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  • Learning French: A Rendezvous with French-Speaking Cultures

    Professor Ann Williams, Ph.D., DEA

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    In Learning French: A Rendezvous with French-Speaking Cultures, you will gain a practical, in-depth introduction to a beautiful language. In these 30 step-by-step lectures, Professor Ann Williams has crafted an effective and engaging course that gives you the core building blocks while also giving you crucial insight into the relationship between language and culture—perfect for anyone serious about learning French.

    View Lecture List (30)
    30 Lectures  |  Learning French: A Rendezvous with French-Speaking Cultures
    Lecture Titles (30)
    • 1
      Welcome to the French-Speaking World
      Bonjour! Begin your voyage with a global look at the French language and French-speaking countries around the world. Learning a new language is an active process, and language is deeply connected to the cultures where it is spoken. In this first lecture, you will survey a few patterns and rules to jump-start your understanding of French. x
    • 2
      Ici, on parle français: French Is Spoken Here
      One important facet of the French-speaking world is that manners and politeness still matter. Discover a few essential phrases that will ensure you don't commit any faux pas before you've even had a chance to open your mouth. Then survey the basics of numbers, definite and indefinite articles, the alphabet, and geography. x
    • 3
      French around the World
      Continue your exploration of French manners and culture and build on the phrases from the first lecture. Then reflect on several “word families” that will help you build your vocabulary and make connections across the language. Along the way, you’ll also pick up a few common verb forms, adjectives, and adverbs. x
    • 4
      Francophone Towns and Villages
      When traveling in French-speaking countries, the verb aller – “to go” – is one of the most useful. Get to know this verb along with important question words such as “How much?” “Why?” and “When?” This lecture also gives you a chance to listen to a great deal of spoken French to help you practice your de-coding skills. x
    • 5
      Weather, Seasons, and Some Geography
      Find out how to discuss the weather, as well as what the weather is like in different parts of France. Then shift your attention to times of year—seasons, months, and dates. While you learn about the weather and time, Professor Williams also introduces you to a few new verb forms to help you talk about preferences and things to do. x
    • 6
      La Vie en France: Life in France
      Continue your study of time by examining the days of the week, times of day, and typical French routines throughout the day. More verb forms will help you express what you want to do, what you can do, and what you have to do. And of course, you'll also gain plenty of practice speaking and listening. x
    • 7
      Vacations and Leisure Activities
      In addition to teaching you the language, this course also serves as a cultural toolkit. You may know that the French enjoy their leisure time, so here you will discover the language of vacation and leisure, including the major French holidays. You’ll also get your first glimpse of the “imperative mood.” x
    • 8
      À table: Daily Meals
      You won't get far in a French-speaking country without being able to talk about food and drink, particularly given that mealtime is often sacred in the French culture. This lecture takes you through breakfast and lunch, showing you how to express hunger and thirst, how to order, and the necessary vocabulary to enjoy your meal. x
    • 9
      Buying Groceries
      Shift your attention from ordering food in restaurants to buying food (and other items) from the store. Find out how to count and calculate totals, and review the language and cultural considerations of making a purchase. Then tackle a few more regular and irregular verb forms to help you build your communications skills. x
    • 10
      Where to Eat
      Going to a market or restaurant is a culinary adventure. Here, you will put together several things you’ve learned from previous lectures and take a virtual trip to a restaurant. Professor Williams walks you through a typical dialogue with a waiter. You’ll also begin to examine different verb “moods”—the conditional, the indicative, and the imperative. x
    • 11
      The Life of the Traveler
      This first of several lectures on traveling through a French country arms you with the language around the daily routines of a tourist. Step into a Parisian hotel and have a conversation with a clerk to make sure you have somewhere to stay for the night. Continue your study of grammar with a look at pronominal and reciprocal verbs. x
    • 12
      Public Transportation
      This second lecture takes you on a journey around France to immerse you in the language of transportation to help you get from point A to point B. Professor Williams gives you a few common verbs and expressions to help you talk about where you came from, where you're going, and how to get there. x
    • 13
      Travel and Technology
      While values evolve very slowly, cultures often change quickly due to new devices. Round out the unit on life as a tourist with an examination of modern technology. Reflect on the French value of privacy and investigate the way smart phones and the internet have changed the nature of privacy—and the way we travel. x
    • 14
      Souvenirs de voyage
      In this lecture, you'll gain a few helpful tools for learning about other cultures and the objects you'll encounter. Discover the vocabulary to talk about clothing and houses, and then review the grammar you've learned thus far. In French, the verbs will always be with us, so take a few moments to survey some new verb forms as well as the subjunctive mood. x
    • 15
      Les Vêtements: How and Why to Dress
      Revisit some of the verbs you've already encountered to help you dress with style, particularly faire (to do or make), savoir (to know), and voir (to see). Build on what you've learned about the subjunctive mood to help you make your sartorial decisions. What you learn here will help you to dress your best for your travels. x
