Friday, May 25, 2018

4 Easy Steps To Create Friends Lists on Facebook and Why That Benefits Quilters

Do you have quilting friends and 'other' friends on facebook? And by other friends I mean those that don't quilt? (heaven forbid!)


I do have different groups of friends on facebook, and I was having some concerns that my non quilting friends were being inundated with quilt pics and my quilting friends probably didn't care about me asking what time hockey practice was for my son on facebook.  

Friend Lists

I did what every conscientious friend does, I created friend lists on facebook. With friend lists you can take all your friends and put them in special lists according to topics or things you have in common with them. And you can have them on more than one list. 

For example, I have a 'local' list which has all my friends in my community on it. And I have a 'quilt' list that obviously has all my quilting friends on it. 

Only Me So when I create a post, I pick which list sees the post. Sometimes I pick the 'only me' choice too if I want to save it in my feed. When would I use this? If it is a special post that I am sharing to my timeline that was on someone else's newsfeed that I might not want to share ie. a recipe or a great craft idea.

Are you convinced that friend lists are awesome?

Here are some easy steps to follow to create a Friends List.

How to Make a Friends List
  1. 1. Click  'Friend Lists' under 'Explore' on the left side of your News Feed.


2. Click 'Create List'



3. Name Your List

Enter a name for your list that will give meaning to you, and then enter the names of friends you want to add. I often just type in the first letter and a whole list of names comes up. Hit 'Create' when you are done. 


  1. Also note, you can go and edit these lists anytime and add or remove friends. And friends can be on as many lists as you want. 
  2. 4. Make a Post Using Your Friends List
  3. Now when you go to post the practice schedule for your kid's hockey or your amazing quilt, you can choose who sees the post. If you want every facebook friend to see that you just got your quilt juried in post, you hit 'Friends'. 


  1. Let me know if you like Friends Lists!





Sunday, May 20, 2018

Modern Bookmarks to Teach Kids to Sew and Quilt


Do you want to teach kids to sew and quilt but sometimes find the task daunting? Although there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a child accomplish a project and be so proud of it!

I have a number of tutorials on teaching kids to sew, but the bookmarks are probably my favorite for those beginner projects. 



How to Make Bookmarks

Supplies - enough to make 5
Scraps of bright fabric
Batting 10” square
Backing 10” square

Instructions 
  1. Take your scraps of fabric and with your ruler cut long straight sides. You are looking at about 10” long by 1/2”-2” wide.
 

  1. Begin sewing the scraps together along the long side until it is approximately 10” x 10". 
  2. Press well.

  1. On the 10”x10” backing fabric, on the right side, draw out as many 2” x 7” rectangles as you can, leaving a 1/2” space between each and not getting too close to the outer edges.



  1. Layer in order:
         Backing wrong side up
         Batting
         Scrap top right side up


  1. Flip over and pin in the center of the rectangles to hold layers in place.
  2. Set the machine to a tight zig zag stitch and sew on the lines you made for your rectangles.

  1. Once done, cut out close to the stitch line and you have made your bookmarks!

Start enjoying using them! They have endless possibilities and make fabulous gifts! Be sure to send me a note if you make some!


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Pinterest - Why Quilters are Obsessed With It



Pinterest

Why are some quilters in love with pinterest? What are those pins and boards they spend all their time on?
Read on to see why quilters adore pinterest!


What Is It?

Pinterest is where people discover new ideas and find inspiration to do the things they love! Pins or pictures of items are saved to boards, keeping your ideas organized and easy to find. 



How Do I Use It?


1. Create a profile. 
Similar to facebook and Instagram, work your way through the profile steps. Here is a great 2 minute video.


2. Create a Board


To create a new board on your account, click 'Boards' button in the middle of the page and then click the big red '+' button on the page. Select the option to Create a Board and give it a good name. As an example, I created one called 'Beginning Quilting'.




