

==================

http://www.quiltingfun.net/Novelty Quilting FabricPatchwork QuiltingLong Arm Quilting MachineLong Arm QuiltingQuiltingLandscape Quilting FabricsJapanese Quilting FabricPattern QuiltingQuilting Fabric CollectionHome Quilting MachineQuilting FabricHoop QuiltingBali Quilting FabricLong Arm QuiltingWhat to do When You’re Gangly: Long Arm QuiltingIf you’re the kind of person who loves ….. The Magic of Bali Quilting Fabric Bali quilting fabric is known for two main reasons: quality and exquisite design. Quilting has become a tradition with many of us who had the good fortune to try and venture into this fascinating world. The reason it is fascinating is because quilting gives us the possibility to create and be unique each time.Different Types of Bali Quilting FabricQuilting MachineThe Debate about Quilting Machines and Hand-QuiltingQuilt-making can be traced back to the 12th century …..There are two popular types of Bali quilting fabric and they are batik and polo. Batik is a fabric whose design is created through a unique process, which consists of applying wax to form different patterns. It is always recommended that you wash a batik Bali quilting fabric at least couple of times with hot water before you start stitching in order for the wax to completely wash away.The other Bali quilting fabric is called polo’ which also means in Balinese without a background.’ These are created through hand dying and no wax therefore, no design or pattern on it. All Bali quilting fabrics usually come pre-shrunk but you can always wash and dry it before you start the quilting process so you don’ t take any chances. Style, Elegance, and PersonalityQuilting Fabric PanelSquaring a Quilting Fabric PanelThe essence of a good quilt is the fabric panel. To fit the pattern of the quilt, the fabric …..Bali quilting fabrics don’ t just offer unique hand designs, quality, and durability. Through its sophisticated patterns you will get elegance and style in a very simple and colorful way. Bali fabrics are easily marked for their colorful, vivid and unique patterns; they come in a great variety of colors to match the most demanding requirements and decors. Bali fabrics are popular not only because they are made all individually by hand but also because of their unmatched quality.Cotton Quilting FabricCotton Quilting Fabric: The Basic Fabric of a QuiltWhen you say quilt,’ you might as well say cotton’ since these terms are almost …..Where You Can Find Bali Quilting FabricsThe best place to shop for Bali quilting fabrics is online. Here you will find a large number of virtual stores, which compete with one another on quality and prices. You can even contact these stores by phone if you have any urgent questions or requirements. Huge numbers of designs, patterns and ideas await you in the online stores.American Patchwork QuiltingThe Many Faces of American Patchwork QuiltingA long time ago, patchwork quilts were made out of scraps of left …..Try to shop around before deciding on a particular design or pattern of Bali quilting fabric so you can profit of the best bargains available. Be sure to ask all questions before you order and pay for the merchandise as sometimes online stores have bargains listed in different sections, which you may not see, or access on the home page. laser hair removal surgerycoach handbag(c) Quilting Fun 2006-2008 Author List – Sitemap Privacy – Terms – Contactmini dv camcorder

=============================

Quilting Tables

Quilting Tables for Your Sewing Machine
The simplest sewing machine can attach two …..

The Quilting Notions You Have Today

I was talking the other day with a friend who just started quilting as a hobby. If things work out, maybe she will even go in for a cottage micro-entrepreneurship online. In the meantime she was educating herself on the different quilting notions available in the market.

Her great grandmother was master quilter, quite famous in her time (it seems she was booked sometimes six months to one year in advance for quilt making by the then-aristocracy). However, other than a legacy of know-how and some splendid patterns and closely guarded trade secrets, she left no explanations about this art.

The Net Is The Best Teacher: Checking Out The Quilting Notions

Fabric Squares For Quilting

Create with fabric squares for quilting Any Desired Pattern
Quilting has become a …..

I have a great deal of confidence on the Internet. Hence, instead of looking here and there for advice and explanation, we run a search on the Net and came up with a carload of articles which gave in depth description of the many quilting notions available in the market today. I am not at liberty to elaborate too much in the present article, hence I will just touch the highlights of four most popular ones that we stumbled upon during our search.

Maybe these quilting notions are not the best; and maybe these are not the most popular either. However, these will be enough to give a surface idea of what we are talking about here. In case you need a more in-depth analysis you might also go the Net and seek your answers on whatever quilting notions you need elaboration on.

Basing spray is nicknamed as one of the most popular choices available, this is preferred because it is the easiest possible way to do it. Just spread your quilt on a straight surface and then pray. It is simple as 1-2-3. Be careful about the color bleeding, though.

Quilting Fabric For Babies

How to Choose the Right Quilting Fabric for Babies
Quilts are used for many different purposes from keeping warm to decorating the bed, sofa and …..

Quilter gloves are a must-have for the people who have a lot of quilts to make and have no time to waste in arranging it all the time while stitching it. These gloves move the quilt with extreme ease and expertise because they have tiny rubber tips on the fingers and palms region.

Sponge bottom hoops are meant to help you keep your fabric tight while you run it through the machine. Basting guns shoot a plastic tag through all the three layers of the quilt (something like a stapler) and it much more convenient that pinning. The downside is that sometimes, if the material is not compatible, it will leave holes in the quilt.

The bottom line is that you have to be diligent in finding the quilting notions that work the best. Proper quilting notions lead to beautiful quilting.

===================

Looking For Simple Quilt Patterns for Projects?

Quilting is a skill that anyone can learn. It is smart to start with simple quilt patterns that are easy to understand and doesn’t take too much time to complete a project. These little quilting projects can be used as gifts for most all occasions because they are so beautiful.

if you are looking for some free patterns that are easy to make, you can do a straightforward search on google or any other search engine. Just type into the search bar something like’free quilt patterns’ and you’ll probably find something you can use. There are dozens of places to get free or cheap patterns that will be easy to start with.

Here are one or two ideas that little projects can be turned into something beautiful as well as helpful. Always use your imagination and you can come up with ideas of your own that you’ll be pleased with.

1. A Potholder is a helpful present

A potholder is a great gift when selecting a block from simple quilt patterns to use as the top. I love to use a 6 and a half in. to 7 and a half inch block for this project. You would just duvet and bind the potholder like a regular cover with one or two exceptions. Make efforts to use 100% cotton for your covering thread. If you use invisible thread, it’ll melt when handling hot pans. You may also want to use insulated batting.

two. Give a set of Place mats

I made a set of four place mats and 4 coasters for my parents last year and they loved them! You can use the easiest of simple quilt patterns for this one – a checkerboard. What is great about this idea is that you will get plenty of practice binding quilts.

3. Youngsters love Tote Bags

Make it a market tote and give it to folks who need to break themselves of using plastic bags at the corner store. A quilt block can be employed as decoration. If you make the bag out of novelty fabric such as Sponge Bob or Barbie, you can give it to your favourite pre-teen as a library bag.

once you start putting these ideas into projects using simple quilt patterns you will become a quilting pro in a brief short time with much pleasure and enjoyment.

four. A Cover for Recliner Headrests

I found out about this idea by mistake. I made my mom a mini duvet version of the larger quilt I had given her as a gift. She used it as a cover for her recliner’s headrest. It looks great. So much so that my dad wanted one for the next year. You will need to make a quilt approximately sixteen by nineteen inches. If the planned recipient has two recliners, be certain to make two.

five. A lovely table topper

Does anyone you know have those accent tables? Make them a table topper. Fab present. Just ensure that it matches the dcor of the room. You could also make a table runner with little cover blocks. Anyone would be proud to display such a nice table runner!

rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://easyquiltpattern.org”>Compare Information on Simple Quilt Patterns Here

now you have 5 great homemade present concepts where you can use your simple quilt patterns, why not start on your quilting project today?

For detailed information on simple quilt patterns and pre cut quilt kits visit our blog at: http://www.EasyQuiltPattern.org

==============================

============

Sewing

02/03/2017

Sewing Machines for Beginners

https://web.archive.org/web/20130726233216/http://1sewingmachinesforbeginners.com/sewing-machines-for-beginners-tips

The process of choosing the best sewing machines for beginners is a daunting process. Most sewing machines boast features that can easily entice new users or beginners. There are machines that flaunt very ambitious elements that seemed so easy to undertake. As a beginner, you must always be equipped with proper information and knowledge about the machines. Furthermore, you also have to assess your personal requirements against those available in the market.

The variety of choices can make your head spin, so it is essential that you already have a list of what you need and your budget. And remember to stick to those two things.

Below are our top choices for sewing machines. Take note that these can also be used by more experienced users but are also user-friendly enough to be used by complete beginners.

The Janome sewing machine’s price may set you back a few steps but based on both the reviews and features this is actually a sewing machine that is surely a value for money. Whether you are a complete newbie or a pro, this machine can most certainly live up to your standards and skill. If you have the budget, we would suggest to just go with this one as it will prevent you from having to upgrade to a more advanced sewing machine in the near feature.

Before you start to use your sewing machine, make sure you gear up first with the essential beginner’s kit that you will need during the course of sewing. As a beginner, your sewing machine, will need to have the supporting cast to make first few experiences less challenging.

Perhaps the most important support that you can get while going through activities with a sewing machine will come from scissors and shears like the following: bent-handles shears for cutting fabrics only, sewing scissors for facings and trimming seams, pinking shears to create fray-resistant edges and thread clipper to cut through threads easily.

Aside from the scissors, you will need to prepare and buy materials like measuring tools, marking tools, pins, pin cushion, thread, seam ripper, sewing machine needles as you may need to replace them from time to time, buttons, sewing box as your storage and sewing guide books perhaps. Sewing machines usually have sewing manuals and kits with them.

Choosing Sewing Machines for Beginners

There are tons of sewing machines that boast a lot of features and ease of use for the beginner. You might be confused, because oftentimes the attributes you like are not in one machine.

When choosing sewing machines for beginners, you must be certain of the purpose it will serve you. Is it for clothing, crafts, repair and alterations or home decorating? Do not easily be tempted by multi-purpose machines that are available. It is advisable that when selecting sewing machines for beginners, start with something that will dole out the chief intention. This is because you will have the tendency to try out new things with a machine that does several things without having the mastery of one.

