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Plans for 2012 and Introducing The Learning Center

Hi everyone,

Did you have a chance to listen live to my interview on Pat Sloan’s Radio Show? If you missed the live show, you can listen to it here or via Itunes too.

On the show, I shared some of the plans for 2012 here at the Quilting Gallery. Here’s what’s planned:

I’ll be hosting 4 swaps this year, one each quarter. Registration for our first swap New Beginnings will start later this week. This will be an open-ended mini quilt swap where each quilter is free to interpret the theme as they wish. The other swaps planned for this year include projects designed specifically for the swap by Sandi Andersen, Lenna Green and Jennifer Ofenstein.

The Blog Hop Party we did last year was so much fun. Thanks to everyone’s feedback, I’ll be hosting four events this year. The first one will start around Valentine’s Day with others planned for April, August and November.

Our Weekly Themed Quilt Contests will continue for the third year. See the 2012 themes. You can submit a quilt for this week’s New Beginnings contest.

I really enjoyed last year’s Celebrate Christmas Quilt-Along. I plan to host a Spring Garden quilt-along starting sometime in April or May. Also, the Super Deals were very popular and I’m thrilled to announce that they’ll continue starting next Wednesday. More information will be posted on the site later this week.

I also have plans to create a 3rd edition of the Quilter’s Cookbooks. This one will feature quick and easy Summertime recipes.

More FUN things will be announced later in the year.


The Learning Center

Last but certainly not least, I’m extremely excited to be working with Pat Sloan on a new section for the site, called The Learning Center. I have known Pat since I first started this site and had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time in Nashville in 2008.

pat-michele

Over the years, we’ve seen each other at various shows and communicate regularly. She’s been a great mentor to me and always so eager and willing to share her advice and perspective whenever I’ve asked. We’ve been talking about doing something together for almost 2 years, and finally we start.

While Pat will be the hostess and organizer for The Learning Center, it’s really all about you. Pat will be organizing guest experts, sharing her own experience and links to fabulous tutorials and other useful information. We’ll be having linky parties, featured products, Q&A sessions and more. Each month, I’ll also be organizing and writing a couple of the posts.

Pat’s organized the draft agenda for the entire first year, and let me just say it’s EXCITING! Each month has its own theme. February is Storage and Organization and March will be Quilting Basics.

There will be a new tab at the top of the site for The Learning Center, where all the posts and resources will be stored. As we start to get content entered into the site and build up this section, it will become a super-organized resource for quilters of all levels.

I hope you’ll enjoy the new section and that you’ll share your own knowledge and participate. At the middle of each month, we’ll announce the next month’s theme and we will be asking for volunteers to guest write, answer questions, share their tips, etc.

Now, I’ll let Pat take over and tell you the plans for February…

From Pat:

I’m really excited to have you join Michele and I for our Fabulous new Learning Center section! The February topic is near and dear to my heart, organization! I know we talk a lot about it and people are always looking for the best solutions that fit their work style.

I believe we can all find a solution that works for us by sharing ideas! All during February you will find links, tips, interviews and ideas for how to proceed with organizing your studio space.

We want your ideas! Have you written a post on your own blog, seen a really clever storage/organization idea online or have your own ideas on fabric, notions & thread storage, project organization (including BOMs), and digital organization (what to do with all those free tutorials and patterns)? Send Michele or Pat an email.

If you have a specific organization/storage-related question leave a comment, or email it to us, and we’ll try and get you an answer!

Also, at the end of February we’ll be having a linky party where you get to show off your own creative space. Take before photos, organize, organize, organize and take after photos. You’ll write a blog post on your own blog and link it up in our linky party.


Give-Away: Share your Ideas for The Learning Center

We’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts about The Learning Center. What do you want to see included? Is there something quilting-related that you struggle with and need help? How should the Center be organized so that as it grows, it becomes a useful resource guide that you can refer back to?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts and suggestions. I have two free gift certificates from The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims to give away. One is for a free 6-month membership that is good for a new member only. The other is for one past online series of the show. I believe this certificate is open to both new and current members (I hope).

