Living the DREAM!!

 

The last two weeks have flown by.  I was in Las Vegas for BERNINA University, which was amazing!!

Except for:

Let’s begin with the flight to Las Vegas.  There was “air traffic” which, to those non flyers,  delayed our flight.  In this day and age there is traffic people!  And in the air “planes” don’t magically appear.  Road travel is a bit more unpredictable as far as volume but can’t we be a bit more efficient with scheduled flights (air traffic controllers may need to be paid more, just a thought)? I mean I had important things to do and people to see in Vegas.  Then when I finally boarded my lovely source of transportation, and we taxied out we were #15 (not 3,  5 or 8 but 15) for take off.   And because we weren’t number 3, 5 or 8, our plane waited so long to take off that we had to return in order to REFUEL.  Trust me I can’t make this stuff up.  Originally this was a nice, early 8am flight that was scheduled to arrive at 11:30.  The joke was on me.  Once we FINALLY were airborne and moving, not suspended motionless among the clouds, my seat mates and I were extremely hangry.  It was now lunchtime.  As my flight from hell would have it, by the time the beverage cart rolled my way we were advised there was no more food. Didn’t they thing to reload with food when they refueled? I mean really, is it me or do not get a list of passengers prior to flight departure? So what’s this girl to do but drink lunch.  Don’t judge me there are vegetables in Bloody Mary!

As you can see I eventually made it to my amazing hotel, Red Rocks Resort and Casino.  Thank goodness I’m not a gambling kind of gal, or I could have been in big trouble. But still a fun place to stay when your “working”.

As this particular trip would have it, I entered my room and was once again starving; only to find this “welcoming sign”.  Did this plane take me to a hotel on Mars? Note to anyone staying here set your stop watch if  you remove/place anything from/in their mini bar.

The ladies I met were absolutely incredible. Below you will see me standing with Suzy Williams and Yaya Han.  They are two BERNINA Experts as well, I was so fortunate to spend quality time with these women.  Unfortunately, Lizzy House was MIA when this picture was taken.

These three ladies and I hosted an entertaining Facebook live event, here it is if you are interested.   If you’ve viewed the video I must admit I felt like the old lady of the bunch.  And my big question of the day was why on earth did my hand look so big?

When it was time to depart Vegas I felt entitled to a drama free flight.  Well, entitlement gets you nowhere! If you don’t follow my Instagram stories (@lisahcalle) I thought I would give you a little more insight on my plane adventures and put them all together.  This way on the, off-chance, you haven’t incurred a day in life of delayed flights you will no longer feel left out.  I actually did this to occupy myself and prevent any outburst of my frustration from being video taped by a stranger.  I didn’t need to be seen on Good Morning America as “that” one angry passenger.  So enjoy!  Living the Dream! 

 

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.

BERNINA and Stitching in the Ditch…..

This past spring I took a trip that many quilters might compare to a child’s journey through Disney Land.  Yes, being the BERNINA Ambassador has given me the opportunity to experience the sights and quiet sounds of the BERNINA factory situated in Steckborn Switzerland. This quilter’s magical kingdom is located on the shore of Lake Constance, just across from Germany.

It’s not every day that you find yourself standing across from H.P. Ueltschi, the owner, and  also the grandson of the founder Fritz Gegauf.  I embraced his presence and found him to be both kind and delightful. Moreover, through my short visit with him I discovered that we both share a love for golf!

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I was overwhelmed entering the factory.  I was astonished how clean, and I mean clean, this facility appeared.  It sparkled, and yes you could serve dinner on the floors! And quiet! You would think the noise level of machines running would produce at least some sound, but nope.  You barely heard a thing.  Clean and quiet, two beautiful words to most women..lol

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After taking in everything presented before me in the factory, I then had a day of creating a video and then one day doing a print ad campaign.  During the four days the crew was awesome! Those around me  were so insightful and supportive as I grasped the process of all that shooting a video encompasses.  More than one take had me wondering how Jennifer Aniston does it! Same expression, same tone, but tilt the head a little to the right…oh my word!

