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.

 

New Jersey I am On My Way

Hunterdon County Quilting Guild

Friday April 21, 2017

This week has me off and running to New Jersey where I will be teaching my favorite Divide and Design Class!  This workshop is wonderful for those wanting a simple method to designing the quilting for your tops.  Three easy steps will be introduced to my students, and they will discover that the process of designing doesn’t have to be complicated.

So if you haven’t taken this class please check out my website, for more details, and who knows maybe you’ll come across another workshop that sparks your interest.

THIS Friday I will be hosting “Show ~n~ Tell” on my blog.

What does that mean for you my fellow quilters?

That means that all of crafty quilters need to send me photos of a project that you have in the works, or have completed (no one has to know how long ago you completed it..lol)  I will post pictures of all that I received on Friday’s blog entry.  Then, we will have the opportunity to observe what peers have accomplished, or are in the process of accomplishing.  This is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE! That being said, if you choose to leave a comment please play nice in my sandbox.  Maybe we will ignite creativity in one another, and enjoy this chance to admire the amazing talent transpiring all around us.  All photos can be emailed to me at lisahcalle@me.com. Come on folks you have 2 days to use that camera on your phone, or forward a picture from your computer to me! Click away!

I hope to see MANY projects taking up space in my inbox!

Classes Can Come to You!

Isn’t frustrating when you are dying to attend a class but can’t manage to participate in the show or shop due to distance, or time constraints? Does the option of online classes appeal to you?  If so, I might have a solution for you!

Tracey Russell, an amazing designer, just may be the answer to your dilemma.  Picture being a part of an amazing class that you can complete ONLINE. Yes, online!  Tracy’s business, Whirls and Swirls Quilting, has two classes open for registration.  Her online courses aren’t only insightful, but also readily available to those that can’t find the time or means to travel to events.  Take a look below at what she has to offer.

Option 1:   Curves, Curls and Leaves, Oh My!

Option 2:  Feathered Elegance

Anyone that knows me can probably guess that I am a little partial to the class entitled “Feathered Elegance”.  Any class with the word “feather” in it has me saying ,”Sign me up!”  So you won’t be surprised to hear that I recommend this course.  BUT once you have read the description on both of these classes, I find it hard to believe you won’t be signing up for one of them!

Tracey will give you an education in understanding your thread, and batting.  Upon completing these online courses you will be prepared to begin and execute your design.  So don’t give up your passion for quilting due to travel issues or scheduling conflicts, give Tracey’s courses a try.  Sometimes you just need to find the right course, and the right instructor!  Tracey could be the ultimate teacher, her courses might be just what you were looking for AND the opportunity to utilize classes online may be the perfect match for your lifestyle.

Let me know if you take one of her classes, I am a huge fan of Tracey’s and am confident you will be more than satisfied with the education you receive and the great price you paid!

 

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Perfect Piecing + Flawless Stitching = The Impossible

My current project is slowly, and I mean slowly coming along.  As I plug away every now and then I will stand back and scan the small progress I have made AND analyze my work.  When I say “analyze” I mean scrutinize every tiny minuscule stitch and aspect of my quilt.  Which has now led me to discovering a part of the design that does not appear exactly the way I feel it should.

 

 Rather than remaining stressed over a small mishap that I had observed due to my OCD of going over the project with a magnifying glass; I need to move on.  Is anyone going to be aware of my mistake? Not unless I tell them, right?!

 

 

 

 

Nope, no one will see that itsy, bitsy, teeny, tiny, imperfection when they view the quilt in its entirety.  Yes, I will forever know where that flaw resides, but I cannot sweat the small stuff.  Life is way too short.  And if I constantly chose to sweat the small stuff in my studio, OMG, I would achieve zip, zero, zilch! Besides the fact that I would be very unproductive, I also believe that those small imperfections allows me to perfect who I want to become.  So I pick my battles and strive to choose the ones that really matter!

