Anna Hergert, Art & Design

A Lesson Learned & A Lesson Shared

When I agreed to take part in the online interview produced by Willowbend Quilt Expo in January I threw caution to the wind, ignored the nagging voice in my mind casting doubt on good picture quality and my own professional presentation. I dressed up, applied makeup and attached my microphone in a non distracting manner ready to answer questions and share my special project.

The satellite connection worked relatively well for the first 30 minutes at which point the picture froze for Tim, the interviewer. I was completely unaware of this development and continued my instructions with enthusiasm and clarity – honest! I felt great when I was done – which lasted less than 15 seconds… at which point I was informed that I had to repeat my instructions.  Tim had lost the feed from the point where I was talking about loosening the bobbin case screw to accommodate the soft metallic braid for optimum results in machine embroidery. The sentiment was: Go back to the beginning. I did. The second time didn’t work much better; the third try was the version that was presented on the air during the online quilt expo last week.

I was exhausted by then and didn’t know if I had covered all the steps and how clear my originally well prepared instructions were going to come across. The first time all my step-outs were neatly stacked and organized. While I talked about each step, I “flung” the step-out to the side. By the time it came to the third try I was somewhat flustered and had lost my concentration – to say the least!

My feature video aired last Wednesday, a day filled with other commitments for me. On Thursday morning, in honor of International Women’s Day and my grandmother (mentioned in the video) I took advantage of the early morning improved satellite connection and watched my video from start to finish.

Now, I realize we are all critical of our own actions, especially when being taped for the public. My worst nightmare had come true: I was presenting well at first but once the taping had to be repeated I sounded like an ill prepared beginner, fumbling for words and repeating myself constantly. Too late to hide – time to jump into action and make improvements on my end!!!

With this in mind I decided to pull together the instructions for the featured book cover in print and image,  just in case. No sooner was I done with the PDF document I received an email asking for clarification with a few steps due to the poor video quality (the kind person!). Here is the link for these instructions.

Simple bookcover with recycled materials

I hope you enjoy them, use them and send me pictures of what you come up with! And last but not least: Thank you for your continued support!

This entry was published on March 11, 2012 at 12:07 am. It’s filed under Art, Creativity Update, Journaling, Special event, Virtual Quilt Show, Workshop Opportunity and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

34 thoughts on “A Lesson Learned & A Lesson Shared

  1. Shirley Ryning on said:

    Thanks for sharing this creative book cover. What I loved about your presentation is that I have watched and now have instructions to make something beautiful. You were interesting and clear.

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    • You are welcome, Shirley! Glad you found the instruction clear and interesting at the same time. Make sure to send some pictures when you create things inspired by the instructions. How is the old neighborhood?

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  2. Louisa Betts on said:

    Yours was the first presentation I watched, and I had no idea of what you went through. You did a great job and set the bar high. I enjoyed your original, attractive technique very much. Thank you for all the hard work you did for us.

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    • Louisa, Thanks for the great feedback. I did have fun… till the feed went down for the third time. It has been a great experience and visitors to my blog are way up! I have had people “stop by” from all over Europe, Russia, Philippines, Kenya, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and so many more – I am very happy with the overall outcome!

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  3. Bonnie Mactaggart on said:

    Anna, Thank you for your book cover pattern. I did enjoy your presentation and you have to remember this is a first so of course all kinks have to be worked out. You carried it off very well. Guess I have to start colledting dryer sheets. It was a jammed packed weekend trying to get all the presentations played, and each one had valuable information. I hope this way of teaching will be continued because again I had never heard of some of these presentors and their ideas. Take care. Bonnie

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    • Hi Bonnie, Thanks for the feedback and I am so glad you found the videos educational. If you put the word out that you are collecting dryer sheets you will be surprised how quickly you accumulate them. I have stacks of them and put them into kits for my students now as I can’t use them up fast enough. Keep in touch – can’t wait to see what you will create.

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  4. Anna,
    Thank you for the pdf. for the book cover. I actually watched your video several times. I know there were some technical difficulties, but I thought you did a very good job in presenting your book cover. I loved being able to learn new techinques through the use of the video. Thank you for all of your hardwork. I’ll be bookmarking your blog so I can stop by and see more of your beautiful works.

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    • Thank you, Alisa! I am pleased that you found my video presentation helpful. As a teacher I often worry that sometimes my instructions may not be as clear as I intend them to be. I look forward to “seeing” more of you as you follow my blog! Let me know how you make out with the book cover.