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The days flew by, and four days with a German crew had me wishing I taken their language instead of french in high school.  But the entire adventure was something I will never forget.  Witnessing the process of building a video was fascinating, although the thought of viewing myself in the final product had me less than thrilled.  Most of all, observing all the facets of the factory has me appreciating my BERNINA even more.

So here I am today, October, in the USA.  As I turn on my machine I find myself loving it more and more with each use.  The use of this machine is like operating a brand new, car with all the bells and whistles. Your driving a Cadillac. Now, envision you have to hop into a Datsun B210 that’s rusted, and leaves a cloud of black smoke as you hit the gas. You desire the Cadillac, right?! Well, welcome to the BERNINA Q20.  I am in awe how light and smooth it maneuvers.  No heavy clanking or roughness.  It sails, just as a new Cadillac would down the highway.  Bells, and whistles…my most recent quilt, which I know I talk about often, is in need of a little SID around the appliqué.  No problem with the Q2o, it so efficient and simple to complete.  I am still adapting to the ease in which I can change the feet.  I mean it takes  mere seconds; and its interchangeable between the Q20 and my domestic machine.  Does it get any better than that?!

I wanted to share a quick video.  Realistically my quilting isn’t quite that speedy; in my dreams I quilt that fast.  But eventually I wake up from la la land, and realize my true pace and accept that it will take me awhile to finish this piece.

I used Aurifil’s Monofilament thread…. It’s thread is so fine that it fades into the seams.  And although it’s a beautiful thing, please refrain from using my name in a hostile way when you discover you may have trouble seeing it to thread the needle.  Below is a good example of the thread magically disappearing into the seam.

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Now that I have expressed that I still have SID to get done; remember slow and steady wins the race.  I ask, how do you accomplish your SID?  Would you say ruler or no ruler?  I can’t wait to hear what my fellow quilters have to say!

 

Not a Dreary Day at Danner BERNINA

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of teaching at Danner BERNINA.  Although mother nature decided to issue rain showers and bleak skies my time teaching was anything but dreary.  On the contrary, my day was absolutely fantastic!  The classroom was spacious and the energy at Danner BERNINA had me eager to begin the day.  Mother Nature had nothing on Danner BERNINA.

Seeing students that I have previously taught always brings a smile to my face.   I try to remember names and faces, but my age isn’t decreasing in years and my beautiful mind loves reminding me of that little fact.  It’s either I remember your name and not your face or vice versa, I remember your face and not your name.  Don’t get me wrong, I can remember both on a really good day…lol!   For instance, Rose, I will not forget because not only is she a quilter but she is also a ceramic artist.  I often imagine how therapeutic it must be letting your hands and clay work together as they produce an object of beauty.  But currently my hands are more than filled with quilting, so the idea of working with clay needs to be set aside…sigh.
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These three lovely ladies, pictured above, were a treat to teach.  Adele (situated all the way on the left) attended this class on her  birthday! I felt honored that she chose her special day to be here participating in BOTH the templates class and feathers class. I hope someone spoiled her with a cake, presents, and singing later that evening it was well deserved!  Thanks again Adele for spending a good portion of  your birthday at Danner’s. The mother-daughter duo are seated to right. It warmed my heart seeing them again and I love that they not only love quilting, but moreover obviously love spending time together.  Last year when I was in Houston Debra took my Divide and Design Class.  I must not have totally horrified her as she came back for more “Lisa” and attended one of my  feathers classes.  By the way Debra’s quilt was juried into Houston this year! You Go Girl!!!  During the sessions on Saturday I was excited to learn that Donna and Debra will be visiting Houston again this year.  I’m thrilled to hear this but I do need to encourage them to put their Fitbits on and pick up the pace a tad on preview night.  Last year they perused aisles 1 through 900, at that pace they won’t get to mine 1323.   Come on girls don’t let me down this year!

When it comes to quilting Debra is the chief, she does the quilting for this mother-daughter team; so partaking in this feathers  class may have put Donna a little out of her comfort zone. With concentration and perseverance she plugged away, and plugged away, and plugged away, and eventually proudly announced “I did it, I can stop now, I created a perfect feather!”  I was brimming with joy and was extremely anxious to see her design. So I scurried around to her table…AND

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there before me was just that, her one perfect feather. It may have only been one feather but it was perfect and she  had succeeded.

