Episode 55: What to do, what to do

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My new design wall, introduced to you by Betty the Mannequin,

who needs a new prom dress.

Feedback. please: QNN or The Quilt Show? Do you subscribe to either? Both? If so, which should I choose and why?

More feedback: Resources for the advance beginners who want to perfect their skills? Let me know where I should go/what I should do to become a better quilter!

15 Replies to “Episode 55: What to do, what to do”

  1. Hi. I am a member of both QNN and TQS. I have been a member of TQS for a couple of years now and love their shows – not always something I want to run out and do but great to watch. I also love the community and the extras you get on the website – the classrooms are great and each one is like a workshop so just one of them would cover the subscription, there is also a BOM that is stunning and again great value. I have only just become a member of QNN and am liking it so far – there are so many videos on there, the new shows are entertaining but I must admit are more entertaining than always educational. I would recommend both as I think they are really reasonable – I am in the UK so don’t have any quilt shows on TV so I don’t know if you can get hold of some of the programmes featured on QNN elsewhere. If you pushed me to say just one it would have to be The Quilt Show. Happy viewing!

  2. Hi Frances-
    I can’t speak to the quality of either show, but had to leave a comment that Betty is looking a little… sketchy. Thuggish, even. I think a large brimmed floppy hat would be a better choice than the baseball cap regardless of dress choice, mostly because I’ve never seen an axe murderer in a floppy brimmed hat.

    As for sharpening skills (nice segue from the axe murderer!), I’d recommend finding a precision piecing class. Usually those teach feathered stars, so you can also look around for something like that.

  3. Hi Frances, I don’t subscribe to either QNN or the Quilt Show, but I have seen The Quilt Show and love it. I loved Simply Quilts, so it could be an influence from that, but Alex and Ricky seem to be a wonderful combination.

    Your design wall, is great, Betty is adorable, and the sampler quilt is looking terrific. Keep up the progress. Vanessa (Australia)

  4. As you know I belong to TQS I have been a free member since it first started. I did not view the videos until I got HIGH SPEED INTERNET but I have restrictions so I can only view a video between 2am til 7am so….. I only watch the videos on the weekend when I do not work. i LIKE both Ricky and Alex and find their lessons easy and educational to follow. I plan to re up with them this Christmas when my subscription expires…. I also get the DVDs.

    I like the variety of TQS with the guest and shows… I have all the DVDs. I also have all the DVDs for FONS and Porter… I have viewed Jodi’s mini instructions but I do not care for her pattern/ style of quilts so I do not view her often. When I looked through QNN even though they offer more I have not found alot I was interested in…. I liked Quilty with Mary Fons but have not really cared for the other instructors much but I have not really got to see to much cause I only view their show when I visit a friend who has a subscription for them.

    Still downloading the podcast so I will be back later to comment



  5. Hi Frances

    At first glance, I thought that was you standing there!

    I subscribe to both TQS and QNN and have since day one. I don’t actually watch the TQS shows online. I use my membership to order a discounted DVD and watch them while I’m riding my exercise bike (it’s incentive to exercise). They have absolutely gorgeous Sue Garman BOM’s each year – with very detailed instructions and some have videos to go along. Tell you the truth, I haven’t done any of them, but I have saved them and maybe someday…

    QNN has old Fons and Porter videos. That may not be a good thing for you give your shrink wrap issue 🙂 They also have that Mark Lipinski /Jodie Davis show – Quilt Out Loud! It’s entertaining. Mark does “door knocks” where he supposedly shows up out of the blue at some quilter’s home. I don’t for a minute believe that they don’t know he’s coming. Their houses are too neat and they’re nicely dressed, with hair and makeup in place. Or maybe I’m just a slob. Of course, it’s not likely he’ll show up at my house. Recently, they’ve started a long arm quilting show, a show with Mary Fons for new quilters, and a show with Patrick Lose (he of the cartoon-like fun appliques).

    I like both. QNN is much cheaper and has a lot more video. TQS is more expensive, but has a lot more content.

    Nonnie mentioned The Patchwork Schoolhouse videos. I haven’t seen the videos, but Joanne Middleton is from near Calgary and I have taken a couple courses from her, inlcuding Precision Piecing. I learned a lot from her. I have also read Sally Collins’ Perfect Piecing book. It has a lot of great tips too.

  6. Hi Miss Frances,
    Wow, you got some good comments about TQS and QNN. I am a big TQS fan and did go to Boulder last year to see one day of filming. I watch it for inspiration to keep me going but also to watch the guests for good teaching. Then when Road or Empty Spools, etc. announces their teachers, I have an idea whose class I want to take. I am always looking to improve my skill set. This is the Neverending Journey, but that is what makes quilting so fun.

