Show~n~Tell the Quilter’s Way

I thank everyone who took the time to forward me pictures of  their projects.  It was wonderful to open my inbox and  have the opportunity to share the talent of fellow quilters!

First Up:

Jackie sent this to me from “One Creative Family”.  Great job Jackie, I love how the red boarder pops and sets off the brown fabric. Your design has a great sense of warmth to its color scheme.

Next Up:

Betty Lou Hornbuckle recently finished this design by using scraps from her stash, god bless you Betty Lou!  I love the colors choice and the how the quilting highlights the simple floral appliqué.

Our Third Participant:

Bonnie Blake submitted pictures of a quilt she completed last summer for a customer.  It was her first customer quilt that incorporated feathers and straight lines.  She did an amazing job! Way to go Bonnie!  You know I LOVE feathers and they look fabulous!

And Finally:

And last but not least Janis DeVito shared this bright, blooming quilt that just came off the long arm!  WOW, I love the brightness of this design.  You can’t help but smile when looking at this quilt.

 Again, I thank Janis, Betty Lou, Bonnie Blake and Jackie for kindly submitting their work. All of you should be very proud of what you have accomplished! And hopefully we have inspired others out there to start or complete a project.  If you meant to submit a photo, and missed the deadline for this post please feel free to email me at lisahcalle@me.com and I’d be more than happy to share with all those that have a passion for quilting!

New Jersey I am On My Way

Hunterdon County Quilting Guild

Friday April 21, 2017

This week has me off and running to New Jersey where I will be teaching my favorite Divide and Design Class!  This workshop is wonderful for those wanting a simple method to designing the quilting for your tops.  Three easy steps will be introduced to my students, and they will discover that the process of designing doesn’t have to be complicated.

So if you haven’t taken this class please check out my website, for more details, and who knows maybe you’ll come across another workshop that sparks your interest.

THIS Friday I will be hosting “Show ~n~ Tell” on my blog.

What does that mean for you my fellow quilters?

That means that all of crafty quilters need to send me photos of a project that you have in the works, or have completed (no one has to know how long ago you completed it..lol)  I will post pictures of all that I received on Friday’s blog entry.  Then, we will have the opportunity to observe what peers have accomplished, or are in the process of accomplishing.  This is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE! That being said, if you choose to leave a comment please play nice in my sandbox.  Maybe we will ignite creativity in one another, and enjoy this chance to admire the amazing talent transpiring all around us.  All photos can be emailed to me at lisahcalle@me.com. Come on folks you have 2 days to use that camera on your phone, or forward a picture from your computer to me! Click away!

I hope to see MANY projects taking up space in my inbox!

Classes Can Come to You!

Isn’t frustrating when you are dying to attend a class but can’t manage to participate in the show or shop due to distance, or time constraints? Does the option of online classes appeal to you?  If so, I might have a solution for you!

Tracey Russell, an amazing designer, just may be the answer to your dilemma.  Picture being a part of an amazing class that you can complete ONLINE. Yes, online!  Tracy’s business, Whirls and Swirls Quilting, has two classes open for registration.  Her online courses aren’t only insightful, but also readily available to those that can’t find the time or means to travel to events.  Take a look below at what she has to offer.

Option 1:   Curves, Curls and Leaves, Oh My!

Option 2:  Feathered Elegance

Anyone that knows me can probably guess that I am a little partial to the class entitled “Feathered Elegance”.  Any class with the word “feather” in it has me saying ,”Sign me up!”  So you won’t be surprised to hear that I recommend this course.  BUT once you have read the description on both of these classes, I find it hard to believe you won’t be signing up for one of them!

Tracey will give you an education in understanding your thread, and batting.  Upon completing these online courses you will be prepared to begin and execute your design.  So don’t give up your passion for quilting due to travel issues or scheduling conflicts, give Tracey’s courses a try.  Sometimes you just need to find the right course, and the right instructor!  Tracey could be the ultimate teacher, her courses might be just what you were looking for AND the opportunity to utilize classes online may be the perfect match for your lifestyle.

Let me know if you take one of her classes, I am a huge fan of Tracey’s and am confident you will be more than satisfied with the education you receive and the great price you paid!

 

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Perfect Piecing + Flawless Stitching = The Impossible

My current project is slowly, and I mean slowly coming along.  As I plug away every now and then I will stand back and scan the small progress I have made AND analyze my work.  When I say “analyze” I mean scrutinize every tiny minuscule stitch and aspect of my quilt.  Which has now led me to discovering a part of the design that does not appear exactly the way I feel it should.

