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Oh Sew Digital!

mobile device

I have embraced the digital world for a long time now. I am computer literate, internet savvy, and working on my social media skills.  I own a smartphone, a tablet, and a laptop. I had desktop computers back in the day: floppy drives, towers, etc. Whew…..I am connected.

The laptop is my only “traditional” computer now.  I do all activities on it that most people do on their computers including writing this blog. When it comes to sewing, I have a number of software programs. But what I want to focus on here are mobile devices and how you can include them in your creations.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 edition. I love love love this tablet.  I can doodle quilting designs, run all my android apps, write my blog, read other’s blogs, take photos and videos.  One way I use it in my sewing studio is as a PDF reader.  I have all my machine and software manuals on it.  I love that I can search for a subject and poof go right to that section.  The convenience of having a digital manual right beside my computer is priceless.  In the past, I would have to jump back and forth between the digital manual and the software windows when working on my computer. I also take pictures of my quilt layout and then if I have a question when piecing my blocks together, I have a photo to reference. Recently, I had to repurchase the pattern for a bag I really like.  Now it has been scanned and saved to my tablet. I might misplace the pattern again, but at least now I have a backup.

Then there’s my smartphone.  The camera is invaluable to me.  Again, it’s a Samsung Galaxy. (Yes, I’m an Android person, but those of you that are dedicated to IOS will find similar functions and apps.) In addition to taking pictures of my work in progress, I use it to take pictures of all sorts of things.  You know the cardboard that most sewing notions are attached to, with the directions on them?  Take a picture.  That way when you go to use it again, the directions are right there…on your phone or even your tablet. No more storing the instructions; let alone the time wasted looking for them.  I do, however, strongly suggest that you store that information in an additional location. I also take pics of the fabric requirements for patterns.  That way, when I’m out if I run across the perfect fabric, I can look at the pic and buy the right amount. I could devote an entire blog post how to use your camera.

And then we have all those mobile device apps.  Just put the words “sew” or “quilt” in the search area of your app store and explore what comes up.  My favorite is the Robert Kaufman Quilting Calculators. There are also inventory and bookshelf apps that let you store a listing of all the sewing books you own and even your patterns.  This is also a great way to keep track of all your threads.  Again, think about what you might have ever double purchased.  Another great one is  My Bernina App .  You can enter all the feet and accessories you own and or want.  Plus you can look at videos on how to use some of the most popular accessories. (Even if you don’t own a Bernina, the videos are useful)  I haven’t even begun to tap into everything that is available. Think about what would make your sewing world easier or more organized and look for an app that can help. Be sure to let me know what you find.

If you haven’t embraced these digital assistants yet, give them a try.