The Brain of a Creative Person

For generations, many have felt that the brain of an creative person was better (memory, creativity, communication skills, etc.) than a non-creative person.  You have probably seen this artwork before, but I wanted to share it today, as well as get us all thinking about our creative brains.

quilters brain patchwork

I’ve personally witnessed designers design and I’m convinced they have fireworks going off in their brain when they create.  I’m convinced that Creative Souls, not just musicians, have amazing brains (far better than mine).  So when I came across this Youtube video about the brain of a musician, I knew I wanted to share it with you today.

What do you think?  Would we  get similar results if such a study was performed on creative individuals, who might be quilters, embroidering enthusiasts, sewing enthusiasts, jewelry designers, painters, or any form of #CreativeGoodness?  Watch it and let me know what you think.

CNN also shared an interesting article “This is your brain on crafting” that shows evidence that creative activities may protect against aging, be a natural anti-depressant, and offer similar effects as meditation.

Personally, I’m convinced your brain is firing on my pistons than the non-creative brain.   I hope you’ll consider leaving a comment to share insights about your creative brain.  Maybe ideas for how you fuel it, re-energize it, or even your observations on others with creative brains.   Of course, I also want to encouraging sharing of ideas for how we inspire future generations with creative brains.  So please share your thoughts on this topic.

July Book Releases: New Books with #CreativeGoodness by Martingale

Today I want to share insights about three new books published by Martingale this month, each packed with #CreativeGoodness: 

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BABY QUILTS FOR BEGINNERS: Easy to Make, Fun to Give, compiled by Karen M. Burns

MY REVIEW:

13 sweet projects from top designers including Kimberly Jolly, Amy Ellis, Melissa Corry, Sue Pfau, and more.   Perfect projects to make for babies and while perfect for beginners, I think even experienced quilters would enjoy making the projects in this new book.   And, don’t forget if you don’t have a baby in mind to make such a quilt for, many charity programs (e.g. Operation Homefront, Linus, shelters, etc) always appreciate the donation of handmade baby quilts.

SEW MANY NOTIONS: Wonderful Wool Appliques, Simple Stitcheries, and More, by Debbie Busby

MY REVIEW:

18 simple little applique’ projects that are absolutely perfect for those that love wool, including those wanting to learn to work with wool.  These projects are perfect to decorate your sewing space, as well as to make for gifts.  Projects include such items as: pincushions, needle holders, mini-quilts, a table mat, and much more. All of the designs have easy to follow instructions, with great visuals, making this an excellent resource for quilters of all levels.

A PIECE OF CAKE: Sweet and Simple Quilts from Layer Cake Squares by Peta Peace

MY REVIEW:

16 fun projects that range in size from 15 ½ x 15 ½” to 84 ½ x 84 ½”, as well as a pillow, table runners, wall-hangings and full size quilts. All of the designs have easy to follow instructions, with great visuals, making this an excellent resource for quilters of all levels.

 

I hope you get a chance to check out these books at your favorite quilt shop.  Of course, if you don’t see them do let them know you are interested in having them make these books available.  They are so new, that they may not be aware of them.  Don’t forget you can also check them out online at Martingale or Amazon.

You can find Martingale at:
martingale logo
http://www.shopmartingale.com/
http://blog.shopmartingale.com/
https://www.facebook.com/shopmartingale
https://twitter.com/ShopMartingale
https://www.youtube.com/user/martin

 

Traditional Quilting in India

Today I want to share a Youtube video that shows how a woman in India makes a traditional quilt. It is a fairly short video which shows an interesting technique.  This is also how this quilter earns a living for her family.

Enjoy.


If you are on a MAC, or have problems watching this embedded video, here is a link where you can watch it directly in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZydH3Fanhos&sns=fb

 

The finished length of the quilt is – 80 inches(250 cms)
width is – 40 inches (100cms)

June Book Releases: New Books with #CreativeGoodness by Martingale

Today I want to share insights about three new books published by Martingale this month, each packed with #CreativeGoodness: 

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COTTON WAY CLASSICS: Fresh Quilts for a Charming Home, by Bonnie Olaveson

MY REVIEW:

The designs in this book are a refreshing blend of traditional designs that would make fun and fast quilts perfect for your home, or to give as a gift. With 13 designs, that each come with well written easy to follow instructions this book is perfect for quilters of all levels.  And, when you consider the price of a standalone pattern, this book is an exceptional value.

