Lisa Where The Heck Are You?

 

I’ve recently received a couple of messages of, “Lisa, where are you?” and “Lisa why haven’t you shown us any love over the past two months?”.  Firstly, I’d like to thank those individuals who sent those kind inquiries.  Secondly, has it really been two months?

   

I’M WEARING THE ADMINISTRATIVE HAT

Unfortunately, I’ve been fabric deep in completing all the boring, and daunting, administrative aspects of my business.  Nope nothing quilty, or fun has been transpiring in my studio.  I’ve been doing more pencil pushing than threading needles that’s for sure!

Now if you are a current blog follower the saga of  Oh, My Bleeding Heart. is nothing new to you. What will be new is that the saga wasn’t quite over since I last posted. And here’s why; I chose to block it again right before Houston. Why I would push my luck with this quilt I have no idea. Because once again the piece bled; did I mention that I brought this upon myself right before my trip to Europe.

Obviously time was not on my side so I couldn’t take a stab at removing the bleed (for the second time). So I stood peering down at this project with two options. One choice was to simply pull the quilt from the show, but this would prohibit me from being able to submit another design for next three years (that’s 1,095 days).  My other option was to move forward and provide Houston with what sat before me; bleed and all. Do I? Don’t I? Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment but I chose to send “Oh My Bleeding Heart” to Texas.

 

I was in total disbelief when I received a notification that it had won an award. I’m still pinching myself trying to comprehend that this quilt found a way to speak to the judges.  Why, or how, it won I won’t know until the awards ceremony.  I’d like to think that between the name of this piece, and the bleeds that appeared, its voice resonated with those gazing over its content. Maybe this quilt symbolizes the beauty and the flaws that resides within each and every one of us. Its voice shouted “regardless of circumstances, I am worthy of being noticed and acknowledged”. Whatever the reason I’m so proud that, imperfections and all, this quilt stood out and spoke to those in its presences.

Now, if this quilt speaks to you… you can have a small piece of it.  The small quilt below will be auctioned off.   Yes, you will have the opportunity to bid on this little quilt that certainly provided a journey within my heart. This is such a bittersweet moment for me; I love this quilt so much that I might just have to bid on it myself! LOL

So Houston is just around the corner! I will be in booth #1334 this year which is right across the aisle from BERNINA!!  Will I see you there? I sure hope so!

 

My Dearest Cherrywood,

My life would simply feel incomplete without special moments found in the presence of my quilting crush, Cherrywood Fabric.  Over the past couple of days not only was I fulfilling my passion of “quilting” but I also laid hands on the love of my life – CHERRYWOOD! Yes, Cherrywood Fabric ranks up there as my first love, but I also have a second love.  I mean, god forbid there’s no Cherrywood in my life I need to have options! So next in line would undoubtedly have to be feathers.  Oh, how I gush when I am quilting feathers into a design.  Now, just imagine my reaction when I am presented with a project that utilized Cherrywood Fabric AND Feathers!! Yes, I was beyond thrilled and I owe all my happiness to Linda McQuaid, who is a member of the Cherrywood team.  The planets aligned perfectly for me because she requested that I complete her very first quilt. Of course I gave her a big “Hell Yes!”  I was in dream land during this quilting process and although I didn’t want to wake up reality called, but I’m thrilled to report that the finished product will be displayed proudly in team Cherrywood’s booth. I highly recommend having those credit cards handy for the kit!

It felt like ions since I have completed a quilt for a customer, I was so excited to have the chance to not only produced a client quilt but this piece allowed me to cover issues that students inquire about during my Divide and Design Class.

First up:  What do you do if the quilt is not a square?

Second question:  What do you do if there really isn’t a central focal point?

In response to the first question if your quilt isn’t a square, relax, no big deal.  Breathe easy and treat the quilt as if it were a square.  You will simply begin in the center and divide your quilt.  Easy right?!

Pertaining to the second question, if there is no true focal point just create one. Looking at the picture above you can see there is a pieced block in the center, and it is the identical to the other pieced blocked on the fabric.  Our goal is to produce a design around that.

I implemented some straight line quilting to define a few areas; and then filled them.

Final question:  What if I don’t want to quilt my piece to death?

I understand, sometimes less is more.  I didn’t want to quilt this fabric too heavily, which was really unlike me.  I had to determine what I was going to apply on the outside of the quilt.  This was the real challenge on this quilt.  So I used my tracing paper to figure it all out.  In order to steer clear of quilting too much I chose to make a large-scale grid work (thank you Barb Persing) by using the piecing as my guide.