And remember no one but you has to be in on that little “flaw”!

Well Hello New Hampshire!

WE HAVE ARRIVED FOLKS!

Manchester, New England will never be the same after these girls claim their territory in booth 188!  Classes, vending, and lots of fun are creating a few days of quilters heaven!

Kicked off MQX with a Totally Templates Class

What a great way to begin my time here in New Hampshire.  There’s nothing better than starting the Quilting Show with a class that consists of amazing students eager to learn!

I was extremely proud to give my Teacher’s Ribbon to:

Marie Alexander from Groton MA

“NEW HOPE”

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY…What a Great Machine Quilting Show!

Judy and I have been on the go; teaching and also vending in booth 188!  Meeting, educating and sharing all that Quilter’s Groove Rulers have to offer to those who quilt, these last few days have been a whirlwind of events.  But with all the incredible individuals we encounter each day we can’t help but smile and realize how lucky we are!

Did I mention we have been busy? Did I mention how much I love sharing my craft with fellow quilters?  This adventure to New Hampshire has been simply marvelous!

Are you in town? If so please stop by and say hello! If you have attended MQX over the past few days I’d love to hear what you’ve done and if you enjoyed your time in Manchester!

It’s Rulers For Rookies!

 

My First Class of Rulers for Rookies!  

Eleven Students

One Longarmer

Ten Domestic Machines

These Students Were AMAZING!

This class was composed of students that would be entering the world of rulers for the first time.  I can only imagine the feeling of excitement and apprehension that filled each of them.  I was so eager to lead them on this new journey, one that I knew would bring unlimited possibilities to quilting.  They, however, weren’t so confident; and the hesitation that mentally consumed them was evident.

One of my students was a Longarmer who almost left before class started. I was relieved she chose to not give into her fears as her willingness to take on this new challenge proved her to be a natural with rulers.

Another one of my students had previously taken a free motion class that created extreme frustration; she did not find that session beneficial in the least.  She was highly concerned that my class would provide similar results.  I am ecstatic to report that this “Rulers for Rookies” class empowered this pupil, allowing her to feel that she would be successful with rulers! Frustration DENIED!

 

 

 

 

Thought I’d share a few pictures from this wonderful session.  Here’s the sample cloth of what they were taught.

These individuals were dedicated to embracing rulers and allowed themselves to remain open to all that this “Rulers for Rookies” class offered.  Launching this class exceeded my expectation!  Introducing these beginners to rulers filled me with an abundance of joy.  I witness eleven students enter my class with fear, reluctance, and lack of confidence.  These eleven individuals exited their time with me free of all those emotions.  They had now gained a sense of power over rulers, and they happily casted aside the word ROOKIE!  How can I not love what I do when my day ends like that?  Are there anymore Ruler Rookies out there?

I’d love to share how much fun and simple rulers can are to use!

Time to Improvise!

We’ve all had the lovely opportunity of experiencing a moment, a day or maybe a weekend when the unexpected found its way into our quilting reality.

 Ah yes, that moment of “Uh Oh” when for mere moments time stops, and you become acutely aware that something is wrong with the current situation.  During that particular period you inwardly talk yourself off a cliff and realize you would have to improvise somehow in the immediate future.  Are flashbacks running past movie clips in your mind as you relive that less than wonderful occasion?  I have had numerous occasions where improvising played a major factor in the success of my day.

I’m Willing to Share ONE Example

“Divide and Design”, one of my all time favorite classes to teach.  I love introducing my students to this amazing method of designing their quilts.  The facial expression of “By Golly George I Think I’ve Got This” that gradually travels its way across everyone’s face is priceless.  However, you cannot bring smiles, and feelings of success to your class when you neglect to bring the drawing templates that are essential to instructing the class.  Listen folks, we aren’t talking overlooking pencils, we are talking about a major component of the Divide and Design tutorial.  