Saturday held so much laughter that my stomach felt as though I had done a bizillion sit ups. It is so refreshing as a teachers when we encounter those students that bring humor and lightness to our time together. Sandy was that individual on this past Saturday. Well, to be honest I had quite a few Sandy’s on Saturday.  My instruction time at Danner BERNINA quickly came to an end.  Soon we would be giggling as we said our goodbyes knowing that this was a class to remember.

These students had me so involved with questions, comments, and yes laughing that I didn’t have time to take as many photographs as I had hoped.

On my 2 hours drive home I kept smiling and giggling to myself knowing that drizzle and the gray clouds were no where to be found at Danner’s.  I hope to hold classes there again soon, I look forward to all the laughter that awaits me.

Have your local shop contact me if you are interested in having me come teach!!

Lisa

BERNINA Longarm…. Basting stitch

Hi all,

I had a request the other day to see how I do the basting with my BERNINA longarm.  So bear with me….  I need to purchase a tripod adapter for my iPhone so videoing will be easier.

When I am working on a quilt of my own, I will make a minimum of 3 passes through the quilt.  My first pass will be all of my dividing lines and stitch in the ditch work.  If you are saying to yourself… dividing lines?  Here is a link to my DVD  Divide and Design.   Or if you like online classes… here is my iQuilt class.   There are times where the SID and dividing lines don’t quite secure the quilt enough and I will baste it.  Before I got my BERNINA I used flower head pins to baste but now I use BSR 3.

Here is how I do it..

I absolutely love how easy it is to baste as I move along… I also use this stitch to baste around the edges of my quilt.

Hope you get a chance to try the BERNINA for yourself.

Have you been thinking about taking an IQuilt class…. now is a great time..

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USE CODE: IQ40

Promotional Disclosure: *Use coupon code iq40 at checkout to receive your discount. Discount applied to the lowest priced class in the cart. Members receive an additional 20% off at checkout. Sale valid 08/18/16 through 08/22/16 at 11:59 p.m. (CT). Limited time only. Subject to change without notice. Only one coupon code may be used per order. Not valid on prior orders. This offer may not be combined with other offers

Divide and Design

Mastering the Mini 

What will you create?

Lisa

My Quilting Project….

So I have taken some time to get back to my quilting.  It feels like its been ages.   I’d have to look but I think I finished piecing this 2 years ago.  I ‘m sure Facebook will remind me at some point . LOL  I remember piecing this center…. it just about killed me trying to make the corners work…

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So it is loaded on my machine and this is where I’m at…

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doing some grid based quilting…. ala Gina Perkes…. also using my ProPebble ruler 1-2  to make the arcs…

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Here is a great picture of the texture it adds.

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Getting ready to add some dividing lines in the pink area.  I then used the wonderful basting stitch on my BERNINA longarm to baste until I’m ready for the design work.

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Some ditch work using Aurifil’s Monofilament thread…. love it.

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And my favorite ditching ruler… the ProMini!

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Now I did some remarking on the scroll work before  I loaded it… I used my Fine Line Blue washout pen.  Now, many of you have heard that I struggle with following a line so I used this as my practice…. LOL  I concentrated on looking where I wanted to go and now where my needle was.  It worked fairly well… I was pleased.  Please don’t point out my wobbles… I know they are there and I am NOT taking them out.  LOL

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Last Christmas, I was working on a tuffet.  I wanted it to be red and white like a candy cane… ok, it looks more like a peppermint.  I learned a lot.  Sharyn Cole’s iquilt class helped tremendously.  I recommend ordering her kit and then order the class.

Here is my peppermint…

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What will you create?

Lisa

Friendship Star.. take?

Hi all,

I am trying to get caught up and organized after that sale.  It was a whirlwind and the feedback on the new site and new packaging was great.  Thank you.

I did not get a chance to draw up a new design but Dagmar Eu was kind enough to send me her design and I must say I really like it.

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I am hoping to get back to drawing and quilting… I actually came close to turning on my machine but it hasn’t happened.  I am determined to work on my quilt next week, I need to get it off the frame to do a couple of samples.  This means that I at least have to baste it.