And there you have it; a little adventure that had me living the dream of working with my two loves; Cherrywood and feathers! Thank you Linda for allowing me to be a part of your quilting journey, and bringing the best of both worlds to my quilting days.

What do you all think?

 

What I “Did” VS What He “Thought I Did”

The MidAtlantic Quilt Festival was upon me, and I had yet to make a sign for my booth.  I was hell-bent on creating a sign; I refused to present my space without it! No way, no how, this quilter was in a “get out of my way” mode until this task had been accomplished (I’m sure many of you can relate to a project that brought you similar feelings) Was having this piece absolutely necessary? Was the world going to end if I my sign wasn’t present at the show? When I am in a sane state of mind I would obviously say, of course not.

So I kindly informed my husband, Jon, that I was going to allow my studio to hold me hostage in order to erect the lovely sign for my booth.  Many hours later, and I mean MANY, I emerged, weary, and blurry eyed; but victorious!  My company sign was finished!  I was so proud, and yet Jon raised his eyebrows at me like I was some lunatic. I wanted to grab his cheeks and say, “Hello? Do you understand what I have just accomplished?” But I refrained from doing so and relished silently in my personal success.  It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to read my husbands FB post that it became very apparent that he had no idea the “type” of sign I was making. Silly boy!

BTW, it looked fabulous in the booth and was well worth the hours of stitching.  I hope my husband realizes that sharpies and poster board are for beginners, this quilter is a little more advance than that 🙂

There are Several “Popabilities”!

 

I am about to mention a tool that I am sure that I have made reference to previously.   However, if by any small chance you missed the initial reveal of this tool; I will share with you one more time just how much I LOVE my  Corner Pop tool .

During the last couple of months I’ve been in my studio dedicating time to a special project, along with squeezing in time for my four-year quilt.  The Corner Pop tool and technique has made a huge difference in creating this design.

The photograph below shows the beginnings of the design.

I am auditioning different fabric pieces to select which shade of orange I prefer for this project.  And as you observe those rather large pieces of material, you may be wondering where I incorporated the use of the powerful Corner Pop tool.

TA DA! Doesn’t that look a bizillion times better?!

I absolutely LOVE how easy this tool is to use.  In the center of this quilt there is an enormous amount of open space.  I have an option of leaving the space vacant, but due to the importance of this quilt I chose to give extra attention to the blank space.

I often wish that I took more time, and placed some thought into the construction of my design prior to falling in love with it. Life might just be a little less stressful.  Therefore, I decided to push myself and step outside the box .  Straying from the norm I actually created the construction of the design.  My decsion in doing so has the  jury out on whether ALL the pieces will cooperate and go together.  If by chance they do, I will share with you all my creative, and crazy ways of  tying these pieces together.

It’s true, if you are looking to add a little pizzaz to a block , this tool will bring some magic to your project!  Take a few minutes and watch Deb’s video.  The “popabilities” are endless!  Enjoy!

 

 

My “Almost” Shoulda, Coulda Been Houston Auction Quilt

 

It’s almost time to say,”Goodbye September and Hello October.”  Which means that getting ready for the big event in Houston is in full swing!  I am keeping my toes and fingers crossed that I see many of you there; just in case you are wondering where we will be located this year I am here to share that we will be in booth # 1223!

 

 

 

 And if necessary there’s always 24 other options available according to the alphabet!  Does the below photograph look familiar to you? My mind has immediate horrifying flashbacks when looking at it!

No too long ago, I had created a post regarding my  4 year forever quilt….. , and the lovely bleeding that graced it’s presence on my fabric.  Bear with me readers… I had an orphan block for this piece and had decided that after applying some beaded piping and a border on this project I would then quilt it.

My goal was to finally have this completed  for the Houston International Quilt Festival’s auction. I’m sad to report that  Houston isn’t going to happen.  Now, although the process did not meet the Houston deadline I DID finish quilting it!  I’m currently waiting for my friend Liz Haskell to provide me with the fabric needed which will allow me to bind this piece.  Having had the unfortunate experience of  the “4 year quilt bled bath” I am thinking that this scenario could repeat itself with the piece displayed below.  This time I am going to be proactive instead of reactive!  When it is time to block the needed area, I will implement the same process (dawn dish detergent) for this piece.  Typically I wouldn’t block such a small piece but I figure I might be about to learn another huge life lesson in regarding my quilting so better to be safe than sorry!

Below is a picture of the almost finished piece.