    • 16
      The Home and Private Spaces
      Your final cultural stop around France is the home. Tour the house to uncover the vocabulary of different rooms and their functions, as well as some regional differences in architecture. Then delve into a few “tricky translations” where you must choose the right word for the right situation. x
    • 17
      « Je fais des progrès en français ! »
      Visit the town of Lyon with Professor Williams to review what you've learned from the past few lectures and see how well prepared you are to navigate an unfamiliar city. Continue studying how get around and ask for directions. Learn a few additional nuances to the vocabulary you've acquired. x
    • 18
      La Musique, le théâtre et la danse
      You can't understand a culture without understanding its arts. Here, Professor Williams transitions to a multi-lecture unit on the arts, beginning with the world of performing arts. The great news is that much of the vocabulary of music, theater, and dance involves English cognates. This lecture also introduces the past tense. x
    • 19
      La Littérature et le cinéma
      Shift your attention from the stage to the realm of literature and cinema. Learn key words to help you navigate the bookstore and talk about novels, biographies, histories, poems, and more. Continue your study of verb tenses, which are the building blocks for telling a story. x
    • 20
      L'Art et les artistes
      Delve into the visual arts: sculpture, painting, and photography. As you build your vocabulary, you will also add new tools to your storytelling repertoire. With a particular focus on the verb “to be”—être—Professor Williams introduces the imperfect tense, which will better help you describe what is going on in a given situation. x
    • 21
      Le Patrimoine: Museums
      In addition to the arts, cultural heritage is important in French-speaking cultures. Your first stop is the museum, and your survey helps you put together much of what you learned in the previous unit. Review the major verb tenses—present, past, composé, and imperfect—and learn how to distinguish the different types of past tense. x
    • 22
      Le Patrimoine: Customs
      Consider the relationship between customs and heritage, and uncover the language for French myths and traditions. Then hone the necessary skills to help you follow a story in French. Find out how to make your descriptions livelier with adjectives and adverbs, including words of “degree”—très, trop, peu, and the like. x
    • 23
      Le Patrimoine: Places to Visit
      Travel through history and around French-speaking countries to explore several cultural heritage sites. You'll unpack how heritage refers both to the legacy of the past that we benefit from today, as well as what we will pass onto the future. On your tour, you will learn a series of new comparative adjectives. x
    • 24
      Le Tourisme et les régions
      Because of the connection between language and culture, there are many commonalities among French-speaking countries. But regional differences also abound. From food to everyday activities, explore what makes different countries and regions in France unique. From the Alps to Bordeaux, witness the diverse and exciting variety of the French-speaking world. x
    • 25
      Les Fêtes et les festivals
      One of the joys of travel is seeing the cultural connections and distinctions from one place to the next. In this lecture, use the language of celebrations to gain insight into the culture. Festivities include parties, commemorations, and…rodeos! You’ll also revisit the conditional “would” tense as well as a few verbs with irregular stems. x
    • 26
      Underlying Cultural Values
      While culture often changes, values tend to remain constant, with roots in major historical events such as the French Revolution. Reflect on important values in French-speaking countries, particularly hospitality. Your foray takes you through the language of government, politics, fraternity, and liberty. x
    • 27
      Aventures: Conversation
      The difference between mere tourist travel and adventure is that adventure is about immersion, which requires you to engage on a deeper level. This unit gives you that deep engagement, beginning here with the art of conversation. Discover the rhythms of French conversation and some of the cultural rules to set you up for success. x
    • 28
      Aventures: Telling a Story
      Continue your adventure by rounding out your skills to tell and follow a story. A new verb tense—the pluperfect—will help you tell personal stories, show the link between past and present events, and forge a connection with another person. Practice listening, reading and telling stories. x
    • 29
      Aventures: Reading Cultures
      You’ve already encountered the subjunctive tense Now take it to the next level to help you “read” a culture. Refine your ability to observe and analyze the world around you thanks to cultural artifacts. How do people dress? What do they eat? How do they greet each other? This crucial skillset will help you navigate almost any new place. x
    • 30
      Your Future with French
      You've come a long way in these 30 in-depth lectures. Learning a new language is a lifelong adventure, but before she leaves you, Professor Williams has one more lesson in verbs to impart. Walk through the ins and outs of the future tense and look to tomorrow. Then wrap up what you've learned so you can continue your adventures in learning French. x
  • The Science of Flight
    Course  |  The Science of Flight

    Professor James W. Gregory, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    Taught by Professor James Gregory of Ohio State University, with commentary by Smithsonian curators and examples from the National Air and Space Museum, this course is a treasure trove for all who wonder where lift comes from, how a pilot flies a plane, what air traffic controllers do, and many other things about flight, including how rockets and orbits work. Extensive graphics make the concepts clear.

