The Virtual Quilt, A Newsletter for Computing Quilters

Number Five * January 1, 1996

Quilting on the Web: Part 3

Our exploration of quilting-related web sites continues this issue with a look at four sites, some of which have been around a while and some which have only recently made their debut on the WWW. With this issue TVQ also introduces a rating system for web sites. It is a simple and entirely subjective system, from one to five stars. Five stars are the best, one star the worst. Ratings are at the end of each write-up. My criteria (or prejudices) should be clear from the write-ups; flames or "alternative points of view" are welcome!

Turtle's Quilting Playground ( turtle.htm), maintained by Karen and Bob Nick of the Huntsville, Alabama area, has recently inaugurated a series of online quilt shows which will change monthly. Their current offering is the First Annual Holiday Quilt Show and contains images of some twenty-four quilts on holiday themes. Image quality is somewhat uneven, but overall is good, and the pages are nicely designed and load quickly. A unique twist on this virtual quilt show is the ability to vote for your favorite quilt simply by clicking on a radio button through your browser. If you enter your name and e-mail address you also become eligible for door prizes donated by contest sponsors and the top vote-getting quilts also win prizes. Prize-winners for December were announced on Christmas Day.

Upcoming shows include groupings of quilts by guilds and online groups including Delphi's Online Quilters and Quiltnet. Turtle's Playground also prominently features information about quilts stolen from various quilt shows and includes well-organized pages on quilt guilds, shops, and shows. These last areas are still very much under construction, and much of the information is gleaned from the Quiltnet FAQs


RATING: Four Stars.

The Alphamall Quilters' World ( qc.html) also has a quilt exhibition, but with more of a commercial cast, as all the quilts on display are for sale and the company invites quilters to advertise their wares at their site. The site is not entirely commercial, however, as it offers several areas of free information and posting space. It has a unique (on the web) Quilters' Bulletin Board, much like those on the online services, where visitors may post questions or observations about quilting. The postings are threaded, but so far there are not a lot of them.

There is a page of quilting tips, to which new tips may be contributed, a directory of quilt stores (mostly in central and eastern Canada and Massachusetts) which contains names, addresses, and phone numbers (but no critiques), and a place for free posting of quilt show announcements. There is also a page of links to other quilt-related sites.

The site overall is professionally produced but feels a bit cold, without the warmth of a distinctive personality or the sense of a community of quilters. It also appears to be somewhat neglected, with some of the pages not updated in several weeks. With a little creativity and a less stodgy approach this could be a dynamite site, but as it is it doesn't invite a re-visit.

RATING: Two Stars.

Jan Cabral's "High Tech Quilting" page (http://www.infinet .com/~jan/) is an unabashedly commercial page providing information about her publications, workshops and classes dealing with computing applications for quilting. The site is marked by some nice fabric scans, presumably done by Jan herself, as one of her books is entitled "Digital Fabrics: How to Make Computer Generated Fabrics." The site also contains some stolen quilt alerts and a somewhat standard page of links to other quilting sites. The page could benefit from some excerpts from Jan's books or other free information which would draw people to the site. (See the review of Jan's new book, "CorelDRAW for Quilters and Fiber Artists," elsewhere in this issue.) Nicely produced and organized, this site suffers mainly from an "all work and no play" mentality.

RATING: Two Stars.

By way of contrast to these last two somewhat sterile sites, "Judy Heim's Miscellany Page" ( /~judyheim/) is chock full of personality and interesting tidbits about herself, her passions and, incidentally, the books she has published, including The Needlecrafter's Computer Companion. The opening page begins with an informal picture of Judy with one of her dogs. The caption reads: "O.K. so I'll never make the cover of Glamour. What do you expect from a computer geek?" This self-deprecating humor and down-home style mark Judy's approach throughout, making her pages a delight to peruse.

There are, to be sure, plenty of "obligatory book plugs" (as she puts it) at the site, but these also include generous excerpts from the books themselves as well as other related but free and entertaining features. There is, for example, an extensive catalogue of cat patterns for quilts, wearables, and other needlecrafts. Judy's not selling them, but she tells you about them and where they're available, and includes a few gifs into the bargain.

There are also a couple of biographical sketches, along with gifs, of some of the cats and dogs she has adopted and cared for. This very rich site takes several visits to explore completely, and hopefully will continue to be enriched by Judy's fertile and somewhat off-the-wall imagination.

RATING: Four Stars.


Thread and Thimble: 8 fat eighths of luscious fabric from RJR, mostly Jinny Beyer prints for $4.95 including postage. Fabric from The Groom's Quilt or Wear Warm Clothes Line for $5.95 per yard. For more information and my complete line E-mail Karen at or visit my Web page

AMERICAN ANTIQUE QUILTS/TOPS/BLOCKS & FABRIC for sale. Reasonable prices; credit cards accepted. For a free catalog, send your post office address to: Kris Driessen, Hickory Hill Antique Quilts. Always looking for old quilts, tops, blocks and fabric in any condition for restoration purposes.

For Sale: Large, colorful "Kimono Memory" quilt poster, pieced kimonos alternate with sashiko embroidered blocks. Published in "Japanese Quilts" book by Liddell and Watanabe. Perfect for your sewing room, nice enough for the living room. Send $15 (includes postage and mailing tube) to: Marina Salume, 419 Correas Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

QUILTED CREATIONS takes the "Drab" out of wheelchair accessories. Designers of the original Quilted Wheelchair Bag , also Walker, Tote and original design Fanny Bags. These bags are made and designed by Millie Becker, a wheelchair user, who understands the needs and mobility requirements of others who use mobility devices. send a SASE for a color picture brochure to: QUILTED CREATIONS
P.O. BOX 3891
PEABODY, MA 01961-3891

or e-mail for info ENRG18A@PRODIGY.COM Millie Becker or visit web page at milliebecker.html

In This Issue:

Following is a list of the rest of the stories in this issue of TVQ. In order to read them, you must be a subscriber. Subscribing online here and following up with the small subscription fee will entitle you to eight issues of TVQ, including this one. You will receive TVQ every six weeks by e-mail, and will be issued a password to access it here on the World Wide Quilting Page.

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  • Like any news publication, TVQ is always hungry for information about new developments in the area we are trying to cover. If you have an idea for a story, or want to tell the world about something you are doing which relates to computers and quilting, we'd like to hear about it.
    We'd like news of new classes starting up to teach quilt design on computers, or new approaches to that teaching. New products, maillists, World Wide Web pages, etc., are all fair game, and we'd appreciate any tips you can provide. Send your tips by e-mail to

    If you have a comment about an article, a complaint or a correction, we're glad to hear that, too, and may publish some comments as letters to the editor. Again, these may be sent to

    Editor and Publisher: Robert Holland, Decatur, GA

    Copyright 1995 by Robert Holland. All rights reserved. This file may not be reproduced in any form except to be printed out for the personal use of its owner without the expressed, written consent of the copyright holder.


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