For clothing, crafts and repairs use, choose a sewing machine that has good stitch options, such as fast stitching and it will probably be an electrical sewing machine. If you just have started sewing, the basic electronic sewing machine will best suit your needs. The more creative or ambitious your activities will be, the more you need those complex ones. If you plan to sew on a regular basis, a computerized machine might be a good investment.

For home decorations like pillow cases and curtains, use a sewing machine that has programmed embroideries.

Other Important Things to Consider

Aside from the kit, your interest and the purpose, you also need to have answers for these questions: Where will you sew? In the kitchen, in your own room, living room or will you have a designated spot in the house for sewing? This way you can choose the size, arrange wirings and allot proper space for your sewing machine that you will purchase.

It is also recommended to visit local dealers and inspect their sewing machines at hand. With this, you can also bargain on the price and freebies.

4 Fabrics Beginner Sewers Should Avoid

As a beginner sewer the fabric and pattern choices out there can be overwhelming, but the worst thing you can do is choose the wrong fabric. As a beginner there are just certain fabrics you should avoid mostly because they’re difficult for even experienced seamstresses to work with and partly because they’re just too expensive to experiment with. Everyone wants to work with pretty silks and luscious leathers, but save these fabrics and others for when your sewing skills are more advanced and you’re sure of what you’re doing.

Silks, Satins and Delicate Fabrics

Delicate fabrics are often shiny and luxurious, but they’re also slippery and some of the most difficult fabrics to sew. From the fraying, to the ability to easily snag, sewing delicate fabrics like silk is just a pain in the behind. When you’re starting out as a sewer, your focus should be on learning how to sew straight lines and finish seams, not how to keep silk from slipping as you try to sew it. Additionally, delicate fabrics are expensive. Some silks go for hundreds of dollars per yard. Sewing silk and other delicate fabrics also may require special presser feet, pins, needles, and other tools that can quickly make a dent in your wallet.

Chiffon, Organza and Sheer Fabrics

Similar to delicate fabrics, sheer fabrics like chiffon and organza are slippery and tricky to sew. The transparent nature of sheer fabrics makes even the smallest flaw visible from any angle, so you really need top-notch skills to sew sheer fabrics. The most challenging thing about sheer fabrics is stabilizing and cutting them. You have to hold these fabrics extremely tight as you cut them, and it’s not uncommon to only cut through one layer at time for some sheer fabrics. For example, if you’re sewing chiffon and the project would require you to make a cut in the fold, you have to make two of the pattern pieces, tape them together, and then cut them out so you don’t have to put a fold in the fabric. If that just confused you, then yea, you’re not ready to sew sheer fabrics.

Denim

Denim is one of the world’s most popular fabrics, perhaps the most popular in America, but don’t let the popularity of denim fool you– it’s challenging to sew. When you sew denim, you want to use the right thread, needles, and presser foot, because the material’s thickness will do a number on your sewing machine if you fail to use the proper tools and accessories. Denim is notorious for breaking needles, even when you use the right type. The trouble with sewing denim is that the thick material can cause the presser foot to tilt, which puts undue stress on the needle, so if you don’t know how to keep the presser foot level, expect to go through tons of needles and experience lots of frustration. Additionally, believe it or not, denim is well-known for fraying, so if you haven’t gotten your seam finishes down perfectly, denim should never be your first fabric choice as a beginner sewer.

Stretchy Knits

The great thing about sewing stretchy knits is that the fabric doesn’t have to fit as perfectly as other types of materials, and that’s thanks to the stretch. However, stretchy knits can be a bit challenging to sew if you’re a beginner. Stretchy knit fabrics pose two problems if you don’t know what you’re doing. Pulling or tugging the fabric can cause stretchy knits to pucker, and on the other hand, the fabric can gather and become quite lumpy in areas where you want it to lay flat, such as the shoulder area of a top or dress. It is also recommended sewing stretchy knits with a twin needle to give the seams some extra stretch, so if you don’t have a sewing machine that has that capability, it’s best to stick to simpler fabrics that only require basic tools and accessories.

Two Things Sewers Should Always Splurge On

The two sewing accessories than can make or break your sewing are needles and thread. These basic tools are the things that sewing disasters and/or sewing successes are made of. Don’t be lulled by a “deal” on cheap needles or thread, because low-quality thread and needles could end up costing you more money than you bargained for. Most of the common sewing machine problems, such as skipped stitches and tension problems, can be attributed to cheap thread and needles. Quality threads and needles not only produce better looking results, they’ll allow your machine to perform much more efficiently.

Thread

If you think there is no difference between the 3 for $1 spools of thread and the more expensive spools of thread, think again. Cheaper threads tend to be made from cheap fibers which are far more likely to fray. Those loose fibers, although unseen to the naked eye, will impact your sewing machine and cause undue wear and tear. If you want to dampen your sewing machines performance, possibly damage it’s tension disks, and ultimately shorten its lifespan, go right ahead and sew with the cheapest thread you can find. If you want your sewing machine to perform at optimal levels, sew stitches evenly, and ultimately last for decades, invest in high-quality thread.

Lucky Strike 100% Cotton Thread and Excell threads should be avoided at all costs due to their loose fibers and tendency to fray. If you want to cause guaranteed damage to your sewing machine, use those two threads. Some of the best threads are Mettler Metrosene Plus 100% polyester, Gutterman polyester thread, and Molnlycke polyester thread, all of which have very few or no visible stray fibers. Many sewers also like Coats & Clark cotton threads, but it varies from person to person.

Sewing Needles

When you have problems with your sewing machine, the first thing any good sewer or sewing machine repair person will ask you is, “what kind of needle are you using?” Cheap, low-quality needles are the number one culprit behind malfunctioning sewing machines. Cheap, blunt sewing needles can cause severe damage to your machine, and make sewing an absolute pain. Many people erroneously believe that sewing was much more difficult than it actually is because they used cheap needles that caused their machine to lag or improperly stitch their projects. Don’t let something as simple as a cheap needle ruin your sewing technique. Choose the highest-quality sewing needles you can afford.

So what makes a good needle? First, a good needle has a nice, smooth eye. A smooth eye is important because you don’t want the needle to cause the thread to fray or create loose fibers. You should also opt for needles that are chrome plated with a smooth tip. These needles tend to last longer and they’re strong enough to penetrate thicker fabrics and multiple layers of fabric. Lastly, you want a needle that is elastic. It sounds counterintuitive, but elasticity is important when it comes to needles because you need a needle that won’t bend or break when sewing heavy fabrics. Bent needles can damage your fabric, sewing machine, and possibly you.

The second question any good sewer or sewing machine repair service will ask you when you’re experiencing problems with your sewing machine is, “how often are you changing your needles?” Sewing needles aren’t made to last for long periods of time; in fact, the average needle is only good for eight hours. Sewing with a dull needle causes your sewing machine’s motor to work twice as hard, so that means your sewing machine’s output and performance is automatically cut in half. Changing your needle after you’ve used two-three full or pre-wound bobbins is another good rule of thumb. Additionally, if you’re sewing fabrics that are known to dull needles at a fast rate, such as leather or fleece, you should change your needle before moving on to the next project.

So there you have it; never skimp on these two sewing tools, and cut the probability of experiencing sewing problems down drastically.

Comprehensive Guide to the Best Sewing Machine for Beginners

https://web.archive.org/web/20130827115614/http://bestsewingmachineforbeginners.org/comprehensive-guide-to-the-best-sewing-machine-for-beginners/

Shopping for the best sewing machine for beginners is no easy task. Since their invention during the Industrial Revolution, those machines have gone through continuous improvements to make sewing easier for artisans who make a living out of it and people who just do it for leisure. Modern machines now have more sophisticated parts, threading technology and bobbin placement. Which means that, with these new features, it can get quite confusing to choose a machine to start out with. Also, there are more types of sewing machines now than ever, and this may just add to the confusion.

This is a simplified and comprehensive guide for anyone interested in starting out a sewing business or hobby, but has no idea where to begin.

Types of Sewing Machines

The first step to buying a machine is familiarizing yourself with the different types that exist. This is so that you’d know which one you want to work with and that you aren’t buying something that would turn out to be too complicated for your current level of skill and knowledge.

1. Manual Sewing Machine-These old heritage models require you to turn a hand wheel with one hand and guide the fabric under a needle with the other. For obvious reasons, manual sewing machines are no longer in production. There aren’t very much of these around anymore, unless you’re in a dusty attic, museum, antique shop or a collector’s room.

2. Mechanical Sewing Machine-A basic mechanical sewing machine has a foot pedal which drives the motor at different speeds depending on how hard you put your foot down. The idea is that the harder you step on the pedal, the faster the motor drives the needle. In the lower part, it has a bobbin and feed dogs that automatically place the material into the machine right under the needle plate. An electric model works faster and is more accurate than manual machines. It also has a dial that allows you to choose from a range of stitch sizes and types.

3. Computerized Sewing Machine-A computerized machine offers everything an electric model does, plus several other new features. It has built-in computer chips that program the machine to work on an exact length, width, and tension for each stitch style. Most models have touch pads and computer monitors. There are some downloadable programs that can be transferred from your PC to the machine for added features. Some applications memorize past works and hundreds of stitches that you can use without you having to study them anymore. It can also let you do embroidery.

4. Electronic Sewing Machine-This is a sort of hybrid between the mechanical and computerized models. It also typically has an LCD screen that helps you make precise adjustments to your stitches. It allows you to do utility and decorative stitches, buttonholes and alphabets. The only thing it probably lacks is the option to do embroidery.

5. Overlock Machine-This machine can be bought as a sort of added accessory to your sewing machine. It is used to stop fraying, to give a professional finish to most garments’ seams. The machine basically trims while sewing the seams to make it neater. Although you can simply cut the fabric yourself and neaten its edges, this takes more time and usually creates slight ridges in the seams. Overlocks can also have attachments that can be used in stitching rolled hems and in attaching or gathering bindings.

As a beginner, it is definitely more preferable to go for the ease of use that computerized and electronic models offer. The LED screen could show you instructions and generally does all the adjustments automatically. It may also have warning indicators for when you’re running out of thread or when the thread has broken.

However, if you are still unsure as to whether or not you will be using it frequently, you might as well opt for a mechanical machine, which is a lot cheaper than the other two options. Although the down side is that there is more risk of human error and you won’t be able to do fancy stitches unless you study them, it still pays to know how to do things manually.