Judy and I looked at one another and deduced that an immediate trip to the nearest Wal-Mart, or K-Mart was of the essence!  We flew by the seat of our pants and did whatever it took  in order to make this class work.

Let the Lisa Improv Show Commence!

Our speedy jaunt had us purchasing cups, plates, and bowls.  These were transformed into my templates for this particular class, allowing me to illustrate my Divide and Design method.  Above you will see that I grabbed a few items in the studio to show that they too could have also been utilized for teaching that class had I had them readily available.  What started out as a panic attack eventually turned into “I can handle this”.   The class went well, Judy and I survived one, of many, winging it adventures.

A Friendly Tip:  Keep Your “Uh Oh” on the Down Low

  Try to remain calm; easier said than done I know.  However, those around you don’t need to bear witness to your oops.  Heck, depending on what the oops is, no one may even realize you’ve improvised in the slightest way!  There is no reason to advertise your fault, we are all human and I big believer of “it’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you”.   At one point in time we all need to improvise in way or another.  Whether it pertains to our business or personal life; every now and then we need to fill in the blanks with words, or items we have forgotten.

If You Must, Fly By the Seat of Your Pants

  Do what you gotta go.  If it requires running to K-Mart,or Wal-Mart then that’s what one must do.  Those of us in the quilting world are very creative people!  Use that gift to your advantage when it comes to improvising.  You will be amazed with the ingenuity your creative juices will produce when push comes to shove.   So improvise, improvise, improvise! You might just surprise yourself and actually love what your spontaneity  brings about!

Have you had to improvise, fly by the seat of your pants or wing it to get through a quilting event?  If so I would love hear about your experience.

Classroom Etiquette/ Both Sides of The Fence

I couldn’t believe the response I received on my Quilt Show Etiquette post, so I figured I’d roll with it and end the week with a post on Teacher and Student Classroom Etiquette.  Notice I am being unbiased and am exploring BOTH sides of classroom etiquette.  So let’s take a look shall we?

Etiquette:  It was a toss of the coin which to discuss first, obviously Teacher Etiquette won or lost (however you want to look at it).  The instructor has obligations to his/her students, these individuals paid to be in their presences.  I am a huge believer of giving my pupils what they have signed up for, and giving them their money’s worth.  That being said we, as teachers, need to be mindful of the following:

  Arrive EARLY!  Yes, make sure to arrive with more than enough time to organize and prepare your class for what you will be teaching.  No student wants to enter a class that they have spent money on to wait patiently for the first 30 minutes while the instructor finishes arranging class materials etc.

Be Prepared!  Do you have enough materials for all your students?  Are you ready to discuss the topic you are going to present to the class? There is nothing worse than sitting before a teacher that is unorganized, they obviously haven’t worked through the class agenda or how each aspect of what they are sharing will transition into one another.  In a nutshell it’s a students nightmare! You have lost them at “Ah Good Morning, Give Me Just a Second”.

       Turn Off Your Cell Phone!  There is no need for your phone to beep with a text message, or ring during your lecture or hands on demonstration.  No student should wait while you pause momentarily to glance at the screen of your mobile device to view a text from your husband that inquires “When will you be home?”  That is simply rude!

   Answer Questions from your students.  Again, these lovely people are spending their morning, afternoon or entire day with you.  They are there to learn, and with any education we all learn differently.  Some of us need to hear information more than once, others of us are filled with curiosity and love the word “Why”.  Finally there are a  few that just like to hear themselves talk.  Regardless of the reason, there is no such thing as a stupid question.  If you want your class to gain confidence and understanding let them ask away.

  Provide Breaks Throughout Your Class.  Teachers need to refuel, use the restroom and just take a breather.  Implement a couple breaks throughout your class.  Trust me no one wants to hear you drone on and on for 4- 6 hours (no matter how entertaining you may be) without the chance to step away for a minute or two.  You will find your students more productive and more relaxed if they are given a few minutes throughout their session to sit back and reflect on what is being taught.  By the way this is a great opportunity to reply to that distracting text of when you could be expected home!

