Never Fear Lisa’s Here!

 

Have I really been gone a little more than a month without posting on here? Are you kidding me? Being sick and trying to prepare for the Houston International Quilt Festival really through a curve ball into my dedication to blogging.  But I am now back!

The Houston International Quilt Festival was as always a total blast, no shocker there.  I’m sad to report that my redheaded assistant was not in attendance.  It appears she is a hot commodity and has a 9-5 job which prevents her from joining me on trips such as these.  The studio is not the same without that non quilter’s presence.  One day I will hit the lottery, steal her away from job that currently pays her bills and take her full-time.  But I am happy to share that my unwavering cohort, Judy, was ready and willing to step up to the plate.  She never fails to bring a good time with her when we travel together.

Well, even the best laid plans have hiccups and Houston was no exception.  I had been extremely organized and was actually kicking back and relaxing (still recovering from the sickies) when WHAM!  My plans took a little detour.  I will not bore you with all the details as I might lose a few followers, but let’s just says that Judy and I had to drive the 24 hour trip home from Houston.  Stay tuned for more on this.

While in Texas the class I held was amazing and the students were pretty incredible as well!  The bad teacher that I am I didn’t take any pictures, I was to wrapped up in the task at hand and after class it was time to set up our booth.

BEFORE picture:

AFTER picture:  Here is the closest thing I have to an after picture, doesn’t do the booth much justice since the only view you get is between our heads..sorry folks!

I loved seeing all of my quilting peeps!  I know I say it after every event but it never gets old, I thoroughly enjoy seeing faces from the past and hopefully some for the future.  Once again, being the forgetful person I am, I don’t have any pictures to post, although many were taken.  So please, please, please, if you were kind enough to visit my booth and have a pic of the two of us send it to me!

I had the opportunity to dash through and take in all the quilts, they were simply amazing!  Here is my all time favorite.  I can feel a smile spread across my face every time I gaze upon this particular design.  The artist used my favorite fabrics… Cherrywood! Ahhh you can’t go wrong with Cherrywood! This beauty was made by Susan Stewart, doesn’t it just make you wanna smile?!

A good friend of mine, Gilbert Muniz,  is a garment maker and I swear he had me in mind when he created this…

 

He is so lucky he didn’t find it missing, I absolutely LOVE IT!!

Houston Quilt Festival is now an event of the past and I am already looking forward to next year.  But let’s just say I will make damn sure I don’t drive home in 2018!  And that topic is just around the corner folks!

 

Oh My Bleeding Quilt

 

Since my last post on my lovely bleeding quilt I received a ton of emails, all asking how on earth I am going to “try” and fix my poor bleeding quilt.  Because there were so many of you that inquired about the method I’m going to use I thought I would link to Vicki Welsh’s blog!

 

Expermination will be occurring very soon in the Calle Studio; so I’ll keep you all abreast of how it all turns out!

My “Almost” Shoulda, Coulda Been Houston Auction Quilt

 

It’s almost time to say,”Goodbye September and Hello October.”  Which means that getting ready for the big event in Houston is in full swing!  I am keeping my toes and fingers crossed that I see many of you there; just in case you are wondering where we will be located this year I am here to share that we will be in booth # 1223!

 

 

 

 And if necessary there’s always 24 other options available according to the alphabet!  Does the below photograph look familiar to you? My mind has immediate horrifying flashbacks when looking at it!

No too long ago, I had created a post regarding my  4 year forever quilt….. , and the lovely bleeding that graced it’s presence on my fabric.  Bear with me readers… I had an orphan block for this piece and had decided that after applying some beaded piping and a border on this project I would then quilt it.

My goal was to finally have this completed  for the Houston International Quilt Festival’s auction. I’m sad to report that  Houston isn’t going to happen.  Now, although the process did not meet the Houston deadline I DID finish quilting it!  I’m currently waiting for my friend Liz Haskell to provide me with the fabric needed which will allow me to bind this piece.  Having had the unfortunate experience of  the “4 year quilt bled bath” I am thinking that this scenario could repeat itself with the piece displayed below.  This time I am going to be proactive instead of reactive!  When it is time to block the needed area, I will implement the same process (dawn dish detergent) for this piece.  Typically I wouldn’t block such a small piece but I figure I might be about to learn another huge life lesson in regarding my quilting so better to be safe than sorry!

Below is a picture of the almost finished piece.

After much consideration I have also decided to hold off and reserve this for next years auction piece.  Hopefully I will FINALLY have the 4 year quilt finished in its entirety and entered into the Houston show.