 

 Rather than remaining stressed over a small mishap that I had observed due to my OCD of going over the project with a magnifying glass; I need to move on.  Is anyone going to be aware of my mistake? Not unless I tell them, right?!

 

 

 

 

Nope, no one will see that itsy, bitsy, teeny, tiny, imperfection when they view the quilt in its entirety.  Yes, I will forever know where that flaw resides, but I cannot sweat the small stuff.  Life is way too short.  And if I constantly chose to sweat the small stuff in my studio, OMG, I would achieve zip, zero, zilch! Besides the fact that I would be very unproductive, I also believe that those small imperfections allows me to perfect who I want to become.  So I pick my battles and strive to choose the ones that really matter!

And remember no one but you has to be in on that little “flaw”!

Breaking Away from Me, Myself and I

There are many perks to having my own business.  For example, an alarm doesn’t go off, demanding me to jump out of bed and inhale a breakfast bar prior to spending unwanted time in my car during a morning commute to my place of employment. No, on the contrary I can lounge in the early am hours, unless “I” have scheduled an appointment or event.  Gradually I will meander to my sacred quilting studio for the rest of the day.  But let’s face it 99% of my working day consists of “Me, Myself and I”.  I am only graced with my red-headed assistant approximately 12 hours a week, if I’m lucky (can someone please give me the winning lottery ticket so I can make her full-time?).   That being said, it can get a bit dull day in and day out keeping this business in motion as a one woman show.  Moreover, being my own drill sergeant is really over rated!

I Must Get Rid of “Me, Myself and I” Every Now and Then

Yes, attending Quilting Shows, like MQX this past week, provides me the amazing opportunity to shed the dullness of working alone.  Traveling to different towns, and states; interacting with incredible people who share the passion of this craft, all keeps me stimulated until I return to my studio.  

Engaging ourselves with others by physically attending classes and lectures eliminates the loneliness that can easily consume us.  In order to be professionally productive, and creative we need to be stimulated by other people.  And shedding “Me, Myself and I” can be the best  route to acquiring those much-needed attributes.

 

Step outside your working arena, and re-energize yourself by embracing those gifted people who share your desire to quilt.  Even if it is for only a few hours here and there, you will refill your emotional bucket.  Trust me, that emotional bucket needs to be overflowing when you choose to have your own business.  So fill your calendar with some events.  And follow my lead when walking out the door smile and think, “See ya soon Me, Myself and I”.

Do you give yourself a break from being the solo office Nazi?

Well Hello New Hampshire!

WE HAVE ARRIVED FOLKS!

Manchester, New England will never be the same after these girls claim their territory in booth 188!  Classes, vending, and lots of fun are creating a few days of quilters heaven!

Kicked off MQX with a Totally Templates Class

What a great way to begin my time here in New Hampshire.  There’s nothing better than starting the Quilting Show with a class that consists of amazing students eager to learn!

I was extremely proud to give my Teacher’s Ribbon to:

Marie Alexander from Groton MA

“NEW HOPE”

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY…What a Great Machine Quilting Show!

Judy and I have been on the go; teaching and also vending in booth 188!  Meeting, educating and sharing all that Quilter’s Groove Rulers have to offer to those who quilt, these last few days have been a whirlwind of events.  But with all the incredible individuals we encounter each day we can’t help but smile and realize how lucky we are!

Did I mention we have been busy? Did I mention how much I love sharing my craft with fellow quilters?  This adventure to New Hampshire has been simply marvelous!

Are you in town? If so please stop by and say hello! If you have attended MQX over the past few days I’d love to hear what you’ve done and if you enjoyed your time in Manchester!

On The Road Again

MQX Has This Quilter On The Road Again

April 4th-9th in Manchester New Hampshire

Vending and Showcasing Quilters Groove Rulers!

I’m gearing up for “Vending Round 2”!  My first experience vending taught me so much that I hope the insight I have gained while in Houston serves me well.  I realize it’s going to take SEVERAL vending trials and tribulations to discover my niche in  this arena.

Judy and I have packed and are about ready to hit the show floor with a “Less is More” approach.  I shipped entirely too much product for the Houston International Festival.  I was overzealous with what I assumed was needed for the booth and by the end of that show Judy and I were not happy campers.  The amount of items that remained was disheartening.  I guess not everyone uses rulers…😳 who would have thought. 

