It's the time of year when it's easy to get in a creative rut. Winter is almost over. Spring is almost here. You are tired of being inside, maybe even tired of sewing the same old stuff. There are many ways to get inspiration, most of which, can be done from the comfort of home at little or no expense. It doesn't cost anything to look, right?
Take a Class
Most embroidery machine dealers offer classes and workshops throughout the year. Sign up for their email newsletters to keep up to date on new offerings. If you are new to embroidery, it's a good idea to take a refresher course on basic machine functions.
Colleges and vocational schools often provide continuing education classes in addition to their usual academic lineup. They may not offer classes specifically about machine embroidery or quilting, but classes on color and design, textiles, or other arts can open up a whole new world of creative possibilities.
Join a Group
Any time you can interact with quilting, sewing, and embroidery guilds you gain not only camaraderie but an educational resource (and sometimes lunch). There is always something to learn and ideas are endless when sharing creative projects. If there isn't a group in your area, form one.
Connect With Social Media
Like it or not, Facebook, blogs, and similar social media provide yet another realm of information for creative minds. Often thread, fabric, and software manufacturers maintain active social media presences. "Like" them and get inspired. It's a great way to find out current trends, new offerings, projects, and tons of ideas along the way.
Try Something New
You are sure to discover something you didn't know in the books or videos to Deborah Jones' Ask the Expert. Her Dimensional Machine Embroidery book video takes projects to the third dimension.
Watch a Video
Tons of free videos are available online. Some at Ann the Gran include:
Learn New Software
Preview new software about organizing designs, editing, and getting precise placement of embroideries. Most have a free trial period and video demonstrations to access. Alphabet Xpress videos are a great way to not only preview items before you buy, but also to get ideas about how fonts are used and arranged with other embroidery.
Join a Discussion Group
Forums provide insight from thousands of like-minded, creative people who are typically very generous about sharing their passion and expertise. ATG offers several covering basic tips, product questions, reviews, quilting and sewing, and Brother embroidery machine owners.
Looking for something you don't see here, let us know!