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  5. Bev Cooper on said:

    Hi Anna, the Inspired to Quilt Expo has been amazing! I have watched every video and wanted to tell you I enjoyed your presentation very much! I copied the .pdf file for the book cover from your blog site this morning and read your comments about the glitches you encountered with the demo part of your video. You noticed them much more than I did when I watched it. Thank you for taking part in this wonderful event! Your art quilts are truly inspirational and I look forward to meeting you in person in Prescott, Ontario in September for your three-day “Twisting the Landscape and Embracing Abstraction” workshop. Can’t wait – I love quilting and fibre art but need a push to help me become more creative.

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    • Bev, thank you so much for taking the time to provide feedback. I am glad that the viewers seemed to be less distracted by the video quality. As I mentioned: We are our biggest critics… and I am a bit of a perfectionist – you might have guessed by now. ;-)))

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  6. Ruth Camack on said:

    Kudos to you, Willow Bend and the other artists. All in all I found it to be a very positive experience. Hopefully we will have more in the future. I too found new artists to me and feel I gained a lot from the experience. I have used dryer sheets in the past but never with such an artits\ti8c approach. Thanks so much for the PDF.
    Ruth

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    • Thank you, Ruth! Everyone has been so encouraging and complimentary. I truly appreciate everyone’s support and can’t express my gratitude enough to Tim for taking on this challenge!

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  7. Gwen from California on said:

    Hi Anna: I’ve been quilting for a long time and have pretty much been a “traditional” quilter. For a long time I have admired from afar art quilts and have kind of felt like I didn’t have the “artistic talent” to do them. After watching all of the quilt expo presenters and especially yours, I am feeling so confident that I can do art quilts. I marveled when I looked at your quilt gallery – so beautiful, new and unique to me. Yes, there were some technical problems with the expo but overall, I loved it! Absolutely love the idea and every morning over the last 5 days I’ve gotten up, brewed my coffee and sat down at my computer to watch and take in all of this wonderful information. I have to say the expo has definitely inspired me and your quilts have inspired me. I’m going to start with the book cover soon. Thanks for being a presenter.

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    • Hi Gwen,
      Your feedback is so heart warming! Thank you for taking the time. It is for enthusiastic quilters like yourself who are on the brink of “venturing out of the box” that I share my knowledge. I am so pleased you were able to glean something worthwhile from the videos. Getting up early every morning and embracing the offerings while enjoying your first cup of coffee is just the way I pictured this event to unfold! Do keep in touch and share your journey!

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  8. Anne – yes, the video quality of all the presentations were not great; some worse than others and yours not at the bottom of the heap…however, it was a very worthwhile ‘event’ from my perspective as an ‘attendee’ as I was introduced to several new people and a number of new techniques. I do hope that it is done again and it can only get better as it was a fun way to learn. I hand-quilted two small pieces while I watched; both have been in the pile for several months. And, thank you SO MUCH for your PDF. I’m hoping I can now make a book cover that actually fits the intended book, with your instructions. I recently tried making a cover for a book for my mom and it took FOUR attempts to get it the right size…I know it shouldn’t be difficult but…

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    • Darla, thank you so much for your feedback. You are one of the few people I have heard from who has watched all the videos and your comments are most helpful. The project was worthwhile and has set new standards for the quilting industry. Bringing demonstrations, new teachers and the concept of an expo to a widespread audience free of charge during this time of economic standstill is unique, innovative and must be commended. Tim from Willow Bend Creations has poured his heart and soul into the organization of the project and I for one can’t wait to see where it will take us in the future. Poor video quality is just one small hurdle to overcome, but like my husband pointed out to me: No matter how reliable the connection is at the point of origin, if the receiving connection is via satellite (or less advanced than at the point of origin) the final video quality will be compromised.

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  9. Thanks for sharing the printed info. Very nice product.
    For some reason, I was unable to get the videos.
    I understand the problem with repeating a lesson. When I was teaching, one year I had 5 classes of grade 8’s. I needed a checklist on the major points of the lesson!

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    • Vivian, Sorry you missed out on the videos, however, it is not too late to sample them. They are all uploaded to the Willow Bend Site. If you signed up for the event you should have received the info earlier today. The poll for voting will be up till Wednesday.
      http://willowbendcreations.com/OnlineQuiltExpos/Vote.html
      I knew you could relate to the trials and tribulations of having to repeat instructions – had I thought about it I would have left the number tags on the samples. However with the video taping I didn’t want anything distracting hanging from the step-outs, hence my confusion. Based on the mostly understanding/positive feedback I have received via the blog and personally, it appears that not too many people minded especially since I made the written instructions available via the blog.