Make Learning Fun!  No student has the desire to sit for 4 to 6 hours bored out of their mind, breaks can only provide so much relief.  Nor do they want to pay for boredom.  It’s a good idea to create an environment that allows your class to feel relaxed.   Providing a little humor makes the day for them and you pass by much faster.  So don’t get so wrapped up in being so professional that you appear stiff and uncomfortable, it’s a day of educating others on what you LOVE to do…so show them some love and let loose a little.

Time to Turn the Tables

 Etiquette:  Yes, educators are thrilled that you have chosen to spend your time with them and they look forward to enlightening you. Hopefully you will be exiting their class wearing a smile of satisfaction and eager to register for one of their other classes. However, there are a few things we instructors would like you to keep in mind, and they are:

Don’t be Late!  Please arrive a few minutes early.  It is not fair to the rest of the students to watch the instructor stop her class in order to get a tardy pupil settled for what they missed.  If you want to see several eyes roll, and heavy sighs then show up late and let the “late show” begin.

  Turn Off Your Phone Please.  Your fellow student and teacher do not want to try and talk or listen over a ringing cell phone, no matter how cute your ringtone may sound.  Place it in your bag, or pocket until break time, trust me there is voicemail on mobile devices for a reason.  Besides, don’t you want to get the most out of your class, after all you’ve paid to be sitting in that chair.

   If You Have a Question…Ask!  Rather than sit and chat with the person next to you on what is being taught… speak up. Who is the best person to ask, definitely not the person to your left or right…the teacher! In addition, it is distracting to the teacher, who is talking, to view students talking amongst each other while they are in the process lecturing or demonstrating.  If there is a concept you don’t quite understand you have the right to gain a better insight on what has been shared.  You should never leave a class confused or feeling lost on the topic.  Raise that hand high!

  Please Keep the Sickies at Home.  Sorry, but teachers AND students have NO desire to be exposed to the germs that will invade everyone’s work area by someone hacking with a cough or some other illness that should have kept them at home.  If you insist on attending the class you put yourself at risk for death stares and unkind mumbling from those surrounding you.  And trust me the instructor will not send sympathy smiles your way.

  It’s Okay to get Outside Your Comfort Zone.  The last and most important aspect of student etiquette is encouraging ALL students to step outside their comfort zone! If the instructor has done their job and given you something to giggle about and has urged you to relax then please do so! Trying to educate a group of students that won’t let go and feel free to embrace all that is presented before them makes for a difficult 4-6 hours. You are in a “no-judgement” zone (if you don’t think you are, slip out the door fast) during your time as a student.  Make the most of every moment, this is your chance to soak up all you can on that new technique, or concept. But soak it up with a clear understanding that learning should be fun and positive; especially when you’re stepping outside your comfort zone!

I am sure there are many other tips I could have elaborated on, like please don’t hate the teacher for the temperature of the room (I realize no one likes a classroom that’s 85  degrees); but I thought I’d just share a few.  Do you have a tip to give to either students or teachers?  I’m sure I’ll hear from some of you!

The Inner Struggle of Teaching

images-109

 I LOVE teaching! I actually beginning prepping for an upcoming class weeks ahead of time, partly because I am OCD and need to be super, duper prepared, but mostly because I am just that enthusiastic about teaching!  I look so forward to the actual day when I am able to walk into the classroom and share a morning, afternoon, or entire day with those that are willing to endure my instruction for a length of time and share in my passion.  But I cannot ignore the fact that prior to every session I teach my mind starts the playing “The Doubting Game”.  images-111

And here is how this game plays out.  I gaze upon my class roster, I look at what I am teaching that day and the wheel starts spinning.

At the first spin the wheel stops on:

Will it be worth their time?  

unknown-50

 

 

 

 

 

After all these students have paid to sit before me and learn something.  I always to strive to give my student quality instruction.