After much consideration I have also decided to hold off and reserve this for next years auction piece.  Hopefully I will FINALLY have the 4 year quilt finished in its entirety and entered into the Houston show.

Stay tuned for results on how  the blocking of this piece turns out!

Is anyone else gearing up for Houston? Whether you’re vending, teaching or planning on visiting please share your plans!

No Wasted Fabric Here!

 

 

 

 

Have you heard of  Quilts for Kids.?  I am sure many of you have, but if you haven’t you really owe it to  yourself to look into this organization.  My workshop last week gave me the opportunity to teach at their headquarters.  I was astounded, I mean it is quite an operation!

 


Above you will see the incredible founder of this company, Linda Ayre.  If you haven’t heard of her, please take a second and read her story here. 

This non-profit organization has helped so many children, if you would like to support the cause,  feel free to request a kit or use your own fabric.  For those of you that don’t know how to begin here are some patterns to get you started…  Quilts for Kids patterns.   After visiting Linda’s facility I’m now eager to make some  in the near future.  I hope after visiting her website and gaining a little insight on what a wonderful outreach program this is you too will join me!

I am so grateful for meeting Linda, she is a true inspiration!

 

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Never-Ending Quilt Lesson #3

 

I had good intentions, and  grand plans of getting a ton done on my never-ending quilt over this holiday weekend.  But as we all know what happens with “good intentions” it did NOT happen.  The weather on Saturday had the golf Gods calling me to my favorite place.  “Lisa, Oh Lisa if you grace my greens with your presence I will ensure that you have an amazing 18 holes”.  I needed no begging and with no further ado I was having a blast swinging my clubs.

Even thought I did NOT provide my 4 year UFO with  any TLC on Saturday, Sunday or Monday; I did get make sure I gave it some love on Friday.  So to ease my conscience I thought I’d share what I accomplished on Friday with everyone…as promised.

I agonized and agonized over what to do in this area of pink.  After a lot of painstaking consideration I eventually reached a decision but not before I mentally put myself through hell.  Thoughts where having a relay race in my mind “oh my, I am going to put the wrong thing here and it’s going to look horrible” and “what if I discover I HATE it, I’ll be picking it out till the cows come home” (sound familiar).  At some point I had a small epiphany.  And that was realizing that this quilt could already be perceived as ruined due to the bleeding that it incurred. Understanding this little notion had me putting aside any further fickleness on my decision-making process.

 

I contemplated many different ideas as to what I should be incorporating in the below portion of the quilt.  The thought of applying feathers was a brief consideration; but it was a fleeting prospect since there wasn’t enough space for them to become a reality.  In addition, the area in yellow just opposite of the pink was intended to feature the same technique, therefore creating a mirror effect.  Now as I reflect on my choices, in hindsight, placing feathers on one colored area and echo lines on the opposing colored area would have enhanced my design.  But if you think I am ripping anything out you are highly mistaken.  As with the bleeding color, this too stays and I move forward.

I’m not in love with the feather motifs that I applied, in fact, those I really did consider ripping out.  But thank goodness I am working hard on combatting my compulsive behaviors; because now they are starting to grow on me. I can’t say I love them yet, but maybe in a few more days we will move beyond the feelings of toleration.

So a few more steps along this adventure have transpired and as I move forward a feeling of excitement is beginning to stir within.  Hopes of salvaging this piece are becoming a possibility.

Lesson #3:  The lesson learned during my Friday quilting was this; prior to Friday the feeling  of being “hopeful” or “excited” did not exist.  This quilt has reminded me that regardless of our initial thoughts and feelings are, there is always hope in what we do.

Are you working on something that has you rethinking your original design?  Have choices you’ve made ended up pleasantly surprising you?

Please feel free to ask me any questions regarding my designs or choices I have made with thread, batting etc.  I’d love to answer any questions you may have.

 

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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.

 

Show~n~Tell the Quilter’s Way

I thank everyone who took the time to forward me pictures of  their projects.  It was wonderful to open my inbox and  have the opportunity to share the talent of fellow quilters!

First Up:

Jackie sent this to me from “One Creative Family”.  Great job Jackie, I love how the red boarder pops and sets off the brown fabric. Your design has a great sense of warmth to its color scheme.

Next Up:

Betty Lou Hornbuckle recently finished this design by using scraps from her stash, god bless you Betty Lou!  I love the colors choice and the how the quilting highlights the simple floral appliqué.

Our Third Participant:

Bonnie Blake submitted pictures of a quilt she completed last summer for a customer.  It was her first customer quilt that incorporated feathers and straight lines.  She did an amazing job! Way to go Bonnie!  You know I LOVE feathers and they look fabulous!