Stay tuned for results on how  the blocking of this piece turns out!

Is anyone else gearing up for Houston? Whether you’re vending, teaching or planning on visiting please share your plans!

September is Here and Almost Gone!

We are mid way through September!  I’m so disappointed that the summer flew by and I know that I did not accomplish nearly half of what I set out to do.

 

What’s there to do besides pull up my big pants and move on, and that means I’m traveling to…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The PA National Quilt Extravaganza! AND it’s practically in my backyard, well that’s a little exaggeration, but it sure is close to home!

Yes, next week I’ll be in Oaks, PA.  It’s literally located about 20 minutes away, which means no Holiday Inn, or Mariott for this quilter! Trust me any fellow instructor or vendor will agree that is really nice to have a break from living out of a suitcase!  In addition to teaching, I will also be vending!  My copilot, Judy, will be holding down the fort on Thursday and Friday while I conduct classes.  Please stop by and say hello, I don’t want her getting lonely!

I’m thrilled to announce that a couple of my new Getting in the Groove Kits will be accompanying me to this event! Yes, it’s the lovely picture displayed below.   This new kit includes the panel, booklet, and the 6 rulers (ProDiamond Even, ProLine 8, ProLine 1, ProPebble 1/4-1.25, ProPebble 1-2, and ProEcho 11).  I’ve taken all the guess-work out of completing this project by providing all the tools required to accomplish this sweet little sampler.  You will notice that since there is no ditch in which to travel, I hid my traveling with the black rick rack.  Also, along the black curves, if you aren’t perfect in the traveling, a black sharpie marker is your friend. Oh the uses of the sharpie!  It won’t be long before I have more of the panels and will then have them up on my site along with the Rulers for Rookies Kit.

 

 

I’m currently working on my Houston Auction quilt.  I’m vacillating on whether or not this piece is worthy of going to Houston.  The scale is tipping heavily towards “doubts”.

 

I completed further beading… ala Bethanne Nemesh.  It required the use of my BERNINA 750QE.  I thought I was doing a great job, until I pulled it away in order to resume sewing on the longarm.

 

This is no laughter matter! This piece has seen a couple different machines.  My crosshatch is slightly off kilter, and I have a little pucker in the top.  That being said I am still persevering onward and resolve myself to bring this quilt to a close.  I truly hope I can resolve some of these issues, because if not, it will not be heading to Houston. The idea of it not being in attendance at Houston makes me very sad.

I need some input from fellow followers.  Do I send this quilt regardless of the outcome, OR do I save it a nice little reminder of lessons on what not to do?

 

Idea Overload

 

Can You Relate? How to Deter Idea Overload!

It’s so exciting when you are ready to start a new project. Maybe to boost your wheels of creativity  you’ve attended a recent quilt show, googled images on your computer or made a trip to a quilt shop.  During those moments you’ve meandered up and down the aisles gazing upon one piece after another, or perhaps browsed the infinite number of images on the internet. You’ve invested a lot of time to collect all the insight possible, because you want to be fully prepared when it comes time to move full steam ahead on this new endeavor.  Then you eventually return to your sacred space designated for designing your new quilt; the birth of this amazing piece is just around the corner and then BAM mentally you’re combusting with the “how about this” and “what about that” statements.  The result is that you find yourself closing your eyes with a heavy feeling of anxiety and strong sense of being overwhelmed while silently saying this:     

I’ve been there and it really can suck the air right out of the “I can’t wait to start” feeling of a new project.  My secret to not letting this happen is simply this.  IF I’m starting a new quilt I deliberately don’t go to quilt shows, online, or into shops for inspiration.  This solution sounds a bit crazy but for me it works. It’s one thing to get a better understanding of how certain techniques are applied to a quilt, but quite frankly I don’t want someone else’s finished product to influence what I am going to create.  I find it way to easy for my brain to get overstimulated when I look at other quilters pieces; in order for my designs to feel organic I stick to my tried and true process of sketching.  So often we don’t give ourselves enough credit that we can come up with ideas without having to use designs we’ve encountered as a springboard for our personal art.  We presume gathering one idea upon another idea will make things easier, reassuring ourselves that several concepts are better than just one or two.  You may want to ask yourself “How is this working for me, am I mentally exhausted?”


Do you have any special ways you combat inspiration overload?

Ruler Anxiety

If I’m repeating myself it’s because what I’m about to say may be a little important.

That being said, the #1 question I am asked is:

“What rulers should I start with since I don’t own a single one?”