All in all, choosing the best sewing machine for newcomers to the craft boils down to how often and for how long you will be using the machine, how much you are willing to spend for its purchase and maintenance, and whether you prefer ease of use or complex sewing techniques.

Three Most Recommended Models for Beginners

The SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist is a top choice for beginner machines under this brand. It has an electronic autopilot for an easy and controlled stitching pace. It offers 600 stitches, 13 buttonhole styles, and 5 alphabet fonts. It also has a stitch editing feature to take care of possible mistakes that you might commit as a newcomer.

The Brother XL2610 is an inexpensive machine that is perfect for beginners who are still unsure of how far they wish to go into sewing. It has directions that are easy to understand, a stitch chart, and other convenient features to guide the user.

The Janome 3128 is a good choice for children. It is a lightweight and portable model that has 8 basic stitches to choose from.

As a final advice, you should note that there isn’t a single machine of any brand or type that can be said to be the best sewing machine for beginners. To be sure that you are investing in the right model, it would do you good to research on the features of each model and see if they are suited for your skill level and for the kind of sewing projects you want to do.

==========

creative-textile-and-quilting-arts.com

For some of us, working intuitively is a difficult task; however giving yourself permission to “play without a plan” is a great creative exercise. Sometimes some of the most interesting creative results will simply come from out of nowhere with little forethought or preparation.
Setting boundaries by limiting yourself to a set time period is an excellent way to approach this. It allows you a controlled sense of freedom in which to explore and experiment without feeling a relentless pressure to perform and produce results.
Give your creativity a real workout and take the 15 Minute Challenge.
If you have participated in any of the online classes, then you are familiar with the Creative Challenges that are issued throughout the course of the workshop. One of the most popular Challenges is the 15 Minute Challenge.
Learning to work intuitively and without planning or preparation, helps to build self-confidence in your decision making process. The ultimate result of these type of challenges is not that you create a great sample or project, but it’s the process of “letting go” that’s important. Letting go of the need to control; the need to plan; the need to be perfect.
The best way to begin is to gather your supplies: a coordinating range of fabrics; threads, yarns and embellishments; whatever you think you might need to complete a small project.
Then simply sit down at your machine and begin. This can be difficult – a little like staring at a blank page, but just try it. The first step is always the hardest, but try to relax and allow the process to guide you.
Again, these small pieces don’t need to be a work of art, they simply need to demonstrate a willingness to open your mind to possibilities and allow your creativity to take over.
No-one ever has to see these pieces and they can be thrown out or recycled for other purposes, but you just may be surprised at your results.
There is no win or lose, no success or failure with this exercise – what’s important is your awareness of the process and your ability to let the intuitive side of your creativity guide the process.
Tags: Articles
,
Creative Challenge
You might also enjoy these articles
=========================

Photo courtesyXavier Fargas
Creativity, whether in art, business, or life, is the act of making new things or finding unique solutions to difficult problems. Creativity, just like writing, public speaking, or goat herding, is a skill that can be developed and improved with effort over time.
Besides being a skill anyone can learn and improve, creativity is also variable and fluid; depending on our mental energy, motivation, and circumstances, it can come and go like the ocean tide. However, by taking a few simple steps, you can develop a little more control over those tides.
1. Change Your Perspective. Imagine you were somebody else. How would they approach your task? Would a person of a different social background, gender, race, or nationality approach what you’re doing in the same manner? When you change your perspective and question your assumptions about the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to do a thing, you’ll begin to see multiple solutions to the same problems.
2. Free associate. On unlined copy paper, write down everything that comes into your head. If possible, fill an entire sheet with ideas. Don’t edit yourself or censor what you think are bad ideas. You will only have good ideas after you have a lot of bad ideas. If you like, you can use mind maps.
3. Keep an Idea File. You can’t always create on demand. Sitting down and staring at a blank screen is hard, but when you have a pile of undeveloped ideas, you always have something to draw from. Keep blank paper and pens handy, and carry a notebook with you wherever you go.
4. Keep Your Life Rich. Whenever you can, attend concerts, go to art galleries and museums, meet friends, and read great books. Alter your routines and the routes you take. Try new foods. Give yourself a little unstructured free time.
5. Imagine Your Outcome. When you start thinking about the final destination, you’ll begin to see the different paths you can take to get there. What do you want as the final result of your project? Personal satisfaction? A marketable product? A world-changing work of art?
6. Put In the Hours. The more often you do something, the more likely you’ll find inspiration on a regular basis. The more time you spend actively seeking and developing new ideas, the more new ideas you’ll have. Look at the most creative people in any field, and you’ll see they have put in thousands of hours.
7. Listen to Classical Music. Studies have shown that listening to some types of classical music gave temporary increases in problem-solving abilities and cognitive functions to college students. Putting on Mozart, Bach, or Vivaldi on the stereo is like an on-demand creativity boost.
Seth M. Baker is a freelance writer, musician, and teacher. He and his wife currently live and work in South Korea. He is the founder of Happenchance, a resource for creative people who want to make amazing things.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Seth_Baker
Get Shareaholic
==============================
by Benjamin Pearce

Photos courtesy www.morguefile.com
First of all, we need to examine how much time we spend procrastinating. Think of all the things in your life that you do, that is really just wasting time. Things like, wasting time in front of the television, playing video games, surfing aimlessly on the Internet etc. These things and more can be the cause of major procrastination in your life. You need to examine the effect that this could have on your life. If you don’t stop these bad habits the chances are you will live a frustrated life.
Step one: Start Setting Goals
Go buy an exercise book dedicated to writing down all your goals. Choose one day a week where you can sit down and think about the week ahead and the things that you would like to achieve in that week. Each day review what you have written that week and try to achieve at least one of those tasks in that day. You can also write down long-term goals such as what you would like to achieve in three months, or six months or one year, or five years or 10 years. Setting goals is a great way to stop the mindset of procrastination because if you focus on your goals you have something to work towards and once you’ve achieved each goal you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
Step two: Create a New Habit
Sometimes there are things that you may not want to do right now, but you need to start thinking of how you can become more efficient in doing these things so you can complete the task and get on with something else. Set time periods where you can do the things that you like doing. If you enjoy watching TV set yourself a time limit. Watch television for half an hour- One hour and then start initiating the tasks that need to be achieved from your goals.
Step three: Approaching Tasks in Small Intervals
Dedicating time to these goals may seem daunting i know, especially when you’re just getting started, so set half an hour to one hour time periods to concentrate on tackling your task. If you start dedicating all your time to the goals/tasks and not give yourself the time you need to enjoy yourself, ie watching television, you will burn yourself out and get caught in your old procrastinating mindset again. So divide the task/goal over a week or a month or several hours, depending on how big it is.
Step four: Give Yourself a Reward
just by completing your set out goals should be reward enough, but you should also reward yourself along the way, take a short break, watch a movie or something that will relax your mind. But make sure it doesn’t take your focus off to set out goals and set out tasks, remember, set time period for these rewards.
Step five: Keep Focused
You need to start building your confidence and your ability to make choices, start saying no to those things that distract you, say “no”, to picking up and playing that guitar, say “no”, to playing that DVD or texting those friends. These things can be achieved once you’ve completed your goal for that day.
Step six: Perfection is Not Achievable
You’ve heard it before, but the truth is, no one is perfect, so that means you probably will make mistakes along the way, you probably will start slipping occasionally into your old habits, but the important thing is, is to jolt that old mindset and replace it with your new goal orientated mind. So when you start slipping back into those old habits pick up that textbook that you bought and read through those goals that you made. If you set those goals correctly this should jumpstart your mind again and get you back on track to achieving them.
Step seven: Get Started Now
If you don’t get started now after reading this, your procrastinating mind will tell you to “do it later”, But don’t let your procrastinating mind prevent you from getting this done. Just going from doing nothing to doing something is definitely the hardest part. But just imagine how good you will feel when everything is put in place and your goals are achieved.
Final Tips:
It is always good to ask for help along the way, remember you don’t have to do this alone. Why not do a course in time management. Try to avoid saying yes don’t take too many tasks on a once, make sure you actually have enough time if you say yes to something.
Buy a motivational CD and make your mind work. There are new mind power techniques that can improve your memory and help you with procrastination and more.
The final thought that I want to leave you with is this, TAKE ACTION NOW! Start planning your future don’t let your future plan you, don’t live your life day by day with no goal. Life is a game so play it and don’t get played!
If you would like one on one coaching to help you achieve your financial Goals visit: http://www.MaverickMoneyMate.com It will show you How to Make money Online and Work in the Comfort of Your Home. Take Action Now!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Benjamin_Pearce
You might also like
7 Easy Ways to Increase Creativity
Does Your Art Even Exist
Is Creative Block Just Part of Your Process?
Feed Your Creative Spirit
Bad Start to Your Day?
Tags: Articles
=======================

Guest Bloggers
,
photo transfer
,
stencils
=================================
By Valery Satterwhite