3. Add a Pin
To add a pin to one of your boards, use the search engine in pinterest to search for  a topic you like. I typed in beginning quilting in the search bar and then hit enter. 
Hundreds of 'pins' or pictures will show up. By clicking on the image it will open up another screen to give you a close up and description. By clicking one more time, it will take you to the website the picture came from. 
As you hover over each picture, in the top right hand corner will be a small red box with a picture of a pin and the word 'save'. This will give you the opportunity to save the pin or image. You can also click on the pic and still have the opportunity to save it on the next screen. 

Once you click on the 'save' button, you will then be guided to see what board you want to pin your image in.

If you want to add your pin to a new board, you can create one directly from the drop down menu as well. Once you've selected the board, write a description of your pin. Your boards can be public or 'secret'. Secret means only you see them. I have used this when planning a surprise party and one of my followers was the person I was planning the party for, so I didn't want to tip them off on ideas I was collecting for the party. 

I love pinterest as I not only have boards for all the different genres of quilting, but woodworking recipes, gardening, you name it, pinterest has it! 
To get you started, take a look at the different boards I have created. 
One of my favourite followers is Jina Barney. She has a board for everything! 

4. Follow People, Boards and Topics

You can also follow people on pinterest and they can follow you. When you click on the image, at the bottom it will tell you who saved that pin to their board and name their board, you can click on their name to see their profile and if you like what they are pinning you can follow them. Or you can even just follow one or two of their boards if you like. Again, look for the red 'Follow' button on their profile and on their boards. 
Once you follow a profile or boards, on your own profile, if you hit Following, you have the option to look at the people, boards and topics you are following. 

Give it a try, although you may want to set a timer. Friends have told me they get lost on pinterest!  
Let me know what you enjoy most about it!

Jackie

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Meet Maud



Please go and check out my new page 'Meet Maud' on my blog.

Maud is a part of me so familiar that sometimes I feel she is me.
Starting with one little sketch in my design book and playing with thread, fabric and my machine, Maud was created. From there my sketch book is filled with possibilities and now she has taken on a journey that I truly don't know where it will end.

The original Meet Maud quilt. 2017

I am currently working on a submission for a juried exhibit at the Houston Quilt Show. It requires a woman on a quilt that is 6' tall and 2' wide. 

I had to draw it out on paper first and then cut the shapes out of fusible paper and then transfer that to fabric. The background is strips of yellows that blend into strips of green. 



Following the same style as the original small pieces, the shapes are outlined two or three times in black thread, bringing her to life. Flowers made of rick rack and fabric were added down at Maud's feet. 



Since her outfit was a combination of light and dark pink polka dots, her purse was a bright blue polka dotted ensemble. 
Stay tuned as I finish this life size Maud quilt!


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Instagram - Why It Is the Fastest Growing Platform for Quilters



What is Instagram
How Can I Connect It With Quilting?


Instagram is a photo and video sharing network connecting people. Quilters so far, mostly use it as a photo sharing tool.
It is a platform (app) that you can use with your mobile device, (phone) to take and upload a picture, give it a description and use some hashtags and you are off and running. If you aren’t comfortable or don’t have a phone, you can still enjoy looking at Instagram on your ipad, or laptop or desktop.  



How Do I Use Instagram?


Similar to facebook, you set up a profile after you have downloaded an app, complete with login information. Simple instructions are found here. A nice thing about Instagram is you can keep your account private if you want, meaning only those you choose to allow as your ‘followers’ can see your pictures etc.  Kids often use this privacy setting. It still allows you to explore the platfiorm and follow whom you wish.

If you have a public profile you can follow and can gain followers to your page.
You can find industry leaders in quilting on Instagram, your favourite quilters and so much more!
  Kathleen Riggins for example, one of Canada’s leading long armers posts wonderful pictures of her quilts and how she is quilting them. Stacey Day a well known pattern designer is also on here.

