Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Gratitude List in French Reproduction Fabric

I call this my gratitude pouch, but if you could lookGratitude pouch into the bottom pocket you would find a flannel cut in a half circle filled with pins and needles.


Yep, I made it as an updated version of a midwife pocket for sewing tools and small piecing items.

It quickly became my gratitude pouch when I put a ring of plain paper slips at the top.

I pull one piece off and write what I am grateful for and slip it into a pocket. When I am feeling like it, I re-read them.

Our thoughts are powerful. focusing on what I am grateful for rather than worried about is important to me in reaching my goals and for my continual sense of well-being. My gratitude pouch hangs near my desk and gets plenty of traffic :) next week when I travel to teach, I will roll it up and take it with me to add to on the road.

Do you have a container for your gratitude list? How about one for symbols of your most special treasured people, places and things?  I do. I filled the inside of a silver colored box with the softest velvet in a deep green, and decorated the outside with embellishments. It sits on my desk too.

I find it comforting and natural to have these loving things near me as I work at my desk. Tell me about yours?

If you haven't read Changing Times: Women's Stories 1902-1942, you can directly download the PDF photo-filled eBook of 16 stories here or at the icon on my page. Then join us Monday, the 29th,when the three finalists will be my guest in an open dialogue about writing their story and writing as a creative outlet. It is a free at tele-class at 5 PM PST. The phone number and code will be posted next weekend at Women On Quilts.



Sunday, June 14, 2009

Julie Silber, Kona Coffee, Quilting to Grow the Brain & Social Media Marketing for Artists

Tomorrow night, Monday, join us for Julie Silber's open lines and slide show of her fabulous oddball quilts. The  Call-in info and link is here  at 5 PM Pacific time. No registration or charge.

Kona Coffee is holding a quilt contest for quilts sized to 40"X40". Darn, I have a  lap size coffee quilt I would have entered. How about you?  Kelly Smith let's us know about it on her quilting blog.

Nintendo vs. Quilting in the Fight to Save Your Brain  Which one does the research say save our memory the best? The answer never changes and it blends right into my belief that doing many different creative things is the optimum way to keep your brain young and growing. Mastering one thing over by doing it over and over does not help the whole brain. Different activities that activate different parts of the brain are the key. But how cool is it that quilting is included in the current research!!

If you are a quilt maker who wants to step up to the next level and sell your work or get commissioned work, this is an article full of avenues you might consider. 

See you tomorrow night!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Quilters and the Friendship Effect- Ways to Creatively Cope During Stressful Times

early printed plaid blk When you feel stressed-out about the economy or a job loss friendship, quilting and charity work can lift you up.(This quilt block is ca. 1845. I bought 4 different ones at the Quilt Festival in Long Beach 2008. All of the Art Quilts were shown at Pacific International Quilt Show, October 2008)

The effect of bonding through friendship on a female's natural response to stress was recently studied in a prestigious university's landmark study. They found that in the female brain different chemicals are released during stress than in male brains. Females release oxytocin.

Oxytocin is the natural occurring chemical relepregnancy quilt 1990sased in a woman's brain when she gives birth, breastfeeds and cares for children. Oxytocin soothes and buffers the    automatic "flight or flight"  response. Quilters know meaningful conversations and sharing of feelings  happen during a girl's night out, a quilting retreat or class, meeting for dinner, or talking on the phone.

Other studies show when you give to a charity you believe in and know your donation will be used the way you want, you experiences physical and mental benefits that come from that act of doing good for someone else. Making donation quilts for children, elders, soldiers and others in times of need is nothing new to quilters. You give the gift of quilts as a symbol of their love in the form of a cozy fabric hug.

repetition complementary colors Women who are adept at machine work talk about "the zone" they get into. This is a mindless state of relaxation which is productive and relaxes the body and reduces stress responses that may follow.

Dealing with stress was a common theme when I was practicing as a psychologist and it is frequently the topic as I coach creative solo-preneurs today. Sewing and quilting are not always available when stress is high at work or when you're tired, or your eyes need a rest from close work, but paper and pencil are always handy.words handwork intelligent meaning  Journaling or writing out how you feel about your situation is another powerful stress reducer. Writing a detailed narrative of the upsetting events, past or present, that occurred in your life and most importantly your feelings about them, has been shown to be very effective in relieving depression. Sometimes it can be as effective as therapy or anti-depressants.

Seeking friendships, quilting, giving, tackling solutions in chunks of time and focusing most of your thoughts on what is good about your life and gratitude for it will help to sooth your mind and body. Without further effort on your part, chemicals will be released to help you cope until inevitably things will turn around and point you in an exciting new direction.hooks eye snaps layering

I hope this was helpful info. Or you can say it just gives more reasons to be glad we are quilters!

Piece to you and those YOU quilt with,


Monday, June 1, 2009

A Scrap Bag Full of Varied Info & Offerings - Keeping You in the Know :)

Hi Everyone! Grab a cup of java or glass of whatever and settle in with me.

