Soft Expressions supporting the expressive quilter in tradition innovation art and computer with Sharla Hicks

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Expressive Quilters Newsletter sponsored by formerly Computer Quilting BYTES: Editor Sharla Hicks, quilting software reviews, quilt tutorials, faqs, and more
Dedicated to Supporting The Expressive Quilter
In Tradition, Innovation, Art & Computer Quilting

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Editor: Sharla R. Hicks
Dedicated to Supporting the Expressive Quilter in Tradition, Innovation, Art and Computers

We know our browser's interests are wide and varied. They also do not want to be bombarded with unwanted e-mail. Our remedy to this dilemma is to offer 5 different Pick and Choose Subscriber Lists. Topics covered will include but not be limited to:

  • Laurel Burch and Jenny Haskins will each have their own list.
  • Monthly news will include Sales, New Products, Hints and tips, tutorials, how-to and frequently asked questions about products we carry and how to use them.
    • Expressive Quilters will find product and tutorials on how to use paints, pens, photo transfer, fabric printing and much more.
    • Sharla will continue to explore computers and writes a quilt software review for each of the major players like: Electric Quilt, Quilt-Pro, QuiltSOFT, PCQuilt, VQuilt, Sew Precise, Foundation Factory, Creative Impulse, and more.
  • Local news and events for the store here in Anaheim, CA

Newletter Logo Back Issue to NewsletterReviews to 23+ quilting software programsGalleries: Sharla's Quilt, Comptuer Quilting Software examples, & Stolen Quilts
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Below see the FAQ's, Tutorials, Reviews and More


Newsletter Archives:
Scroll down and see what the Soft Expressions Newsletter has to offer

If you have an Article, Software Review, Hint or Tip you would like to see included, let Sharla know. If you have an article you would like to include let us know!

Index to articles in past Expressive Quilters' Newsletter issues

What vision does Sharla Hicks bring as the editor of the Online Expressive Quilters Newsletter, online store & website, teaching, and art?

  • Sharla has a life long background in teaching what ever she enjoys doing at the moment. To view her Online Zentangle®, Art Quilts & Mixed Media Gallery, Click Here.

  • She understands the journey of the expressive quilter because she has taken it herself and appreciates all styles and forms of quilting.

  • Sharla poses the following question to students, "How do you make your style of quilting (traditional, innovative or art) stand out from the crowd with an exciting edge."

Her skills building journey started at age 9 and continues through today:

  • Age 9: knitting and hand embroidery
  • Teens: began constructing clothing for herself and family.
  • Mid 20's: moved into freestyle machine embroidery and the occasional art class
  • Early 30's: made her first traditional quilt, needless to say she was hooked.
  • Formal Art Education: as Sharla's quilting skills grew she wanted more information on design and returned to college to received her Associate Degree in Art from Fullerton College.
  • The last few years, Sharla has been actively pursing mixed media exploration with Zentangle® and Mixed Media: dyes, paints, pens, acrylics, alcohol inks, photo transfer, and more

In the mid 1990's Sharla authored a series of computer quilting how-to books that are now out of print.

Today Sharla's teaching schedule is light AND her online presence is her teaching venue.

Sharla expertise offered in Lectures, Classes, Workshops and the written word.

  • lectures & workshops on Zentangle®, computer quilting, design, color, adding the edge to your quilting style and more
  • traditional machine piecing for quilts
  • machine quilting (one of the first machine quilting teachers in Southern California in the early 80's)
  • machine appliqué
  • computer quilting in a computer lab setting and lecture format
  • freestyle machine embroidery
  • quilt embellishment using designer threads (thin to thick), beads, charms and more for embellishment on quilts and wearable art.
  • fabric painting, foiling, glitter work, and embellishment
  • last years of teaching are being directed toward the quilter who wanted to explore how to see color, make design decisions and use mixed media and Zentangle® for the tradition or innovative quilt


Scan Fabric to use in Quilting Software & Convert Internet Fabric to bitmaps

FAQs, Review & How-tos: Computer Quilting using Quilt Design Software and Other Programs

Other Software & Ideas that are helpful in designing quilts, applique, innovative designs, and wearable art

Quilting Software Reviews & How-To Information

Find Supplies & if you are just starting out
This is the Kit for you
Zentangle Kit in Green Box
Zentangle® Kit

34 tiles, DVD, Zentangle Vol. 1 booklet, 2 Pens, 2 Pencils, Sharpener, Die
See Video
By Maria Thomas & Rick Roberts, Zentangle® Developers

Zentangle ® is a technique for patterning and doodling usually done with black pen on white background. Create easy to do abstract designs, optical illusions, quilt labels & more.

