Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Quilters Meet & Greet


Imagine the fun email asking if I want to be part of a Quilters Meet and Greet with a big giveaway at the end? How could I say no?
Be sure to check out the other quilters participating in the Meet & Greet too!


A little about me. 
I love to quilt, really love it. Maybe except the pinning before the quilting, that is something I am not a huge fan of:) I have been quilting for about 20 years and it was a great past time when I stayed home to raise my kids. I belong to a guild and have served on the board for Canada's national quilt association. 
When I am not quilting, I enjoy perusing social media looking for inspiration in the quilting world. You can find me on facebook and Instagram under 'Jackie's Art Quilts. Here I show my latest creations.

I have tried many of the different genres of quilting and currently am enjoying creating modern quilts and thread sketching. 

This quilt is one of my recent finishes and is currently in Paducah waiting to be judged and then hanging in the AQS show there. I love circles and many of my quilts will have some type of circular component to them. 

I also have been doing threadsketching lately and have started a series about a lighthearted fun loving girl named Maud. You can see the series here



Don't forget to check out the other quilters and get in on the Grand Prize!




Friday, August 31, 2018

Trish & Birdie Blog Tour

It was a pretty fun email that came unexpectedly inviting me on a blog tour to introduce a new fabric line !

What happened after that was receiving a fat quarter bundle of this delicious fabric, we were asked to make something with it.
This is the collection called 'Trish and Birdie' by Deane Beesley at Sweet Bee Designs
.
It is a delightful collection of all things sweet, flowery and full of sunshine.


I thought and thought of what to make. I didn't want to make something that would end up in my closet as the fabric was just too cute! Placemats, tablerunners, wall hangings all ran through my mind. 

As many of you know, I have a bit of an addiction to circles, modern quilting and the drunkards path block.   I decided that the best way to create with this fabric was to combine all of that together. 

Using a template that gave me a 5 1/2" block of drunkards path, I started. 

I pulled out 5 different fat quarters from the bundle and coupled that with some dark grey solid fabric. From there, with no exact plan I began cutting the 2 different parts of the block out using the print fabric.  The solid grey fabric I just used for the 'L' shape piece of the block. 

When it came time to sewing, I simply mixed and matched the pieces together. One tip  I have when sewing drunkards path blocks is start in the middle and stitch out in one direction and then go back to middle and stitch out in other direction. 
When you finish a block, press and trim. 

Then I just started laying them out on my design wall and rearranging until I found something I liked.  



I filled in the spaces with more grey fabric and sewed up the top.


As I was wanting to show off the print fabric and keep it traditionally modern if that is even a phrase, I went with straight line stitching! 


I do love the straight line stitching!



Please be sure to check out the other amazing items made on this tour by such talented quilters!  

@jinabarney
@be_so_crafty
@abrightcorner
@allisonsews
@thelittlegreenbean
@lilyshinecreates
@pipersgirls
@poweredbyquilting
@stephjacobsondesigns
@lovinglylissa
@jackiesartquilts

Thank you so much for the invite Deane!  It sure was fun!



Monday, August 20, 2018

Modern Quilt Contest Winners Announced!



Congratulations to the winners of the first ever Modern Quilt contest hosted here!

First a huge shout out to Amanda Herring Designs and Troll Brother Quilt Designs for sponsoring such great prizes!

I asked a certified quilt judge to judge the quilts and was lucky enough to get one of the Canadian Quilt Judge instructors to judge the contest.   

In Canada through the Canadian Quilters' Association, we have a Quilt Judge Certification Program that is 3-5 years in length.  Joyce Brown and Judy Villett are the 2 instructors that teach this program in Modules. There are 5 modules to the program. 

Module 1 can be a benefit to anyone and consists of:
  • A one-day class designed to give an introduction to judging
  • Designed for anyone thinking about becoming a Judge, Scribe, Juror, or Aide
  • Also for those interested in organizing a judged show, entering a judged show or broadening knowledge.
The instructors will also travel to teach Module 1, if you or your guild are interested in something like that. They also offer it at the Quilt Canada conference in Ottawa this coming June. 

Joyce was kind enough to judge the contest. So without further ado, here are the comments from our esteemed judge:


1st place is # 11 Bluebird Sunset. 
From the Judge: 'Subtle, but effective illusion of a bluebird. The quilting lines bring emphasis to the branch and bird as is the sun is setting directly behind it.'


