Regroup, Reorganize AND Get Motivated!

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Regroup, Reorganize AND Get Motivated

It doesn’t take very long before all the seasonal joy of the holidays dissipates and we find ourselves feeling the doldrums of the wintry months ahead.  All to easily we can be consumed with those lethargic feelings and the constant yearning to remain in our pajamas for several hours each day is a reality.  The idea of breakfast in bed which can easily transition into lunch in bed sounds very enticing; even dreamy!  What keeps me going when the couch/bed potato plays like a lullaby in my head?  Of course my youngest son obviously has me getting out of bed in order to prepare him for school.  But what keeps me from climbing BACK into bed or onto the couch with my favorite blanket?

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Cleaning My Studio!  This does wonders for my spirit.  After completing a project, like the quilt I just finished for my dear friend Paul, and taking the time to revamp all that appeared to be strewn throughout my studio my mind instantly cleared.  Believe it or not stepping down to a clean working space invites creativity and a positive energy.  Who wants to start a new design when it looks like Santa’s elves had a huge Christmas party in the studio?

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Spitballing (or as Drea  likes to say Brainstorming)

My lovely red-headed assistant had never  heard of the term “Spitballing”.

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 She was quite offended when I suggested that prior to diving into our days tasks we needed to huddle and “Spitball” ideas back and forth.  After giving her the definition of what the term meant she was more than willing to  comply with my request.  The idea of spitballing opens the door to new ideas, perceptions, and growth for future business.  This can be especially helpful when your mind feels a bit “stuck”.  Bouncing thoughts off of team members, friends, and peers not only bring enlightenment to my projects but often enables me to wiggle out of that heavy “stuck” feeling that keeps me from moving forward.

My FABRIC!

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Nothing gets me inspired and rejuvenated like finding amazing fabric!  I just bought this “Tula Pink” material, and it has me humming a tune and dancing around the studio.  My web of creativity is spinning away and I am so excited to put vision to thread!  A little fabric therapy does wonders for this quilter!

Motivation comes in numerous forms. Perhaps it is music, or a quote that is hanging in your quilting area. Whatever the source I would love to hear about it!  It’s always nice to tuck away a new idea to prevent the winter blah’s from provoking me into becoming a couch/bed potato!

Happy Holidays to All

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Happy Holidays to All!

I would like to thank everyone who has made 2016 such an amazing year! The business has grown in so many ways, from announcing the launch of my ProPebble Rulers, the addition of my red-headed assistant ~ Drea, to vending for the first time in Houston.  Wow! My success and love for this business would not be possible without my quilting peers.  I am grateful for all that everyone has shared, and experienced with me over the last 12 months.  I cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store for me; and am eager to communicate all that transpires (including the good, the bad and the ugly) with you!

I am wishing all of you a safe and wonderful holiday filled with much laughter and love with those that you care for most.

Twas the Friday Before Christmas

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The year 2016 is rapidly coming to a close and the reminiscing of holiday traditions can be heard during family meals, and seasonal festivities.  December provides the magic of reliving family customs that had soon become known as a “remember when?”  And it goes without saying that laughter, and many smiles can be seen when sharing these stories with others.

Growing up in the Hagstoz household, I was very fortunate.  Our family had more than on tradition which yearly brings such treasured memories of my childhood.  These are memories that will forever be ingrained as what brought the holiday spirit to our family.  So what were our family “remember when’s?”

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Christmas Eve:  One present, yes we were opened one present every Christmas Eve.  These were gifts placed under the tree from a sibling, grandparent, but OBVIOUSLY NOT Santa!  As evening came upon us, the excitement of which present we would unwrap grew within us.  Which one to choose, and what would it be?

 

“Twas the Night Before Christmas”, that lovely story was narrated by my father every Christmas Eve.  Probably by the time I was 7 years old I was quietly reciting the story right along with him. Our evening was not complete without the annual bedtime story prior to Santa’s arrival.

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Going to bed with sugar plums dancing through my head ALWAYS occured on December 24th. 

Do NOT even think about descending the staircase on Christmas Day.  Yepper, the Hagstoz children were not to even entertain the idea of going downstairs prior to my father checking under the tree to make sure Santa did deliver our gifts.  Did my father not realize that was an insult?   The Hagstoz children, especially me, were more than deserving of Santa’s visit the night before!

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I am quite sure my fellow followers have holiday traditions to share, memories that will add to the festive spirit that I’d like to share during this wonderful season.  So please let me know what magical memories you have experienced growing up.

 

Class is in Session

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The BERNINA Ambassador Reunion in Chicago IL, December 2016

I recently spent a few cold days in Chicago, very COLD days, uniting with BERNINA Ambassadors.  The time in this more than chilly state placed us in the roles of students as we embarked upon three classes that would give us insight on concepts, machines, and tools we may not have experienced until now.

It has been quite awhile since I have been placed on the side of the desk where our class participants sit; it was refreshing and quite an educational experience.  I walked away after those few days reflecting on my style of teaching and realized I might just need to tweak my instructional ways a little bit.

