You’re a Hard Habit to Break/Make

 

One, two, or three( cannot go beyond three), yes, we all have them.  Habits, whether good or bad, take up space in our daily routine.  I figure after sharing my quilt travesty why stop there? I might as well turn the page on the open book of Lisa Calle.

Bad Habit #1:  While I am quilting I have a tendency to throw all of my thread snips onto the floor.  This then requires me to vacuum up all those lovely little snips at a later date.  Dare I say a much later date, an extended date that I push-off as long as possible.  The consequence of this snip littering has me entering a store with various colors and lengths of thread dripping off my pants.    I look like an episode of Project Runway gone bad, really bad.  I keep forgetting to keep a lint roller in my car, definitely not the way to break my habit but it would allow me to keep an intervention from occurring.

Bad Habit #2:  Making sure my family is fed on days that I am immersed in my studio; which is typically Monday through Friday. Yes, they actually expect to be fed, they are obviously a bit clueless to what the addiction of fabric does to a quilter.  Let’s clue them in shall we…no dinner!

Good Habit #1:   And at this time there is only one that I am going to report, I need to think on a few others (or rather think if I have any others).  Prior to beginning a new project after completing one I MUST clean my studio.  I need to start my new design in an area that is nice and tidy.  But within mere hours I revert back to bad habit #1 as thread snips cover the floor, and various tools/materials take over my work space.

What habits take over your quilting life?  Please tell me I’m not the only one that allows their family to starve for a majority of the week? By the way there is always frozen waffles and pizza in my freezer!

Did You Hear Me?

 

 

What is a business without good communication? There is none.  How vital is communication with our customers?  It’s pretty darn vital.  I know that when I was quilting for customers,  I composed an intake sheet that allowed me to notate information regarding each client and specifics on what they wanted on their quilt.  Why was this so important?  Well, hello I am no super hero when it comes to retaining every single word my customer shared with during consultation.  I could review my notes and realized “I completely forget she had mentioned this, or requested that”.  We all have good intentions of listening closely to the wants and needs of our customers but can we rely on mentally keeping every detail tucked away in our heads…not this girl.

 I rely on contacting with people via email, rather than connecting with them by phone.  This is not something I am proud of, it is definitely an area I am trying to improve upon.  As I picked up the phone recently I became extremely aware of how significant that voice to voice connection is to both the customer and myself.  Those receiving my call were pleasantly surprised I had reached out to them.  And when I am the one answering the call my clients cannot believe it’s actually “me” fielding calls and not an employee.  Yep folks believe it or not it’s just little old me in my studio now that my red-headed assistant got a new job.  Yeah and boo all at the same time…

Bottom line–hearing someones voice, the tone in which they are speaking and having the capability to exchange words “VERBALLY” is huge!

Having an online business does allow me to work with customer but in a different way.  Now, I utilize my blog , and newsletter to reach out to peers, and those in quilting community. Since I’m always striving to improve I’m also working on implementing more tutorials!

Speaking of tutorials thank you so much for all the kind words about my Baptist Fan tutorial.  It really makes my job rewarding when I hear how much viewers appreciate and benefit from my videos.  If there is something in particular you would like to see demonstrated let me know!

Has anyone struggled with finding a balance in communicating with customers? If you have found a balance what’s your secret? And don’t say you remember EVERYTHING!

 

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!

I Will Not Deviate!

 

 

That is my way of thinking once I have a vision.  I am steadfast on moving right along the course I have planned, but there are times when a design does not transpire the way I originally anticipated.  This is especially true concerning the piecing aspect of my quilting.  Gauging the amount of fabric required has been an issue for me in the past. Unfortunately, when I miss calculated the material needed, I needed to incorporate some major creativity in order to make the project work.

Case in point would by my Hula Hibiscus:

Originally I planned to use more of the color blue so that I would enhance the outer portions of the quilt.  Obviously the end result was much different as I did not have enough blue and had to revise my plan of action!

Here is another example where I needed to abort the initial mission:

While producing the above small sample it became apparent that I did not have correct color thread.  My intended goal was to match the thread to the background, well change of plans for this quilter! My color choice of thread then had to be altered to a shade that was similar, or kind of similar to the background.  Again, not what I mentally manufactured for this design.  Boy oh boy does thread choice make a difference!  This little piece would appear completely different, if a blending thread had been used.

Regardless of the reason , sometimes being creative means revising again, and again, and again.  It may not be that you have miscalculated the amount of fabric needed, or neglect to possess the correct thread color; it could simply be that mentally your vision is taking your design in a new direction.  Whatever the reason, embrace what is being set before you and unleash the talent within.

Deviating from what you “thought” was the best plan, might just produce the most amazing plan ever!