The winner will receive a $75 gift certificate from the awesome Troll Brother Quilt Designs!


2nd place is #14 Linda S. 
From the Judge: 'The contrast between the quilted circles the straight lines add movement and depth. The lighter strips of green make the vertical stripe appear to be floating up.'


The winner receives a $50 prize sponsored by the talented Amanda Herring Designs!

Judge’s Choice - 'which I’d love to hang in my home is #9 Spira Mirabillis. The colours and how it looks like cells from an acrylic pour bring movement and life to this piece.'


Joyce also had this to say about all the entries, 'This was fun. You had some great entries with very different pieces.'

Thank you to all who entered and to our incredible sponsors and Judge!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Summer Quilt Challenge for the Modern Soul



Want to spice up your summer? Heat things up with a modern twist? Read on, as this is an opportunity for you to have a summer blast!

 Here is your chance to try modern quilting and have some fun at the same time! 

If you have never done modern quilting, or not sure where to start, try a small quilt like this fun contest! 

It is fabulous for those modern quilters that want to have a chance to play with a modern quilt on a smaller scale! Come and join in this summer!


The Scoop:

Create a 12” x 12” modern quilt complete with your choice of binding.
Think modern when designing your quilt, ie. minimalism, negative space, and use of colour, to name a few design concepts.
Must be completed by August 15th. All participants will be able to upload their project from July 15th until August 15th at Jackie’s Art Quilts blog (here).

Judging will take place and winners will be announced August 20th. Open to anyone. 


Prizes:

Thank you super awesome sponsors!!!

1st place  $75 gift certificate sponsored by Troll Brothers Quilt Designs

2nd place $50 prize sponsored by Amanda HerringDesigns




If you are showing your work on social media, please use #ModernSummerQuilt so we can all see what you are up to!

Let's have some fun this summer and make some great modern quilts!
Below my name is the Inlinkz Link up, click that and that will take you to the page where you can upload your challenge piece!





Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Facebook Groups - A Group for Every Quilter

Social media is a love of mine. One of the best reasons is because I get to be a part of so many different groups that let me express my passion and see what other quilters are doing too!

Groups are the best way to share, interact and communicate with other quilters who like the same style of quilting you do.

Facebook groups can vary in many different ways. But they all have one thing in common, you get to post to a group of like minded people in whatever subject interests you.  Take a look at the different groups.

Open facebook groups
Open groups are public, meaning members can see the group and who else is in it, and can see the posts.

Closed facebook groups 
The name of the group, its members and description can be seen by the public but not the posts.

Secret facebook groups
Nothing can be seen by the public.

Here is an excellent description of the 3 different kinds of groups. 


How do You Find a Facebook Group for You

It is pretty easy actually.
1. You can simply type in a word in the search bar on facebook and see what comes up. Scroll down until you find groups and see what is there. I typed in 'quilting' in the example below.


2. Here is a second way to search for groups.
On the left side bar is a tab called Groups.


Click on Groups and that opens up a page that shows the groups you have requested to join, groups you moderate and groups you belong to. 

Here is where you can create a group as well. Look at the green tab on the right hand side that says Create Group. 

On the  top left hand side is a tab called Discover. When you click on that a whole new world of groups opens up! It shows you suggested groups based on your profile, what groups your friends belong to, local groups and recent interest.  Look at the top tab and scroll through to find even more groups based on different categories!   



Why Create a Group?
As I mentioned, groups give quilters a chance to show their own work, ask questions, listen and see what others are doing. Groups can also be fun to use when doing a quilt along or launching a pattern or getting ready for an event. They can be long term or short term. Groups are also great for a guild to get information or share rather than waiting for a once a month meeting, it promotes continuous communication and fosters growth and new friends! 
Groups can be deleted when they are no longer useful by the owner of the group. 

My favourite groups
I have so many different loves in quilting that I am guilty of belonging to several different groups.  And I love them all!  I learn so much from them and I do enjoy sharing my quilt work within the groups as well. 
I have to say this one as I created it=)  Modern Quilters of Canada, it is a closed group so you need to ask permission to join. 
Quilting in Canada is a larger group that shares so much in terms of different quilting genres. 
Art Quilts is a group with talent that boggles my mind. 

What is your favourite group? 



Friday, July 20, 2018

How to Use Social Media Graphics For Quilters


I think we know that for a quilter, a picture is worth a thousand words!
As a quilter on social media, we want our pictures to convey what we are doing, what we want the post to say and most of all, we want it to engage our viewer.