Talk a Little Slower Lisa!

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I know I get very excited and have a tendency to talk a million miles an hour when I begin speaking to my students.  And although I feel I’m making perfect sense I am quite certain those sitting before me feel a bit like Sally.  Time allotted, and speed at which my information is relayed could be balanced just a tad. My enthusiams may come across as a few very, very fast run on sentences.


Cramming in Too Much Information 

Again, finding a balance is challenging.  I am always working to make sure that my students leave their time spent with me feeling that they have gotten their monies worth.  One of my greatest fears is an individual exiting my class thinking “I just spent my afternoon for what? AND it cost me ____???!!!”  Working and reworking the information I share in my lectures, and classes is a continual revision.  I would hate to think I have pupils looking at me feeling like they are out-of-order half way through my class.

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Onto to two things I know everyone can benefit from in my class:

CHOCOLATE

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 and BREAKS!unknown-22

Whether it’s a Hershey’s Bar, Twix, or Kit-Kat, whatever floats your boat; chocolate is never a bad thing to get you through my classes.  Secondly, providing breaks is a Lisa MUST! If you are going to tolerate me for half the day or go big and endure a full day worth of Lisa’s instruction giving time to stretch, and regroup is a big deal! I don’t want any eyes glazing over during my class!

So I thank you Chicago, and those at the BERNINA Ambassador reunion that gave many thoughts to ponder over.  I am sure those entering my future classes will thank you too!  I love knowing that I am forever finding growth which will enhance my business and personal craft.

Oh, I did come back to Pennsylvania with one very selfish realization…I really, really WANT the BERNINA Serger!

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What have you learned while being attending a quliting conference or class?

Every now and then it does a teacher good to sit on the other side of the desk; gaining a new persepective is never a bad thing.

To Be or Not To Be…

We all have had this issue, you have a quilt in front of you and after much tweaking the design won’t come together.  You have soul searched, prayed, and regardless of what you have done this project has gained the title the QUILT from HELL.

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The question then arises, how do I get through this nightmare?

First it depends on whether it is a customer quilt or a personal project.  With regards to customer quilts, all I can say is “Pull up those big girl/boy pants and power through the design”.  I have found that rewarding myself in various ways has gotten me through those quilts that I wanted to tear to shreds.  Sometimes all it takes is a few pieces of chocolate, yes chocolate never hurts!  Other times I stop working and take a break from the negative feelings that are consuming me at that time. Removing myself from the studio for a small period of time often alleviates the frustration and angst. Whether I take an extended lunch, or call  a friend, doing something totally unattached to quilting can reboot my mind and give me the positive energy needed to tackle the project again.

Personal pieces; that’s a whole other ballgame.  images-41

Can you relate to the picture above? I know I can! Thank goodness it doesn’t happen often, but there are those quilts that just kill us.  You had a vision, you’ve dreamt about your masterpiece and all the beauty it would hold once it was completed.  The fabric that spoke to you, the design you’ve done and redone, somehow it just doesn’t come together.  AND that’s where it ends, for me.  Those rare occasions are what make up my:

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So yes: unknown-18

Life is too short, for me, to spend several days, weeks, or months on a piece that I absolutely loathe.  Especially if I have tried rewarding myself, and have taken breaks from the project; yet I still  find myself out of tune with what I am trying to produce.  I conquer with Disney’s movie Frozen and say “Let It Go”.

How do you handle quilts that push you to your limits?

Quilter’s Wish List



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It’s that time of year where we gather lists to Santa and we find ourselves online, or at the malls searching for that perfect gift for the kids, family and friends.  Inevidebilty there is always one room in the house that temporariluy becomes Santa’s workshop where the wrapping of all the holidaya treasures takes place.  But what if you could send a wish list to Santa? What would you ask Santa to bring you?  Have you been naught or nice?

My list isn’t very long.  As a matter of fact I would be happy if Santa place one tiny little thing under my tree this year.  unknown-14

I say go big or home, right? LOL!  After attending classes in Chicago I now really, really, really want a BERNINA L460.  My mind has been dreaming of all the lovely projects I could come up with using this machine. I can dream, right?  So I sent this one item to Santa and I have a very strong feeling that I am going to receive the following response:

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I am quite sure that had I been a littel more realistic on my Christmas list Santa might be a littel more attentive in holiday wants.  But I figured it can’t hurt to ask.  What is on your holiday wish list?  This is a no judging christmas list zone, you can wish as big as the stars.  As you can see I most certainly did!

 

ProEcho Rulers, What’s the Big Fuss?



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Not too long ago in a previous post I mentioned the rulers that are used most often in my studio, which are the ProEcho’s.   These rulers are a jack of all traits. I use them for drawing out applique motifs, paper piecing, and stitching out continuous curves.  Basically if my project calls for a curve, I reach for one of my ProEcho Rulers.  And since we all incorporate variations of curves into our quilt, wouldn’t it be a little silly not to have different size rulers to choose from? So of course these rulers are available in different sizes. If you look at the below picture of ProEcho rulers you will notice they all have a corresponding number on them (i.e ProEcho 12).  The number on the ruler refers to the size circle that the arc of the curve comes from. These rulers range from a       ProEcho 3 all the way to a ProEcho 22.  There will no project to small or to big for the ProEcho’s!