 

BLOCK-BUSTER QUILTS: I Love House Blocks: 14 Quilts from an All-Time Favorite Block, compiled by Karen M. Burns

MY REVIEW:

If you have ever wanted to make a quilt with a house design, or even make another one, this book would be your “go to” book.  Karen has once again, done a fantastic job compiling designs this time with the theme of “I Love House Blocks”.    With 14 all new house theme designs from top-notch designers – including Carrie Nelson, Kimberly Jolly, Jeni Gaston, Jackie White, Corey Yoder, Natalie Barnes, and more – this is an amazing book, with an exceptional value, that is perfect for quilters of all levels.

ROCK SOLID: 13 Stunning Quilts Made with Kona Cottons, compiled by Karen M. Burns 

MY REVIEW:

With 13 quilt designs all from top notch designers, this book lives up to its’ name.  All of the designs just shine with Kona Cottons (solids), but I think they’d also look great in fabric from your stash, or purchase fabric as desired. This book is also perfect for quilters of all levels.

 

I hope you get a chance to check out these books at your favorite quilt shop.  Of course, if you don’t see them do let them know you are interested in having them make these books available.  They are so new, that they may not be aware of them.  Don’t forget you can also check them out online at Martingale or Amazon.

You can find Martingale at:
martingale logo
http://www.shopmartingale.com/
http://blog.shopmartingale.com/
https://www.facebook.com/shopmartingale
https://twitter.com/ShopMartingale
https://www.youtube.com/user/martin

Fast-Fold Hexies from Pre-cuts & Stash

Want to learn a super fun and fast way to make quilts with hexies?  How about making some innovative hexie designs?  Today, I’m going to share insights about a new book that was recently published by Landauer Publishing that is packed with #CreativeGoodness.

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Fast-Fold Hexies, by Mary M Hogan, was officially released at Spring Quilt Market!   Mary shares an innovated technique in this book, as well as some fun projects.

 

 

PUBLISHER’S INSIGHTS:

A new way to make hexies!

Quilt makers will be in awe of Mary M. Hogan’s newest innovation – fast-fold hexies! Just when you thought that there can’t be anything new beneath the hexagon quiltmaking sun, along comes a new and clever technique to make what quilters love easier and faster!

Hexagon quilts are certainly on-trend today, and have been around since the 1880s.   Quilters love their versatility because they are so adaptable to both modern and traditional designs.  Yet hexagon quilts can be challenging to piece, and so readers will rejoice at a new technique that streamlines the process.

Fast-Fold Hexies from Pre-cuts & Stash is a slender book jam-packed with how-to wisdom.  It takes readers through the step-by-step process to create each unit from a folded circle of fabric, inserting a hexagon-shaped piece of batting, and then adding another, smaller hexie on top to hide raw edges.  Quilters can sew by machine, or by hand when out and about.  The technique creates one complete hexie unit, and when you sew the units together, you get a two-sided quilt with no separate batting, backing or binding!

Readers will find the following in Fast-Fold Hexies from Pre-cuts & Stash:

  • 4 projects:  from a trivet to a lap quilt
  • Easy how-to and step-by-step: clear photography makes the hexie units’ construction a snap
  • Includes templates for fabric circles and hexagon-shaped batting
  • On-line links to coloring diagrams and additional projects!
  • 16 pages, only $12.95

MY REVIEW

Fast-Fold Hexies is a very innovative book with a great technique that is perfect for quilters of all levels, as well as easy to follow instructions on 4 creative projects.  When you consider the price of one stand alone pattern, the retail price on this book is an amazing value.

I hope you can check out this new book at your favorite quilt shop.  But, if you don’t see it, do let them know about it as it is such a new book they may not be aware of it.  Of course, you can also check this book at at Landauer Publishing , where you can also find a “look inside” this book. It is also available thru Amazon.

You can find Landauer Publishing at:

http://landauerpub.com/
http://quiltbooksandbeyond.com/
https://www.facebook.com/LandauerPublishing
https://www.youtube.com/user/LandauerPublishing
https://www.pinterest.com/landauerpub/

#FreeMotionQuilting – Ruler Work with Patsy Thompson

Patsy Thompson has created the most stunning rope design that I think I’ve ever seen.  In additional to sharing it on her blog, she has also shared plenty of tips that can help you learn to do this too.  Just click thru for more info.