    View Lecture List (29)
    29 Lectures  |  The Science of Flight
    Lecture Titles (29)
    • 1
      Fundamentals of Flight: Gliding
      How did two world-class pilots coax their glider to a new altitude record? Focus on this feat as a lesson in the key principles of winged flight—including angle of attack, lift, drag, thrust, and weight. Also explore “the miracle on the Hudson,” when airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger glided his jet to an emergency water landing. Close your first lesson with an investigation of the control inputs: yaw, roll, and pitch. x
    • 2
      Balloons, Buoyancy, and the Atmosphere
      Balloons were the first vehicles to fly and Archimedes' principle is the secret of their lift-carrying power. Use the ideal gas law to determine air density and the hydrostatic equation to chart air pressure versus altitude. Then apply these concepts to lighter-than-air craft to learn how the Breitling Orbiter balloon was able to circumnavigate the globe non-stop. x
    • 3
      Takeoff: How Wings Produce Lift
      Lift is the fundamental force involved in winged flight. It is also fraught with misunderstanding. Debunk a popular but incorrect explanation of lift, known as the equal-time theory. Then gain a deep appreciation for the power of air flowing around an airfoil at differing angles of attack. Also examine Albert Einstein's misguided attempt to design a better airfoil. x
    • 4
      Drag Trade-Offs and Boundary-Layer Turbulence
      Focus on parasitic drag, a byproduct of moving an aircraft through the air, which has no practical benefit and is therefore like a parasite. Zero in on two aspects of parasitic drag: skin friction and pressure. Observe how these phenomena arise and how they can be reduced, which is a key goal of aircraft design. Learn about laminar flow as well as golf ball design. x
    • 5
      Stall Events and Lift-Induced Drag
      Aerodynamic stall occurs when lift suddenly decreases, causing drag to rise steeply. Consider the role of stall in several notable air accidents, and see a demonstration in which Professor Gregory deliberately pilots a plane through a stall, showing how to recover. Also look at technological measures to combat stall and the problem of induced drag. x
    • 6
      Wind Tunnels and Predicting Aerodynamics
      Starting with the Wright brothers, trace the role of wind tunnels for studying lift and drag on aircraft structures—research that sparked the rapid advancement of aviation. Aerodynamic research also involves analysis and computations. Get a taste of this process by analyzing conservation of mass, momentum, and energy as they relate to lift and drag. x
    • 7
      Propeller Aircraft: Slow and Efficient
      Apply concepts of lift and drag to propulsion, focusing on the internal combustion engine and propeller—still the most efficient power plant for aircraft flying at low speeds. Study the four-cycle engine and the design of propellers, which are rotating wings twisted to present an optimum angle of attack across their entire length. x
    • 8
      Jet Aircraft: Thrust to Fly Fast
      Propeller-driven aircraft drop sharply in efficiency at high fractions of the speed of sound. For sustained high-speed flight, a different propulsion system is needed—the jet engine. Trace the history of jets and their super-efficient variant used on commercial airliners—the high-bypass turbofan, a machine so intricate and beautiful that a piece of one is on display at the Museum of Modern Art. x
    • 9
      Aircraft Structures and Materials
      For anyone who gets the jitters during heavy turbulence, fear not: the plane is designed to take it! Follow the evolution of airframes from wood to metal to today's composite materials. Consider the problem of designing a sturdy structure that is still light enough to fly efficiently. Also look at tragic accidents that revealed the limits of certain materials and led to safer planes. x
    • 10
      Aircraft Stability and Flight Control
      Trace the quest for stable, controlled flight back to aviation pioneers Samuel P. Langley, the Wright brothers, and Glenn Curtiss. Stability means producing forces that restore an aircraft to equilibrium when perturbed, while control entails deflection of control surfaces to alter the pitch, roll, or yaw effects that act on the aircraft's center of gravity. x
    • 11
      Flying Faster and Higher
      Enter the realm of extreme flight, exploring how fast and how high a plane can go. The answers are remarkably precise and help define a given aircraft's flight envelope. Learn how aeronautical engineers calculate parameters such as airspeed for best climb angle, service ceiling, absolute ceiling, time to climb, stall speed, maximum speed, and speed for optimal cruise. x
    • 12
      Breaking the Sound Barrier and Beyond
      During and just after World War II, the quest for ever faster fighter planes reached an apparent natural barrier—the speed of sound. On approaching this limit, aircraft became unstable and uncontrollable. Discover how a new approach to aircraft design solved the problem of compressibility and shock waves in this transonic region, paving the way for supersonic flight. x
    • 13
      Long-Distance Flight and Predicting Range
      Planes take off with only the fuel required for the planned trip—plus a safety margin. Since there are no filling stations in the sky, the calculations must be precise, taking account of the plane’s performance characteristics, the weather, and other factors. Learn the equations that pilots use and hear a riveting story about what happens when they get it wrong. x
    • 14
      Aerobatics and Dogfighting
      Dogfighting is not just about stick-and-rudder skills; a pilot must understand the physics behind aerial maneuvering. Focus on turn performance, which is the key factor that limits maneuverability and is the cause of many fatal loss-of-control accidents. Learn how energy management is the secret of success in aerial combat, and get tips on performing a barrel roll. x
    • 15
      Mission Profiles and Aircraft Design