Photos courtesy Auntie P
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the various messages we’ve received over the years and generally highly regard. Many success and self-help experts have told us that we need to “Seize the Day”. “Carpe diem” they tell us.
Well, what the heck does that mean? How does one “seize the day”?
“Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.” ~Margaret Fuller
The dictionary defines the word seize as:
– take hold of; grab
– take or capture by force
– assume, seize and take control without authority and possibly with force
What are we supposed to do? How does one seize a day? Do we wake up in the morning ready and willing to force the desired events and goals of the day to happen? Do we push ourselves and other people to get things done when and in the way we want them done? Do we stay attached to how our day must unfold?
If that’s what “seize the day” means then I’ll pass, thank you very much. No seizing of days for me! Too exhausting! And I’ve learned that whenever I force anything to happen I usually don’t get a good result over the long term.
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” – John Milton
I have learned to “allow the day”. Allowing your day is to be open to all possibilities. It is showing up present, and in the moment, ready and willing for whatever comes next. When I detach from how a day must happen I permit the events of my day to unfold in ways I might not have thought of.
Allowing my day doesn’t mean that I have no goals, objectives or intentions for my day. I wake up each and every morning with a clear vision of what I intend to create for that day. I just let go of how it has to happen and allow intuition and inspiration to guide my thoughts, choices and actions that will deliver the desired outcomes I have intended for the day.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
Have you ever wanted something and had no idea how you were going to get it? And soon there came the day when you got it? You had a clear vision of what you wanted and focused upon that thing or event that you desired. Intuition and inspiration gave you ideas that you took action upon and before you knew it, you got what you wanted. Or, the thing or experience you desired came to you as an “out of the blue” opportunity.
“Out of the blue” coincidences are not random coincidences. Without getting too metaphysical, I call them meaningful coincidences because they are the seemingly miraculous fortunate events that deliver what we desire. We could not have planned for that event to happen in the way it did. When you detach from how, you open up to the possibility of a meaningful coincidence.
Instead of using a lot of energy running around trying to seize the day try setting a clear intention and then just allow your day to unfold. Allow your intuitive messages your inner wisdom, what I playfully call the Inner Wizard, to orchestrate the how of what you intend to become reality. It is important to take action on this inner guidance because intention without action is only a dream.
“The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.” – Charles Morgan
Valery Satterwhite is the Founder of the International Association for Inner Wizards. She teaches artists of all kinds how to get out of their own way, eliminate personal and professional roadblocks, stress and anxiety so they can fully express their artistic vision and succeed in the business of art. Empower the Wizard Within, tame the Inner Critic, unleash and Inspire the Muse. Everything you need to be, do and have is already within you. Your Inner Wizard is the best coach, guide, guru, teacher and shaman you could ever hope to have. We simply return to you that which is your birthright. Get Free Empower the Wizard Within Tips and “Artist Resource Directory” – 55 pages; 30 categories – today at “a href=”http://www.innerwizard.com/” target=”blank”>http://www.InnerWizard.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Valery_Satterwhite
You might also like
7 Easy Ways to Increase Creativity
Does Your Art Even Exist
Is Creative Block Just Part of Your Process?
Feed Your Creative Spirit
Bad Start to Your Day?
Tags: Articles
,
Creativity
============================
An inspirational article by my guest blogger – Dawn Goldsmith
If you enjoyed Dawn’s article, please leave a comment and let her know!
I’m a quilt and fabric arts lover, a writer about the topic, and dabble a bit. For several years I’ve enjoyed sharing this interest through my blog: Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles. And this past year several guest bloggers have joined me in sharing their experiences, tips, trials, and loves, too. I was pleased to support and give a little shout out for Virginia Spiegel and her efforts to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Her success inspired me.
When it came time to find a way to raise funds for the ALS Association, my thoughts immediately turned to quilts. There is nothing more comforting than a quilt and it just seemed the most appropriate medium for a fund raiser. Particularly a fund raiser for a novice at such things as I am.
Trish Bowman of Jersey Girl Quilts took on the challenge and created a charming and vibrant double tulip quilt, using an Eleanor Burns pattern and Hoffman batik fabrics. She machine quilted it in a design that gave the quilt a sense of movement and carries the eye from one block to the next. And a special bonus of this pieced design – it includes my favorite – the humble four patch.
Trish blew me away with her ability to move this project forward. We were on a short time deadline and she worked long hours to reach the goal of a beautifully crafted quilt. She outdid anything I expected. And she added some advice on raffles from what she learned as president of the Cabin Fever Quilt Guild of Orlando (Florida).
For anyone attempting a fundraiser, there obviously are more things to consider than the product. Thankfully the ALS Association administration has jumped in to help me and have offered their website as the place to go to purchase tickets for this quilt raffle. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10.
You may ask why I chose this disease to support or this organization. Glad you asked. For you see, my husband, Derrol, is dying of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He’s one of those rare birds who has a rare inherited form of the disease so not only Derrol is fighting for his life, but he has a dozen or so family members who have already lost the battle. His brother died at the age of 18. His aunt died at 70. His cousins at 17, 39, 60, 43, 80…. There’s no explanation as to why the disease attacks voluntary muscles, usually beginning at the extremities weakening hands and feet and moving inward toward diaphragm, throat muscles, and face and voice muscles. So far scientists have found nothing to stop it.
The ALS Association offers patient support, information and supports for an extensive and impressive array of researchers and their research around the world. Yet the dollars spent on administration costs is 1 percent. I’ve met these people personally and every one of them works for the association because they have lost a loved one or known someone who had died of the disease. They are devoted to finding a cure and caring for each ALS patient and caregiver – but that takes funding.
Derrol and I were utterly lost when he was diagnosed and we both still wonder what we would have done without the ALS Association. The quilt community is full of comfort and love – just like the ALS Association. It just seemed a natural fit to offer a quilt in exchange for funding to cure this horrible disease that strikes anyone at anytime, anywhere in the whole world – for no reason.
To purchase raffle tickets for this beautiful quilt and to learn more about ALS, visit the ALS Association website.
=================================
Posted by LindaM on November 28th, 2007
Some art quilts were just not meant to be! And it’s usually the ones you’ve spent hours and hours on, and used up all your most beautiful coveted fabric (sigh!!!).
Our vision can sometimes be lacking. Even though we can see a design clearly in our head and transfer it successfully to paper, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will turn out the way we planned.
Picture this: a trapunto peacock, with long flowing tail feathers outlined in thread and maybe bobbin work for effect, surrounded by a beautiful free motion quilted background in delicious threads.
The concept is simple, easy to visualize and put on paper. Then hours spent:
deciding which fabrics to use – there’s only three fabrics mind you, but they must work together of course
deciding what thread to use
transferring the design from paper to fabric
sewing the trapunto design
decorative stitching
decorative quilting
deciding on borders
The peacock looks good!
The background free motion quilting is beautiful (even if I do say so myself).
And so is the border quilting.
The tailfeathers look good also.
But wait! Something doesn’t look right. How did I miss that? Oh my goodness, how the heck can I fix that! A little paint on the tailfeathers perhaps. Maybe a little more paint and some more stitching.
Oh rats, I give up !! That is one legless bird!!
If anyone has suggestions on how to give this bird it’s legs, please feel free to post a comment with a hint or two.
At the moment, he sits abandoned in a crumpled heap in the corner (he has no legs to stand on remember), and I am ready to slice out the good bits to use on another more worthy project.
I like the design so I’m going to do him again, but I have no more beautiful watercolored yellow cotton lame (boo hoo!) However I did find some white cotton lame online which I’m going to dye when my dye room is done (a couple more weeks, woo hoo!!)
Stay tuned for the follow up!
=======================================
It’s taken much longer than expected, but finally the Creative Textile & Quilting Arts Online eLearning Center is open for business.
We are offering a complementary demonstration workshop: Machine Wrapped Cording. The first few sessions have filled quickly, but this will be an ongoing workshop, so no-one will miss out.
Our online workshops are structured a little differently from the normal quilting class. We believe that the process of learning and the results of that experience are just as important.
As creative people, we are constantly challenged, not just by the technical issues of our hobby or work, but by our response to it also, so our workshops are designed to help you explore all these aspects.
Creative Textile & Quilting Arts workshops are a combination of:
standard learning modules
where the student will learn a technique, or combination of techniques
self-motivated exploration
where the student will be encouraged to explore and experiment further with the subject of the learning module
creativity coaching
where the student will be provided with creativity tools and exercises to help them deal with the issues and challenges that become evident, usually during the self-exploration cycle.
As time goes on we hope to grow these workshops and shape them to the needs of the art quilter, so if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary in the way of elearning, then we hope to see you in one of our workshops.
Finding time to be creative is sometimes a balancing act. Family, jobs and a busy lifestyle can suck up our time without us even realizing it. Or maybe you feel that taking time for yourself is selfish; that this time could be better spent tending to our families.
We all need personal time – time to reflect and to recharge our batteries, and for art quilters this usually means finding time to create our art!
When we are separated from our source of creativity for long periods, even though we might not consciously be aware of it, our bodies react in subtle, and not so subtle, ways. We can feel anxious, a little off-color, sometimes it’s just a feeling of being out of balance. Stop and listen to what your body is telling you – become aware of the little signals that your body is trying to send you.
Finding time for yourself, even if it’s only an hour or half an hour a day, benefits not just yourself, but your whole family. When you feel balanced and empowered, you have more positive energy to give back to them.
“Time Management for Creative People” is a thoughtful little 32-page free ebook by writer and creativity coach Mark McGuinness. In it he lists a number of things that creative people can do to manage their time better.
If you have been neglecting yourself, take the first step – spend half an hour with this short book, implement some of the strategies and make some time for yourself. Your whole family will thank you.
I love to do handwork when I can find the time. French knots in particular hold a fascination – they can blend and twist and turn at will. Rayon threads and metallic threads look amazing done in french knots.
Free-form embroidery, for me, is relaxing, creative and meditative. Just to let your hand go where it wants, stitch what it wants and how it wants, is a very freeing creativity exercise.
Stitch Magazine is a UK based magazine for lovers of hand-stitching and embroidery. Their website has a number of small, innovative embroidery projects, a gallery of embroidered textiles, and a stitch directory.
Even if you don’t subscribe to the magazine, the projects alone are worth a look.
http://www.embroiderersguild.com/stitch/index.html
Having tension trouble doesn’t always have to be a bad thing – sometimes you end up with very interesting results.
This piece was stitched using free motion, with heavyweight cotton in the bobbin and monofilament on top with a very tight tension. This results in the bobbin thread being pulled to the top of the fabric and causing “eyelashes” to appear.
This will make a great background for something.
For textile and quilt artists, that’s a scary thought!
The ColorLovers blog has an interesting article about this very thing and even lists the phobias associated with each color.
“For most people, color is basic element of our daily lives that we use for comfort, inspiration, practicality, etc. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, phobias and irrational fears affect approximately 10% of adults. Some of those phobias relate to colors being the most terrifying thing imaginable… for those poor people, this color loving website would probably be hell-incarnate. Here are several color phobias and some of color associations with common and strange phobias.”
Read the full article: ColorLoversBlog
The December edition of “From The Sewing Room” ezine is now available. Great articles and information.
Download now
==============================
Some art quilts were just not meant to be! And it’s usually the ones you’ve spent hours and hours on, and used up all your most beautiful coveted fabric (sigh!!!).
Our vision can sometimes be lacking. Even though we can see a design clearly in our head and transfer it successfully to paper, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will turn out the way we planned.
Picture this: a trapunto peacock, with long flowing tail feathers outlined in thread and maybe bobbin work for effect, surrounded by a beautiful free motion quilted background in delicious threads.
The concept is simple, easy to visualize and put on paper. Then hours spent:
deciding which fabrics to use – there’s only three fabrics mind you, but they must work together of course
deciding what thread to use
transferring the design from paper to fabric
sewing the trapunto design
decorative stitching
decorative quilting
deciding on borders
The peacock looks good!
The background free motion quilting is beautiful (even if I do say so myself).
And so is the border quilting.
The tailfeathers look good also.
But wait! Something doesn’t look right. How did I miss that? Oh my goodness, how the heck can I fix that! A little paint on the tailfeathers perhaps. Maybe a little more paint and some more stitching.
Oh rats, I give up !! That is one legless bird!!
If anyone has suggestions on how to give this bird it’s legs, please feel free to post a comment with a hint or two.
At the moment, he sits abandoned in a crumpled heap in the corner (he has no legs to stand on remember), and I am ready to slice out the good bits to use on another more worthy project.
I like the design so I’m going to do him again, but I have no more beautiful watercolored yellow cotton lame (boo hoo!) However I did find some white cotton lame online which I’m going to dye when my dye room is done (a couple more weeks, woo hoo!!)
Stay tuned for the follow up!
Just a reminder that a demo online workshop will be available for sign-up very shortly.
Why am I taking sign-ups for a demo workshop?
My aim is to provide online workshops that are fun, informative and offer the art quilter a quality experience. So I asked myself – how are students to experience this with just the standard “free-for-all” demo course. These “free-for-all” introductory workshops don’t usually impress me much, and don’t really offer a very good overview of an online class situation.
So in order for you to make an assessment of my workshops, a free demo workshop will be offered on a weekly basis, to run for a full week, with the number of students being limited. These workshops will be fully interactive and offer exactly the same experience as a “paid for” workshop, and will also include teacher participation.
Details will be posted here as they become available, so check back here for frequently updated information, subscribe to our RSS feed, or visit the website where you will also find information.
Needle felting, or needle punching, can produce surprising results even when used with cotton fabrics.
The challenge: to create a realistic looking tree trunk.
Laying out the fabric strips
Punching the fabric – oops, watch that pin!

