Thursday, February 3, 2011

The New Age of Quilting....part 2...Information

In my pocket, not literally, at least not at the moment, it's being used to stream a Celtic Radio Station, I have a phone.  They call it a "Smart Phone".  It's not any smarter than the phones we used to use - remember the rotary dials and long tangling cords?!  They call it smart because if the user is smart enough to figure out how to ask, the phone is smart enough to do way more than any Princess Phone ever thought of doing.  Essentially, it is a computer in my pocket.  Smaller yes, but not so very different than the computer you might have at home. (The one you are reading this note on.)  Both of these have access to the Internet, a plethora of possibilities.

A new kind of encyclopedia....
For the traditionally minded quilter - that is one who likes paper and pencils and written directions, Quilter's Cache is an incredible recourse.  Marcia Hohn has assembled a collection of directions for quilt blocks of all kinds, and offers them to the public for FREE They are categorized by type, difficulty, size, and name and in some cases have links photos of finished blocks or quilts.   Click on the purple link to check it out - you may become as addicted to the possibilities as I am.

Others of us like to see pictures of a finished product before we dig in.  That is available too.  In recent years the people at Moda fabrics have changed the way we think about quilting.  They've developed a line of pre-cut fabrics that they market under  Moda Bakeshop.  All of the cuts have fun bakery names - Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Turn Overs, Honey Buns, the list goes on.  Along with the cuts they have created a place to find FREE (there's that word again!) ideas and patterns on how to use them.  You can find everything from "Doggie Do-Bags" to Baby Quilts on their site, along with supply lists and directions to make them.  (Don't be put off by their terminology - recipes are patterns, ingredients are supplies etc.)  This is a very sweet place to visit!

A third option is video.  Videos, like the one posted here, have also become very popular.  This one shows you how to make the quintescential half-square triangle, but it is just one of thousands like it.  Quilters are a generous group, they want to share what they have learned.  Their creativity has led them to create these FREE videos and post them so that people all over the world have access to what was once limited by time and place.  You no longer have to have the teacher living in your community.  (This is true of more things than quilting - my "little" brother is a professor for an on-line university and has students all over the globe.)

In gathering information the trick is to use your computer's search engine.  Don't worry, it is safe, you won't catch anything by asking a question.  Be specific in your search and if you find what you are looking for right away try rewording it. 

Let me know if you find anything good!  I'm always up for learning something new.

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