Where is Mary Poppins when you need her? I am sure Judy would agree that the fatigue that consumed us at the conclusion of our initial vending extravaganza had us feeling miserable.  Those dreaded hours of packing boxes, which would be shipped back to PA, was exhausting.  If only Mary Poppins would have floated my way, I would have happily treated her to a lovely dinner and drinks (and even thrown in some free rulers, who knows maybe she’s a quilter at heart)!

But now I am moving on and revving up for the MQX Show!  I will be teaching one class and vending (booth 188). 

 Has anyone out there already reserved some time for this event?  If so let me know, I’d love to see you!

 

 

 

Fear of Free Motion

Do You Fear Free Motion?

There are many quilters out there that feel more comfortable working from the back of their longarm machine.  Just thinking about moving around to the front of the machine brings a cold sweat to their forehead.  I realize that you may think using a pantograph or pattern makes life less stressful.  But what if I told you that isn’t necessarily the case? I am here to encourage a few of you out there to give “Free Motion” a whirl. And here’s why:

Pencil, Paper, I Can’t Draw!  Are you sure about that?  Purchasing a sketch book where you can doodle until your heart’s content is a wonderful tool for discovering the creativity in yourself .  Laugh at yourself if need be, (a glass of wine doesn’t hurt either) because initially it will feel quite awkward and you may feel a bit childish.  Relax, don’t overthink what your clever mind wants to transfer onto paper.

Rid yourself of those artistic inhibitions and let your self go!  Doodle for a while, try different designs, and see where your pencil takes you.  The beautiful thing about owning a sketch book is you will be able to visually see your progress.  And yes, there will be progress!  You needn’t be a Picasso, just be open minded.  Bottom line..if you can draw it you can quilt it! You might just witnessing yourself setting aside a pantograph for one of your designs!  A one of a kind, yes indeed!

Lacking the “Artist” in You, “I’m not creative.”  “There is no way I can fabricate a design on my own.”  “Producing a design for an ENTIRE quilt, are you CRAZY?”  These are all mental statements that have been sabotaging any notion of trying Free Motion.  ALL quilters are creative, in their own way, and with their own style.  We are so hard on ourselves and we feel the need to measure up to what “Quinn the Queen Quilter” has designed.  Insecurity is our biggest creative buster.  Allowing self-doubt only inhibits your growth, and that’s just not acceptable!

  

She said it, get out there and set the artists in you free!  How do you know you aren’t creative if you haven’t dabbled in a Free Motion?  Moreover, experts say you need to try something more than once to truly know if you like it or not (I keep telling my red-headed assistant she needs to give Hot Yoga another shot…yeah not happening).

There is Less Room for Error.  Really?  Mentally you convince yourself of that statement.  However, that isn’t always the case.  Regardless of whether you are in the front or the back of your machine, mistakes happen.  Like it or not, you will screw up in whichever position you choose to quilt.

Errors are frustrating.  We immediately know that we are going to be spending unwanted time on corrections, and that does not make any quilter smile. Working from the back of a machine with a pantograph or pattern doesn’t exonerate anyone from yielding ERRORS.  Yes, there will be moments when spacing will be off or uneven.  Mistakes happen.  Mistakes improve our quilting and provide the quilter with insight on what to do and what not to do in the future.  Get over the mistake issue!

Be Brave and Get in the Front Seat of Your Longarm.  Simply take it nice and slow.  Allow yourself short little periods at the front of your machine.  Easing into Free Motion removes that reckless “what am I doing?” feeling and eventually has you sitting nice and comfortable in the driver’s seat.  Before you know it, you’ll be wanting a pair of sunglasses as you feel like you’re cruising along some smooth fabric on a nice summer day.

Who Knows?  You may even be pleasantly surprised with what transpires the go around.  Heck you may even look at your first attempt at Free Motion and think, “Huh, not bad, not bad at all”.    Heaven forbid you’re a natural at free motion!  Even if you gaze over your material and cringe, keep in mind we all initially cringed at one time or another (I still cringe).  Coming to the front of the machine brings a whole new meaning to quilting with a longarm.   No one says you have to completely abandon the back of the machine, but please don’t neglect the front of the machine.  Fear of Free Motion is only allowing one side of the magic that lies in your longarm to appear.  Utilize the entire machine and step into the Free Motion arena.  I guarantee you will say, “Why did I fear Free Motion?”