 

If you are new to free-motion quilting and/or Ruler Work, Patsy has created an amazing collection of DVDs.  I can honestly recommend her DVDs, as I’ve learned so much from them, over the years.  And they are always fun to go back and watch again and again.   Her newest DVD is all about Ruler Work.

And she has a great collection of templates and supplies for ruler work, and more including a variety of rope templates:

 

You can find Patsy Thompson at:

Here is a list of previous posts about RulerWork

 

 

A Little Something, a book review (and a Giveaway)

Do you ever think about making “a little something”, for a gift, or for you?  Today I want to share insights about “A Little Something”, by Roseann Meehan Kermes  (Rosebud’s Cottage), a new book recently published by Martingale.

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PUBLISHER’S INSIGHTS

Stitch a colorful array of cozy wool creations that will brighten any room in your home. Choose from a mix of cheerful little projects, including coasters, wall hangings, sewing accessories, bags, and more.

  • Create stunning effects with easy hand stitching, simple applique, and artful wool layering
  • Achieve an effortlessly embellished look with simple techniques that even beginners can master quickly
  • Detailed how-to photos and clear instructions are included

About the Author

Roseann Meehan Kermes began sewing at the age of nine, when she made her first wool pincushion. As a history buff, she is drawn to American folk art. She enjoys the coziness of the primitive look and also loves working with bright colors. Roseann enjoys surrounding herself with a wool community that expands her creativity. Whether it’s wool meet-ups, a class, or her Muddy Sheep Wool Club meetings, there are always talented wool workers who inspire her to rise to a new level. To find out what’s new, visit her at rosebuds-cottage.com.

MY REVIEW

I love all the little something projects in this new book.  No doubt about it, this book is packed with sweet wool projects for you to use, to make for decorating your home, or you could make these projects for very thoughtful gifts.  They are the perfect “little somethings” that will be treasured for years to come.

There are 16 projects, each with easy to follow instructions and great visuals.  Projects include needle keepers, mug rugs, table toppers, wall hangings, jewelry bags, pincushions, cell phone satchel and much more.

There is a section that covers “wool applique essentials”, that provides insights to help beginners (and others) learn how to work with wool.  It also provides insights on a number of beautiful stitches, which are used on the projects in this book (e.g. backstitch, blanket stitch, couching stitch, french knot, long stitch, overcast stitch, running stitch, star stitch, and whipstitch).

I think this book is an exceptional value and a perfect book for anyone interested in learning to work with wool, as well as those who may simply want more beautiful project ideas all perfect for wool.

Martingale will also be sharing Roseann’s video tutorials every week on their Facebook and Instagram pages for the next several weeks.  I hope you get a chance to check out this book at your local quilt shop.  Of course, if you don’t see it I hope you’ll let them know you are interested in having them make it available. It is such a new book they may not be aware of it.  But you can also check it out online at Martingale or Amazon.

DID I MENTION A GIVEAWAY?

Martingale is hosting a fun giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a copy of this new book A Little Something.  To enter, simply visit Martingale’s blog Stitch This and follow instructions on their post that shares more insights about this creative new book.

I hope you get a chance to check out this new book at your favorite quilt or sewing store.  But if you don’t see it, as it is so new, be sure to let them know about this creative book and that you’d like to have them make it available.  It is such a new book they may not be aware of it.  Of course, don’t forget you can also check this book out at Martingale’s online store, as well as Amazon.

You can find Martingale at:
martingale logo
http://www.shopmartingale.com/
http://blog.shopmartingale.com/
https://www.facebook.com/shopmartingale
https://twitter.com/ShopMartingale
https://www.youtube.com/user/martin

You can find Roseann Meehan Kermes (Rosebud’s Cottage) at:

https://www.rosebuds-cottage.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RBCottage/?ref=ts
https://www.pinterest.com/rosebudscottage/
https://www.instagram.com/rosebudscottage/
https://twitter.com/RosebudsCottage

Helping Small Businesses – New Ambassador Program & More with Beam N Read/ASF Lightware Solutions

Today, I want to share insights with you about an opportunity for creative bloggers in the US or Canada:

Beam n Read/ASF Lightware Solutions is a US based, small family business which provides products for creative people who need a hands-free light.  They are a small business and I think they could use help with increased awareness of their products, including the variety of ways that they can be used.