But not all the time do we have a picture in our gallery or repetoire of photos to use. But we do have a message we want to get out there to our readers. What can you as a quilter do?

Use some great tools to find free images and other tools to design a graphic that will work for you!

When sourcing out images, I stick to the free ones that are copyright free, so I don't have to worry about anything.

Here are some good places I go to get images for my social media at no cost:


Pexels allows for the images to be used for commercial and non commercial use. They have a good search tool and an extensive gallery.



Unsplash is one I have just started using and am impressed with it. It has collections you can look through or use their search tool to find something specific. It also allows for use for commercial and non commercial use for free and no credit has to be given back.



Enhance


Enhance app logo


Enhance is super for several reasons, not only does it have a great search engine, but it is an app I have on my phone so I can do posts on the go. It is free and you just download it from the app store. 

Excellent search engine for copyright free images on Enhance.

The key components of Enhance are:

1. Searching  is excellent and fast.
2. I can edit with borders, filters, and text quickly and easily.
3. As each social media platform works with different sizes for their images, Enhance let's you choose which platform you are working with and helps you crop that image to fit that platform!
4. Sharing, when your image is done with your edits, you can share it right to facebook, twitter, Instagram or schedule it for hootsuite right within the app. Or simply save your image for later.


Editing Images

Once you have your image, it is sometimes not quite what you want. You may want to edit it by cropping a part out, enlarge it, put it on a background or add text to it. The two sources I go to are Enhance and Canva.   I will be honest, I seem to be spending most of my time either on Enhance or Canva. Both are free.

I like Canva because it also has images to draw from but has backgrounds, text, shapes and alot of flexibility. Canva, like Enhance also lets me pick what type of post I am creating so the image fits the social media platform.

A sample of what you can create on Canva.

When I am on my phone, it is simpler for me to use Enhance to get my image done quickly and efficiently.

What is your favourite tool for creating graphics?



Friday, June 29, 2018

10 Tips To Get the Most From Instagram


Do you love instagram as much as I do?

As a quilter, I am completely in love with this social media app. It is fast, easy and so engaging. Whether you do it to try and drum up quilt business for your store, teaching, or for your own pleasure, these tips will help.


1. Take the time to find your theme.
That doesn't mean that you can only post things that are pink if that is your favourite colour! What that does mean is take a moment to find out what you want your Instagram account to do for you, and try and stay within that boundary. For example, for the most part mine is on quilting. I try and keep a consistent light background with my images and since I love pink, if I am designing graphics, I throw that colour in there. That doesn't mean that you never see a pic of my kids or a sunset, absolutely you will. But for the most part, you will get a feel when you scroll through my account.
Another one so you can get a feel for the theme, is Amanda Herring Designs. She is a fabric designer and you can see her color palette as you swipe through her feed.

2. Good Pics Make for Good Posts
It doesn't matter what social media platform you are using, pictures make the story. Ensure your pictures are clear, concise and tell the viewer something. Watch too much clutter in a background and your lighting as well. There are some wonderful apps that can help brighten up and edit your photos. Use them, they make all the difference in the world.  Instagram has some editing features built right in, don't be afraid to play around with them.


3. Add your name/watermark/logo.
I will always add my quilt name when posting pictures of finished pieces. It is one way of making it more difficult for someone to 'borrow' my photos.  I will often use an image resizer like Image Size to bring the image quality down. It doesn't show up on a screen, but if they went to print it, they would get a very grainy and blurry copy.

4. Write good content.
Along with having a fabulous picture is the story you write to associate with that image. Make it meaningful, share a bit about yourself, and make it genuine. Readers want to relate to you, that keeps them engaged.

5. Be Sure to Like and  Leave Comments 
While it is always fun to see who liked your post and what comments were left, it is equally fun to return the favor. Be sure to check out your feed and like posts that you find interesting and leave comments often. Plus it is a great way to make friends and have more people follow you.


6. When To Post
This can be debated till the cows come home, but get to know your audience. Use your insights on Instagram and you can learn alot about your activity, content and audience.


You can find it at the top right corner, the 4 little lines that look like a graph. Take a look around.
You can see that Fridays, noon and 9 pm are good times for me to post.