      Roll up your sleeves and learn how to design an aircraft, using an approach that has hardly changed in a century of building new airplanes. Start out by determining the weight values, maximum lift coefficient, wing loading, and thrust-to-weight ratio. Next lay out a configuration. Finally, iterate, making modifications and adjustments to perfect your vehicle. x
    • 16
      Primary Cockpit Instruments
      Focus on the science and engineering of the flight instruments. First, look at the hazards faced by even experienced pilots in the era before the altimeter and attitude indicator, learning how these vital instruments work. Then consider the importance of the airspeed indicator, turn coordinator, heading indicator, and vertical speed indicator. x
    • 17
      Air Traffic Navigation and Communication
      On a typical weekday, five to ten thousand aircraft are in the air over the U.S. at a given moment, flying to different cities at varying speeds and different altitudes. Survey the methods, tools, and jargon of air traffic controllers, who keep this traffic moving safely and expeditiously. Also look ahead to next-generation enhancements in the air traffic control system. x
    • 18
      Flight Autonomy and Drones
      Automated flight systems are increasingly used in human-piloted aircraft, where their nearly fail-safe expertise creates some unusual problems. Also look at remotely piloted vehicles, also called drones. Pioneered by the military, these are taking to the sky for a variety of practical civilian missions, including recreational uses. x
    • 19
      Helicopters and Vertical Flight
      Helicopters are so unlike fixed-wing aircraft in appearance and operation that it's hard to believe they work on the same aerodynamics principles. Focus on their ingenious rotor blades, which are rotating wings. Explore the challenge of flying a chopper, and learn why it's safer to lose power at altitude in a helicopter than in an airplane. x
    • 20
      Rocket Science and the Evolution of Launch
      Fly beyond the atmosphere with the only vehicle now capable of reaching space—the rocket. Discover that rocket science is not “rocket science,” in the sense of being extraordinarily difficult. It’s just basic physics and chemistry. Review the fundamentals of solid and liquid propellants, thrust, specific impulse, stability, nozzle design, and the advantages of using multiple stages. x
    • 21
      Orbiting Earth Means Always Falling
      Having ascended into space in the previous lecture, now investigate your orbital options. Whether you go into a circular, elliptical, or Earth-escape orbit—or make it into orbit at all—depends on your cutoff velocity. Calculate different orbits, including the Hohmann transfer ellipse needed for efficiently changing orbits. Also relive the orbital rendezvous exploits of Gemini 8 and Apollo 11. x
    • 22
      To Mars and Beyond: Gravity-Assist Flight
      Venture beyond Earth to the realm of the planets. Interplanetary trajectories require exquisite timing so that the target planet is in exactly the right spot when the spacecraft arrives, often by a Hohmann transfer ellipse. Consider two fuel-saving approaches to these marathon journeys—gravity assists and ion propulsion. x
    • 23
      Atmospheric Reentry: Ballistic, Skip, Glide
      Now return to Earth, analyzing the problem of decelerating from orbital or escape speed to a gentle touchdown on land or water. Calculate the amount of energy that must be lost during the plunge through the atmosphere, and consider three approaches to reentry, including that of the Space Shuttle, which unfortunately ended tragically for Columbia in 2003. Also look at the dire reentry scenario faced by Apollo 13 in 1970. x
    • 24
      The Future of Air and Space Flight
      Close by probing future developments in air and space flight. See these two realms combined in two vehicles: the White Knight aircraft that launches the Space Ship One capsule, and the proposed Mars atmospheric flyer. Consider technically possible devices such as the space elevator, solar-powered aircraft, and personal air vehicles. And that's just the beginning, for the sky is truly the limit! x
    • 25
      Bonus Material: Gustave Eiffel's Wind Tunnels
      Interview with Dr. John Anderson regarding Gustave Eiffel's Wind Tunnels and his career as an applied scientist in the field of aerodynamics. Dr. Anderson is the Curator of Aeronautical Engineering, Aeronautics Department at Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. x
    • 26
      Bonus Material: Engineering Faster Flight Speeds
      Interview with Dr. John Anderson regarding flight speed engineering. x
    • 27
      Bonus Material: Why the Wright Flyer Succeeded
      Interview with Dr. John Anderson regarding how and what contributed to the success of the Wright Flyer. x
    • 28
      Bonus Material: The Wright Brothers' Innovations
      Interview with Dr. Tom Crouch regarding the many innovations of the Wright Brothers. Dr. Crouch is the Senior Curator, Aeronautics Department at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. x
    • 29
      Bonus Material: Higher, Farther, Faster
      Interview with Dr. Roger D. Launius, Former Associate Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs with Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. x
  • Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence

    Professor Jason M. Satterfield, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, Audio Download, DVD, CD

    In Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence, Dr. Jason Satterfield teaches how to identify, monitor, and regulate your own emotions—instead of letting your emotions run the show—and how to manage emotions in others. With the skills you learn from this exciting interactive course, you will be able to improve your emotional intelligence (EQ) now and throughout your life. You’ll be able to use your emotions as you want, to help reach your own personal goals.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      What Is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?