Benefit of Instagram for Guilds

Many, many modern quilt quilds also put up there show and share from a guild meeting on Instagram. Look at Vancouver MQG.
Instagram is great because you can put one picture up or up to ten photos and the viewer just swipes across to see them all. You can also post videos up to one minute in length as well.

Instagram also allows for 15 second stories that stay on the top of the screen for 24 hours.
For the average quilters to use, you will most likely use the upload of pictures of your quilts.


Do I Need to Add a Description and Hashtags?

Adding a description is basically telling the story of your quilt. Which as you know quilters love to learn what the picture of the quilt or block is all about.
Hashtags are wonderful search engines and are mostly found in Instagram and twitter. By putting the pound sign or # in front of a word or group of words with no spaces, it allows people to use it to search for topics.  As an example try searching #modernquilt or #quiltsofinstagram and as you can see in the example 80,017 posts used the tag #modernquilt in Instagram and you can search through them... maybe not all 80,000, in one night=)


I use  Instagram to show my work and will use tags so that others that like the same thing I like can see it. Some will follow me and I have the opportunity to follow them. You can also use it for brands as well. I often use #janome or #rileyblakedesigns when I have used that product in my work. Most brands have their own hashtags and will look for those using that brand. If I enjoy a product, I like to tell others about it.
On one such occasion I used #janome and Janome America contacted me and asked if they could put one of my pics on their site… that was fun!



How Do I See All the People I Follow on Instagram?

You will get a newsfeed similar to facebook by pushing the little house or home button at the bottom of the screen and it will show you your feed of all those you follow.
As you scroll through your feed you can hit the heart found at the bottom of each post, showing you like the post and also add a comment using the bubble button. You can see below I have liked the picture by Sue Daley.



How Do I share a Picture?

On each post you see  the heart, comment bubble and an arrow, by hitting the arrow, you will be able to find whom you want to send the post to and add a comment. So I could send this post on to my friend 'myquilts' and tell her how much I like this colour combo.   It is a private message between her and I.



What is Tagging?

Tagging is simply identifying someone in a post. You can do it in facebook, Instagram and twitter. By using the @sign and adding their name, it will alert that person that they have been tagged in a post.
What quilters can find lots of fun is if for example they used WonderFil threads in a project, when they post a pic of their quilt, they can add their description and within it say used @wonderfilspecialtythreads and then WonderFil will get a notification and most likely will go and like or  leave a comment on your post! On occasion they will post your work to their site, which can help you gain followers if you are interested in that and if not, be flattered they loved your work!

Regardless of what your motive is for using Instagram, it is a wonderful platform for being able to see the quilting world.

What are your favourite features about Instagram?


Monday, April 30, 2018

6 Facebook Tips for Quilters And How You Can Optimize Your Quilting Experience


Did you know that Facebook has 1.32 billion daily active users and is the most popular social media platform?


As a quilter, why would you want to be a part of it? I love it for many reasons. One is to keep up on the news in the industry. I knew immediately when Free Spirits fabric got bought out as an example.

I also adore it because I get to be connected with quilters across the world!  Some I have met first on facebook then eventually in real life!  Some I may never meet but interact daily with them, sharing the same passion - quilting!


Facebook gives you the opportunity to be a part of quilting groups, clubs, find quilting friends and follow leaders in the industry. It also allows you to share your quilts and your quilting journey with more than your local friends and guild.

Whether you are thinking about joining facebook, use it a bit, or a lot in your quilting life, read on to grab some fun tips to get the most out of facebook and quilting.

What is Involved

Have you never joined facebook but want to become involved, meet friends, see what the hype is all about? It is quite simple to do.
You start by creating a profile/account for yourself. It will walk you through all the steps.

You can give more or less information, so do keep that in mind. Go here to find out the steps to create an account.

Let's just get right to the privacy issues. As a quilter, unless you have a facebook page that is public, I do recommend that you put some privacy settings on your profile. As an example set it up that when you post, only friends see it, so the whole world of facebook doesn't see what you are up to. You can always change these settings later, or for individual posts.
Once you have created your profile, you are officially on facebook!

