Sunday, March 17, 2013

Quilting Online with Social Media

Social Media and Quilting Online

Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, exchange and comment contents among themselves in virtual communities and networks.  It's like having a 24 hour quilt retreat with people all over the world.

Facebook - Connect with friends and family, quilters, pattern and fabric designers, and quilt shops.  My favorite feature:  Facebook is updated more than any other social media site...this means you are "in the know" about anything you decide to follow.  FREE

YouTube - Watch videos about your favorite subjects.  Great quilting tutorials from quilting legends like Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  My favorite feature:  if you get stuck on a technique, you can usually find the answer on YouTube.  As many of us are hands-on learners, this is excellent!  FREE

Pinterest - Find photos and links to crafts ideas and more.  Lots of links to free patterns.  Create your own 'board' and pin  your favorites.  My favorite feature:  LOTS of inspiration for quilts and other crafts.  This is the most addicting website you'll ever visit!  FREE

Connectedthreadz - a fairly new universal social network for quilters, fiber artists, shop owners and designers.  My favorite feature:  post videos, photos and comments all about quilting!  FREE - a wonderful place to support fiber artists and small business.  Items range from furniture to antiques to custom quilts.  My favorite feature:  you can purchase unique, one-of-a-kind items while supporting small businesses.  FREE

Websites - a direct link to a website will bring you to exactly what you need.  Without a direct link, however, or other search engines can help you search for what you're looking for.  FREE

Twitter - people share thoughts and updates in 40 characters or less.  My favorite feature:  it's fun to follow quilt pattern and fabric designers, especially during Spring and Fall market.  FREE

Blogs - wonderful means of staying in touch with all kinds of people who share the same interests - any blogged items can be referred back to again and again and are always there when needed.  My favorite feature:  free patterns and step-by-step tutorials!  FREE

Smart Phone and iPad Apps - new apps seem to come available every day and they can be useful and fun - some of my favorite are the Missouri Star Quilt Company Quilt Tutorials, Quilt Shops, Thread connector, ColorVariations, Jo-Ann Fabrics, BlockFab, QuiltCalc , Keepsake Quilting and more that I'd like to try are:

Quick & Easy Quilt Block Tool

C&T Publishing created this free iPhone app just for quilters. It includes over 100 quilt blocks, and gives you cutting diagrams and patch sizes for multiple sizes of each block. It would also be handy to take along when you shop, to pull up quilt blocks you might want to make and review their structure.
I don't have the app yet, but sizes assume that you will cut patches individually, and not use quick piecing techniques.
The app also works with iPod touch and the iPad.

Judith Baker Montano's Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stitch Guide

Another iPhone app from C&T Publishing. A free version of the app includes instructions for 10 stitches (right hand and left hand sewing). You can upgrade to the three paid apps from within the free version.
  • Beginning #1 includes 60 basic embroidery stitches and over 20 minutes of video
  • Advanced #2 takes you to more advanced stitches and offers another 20 minutes of video
  • Silk Ribbon #3 includes more than 50 stitches to help you create projects with silk ribbon, and more video

Quilting Calc

Published by Robert Kaufman Fabrics, you can probably guess that this iPhone app helps you work with fabrics. The app includes eight quilt-related calculators: a fabric measurement converter, backing and batting calculator, a piece count calculator, border and binding calculators and more. It has some negative reviews regarding freeze-ups, but there's a new version available. And hey -- the app is free. If it doesn't work for you, delete it.
Quilting Calc is also available for Android cell phones.

Art Quilting Daily

Contemporary quilt lovers should check out this free iPhone app. You'll be able to read the daily blog posts from Quilting Daily, with tips on surface design, wearable arts, crazy quilting, beading, silk ribbon techniques, fabric painting and lots more. This smartphone app also gives you access to over 100 how-to videos.

Quilt Shops

Quilters Club of America helped develop the info contained in this free iPhone app for quilters. Enter a city, state or zip code and search, or let the app do the work to find the shops nearest your current location. Once you find a shop that sounds interesting, you'll be able to pull up more information about it, including its Web site.
The app also has a feedback feature -- report new shops or shops that have closed or changed locations.
The same app is also available for Android cell phones.

Quilts 1700–2010: A close-up, stitch-by-stitch look at British quilting

Here's an interesting iPhone app. It was created for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and includes 22 quilts that were on display at the museum in 2010. The quilts cover three centures of quiltmaking in Great Britain. ($2.99)

Stitchers Helper

Stitchers Helper is an Android quilting app, but also covers other sewing-related crafts, like knitting, cross stitch and embroidery. It has calculators for figuring yardage, and you can attach images to track the progress of your work. Other calculators help you cut pieces for popular units, such as half-square triangle units and quarter-square triangle units.
This is a free commercial app for the iPhone that allows you to easily shop the AccuQuilt site from your phone, iPod or iPad. AccuQuilt manufactures precision fabric cutters. 

I hope you've found this information helpful.  Please pass it along to encourage more quilters to get into the world of social quilting!

What are your favorites?  Happy St. Patty's Day and All the Best,

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