May I Have Your Attention..

 

After five very long years I am pleased to announce that I have finished this quilt.

The photograph below was taken back in 2013, five very long years ago.

Cherrywood fabric, the love of my life when it comes to material. I am sure that is nothing new to my readers, and quilting friends.

This quilt has taken me on a journey of self discovery and a very difficult lesson in letting go. It will surprise no one to hear me say that I can be a little bit of a control freak and perfectionist (and that’s putting it mildly).  To further describe my character traits I am extremely hard on myself and this quilting adventure has, I pray, cured me of that personality flaw. This finished piece is far, very far, from perfect.  The list of mistakes is quite lengthy, but what I have learned and the amount I have grown as a quilter and individual is enormous.

I’m going to share a few revelations with you.

Revelation #1:  Basting and removing my quilt from the frame umpteen times will not happen again in my studio.   The result of basting my quilt and repeatedly removing it caused more than a few migraines!  Typically I go through the quilt and complete my SID and dividing lines which is enough to stabilize the quilt. However, I strayed from my “typical” routine on this project and paid the price.  Note to self, “Do Not Deviate!”

Revelation#2:  I always pre-wash my fabrics but I underestimated the TLC that hand dyed fabrics require.  This quilt quickly taught me that hand dyed material definitely needs a little “extra attention”.   If you look below you will observe a fabric bleed. This is not something any quilter wants to witness on their quilt.  Yes, I pre-washed the fabric.  No, it is NOT the fault of the dyer. Yes, it is my fault for treating Cherrywood like all my other fabric.


Now when I am working with hand dyed fabrics, I wash them in my sink with the hottest water possible and dawn dish detergent until the water is clear.  Hard lesson to learn? The word “hard” doesn’t do this lesson justice.  Thus, I have chosen to name this quilt “Oh, My Bleeding Heart”.  Rolling the dice I persevered and continue on with the quilting; hoping that a small miracle would transpire and the bleed would come out.

And it DID!  I’ve been bowing to the quilting gods above each morning. I followed Vicki Welsh’s directions.  Do yourself a favor and print off her directions and stash them in a safe spot. You might want to print off a couple of copies trust me may never know when you might need them.

Aside from the major catastrophe of the fabric bleeding, this quilt had challenges in the piecing as well.  I tend to generate designs and neglect to give much thought as to how I will execute what I have composed.  It has gotten me into a lot of trouble more than once  The most challenging aspect on this pattern was the inner pieced border…

 

 

What in the bleepity bleep was I thinking? Obviously I wasn’t!  Although it nearly killed me, I continued onward.

The question then became how in the world would I get these together?

I somehow managed to put them together, but it was less than easy.

This is, by far, my favorite quilt.  I absolutely love the design, but the true reason why it has become the love of my quilting life is due to all that I endured and discovered during the entire process.  I poured my heart into this piece for many, many years, and many, many lessons were unveiled.

I am hosting a lecture at the AQS Lancaster show in March called “Oh, My Bleeding Heart” , the subject matter is, of course, this lovely quilt.  I hope to see many of you there as I share moments of self discovery and quilting adversity during the creation of this unbelievable piece.

Do you have a quilt that challenged you till you almost gave up??

Technology: Friend or Foe?

images-58With the advances many gifted humans have made throughout time it is not surprising to witness applied science making its way into the quilting world.  Beginning with the birth of the first patented sewing machine in 1791 to the now visible computerized quilting machines; mechanics has evolved quilting into an amazing hobby and business.

Somehow in this ever-changing quilting world I still embrace the tried and true, (a.k.a the old-fashioned way) pencil and paper.  Bells and whistles are in abundance; enhancing the efficiency and uniqueness to what can be created with a small needle and thread.  Yet, I forever find myself holding my graphite pencil prepared for brainstorming battle on sketching paper.  I know my BERNINA 750QE is a playground of fun that I have allowed myself to only slightly enjoy.  Maybe, one day, I’ll venture to the BERNINA playground filled with wonderful stitches.  Or maybe not.unknown-22

 

 

 

 

In regards to computer programs and the quilting world I do possess the EQ 7, however, I do not utilize it often.  I am reluctant to be unfaithful to my pencil and paper, I simply find it faster and reliable.  I even hesitate to stray from my handy-dandy calculator for determining yardage.  The words “Computer Savvy” and “Lisa Calle” do not seem to compute.  However, I  do make use of “Illustrator”.  I am actually quite proud to share that Illustrator and I are going on a 7 year relationship.  I honestly cannot ever see me totally breaking up with Illustrator as this program has definitely become a small piece of me.  There are moments during my creative process that, with the help of handsome Illustrator, I will produce an appliqué design.  The results have me grinning from ear to ear as my eyes take in printed designs in various sizes.  But every relationship needs a break, and I since I’m not very good at juggling relationships I always follow my heart back to my pencil and paper.

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Breaking up is hard to do.  So until my loyal pencil and paper decide to call it quits with this designer, I will be sticking with the tried and true.  That’s not to say that technology won’t tempt me into putting my pencil and paper on the back burner.

Has technology found its way into your quilting world? I am sure there are many tech savvy quilters among us, so share your modern must haves!

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!