Many books have YouTube Videos
Books are 20% off
Zentangle, Fabric Arts, Quilting, Embroidery
Video Available
Fabric Arts, Quilting, Embroidery
Projects by Zentangle

How to & Color Charts
10% off
Great in Fabric too
Sakura Gelly Roll, Glaze & Souffle Pens
Video Available
10% off Sakura Gelly Roll, Glaze & Souffle Pens
Classic, Moonlight, Stardust (glitter pen), Metallic, Shadow, Souffle & Glaze Pens

Books are 20% off
Zentangle, Fabric Arts, Quilting, Embroidery
Video Available
Fabric Arts, Quilting, Embroidery
Projects by Zentangle Instructors
Compiled by Suzanne McNeill
Zentangle Basics
Video Available
Zentangle® BASICS
A Line & Texture Art Form
Suzanne McNeill
Design Originals
20% off
Zenspirations, Letters & Patterning by Joanne Fink
Video Available
Zenspirations, Letters & Patterning
by Joanne Fink
frames, borders, monograms, shapes & more
Time to Tangle with Color for Zentangle
Video Available
Time to Tangle with Color
By Marie Browning
Crafters Workshop Templates & Stencils
Curly Qs, Swirls, Paisleys Crafters Workshop Template

Derwent Watersoluble Media
Inktense Pencils, Inktense Blocks, & Watercolour Pencils

Video Available
Hints & Tips Instruction
8 Videos

Derwent Intense Blocks Shade Chart Derwent Intense Pencil SetsDerwent Watercolour Pencil Sets

Adirondack Alcohol Inks Tim HoltzTim Holtz's Adirondack® Alcohol Inks:
Use on Grungeboard, Metals, Plastics, Slick Surfaces, Fabrics

Notions Videos

Video Available
Wind bobbins while you are sewing with this portable bobbin winder.

Video Available
Bias Tape Maker
Bias Tape Machine
Shows you how to fold and press flat bias strips into single fold bias tape in the push of a button. No more burning fingers pulling fabric through manual tips.
20 in x 25 ft
Preview Paper
Video Available
Quilter's Preview Paper
by Quilter's Touch
use with quilting lines & appliqué

Superior Threads Videos
Video Available
Glitter Hologram Metallic by Superior ThreadsKing Tut Quilting Threads by Superior ThreadsBottom Line Superior Thread

Creative Grids
Video Available
45 Degree Double-Strip RulerCreative Grid Dresden Plate Templates
Cathedral Windows RulerCreative Grids Square Rulers

Fons & Porter Rulers:
Video Available
Fons & Porter Flying Geese Triangle Ruler
Flying Geese Triangle Ruler

Marti Michell's Templates, Rulers & Books 10 to 20% off

Set A templates
Set A: 3" (7.6 cm) Square Basic Set

Marti Michell
Machine Quilting in Sections
See Video
Machine Quilting in Sections

by Marti Michell
Marti Michell
Book & Rulers
See Video
Log Cabin ABC's
Log Cabin ABC's

by Marti Michell

Jodi Barrows Books & Rulers
20% off
Video Available
Square In A Square
Square In A Squar
Technique Reference Book

line break


Block Factory

Bubble Jet Set Products

Clip Art

  • Clip art for Cross Stitch: Stand Alone mini design program, can also be used with Pattern Maker for Cross-Stitch
  • Vintage Workshop Clipart: CDs series that include antique images that fit in nicely with many themes like holidays, americana, garden, alphabet, scrapbook, and more.

CorelDRAW Users

Creative Impulse Users

Cross Stitch Software

Electric Quilt

FAQs: Quilting & EmbellishmentTopics

Fabric: Printing and photo transfer on fabric with Inkjet printers

FAQs about Computer Quilting answered by Sharla Hicks

  1. Computer Quilting has come of Age! What does it have to offer you the quilter? helpful overview of what is available in quilting software and how your computer skills fit into picture when making choices.
  2. What is the Best Program?
  3. ARTICLE: Should I Upgrade my Computer Quilting Program? by Sharla Hicks
  4. The Program manuals are long, do you have anything to help?
  5. Why would I need a Quilt Program when I have a Graphic Program that I can create a quilt in?
  6. When is a Paint/Draw program better than a Quilt Program?
  7. Can I export a block or quilt to another "quilting program".
  8. Can I export a block or quilt to another Paint/Draw program (Corel Draw, Illustrator) or Desktop Publishing program (Word, Word Perfect, Claris).
  9. Can I "scan" in my block and use with my "quilt program"?
  10. Can I "scan" my fabric into my Quilt Program?
  11. Where can I find information on Printing Fabric using the my Computer, Scanner and my Printer?
  12. Can any of the quilting software programs do an accurate job of estimating yardage?
  13. Scanners: What are they, how do they work, and how do I get my fabrics to a quilting software using my scanner?

Fabric for Quilt Software Libraries

Foundation Factory

General Information for Computer Quilters on this website

IrfanView (a graphic file converter, use for fabrics)

Organized Expressions™ . . . Diary and Notebook for Quilters and Needleworkers

Paper Piecing Photo Transfer and Printing on Fabric Quilt-Pro Repligator Scanners Tessellations Website Design

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& Picture Indexes
10% TO 60% OFF

Books & Patterns

Threads, Ribbons, Yarns & Angelina Fibers, Roving

Soft Expressions
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Anaheim, CA 92807

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