      Learn about the relatively recent emergence of emotional intelligence as a unique field of inquiry and the three leading theories used to describe and understand EQ. With your emotion journal, you'll start building your EQ Skills Tracker, a running library of what you learn in this course about your own emotions and a to-do list for future learning. x
    • 2
      Measuring EQ
      Measuring your IQ is straightforward, and the standardization of scores on the overall test and subtests are well established. But quantifying your EQ is a much newer and more complex endeavor. How can you measure your EQ and what will those results really tell you? Learn about the four most highly regarded EQ assessment tools and how they each rate with respect to validity and reliability. x
    • 3
      Exploring Emotions
      Although you’ve experienced emotions every day of your life, learning to manage them requires an understanding of how emotions are generated. Learn about the steps in this process and resulting feedback cycles as described in the Modal Model of Emotions. Does this model explain your “good” and “bad” emotions? You’ll be surprised. x
    • 4
      Embodied Emotions
      Do your emotions affect your physical body or do changes in your physical body cause your emotions? Learn which parts of your central and peripheral nervous systems contribute to the experiences we recognize as emotions. But if we really want to improve our EQ, we must also look at our cognition. x
    • 5
      Emotional Impacts
      You probably already realize that your EQ affects your most intimate relationships—your ability to choose appropriate partners and develop long-term satisfying and productive relationships. But the impact of your EQ doesn’t stop there. Learn how your emotions affect every aspect of your life, including your professional and social relationships, cognition, decision-making, and physical health. x
    • 6
      Perceiving and Expressing Emotions
      When speaking to someone in person, you pick up clues as to that individual's emotional state from the words used, the tone of voice, posture, and facial expressions. But what about self-perception? How good are you at perceiving and identifying your own emotions? Learn the EQ skills that can help you improve your understanding of yourself. x
    • 7
      Understanding Emotions
      What are the primary emotions and their associated thoughts and behaviors—emotions found across all cultures, languages, and income and educational levels? Learn how to perceive and correctly identify emotions and their triggers, and to explore the complex relationships between emotions we classify as positive and negative. x
    • 8
      Managing Your Emotions
      All of us have felt at times that our emotions were in charge and we were just helplessly along for the ride. Maybe we've hyper-reacted from a place of anger and fear. Or we've made poor and long-lasting decisions while riding a wave of euphoria. It doesn't have to be that way. Learn about antecedent-focused and response-focused emotion regulation strategies and how to employ them for your own benefit. x
    • 9
      Managing Others' Emotions
      As the famous joke goes, no one has ever become calm because another person ordered them to “Calm down!” But are there real ways we can influence another person’s emotions and consequent behaviors? Although we can never access anyone else’s cognition, the EQ skills we use in our communication and interaction with others can be powerfully influential. x
    • 10
      The Development of EQ
      Research has shown that while genetic makeup does play a role in our EQ, it also is significantly impacted by how we were parented and socialized as a young child. But even if childhood was not ideal and our parents modeled very poor EQ skills, see how it is always possible to improve EQ now through purposeful training. x
    • 11
      Emotional Intelligence Training
      Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is now taught in more than 30,000 schools across the U.S. because research has revealed a close relationship between emotions and learning. However, “a close relationship” is not the same as cause and effect. Explore several of the most popular SEL programs and their goals and strengths—and learn why outcomes are so difficult to measure. x
    • 12
      Social Intelligence
      We've all been in certain social situations we wish we could just forget: that awkward first date, the floundering job interview, the performance review that took us completely by surprise. Learn how to use your EQ to improve your social intelligence and strengthen social relationships in every aspect of your life. x
    • 13
      Intimacy and EQ