1.) Have you heard the sad news that Cranston (VIP) closed its printing division in their Webster, Mass company? This means that there are no companies in America printing cotton fabric for apparel and quilters. Their textile mill began around 1812, almost 200 years ago. "The plant, which still rolls out 20 million yards of printed cloth a year for people who sew at home, once employed more than 700 people."

Obama Presidential commemorative Cranston I have had the pleasure of taking a tour through their plant three times beginning in 1997 and I was always Wowed. They grew with the times, changing and improving their machinery and adding computerized dye coloring of the roller screen printing machines and all other aspects they could computerize, they did. I saw fewer employees on each visit and no smoking went into affect.

Cranston was not weaving cotton cloth, they imported it from overseas, but all the printing was done there with the design division in NYC. Now foreign companies will also do their printing, just as all the other former quilt fabric manufacturers have done. They will only package and distribute the textiles they design from their US facilities. You can see a short video of their machinery in process and read more about their history and closing here.

UC2008 2.) AQSG is offering all of the UNCOVERINGS they have in stock at 50% off through June. The order form is in a PDF, to print it out and mail in. Contact AQSG's website to find the link UC JUNE SALE.PDF This is a great deal.

3.) Beth Davis sent me this article in response to my increasing interest in the publishing world, thank you Beth! It was written today by the managing director of one the finest art and textile book publishers, Thames and Hudson. Jamie Camplin writes [bolding is my emphasis]

"If we moan about “dumbing down” in the face of the visual noise that comes our way daily, it only means that we are living in the age of “more”—more that is mediocre, but also more that is astonishingly creative.

Art has a very strong hand to play in the 21st century. In an era in which technology makes most products more uniform but in which printing technology can show art’s strengths as never before, in which fragmenting marketplaces and marketing platforms need all the help they can get, and in which the power of the visual to sway emotions has never been stronger, art’s distinctiveness, creativity and originality give any art-book programme a strong start." (the complete article is here)

world textiles cover 4.) Camplin's statement gives me hope that beautiful textile and quilt books will continue to be published and that novice authors, quilters, and other creative people can publish too, online as eBooks, self-published or through traditional publishers. All three have their place. All three have pros and cons for an author to consider in determining which is a better fit for her.

If you have the desire to be an author, are writing your book now,or want to sell the one you have now, get this free report about building your author platform online, written by Joanna Penn, a favorite writer and blogger of mine.

Click on the icon above to read her description of the free report. If it sounds good, then you'll know if you want to buy the tutorial, Author 2.0. It is video, audio, and written text. All learning styles can use it. I highly recommend you get the free report!

Joanna just published "Author 2.0" which both shows and tells anyone how to market their book, beginning before it's written. Publishing houses expect you to put your marketing plan and current platform into any book proposal you submit. If you self publish this is also a must do for you. It can be fun!!

She will be my guest in a free open lines Tele-class, with aJoanna Penn slide show, this Thursday, June 4th at 4 PM Pacific time, 7 PM Eastern. It's Ask her questions or email me with them in advance. The call-in info, conference code and link to slide show is here now. The class will be recorded and available on WOQ in the Audio Interview Library.

Joanna is internet savvy. She learned by authoring 3 books and speaks clearly, simply, and to the point. She gives you lots of info about using the internet to your benefit to increase sales and get your words in the hands of people who will enjoy and benefit from your hard work of writing a book!

Get her free report (click the icon above) about the state of the publishing world and what you can do with WEB 2.0, crucial info for marketing through social media and the newest internet forms of media and learn more about the business model for today's market.

100_3961 6.) When you are feeling down quilting can lift you up again for reasons you might not expect is the title of an article I wrote over the weekend. Read it on Womenfolk's web site. Here is a snippet of my favorite tip for relieving stress from a recent UCLA study, but applicable to quilters during these economic times:

"The friendship effect on females natural response to stress was recently demonstrated in a university's landmark study which showed that different chemicals than in male brains are released during these times of bonding. Oxytocin is the natural occurring chemical released in a woman's brain when she gives birth, breastfeeds and cares for children. The chemical dulls pain and buffers the automatic "flight or flight" chemical response. The numerous opportunities for meaningful conversations and sharing of feelings happen during a girl's night out,...."

Read the rest of my article here. From that page click on Frugal Quilts for patterns and more articles about the past and present.

In closing, I hope you are enjoying reading CHANGING TIMES:Women's Stories 1902-1942. Click the title or the icon on the upper left of this page will download it for you to read online or print out to read in a cozy chair. Lot's of wonderful comments are coming in about it. Please comment here on Quilter's Spirit.**

Wishing you each a fulfilling and creative week!


**It's easy to make a comment: See the word Comment below? If there is a number other than 0 next to it, click it to read the comments already posted, and a box for you to put in your comment in also comes up. You can write it anonymously or with your name. Please don't solicit your products there, instead hyperlink your blog or web site URL to your name. The comment box makes it very easy for you to do that if you don't already know how. Readers who are interested in knowing more about you because your comment is interesting and relevant will click on your name to "meet" in your territory. (hint-comments done this way are good for marketing)