Ruler Anxiety

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?

When I Grow Up


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 totally grow 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!

Life is Getting in the Way!

It was Las Vegas, then Noah’s graduation party, and now my trip to Hershey!

Sorry fellow quilters but my life is getting in the way of quilting!  Although some of my interruptions are actually quilt related.  Speaking of quilt related I am headed to Hershey for their Quilt Odyssey!

The Quilt Odyssey is being held July 20-23rd! My Quilter’s Groove Rulers will be located at Booth 103, I will be hosting my Trunk Show, and teaching “Getting in the Groove”.  It will definitely be a busy and eventful couple days in Hershey PA.  If you are attending the event please stop by and say hello!

Yes, it seems that this summer has me juggling many things and the days are just flying by.  I’m hoping to find a little more balance in the month of August.  If you haven’t already taken a peek don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages; what can I say I like to give a little TLC to all social media!

Have Wings Will Travel

 

 

Yep that’s where I’m headed, but what’s wrong with the picture below? If you said, ” The plane is not in the air” you would be correct!

Red Rocks Resort for Bernina University is my ultimate destination.  This amazing facility is where the Bernina dealers gather each year and are introduced to future BERNINA, concepts and ideas.  We also are given the opportunity to hear about new products, so exciting!  This year brings a little addition to my time at the University as I am teaching two classes tomorrow, both focused on how rulers are used and the most effective ways to sell rulers in shops.

PAST

The travel for this yearly jaunt seems to be a challenge, last years trip was to New Orleans.  During that little adventure I was supposed to play golf on an incredible course, but as my luck would have it I flew into Charlotte and had to stay the night.  The next day I took Con Air to Miami and eventually arrived in New Orleans.  Obviously I missed the golf experience.

BACK to PRESENT

10:27 am Monday, I should be half way to Las Vegas, but now that we are refueled and pushed back we have been advised that we are being rerouted. So I sit and wait once again but at least my seats mates are cool!

I told my row that once that drink cart is within my line of vision the first beverage is on me.  At this rate we could be having milk and cookies as a bedtime snack.

6:09 pm No bedtime snack required, I finally made it! Now let’s get happy and make the most of my time at BERNINA University.

Do you have one trip that undoubtedly brings adversity and frustration to your travels? If so please share!

 

We Need to Talk…

 

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?

 

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Move Aside Testosterone

 

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

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It Simply Can’t Be!

 

 

 

 Nope still no quilting for this girl, and it’s FRIDAY!  Where did this week go? Today I am was at the University of Delaware with my middle son, Noah.  He had orientation. Yippee!!!  The excuses the rest of the week are MIA…

If you read my post No Quilting Game Here, you know that I was in Wisconsin for the US Open.  My wonderful husband surprised me with the trip!  We attended last year when it was in Pittsburgh, and as may of you know I captured a picture of Jordan Speith and myself.  Well, now it is a tradition for my husband and I.  This year’s trip proved to be challenging since the course was a little more wide-spread.   FYI,  Jodan has two State Police officers that follow him around the course…ugh!  Either someone ratted me out and gave him a  heads up that I would be stalking him for a picture, OR Jordan checked out my last post and learned of my upcoming visit.  I’d like to think he actually read my post!

Note the police officers in the pictures, and yes I know one might assume from what they see in the photograph that I was put behind bars for stalking Jordan.

No, I didn’t cause drama, just observing from the grandstand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I kicked and screamed like a five-year old, I did come back to Pottstown, PA.  My temper tantrum quickly ended when I went to Newtown Quilter’s Guild to teach for the day.  They all mastered the Divide and Design so fellow quilters watch out! Take a look at what just one class had these students producing.

Just think this was just the beginning for these talented individuals.  Can you imagine what they will create in the near future? I am so anxious to see what their new skills and creativity brings to their fabric.  With a little practice they will all be unstoppable!

HS Graduation Brings a Sale?!

 

Yes, it’s another milestone in the Calle family!

Our middle son, Noah, is graduating for Owen J Roberts High School on tonight!  I am so proud and in disbelief as to how fast time has flown by over the past 17 1/2 years.  He will be attending the University of Delaware this fall, we couldn’t be more excited for him and know he will continue to make our family proud.

Why Not Celebrating Education with a DVD Sale?!

While many families are hosting graduation parties I decided to add a little something to my graduation festivities  and host a “Graduation Sale”!

So now through 6/12/17 take advantage of my $20 DVD Sale!

Maybe you’ve been curious on how I come up with my quilting designs.  My Divide and Design method  makes the concept of configuring how to quilt as easy as 1-2-3!  Take all the guess work out of “how to” by utilizing this video! For $20 you can put easy peasy into your design process!

Lavish

Perhaps whole cloth is more your style. If that’s the case then Mastering the Mini will be right up your alley! You will be a master of your own mini after this tutorial!  Yes, it’s just $20!