Looking a little frayed around the edges

Punched and stitched

Taking shape

“A Spot of Earth” – the completed quilt.
New Article Posted:
Art quilters have never had it so good with the variety of machine quilting thread that is available to them these days.
The full article can be found at the Creative Textile & Quilting Arts website.
New Article Posted:
Selecting fabric for your quilting projects is one of the best things about being a quilter. With such a variety in colors, textures, patterns and finishes, the quilter has an enormous fabric palette to choose from.
The full article can be found at the Creative Textile & Quilting Arts website.
New Article Posted:
A new article has been posted in our “How To” Article Section – How to Hang a Quilt.
“Hanging a quilt is most commonly done by attaching a quilt sleeve. A quilt sleeve will ensure that your quilt is well supported, particularly if the quilt is large, and will also ensure that no damage is done to the quilt by attaching clips in order to hang it.”
Read more and download instructions at the Creative Textile & Quilting Arts website.
New Article Posted:
Binding a quilt is usually one of the last things you do before the quilt is considered finished. There are a number of ways to bind a quilt …
Read the full article and download instructions at the Creative Textile & Quilting Arts Website.
The November edition of “From The Sewing Room” ezine is now available. Great articles and information.
Download now
===============================
Photo courtesy of PugnoM
The issue of copyright is always a hot topic amongst artists and the rules are confusing and difficult to understand.
I recently came across the Free Culture website which offers up some very interesting information, video and audio articles, including a link to the Creative Commons website. The Creative Commons website provides information on how to go about creating your own copyright policy as well as information on how to police it. In other words, you can now apply your copyright in language that anyone can understand. This copyright can be applied to work published on the internet as well as off the internet.
I am beginning to see more and more around the internet, that people are using a Creative Commons copyright. Images in particular, like the one in this article, are freely available under a Creative Commons copyright.
As textile and quilt artists, most of us live in fear of our copyright being abuser, a fear that is like a double edged sword. On one hand we fear having our work copied and ripped off, and on the flip side we fear having to deal with the repercussions because we simply are not sure of what they are.
I, for one, have decided to embrace the “Creative Commons” license and will in fact be revising all my online works to be covered under one of these licenses. A great idea in a world gone mad!
It’s amazing what you can do with scraps and leftovers. This little quilt (approx 18×12) was put together from samples and scraps leftover from a surface design workshop I recently taught.
Included in this sample is
tyvek (green squares in middle)
color washed brown paper (prairie points and leaves)
paper fabric with some cheesecloth attached (main pink square)
The color washed brown paper was fused onto some peltex and cut to shape. Then I added some machine wrapped cording around the edge of the prairie points to define them against the background.
Since the paper fabric looked very organic, I quilted organic type lines that look like flowing water and pebbles.
The tyvek was also fused to some peltex and cut to shape. I then handstitched the edges to finish them off.
Everything was layered onto a machine quilted background and the end result is very three dimensional. I have yet to add a few more embellishments (it’s not finished till it’s embellished!) and then it will be done.
All in all – a cute little art quilt.
The January 2008 edition of “From The Sewing Room” ezine is now available. Great articles and information.
Download now
======================
It’s always nice to get something for free, so in this section you will find some free machine quilting patterns.
We intend to offer a series of free machine quilting patterns suitable for all levels of experience, and we are starting off with some easy designs suitable for beginners. We will be adding more intricate and decorative designs as time progresses.
The first in the series is called “The Little Book of ~Easy~ Machine Quilting Designs”. These designs are continuous line drawings, simple in shape, and are suitable for beginners.
The patterns are compiled in an ebook in pdf format for convenience, so you will need Adobe Reader to view it.
If you need to update your Adobe Reader, click on the “Get Adobe Reader” logo. This is a free update.
Special Feature
A special feature of the ebook is the supplemental animated “stitching sequence” videos. The videos feature the designs that are included in the ebook and show a special animated stitching sequence which represents the best way to stitch out these designs.
The videos are in flash format and are designed to be viewed online.We hope you find this a useful feature, particularly for the more intricate designs which will be offered in the future.
Tips for Free Motion Designs for Beginners
Free motion quilting designs are generally stitched without transferring the design to the fabric, in other words they are stitched freehand. This can be tricky when you are first starting out, however the following tips should help.
The best way to start with free motion designs is with pencil and paper. Just like writing your name, free motion designs can be learned in a similar manner.
Using the designs in the ebook, lay a sheet of transparent paper over the top and trace the outline without lifting your pencil from the paper. Do this a number of times until you are comfortable with the movements. Then take a piece of copy paper and practice freehand.
Once your brain has comprehended the flow of the line, you will find it an easy transition from paper and pencil, to machine and thread.
And of course, the only way you will ever get good at anything is with – practice, practice, practice !
Other Sources for Designs
Other great free machine quilting designs can be found at Patsy Thompson Designs. She has a great website with beautiful photos of her machine quilting.
Quiltmaker also offers some free patterns.
=========================
Machine Quilting threads, and threads in general, are usually labeled with two numbers. The first number refers to the size thread (denier), and the second refers to the ply, or how many strands are twisted together. The lower the thread size number, the thicker the thread.
Generally, man made fibers are stronger than natural ones. Therefore, threads with polyester, acrylic or nylon content will be less apt to fray and break than a cotton thread.
When selecting threads, compare color, sheen, texture of thread to determine the effect that you desire, e.g. metallics are shiny and sparkling, rayon produces a high sheen, silk a subtle sheen, and cotton provides matte luster.
For additional information about machine quilting threads, check out our Machine Quilting Thread article.
Cotton
Cotton is easy to use, readily available and comes in a multitude of colors including variegated. Most cotton threads are colorfast and have little to no stretch. Not all cotton thread is made equal though: a poor quality cotton thread will have a fuzzy finish, whereas a good quality thread will have a smooth finish. Polyester wrapped cotton is stronger than cotton, but the wrapping process also produces a more abrasive thread with a rougher texture.
Rayon
Rayon thread has a high sheen, but is not as strong as cotton. It is neither colorfast nor shrink resistant and it should be used only for decorative purposes.
Polyester
Polyester thread comes in a wide range of colors including variegated, and is strong, durable and colorfast. It can be used for construction or for decorative purposes.
Metallic
Metallic thread can add sparkle to your project. These threads are generally more fragile and difficult to use than other threads, however with the proper machine needle and tensioning, are well worth the effort.
Silk
Silk threads have a wonderful luster and are strong and easy to use, although expensive.
Monofilament
Monofilament, or invisible, thread is available in clear, black and smoke colors. It is available in both polyester and nylon, and is made to “disappear” against the quilt surface. It does have a slight sheen which can produce an undesirable visual effect, and has a tendency to stretch. If using in the bobbin, it should be wound on by hand or very slowly using the machine winder.
Polyester
has a higher heat resistance, does not go brittle or yellow over time, and is softer than nylon.
Nylon
has a tendency to go brittle and turn yellow over time, and has a low melting temperature.

Monofilament Comparison Chart
Sulky: poly
Superior: poly
Coats: nylon
YLI nylon
Madeira: Polyamide (nylon)

======================
Information
Using the correct type of sewing machine needle for your project will go a long way to determining your project’s success or failure.
Selecting a sewing machine needle is not difficult. The “Types Chart” details the different types of needles available as well as their unique applications.
Use this chart as a guideline only when selecting your needle. Just because one type of needle is recommended for a specific purpose, such as metallic needles for metallic thread, does not mean that another needle will not produce as good or better results.
If you find that one needle does not produce good stitching quality, swap it out for another type of needle.
Remember too, that the eye of the machine needle should be just large enough to accommodate the weight of thread you are using. Too large an eye will result in holes in your project; too small an eye will result in possible shredding of your thread.
And always remember, machine needles do dull over time. Make sure your needle is sharp and this will go a long way towards producing good stitching.
Parts Chart
Shank
The upper part of the needle is called the shank. It is usually round on one side and flat on the other.
Shaft
The shaft is the lower part of the needle that extends from the base of the shank to the point.
Groove
This part is located on the shaft on the same side as the rounded part of the shank. The groove, or indentation, acts as a thread guide and provides a channel for the thread to lie in as the needle passes through the fabric.
Scarf
The scarf is visible on the flat side of the shaft. It is a short indentation located just above the eye of the needle. The purpose of the scarf is to allow the bobbin case hook to get close to the needle eye and catch the thread to form a stitch.
Eye
This is the hole above the needle point through which the needle thread passes. The size of the eye varies with the needle type and size. A needle should be selected with an eye that is large enough to accommodate the weight of the thread that is being used.
Point
The point is the tip of the needle that pierces through the fabric. Each needle type has a different point which is specifically designed for different types of fabric.
Sizing Chart
Sewing machine needles are sized according to two systems – European and American – and both numbers are usually marked on the package.
Needle sizes range from the finest which is 60/8, to the thickest which is 120/19.