Have you needed to revise, or deviate from your “original” quilt idea?  If so was it due to not liking your design, or (like me) you misjudged your design requirements?

 

“Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens”

 

We all have a “few” of our favorite things. Those items that, if they went MIA,  would have us completely paralyzed from doing anything productive.  For me, there are those very obvious things like my longarm, and sewing machine that undoubtedly would prevent me from moving forward each day.  But in pondering the less obtuse items, there are three  favorite things that come to mind:

My Grandmother’s Thimble

 When I received my grandmother’s thimble I was thrilled to have such a pretty memento. To me thimbles weren’t a necessity to quilting. I felt they were very cute, and made nice, tiny decorative piece; but useful…no  I mean, really, how could a small piece of metal situated on your finger really become an instant force field?  Well, was I enlightened to the thimble’s importance! I felt like Mel Gibson in Brave Heart when I finally chose to spare my finger tips from being murdered by potential needle jousting. My fingertips and heart thank my grandmother on a daily basis!

Needle Threader 

 Even my red-headed assistant wants one of these (for those very, very rare occasions she needs to replace a button).  Once she saw me use this little gadget she was in awe and was very tempted to walk out of the studio that afternoon with mine in her bag.  No, replacing a button was NOT on her to-do list that evening she just fell in love with this handy-dandy device.  But for those true sewers, like me, I am happy to know that in a mere blink of an eye my needle will be threaded.  I can cast away those reading glasses, and wasted time making sure I am in a nicely lit area, this mini machine gets it done.  Since revealing this item to Drea I have kept a watchful eye out to ensure mine doesn’t go missing.  I might just bite the bullet and get her one for that once a year use.

Organizer

Okay, so this little beauty is so important that I felt simply posting a picture and writing a brief description would not do it justice.

Karen Kay Buckley’s Thread Bag

Karla’s Amazing Cherrywood Fabric

I have no affiliation with either of these two wonderful ladies…. Just love their products!!

  There you have it quilting friends, a couple of MY favorite things.

 

Now I know YOU have a couple of Favorite Things.   So please, do tell!

 

Ending Your Week in a Fantastic Way!

I promise I will end your week with a smile and a little happiness! 

 Really, does the end of your week get any better than this?  I advise you to begin your weekend by grabbing a beverage and visiting Lisahcalle.com.  Take your laptop, tablet, or phone and go somewhere where you will not be interrupted (may I suggest Starbucks, you can enjoy a yummy Mocha Latte Grande while perusing my website).  Just tell the family that you’re attending Lisa’s birthday party, they  don’t need to know it’s an online celebration!

And PLEASE don’t forget, that if you do take advantage of my birthday sale, CHECK the bottom of your box once you receive your products. You may be the lucky recipient of a golden ticket! Those finding a golden ticket on the bottom of their box will pick a ruler of their choice for FREE! I want to miss that opportunity, said NO ONE ever!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!  ENJOY EVERYONE!


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!

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”!

Breaking Away from Me, Myself and I

There are many perks to having my own business.  For example, an alarm doesn’t go off, demanding me to jump out of bed and inhale a breakfast bar prior to spending unwanted time in my car during a morning commute to my place of employment. No, on the contrary I can lounge in the early am hours, unless “I” have scheduled an appointment or event.  Gradually I will meander to my sacred quilting studio for the rest of the day.  But let’s face it 99% of my working day consists of “Me, Myself and I”.  I am only graced with my red-headed assistant approximately 12 hours a week, if I’m lucky (can someone please give me the winning lottery ticket so I can make her full-time?).   That being said, it can get a bit dull day in and day out keeping this business in motion as a one woman show.  Moreover, being my own drill sergeant is really over rated!

I Must Get Rid of “Me, Myself and I” Every Now and Then

Yes, attending Quilting Shows, like MQX this past week, provides me the amazing opportunity to shed the dullness of working alone.  Traveling to different towns, and states; interacting with incredible people who share the passion of this craft, all keeps me stimulated until I return to my studio.  

Engaging ourselves with others by physically attending classes and lectures eliminates the loneliness that can easily consume us.  In order to be professionally productive, and creative we need to be stimulated by other people.  And shedding “Me, Myself and I” can be the best  route to acquiring those much-needed attributes.

 

Step outside your working arena, and re-energize yourself by embracing those gifted people who share your desire to quilt.  Even if it is for only a few hours here and there, you will refill your emotional bucket.  Trust me, that emotional bucket needs to be overflowing when you choose to have your own business.  So fill your calendar with some events.  And follow my lead when walking out the door smile and think, “See ya soon Me, Myself and I”.

Do you give yourself a break from being the solo office Nazi?