How to Find Friends


Go to the white bar at the right top of the page and search for friends names.
As an example, I typed in my husband's name... I had to go and 'unfriend' him to demonstrate this. heehee
After I typed the name in the search bar, a bunch of names would come up and I would click on the blue lettered name to see if that is in fact my friend, if the profile picture was not of them. Sometimes quilters put pictures of quilts instead of themselves, and once I went to his profile and recognized some of his posts or some of his friends I could hit 'Add Friend' from his profile page or right here as I know it is him.



Continue adding friends to your profile!

Messaging

If you are on a person's profile page or on a business page, this is also where you can message people by hitting the 'message' button. I use this feature alot, as you don't have to be friends with them to send a message.


You can also see if you have messages or send messages by the button on the top right of the blue bar at the top of your screen.
Do you see the little blue bubble with the lightning bolt in the middle? If I had a message this would have a red number 1 beside it. If I want to send a message I can hit that button and look up people as well to send a message too. All your messages are kept and you can find them in 'Messenger' a tab on the left side.

See the world circle with the number 1 in the pic above,  this is my notifications and shows me that since I was last on facebook,  one thing has happened such as someone liked my post, or commented, etc.

Beside the 'Home' tab with the 2 people is the 'Friends Request' tab, so if someone has asked to be your friend, a little number will show up. You can also find friends here too. Facebook looks at your current friends and makes recommendations to you off of their friend lists.

The question mark circle is your help button, I use this frequently. Lastly the little flower type dial is your settings. This is a good place to explore. You will find much information here to help you make facebook work for you.

What is News Feed and Timeline?


On the blue header or bar at the top right you will see your name and the Home button. The Home is where your 'feed' is and shows you all the posts your friends have made or pages you have decided to follow or any posts from groups you joined. It will be a constant changing feed.
Your name is  your 'timeline'.  If you click on that it will show you all the posts you have created, and any posts you are tagged in.




How to Post on Facebook

You can create your own post easy and show what you are working on by uploading a picture or simply ask a question or make a statement. Do remember you can upload videos and many pictures.
You can do this by writing in the post box in the middle top of your facebook page.


You can upload a photo where it says 'Photo/Video' and see on the bottom right beside post, I have it set to 'friends'. Once you have typed in the white box and uploaded a pic or not, hit 'Post' and voila, you have created a post to share with your friends.

How Do I Follow Businesses I Like

Businesses have pages. In the quilt industry there are many, many pages and you can follow all your favourites. You will see new trends, tutorials, videos etc from them. It is a fantastic way to see what your favourite quilting brands are up to.
For example, Aurifil threads is a leader in the quilt industry on facebook. Do you have a favourite fabric company or designer? Go check them out, if you like the page, hit the 'Like' or 'Follow' button underneath the cover photo. This is my page, in case you were wondering=)

As an example here is a very talented friend of mine,  Amanda Herring, a designer for Riley Blake Designs. Tula Pink is another hot designer right now.

What are Groups and How Do I Join?

Groups are just that, like minded people coming together on facebook to share in a common interest. Some groups are closed, meaning you have to belong in order to see the posts and contribute your own posts. Some are open in that you can see everything without having to hit the 'Join' button. 
The difference between pages and posts is that you can post your own content in a group. It is great to ask questions or show your work and see others quilts.

Many guilds have closed groups where they can share  pics of their Show and Share or send out a quick message that reminds members to bring something to guild night. Quilt alongs  are another popular grouping on facebook. You can all share your progress as you all continue to work towards the common goal of finishing your quilt.

 I created a group called 'Modern Quilters of Canada' and would love it if this is something you would be interested in joining! You don't have to be a modern quilter but just have an interest in it, want to learn more etc. We are having giveaways, upcoming tips and tricks on youtube and you get to see and share your modern quilts. 


