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Jumpstarting Your Quilting Skills

When I began my quilting adventure in 1993, I had nearly 25 years of sewing experience. However, quilting has a few different rules and requires some additional tools. I was able to learn what I needed to get started by subscribing to a quilting magazines. Over the next 24 years, I have found several magazines that I read cover to cover each time they arrive in my mailbox.

My first subscription was to a magazine called Quick and Easy Quilting which is no longer being published. It was a wonderful magazine to start with as I learned so much about cutting fabric, the 1/4 inch seam allowance, and how to press the seams. Each magazine had a variety of great patterns for projects that were easily done by a beginner like me.

After a few years Quilter’s World replaced Quick and Easy Quilting and I continued to build my skills with that publication. Right now I subscribe to American Patchwork and Quilting and Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazines. I also receive the American Quilting Society’s magazine as a member of AQS. I use these magazines to learn about and get inspiration for free-motion quilting designs and discover new techniques to try. The Fons and Porter magazine always features a pattern suitable for a Quilt of Valor. The Forest Acres Quilting Club has used several of those patterns for the quilts that we have awarded to veterans. The APQ magazine has started to publish patterns suitable for charity quilts in a variety of sizes. The AQS magazines includes quilts that have won prizes in their shows across the country. What great inspiration to see such fantastic quilts!

In the last few months I have learned a lot about quilting and my quilting business from several podcasts. Most of them are around an hour in length and they are fun to listen to in the car while I am driving or when I am putzing around my kitchen. They make me feel like I have a new quilting buddy.

I really enjoy Leah Day's “Hello, My Quilting Friends”. She begins each podcast by sharing stories about her family, her latest quilting book, or her current quilting project. She then does an interview with someone in the industry or just someone whom she has met during her quilting journey. I also listen to Frances McDowell’s podcast called “The Off-Kilter Quilt.” She talks about her family, her writing of quilt fiction, and her current quilting projects. I always chuckle when she refers to her husband as “The Man.”

I have also been listening to Pam and Lynn on The Stitch TV Show. This is actually a You-Tube video that I watch occasionally. I find that I prefer to listen, though, so that I can stitch at the same time. They also post a Virtual Stitch-In and Sewlebrity interviews which are quite interesting. Pam also does a solo podcast called “Hip To Be Square.” Both Pam and Lynn often talk about the projects that they have been working on as well as giving tutorials on different quilting techniques. They are generally quite amused with themselves, but I do learn a lot from the information that they present.

A new podcast that was recently recommended to me is by Abby Glassenberg called “While She Naps.” Abby interviews a guest on every show covering a wide range of topics. I have heard her talk to a British man who has a cross-stitch business, a CEO of a thread manufacturing company, and an amateur quilter who won Best in Show at Quilt Con. I enjoy the wide range of topics and the insightful questions that she asks.

The thing that I like most about quilting is the fact that there is always something new to learn. It might be a new quilting design or a new technique. It might be an idea to promote my business. It might be a new pattern to make to add to my collection of holiday quilts. It has been fun to discover new avenues in which to learn all there is to know in the world of quilting.

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