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Tune In for a Tutorial!

I have had many requests for the Baptist Fan pattern and how to accomplish this technique.  This made me realize that it has been quite some time since I have posted a tutorial, so today is your lucky day if you want to be in the know on how to accomplish the Baptist Fan!  So to my machine I will go and get this little instructional video going!


Before I get into full swing sewing away, I wanted to give everyone a little reminder that my birthday is TOMORROW! Which means my BIRTHDAY SALE will commence!  You can take advantage of 15% until May 7th!  Might be the perfect time to fill your cart with some circle rulers which will allow you to produce the lovely Baptist Fan design shown below.  My birthday only comes once a year so celebrate with me and enjoy a little retail therapy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the texture of the Baptist Fan pattern, and its traditional look; and in the first video I will educate viewers on how I do produce an all over Baptist Fan Design.  Now this isn’t a technique that you can complete in a few minutes.  It will take a little dedication, and many will say using a pantograph would be much faster.  I cannot deny that fact, however, I find that this treatment comes out beautifully using the ProCircle rulers, sizes 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.

In the second tutorial I demonstrate how to complete a border.  Remember I am LAZY!  I don’t challenge the brain with additional math problems if it’s not necessary. I want to be working on my design not calculating numbers!  LOVE IT! For this specific border I incorporated the ProCircle Rulers, again selecting sizes 3, 5 and 7.  These rulers are extremely versatile, and can be utilized in so many ways! That being said more circle videos are in the works!  So hopefully you will have a better understanding after watching these tutorials on how to complete the Baptist Fan.  If you tried tackling this technique after watching these videos let me know how you made out!

Psst….Quilters Have Questions

 

 

 

You Have A Question, I Have An Answer 

 

I noticed in one of your posts that you had basted a quilt prior to actual quilting. I would like to know the best method for basting. I have been cross basting about every 8 inches. Would grid basting work better? And what is the best way to do this?  Cynthia 

Yes, Cynthia, the above quilt needed to come off the frame before it was done so I could get some samples completed.  I used a crosshatch basting, the spacing was about every 4 inches.  I did not want any of the fabric to shift or move which could have created possible areas that would cause the material to pleat.  If you only baste in one direction you risk the chance of the fabric shifting the other way.

How do you quilt a king size quilt (120″ square) on a 10 foot frame? Daniela

Hi Daniela,  This is not a situation I have ever experienced.  However, in thinking through the process here’s the plan of attack I would consider:  I’d have to completely ignore my first thought which tells me to “Run for the hills and dismiss any further notion of quilting a king size quilt!”  There is so much potential for things to go awry.   But I guess if I had no choice and needed to be very brave I would (fingers crossed) recommend the following:

I encourage you to load the backing, which would allow the part that didn’t fit on the frame to be situated to your right hand side.  Take time to ensure that you have an area to the left of the quilt where tension can be tested etc.  Next, I advise loading and floating the top.  In doing you then can mark how far over to go.  This will create some fluff room.  When the quilt is then advanced very carefully bring the “extra” backing and top and roll it.  After this is accomplished unload and reload the sandwich with the surplus hanging off the left and finalize the process.

**NOTE:  I have NOT had to execute this process, therefore,  I do not know how well this method will work.  Again, this is how I would strive to quilt a king size quilt on a small frame.  Good luck, please share your results and I  hope all goes well!

Hey L…when are you going to come and teach a class here in Florida… you could mix work with fun we have really nice golf courses here! Seriously I do have a question… do you free motion with the stitch regulator or without…I am new to the long arm coming from a sit down…I seem to get beautiful results on my free motion feathers and curves when I turn it off…turn it on… not so good! Just wondering! Jan

Hi Jan, you don’t have to say the word Florida to me twice!  I’d love to come your way for a little warm weather, golf and quilting, of course!  To answer your question I complete most of my fill work with the stitch regulator off.   I find the machine always feels much smoother when I don’t have the stitch regulator on.  In my opinion, if you are getting better results without  engaging the stitch regulator, then by all means go for it.  Remember, there are NO rules.  But you may want to examine how many stitches per inch it is set on once your regulator is activated.  This could indicate that you’re stitches aren’t set appropriate, maybe go for more stitches per inch.

I did receive a couple of late entries to the show~n~tell post that I didn’t want to neglect sharing with everyone. So enjoy these wonderful designs!

Kathy Jessee’s beautiful Unicorn! The detail is amazing!

Carol Higdon’s  created this incredible quilt for her grandson’s wedding!  Is anyone surprised that to observe a ribbon hanging from it? I’m not! Way to go Carol!

Thanks for sending me your inquires.  I hope I was able to give you some insight on the question, or concern you shared.  Feel free to send me any quilts questions that you stumble upon during your design process.  I’d be more than happy incorporate them into my posts.