I have no problem encouraging my students to step out of their comfort zone and push themselves to experience something new but sometimes I don’t always like to practice what I preach. Yes, I am admitting yet another “Lisa flaw”. Anyone that read a recent post will recall that I did sew a bag, which is not my thing, and I had a great time. But I am ultimately a creature of habit and feel very uncomfortable taking steps into “newness” and that includes welcoming new things into my studio easily. And here’s what I mean:
My beloved BERNINA longarm has a friend now. Heavens no, not another machine, although that thought is very tempting. LOL I have the QMatic which is the computer component for the BERNINA. Now, I’m not a total dinosaur, in the past I did “computerized” quilting but this was back in the day (many moons ago) when I was quilting daily for customers and could not fathom completing projects without computerizing. Since I currently quilt for myself, I now find it hard to jump in and bring myself up to speed with technology. Yes, I need to come face reality, and with this incredible addition I’ll be in feeling like a more modern quilting girl in no time. BUT it will take some practice!
Learning the software is obviously my first goal, however, I also need to become familiar with the new weight of the machine while doing freehand. Ah, major learning curve! This is extremely important because although the machine doesn’t necessarily feel much different, the swing is a little different. Therefore, in order to apply those nice backtracking feathers, it requires me to practice, practice and practice some more. To aid in my training I’ve placed practice fabric (fabric I care less about) to make sure I’m comfortable with the new weight of the machine. After gaining confidence in the adjusted swing of my machine I plan on tackling a small piece that will hopefully be an auction piece at Houston. Fingers crossed.
Below you can see an orphan block from my four-year, never-ending quilt. This will be my Houston Quilt Festival Auction piece if I can get my rear in gear and get it on the machine. Yes, I realize there is a seam ripper in the picture. Remember I’m a WIP, need I say more?!
This quilt is more like the four-year and some odd month, never-ending, quilt…lol Goal 450 billion is to get that finished by the end of 2017. I refuse to let it become,”The 5 Year Quilt”.
So I’m off to practice what I preach and throw myself full force into learning, and understanding this new software. Big girl pants are pulled up, zipped and belted tightly!
What changes have you recently encountered that has you hesitant to step into the new, and unknown?
SEW(something I don’t normally do) + Testosterone (my three boys, my husband AND even my dog) = Me sewing a bag. Yes, you heard correctly, this “quilter” (non sewer) decided on a whim to try her hand at sewing a bag. And here’s why: I discovered this wonderful pattern for the Sew Together Bag at Pennington Quiltworks. If you haven’t stepped inside “Pennington Quiltworks” do yourself a favor and pay a visit to this store. In addition to coming across this darling pattern, I also felt the need to embrace the estrogen part of my world, every now and then I feel a little suffocated by all the maleness encompassing my four walls.
A fellow shopper in the store was kind enough to give me a heads up that the directions weren’t the absolute best, (thank goodness for the kindness of strangers) but if I googled the pattern I would find there is a blog sew along (no, not sing along, although I had so much fun I was singing while I sewed) Click here if you would like to have access to the blog. I chose this bag since it was touted as a beginner bag. Since I like easy peasy and being a non sewer I felt this pattern was right up my alley. Much to my surprise after googling the pattern, I found that some individuals didn’t agree that this was a beginner bag. Well, I am very competitive at heart, ask anyone who plays golf with me. Therefore, I gazed upon this pattern as if it were in a golf course and thought, “Back away from this non sewer, these opinions aren’t going to deter me.” FYI, lets not forget that I had also invested money in all the materials required to make this little bag so if you think I was about to waste my hard-earned cash Hell no!
Begrudgingly, I read through the directions. I am a visual learner and I cannot stand reading directions, don’t even think about commenting that I sound like a typical man. Anywho, I knew that in order to complete this little project I would actually need to follow the instructions step by step. The struggle was REAL!
DAY ONE: I completed most of the interior.
I actually completed all 3 zippers, now for me that’s pretty darn impressive! Remember people I am NOT a sewer, I am a quilter. A straight line I can sew, and occasionally a curved one but that’s really pushing it!
DAY TWO: I brought this project to a close, zippers and all!
Regardless of what the task is, new or old, I always learn something new. As I looked at my finished project I realized I would have liked longer handles. But overall for my initial attempt I am very happy and satisfied with the results. Lord help me if I stumble across some cool golf fabric, because then there will be many more of these in my future.