      The quality of your baby-caregiver relationship does affect your EQ skills and later relationships. But regardless of previous attachment styles, EQ training can teach you how to successfully express and perceive emotions—two necessary skills for successful adult intimate relationships. Learn how to understand your “habits of heart” and make appropriate adjustments to meet your goals. x
    • 14
      Interpersonal Conflict
      We are all aware that conflict exists between individuals or distinct social groups that see each other as “different.” Conflict is part of life, and groups of people are always going to disagree on some issues. But emotional and social intelligence skills can help us find common ground, address, and even solve many of our personal and community issues. x
    • 15
      EQ in the Workplace
      EQ skills can have a positive impact in any group of people working together toward a common goal. In addition to helping personal interaction among workplace teams, EQ skills have been shown to facilitate creativity, excitement, and enthusiasm in employees and leadership alike. x
    • 16
      Occupational Stress and Burnout
      Since 1995, work stress in the U.S. has increased 300 percent, with the most significant issues being depersonalization and disconnection. In many cases the use of EQ skills such as somatic quieting and improved concentration and focus can help. But could “love” be the newest way to lessen workplace stress? x
    • 17
      Leadership and EQ
      While companies spent $31 billion on leadership-training programs in just one recent year, more than 60 percent of respondents to the Global Human Capital Survey reported that such programs yielded only “some” value at best. Learn how EQ skills training is helping many business leaders better accomplish their long-term goals. x
    • 18
      Workplace Culture
      Being aware of EQ skills in all aspects of workplace culture can lead to greater workforce engagement with employees who feel seen, heard, and valued. But actively managing workforce culture isn’t just a “feel good” for employees. Explore why companies that proactively manage their culture experience average 10-year revenue growth 516 percent higher than those who do not. x
    • 19
      Stress Management
      Learn about the nervous and hormonal systems that cause our physiological responses to stress, and how they are related to chronic disease. Research shows that improving our EQ skills can help mediate these reactions in the body, possibly leading to both a safer stress response and better health overall. x
    • 20
      Emotion Regulation Disorders
      Heightened emotional experience—a common characteristic of anxiety and depression—could potentially be helped by EQ skills. Learn how Dialectical Behavior Therapy and the relatively new Emotion Regulation Therapy address certain common elements and skill deficiencies in a variety of “distress disorders,” regardless of specific diagnosis. x
    • 21
      Behavior Change and EQ
      If you’ve ever tried to change a significant behavior—quit smoking, lose weight, be more patient with your co-workers—you know how very difficult it can be. But you’ll be ahead of the game if you consider the role your emotions play in your behavioral choices and motivation. Learn how to improve your self-efficacy and develop a plan of “SMART” goals. x
    • 22
      Chronic Disease and EQ
      Medical professionals have long known that a patient's emotions play a key role in accepting and managing a diagnosis of chronic disease. But recent research reveals additional relationships between EQ and health-oriented behaviors. Explore the specific ways in which EQ can affect the management of two widespread chronic health problems: alcohol-use disorders and cardiovascular disease. x
    • 23
      Emotional Intelligence in Health Care
      Have you ever left a medical appointment feeling angry, frustrated, or even insulted? Whether it was the content of the meeting or the personalities involved that caused your frustration, you can learn how to improve your healthcare interactions by better understanding and monitoring your emotions—and those of your healthcare provider. x
    • 24
      The Future of Emotional Intelligence
      Does technology help or hurt our EQ? On the one hand, we all know the difficulty of accurately perceiving emotions when communicating by email, text, or other electronic platforms. But surprising advances in facial recognition, physiological response monitoring, and other software offer exciting and helpful futuristic options in the quest to improve our EQ. x
  • Quilting Essentials: From Design to Color and Beyond

    Heather Thomas, Quilting Expert

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    Discover a new approach to an old craft with expert textile designer and quilt artist Heather Thomas from National Quilters Circle.

