Zoom Tips for Quilters

Quilters are creative and smart. We put together complex patterns and many of us use advanced, computerized sewing machines. We have mastered email, online shopping, and social media. It is definitely time to master Zoom.

If you haven’t Zoomed yet, the first thing is to not be afraid. Click here to open Zoom’s home page. Once there, open an account. For most, a free account is all you need. You definitely need to do this well before you want to join a Zoom meeting.

Once you sign on, you will see offers to take a tour of Zoom. Take the tour because it might be faster than sorting things out on your own. Or click here to go the tutorial page. You can’t break Zoom or your computer by clicking on stuff.

You will need to download Zoom if you are Zooming on a computer. If you plan to Zoom from a phone or tablet, do a google search for ‘zoom on an ipad’ (or whatever your device is) to find help.

If you are hosting a Zoom meeting, go through all the tutorials until you figure out how to do it. You will be the one emailing invitations to participants.

Participants will receive a link to the meeting in an email. Click the link at the appropriate time and Zoom will open but only if you have already registered and downloaded the program.

Once you get to the meeting, Zoom itself is not that hard to master, especially if you have already watched the tutorials. You can do it!

The most frustrating problem I ran into was my screen freezing and/or being dropped out of a meeting. It’s easy to blame your computer, but it’s more likely to be a problem with your cable modem or router. Dang.

  1. The least expensive and easiest fix for slow connections is to connect your computer to the modem or router with an ethernet cable rather than relying on wifi. That may solve many of your problems. Your computer may have an ethernet port but mine did not. I bought a longer ethernet cable and an adapter for my laptop. You will need to connect either to the back of modem or to a port on your router.
  2. When you are Zooming in small groups, it’s really great to see everyone, but the more video streams you have open, the more bandwidth everyone uses. When I lecture to guilds, I want people to join without video. The group can see and hear me and the guild host, but not each other.
  3. If your cable modem or router are more than 3 years old, you probably need to upgrade. You can go to https://www.speedtest.net/ to test your ethernet and wifi speeds and/or call your internet provider and let them help you to determine if your plan matches your current usage needs.
  4. Move your router to a high, central location if you can. The wifi signal does not travel well through metal so if your refrigerator is between your router and device, the connection can be slow.
  5. This video explains a lot. After watching it, I upgraded to this tri-band Asus router designed for gaming. You may be able to get by with a less fancy router.

But wait! There’s more!

For larger meetings it is a good idea for most people to mute themselves to cut down on confusion and extraneous background noises.

Lastly, if you join with video, look at yourself in your window. Move your device up so that the camera is eye level or sit in a lower chair. You want people to look you in eye rather than looking up at your chin. Place a lamp in front of you to light your face and turn so that bright lights are not behind you.

Getting all of my technical gear set up made me a little crazy but, once done, I am a much happier Zoomer. And wifi devices are faster all over the house—yay! it was worth the effort and expense.

Good luck… you can do this too :-).