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As quilters, crafters, and more, we often find ourselves needing more light.  While there are a variety of great products that can help us get additional light, Beam n Read has a “personal” light which I’ve used for many years and can honestly say I use it often and have found it quite versatile, once you start thinking about ways you can use a personal light.  I’m so fond of this small family run business that I “volunteered” to help them kick off an Ambassador program.  

This new Ambassador program will be comprised of volunteer bloggers, based in the US/Canada, who want to participate in fun monthly blogging events, with sponsored giveaways.  This is a win-win-win situation as you’ll get more traffic to your blog, opportunities for your followers to win prizes, while retaining your own voice. There will even be opportunities for the Ambassador to win prizes.  If you are interested in applying, here is a link to the application:  http://tinyurl.com/ll4yacq

In addition to the Ambassador Program, there is a need to hire a part-time (< 10 hours/month) independent contractor for the role of Social Media Marketing Manager.  This person will also play a role as an Ambassador, but will be the lead of all the Ambassadors.  And, they will also manage the Facebook page for Beam n Read (short posts ~ 3 times a week, that are appropriate, engaging, and relevant).  If you are interesting in applying for this position, first complete the application for the Ambassador Program and then complete the short application for the Social Media Marketing Manager:   http://tinyurl.com/ko9gdrz

The goal is to get the program in place in June.   I do not anticipate the role of the Beam n Read Ambassadors, nor their Social Media Marketing Manager (aka Ambassador Lead) to demand much time, as we are looking at one fun event every month that would be supported by a simple blog post with a sponsored giveaway.  If you have any questions you can email me and I will try to answer your questions asap.  But I do encourage everyone that is interested apply ASAP.  There are limited number of spots which we anticipate to fill up quickly (hopefully we’ll be able to notify everyone late May).

You can find Beam n Read / ASF Lightware Solutions at:

http://www.readinglight.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BeamnRead/

https://twitter.com/Beam_n_Read

https://www.pinterest.com/beamnread/

Just Be Claus, a book review (and a Giveaway)

Today I want to share insights about “Just Be Claus”, by Robin Kingsley (Bird Brain Designs, a new book recently published by Martingale.

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PUBLISHER’S INSIGHTS

Catch the holiday spirit with simple and practical hand-embroidery projects starring St. Nick himself. These 24 whimsical projects are guaranteed to keep you in stitches!

  • Enjoy easy-to-stitch projects that make delightful gifts and festive decorations
  • Stitch charming holiday decor, including tea towels, pillows, pincushions, wall hangings, and more
  • Create custom projects by mixing and matching simple, classic Christmas embroidery motifs

 

About the Author

Robin Kingsley enjoys living and working in her California home and third-floor studio. Her collection of vintage needlework tools and treasures is tucked on shelves and in cupboards, and you can see her love of these goodies reflected in her work. When she’s not playing in the studio or traveling to shows, Robin can be found in her garden, another source of design inspiration. Even when hectic, every day is fun as she plans new designs, stitches new models, and develops patterns and kits.

MY REVIEW

Robin Kinglsey of Bird Brain Designs is a very talented designer who is well known for her whimsical stitchery designs for redwork, machine embroidery, wool applique’ designs, and much, much more.  And, she is also a fabric designer for Maywood Studio.

Just Be Claus has an absolutely perfect name for Robin’s new book.  It  is packed with 24 fun holiday hand stitchery projects that are all absolutely perfect for decorating your home, as well as making for gifts.  Projects include:  bobbin ornaments, tea towels, mug rugs, hot mats, button hole loops, table runner, stuffed santa (folk art doll), mini pillow, pincushion, wall hangings and more.  And, these projects range in size from 3 1/2″  x 6 1/2″  to 23 1/2″  x 36 1/2″.

Included in this book is a great chapter on embroidery basics (stitchery includes:  backstitch, cross-stitch, french knot, lazy dazy, running stitch, satin stitch, straight stitch, herringbone stitch,feather stitch and tassle stitch.

