The Free Motion Quilting Project: Project Improvement Initiative

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Project Improvement Initiative

The comments on improving the site have slowly trickled to a halt today so I'm calling the end for suggestions....NOW!

Overall it seems that more organization is the #1 most recommended improvement to this project. Ya'll want to be able to find the designs easier so it's a quicker and simpler process to pick designs that will work for you!

This is a very understandable desire, which is why I spent most of the afternoon coding new pages which will organize the project by Difficulty Level, Filler Design Type, Chronological Order, and Alphabetical Order.

Now you might be wondering why I didn't set something up like this a long time ago and the truth is I've definitely thought about it a lot for the last 4 months, but every time I set down to organize everything it just seemed like such a huge, complicated job that I would psych myself out before I'd really gotten started.

But there's something about getting 37 comments, some really nice and sweet and some not so nice, about how more organization and easier navigation is needed. All your input is definitely going to get me off my butt and on the site making improvements!

Organizing everything is pretty time consuming, especially since we now have 222 designs, but I will be working on it a bit every day and hope to have everything done by next week.

The new system will feature thumbnails of all designs on pages of the site which will link back to the project. I'm hoping to design it in a way that you can easily find the designs you like and move fluidly between the site and the blog.

Now as for the winner to of Whitework Quilting by Karen McTavish, I checked through the comments and I've selected Ethne as the winner!

While creating more navigation and organization is needed, creating a place to share and show off our free motion quilting work is needed too! Ethne suggested a flickr account where everyone can share photos of quilts created with designs from the project.

I'm planning on starting a flickr account which will feature photos of all the designs and if I tag everything correctly, it should also be a good place to search for possible designs.

Now some of the suggestions I received were really good, such as having a page where ALL the designs would be listed, but unfortunately this is just not possible.

Even with 222 designs, that is 222 little 100 pixel images that will have to fully load in a page before you can see them all. This would eat up loads of bandwidth and possibly even lock up computers who have particularly slow connections.

But I do think scrolling through the designs is a super fun thing to do, so I do plan to max out the pages at 100 designs per page.

As for suggestions to create a search feature, we actually already have one! Look on the side bar here ------------------------------------------------->
Scroll around and you will see a google search box. In this box you can type in any name of any design and find the post on it!

There were also a lot of suggestions about linking up the "How Do I Quilt This?!" Series, creating a glossary of terms, and links to the extra articles on the site and yes, all of those things will be coming as well.

Please do keep in mind that as I start adding these new pages and organization to the blog, a few things might change a bit.

The best advice I have is to slow down and READ!

Sometimes we miss things because we're moving too fast and just skimming for the information we want. It's easy to do and I'm super guilty of it too!

So here's to a better project, more collaboration and sharing, and more than anything else, more designs we can use on our quilts!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day.


  1. I guess I should not be surprised that some of the comments you received were "not so nice". But for crying' out loud! How can somebody leave "not so nice" comments when you are working so hard and providing all of this fabulous content FOR FREE! Those people should chill out.

    as for the rest of us actual human beings, we say THANK YOU, LEAH!

  2. Leah--you're doing a great job! I'm really impressed with your new book. What a great accomplishment!

  3. Leah, what you are doing is great, but don't try to become huge, please do not try to do all things perfect because your inspiration is the most important thing in your projects and you have to take good care to it!
    You don't need to change anything to get more accepted!
    I love what you're doing and I love your inspiration!
    Thank you for all!

  4. I agree with DragonPoodle. Since your content is provided free, and is excellent, thanks are definitely in order. And I love some of the ideas for improvement-- especially the flickr account so your users can share their results.

    I also love having Josh around; this website and its creative content obviously require a tremendous amount of effort; I was worried before about you (Leah) burning out, but having someone special to work with makes all the difference in the world.

  5. The Flickr group is a great idea... type in New Wave Quilt in Flickr and check out what a flickr group can become...

    Great new header, it looks awesome!


  6. Bless you Leah - thank you for you generosity (in every way)
    It really disappoints me that some people find it so very hard to be grateful when you are sharing your skills and techniques - it must be the old green eyed monster whispering in their ears.
    Flickr pages can give us all a quick overview of the patterns available - OK not all at once but a good concentrated pool of designs and links back to the blog posting - plus of course a group in sharing and displaying our own attempts, good and bad ;-)


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