Today The Quilt Show is on my mind. This is an internet-based, worldwide quilting community. Begun in 2007 by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims--I have been a member since the very beginning.
It is a subscription service, so, yes, you do have to pay for it. The current cost is $49/year. I often say if I suddenly had to severely curtail my quilt spending, the last two things I would give up are dues to my local guild, Heritage Quilters of Huntsville and my subscription to The Quilt Show..
Here is what I get from The Quilt Show:
1. A new, hour-long show every two weeks, featuring at least one quilt artist/teacher. Often, Alex and Ricky teach a tip on how to accomplish some quilting technique. I always learn something, even if what I learn is "I don't want to do THAT"--good lesson to learn, no more time spent on that. All previous shows remain available to paid members--wonderful talent, some of whom no longer teach away from home, or have passed on. Past shows are a tremendous resource.
2. Block of the Month patterns--if you like the design, this is reason enough to subscribe. Each year since 2009 there has been an original BOM quilt designed by a renowned quilt designer, available FREE for the entire year. If you miss saving/printing these patterns while they are free, the next year you can buy the patterns from the designer, for at least $80. This year's quilt is designed by Edyta Sitar, The Patchwork Barn:
My most favorite BOM quilt ever, is the first one, designed by my friend, the late Sue Garman:
Come Quilt. The quilt I made from this pattern in 2009 is New Stars, New Day. It is included in the book 500 Traditional Quilts featuring some of the best quilts made today:
3. The Forum is a way to connect with other quilters around the world. There are many topics and people ask questions, others provide answers. It is always a treat when I meet a few of these quilters in "real life" at Houston, where I work Market and Festival each year. Some of these people have become true friends, an added bonus.
4. The Classroom provides detailed teaching on various quilt topics. Lots of great information there.
There is so much more I get from the site--you can check it out without subscribing--there are always a few free shows you can watch to see if you like it. I encourage you to take a look: The Quilt Show
Not everyone has a local guild or a local quilt shop where they can take classes and meet with others. The Quilt Show provides a quilting lifeline for those quilters.