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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Move Aside Testosterone

 

SEW(something I don’t normally do) + Testosterone (my three boys, my husband AND even my dog) = Me sewing a bag.  Yes, you heard correctly, this “quilter” (non sewer) decided on a whim to try her hand at sewing a bag.  And here’s why: I discovered this wonderful pattern for the Sew Together Bag at Pennington Quiltworks.  If you haven’t stepped inside “Pennington Quiltworks” do yourself a favor and pay a visit to this store. In addition to coming across this darling pattern, I also felt the need to embrace the estrogen part of my world, every now and then I feel a little suffocated by all the maleness encompassing my four walls.

A fellow shopper in the store was kind enough to give me a heads up that the directions weren’t the absolute best, (thank goodness for the kindness of strangers) but if I googled the pattern I would find there is a blog sew along (no, not sing along, although I had so much fun I was singing while I sewed)   Click here  if you would like to have access to the blog.  I chose this bag since it was touted as a beginner bag.  Since I like easy peasy and being a non sewer I felt this pattern was right up my alley.  Much to my surprise after googling the pattern, I found that some individuals didn’t agree that this was a beginner bag.  Well, I am very competitive at heart, ask anyone who plays golf with me.  Therefore, I gazed upon this pattern as if it were in a golf course and thought, “Back away from this non sewer, these opinions aren’t going to deter me.”  FYI, lets not forget that I had also invested money in all the materials required to make this little bag so if you think I was about to waste my hard-earned cash Hell no!

 

 

Begrudgingly, I read through the directions.  I am a visual learner and I cannot stand reading directions, don’t even think about commenting that I sound like a typical man.  Anywho, I knew that in order to complete this little project I would actually need to follow the instructions step by step.  The struggle was REAL!

DAY ONE: I completed most of the interior.


 

I actually completed all 3 zippers, now for me that’s pretty darn impressive! Remember people I am NOT a sewer, I am a quilter.  A straight line I can sew, and occasionally a curved one but that’s really pushing it!

DAY TWO: I brought this project to a close, zippers and all!

Regardless of what the task is, new or old, I always learn something new.  As I looked at my finished project I realized I would have liked longer handles. But overall for my initial attempt I am very happy and satisfied with the results.  Lord help me if I stumble across some cool golf fabric, because then there will be many more of these in my future.

Please act surprised when you receive one of these from me during Christmas…LOL

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It Simply Can’t Be!

 

 

 

 Nope still no quilting for this girl, and it’s FRIDAY!  Where did this week go? Today I am was at the University of Delaware with my middle son, Noah.  He had orientation. Yippee!!!  The excuses the rest of the week are MIA…

If you read my post No Quilting Game Here, you know that I was in Wisconsin for the US Open.  My wonderful husband surprised me with the trip!  We attended last year when it was in Pittsburgh, and as may of you know I captured a picture of Jordan Speith and myself.  Well, now it is a tradition for my husband and I.  This year’s trip proved to be challenging since the course was a little more wide-spread.   FYI,  Jodan has two State Police officers that follow him around the course…ugh!  Either someone ratted me out and gave him a  heads up that I would be stalking him for a picture, OR Jordan checked out my last post and learned of my upcoming visit.  I’d like to think he actually read my post!

Note the police officers in the pictures, and yes I know one might assume from what they see in the photograph that I was put behind bars for stalking Jordan.

No, I didn’t cause drama, just observing from the grandstand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I kicked and screamed like a five-year old, I did come back to Pottstown, PA.  My temper tantrum quickly ended when I went to Newtown Quilter’s Guild to teach for the day.  They all mastered the Divide and Design so fellow quilters watch out! Take a look at what just one class had these students producing.

Just think this was just the beginning for these talented individuals.  Can you imagine what they will create in the near future? I am so anxious to see what their new skills and creativity brings to their fabric.  With a little practice they will all be unstoppable!

No Quilting Game Here

 

Graduation, a visit from my mother, a charity golf outing AND a trip to the US Open this weekend in Wisconsin…something had to give right?

I am off my game, or maybe I should say my head is NOT in the quilting game. There is no “off my game” about it.  Are my excuses good enough? Never mind, please don’t answer that.  Regardless of my rationale,  I simply did not have my work mojo this week, so I apologize for letting my readers down.  But once again I am proving that this quilter is human. At least I am consistent in that aspect, right?

Sorry folks but the idea of getting another picture of me and Jordan Speith does not bring the words “quilting, longarm, Proline Rulers or blog post” to mind.  I am currently trying to figure out how I am going to get Jordan to smile for the camera AND have me standing next to him.

Trust me if I do happen to capture a picture of, “Jordan and I”, there will be “something” posted for ya all to see! I guarantee my smile will be bigger than the one shown below.

Have a great weekend, and let me know if anyone else is attending the US Open. But please keep in mind I will not let you in any pictures with Jordan and I…sorry but sometimes a girl has to refuse sharing!

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HS Graduation Brings a Sale?!

 

Yes, it’s another milestone in the Calle family!

Our middle son, Noah, is graduating for Owen J Roberts High School on tonight!  I am so proud and in disbelief as to how fast time has flown by over the past 17 1/2 years.  He will be attending the University of Delaware this fall, we couldn’t be more excited for him and know he will continue to make our family proud.

Why Not Celebrating Education with a DVD Sale?!

While many families are hosting graduation parties I decided to add a little something to my graduation festivities  and host a “Graduation Sale”!

So now through 6/12/17 take advantage of my $20 DVD Sale!

Maybe you’ve been curious on how I come up with my quilting designs.  My Divide and Design method  makes the concept of configuring how to quilt as easy as 1-2-3!  Take all the guess work out of “how to” by utilizing this video! For $20 you can put easy peasy into your design process!

Lavish

Perhaps whole cloth is more your style. If that’s the case then Mastering the Mini will be right up your alley! You will be a master of your own mini after this tutorial!  Yes, it’s just $20!


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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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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!