Please act surprised when you receive one of these from me during Christmas…LOL
Feathers, feathers, feathers. Yes, I do know how to quilt many other things, however, I absolutely love to quilt feathers. As soon as I had finalized the purchase on my machine I was determined to master the technique of quilting these beauties. So, maybe you have just bought your first machine and are having the same thoughts I just shared of loving feathers , or you have a machine and simply haven’t taken the time to learn this technique. Well, then this post will come in handy! Although this is an older video I thought I would repost it for some of my newer followers, and for those of you that have yet to tackle this motif.
The video I am sharing below is a tutorial on formal feathers, some quilters refer to it as the “hump and bump”.
Whether you are new feathers, or just needed a refresher on fine tuning your skills I hope you found this video beneficial. By the way what are your favorite motifs to quilt?
There are many perks to having my own business. For example, an alarm doesn’t go off, demanding me to jump out of bed and inhale a breakfast bar prior to spending unwanted time in my car during a morning commute to my place of employment. No, on the contrary I can lounge in the early am hours, unless “I” have scheduled an appointment or event. Gradually I will meander to my sacred quilting studio for the rest of the day. But let’s face it 99% of my working day consists of “Me, Myself and I”. I am only graced with my red-headed assistant approximately 12 hours a week, if I’m lucky (can someone please give me the winning lottery ticket so I can make her full-time?). That being said, it can get a bit dull day in and day out keeping this business in motion as a one woman show. Moreover, being my own drill sergeant is really over rated!
I Must Get Rid of “Me, Myself and I” Every Now and Then
Yes, attending Quilting Shows, like MQX this past week, provides me the amazing opportunity to shed the dullness of working alone. Traveling to different towns, and states; interacting with incredible people who share the passion of this craft, all keeps me stimulated until I return to my studio.
Engaging ourselves with others by physically attending classes and lectures eliminates the loneliness that can easily consume us. In order to be professionally productive, and creative we need to be stimulated by other people. And shedding “Me, Myself and I” can be the best route to acquiring those much-needed attributes.
Step outside your working arena, and re-energize yourself by embracing those gifted people who share your desire to quilt. Even if it is for only a few hours here and there, you will refill your emotional bucket. Trust me, that emotional bucket needs to be overflowing when you choose to have your own business. So fill your calendar with some events. And follow my lead when walking out the door smile and think, “See ya soon Me, Myself and I”.
Do you give yourself a break from being the solo office Nazi?
I really try to expand my repertoire with each quilt I design. I achieve this by incorporating a new technique; whether it be in the quilting, piecing, or appliqué, somewhere in my layout. A feathered star quilt is o ne that I have been longing to make, yet I have evaded this design due to the odd angles. I realize a feathered star is far from being a new skill; but I continue to side step any forward motion due to insecurities . I do very little executing on the EQ 7 but admittedly I have played around with the feathered star (see below picture).
Unfortunately no “YES!” moments have emerged, or any results that I perceive to love. So I suppose I will have to persevere and hope one day I will have a light bulb moment and a feathered star quilt design will appear in my head.
Who else has a technique they have been meaning to try? Or maybe there is a quilt design that you have thoughts of completing?
is a beautiful and easy to execute feather… now, this is the last Friday of February but I still have one more feather that I’d like to teach so stay tuned as I am going to post the last feather on Monday…
If you’ve enjoyed February Feather Fridays, consider taking my Feathers for the Timid next time you are at a show!
I am so excited for this class! What are we going to do, you ask? We have 4 hours to talk about anything you want as you watch me progress through quilting through this sample! This is a block from my new show quilt which is NOT done. LOL I am going to be putting on a border , not quite sure what yet but I want it to be something fun.
We’ll go through my Divide and Design Process and I’ll show you what I didn’t choose and why. What threads and batting I like to use as well. So many things and with only 4 hours, I hope to get it all in. Bring in your tops that you don’t know what you want to do with and maybe I can help with that too. Hope to see you there.
We all have a favorite something, where no other will really do. But if we have to, we will make do…. maybe yours is a seat that you like to sit in, a favorite breakfast you eat every morning, or a pillow that you must sleep with.
I have a favorite pen… I absolutely LOVE it! When I doodle, it glides across my paper which is the best feeling. I know this pen makes me more creative. 😉 What is this fabulous pen you ask….