Pa National Quilt Extravaganza!

 

I was teaching at the PNQE 2017!  In a shocker my students were incredible!  This event had me teaching three classes on the long arms, which were kindly provided by Val of, The Longarm Network, thanks  so much Val!  Our tech support was provided by Matt (we would have been lost without him).  Typically we have the double duo team of Matt and Keith but unfortunately Keith was not in attendance; he was greatly missed.  AND those that enjoy their company during the evening really missed the pair as I have heard they are very entertaining!

So here are a few pictures from PNQE.  My classes wouldn’t be the same without one troublemaker participating, see if you can pick her out.

Every student gave a 110%, and as usual I was a very proud of these students.  They never cease to amaze me with their willingness to try new things and step outside their comfort zone.  Kudos to all of you!

The morning prior to classes was spent setting up our booth.  I was actually excited to break away from the booth and see my students   BUT the most exciting part of my morning was sharing the news to my good friend, Deb Levy, that she won Best of Show! Her work is incredible and she was more than worthy of the award.

Many people stopped by to view her amazing piece, I only witnessed a couple of people drooling over it.  Not to worry I was close by with bibs, and napkins in hand!

On a personal note, I was more than thrilled that my quilt, A Silver Lining, won Best Wall Quilt.  Excuse the poor photography but I was in a bit of a hurry.  Places to go and people to see.

A Silver Lining

 

After completing two wonderful days of teaching, I spent the remainder of my time vending.  Although I did not take few, if any pictures, I had many visitors.  Making new friends and catching up with old ones, was terrific!  I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite mother daughter duos,  Debbie and Donna Lohman! Thank you both for taking the time to say hello, it is always great to see the two of you!  Other guests included, Jolene, who took a moment to stop by on her way back to Florida, Teri Lucas, Renee, and so many other incredible individuals!  I must admit that connecting with such wonderful people is one of the best parts of attending these events.

A HUGE Congrats goes out to Debbie Lohman for receiving “Best Longarm Workmanship in the Traditional Category”!   No pixie dust needed you spread all the sparkle on that beautiful award-winning piece on your own!

During my trip to Hershey, Judy and I met Daria (seen in picture below). We spent time chatting about our favorite topic… quilting, of course!  But who knew I’d come to PNQE and discover that Daria won the award for “Best Longarm Workmanship”?  Obviously, she is one talented quilter! Way to go Daria!

Best Longarm Workmanship

Believe it or not, Judy and I did have a little down time in  between customers.  Downtime between customers doesn’t mean downtime for getting work done.  Judy and I made the most of our time by completing some hand work.

As you can see I REALLY made the most of my time and accomplished quite a bit!

What do you do during down time while vending? Is there something special you have in the works?

September is Here and Almost Gone!

We are mid way through September!  I’m so disappointed that the summer flew by and I know that I did not accomplish nearly half of what I set out to do.

 

What’s there to do besides pull up my big pants and move on, and that means I’m traveling to…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The PA National Quilt Extravaganza! AND it’s practically in my backyard, well that’s a little exaggeration, but it sure is close to home!

Yes, next week I’ll be in Oaks, PA.  It’s literally located about 20 minutes away, which means no Holiday Inn, or Mariott for this quilter! Trust me any fellow instructor or vendor will agree that is really nice to have a break from living out of a suitcase!  In addition to teaching, I will also be vending!  My copilot, Judy, will be holding down the fort on Thursday and Friday while I conduct classes.  Please stop by and say hello, I don’t want her getting lonely!

I’m thrilled to announce that a couple of my new Getting in the Groove Kits will be accompanying me to this event! Yes, it’s the lovely picture displayed below.   This new kit includes the panel, booklet, and the 6 rulers (ProDiamond Even, ProLine 8, ProLine 1, ProPebble 1/4-1.25, ProPebble 1-2, and ProEcho 11).  I’ve taken all the guess-work out of completing this project by providing all the tools required to accomplish this sweet little sampler.  You will notice that since there is no ditch in which to travel, I hid my traveling with the black rick rack.  Also, along the black curves, if you aren’t perfect in the traveling, a black sharpie marker is your friend. Oh the uses of the sharpie!  It won’t be long before I have more of the panels and will then have them up on my site along with the Rulers for Rookies Kit.

 

 

I’m currently working on my Houston Auction quilt.  I’m vacillating on whether or not this piece is worthy of going to Houston.  The scale is tipping heavily towards “doubts”.

 

I completed further beading… ala Bethanne Nemesh.  It required the use of my BERNINA 750QE.  I thought I was doing a great job, until I pulled it away in order to resume sewing on the longarm.

 

This is no laughter matter! This piece has seen a couple different machines.  My crosshatch is slightly off kilter, and I have a little pucker in the top.  That being said I am still persevering onward and resolve myself to bring this quilt to a close.  I truly hope I can resolve some of these issues, because if not, it will not be heading to Houston. The idea of it not being in attendance at Houston makes me very sad.

I need some input from fellow followers.  Do I send this quilt regardless of the outcome, OR do I save it a nice little reminder of lessons on what not to do?

 

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?