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?

 

There’s a Traffic Jam Ahead

 

FINALLY!  I reunited with the love of my life…. quilting.  And now that I have time to get back into the quilting game I need to remind myself to get out of my own way.  Yes, I get in the way of myself !  I think I create an enormous traffic jam  of the mind as I agonized over every little decision.  The mental traffic of thoughts remain at a stand still while I ponder over whether the design will appear just right.  Or perhaps perfect is just around the corner if I don’t rush the process and walk away for a while.  Can you understand why my current show quilt is four years in the making?

Initially I felt as though I was in a creative rut;  that I was getting in the way of my own creativity (yes, I create many traffic jams of the mind).  But it then dawned on me…I just need to quilt.  How could I be lacking creativity when I haven’t spent any quality time in front of my machine? Standing in front of my longarm, silently asking for its forgiveness for being MIA, I felt a reply that had me going on Facebook and rekindling the idea of completing a couple of customer quilts.     Thinking back to my roots of doing custom quilts,  it was then that my creativity was at its peak.  My need to step foot back into that arena felt overwhelming.   Onward and upward towards creativity!

Bonnie Browning from AQS was kind enough to reach out to me.  She told me Paducah would be hosting, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), Creative Cities, meeting for the Crafts & Folk Art section in September.  This is huge because a US City has never had the pleaser of hosting this event until now.  It is customary for the city providing the meeting to bestow gifts related to their designation.  As luck would have it, for Paducah, its quilts.

I was given the pleasure of quilting three small wall hangings for this special event.  I wish I could say that I was able to keep the traffic in my mind moving at a steady pace; but there were delays.  The three quilts that were produced by a local Paducah guild used the same design, the only difference among them was the color of the fabric.  I found once I put my hand to work, and just began quilting the self sabotaging ceased to exist.

Once I moved out of my own way I had so much fun doing what I love!  Now its full steam ahead and I’m quilting up a sample and then my auction piece for Houston.

Do you get in the way of your creativity?  What are your secrets to preventing traffic jams of the mind?

 

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!

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

 

Next up after Vegas was Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA. Yes, two trips back to back, but thank goodness no flights were needed for my trip to Hershey, PA.

I was thrilled to have my partner and crime, Judy, on this trip.  The two of us always have a great time traveling together and Hershey proved no different.  We set up the booth in record time, an hour and half, in case you were wondering what record time was, and then we relaxed while waiting for my teachers meeting to commence.

I taught a fun class entitled, “Getting in the Groove”.  It was great!  I loved witnessing my students getting in the groove and progressing in confidence and skill throughout the class.

Finally it was time to host my trunk show.  Sharing my journey of quilting brings me such pleasure as I discuss my trials and triumphs of getting where I am today.  I do pass my quilts arounds, I just request that hands are free of objects that may spill or soil the material.   

 

As many of you know Hot Yoga is my exercise of choice, and about my ONLY exercise of choice (unless you want to include my love of golf).  But on this trip I had to compromise and endure walking, which Judy loves to do.  Since I held her captive in the booth each day and kept her “daily” steps throughout the day at a minimum I had to pull my big girl yoga pants up high and put one foot in front of the other as Judy and I walked every morning.  One word….BORING.  Just to clarify Judy’s company wasn’t boring I was referring to the exercise of walking. You aren’t going to catch me throwing my dear friend under the bus!

As a reward for walking without complaining, until just now, I felt deserving of the treats that my friend, Susan, bestowed upon me. She provided a little bit of everything in order to satisfy my sugar tooth.

 

I cannot thank you enough Susan, I loved all those yummy treats but the Swedish Fish were the best!

And just a little random information:

For future reference, I am not normally a soda drinker but when I need a carbonated beverage, my go to is Coca Cola.  Sorry PEPSI fans.  However, it has been suggested that I do a blind taste test challenge to confirm that my taste buds are correct in their choice of flavor.

 

And while browsing through the ever chocolate infused Hershey gift shop….

 

 

Finally one of the best, and most treasured part about traveling to quilt shows is the opportunity to spend time with my precious quilt friends! Whether it’s Vegas, or Hershey, friends make traveling well worthwhile!

 

For now that brings my business travel to a close.  Cheers!

 

Living the DREAM!!

 

The last two weeks have flown by.  I was in Las Vegas for BERNINA University, which was amazing!!

Except for:

Let’s begin with the flight to Las Vegas.  There was “air traffic” which, to those non flyers,  delayed our flight.  In this day and age there is traffic people!  And in the air “planes” don’t magically appear.  Road travel is a bit more unpredictable as far as volume but can’t we be a bit more efficient with scheduled flights (air traffic controllers may need to be paid more, just a thought)? I mean I had important things to do and people to see in Vegas.  Then when I finally boarded my lovely source of transportation, and we taxied out we were #15 (not 3,  5 or 8 but 15) for take off.   And because we weren’t number 3, 5 or 8, our plane waited so long to take off that we had to return in order to REFUEL.  Trust me I can’t make this stuff up.  Originally this was a nice, early 8am flight that was scheduled to arrive at 11:30.  The joke was on me.  Once we FINALLY were airborne and moving, not suspended motionless among the clouds, my seat mates and I were extremely hangry.  It was now lunchtime.  As my flight from hell would have it, by the time the beverage cart rolled my way we were advised there was no more food. Didn’t they thing to reload with food when they refueled? I mean really, is it me or do not get a list of passengers prior to flight departure? So what’s this girl to do but drink lunch.  Don’t judge me there are vegetables in Bloody Mary!

As you can see I eventually made it to my amazing hotel, Red Rocks Resort and Casino.  Thank goodness I’m not a gambling kind of gal, or I could have been in big trouble. But still a fun place to stay when your “working”.

As this particular trip would have it, I entered my room and was once again starving; only to find this “welcoming sign”.  Did this plane take me to a hotel on Mars? Note to anyone staying here set your stop watch if  you remove/place anything from/in their mini bar.

The ladies I met were absolutely incredible. Below you will see me standing with Suzy Williams and Yaya Han.  They are two BERNINA Experts as well, I was so fortunate to spend quality time with these women.  Unfortunately, Lizzy House was MIA when this picture was taken.

These three ladies and I hosted an entertaining Facebook live event, here it is if you are interested.   If you’ve viewed the video I must admit I felt like the old lady of the bunch.  And my big question of the day was why on earth did my hand look so big?

When it was time to depart Vegas I felt entitled to a drama free flight.  Well, entitlement gets you nowhere! If you don’t follow my Instagram stories (@lisahcalle) I thought I would give you a little more insight on my plane adventures and put them all together.  This way on the, off-chance, you haven’t incurred a day in life of delayed flights you will no longer feel left out.  I actually did this to occupy myself and prevent any outburst of my frustration from being video taped by a stranger.  I didn’t need to be seen on Good Morning America as “that” one angry passenger.  So enjoy!  Living the Dream! 

 

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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