    View Lecture List (30)
    30 Lectures  |  Quilting Essentials: From Design to Color and Beyond
    Lecture Titles (30)
    • 1
      Introduction and Block Basics
      Begin your journey into quilting by looking at a series of finished quilted works and gaining an understanding of how they were designed and what makes them work. Then get an overview of basic design principles, followed by an introduction to the basics of block construction, including measuring, cutting, and piecing, as well as a few tricks that will help with complex designs. x
    • 2
      Quilt Settings
      In this lesson, learn some of the basic setting options including straight set, diagonal set, medallion set, horizontal set, and off set. As you gain an understanding of each type of setting, you will also be introduced to the special math principles that are the foundation of each type and how to use them in your work. x
    • 3
      Sashing, Coping Strips & Borders
      See how coping strips can be used to stop action and help fit a pieced border to a pieced body of a quilt. You will also examine assorted styles of sashing and follow along as Heather demonstrates a simple stitch-and-slash technique. Close this lesson with great information on how borders work and which are ideal for bed quilts versus hanging quilts. x
    • 4
      Designing Your Own Unique Quilts
      Many quilters begin with commercial quilt patterns, but in this lesson, you will learn how to take your work from the craft level to that of an artist by understanding how to design and create your own original work. Get a feel for the depth and breadth of the skills you will add to your toolbox as you plan, experiment, create—and learn from missteps along the way. x
    • 5
      Becoming an Artist
      Heather uses her 30 years of personal experience and many of her original works to illustrate her journey to becoming an artist. Learn how a better understanding of each step of your own work will improve it over time, as well as the value of acquiring new skills through trial and error rather than simply through books and patterns. x
    • 6
      Color Theory & Elements of Design
      Dip into the basics of color theory, which will help you understand how colors work together and how to integrate them successfully into your work, including the benefits of having a color wheel for reference. Then, follow Heather as she walks you through the elements of design and shows you the many ways you can begin to put those elements into play. x
    • 7
      Technique, Visual Language & Working in a Series
      Every technique you learn adds another tool to your tool box, opening the possibilities for your work and giving you the confidence to try new things. Learn how to apply the techniques you have learned to develop your own visual language and make each new quilt unique. One way to improve both your technique and visual language over time is by working in series, a method Heather demonstrates through several of her own pieces. x
    • 8
      Freestyle Piecing: Beyond the Block
      If you are hoping to take your work beyond the traditional look of blocks, here is where to begin. Explore the possibilities of freestyle techniques by looking at successful freestyle works, while also getting an introduction to the elements of composition and technique that makes freestyle so flexible. x
    • 9
      Guide to Composition and Freestyle Piecing
      Explore the unlimited possibilities of quilting by taking what you have learned about traditional techniques and applying them to freestyle work. Learn how to place quilt block freestyle by using drawings and a design wall to create a template for your work. Finally, see how you can bring it all together through your color choices and arrangement. x
    • 10
      The Color Wheel & Color Scale
      Return to the brief introduction you received in color theory and dive deeper into the use of color wheels and the color scale when choosing fabrics and creating patterns for your work. Gain a more thorough understanding of color through an exploration of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, as well as pure hue, tints, tones, and shades for every segment of the color wheel. x
    • 11
      Value, Texture, & the 12 Colors
      Learn how the inherent value of a color affects how it works in combination with other colors by painting or creating value scales with cloth. Move from value to texture, looking at the many ways textures and patterns can be used to create movement, rhythm, and more. Close this lesson with a look at the twelve colors of the color wheel and create your own color wheels and scales for future reference. x
    • 12
      Interaction of Color & Principles of Design
      Follow Heather through a series of guided exercises to help illustrate how colors interact, including working with neutrals, exploring direct complements, and playing with triads and tetrads. Combine this exploration of color with another look at the three principles of design by applying color theory to create balance, unity, and variety. x
    • 13
      Color: It's all about the Contrast
      Contrast can create dynamism in a piece, making it one of the most crucial elements of design in quilting. Compare multiple finished pieces to see how contrast works, beginning with a black and white piece and moving into subtler works utilizing tones, tints, and shades. Also see how other forms of contrast can be used when the colors for a chosen piece are very similar. x
    • 14
      Color Expanded: Bold Personalities
      Better understand color by looking at visual temperature and what makes a color warm, cool, or temperature neutral, as well as what temperature can do to the overall impact of your work. Heather walks you through the many ways color can be used to create unity and variety in your quilting projects and offers a detailed workshop on the process of creating a colorful whole cloth quilt. x
    • 15
      Broadening Your Experience and Practicing
      The number one tool you will bring to every quilting or crafting project will be your own practice and experience. One of the best ways to refine your own skills and design knowledge is by working in a series, which Heather demonstrates though several of her own projects. As you go, learn how to examine and critique work (your own and that of others), and close with a look at how color brings certain real-world associations to your art. x