And Finally:

And last but not least Janis DeVito shared this bright, blooming quilt that just came off the long arm!  WOW, I love the brightness of this design.  You can’t help but smile when looking at this quilt.

 Again, I thank Janis, Betty Lou, Bonnie Blake and Jackie for kindly submitting their work. All of you should be very proud of what you have accomplished! And hopefully we have inspired others out there to start or complete a project.  If you meant to submit a photo, and missed the deadline for this post please feel free to email me at lisahcalle@me.com and I’d be more than happy to share with all those that have a passion for quilting!

Fear of Free Motion

Do You Fear Free Motion?

There are many quilters out there that feel more comfortable working from the back of their longarm machine.  Just thinking about moving around to the front of the machine brings a cold sweat to their forehead.  I realize that you may think using a pantograph or pattern makes life less stressful.  But what if I told you that isn’t necessarily the case? I am here to encourage a few of you out there to give “Free Motion” a whirl. And here’s why:

Pencil, Paper, I Can’t Draw!  Are you sure about that?  Purchasing a sketch book where you can doodle until your heart’s content is a wonderful tool for discovering the creativity in yourself .  Laugh at yourself if need be, (a glass of wine doesn’t hurt either) because initially it will feel quite awkward and you may feel a bit childish.  Relax, don’t overthink what your clever mind wants to transfer onto paper.

Rid yourself of those artistic inhibitions and let your self go!  Doodle for a while, try different designs, and see where your pencil takes you.  The beautiful thing about owning a sketch book is you will be able to visually see your progress.  And yes, there will be progress!  You needn’t be a Picasso, just be open minded.  Bottom line..if you can draw it you can quilt it! You might just witnessing yourself setting aside a pantograph for one of your designs!  A one of a kind, yes indeed!

Lacking the “Artist” in You, “I’m not creative.”  “There is no way I can fabricate a design on my own.”  “Producing a design for an ENTIRE quilt, are you CRAZY?”  These are all mental statements that have been sabotaging any notion of trying Free Motion.  ALL quilters are creative, in their own way, and with their own style.  We are so hard on ourselves and we feel the need to measure up to what “Quinn the Queen Quilter” has designed.  Insecurity is our biggest creative buster.  Allowing self-doubt only inhibits your growth, and that’s just not acceptable!

  

She said it, get out there and set the artists in you free!  How do you know you aren’t creative if you haven’t dabbled in a Free Motion?  Moreover, experts say you need to try something more than once to truly know if you like it or not (I keep telling my red-headed assistant she needs to give Hot Yoga another shot…yeah not happening).

There is Less Room for Error.  Really?  Mentally you convince yourself of that statement.  However, that isn’t always the case.  Regardless of whether you are in the front or the back of your machine, mistakes happen.  Like it or not, you will screw up in whichever position you choose to quilt.

Errors are frustrating.  We immediately know that we are going to be spending unwanted time on corrections, and that does not make any quilter smile. Working from the back of a machine with a pantograph or pattern doesn’t exonerate anyone from yielding ERRORS.  Yes, there will be moments when spacing will be off or uneven.  Mistakes happen.  Mistakes improve our quilting and provide the quilter with insight on what to do and what not to do in the future.  Get over the mistake issue!

Be Brave and Get in the Front Seat of Your Longarm.  Simply take it nice and slow.  Allow yourself short little periods at the front of your machine.  Easing into Free Motion removes that reckless “what am I doing?” feeling and eventually has you sitting nice and comfortable in the driver’s seat.  Before you know it, you’ll be wanting a pair of sunglasses as you feel like you’re cruising along some smooth fabric on a nice summer day.

Who Knows?  You may even be pleasantly surprised with what transpires the go around.  Heck you may even look at your first attempt at Free Motion and think, “Huh, not bad, not bad at all”.    Heaven forbid you’re a natural at free motion!  Even if you gaze over your material and cringe, keep in mind we all initially cringed at one time or another (I still cringe).  Coming to the front of the machine brings a whole new meaning to quilting with a longarm.   No one says you have to completely abandon the back of the machine, but please don’t neglect the front of the machine.  Fear of Free Motion is only allowing one side of the magic that lies in your longarm to appear.  Utilize the entire machine and step into the Free Motion arena.  I guarantee you will say, “Why did I fear Free Motion?”

Do you have a fear of giving Free Motion a try? If so what keeps you from the front of your machine?