 

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Maybe you are thinking, “Sounds great, but what exactly do they do?”                                                                                    Somehow I knew you might have that question.  So take a minute a view this video , hopefully you will get a little glimpse of what these curves of heaven will do.

 

Don’t let this be you:

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Days spent in a bad mood over templates are simply unneccessary, let the ProEcho keep you smiling.

**For those that find your templates slipping a bit or you are using a domestic machine, a great product to prevent movement is the Handi Grip. I don’t generally use anything on my templates but I definitely would give the Handi Grip two thumbs up!

 

Spend VS. Save

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Saving a few pennies is not only something we all LIKE to do, but for most of us saving is a top priority.  I am highly aware of where every penny is going, there isn’t a piece of copper that isn’t accounted for in my life.  The orthodontist, car, mortgage, yadda, yadda, yadda the list goes.  That list goes on UNTIL you get to my six letter word….FABRIC!

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And BAM, just like that my money starts flying away!  I wouldn’t consider my self a high maintenance girl, however, I love good fabric.  That being said, the one thing I will not skimp on is the quality of my fabric.  You will  never find me purchasing material other than the high quality quilt shop fabric.  The hand of the fabric, the way it feels and drapes.  I could do an infomercial using a piece of really good fabric. There is nothing like QUALITY FABRIC for me.

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So the idea of saving pennies, nickels or dimes when it comes to quilting is not easy for me.  I wish I could say that I am as disciplined with my fabric money habits as I am in every other area of my life; but that is not the case.  Maybe not keeping a large stash is my saving grace.  Can you imagine if I had a HUGE stash now knowing I only commit to quality fabric?!  Holy piggy banks I’d be in big trouble!images-34

 

 

 

 

I need a few quilting friends  to make me feel better about my fabric habits.  Please share with me in what aspects of quilting do you find yourself saving and spending?

Relationships with Rulers

“Lisa, what is your favorite or most used ruler?”  That is the question that I frequently encounter.   My response is always “My ProEcho’s.”  Why are they my tool of choice?  My ProEcho’s are used daily whether it is for quilting or drafting out a design.  My next BFF is the ProLine 8.  Believe it or not the ProLine 8 is what started me on this crazy journey of template designing.  The idea of designing templates was not an overnight epiphany.  Life would have much simpler if I had woken up one day and said “Hey, I think I will design some templates starting today.”

My initial goal was performing perfectly straight lines, 1/8″ apart.  Attempting to accomplish this by drawing them free-handed wasn’t very successful, and I was far from happy with the results.

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I wanted perfection so I put my thinking cap on and eventually the ProLine 8 became a reality.  Out of all the ProLine rulers I gravitate towards working with the ProLine 8 and 16 the most.  The best things come in small packages, right? I know the lines appear very small but I love the look of straight lines next to the curves.

Below is a video of a straight line fill.  They are quite easy to use and will provide the look of perfection that many of us quilters demand to see.

Incorporating this fill in place of a small stipple is one of my favorite things to institute on one of my designs.  These amazing rulers are very versatile, and can be used on any longarm, mid arm or domestic machines that have a high shank.

If you haven’t given the ProLine or the ProEcho rulers a chance then you are missing out!  Why don’t you give them a whirl? If my theory is correct you will most likely shake your head and say “ProLine/ProEcho where have you been all my quilting life?”

Once you’ve had you’re first date with one of these rulers let me know how it went.  Did they have you at hello?

 

What To Wear?

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Ah the world is such a comfy, warm and lovely place when I am able to stay in my PJ’s for lengths of time that go beyond 8 a.m.  Yet, reality has a funny way of telling me that my wearing fleece bottoms and tops with the graphics of clouds and sheep cutely printed throughout would not be professional.  I suppose even a drive to the post office deserves a little more thought in attire.

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When it comes to working in the studio I still like the idea of feel comfortable.  Just as I need to feel comfortable with my machines, what I wear for quilting, creating templates and the million other details of running my business has me choosing sweat pants and a t-shirt.  I often feel  a tad frumpy when I see Drea enter the studio dressed in business casual attire from her full-time job and I look down at my favorite yoga pants and zip up hoodie.  The feeling doesn’t last but mere moments because Drea always takes a glance at my “dress code” and says “I would love to be dressed like that! Maybe I’ll keep a pair of sweats here so I can change out of my uncomfortable clothes.”

To make us both happy I suggested we think about instituting a dress up day and a PJ day.  She doesn’t realize my idea of dress up day is dresses, not business casual.

images-34I say “Go big or go home, right?” Heck if I’m gonna have a day to step it up, I am really going to step it up! Hopefully Drea doesn’t choose to say “I’ll skip the go big or go home theory.”  I think it might be fun having the red carpet experience in my studio!

Do you need to be in super comfy like me when you are working? Or do you have another go to fashion that has become your closet staple?