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  10. thank you for your pdf file – I got something from this! I wasn’t able to view any of the videos and was very disappointed. I’m looking forward to playing with my dryer sheets.

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  11. Suzie in Oregon on said:

    Hi Anna. I would like to thank you for being on the presentation. Even though there were some problems with the technology, which we were informed there could be, the program was wonderful. For myself, this program introduced me to instructors and information I otherwise would have missed as I am not able to attend regular quilting and craft classes. So Anna, again I thank you and want you to know that your information and the time you put into it is greatly appreciated.

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  12. Carol Boyer on said:

    Hi hi-
    I just looked at the instructions. I think you did a great job with the printed ones. I did not see the presentation- but the printed version is easy to follow. You did the best you could so learn from it and go forward.

    Keep Creating
    Carol

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  13. The PDF is clear, concise and definitely going to be used 🙂 It was quite frustrating to watch all the videos, but i stuck them through and glad i did. Kudos to you et al who did these and have contributed to our learning curves. I doubt many of us would have the patience or cool to get through 3 tapings and the tech problems!

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    • Thanks for your support and tremendous patience with the videos. I am glad I could provide something in return and should have offered the PDF right from the get-go. I have heard from a good number of visitors and if nothing else it has boosted the number of visits to my blog.

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  14. Colleen Sproat on said:

    I would say kudos to you for being one of the pioneers with this online project. There is no way of knowing where things will go the first time. You don’t know until you try it! It clearly demonstrates your spirit of adventure and lack of fearing new things. You are not sitting back and waiting for others to test the waters….you are in the front lines ready to jump in!! I think that this online forum has great potential. It sure gave me access to quilting professionals that would never be possible otherwise. The idea is fantastic! With some tweaks in the future it will be incredible!!! Thanks again Anna for your desire to see where quilting/fiber arts can be pushed!!

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    • Colleen, thank you! I value your input and insights and appreciate you taking the time to explore the Willow Bend site to full capacity. Your enthusiasm speaks volumes to endorse this type of venture. I am sure there will be more and I am sure as technology advances the videos will be come even more professional. Tim has done an amazing job in orchestrating this venture and will be catching up on sleep for the rest of the month, I am sure!

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  15. Anna

    I can understand your mixed emotions about this entire process. If it is any reassurance, I have watched all of the videos and can tell you that this sort of thing happened on several of the presentations. There is, however, a careful note in the voting area that viewers are to discount feed quality when casting their votes. As this is an Internet ‘first’ for this sort of thing, I am believing that those watching will definitely take technological glitches into account. Honestly, I didn’t find you flustered at all. 🙂 Your appearance was more formal than your American counterparts, but that’s in all likelihood partly cultural! 😉 All in all I enjoyed the entire weekend’s programme. It was interesting from a variety of aspects and you did well! Some of the other presenters were so chatty they wandered off topic. I’d file the experience under ‘Learning Curve’ and please don’t hesitate to do it again if asked — everyone, including the techno-whizzes behind it, will have learned from this initial foray into cyber-expositions!

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    • Margaret, thank you for your insightful comments. As I stated, one is always more critical of one’s own performance. I have not had the time nor band width to watch any other videos but will try to access one a day if the connection is not too slow. Your feedback is very helpful!

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  16. Laine on said:

    Hi Anna
    What a nigh mare! When I watched it, I couldn’t hear a thing. But the project looked wonderful and I look forward to painting and decorating my HUGH collection of dryer sheets. Thank you so much for your generosity of spirit.

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    • Sorry to hear your frustration with the sound. If anything, the sound was pretty good on my end – at least to begin with. Once the iPhone hotspot connection was lost and I had to resort to the regular satellite feed it became more fuzzy. I appreciate your support. Thanks for watching!

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  17. Shirley Mathieson on said:

    Hi Anna, I watched your podcast and I enjoyed it! It sounds like you had a very frustrating time with the technology. You did not show this- I found it very professional- the quality of the feed wasn’t the greatest but hopefully people looked beyond that and took away from it some knowledge of fun and different that you so graciously shared with all those who participated. Thank you for taking the time to participate in this new and innovative quilt show and learning experience. I hope there are more to come!!!

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    • Hi Shirley, thanks for staying so positive and watching the presentation on line from start to finish. Glad to see that it didn’t show my low energy level at the end. Enjoy the PDF booklet!

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