    • 16
      Products & Tools
      Machine quilting involves many decisions about what tools and products to use—find out which are necessary and which are a matter of marketing. From thread weights and needles to presser feet, Heather will help you understand how every decision you make will affect the outcome of your quilts and how to create work that will last. x
    • 17
      Design, Ergonomics, Basting & Doodling
      This lesson begins by introducing you to many design options, breaking down the benefits of each. Then, learn how to improve your experience by approaching your sewing machine from a new angle, lessening the physical strain that can interfere with your work, as well as a new way of basting that will give you more freedom of movement. End by experimenting with free-motion doodling on your sewing machine. x
    • 18
      Nine Basic Stitch-Outs
      Learn everything you need to know about fills and motifs you can use in your work, from curvy or angled lines to stippling and flowers. Get all of techniques you need to keep your work neat and tidy while you master nine basic stitch outs that can take your project to the next level. x
    • 19
      Machine Quilting Design Basics
      Look at machine quilting in a new way by understanding the ways you can use your machine as a valuable design tool and to extend the life of your fabric and stitch-based work. Along the way, Heather helps dispel many myths that surround machine quilting and will introduce you to a valuable set of skills that require no additional tools or specialized machines. x
    • 20
      New Alternatives to Free-Motion Stitching
      Complex designs can require an immense amount of hand stitching, but this lesson shows you how to create an applique look without any hand stitching by combining machine doodling and fabric paints and inks. Discover the tools and techniques you can use to create amazing designs with shading and color by introducing alternative methods into your skill set. x
    • 21
      Creating Your Design & Tracing Your Motif
      Create an original design by mixing and matching motifs, or even creating one from scratch. As you learn to select and arrange the elements you want, Heather helps you bring them together using the principles of design. She also demonstrates her methods for transferring designs to the fabric surface, as well as her preferred batting choices and basting technique. x
    • 22
      Free-Motion Stitching Your Design
      Begin your foray into free-motion stitching your own design by approaching your machine from an ergonomic standpoint for comfort and efficiency. Then, follow along as Heather demonstrates how to stitch traced lines and how to choose the perfect stitch out to fill negative space. Also, learn a valuable technique to hide less-than-perfect stitching! x
    • 23
      Adding Color
      Enhance your stitched design with color, starting with a look at how distinct color mediums like ink, paint, or fabric markers move on a fabric surface, and how different kinds of markers and brushes can be used. Heather then colors a stitched piece, demonstrating multiple wet and dry shading techniques and discussing how to choose colors to best enhance your designs. x
    • 24
      Final Shading, Squaring Up & Binding
      Once you have finished stitching and coloring your quilt, Heather shows you how to square up your piece and bind it using fabric that is the same color as your thread. She will then show you how to look over your finished piece from several different angles to determine where to add highlights and lowlights to enhance or downplay specific areas. x
    • 25
      Paper Clay, Hot Fixed Metal & Embellishments
      Discover the possibilities of unexpected elements, like paper clay, iron-on hot fixed metals, and other embellishments that create interest without weighing your quilt down. You may be surprised at how much can be changed in the composition of a quilt by simply adding a few unconventional details, and how easily they can be incorporated with a little practice. x
    • 26
      Basing & Quilting & the Finishing Touches
      Finishing a project that makes use of embellishments can be tricky, so this lesson walks you through the process of quilting your piece without damaging the surface elements or disrupting your design. Finally, follow step-by-step instructions on binding your piece, with an emphasis on how to keep hanging pieces flat. x
    • 27
      Unique Embellishments, Surfaces, & Stitching
      From “schnibbles” (many little bits of cloth) to metal leaf, from personalized hand stitching to ribbon quilting, get a sampling of the many ways you can bring interest and excitement to simple designs and motifs. Heather goes over the important tools you will need for each surface treatment, demonstrates over half a dozen decorative hand stitches, and walks you through several tucks and trims. x
    • 28
      Playing with Beads, Bling & Sheer Fabrics
      Hand-beading and sheer fabrics open brand new possibilities for the surface of a piece. In the spirit of exploration, Heather walks you through hands-on demonstrations of hand-beading and creating a piece with layered sheer fabrics. Gain valuable insight into how embellishments interact with other fabrics and design choices throughout every step of every project. x
    • 29
      Exploring Edges & Finishes
      While much of a designer's energy will go into the motifs, colors, layout, and patterns of a piece, the edges and finishes of your quilt are just as important to a complete and harmonized design. Go over some of the many ways you can edge and finish assorted designs, keeping in mind the three design principles of balance, unity, and variety. x
    • 30
      Displaying Your Quilts Like a Pro
      In this final lesson, get an overview of methods you can use to display your work, including creating your own hand-twisted wire frames with simple tools, and stretching your quilt like a traditional painted canvas. Look at multiple ways to hang your pieces, going beyond traditional methods and giving each project the treatment that displays it at its absolute best. x
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