You can search using key words as well to find groups. I just found a group called 'Quilting with Pre-Cuts' and after answering an easy question, have joined. There are 38,000 people in the group! 

As a quilter, you will find a group you love, and be sure to ask your friends what groups they are a part of too!

I have only skimmed the surface of facebook but encourage you to consider joining quilt groups or pages.   

Do you have a favorite page or person you follow?  Leave a comment!

Next up is Instagram, so stay tuned!


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Series 1: How A Quilter Can Make the Most of Social Media



Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, Pinterest... what do I do? Do I need it to quilt? Why are all my friends talking about them?




Is this you? Are you a little bewildered in the presence of social media talk among quilters? Do you want to learn a bit more about the different platforms?  Are you an owner of a quilt store whether online or not, and want to learn how to optimize social media to increase sales?

Follow along as we discuss all this and more!

Let's start at the very beginning.

You have to ask yourself what you want out of social media?
 - Is it to find other like minded quilters and see what they are up to, interact with them, and see their      quilts?
 - Is it to make  a name for yourself in the quilting industry?
 - Is it to sell quilt related items?
 - Is it simply to see quilts and be inspired?
 - Is it to find tutorials?



Whatever your reason is, it will be one that is the best fit for you. Figure that out and you are on your way to turning social media into something that works for your quilting passion!

Since this is the first post in a series, let's start at the very beginning and do a simple breakdown of what each social media platform is.  I am not naming all of them yet, but the ones that most quilters use.

Facebook



Facebook is a popular social networking platform where you can share photos, send messages, make friends. You create a personal profile and then can find friends, join groups and follow pages of those in the industry that interest you.  Check out this fun page loaded with information, tutorials and more of Riley Blake Designs, a fabric company that is very popular.


Instagram


Instagram is online photo sharing with others. It allows you to take pictures with your mobile device (phone) and upload them onto Instagram with a description and hashtags. (Don't worry we will cover hashtags). You can still see Instagram pictures from a desktop computer. Click here to test it out.  Try searching using hashtags to find items such as #modernquilts that interest you.


Youtube


Video sharing platform that allows users to watch other videos and upload their own. A great place for tutorials. For example, click here to see how to make a 'modern mosaic block'.


Pinterest


Allows you to share images through social networking and the 'pins' or images link back to a website, blog etc.. to find further information. You create a profile and can then create 'boards' to 'pin' the photos you like on. For example here is my board of modern quilts.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you would like to learn more about!
Stay tuned for more tips on how to navigate the social media world for quilters!



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Stacey Day Book Tour


What an absolute thrill to have the opportunity to be a part of Stacey Day's book tour!

Her new book 'Child's Play Quilts' is filled with adorable and quick quilts. Broken down into sections talking about color and fabric, looking after your stash, and last but not least, a wonderful variety of appliqué and pieced patterns. The instructions are easy to follow with lots of pictures to keep you on track and inspired!
Stacey is giving away a copy of her book over on her blog,  and on her instagram @staceyinstitches.


I had the opportunity to work with her quilt pattern in the book called 'Whirling'. It was so easy and fun to make, and you guessed it, the pattern had circles! 


This is the quilt Stacey made for her book, isn't it gorgeous!


I chose to work with Riley Blake Designs gingham collection to make it playful.
The instructions were easy to follow and while I didn't make the full sized quilt in the book, I did make a smaller wall hanging.

You can get your own copy of the book here. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.



I chose to use a rainbow of gingham colors on a grey print background. 


The block above,  I pieced the fabric together in fan type sections and then cut so I would get a variety of colours in each circle. 


I chose a simple straight line stitching on the quilt to keep with the modern theme I wanted. 


As always my favourite place to take pictures is on old barns. 



Be sure to visit Stacey's blog and on her Instagram for a chance to win a book!  Drop by and see me on my Instagram @jackiesartquilts!