European American
60 8
65 9
70 10
75 11
80 12
90 14
100 16
110 18
120 19
Types Chart
Sewing machine needles come in a variety of types. You should always make your needle selection based on the type of fabric, and the weight and type of thread you are using.
Ball Point Needle
Made especially for sewing on knits, its unique point does not damage or break knitted fibers.
Denim Needle
For jeans and similar densely woven materials.
Double Needle
Two needles mounted on a crossbar with a single shaft. Can be used with zig zag sewing machines that thread front to back. Sews two rows of stitching at the same time.
Hemstitch Needle
Sometimes called a Wing Needle, it is used to create decorative openwork or cut-work on tightly woven fabrics. The needle is very sharp and is made to cut the fabric.
Leather Needle
Has a slightly sharp cutting point suitable for leather and heavy non-woven synthetics.
Machine Embroidery Needle
For use with rayon and other specialty machine embroidery threads. The needle has a special scarf, long smooth groove, and large eye which helps to protect these more fragile type threads and guards against excess friction.
Metallica Needle
For use with metallic threads. It has a double sized, polished, and Teflon coated eye to assist with smooth flow of thread. The large eye helps to make threading easier, and also helps to prevent shredding and breaking when using metallic threads.
Quilting Needle
Made especially for piecing and machine quilting. The thin tapered design of these needles allows them to pass through many layers smoothly, which helps to eliminate skipped stitches.
Sharp Needle
A very slim needle with a thin shaft that helps make very straight stitches. The point is very sharp and because of this, is more fragile and needs to be changed regularly. Good for piecing high thread count fabrics like batiks, silks, and microfibers. It is also used for beautiful topstitching or edge stitching.
Stretch Needle
Made especially for synthetic suede or highly elastic synthetic knit wear. This needle has a medium ball point to help prevent skipped stitches.
Topstitch Needle
Has an extra large eye and large grooves to accommodate topstitch thread. This needle helps stitch perfectly straight lines and even stitches.
Universal Needle
A general purpose needle that can be used on knit or woven fabrics. It has a long scarf so it does not damage knits. It has a slight ball point which makes it unsuitable for stitching multiple layers or for use with high thread count fabrics.
=========================
During the last half of 2007, That’s My Story! (art quilting stories by art quilters) has been a feature article in our ezine From The Sewing Room. It has been such a popular feature that we have decided to make the articles available to all our visitors, including those who do not subscribe to the ezine, by giving the articles their very own webspace on the Creative Textile & Quilting Arts website.
As a result, That’s My Story! Webspace has now become an ideal place to promote yourself, your business and your services or products at no cost to you.
You can go directly to view our current submissions here.
Benefits to Readers
Many new art quilters are intimidated by the success of more experienced art quilters, and stories like these help to reinforce the understanding that most of us start from humble beginnings; that with an idea, some drive and personal expectations of fulfilling our passion to create art with fabric, we can achieve our dreams.
Benefits to You
This is a quality directory of art quilters “with a twist”.
Instead of the same old links page that you see everywhere all over the internet, we want to do it a little differently by offering you the opportunity for self-promotion.
Publishing your story is a great way to increase your public profile by promoting yourself, your business, your products or services, and we offer this at no cost to you. These articles provide visitors to this website with the ideal opportunity to get to know you, and then in turn visit your websites and view your work.
Do you have an upcoming book release or some workshops happening around the place? This is a great opportunity for promotion.
Requirements
Requirements are simple. Using the submission form below:
Write your story about how you got started as an art quilter, (500 words minimum).
Supply one photo.
As part of the story you are welcome to include any sort of promotion for yourself, your website, your business and/or products, although this should be secondary to the main story.
Include one link to your website and/or one link to a product or service you specifically want to promote.
We would appreciate a link back to this site, however it is not necessary.
What You Can Expect In Return
A full page dedicated to promoting you, your products and/or services.
A link back to your website.
A link to your article will be included in our art quilting ezine the month following your article submission, and a link to this section of the website will be included in every publication of the ezine.
I reserve the right to edit typos and grammatical errors, or ask you to edit any content that does not meet the submission requirements.
You are free to update your article at any time by simply contacting me.
Need More Information?
If you have any questions, please contact me.

That’s My Story!
Self-promote yourself, your business, website, products or services – this is a link directory “with a twist”.
Submit your story (500 words min) about how you became an art quilter. Did you give up your day job to pursue your dream? How did it all start?
A picture is worth a thousand words (optional) [ ? ]

Close Help
Do you have a picture of one of your art quilts? Great! Click the button and find it on your computer. Then select it.
Add Picture Caption (optional)
Author Information (optional)
To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.
Submit Your Contribution
Check box to agree to these submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)
Read what others think about your story
Click below to see what other visitors to this page have said…
Cyndi Souder – That’s My Story
Visit my website at www.MoonlightingQuilts.com
All my life, people have asked me if I’m an artist. And all my life, I’ve said, “No, I just make stuff….
Dena Crain – That’s My Story
Visit my website at www.DenaCrain.com
At age 19, I read Robert Ruark’s Uhuru, the story of the Emergency (MauMau) in Kenya. I finished the book, knowing …
Return to the top of
That’s My Story!
or
Return to
Art Quilting Stories
==============================
Everyone Loves A Good Story
Everyone loves a good story and art quilting stories are sometimes the best.
Storytelling is not only a way to entertain, but it can also be used as a learning tool which provides useful information for other people, and in this case “other people” is us – art quilters!
Everyone benefits in storytelling:
the story teller – by sharing useful or entertaining information
and the reader – by learning something new or just enjoying a chuckle over a cup of coffee.
That’s My Story
During the last half of 2007, That’s My Story! has been a feature article in our ezine From The Sewing Room. It has been such a popular feature that we have decided to make the articles available to all our visitors, including those who do not subscribe to the ezine, by giving the articles their very own webspace on the Creative Textile & Quilting Arts website, as well as open up the webspace for additional submissions.
As a resultThat’s My Story! Webspace has now become an ideal place for art quilters like you to promote yourself, your business and your services or products, or to simply tell us your story, all at no cost to you. Please visit here for full details or click here to read the current submissions.
As an added benefit, this now leaves us with extra space to fill in our art quilting ezine, so as of January 2008, From The Sewing Room Ezine will now include more art quilt related content by way of projects, information, hints and tips. If you are not already subscribed, now’s the time to do it … and it’s free!!
What’s Your Story
Plus we have added a fun new feature to the website called What’s Your Story?
Every month we will feature a different art quilting topic and readers will be asked to submit their favorite story. You can click here to read their stories.
and just to make it more interesting
During the month following, we will run a public poll and the story that is voted the best will receive a 10% discount voucher which you will be able to redeem at the Creative Textile & Quilting Arts website.
You might wonder what good is a discount voucher since we don’t have a store…
but wait for it …
early in 2008 we begin our online art quilting workshops, to be followed by our art quilting education store, which will include eBooks, eWorkbooks, and much more – all relating to … of course – art quilting! How much fun can an art quilter have !! (sounds like a good topic for one of our story sessions.)
So go ahead and share your story … What’s Your Story?
Return to the top of
Art Quilting Stories
or visit

That’s My Story!
or

What’s Your Story?
==============================
what has embroidery to do with quilting?
Our friend Joan would like an embroidery machine comparison.
She has been busy looking at quilting machines and has visited several dealers and has done her homework. She was introduced to embroidery machines along the way and before making a final decision she would like a comparison of the different types of embroidery machines that would be suitable for a quilter.
J: Linda, I’ve been to a couple of dealers’ stores looking at quilting machines, and while I was there they showed me some home embroidery machines.