The thought of basting the whole quilt to take it off use to send shivers down my spine but now with the BERNINA longarm…. no more.  The basting stitch is wonderful.  I like the 2 stitches per inch when I am basting and it does it like a dream.  I ‘ll keep you posted but in the mean time, I am going to ask you for your help…. the New York Beauty block is up next and I would love to get some pictures of what you all have done with it.  Can you all send me some pics?  email them to me at lisahcalle@me.com with your name and the date done and i will make sure that is embedded in the pic.

What will you create?

Lisa

Exciting News!!

I am excited to share with all of you that I am the newest BERNINA longarm spokesperson!!  I am thrilled to be working with such a wonderful company and promoting an incredible brand!

I have just returned from New Orleans where I attended my first BERNINA University.  This is where all of the dealers across the country and some from out of the country come and learn about the new products that BERNINA has to offer!  To say it is an educational whirlwind is putting it mildly!   The Q-matic which is the computer component to the longarm made its appearance and everyone was so excited… myself included.  I had the opportunity to do a little work with it back in April and am excited to get it into my studio soon.

The domestic ruler foot #72 made its debut as well.  This was highly anticipated and did not disappoint.  We all wanted to sneak them into our pockets to take home… alas, that did not happen, as I gave up first born (sorry Brandon) to get to try it out.  LOL  Just kidding… they really are in high demand though.  Make sure you reach out to your dealer so they know you want one.  Once you have this ruler foot you will then be able to use all of the  Quilter’s Groove Rulers on your domestic machine… YEAH!!!

If you are a fan of the Quilter’s Groove Rulers, please let your shop know that they are available to stock in their store either  through me or BREWER.  What a convenience to be able to place the ruler order along with all of their other quilt shop needs.  They have all  been repackaged for their quilt shop debut!

For those of you who have been following my block of the week posts… fear not,  I have just pushed that post till tomorrow.

If you are interested in seeing and hearing about the features of the BERNINA Q24 and her little sister the Q20, you can check it out here.

https://www.bernina.com/en-US/Products-US/BERNINA-products/Longarm-Quilting

What will you create?

Lisa

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.

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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

 

 

 

Zip, Zip, Zip…. Zippers or Pins?

So I have finished a couple of quilts on my BERNINA and am loving it!  BUT, it was time ….. to put the zippers on!

You may be thinking zippers on your longarm… whatever for?  Loading quilts can be a time consuming process so when I was doing customer quilts, I started using zippers instead of pinning my quilts to the leaders.  WOW, what a time difference.  But that wasn’t the only great thing about zippers…. There were times that I ran out of thread for a particular quilt and I was able easily zip it off and zip another on.  Once the thread arrived, I was able to zip the quilt back on and continue.

How many of you have stuck yourself with those corsage pins?  Those really hurt, pins are bad enough but those pins really gouge you. So happy to be done with them.  🙂

We are all familiar with the seam ripper.  Well, with the zippers, I was able to take the quilt off, rip out the offending stitches and put back on easily with those zippers.  Yippee!!!

So now that I have my new BERNINA Longarm, it was time  to put those zippers on the leaders.  I purchased my zippers from The Quilting Connection LLC .  Its called the Quick Zip system and it is super easy.

First I find the center of my leaders and the center of the zipper and I pin from the middle out.  I do this on both the backing leaders.

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Then I zip them together. But don’t pull tight.  I then take the machine and sew the zippers to the leaders removing the pins as I go along so I don’t hit them.

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Once both zippers are sewn to the leaders. You can pull tight.

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You can also put a zipper on the leader where you attach the quilt top.  I tend to either float my top or  just pin my top on with flower head pins as  I won’t take my quilt off till it is at least stabilized.   Then you can just zip your quilt on.  This quilt had zippers on because I had started it on my other machine.

IMG_0877When I am ready to do a new quilt, I will take the backing fabric over to my BERNINA 750QE and set my stitch length to the longest there is and baste the backing to the zippers.  I start from the center out to make sure it centered.  Then I can just zip the backing on.   The best part is when I am done with the quilt, I can just rip the quilt from the zippers.   LOVE that sound!

I am curious how everyone loads their quilts?  Do you float, pin, leader grips?  And why do you do it that way?

Quilt on, My friends!

Lisa