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I love all things sewing!  It's all about the creative journey.  All my blog posts are letters to my sewing alter-ego - Lola!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Our Virtual Sewing Reality

Dear Lola,

According to Wikipedia, Virtual reality (VR) is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds.

My sewing VR takes me to many blogs and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, Craftsy and Pinterest.  Using these resources has become an essential part of my sewing journey.  When my “inspiration cup” is feeling empty, I know what to do to fill it up!

The start to a perfect sewing day starts with my coffee mug, a computer and a mouse.  My first stop is generally my personal email.   I check for updates from my favorite bloggers.  Since I started my blog, following other blogs has become even more important to my creative process.  Google+ has helped me really keep up!

My next stop is Facebook.  I originally signed up for Facebook to keep in touch with my real family.  Now it has become much more about my Sewing and Quilting Family for sure.  I have learned how to selectively post to my Sewing Friends and this pleases my real family to no end!  They are no longer inundated with project photos and quips on trips to the fabric store.

Pinterest is next on my visit list.  This amazing site contains so much inspiration that I can time travel to the future – what I mean is – I can sit in front of the computer and before I know it – I have travelled 2 hours into the future!  How do they do it?  This site is awesome for bookmarking my favorite blogs and projects.  I love knowing how to find my “web trail”!  No more saying to myself, “now where was that site with the cute apron project or where is that fabulous neckline tutorial?”  I can find what I am looking for in a jiffy!  I have installed the “Pin It” command on my tool bar and use it throughout the day!  I love all the great people I follow on Pinterest too!

No day would be complete without a visit to Craftsy.  Since I signed up, this site has continued to improve, amaze and inspire.  Now they have added the ability to post your projects and follow others.  Woohoo!  All I can say is that they continue to nail it!  I love the deals they offer, the classes are absolutely sublime, and the educators are top-notch, world-class and fantastically inspirational.  Seeing all the great projects and workshops is like growing creative wings!  I feel like I can fly just about anywhere!

Then there are my favorite virtual friends.  These zany, colorful, creative people shape my day and many of them I have never met!  I look to their blogs, Facebook pages and websites for my daily dose of over the top happiness.  Their vision of the world is artistic and humorous.  They use their wit, charm and sense of whimsy to make the world a more creative and fun place. 

My favorites are: 

1.  Alex Veronelli of Aurifil.  I follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  His sense of humor is wicked.  I have never met him- but I consider myself an “Alex Groupie”!  He is my go to guy for a daily humor injection!  By the way – Aurifil thread is the best!  If you haven’t tried it – you are missing out!  The thread is just like Alex – sexy and colorful!  I have a crush on both!  Can I say that?

2. Pepper Cory, Quiltmaker and Author.  Pepper is free-spirited and dynamic.  I first became acquainted with Pepper on Craftsy and then was lucky enough to meet her in person at a Quilt Alliance event.  I love her posts about her cats (even though I am a dog person) and her love of quilting. Her posts are as scrappy as her quilts and that’s a good thing!  She is especially passionate about Vintage and Antique Quilts and has opened a whole new world to me. 

3.  Tula Pink, Fabric Designer, Author and Bernina Ambassador – Since I first began sewing I have adored Tula’s fabrics.  One of my first garment sewing projects was made with Tula’s fabric.  To this day, it is my favorite skirt!  Tula has a unique sewing voice.  Her creative vision is full of whimsy.  Before I met her at a Sewing Expo, I knew she was dynamic.  In person, she is even more WOW!  Her point of view is fresh and fun and flirty.  Following her blog, Twitter and Facebook keeps me in the “Tula Universe” which is a pretty cool place to be!

4.  Lola Jenkins, Prize-winning Art Quilter and Craftsy Educator – I stumbled across Lola (doesn’t she have a great name?) through Craftsy.  I signed up for her Thread Art Class.  Just 5 minutes into the class, I knew I loved this lady.  Her story of how she came into Art Quilting is “sew” inspirational.  What she has accomplished is incredible and her work is downright stunning!  We have since become Facebook friends and I hope to meet her in person some day.

5.  Meg Cox, Author, Board Member Quilt Alliance – Meg’s book, The Quilter’sCatalog, was the first book I purchased when I began my sewing journey 5 years ago!  Can I say I love this book?  It’s an amazing reference for someone just beginning to navigate their way through the quilting/sewing universe.  Meg is thoughtful and witty writer.  I follow her posts on her blog and Facebook. She does great things for the Quilt Alliance.  I adore her other book, FamilyTraditions and I hope to meet her some day soon too.

6. Anthony Jones, Quiltmaker – Anthony is a beloved Facebook and Pinterest friend.  Ironically, Anthony lives in Clearwater, Florida – my old hometown.  I never knew him when I was living there – oh how I wish I had!  I love his posts on just about everything.  He has a highly-evolved sense of humor and just seems like an all around cool guy!  Some days, Anthony’s posts can just make me laugh out loud and make my day!

7. Pat Sloan, Creative Blogger and Virtual Radio Host – Pat is a Virtual Pioneer with her Creative Talk Network.  I visit her Blog and her site regularly for all the happenings in the quilting and sewing world.  She has great forums and events listed on her site.  Her Facebook posts are fun and full of creative spirit.

The Internet is such an amazing tool.  It allows me to make friends with an entire circle of creative people that I might never have known otherwise.  They are physically present in my life in a way that impacts my sewing journey more than the people who actually live in my home.  These creative souls inspire.  Modern times have allowed us to create the spirit of the French Art Salon - a free exhibition and exchange of artistic ideas.

Lola, Virtual Reality is a creative, artistic, safe, inspiring, supportive, loving and funny place to be!

Hugs and stitches,