Next spinner lands on:

Will they absorb the information I am trying to convey?  I can prepare materials, go over what is being taught in my head and feel confident that I am going to nail the information I will present. But then that nagging uncertainty creeps in and this is what I always fear will be looking back at me when the day is upon me (and I will see about 15-25 of these faces)

images-96

Then the spinner slowly falls upon:

Are my students enjoying what they are learning?  Let’s face it these individuals should enjoy their time of being educated.  No one wants to sit in a classroom and feel like they are sitting before Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

images-98

Ah, NO way! I want my students to have a great time AND learn!

Lastly, the wheel comes to a halt at:

Was this class productive?  Did my class give my students what they expected, and wanted over the last several hours AND for what they paid for?  I want these quilters to exit my session feeling as though they have gained at least a few new tools, and concepts.  My inner voice has me wondering if they will all  feel better equipped to take tackle their design.images-99

For me the major challenge of teaching is creating an environment where I give those before me the opportunity to learn, and feel empowered to take the next step in the quilting journey.

This is what I hope to witness at the end of each lecture, or class.

unknown-47

For all my fellow instructors out there, do you have an aspect of teaching that you find most challenging? If so do tell!

This Bird is Back from Virginia

unknown-6

The Birds of a Feather Convention was Great!

Let us recap our trip to Virginia, shall we?

Well our trip seemed quite uneventful leaving at 9am Wednesday morning, with no morning traffic to wrestle with, UNTIL I observed a vehicle on my bumper.  Typically I notice some young thing in a hurry to get somewhere, but to my surprise I was amazed to see Motoring Mom-Mom behind me.  Unfortunately due to SOME traffic could not easily slide to the right lane and this only enhanced Motoring Mom-Mom’s road rage. My rear view mirror gave me quite a show as her head was shaking back and forth in great dismay at my inability to achieve a driving speed of 95 mph.  Sorry mom-mom I don’t wants  to ruffle any police officer’s feathers with exceeding the speed limit too much! Eventually I moved over, and as she crept up to my car, this older women passed by giving me a piece of her mind with several head motions.  Oh my!

unknown-47

I was actually hoping we would see her at the Marriott! Maybe she just couldn’t wait to buy one of my rulers?!

images-8I loved the ability to network with all the amazing people I encountered over the four days I was working.  Whether we exchange ideas, share experiences, or provide inspiration to one another it is incredible what a conference room and class room full of individuals can bring to your future.  However, one thing I did neglect to bring which does help when connecting with new contacts is BUSINESS CARDS!  I need to start making sure I have them here, there and everywhere.  Making sure they are packing should be a no brainer, especially during a business trip.

images-104

For Students: Take a class every session? Well, of course that ultimately is a personal preference.  However, you may want to consider the classes you are contemplating attending.  How long do they run, and how much of a break you will provide yourself with prior to your next class?  For me I know I need a little breather, so I can refuel and get my head back in the game.  Otherwise my mind turns to mush.  I realize it’s difficult to choose especially with so many different topics and instructors but don’t feel as though  it’s imperative for you to jam pack your day to the point of walking away having all that you have experienced blurring into one fuzzy period of time.

One of the most exciting things about teaching and attending these conferences is that I rejuvenate my mind and help others step outside their box of creativity.  Instructing students gets my design juices flowing and hopefully those I educate walk out of my classroom having gained some of those quilting juices.  Understanding that stepping outside the box will promote individuality and confidence. Ultitmately their style will come full circle.  And it never hurts to remind those that have come to spend their mornings or afternoons with us that constantly attempting new skills (even when our intial attempts fail) and techniques allows us to slowly become the best quilter we can be.  Our quilting journey is never ending!

images-106

Lastly, I think surrounding myself with other educators, and quilting peers is a trip filled with plenty of smiles, common passions, and most of all fun.  AND never forget there are moments that we all know what happens in VA stays in VA!

unknown-48

Do I have any quilting friends that also enjoyed their time in VA?