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Ironclad Inspiration

Just Google it. Check out YouTube. How many times have you wanted to know how to do something and those phrases popped into your head? I admit that it has taken me awhile to jump on that bandwagon but it has been a game changer ever since I took that leap. I have used those platforms to troubleshoot my long arm and learn new quilting designs. Once you search for a specific topic on YouTube other videos on that subject will pop up on your notifications. As a result I have found several that have provided much inspiration in the past few months.

One of the first YouTube videos that I watched was a series by Angela Walters -my all-time favorite quilter - called “The Midnight Quilt Show”. In these weekly 10-minute segments she would stitch a quilt top and demonstrate the quilting designs while drinking wine and eating chocolate as the rest of her family was sleeping. What a clever concept! Recently she has posted videos of quilt-alongs which are tutorials of some of her favorite designs.

Natalia Bonner’s videos are all about quilting designs. Sometimes she just shows how she quilts a full size top without any explanation and other times she explains it all in great detail. Last summer she began a series of short videos entitled “Let’s Stitch - A Block A Day” in which she demonstrated 365 different designs that could be used in a variety of shapes such as triangles, circles, and squares. Recently I was looking for a new design to use in a square and one of her designs was the perfect choice.

Handi-Quilter - the manufacturer of my long arm quilting machine - posts short 1-2 minute videos showing machine accessories such as feet and storage compartments as well as longer segments with tutorials and interviews with HQ educators. A recent video detailed the changes a quilter needs to make when using monofilament - sometimes known as invisible - thread as opposed to cotton or polyester thread.

Another entertaining yet informative series of videos comes from Lorena’s Quilting. Her 10-minute videos cover a wide variety of topics including the shipping of quilts, how to organize a quilt block swap, renovating a quilting studio, what to do with scrap batting, and how to quilt an applique quilt. And - to top it off - she has a fun accent!

Sherri McConnell from A Quilting Life also shares a variety of videos. As a fabric and pattern designer her posts often feature her own quilts made from her fabulous fabric. She also shows storage ideas that she has used in her studio as well as tutorials on binding, borders, and tools used to make the perfect blocks. She and her daughter Chelsi Stratton - who is also a fabric and pattern designer - recently launched a delightful podcast that I have been enjoying during my early morning walks each day.

Linda’s Electric Quilters, a quilt shop in McKinley, Texas, also has a presence on YouTube. My initial experience with their videos were with those that featured several variations on quilting a single block which I found quite inspiring. Lately they have had a weekly series called “After Hours” which I would have found incredibly helpful a few years ago as it is geared towards beginning free motion long arm quilters.

And the list of possible sites literally goes on and on. At the beginning of our pandemic isolation I spent quite a bit of time watching these videos. Since I can now watch the Kansas City Royals on TV almost every night and we are not isolated at home quite so much I haven’t been watching them as religiously as I was. But when the snow flies this winter and I am in need of some inspiration I know where to find it! Where do you find inspiration for your hobbies?

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