Do you have a fear of giving Free Motion a try? If so what keeps you from the front of your machine?

It’s Rulers For Rookies!

 

My First Class of Rulers for Rookies!  

Eleven Students

One Longarmer

Ten Domestic Machines

These Students Were AMAZING!

This class was composed of students that would be entering the world of rulers for the first time.  I can only imagine the feeling of excitement and apprehension that filled each of them.  I was so eager to lead them on this new journey, one that I knew would bring unlimited possibilities to quilting.  They, however, weren’t so confident; and the hesitation that mentally consumed them was evident.

One of my students was a Longarmer who almost left before class started. I was relieved she chose to not give into her fears as her willingness to take on this new challenge proved her to be a natural with rulers.

Another one of my students had previously taken a free motion class that created extreme frustration; she did not find that session beneficial in the least.  She was highly concerned that my class would provide similar results.  I am ecstatic to report that this “Rulers for Rookies” class empowered this pupil, allowing her to feel that she would be successful with rulers! Frustration DENIED!

 

 

 

 

Thought I’d share a few pictures from this wonderful session.  Here’s the sample cloth of what they were taught.

These individuals were dedicated to embracing rulers and allowed themselves to remain open to all that this “Rulers for Rookies” class offered.  Launching this class exceeded my expectation!  Introducing these beginners to rulers filled me with an abundance of joy.  I witness eleven students enter my class with fear, reluctance, and lack of confidence.  These eleven individuals exited their time with me free of all those emotions.  They had now gained a sense of power over rulers, and they happily casted aside the word ROOKIE!  How can I not love what I do when my day ends like that?  Are there anymore Ruler Rookies out there?

I’d love to share how much fun and simple rulers can are to use!

Time to Improvise!

We’ve all had the lovely opportunity of experiencing a moment, a day or maybe a weekend when the unexpected found its way into our quilting reality.

 Ah yes, that moment of “Uh Oh” when for mere moments time stops, and you become acutely aware that something is wrong with the current situation.  During that particular period you inwardly talk yourself off a cliff and realize you would have to improvise somehow in the immediate future.  Are flashbacks running past movie clips in your mind as you relive that less than wonderful occasion?  I have had numerous occasions where improvising played a major factor in the success of my day.

I’m Willing to Share ONE Example

“Divide and Design”, one of my all time favorite classes to teach.  I love introducing my students to this amazing method of designing their quilts.  The facial expression of “By Golly George I Think I’ve Got This” that gradually travels its way across everyone’s face is priceless.  However, you cannot bring smiles, and feelings of success to your class when you neglect to bring the drawing templates that are essential to instructing the class.  Listen folks, we aren’t talking overlooking pencils, we are talking about a major component of the Divide and Design tutorial.  

Judy and I looked at one another and deduced that an immediate trip to the nearest Wal-Mart, or K-Mart was of the essence!  We flew by the seat of our pants and did whatever it took  in order to make this class work.

Let the Lisa Improv Show Commence!

Our speedy jaunt had us purchasing cups, plates, and bowls.  These were transformed into my templates for this particular class, allowing me to illustrate my Divide and Design method.  Above you will see that I grabbed a few items in the studio to show that they too could have also been utilized for teaching that class had I had them readily available.  What started out as a panic attack eventually turned into “I can handle this”.   The class went well, Judy and I survived one, of many, winging it adventures.

A Friendly Tip:  Keep Your “Uh Oh” on the Down Low

  Try to remain calm; easier said than done I know.  However, those around you don’t need to bear witness to your oops.  Heck, depending on what the oops is, no one may even realize you’ve improvised in the slightest way!  There is no reason to advertise your fault, we are all human and I big believer of “it’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you”.   At one point in time we all need to improvise in way or another.  Whether it pertains to our business or personal life; every now and then we need to fill in the blanks with words, or items we have forgotten.

If You Must, Fly By the Seat of Your Pants

  Do what you gotta go.  If it requires running to K-Mart,or Wal-Mart then that’s what one must do.  Those of us in the quilting world are very creative people!  Use that gift to your advantage when it comes to improvising.  You will be amazed with the ingenuity your creative juices will produce when push comes to shove.   So improvise, improvise, improvise! You might just surprise yourself and actually love what your spontaneity  brings about!

Have you had to improvise, fly by the seat of your pants or wing it to get through a quilting event?  If so I would love hear about your experience.