    I like books but I have to say the DVDs I have bought have been worth the money. I like being able to re-wind – well, play back.

    Fire season has started here and it is kind of soupy outside from this week’s special edition of Fall in L.A. So there it is. Enjoy N.C. Lucky Frances!

  7. Hi Francis. I must admit that I commented earlier before I listened to your post – now that I have I am really chuffed to have you mention my course on the podcast – I get excited about little things as illness is limiting my real ‘life’ at the moment I am living through you guys on the podcasts and love to hear all you have been up to. Nonnie mentioned that she liked Quilty on QNN, I agree but thought I would mention that you can get those videos for free anyway and don’t need a subscription. Also had the thought that on TQS you can purchase not only the DVDs but past shows or series that you can view online – I think they are really reasonable and don’t have a expiry date. Loving Stormy weather – happy quilting and knitting!

  8. Hi Frances,
    TQS has more information that is useful for quilting, education and inspiration. The entertainment is not the focus of the site and show. The information presented is clear and easy … there are BERNINA videos for feet for your new machine. Watching TQS, when I was not interested in the guest that they featured, I still learned something that I could apply to what I am doing or something to use in the future. It has also led me to find more detailed techniques, etc. from the featured guest.

    (QNN does let the person know that they are coming to their house ahead of time! — know someone who was the visited quilter).

    Design walls are great! Definitely needs a new prom dress … Betty that is.

    Enjoy listening to you!

  9. A person can join T.Q.S. and buy past episodes of the DVDs but at the full rate. If you pay for membership you can pay for past DVDs at a reduced rate. Each series consist of 12-13 hour long shows, techniques are taught and they interview a book author and quilter. I personally think these are worth it for the entertainment alone. I like watching them when nothing worth while is on TV.

    I guess I sound like a commercial …. but I really enjoy TQS.



  10. I think that two good ways to move from ‘confident beginner’ to advanced is 1) Find a teacher who teaches piecing with accuracy and from their web site find out where they are scheduled to teach. You can probably find one that is close enough to travel to. I actually went to the Empty Spools Seminars in CA to take a week-long class in Star-making with Alex Anderson, and that was fabulous. But I’ve also joined other guilds when they bring in teachers for workshops.
    2) Join a Block of the Month club. I love the ones at Fat Quarter Shop. Their blocks are so much fun and I can’t wait each month for the next block to arrive. Usually the skill level builds throughout the year-long club, and then at the end of the year, you complete the ‘finishing kit’ which also includes some piecing in blocks and borders. I really feel that it helped improve my technique. When I only face one block at a time, with very little cutting time to get started, I seem to be willing to really take my time and do it well. Somewhat like you are with Jay and your training with her.
    Also, I belong to QNN and have belonged to TQS. I think they are both very good. I love the show with Mark Lipinski, so I enjoy QNN for that, but I love the actual shows with guest teachers on TQS very much.

  11. Nice design wall. I subscribe to QNN and was in the habit of watching it on my lunch break. I really enjoyed watching Quilt Outloud. That is until they updated their site and I have not been able to log on for more than a month. I have called them at least two times to no avail and emailed them as well. Customer service is not the best. I reallye enjoy the content though because there are so many shows to watch.

  12. LINK TO:
    ANNIE SMITH’S PODCAST … shows 209, 210 and 211 …. Discussion about QUILT SHOW JUDGING

    FYI—- The only other quilting I have been doing is having a running conversation via comments and emails with Annie Smith of QUILTING STASH PODCAST about judging in a quilt show, copying quilts and copy-rights. I have found it very interesting and Annie is so knowledgeable you just have to learn from her.

    Right now Annie is offering opportunities to have her evaluate your quilting for free. She is also restructured her on line quilting classes so that it is user friendly and allows the online quilter to work at her own pace. I am thinking of taking the class on color and fabric selection. Her classes are perfect for someone who wants to improve their quilting.


  13. FINDING at teacher in a local area that TEACHES PRECISION can be difficult. Classes are usually geared to beginner projects because beginners take classes and they can be expensive to keep taking them. Also shops make money on the classes they can fill. If not enough other students are around that want to take a precision class they do not make money.

    Look for a teacher that is gifted and will offer private lessons. Kay here in MI gives private lessons for about $10 / hour and the one on one is worth paying more that what you get with multi student class.

    Doing mini quilt blocks also forces you to improve your skills. I have heard this from everyone who has made a miniature quilt. They work on a mini quilt and when they went back to piecing regular size blocks they found they had gotten much better and more accurate.


    After reading all the magazine articles, the books, watching DVDs…. the only way to really improve is to keep on quilting.


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