I think this book is perfect for confident beginners that want to learn to create stunning stitchery projects, but also a “must have” book for those that enjoy stitchery projects and want to make beautiful handmade items for the holidays.  I also think this would be a fun book for Quilt Guilds, or even Quilt Shops to create challenges and/or workshops to make items in this book for swaps, Christmas gift exchanges, even holiday fundraiser bazaars.

I hope you get a chance to check out this new book at your favorite quilt or sewing store.  But if you don’t see it, as it is so new, be sure to let them know about this creative book and that you’d like to have them make it available.  It is such a new book they may not be aware of it.  Of course, don’t forget you can also check this book out at Martingale’s online store, as well as Amazon.

DID I MENTION A GIVEAWAY?

Martingale is hosting a fun giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a copy of this new book, as well as a bundle of Robin’s latest fabric line, Just Be Claus, by  Maywood Studio.  To enter, simply visit Martingale’s blog Stitch and follow instructions on their post that shares more insights about this creative new book.

 

You can find Martingale at:
martingale logo
http://www.shopmartingale.com/
http://blog.shopmartingale.com/
https://www.facebook.com/shopmartingale
https://twitter.com/ShopMartingale
https://www.youtube.com/user/martingaleandcompany78

You can find Robin (Bird Brain Designs) at:

www.birdbraindesigns.net/
https://www.facebook.com/BirdBrainDesigns
https://www.pinterest.com/BirdBrainDesigns/

Jo’s Little Favorites, a book review (and a Giveaway)

There were several new books published by Martingale this Spring, all packed with creative goodness.

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Today I want to share insights about “Jo’s Little Favorites II – A Classic Collection of 15 Small Quilts”, by Jo Morton.

PUBLISHER’S INSIGHTS

Popular author, Moda Fabrics designer, and small-quilt expert Jo Morton returns with another collection of favorite patterns that you’ll be delighted to stitch. Whether you have a handpicked collection of reproduction fabrics just waiting to shine or want to discover new favorites, you’ll love sewing and displaying each pretty little patchwork gem!

  • Decorate your home with little quilts–artfully styled photos will inspire you
  • Improve your accuracy with Jo’s tips for precise patchwork sewing
  • Helpful hints include instructions about how to quilt each eye-catching project

About the Author

Well known for her “Jo’s Little Women Club” patterns, Jo Morton is a quiltmaker, fabric designer, teacher, author, and lecturer. Her use of color and design, as well as her fine stitchery, give her quilts the feeling of having been made in the nineteenth century. Her quilts have appeared in numerous magazines, and she’s made several television and online appearances including on HGTV’s Simply Quilts, PBS’s Love of Quilting, and The Quilt Show.

In 1980, Jo took her first quilting class, and in 1985 she created her first “made to look old” quilt. She determined early on that if she ever hoped to make all the quilts she wanted to make, they would have to be small, a size that works perfectly in her compact 1929 bungalow.

Visit JoMortonQuilts.com to learn more. Follow Jo on Instagram at joquilts.

 

MY REVIEW

The projects in this book range in size from 11″ x 12 1/2″ to 49″ x 55 1/2″ and all have easy to follow instructions with great visuals.  And Jo has a chapter where she shares her favorite techniques for little quilts.  With 15 small quilt patterns in this book, that would be great for use in your home and/or for gifts, this book really is an exception value when you consider how much it costs for a standalone pattern.

I hope you get a chance to check out this new book at your local quilt shop, but don’t forget you can also find it online in Martingale’s store, as well as Amazon.  As always, should you not find it in your local quilt shop let them know you are interested in having them make it available.  It is such a new book that they may not even be aware of it.

DID I MENTION A GIVEAWAY?

To celebrate the release of Jo’s new line of fabric with Moda and the release of her new book, Martingale is hosting a giveaway on their blog “Stitch This” where you could win a copy of this new creative book, as well as a bundle of Jo’s new fabric.  Click here to find out more info and enter.

You can find Martingale at:
martingale logo
http://www.shopmartingale.com/
http://blog.shopmartingale.com/
https://www.facebook.com/shopmartingale
https://twitter.com/ShopMartingale
https://www.youtube.com/user/martingaleandcompany78

You can find Jo Morton at:

http://jomortonquilts.com/
https://www.facebook.com/jomortonquilts
https://www.instagram.com/joquilts/
https://www.pinterest.com/jomortonquilts/boards/

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