NJ Quilt Fest and Memory Lane

Thank you Manusco! I’m sure they weren’t aware that selecting Edison, New Jersey as the new venue for the NJ Quilt fest, would bestow upon me a priceless gift.   In addition, I am quite certain they had no idea that they would have my professional and personal lives joining paths for the weekend.

 

So, believe it or not I actually grew up in the town of Plainfield which is right next to Edison, in fact my high school was in Edison.  Good Ole “Evergreen School” (my elementary school) I remember it felt overwhelming walking the halls as a young student.  Now the aged brick building appears so small.  Ah those early school days..

Yes, rings were exchanged and vows were made. Unfortunately when I recently witnessed the establishment it was evident that the church had aged over time. It no longer evoked  an establishment that housed an assembly of participating parishioners. Instead its lack of visitors was evident by the hollow, unkept, grounds and vacant parking lot.

 

My Days Intertwined:

Class was, of course, in session throughout the weekend.  And my students were incredible as always.  I couldn’t believe that one of my students actually went home and redid her “in class” project.  A shout-out to Valeria for doing an amazing job!

 

My timing couldn’t be have been more on point.  The weekend I was in town also happened to be the life celebration of a dear friend of mine who had passed last year.  Perhaps you recall my post last year that spoke of Paul.  He was a second brother to me and his presence is missed daily.  Paul is one of those rare individuals that we may have lost but will never forget.  My older brother had a “gang”, okay  let’s revise that a little.  My brother was part of six, very close friends, who spent a lot of quantity and quality time together.  Most of them knew me since the time I wore diapers.  Thankfully I don’t remember such early introductions, bottom line, they were all an extended part of our family.  When Paul lost his battle with cancer in 2017,  it was an enormous loss to me. I wasn’t sure how to deal and process the grief that I was experiencing.  In a shocker, quilting became my therapy. It was my means of getting through such devastation.  My mind and hands went to work constructing a special piece for my brother in honor of Paul.  Ironically the binding was completed during the Quilt Fest and I delivered this little memento at his party later that weekend.

Life has a way of placing us where we need to be at exactly the right time.  Although none of us will be able to close the missing piece that Paul has placed in our hearts, we will forever relive our lives with him strolling, together, down “Memory Lane”.

England, Switzerland, Germany..Oh My!

Europe here I come! Can you believe it? I am still pinching myself in disbelief that I will find myself traveling that way in August! Now that plans are finalized I can share some of the small details of where this exciting adventure will take me.

FIRST STOP:

Festival of Quilts in England! No, I’m not kidding! AND if anyone would like to consider joining me; you can receive a discount on your admission ticket! Instead of paying the cost of £16* for adult tickets or £14.50* for concession tickets, you will get a discount and pay £13.50* (£2.50 off adult tickets and £1 off concession tickets).  Have I have stirred the travel bug in any of my fellow quilters? In case I have, here is the link to use and your special code:  Festival of Quilts, apply the code WT57 in order to receive your discount.   (This is an affiliate link)

England and I have never met so I’m over the moon to have the opportunity to make this introductory journey!

SECOND STOP:

Landing in beautiful Steckborn, Switzerland!  There I will conduct two 2 full days of teaching classes at the BERNINA headquarters!

FINAL DESTINATION:

Hello Germany!  I will spend time at Regina Klaus’ training center where I will get the opportunity to teach for another 2 full days of classes!

This is bound to be a once in lifetime experience, so I’m really hoping to cross paths with some of you along my travels.

Lisa, Lisa, Where Are You?

I realize that I have been MIA, but for good reason as it all pertains to my love of quilting.  Numerous commitments have kept me on the go; trust me even my husband thinks I’ve disappeared!  First up was MQX (Machine Quilter’s Expo) in New Hampshire.  I love attending this show, it holds a special place in my heart since it was my first teaching gig way back in 2006.  I get such an overwhelming sense of nostalgia when I walk through the doors of this arena.

The word “amazing” doesn’t come close to describing this show or the quilts! AND the quilters were spectacular!  I am beyond thrilled to report that my four-year (okay five-year) project, “Oh, My Bleeding Heart” placed 3rd in the Solo division!  I am speechless and filled with immense joy.  

During my classes I was in awe of my incredibly talented students, and that’s putting it mildly.  They were amazing and brought tons of fun and the love of teaching to my days at MQX.

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No, no I have not forgotten about my Perfect Plumes class.  The perfectionist that I am, I felt  that I needed to add a “final” project to the session.  This little addition to the class has taken me a little bit longer than expected to produce. Good things come to those that wait..lol!

HOWEVER…

I believe everyone will be excited to hear that the ProFeather Rulers have arrived! If you’re out of the loop and haven’t heard about them, you better get in the loop by checking them out !!!

Folks We Are SOO Close!

 

Does the following little video have you glancing in the mirror saying, “Oh my god! That’s me!”  If so, then you’ll be happy to know I have a solution!

 

Yes, step by step, things are really starting to move forward in my little studio, here in Pennsylvania.  Even during the process of preparing for shows, lectures, etc. I have remained focused on producing the ProFeather™ ruler AND the Perfect Plumes Class.  No doubt it’s a lot to juggle, but I’m so excited that I’m putting the finishing touches on my newest ruler and class that I can’t set it aside now! Heck no! So be on the look out, they are coming your way very soon!!!

 

February Come Back!

