Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Crazy Quilt and Applique are like Sisters!

The beauty of a crazy quilt can be quite breath taking and examining the details will reveal the amount of work that's gone into that quilt. There are some truly fantastic crazy quilts out there too as every artist is a unique individual. As I have said before about sewing, it can be quite therapeutic. It fills that downtime for those days when not in the mood to go visiting, or out. Just put on some music or the radio and work on your latest upcoming creation. So, how is sewing like a family?

A family as we know is a group of people that care for each other and don't have to necessarily be blood related, as adoptions and guardianships do take place also. In the world of sewing, we can find many 'relations' such as quilts, clothes, bags and totes, accessories, home decor, to name a few. These are all assembled together with fabric of all sorts and thread, either by machine or hand, en masse or by piece.

Crazy quilts, done traditionally, are sewn onto a foundation as are appliques and both are done for design and color. Appliques goes one step further and doubles as artistic embellishments. These can be added by purchasing a pre-made applique piece or from creating your own. They are available in a huge variety of designs too. We can find embroidered pieces, bejewelled with beads or sequins, in lacey designs, children and adult designs, or created with use of fabrics and in many colors.

Appliques can be ironed on or sewn down onto a piece whether it's clothing or, in my case, a crazy quilt, to add a decorative embellishment. A theme can be created with appliques to tell a story for children and/or adults with use of current or past, favorite trends. An embellishment adds decorative beauty along with creating a conversation with friends and family. What sort of theme do you think your family member would enjoy?

Inspiration for creating an applique can be found all around us. It can be based on themes from television, movies, music, holidays, emotions and over all likes and/or dislikes. One can draw their own designs, add an extra 1/4” edge, sew this raw edge under, by hand, then sew it onto your foundation. If purchased, you can sew it directly onto the foundation without worrying about raw edges. Another method is to use a satin stitch on your machine to edge your applique to hide the raw edges. Design ideas are limitless.

Extra Reading Resources

Make and Use Applique Templates

Buy an Applique

Machine Applique

The Applique Society

Learning in Motion


The world of a seamstress is full of art and color, love of the trade and hardly a dull moment. For the non-sewing persons, you do have the option to ASK for the services of the seamstress and yes, for a price, since it is labor and time that's required. Once you purchase the service, deliver your assigned task (i.e., sew an applique), then you just wait till your seamstress calls for pick up. Take a look in your local paper and telephone book to check for seamstress services and call for a quote. Contacting your local seamstress can provide an alternative to updating your clothes vs purchase of new ones and may prove cost saving.

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your own observations. Visit my galleries for inspiration. Send a Email if you would like to place a Order today.  

Article(C)2011 GG9909, all rights reserved.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Managing my Blog for Newbies

The use of Google Blog search engine will produce about 47.5 million results for the term 'Crafts'. In the world of blogging, we must do our best to get noticed and arrive in the top SERPs, search engine results page and preferably the first page. So just how does one set up to make such an arrival?

A common word of advice for writers with blogs, is to find great keywords for their 'niche'. Think of niche as a 'category' of just where and how to find your web site. As stated earlier, using the term 'crafts' brings quite a few results and one can easily get lost and tossed, probably to the last SERP. An extra tip, is to break down your chosen keywords further, and include sub-categories and other keywords 'related' to your niche. An example:

i.e., how to make edible finger paint - Blog title, tips and recipe for parents and family
art, parenting, pre-school children, jello finger paints, - Sample keywords

One other method to find keywords is to look at the 'cloud tags or labels' to get more idea's for keywords. This will require you to search and observe other sites, that are found on the first page of your intended niche. Record their keywords in a file and save it to your computer. Meanwhile, explore their site to see what other information they write about, that may help inspire you to write something similar, or write to counter the subject. This is checking out our competition and SEO, search engine optimization.

The use of keyword generating tools and/or software, is another method to create keywords to help get your blog noticed. A popular tool is Google Adwords Keyword tool. These tools can also be used to discover extra blogging idea's for future use. It's recommended that you create and keep such a list on standby, for those days when you're experiencing a sense of 'writer's block'. It's important to observe and consider the 'too popular vs low popularity' keywords being used.

The use of keywords is important in the blogosphere and preferably for generating 'organic' traffic. This refers to visitors finding you through a 'natural' search effort though some people will say, only those that 'pay' for advertising or hosting, are the ones who land first in the SERPs or getting first page SERP depends on one's 'popularity'. Well, there are a few more steps needed, that may help.

A lot of blogs depend on generating TRAFFIC. I believe this is definitely a major qualifier for getting noticed online. Paid advertising also depends on the keywords chosen, to get quality SERP landing and usually for the lowest price, for targeted traffic. A few idea's to help generating traffic to your site, can be through 'networking' by joining groups on other sites such as Ning, blog networks, and those that are related or in your specific 'niche'.

Others will say, article marketing. Write and post articles about your niche and point back to your own site. The point is that you get to leave your 'site URL' in available 'signature' or 'author bio' space but over all, it's to sprinkle your blog URL around the internet and again, generating 'organic' traffic. It's important though to be on sites with a 'market' that is INTERESTED in your niche. Do you notice the 'badges' that can be found on some sites and how it says, 'member of blah blah'? It could be another source of generating traffic and interest, in your site. Again, check your competitions' web site for clues.