 Answer to the most asked question:

Hands down, you MUST have a straight edge.  BUT, don’t waste your time or money purchasing the biggest one out there, bigger isn’t always better.   I suggest getting a ruler that fits comfortably in your hand, because let’s face it if you can’t maneuver the tool easily what help is it? My personal favorite is the ProMini.  I reach for this lovely little ruler when I want to incorporate “stitch in the ditch” into my design.  My next ruler that is a “must have” would be the circles!  You can accomplish so much with these babies!!  There are two different kinds, solid circles and nested circles.  I prefer the solid circles. since I have small hands, holding them is easier.   They are a little more expensive but I feel the money spent is well worth it.  Keep in mind that having a variety of sizes will allow you to accomplish just about everything.  Not too long ago, in May, I shared a post on the Baptist Fan design , which demonstrated the versatility of utilizing different sized circles.  Today, I am going to provide a tutorial on creating the Clamshell design.  Once again it’s with one of my “must have” rulers, as I am referring to the circles.

Do you feel that circles are a HUGE benefit to your quilting?  If so, what’s your favorite design to do with circles?

When I Grow Up


As a child we all dreamed of what we would become once we grew up.  We’d spend hours pondering on whether we would acquire those far off wants. And many evenings we gazed up at the stars wishing, and praying that we would create a reality out of those “maybe/someday” visions.

Just recently I’ve been asked, “Have you totally grown up? Or do you still have something you want to be become?”  Wow, that question had me reflecting just a little bit! Hmmm, had I reached all the stars in my dream filled sky? Is there something more I wanted to become?  Of course, I love being a mom, a wife, and a successful professional of the Longarm industry, but is there that one dream that I’m still secretly wishing upon?  In one word, yes.

 

IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA 

Believe it or not I get extremely nervous prior to my lectures, classes and Trunk shows.  The worries of connecting with my audience and conveying my material in an articulate, intelligent, and entertaining fashion can be overwhelming.  However, on the occasional moments that I have been placed in front of the camera I feel totally at ease. It’s simply me and the camera.  I love that the camera can’t roll its eyes, yawn, or get up and leave the room in the middle of what I am saying.

So if/when I totally grow up, I will be, someday, in front of the camera.  My dream will have me filming, none other than, segments pertaining to Longarm quilting. Did you think it would about anything else?  I say go big or go home…so I’m dreaming big, really big.  And who knows maybe when I really, really grow up I might hear:

     Are you all grown up? Or are their still stars you are wishing upon? I’d love to hear what YOU want to be when you totally grow up!

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!

 

 

 

Me and my BERNINA’s!

Have I mentioned how much I love my BERNINA’s?  My second sewing machine I bought was a BERNINA and I have been in love with them ever since so when they came out with their longarm I was quite excited! I have a BERNINA 145S, BERNINA 750QE and The BERNINA Q20!

My cousin recently had twins, a boy and a girl!  Yeah!  Of course I had to make them quilts.  I went to the LQS,  The Quilt Block where Cynthia was ever so patient while I made my fabric choices.  LOL  It felt like I took forever… Once I had that decision made, it was on to the construction.

I chose an Atkinson pattern called Yellow Brick Rd.  Very simple and quick.  My BERNINA 750QE didn’t fail me!  How many of you love to hear the sound of your machine run?  For me it is very therapeutic and when I haven’t pieced in a while I get a little cranky.   LOVE the sound of the machine!

It is very exciting now because I get to finish my pieced tops on my BERNINA Longarm!  So I popped the two baby quilts on, ZIP, ZIP , added some Aurifil thread (yummy) and away I went.   There is a feature I want to point out that the BERNINA Longarm have that I have come to love!  BSR3!!  This is the basting stitch and I am in love with it.  You can program it to do 1,2 or 4 stitches per inch.  I baste the sides of my quilts AND when doing my show quilts have pinned some areas that  I am not ready to quilt!  Now  I do both with the BSR3!  I like the 2 stitches per inch for both of these.

BS3screen

This past week I taught a guild workshop in MD. and one of my students and I were talking about some of the decorative stitches on the BERNINA.  I am not a sewer so I think the only two stitches I have really used are the straight stitch and the zig zag.  We were specifically looking at the #4 stitch, which is a wavy line and thought it would be a great decorative stitch to sew the binding down with.  What do you think? What are your favorite stitches?

 

Love to hear what are your  favorite stitches!  Don’t be shy!

Quilt on, My Friends!

Lisa