February where are you, where did you go?  And did you take half of March with you? Will someone please find February, and for that matter, the beginning of March.  I need them returned to me ASAP!

Goals,  yes I have a few.  You may be wondering why I’m sharing such things with you.  Well, in order to accomplish these objectives, I felt if I shared them with all my quilting followers they would become a reality sooner rather than later. Nothing wrong with a little peer pressure.

The first on my little list “to do” is launching my newest feather’s class by April 1st, 2018.  Although this will be a session for both domestic and longarm machines I will be rolling the session out to those using a domestic machine first (don’t worry longarm class will be following right behind).  Then I will move forward, and create three additional classes by the end of this year. So if you want to learn something special…. let me know!

Next, I am introducing one on one consulting, which I am ecstatic to start! I offer one hour sessions with those needing guidance, and/or instruction on all the various aspects of this craft.  Nothing is off-limits! We can discuss business, designing, quilting etc.  I’ll be of service to my clients regarding any part of this industry, all you’ll need to do is schedule a consult!

Lastly, I’m really striving to hire my red-headed assistant full-time.  My business is becoming more than a one woman job.  It’s time for me delegate some aspects of this business to a coworker.  Most of my days are spent cutting fabric; and constructing books for my kits and upcoming shows.  We all know I’d rather be behind the machine, and bringing her on full-time would prove to be a great asset!

Because I’ve completed the final testing of my newest ruler, the feather ruler, now they are ready for production! I just need to get these lovely tools packaged and then we are ready to launch them your way!  And should you all decide they are beneficial to your quilting I will pursue one or two more feather rulers.  Your reaction to this initial product will determine the fate of future feather rulers.

 

 

 

 

This week I will be at the  AQS Show in Lancaster! I’m  hoping to see many familiar faces as I will hosting two lectures and taking in the show.  Please make sure you stop and say hello if you happen to attend this event.  Getting the chance to meet new peers and connect with fellow quilters puts a huge smile on my face!

 

 

 

 

 

Quilting for Customers: “How To”

Longwood quilt

Longwood Gardens Quilt  2010

Quilting for customers, yes this is a specialty that I was successful doing for approximately 10 and half years.  I loved it and quilted some 3000 quilts through this livelihood.  Are you considering expanding your quilting to the next level? If so, this is a wonderful way to make that goal a reality.

Trust is a HUGE word, and one of the best feeling in the world is when your customers embrace your talent, and depend on you to bring life and beauty to their quilt.  What does that feel like? I cannot imagine giving my quilts, which I consider my babies, to someone else.  Speaking for myself I pour my heart and soul into the quilting process and have no doubt it would be painful letting another individual take charge temporarily.  For me that’s one of the aspects of this profession that I find so rewarding, each piece is one of my client’s babies.

Calle boys

All three of my boys… back in the day…

To Be or Not to Be: What about this business appeals to you? Is the idea that you simply love quilting or are you looking for additional income? These are two significant questions to consider.  For those individuals choosing to quilt as a hobby, kudos to you! I say quilt away and surround yourself with all the creativeness you can gather; but please be mindful of those that do quilt for monetary reasons.  Being a professional quilter becomes very challenging when a customer declares my cost expensive compared to that of Quinn Quilter.  What my customer does not realize is there is a difference between Quinn Quilter and Lisa Calle.  Quinn Quilter loves this craft as a hobby; Lisa Calle not only loves this trade but also has made a career out of quilting.  If you feel that this a business you are aspiring to become a part of then I can only offer this piece of advice; I quilt for the purpose of making both my clients and ME happy. I must remain true to the fact that this is a business and income for my family.  Therefore, the ability to lower my costs to meet the prices of those that are fortunate to quilt as a hobby is not something I can justify.  Yes, possess an attitude! If you have committed to making quilting a business then you are worthy of owning your quilting ideals,  methods AND prices.

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It’s All About the Money: Begin by setting an hourly wage that you feel will be advantageous of your time, and materials.  YOU need to be satisfied with the price you are charging, and obviously this might be different for everyone.  I am not a low-priced quilter, as a matter of fact I’m fairly certain that I may have ended up being the most expensive in my area.  However, I knew what I wanted to make monetarily; I was realistic that I had other responsibilities that also demanded my time.  I was comfortable putting those obligations aside in order to run my business AND I was also comfortable putting those considerations into my quilting price.

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The AH HA Moment: Retail and I have always been united, “Customers Come First” was my motto and I went out of my way to ensure my customers were more than satisfied.  Did I make everyone happy?  Heck no, I would never please everyone.  Boy, I definitely had my share of those clients that undoubtedly could not be appeased in any way possible. On those work days happy hour felt like it would never arrive!  Even enduring sweat and tears there were some partnerships that dissolved.  Quickly I would come to terms with the understanding that there were going to be professional relationships that would find me and my client parting ways…and Ah Ha… that’s okay.

Next Up: Mastering feathers, I always wanted to conquer this technique.  I could be found, pencil in hand, quietly doodling for hours and hours.  My dedication paid off and gradually I was feathering away!  Now did every customer love my new gift of feathering? No way, as I stated before there was, at least, that one customer who shuddered “Oh no I’m not fond of feathers”.  For the sake of feathers people quit bursting my bubble,  feathers are my thang!  My advice, don’t let anyone get in the way of your thang!

It Needs a Price Tag:  Well friends that is a post in and of itself!

Lisa