Two winners will be chosen randomly next Wednesday, January 18th.

Posted: January 9th, 2012

Topics: Site News, The Learning Center

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19 Responses to “Plans for 2012 and Introducing The Learning Center”

  1. cityquilter grace says:

    i think it would be a great forum to review new tools on the market. quilting tools evolve and improve pretty fast and none of us can buy all of them. this would be invaluable information for a quilter at any level, i think. i see them in magazines but to have hands-on information would be great with regard to a possible purchase. i know i always appreciate feedback from someone who has actually used something over manufacturer recommendations.

  2. Michelle how exciting to hear this news… I think it will be a fantastic resource for quilters and sewers alike to learn from you and Pat, and from all the information the two of you plan on sharing here… I am super thrilled about learning more about this… Can hardly wait to read more stuff YAHOO!!!!

  3. I am so excited to see the beginning of this new idea that you and Pat are going to share with us. You do so much to assist new quilters and allow those who have been quilting for a while to share their creations.
    I anxiously await your ‘Learning Center’

  4. Jo Anne says:

    Pat is a great teacher, so this will be a great place to go for good information and instruction.

  5. Beth Kingzett says:

    Sounds great, looking forward to the whole year of quilting tips and expertise you will be offering. Wonderful!

  6. What a brilliant idea The Learning Center is!

  7. terry phelps says:

    Wonderful idea. Love this wedsite also fun things to do and see. Pat is great..

  8. Jane says:

    I know it’s really basic, but I still struggle with accuracy so I’d like to see more info on that. Maybe there’s a trick I haven’t tried yet! Tips on working with different fabrics, flannel for instance, might be useful. Always good to learn about color and fabric selection and stash building. Looking forward to it all!

  9. miss jamee says:

    I’m with cityquilter, a review of new tools coming on the market would be great! I work, so there is no time for guilds, and rarely have time to really peruse the LQS, I am ususally just dashing in and out for that essential something I am out of. I am however, able to follow may favorite quilters blogs!

  10. Aunt Marti says:

    New tools, yes! I just found a great new tool yesterday — it’s the Bloc Loc (www.blocloc.com) ruler and it is the greatest!

  11. Michelle M says:

    This is a great idea! I would love to learn tricks to FMQ on my home machine. Learning to organize a small space for quilting/sewing would be wonderful. And how to piece accurately, I start out good but often seem to be a bit off by the end.

  12. Some things i struggle with are Mitered Corners and curved piecing.

  13. hm says:

    This is awesome! Time management, stayin focused and organization are topics that would interest me.

  14. TheaM says:

    when it comes to storage and organization…
    I need help with methods that work with sloped ceilings!
    All my previous sewing studios have had 8′ walls… now I’m in a studio with 4′ walls and sloped ceilings! it doesn’t leave much wall storage or design area – and most of the ideas I’ve had so far have not worked out as well as I’d hoped – having to limit ‘standing areas’ and ‘short zones’ too, so floor plans are awkward. Help!

  15. Judy W. says:

    This sounds great! There are so many things that could benefit quilters, basic skills up to more advanced skills could all be covered.

  16. Do you have a pattern for the bricks and blocks quilt you have pictured. Thanks for your reply.

    Jane Washington, Owner
    The Cherry Pit Quilt Shop

  17. Mishka says:

    Hi Jane,

    Do you mean this quilt?

    http://quiltinggallery.com/2011/07/28/happy-memories-a-quilt-for-me/

    If so, there’s a link in that blog post to Rectangle Squared tutorial.

    If you mean something else, can you clarify please.

    Cheers,
    Michele

  18. The Learning Center is a great idea, and I can hardly wait to see it in action. With you and Pat at the helm it should be a great success!

  19. Lindy says:

    I just read across this organizing blog on Interweave’s knitting site. The opening words cracked me up! I am going to ‘use’ the phrase, feral stash! It is so apropos!

    http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2012/02/01/how-to-organize-an-unruly-stash.aspx?a=qr120204

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