Now, if blogging to SELL products, it's important to list yourself in your local, regional and national business listings. Using these sites will help point prospective 'customers' back to you. In the world of arts and crafts, it's best to also join local, regional and national Art groups. Some are niche specific and may also find a 'badge' that you can add to your site. These sites may help to give your own site better search results, after all, business caters to people and search engines like to help businesses. It's also important to note that some business listings may require 'business license' numbers of one sort or another. Both these choices help give your own site, a sense of 'legitimacy' in the eyes of prospective customers. 

Social media is also very popular to use to help generate traffic. Tools such as LinkdIn, Twitter, Facebook, Ning, to name a few. Again, use it to FIND people that are interested in your niche. Then be assured every time you make a post to your various 'social' sites, there's going to be a few fans of your topic.  

An item to consider, is the 'presentation' of your blog. A few questions to examine while viewing our blog such as:
    • is it 'visually' appealing?
    • Is it hard or easy on the eyes?
    • Is it easy or hard to read?
    • Is it too busy? Flashy? Undressed?
Upon landing on your blog, how do you think your audience will see it? Does it look sloppy or semi-pro? People will say, it's only 'window dressing' but we know how 'appearance' can create a quick judgement, of pass or fail. I would suggest, less is more. Simple design and small splashes of color rather than something that looks like a gloomy graffiti wall (no offence to graffiti artists intended!) we just want a site where a reader will feel comfortable and relaxed, to read, without major distractions.

Last but not least, is your 'voice' behind the writing. There are types of writing that people enjoy and others, that cause them to hit the 'back' button, to disappear in the internet stratosphere. It's highly recommended to write, as if you're in a direct 'conversation' with your best friend. Natural emotion and self, is the best tool to use when writing on your blog. People get to know you as they read more and more of your posts. They will see glimpses of your life, personality and we can't forget to add HUMOUR. The best medicine for one's Soul.

Extra Learning


Extra Reading Material

Blogs Tips and Tricks

My Blogger Tricks

Free Download -Keyword List Generator

Blogging Tips and Strategies
I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your thoughts. Send me a email if you have a request on a topic of interest or to say hello. It's FREE to subscribe by Email or my RSS Feed.

Article(C)2013, all rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, micro business, health, science, technology and society.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sewn with Care

A few research studies have shown, that doing acts of kindness towards others, benefits both recipient and the giver. It improves their over all emotional and social well being. If we take a closer look at our circle of best friends, we may just find that we all give and take from each other. We may also find ourselves measuring others, by their ability to give and take to their fellow man. A successful marriage may very well provide clues to this very act, as quite the bond between the couple. It is a quality that we find within ourselves and may unconsciously, seek out in others.

Today's world has thrown many natural disasters at us, and many people stepped up, to help those in need. Unfortunately, we have no control over the weather and according to the latest news reports, it's going to be the 'new normal'. The prospect of future 'super' storms does not excite me nor instill any real sense of security in our world. It is something that many of us will have to learn to prepare and survive these unforseeable events. Yet, again, we will also find others who will step up to reach out and help. It is definitely one of Mankind's top qualities.

Next to strange weather systems we have all the too common various illnesses, that afflict our children and where again, we find people performing acts of kindness. We have web sites that are dedicated to teaching and inviting others how they too, can give, provide and show their support. This can be learning to sew clothing items, blankets and toys next to offering financial donations. We will find people from one side of the world, reaching out and helping a child, on the other side of the world. Can you imagine the feelings this stirs for the child?

Other areas, where we will find acts of kindness performed daily, will be in other social areas. We will find women in shelters escaping domestic violence or homelessness, youth shelters providing help for runaways, shelters for homeless men, homes for the mentally challenged, our homeless pets, and importantly, helping our military personnel, at their own times of need. Thankfully, the internet has opened the information highway for us to find them, and them, to find us, who will be quite happy to give our support.

A person with sewing skills, no matter their level of experience, is one of the many types of supporters that can be found often requested. They are sought out, for their ability to piece together different items such as clothing, toys or blankets. If you take a look at a sewing guild online, you may find certain times of the year, announcements are posted, about a sewing project needed for a charity they support.

The strength in numbers, as can be found in a guild, can prove invaluable for charities and pooling their work together, brings in the extra number of projects. These announcements can also usually be seen in sewing forums or reference to a charity included in photo's. These projects may not look grand or unique and be simple, to the trained eye but that's not the point. It's the smile that lights up on the face of the recipient of these projects, that makes the time spent by the charity and unknown seamstress, that gives back that sense of great satisfaction. If you're part of guild, ask if they'd be interested in supporting a worthy charity, at your next meeting.

Charities can be found in great numbers online and in many different areas of interest. It is critical to ensure you examine their privacy polices and check out their ratings. A few sites are available which are dedicated to ensuring that the public, is NOT abused. For the seamstress, if you use 'sewing for charity' in Google, you will also find many available sites to choose. Ensure you research each one and your own available time, that you're able to dedicate, for project requests.

Extra Reading

Sewing for Charity

Charity Watch

BBB- For Charities and Donors 

Active Learning Video

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, share your own experiences or observations, share this article with your friends and give your Vote. Visit my galleries for inspiration. Send a Email if you would like to place a Order today.

Article(C)2013 GG9909, all rights reserved. GG9909 is passionate about the art of Crazy quilts and world of sewing and small home business.