I’ve never seen a home embroidery machine and I can’t imagine that it would be useful for quilting although I was told they were quite popular. What do you think? Can you give me a comparison of machines that would be suitable for a quilter?
let’s get creative
L: Joan, lots of women are discovering creative ways to use embroidery machine designs on their quilts, both traditional quilts and art quilts. Machine embroidery is also used a lot on garments, particularly jeans, jackets and dresses, as well as children’s clothing.
J: The machine I saw looked a little different from a normal sewing machine and somewhat complicated.
L: Joan, a home embroidery machine is really not all that complicated. It does have a learning curve but if you have a little knowledge of computers and their filing system, then it is a fairly simple transition to understand and embroidery machine.
Also when you buy an embroidery machine from your local dealer, they normally offer lessons so that you understand how to use the machine. So if you are thinking of buying an embroidery machine, here are some things to consider.
consider this
There are two main types of home embroidery machines and I’ve listed a comparison of the main pros and cons for you:
EMBROIDERY ONLY MACHINE
Pro:
Because embroidery is all it does, this allows you to sew on your quilting machine at the same time you are using the embroidery machine.
Con:
Space – having two machines, one for quilting and one for embroidery, takes up more space than a single machine.
COMBO EMBROIDERY AND SEWING MACHINE
Pro:
If space is an issue, then a combo embroidery and sewing machine would be the way to go.
Con:
A combo embroidery/sewing machine will not offer the special features of a quilting machine unless you are prepared to spend a lot of money.
decisions
So now you have a comparison to work with, you need to make a decision about what’s important in an embroidery machine:
space saving with a combo embroidery and sewing machine
or the benefits of having two machines – a quilting machine and an embroidery machine
Also the more expensive machines tend to have many great additional features and some top-of-the-line machines have features of a quilting machine as well as offering larger hoop sizes. So if money is not an issue, you could research embroidery machines further and look into it.
J: Thanks Linda, that explains a lot however I don’t think I’m quite ready to go in that direction. Maybe later.
I do have another question though about small sewing machines. I’ve heard that they are a great machine for a quilter. Can you elaborate on that.
===================================
Art quilters have never had it so good with the variety of machine quilting thread that is available to them these days.
Basic Cotton
Cotton thread, originally the quilters’ choice of thread, is now available in a wide variety of colors and weights, with Egyptian cotton particularly, making a huge statement.
And for machine quilters, whilst cotton thread is still a favorite, it now gets to compete alongside other beautiful and tantalizing quilting threads made of polyester, rayon and metallic.
Price and Quality
Machine quilting thread can be expensive, but cheaper threads will add little to the end result of your project, can sometimes contribute to poor sewing machine performance, and if your project is to be functional such as a lap or bed quilt, it will certainly shorten its lifespan.
Poor quality threads will also produce poor results:
Short staple cotton threads tend to throw off a lot of lint which not only clogs your bobbin area, but can get caught up in the thread itself and result in “bumps” in the stitching line.
Polyester, rayon and metallic threads can also suffer from poor quality and result in weak thread that breaks and shreds easily. Sometimes it is not the fault of your machine or needle, sometimes it is just simply “bad” thread.
Remember also, thread deteriorates over time and becomes brittle and loses strength. So your mother’s collection of old thread, whilst maybe having some sentimental value, is not going to guarantee you a beautiful finish or trouble-free sewing.
Personality Clashes
Learning to work with your threads is important, and when you work with threads long enough particlarly when machine quilting, you begin to notice that each brand and type of thread has its own little personality.
Some threads like a vertical spool and some threads prefer a horizontal spool. Monofilament thread sometimes prefers rolling around in a cup and metallic thread can often act kinky and needs taming with a net.
Understanding that your sewing machine is often not to blame when thread issues occur will go a long way toward a better relationship between you and your machine, and taking time to do a stitch and tension test before you begin on your project will alleviate a lot of anxiety.
Don’t throw it out
Old, finicky or poor quality thread can still be put to use, so never throw it out.
It may be quite suitable for the back of a project
Consider using it in your bobbin for bobbin work
Snip it up, sandwich it between two layers of sheer fabric and use it to make “thread fabric”
Hand quilting thread – a word of warning
Some hand quilting threads have a wax coating which allows the hand quilter to easily work with the thread. These types of threads however, are not good for your sewing machine as it is possible for the wax coating to create slippage through the tension discs causing tension problems with your stitching. Normally the thread label will state if the thread is coated, so make sure you read the label if using hand quilting thread in your machine.
=============================
Overview
Overview
Machine wrapped cording is a simple technique that produces cording that will color coordinate with your projects.
It’s a great way to use up old yarn, “what was I thinking” fabric and difficult or brittle thread.
It has many applications, both decorative and functional and can be made in any thickness. It can be used on garments, art quilts or even three dimensional fabric art.
By including optional variations you can add interest, texture and uniqueness.
Supplies
Supply List
Sewing machine
Machine Feet
You can use a standard sewing machine foot, however a foot with a “tunnel” underneath, such as a beading foot or cording foot is ideal.
Base Cording
Anything that is flexible and thin enough to fit under the foot of your sewing machine will work for this type of cording.
yarn – a great way to use up old, ugly yarn
strips of fabric – a great way to use up that “what was I thinking” fabric
string
embroidery thread
piping
twisted cording
Thread
You will need a variety of threads in cotton, rayon, polyester and metallic. This is a great technique for using up any old thread that you have lying around
Things To Know
Things To Know
Keep the yarn taut as it passes under the needle
Use the same color or a coordinating color thread in the bobbin
Use up your old thread for the first and/or second layer of stitching as this will become invisible or barely visible by the time you’re done
If your thread breaks or you run out of thread, simply rethread and pull the broken threads towards you alongside the cording, stitching over them as you go
Don’t plan on completely covering the base cord with only one layer of stitching. Depending on the type of base cord, it may take two or three layers of stitching to completely cover it
For soft, flexible cording use yarn or a soft fabric as your base and stitch a minimal number layers on top
For a firmer cording, use a stiffer base such as string, or add more layers of stitching
When cutting the cording, use a little fray check to stop the stitching from unraveling
Basics
Sewing Machine Setup
Machine Feet
The best foot to use is a braiding foot or a foot with a “tunnel” underneath such as a beading foot. These types of feet are the easiest to use as they will allow you to easily guide the cording.
You could also use a standard foot with feed dogs up, or a darning foot with feed dogs down and manually guide the cording under the foot.
Tension
At normal tension, the top thread will wrap halfway around the cording and you will need to use the same thread in the bobbin as on the top.
If you use a slightly loose top tension, the top thread will wrap all the way around the cording and you can use either the same thread in the bobbin or a coordinating color.
The Basics
This photo demonstration will show you how to machine wrap three strands of 8 ply yarn with a standard foot and feed dogs up.
Cut your base cording to the desired length. Three strands of 8ply yarn will produce approx 1/8” diameter cording.
Set your machine for zigzag stitch wide enough for the needle to swing entirely over the yarn on either side. Length should be about 1.5 – 2.0.
Allow about 2-3 inches of cording to extend out the back of your machine, and holding the tail of the cord with your left hand and twisting the front section with your right hand, guide the cording under the foot. You may need to pull slightly in order for it to feed through smoothly. Zigzag along the length of cording.
Shorten the length of your stitch to about .5, or shorter if you are using fine thread and holding the cording in the same manner, satin stitch the length of the cording.
Using the same stitch length, change your top thread and bobbin thread, and satin stitch the length of the cording.
Lengthen your stitch to 1.5 – 2.0, change to a metallic thread in the top and bobbin and zigzag the length of the cording.
Options
Options
There are many options you can use to add surface texture, color and design to your cording that will make it unique and interesting.
Following are just a few ideas:
1. Stitch a length of fine craft wire into the first or second layers of stitching. This will allow you to manipulate the cording so that it will retain shape.
2. To add texture, you can make bumps in the cording by moving backwards and forwards a number of times whilst stitching. Do this on your final layer of stitching, or before you add a final metallic layer.
3. Wrap strands of fiber around the cording and stitch in place at intervals, or cut short pieces of decorative yarn or fiber and stitch into the cording.
4. Cover your base cord with white thread – cotton or polyester – and hand paint. If you want a bit of sparkle, use a glitter topcoat, or use a metallic paint. If you are adding metallic thread, stitch it after you have dyed the cording.
5. Use bobbinwork thread. Wrap the base cord with your main color. Change to a contrasting or blending color bobbin work thread, then stitch over the top. You can play with the tension in both your top tension and your bobbin tension to achieve different effects. This sample is Ricky Timms Razzle Dazzle, one of my favorite bobbinwork threads.
This should give you a starting point to work with, but what else can you do; how far can you take this?
Applications
Applications
Now that we know how to make the cording and add variety and interest, what can we do with it? Let’s explore some applications.
Couching
The cording on “Circles” has been couched down around the outer edge of the main circles to add definition. The thread used on the cording is the same as was used for the free motion quilting. This offers a sense of unity.
Attachments
Using cording is a great way to join paneled quilts. On “Scrapbook” and “Morocco”, the cording was used to join the panels together.
Small buttonholes were sewn close to the edges of the panels and the cording was threaded through, cut to length, and then the ends were tied in a knot to prevent them from slipping through the holes.
This is a good application for irregular shaped panels such as “Scrapbook” since the cording can be cut at varying lengths to provide overall balance and alignment.
Decorative beads were threaded to the cording on “Scrapbook” to provide interest.
Decorative
The cording can be used for decorative purposes. A wrought iron gate on “What Lies Beyond” was designed by using cording with fine craft wire stitched into. The wire enables the cording to be easily shaped. Once the design was complete, the pieces of cording were handstitched together, and then the completed unit was handstitched to the background of the quilt.
The cording on “Puddles” was shaped without using wire, and handstitched to the background of the quilt.
Additional Ideas
Weaving
Frogs and Chinese Knot Buttons
Edging
Decorative Cording for Jewelry/Purse Straps
======================
By Alyson Stanfield
An artist statement is a necessary component of any professional artists’ portfolio or promotional packet.
When writing your artist statement, DO:
*Write in the first person. It is a statement, after all.
*Be brief, 2-3 paragraphs at most. Always err on the side of brevity. You can write more, but why would you want to? People have short attention spans these days. Load as much punch into the delivery as you can. Combine sentences and delete ones that aren’t vital. As Henri Matisse said in his treatise on painting, “All that is not useful to the picture is detrimental.” The same could be said of your statement.
*Describe the current direction of your work and your approach, particularly what is unique about your methods and materials.
*Sit on it for a few days and come back to it with a fresh mindset. Most artists, in my opinion, hate their statements because they rushed them in preparation for an exhibit and didn’t care to spend any more time on them. How do you expect it to be any good if you don’t work at it?
*Consider more than one statement if you are trying to discuss more than one body of work. If you try to get too much into a single statement, you run the risk of saying nothing and trying to be everything to all people. This is bad marketing/bad promotions.
*Allow your artist statement to grow, change, and mature along with your work. Don’t let it sit on a shelf and collect dust. It should be organic and you shouldn’t be afraid to change it and make it better.
*Make sure your statement passes the litmus test. Above all, viewers should be compelled to put the statement away and look back at the work. Your statement isn’t successful if people read the words on the page, and then put them down and go on to the next artist.
When writing your artist statement, DO NOT:
*Use too many personal pronouns. Yes, I said to write in first person, but try to severely limit the number of “I”s, “me”s and “my”s that are used. You’ll be amazed at how many other ways there are to phrase things. You want people to relate to your words and to your art. Too many personal pronouns will put up an unnecessary a barrier.
*Tell your life story. You can keep that for your bio (as long as it’s interesting). Your artist statement is only about the current direction of your work.
*Quote or refer to anyone else by name. Keep the focus on you and your art. Mentioning another name shifts the readers’ attention from your art to the other person.
*Forget to use spell check and ask someone else to read it over for you.
View the time to write your artist statement as an opportunity to clarify your thoughts. A well-written statement, approached deliberately and thoughtfully, can be a boon to your self-promotion efforts. You’ll use the language on your Web site and in grant applications, press releases, brochures, and much more.
Copyright 2008 Alyson Stanfield, All rights reserved.
Alyson B. Stanfield is an art-marketing consultant, artist advocate, and author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alyson_Stanfield
Photo courtesty www.morguefile.com
============================

