Monday, 28 December 2009

Help Needed

Thanks for all your good wishes. My mind was mushy too, JP, so decided that the only thing to do was to make something. Unfortunately at the moment I am focused on that which I should not be focused, Doreen. I should concentrate on the home front today, as we need a new rug. I was going to venture out to the sales but it's so cold, Dale ( for UK ) and snow is forecast. So I went online instead and purchased this one. On my plain terrcotta carpet I think it will be OK.


Glad you got the book, Gill. Don't forget to join the free classes.

I am looking forward to some time to stitch, Gina but I was better before we started the festivities. Now it is officially 'twixtmas' - according to our local paper - and I am feeling rather lazy. Went for a huge walk this morning and haven't felt warm since!

We had a lovely Christmas and on Boxing Day (the proper one, not this bank holiday nonsense) we took the whole family to Frankie and Bennys. It was great and we all chose non Chrimo food, as you can see from youngest GC, shown here colliding with a plate of spag bol!

I honestly think it wasn't much more expensive than buying in all the stuff and cooking it - although I did make two posh puddings and we had those at home afterwards.

Now, to business. I need help with an article I am writing on on-line learning for Workbox magazine. I want to include as much free stuff (on blogs etc) as poss, along with reasonably priced internet courses and the more expensive C&G options. Can you give me some ideas, please? I have a few give-aways of useful materials (I am cupboard clearing) for the best ones.


Heather said...

I think we all feel a bit lazy this side of Christmas Maggie - I suppose having shopped, posted, decorated, cooked and probably worked as well, we relax and need time to get going again. Your new rug is very smart - I don't blame you for shopping online, the shops are so overheated and overcrowded. Love the spag.bol video - he's really enjoying himself. Re your Workbox article - I can thoroughly recommend Workshop on the Web!! and even less expensive are those free tutorials posted by lovely talented bloggers when they have tried a new technique and are generous enough to share it. Happy New Year to you and Clive.

Ruth said...

Here's some good sites that have online classes and some free stuff too.

Hope that helps. Happy New Year

Julie said...

YOur GC was definitely enjoying the spag bol ;o) WOW is certainly a major source of reasonably priced tutorials and I also look in at Linda and Laura Kemshalls Design Matters site which has 3 levels of membership for access to teaching videos and information. I also like to watch Youtube videos like the ones by Alicia Merrett from Studio Galli

Lynda Monk's blog is a great sourse of inspiration and Ruth has highlighted several of the strongest contenders.

Good luck with the article and I hope you and Clive have a very Happy, Healthy and Creative 2010.

jill said...

I'd echo what the others have said so far. Three of my favourite blogs are
Dales online workshops have all been enjoyable & reasonable with the aussie exchange rate. I've also been doing C&G Creative Sketchbooks with the Kemshalls which I've really enjoyed and it is much cheaper than many on offer.
Happy New Year to you both.

Jacqui said...

I love on-line workshops - it means I can take workshops with overseas tutors without having all the expense of travel. I have really enjoyed those on your website and those I have done with Linda and Carol. Several of the others have been through Joggles who Ruth has already mentioned.

Anything by Sharon Boggon at Joggles is worth taking. As is her website here

Also recommend Dale at Thread Studio and Sue Bleiweiss

I must say the interaction with other students on a workshop forum or private class group is almost as good as being in a face-to-face class.

Have also done one or two where I love the project/subject but learned a lot about what not to do as a tutor but that's another story and not for here!

(in Auckland, New Zealand)

Pat said...

I second all of the above. When I am stuck for a "how to" like Julie I go to You Tube
There are some very good video demonstrations on pratically anything you can think of.
For embroidery stitches, has videos is not bad either!!
I made a list for our EG branch a while back as I am always promoting the internet as a learning source, I'll e-mail a copy.

Max the Lobster said...

Hi Maggie, great to hear you had a great Christmas. I haven't done any free web workshops, although i am tempted occassionally. I am a 'Distant stitcher' with Sian Martin. (all my time seems to be taken up with that!!!! let alone any others). Hope you have a Happy New Year

Priscilla Kibbee said...

I have listed quite a few free sites during the last few days on my blog and have another one to post probably tomorrow.

Priscilla Kibbee

Virginia said...

Happy 'twixmas' Maggie.

I'm a distance student of the School of Stitched textiles (, doing my C&G Diploma, and love the freedom that distance learning gives. Gail Cowley is a great tutor and is always willing to help when I get stuck. I appreciate sending my work by internet - it means I pay nothing for postage and never worry about the Post Office loosing my stuff. Also it's there instantly, and feedback is also back so quickly.

Frequently I will ask for advice while working on a Module, and the internet is great for that. I pop my photos into an email and off they go with my questions. Often Gail will reply overnight - so there's no excuse for procrastinating!

I did have to learn a bit about photographing and making document, but once I was over that hurdle it's pretty plain sailing.

I enjoy the WOW tutorials too - thank you for them!

Virginia (New Zealand)

Writer in Residence said...

Hi Maggie,
You may wish to delete the comment that is posted in Traditional Chinese characters. It's spam from an adult-content web site. Alas, this kind of spamming is all too common on blogs.
Thanks for your continuing inspiration and wonderful work. All the best in the New Year.

chrissythreads said...

As a BA student of the Julia Caprara School of Textile Art (what use to be OPUS) I find we are now doing more and more of the course over the internet and that really helps with costs- Nearly all the admin, etc.. is now via internet, needless to say written work is traded back and forth with our tutors for comment and we tend to use picassa for the visual updates allowing us to discuss work as we do it as there is still an element of personal contact as most of us have weekly phone tutorials as well. Unfotunately there is still no way of submitting work for semester assessment which is pricey either in travel costs or postage but who knows what the future might bring (ha,ha!). Even in the few years I have been studying the course things have improved greatly.
Wishing you and your family a Happy 2010

gilby said...

Sarah Lawrence of "Craftynotions" runs classes and online classes.
Classes are held above the shop, so you can shop and learn at the same time.Plenty of parking. studio and shop on a small industrial estate and very easy to find.
Good supply of coffee and biscuits.

California Fiber artist and composer said...

I would love to know more about how you created and stitched the map on the previous post. Is the map paper which is stitched or fabric?

As far as online learning and free stuff: has a variety of classes at a relatively low cost. While many are patchwork oriented, there are things like dyeing and beading. Stdents get extensive handouts to print off. does wonderful online City and Guilds courses. They are high tech----all worked is assessed from photos and scans rather than physically having to be sent in.There is also a support group for City and Guilds students (both internet and in person) in yahoogroups (the latter is free and people are enrolled in all sorts of textile courses.) has a subscription television service with lots of good tutorials. offers affordable online and downloadable classes. She also shows ideas for free on her blog (the link is on that website) and through her free lunch cafe.

The Embroidery Guild of America
offers low cost correspodence courses through their cyber chapter....each member gets one per year.

Caron threads has a section on its website with free online classes

Judy Coates Perez puts some education materials on her blog

There is a lady posting a quilting design a day, including videos, at has great free education on threads has good basic information for beginners. The site is geared to garment making but they have a sewing dictionary of terms and a machine dictionary of terms in .pdf format for free.

Sandra Leichner posts information on applique on the blog portion of her website

Diane Gaudynski offers monthly tips on her website

and of course there is your WOW plus sites listed by other readers.