7. Use hashtags.
Those pesky little # signs are vital in Instagram. It is the search engine that allow people with similar interests to find you, and for you to find them. Instagram allows you to search by people, tags or places, making it easy and fun. Take some time to figure out what hashtags work for you. As well create your own specific hashtag. Make sure no one is using it and then use it so you can easily find your own work. If you are a part of a contest or quilt along, or group project, often a hashtag will be created just for that project so you can use it so others in that group can see what each person is doing.


8. Tag
Don't be afraid to tag others on Instagram if it is relevant to them. When I use a specific fabric  for a project, I tag that company by using the @ sign and the name they use on instagram. It alerts them that their product is being used and often they will like or comment on it, thereby increasing engagement.

9. Be Regular
Try and post on a regular basis. If you set out to do it once a day, try to ensure you have content built up in advance so if life gets in the way, you have something to fall back on. That doesn't mean you have to create a quilt every day. Use progress shots, or images of your favourite threads, tools etc. And that 'Repost' app can come in handy on occasion as well. Don't post to simply to throw a post up, while being regular is important, being authentic is more important.

10. Be You
Your Instagram should be a reflection of the story you want to tell, whether you are an online quilt store, or a quilter at the North Pole, figure out the story you want to portray and work on that. Nothing is more important than being genuine and honest. Only you know you, so don't try and copy the instagram icon that has 40,000 followers. Be You. Because that is pretty awesome!


Friendship Quilt Along with Amanda Herring Designs


You will be a little bit jealous. I had the thrill of participating in the sweetest quilt along ever! Amanda Herring hosted this fabulous quilt along!

This is what Amanda had to say about this fun quilt along:

Friendship is one of life's most vibrant quilts. It warms us, gives us a comfortable place to land, and brings color and pattern to our lives.  Join us in a quilting celebration of friendship as we sew the Friendship quilt together.  

Check out Amanda's blog to see what other participants are doing with their blocks!


I have my block done and am just stuck staring at it as I love it so much! 



I chose to use solid colours as I try and explore modern quilting a bit more. 
Seeing as I couldn't decide what to put my block into, I took the block and just repeated it and checked out









Thursday, June 7, 2018

How Quilt Guilds Can Use Social Media


Do you belong to a guild? No doubt if you do, you love it for so many reasons, and one huge part of that is probably the social!

The downside of that is many guilds only meet once a month. 
How nice would it be to stay connected to your guild every day, when you want!

Enter social media for quilt guilds. 


Social media has so many extraordinary tools that guilds can capitalize on to make the most of your guild!

Instagram
Have your guild set up an Instagram account. You can read about it here.  Post pics of your guild's show and share so those that missed the meeting can see the eye candy. And if you shared a quilt, you can share on your instagram account by using 'repost'. You can post up to 10 pics at a time by simply hitting the little pic icon at the bottom right of this pic that will then allow you to select up to 10 pics from your gallery. 




I love scrolling through a guild's instagram post to see the great quilts shown at their meeting.



Facebook
What a fantastic way to reach your members and keep socializing long after the meeting is over!

You can create a page that allows everyone on facebook to see what you are up to and to really hilight your guild and events. With a page, only the editors and administrators can post. But you can add comments. An example of a page is mine  at Jackie's Art Quilts. You can see that only I create posts but anyone can comment. 

 A group is often a great way for guilds to communicate and it can be open or closed. Regardless if it is open or closed, anyone can post in the group. Which is a fabulous way to ask questions, show your quilts , send meeting reminders etc. 
Open meaning that anyone on facebook can view the group's content. 
Closed meaning, a person must get permission to join and you can then share pics, post guild reminders, events etc within a network of people.  The Modern Quilters of Canada is a closed group but you can ask permission to join and then see and post pics of quilts, ask questions, comment etc. 
I love facebook groups for guilds as it encourages dialogue and continues to build communication and friendships.

Blog
Blogs used to be very popular and some guilds still use them as a tool for their guild. It is like writing a small story on a timely basis. Some guilds will post once a month and hilight the activities of the guild, pics of the quilts, and promote shows etc. You can often sign up to receive an email notification when the blog has been updated. The drawback is that this doesn't allow for much engagement by the reader. They can leave a comment but that is pretty much it. 

E-newsletters
I find this is a great tool to share the guild newsletter, remind members of a guest speaker, what to bring etc for guild meetings. I like this used in conjunction with another social media platform that allows engagement or conversation back and forth. 

I hope your guild considers using social media to benefit their members.

Jackie


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!