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 BAMmentally 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?
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?
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 totallygrow 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!
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!
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.
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?
BERNINA Stitch #4
Love to hear what are your favorite stitches! Don’t be shy!