Photo courtesywoodleywonderworks
By GK Eckert
No matter what walk of life you may find yourself in, creativity is an asset. I’ve seen people be creative in career endeavors and others be creative in putting together dinner parties. It adds spice and zip to life, not only to your own life but to the lives of those around you. Here are my five tips for stimulating your creativity.
1. Turn off auto-pilot. Ever drive somewhere and suddenly realize that you didn’t recall making a turn, only to discover you’d been on “auto pilot?” When we repeatedly perform the same tasks over and over, there’s a natural tendency to find ourselves giving little awareness to what we are doing.
To stimulate your creative juices try going a different way to work, turning down a different street. When you comb your hair, put the part on the other side. Stir your coffee with the other hand. Brush your teeth with the other hand. It will feel a bit peculiar, but you’ll be very much in the moment.
2. Variations of a theme. Just as Mozart or Beethoven may have written a theme, and then variations, be creative. Practice this same approach in your day to day life.There are many things that we do without much thought or enthusiasm. Find a way to make them more fun and more interesting. Find ways to stimulate your creativity in every little task you do.
Anything that must be done more than once is an opportunity to use your creativity. It’s a way of creating a slight variation each time; not just once but every time. Dare to be creative. Make it a game to come up with a slightly new twist. Just changing the time or location can make a difference. Try eating with the fine china, or with real cloth napkins, adding candle light or simply eating in the dining room if you seldom do. You will create an experience that feels totally new. Change your writing style, vary what you normally say or how you say it; write more or less than you usually do. All these things can get your creative juices going.
3. Try some new food. Try some new food that you’ve never had before. Consider something that maybe you’ve always avoided but never really tried. So, how do you know that you don’t like it? Personally, for many years I would just not try sour cream. The name turned me off. When I finally tried it I discovered, of course, something delicious and wonderful that I’d been missing out on.
Be creative, visit a new restaurant. Be bold and daring if you’ve always been conservative. Try a different sauce, maybe some foods that don’t normally go together. You might just come up with something totally new; maybe even start a new trend.
4. Take on a new hobby or course. Taking on something new makes us stretch. It creates new pathways in the brain. It stimulates brain activity and causes us to feel a greater sense of wellness and being alive.
So, if you’ve never taken yoga or martial arts, or a belly dance class, try it. Be creative. Perhaps try painting or take up playing an instrument. Try something you’ve never done before, maybe something you’ve even secretly thought that you didn’t have the ability for. Stretch and try something new. Guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing. And you might just discover a talent you didn’t know you had!
5. The “Mozart Effect”. Don Campbell’s book explains how Mozart’s music, played in schools affected the minds of the young students hearing it. They were more creative and they performed better. He broke the music down into three categories, producing cd’s for each. One, of course, was for “stimulating creativity”. On that cd were very simple themes with variation after variation. It didn’t take me long to see how it did indeed stimulate creativity; how it opened the mind up to new possibilities. I often found that I felt like painting when I heard that music.
I don’t say that it has to be Mozart, but I do recommend listening to some music that is a theme with variations, to stimulate your creativity and get those creative juices flowing. You hear the same thing presented many different ways. It is particularly helpful if you are a musician. And you certainly can’t go wrong by choosing Mozart either.
If you try these five tips to stimulating your creativity, you’ll find yourself paying more attention to your day. You’ll find yourself more creative. You’ll find yourself more involved in your day and I dare say that you’ll find it more interesting too! By constantly thinking and making conscious choices, you are stimulating, using and practicing your creativity. And then when called upon to perform, it is honed and ready to go to work for you.
Gail Karen (G.K.) Eckert is a vocalist, musician, songwriter and teacher. She founded Musikhaus Studio of Creativity in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada in 1987 and continues to guide students through the crucial steps of learning to sing. She believes that anyone can learn to sing, given the proper guidance and encouragement. She also believes that singing your music your way is not only a fun past time but is also crucial to self expression and well being.
For more tips on creativity and self expression, visit her site http://www.YourMusicYourWay.com [email protected]
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=GK_Eckert
Get Shareaholic
===========================
By William Larson, Ph.D.

Photos courtesy www.morguefile.com
“My alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz. It’s the letter I use to spell yuzz-a-ma-tuzz. You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond ‘Z’ and start poking around!” ~ Dr. Seuss
Creativity gets better and better with practice. The more you “poke around” beyond z, the more fascinating and successful your life will become.
Here are some simple techniques that will help you improve your creativity skills:
1) Be open to new ideas. Creativity requires that you be open to ideas and concepts that are new even if they seem impossible. Do not simply dismiss what you do not understand. There is no better way to open your mind to new ideas than to try a new task, learn a new skill, or begin a new hobby. You will be amazed at how doing something new will open your mind to new ideas. Suddenly new worlds will open for you.
2) Be inquisitive. Extremely successful people are always asking questions and seeking answers about better ways of doing things. Curiosity is a way of life for them; it is the hallmark of their success. They are never convinced that anything is as good as it gets. They always believe there is a better, faster, safer, smarter, and more efficient ways of doing things. Never stop being inquisitive.
Revive your childhood curiosity. Never be afraid of asking questions.
Next time you think one of your questions is “silly,” remember the questions asked by these creative geniuses:
Leonardo DaVinci once asked, “Why does the thunder last a longer time than that which causes it?” and “Why is the sky blue?”
Socrates asked, “What is beauty?”
Albert Einstein in his youth asked himself, “What would it be like to run beside a beam of light at the speed of light?”
Just think of the inventions that have benefited humanity in countless ways. Most of them came into being because someone answered the simple question, “What if . . . ”
3) Learn to think illogically. Thinking things through logically is something each of us has learned to do. This is how we “process” information in order to make sound, rational decisions.
It is a process however, that excludes creativity. Choose any idea (whether it is yours or someone else’s), no matter how illogical it may seem, and begin to think of ways that the impossible might actually happen. Connect ideas and see where it takes you.
4) Spend time with creative people. You will soon discover that the most consistently creative are children, especially the ones who have been given a box of crayons but have not yet been told to color within the lines. Their imaginations run wild. They can teach you a priceless lesson: how to think “out-of-the-box.”
5) Quit trying to be perfect. You will never achieve perfection on the earth anyway. There is nothing as inhibiting to creativity as perfectionism. Imperfection is human. Learn to become uninhibited by concern for doing something that is correct. Creativity flourishes in an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance.
6) Be open. Do not judge creative ideas that come your way no matter how “silly” or “obvious” they may initially seem. Creativity thrives in people with nonjudgmental attitudes. Creative people are tolerant of ambiguity, do not impose boundaries on ideas, and take risks in order to achieve great results.
7) Sleep improves creativity. In a recent sleep deprivation study conducted by the Sleep Research Laboratory or Loughborough University in Loughborough, UK, scientists using clinically oriented neuropsychological tests found that lack of sleep has a significant impact on creativity. As little as one night of sleep loss has a major affect on innovative thinking and flexible decision-making. Remember what your mother taught you and get a good night’s sleep.
Never stop thinking of yourself as creative. Think positively about the fact that you are creative, and that you are becoming even more creative every day. Remember, creativity is learned. The more you learn about it, the more you practice it, the more creative you will become.
Never forget that you have the right to be creative because you were made in the image of God, the Creator of heaven and earth.
Do you think you have an idea for a best-selling book? Do you need help making your idea become a reality? I ghostwrite books for the famous, and the unknown.
For a free evaluation of your idea, contact me at: http://TheWordDoc.net
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=William_Larson,_Ph.D.
You might also like
7 Easy Ways to Increase Creativity
Does Your Art Even Exist
Is Creative Block Just Part of Your Process?
Feed Your Creative Spirit
Bad Start to Your Day?
Tags: Articles
,
Creativity
=======================
Let’s meet Joan – a beginner at quilting
… and an art quilter wanna be
Hi, my name’s Joan and I’m a beginner at quilting. I’ve only been quilting for a very short time and I really don’t know all that much about it yet, probably even less than a beginner would know.
I’ve recently done a few small quilts for my family and they turned out ok, but what I really want to try is art quilting – that just sounds like so much fun!
Well, now that I’ve been quilting for a short while, I’ve got lots of questions. It can get very confusing trying to sort out all the stuff you need to know about quilting, and I’m not even going to start with art quilting just quite yet.
These are just some of things I’m having trouble understanding:
I overheard someone say that not all fabrics were the same quality – I didn’t know that, I thought they were all the same.
and I seem to have trouble with some of my threads breaking – I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong.
and sometimes my machine quilting is not so good – what can I do to make that better?
I am a true beginner. A virgin quilter even. Speaking of virgins, I must tell you the one about …
Ooops, I can hear Linda rummaging around in her sewing room.
Stick with me as I pick her brain and you might learn something as well. This could take quite some time so we might have to do this in installments. I don’t know about you, but my head can only hold so much information at a time.
never say never
Linda is a very nice person, but I find it really strange that she seems to spend so much time and money buying fabric and thread and quilty things. Talk about stuff !! Beads and paints and things I can’t even imagine using. It’s almost like an obsession with her ! I’m quite sure that’ll never happen to me, although I did see some nice fabric at that quilt shop the other day, and she had some beads there that were winking at me … hmmmm.
And you know, lately I’ve been thinking … my sewing machine is a little old and cranky and maybe I’d like to get a new one, but where to start with that, I’m a little confused about it all.
let’s get started
J: Hey Linda! Pull your head out of that fabric stash. I need some advice.
L: Hey there Joan, what can I help you with today ?
(Thinking: She sure does need help .. I should live to see the day she can sew a straight seam.
J: Linda, I think it’s time for a new sewing machine, but I don’t know where to start.
(Thinking: Hmmm, maybe I will live to see the day…)
L: A new machine? I think I can help you with that.
Beginner Quilting
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
You might also like
7 Easy Ways to Increase Creativity
Does Your Art Even Exist
Is Creative Block Just Part of Your Process?
Feed Your Creative Spirit
Bad Start to Your Day?
Tags: Articles
,
Beginning Quilting
=====================

Written by 

Leave a Reply