It’s Rulers For Rookies!

 

My First Class of Rulers for Rookies!  

Eleven Students

One Longarmer

Ten Domestic Machines

These Students Were AMAZING!

This class was composed of students that would be entering the world of rulers for the first time.  I can only imagine the feeling of excitement and apprehension that filled each of them.  I was so eager to lead them on this new journey, one that I knew would bring unlimited possibilities to quilting.  They, however, weren’t so confident; and the hesitation that mentally consumed them was evident.

One of my students was a Longarmer who almost left before class started. I was relieved she chose to not give into her fears as her willingness to take on this new challenge proved her to be a natural with rulers.

Another one of my students had previously taken a free motion class that created extreme frustration; she did not find that session beneficial in the least.  She was highly concerned that my class would provide similar results.  I am ecstatic to report that this “Rulers for Rookies” class empowered this pupil, allowing her to feel that she would be successful with rulers! Frustration DENIED!

 

 

 

 

Thought I’d share a few pictures from this wonderful session.  Here’s the sample cloth of what they were taught.

These individuals were dedicated to embracing rulers and allowed themselves to remain open to all that this “Rulers for Rookies” class offered.  Launching this class exceeded my expectation!  Introducing these beginners to rulers filled me with an abundance of joy.  I witness eleven students enter my class with fear, reluctance, and lack of confidence.  These eleven individuals exited their time with me free of all those emotions.  They had now gained a sense of power over rulers, and they happily casted aside the word ROOKIE!  How can I not love what I do when my day ends like that?  Are there anymore Ruler Rookies out there?

I’d love to share how much fun and simple rulers can are to use!

Time to Improvise!

We’ve all had the lovely opportunity of experiencing a moment, a day or maybe a weekend when the unexpected found its way into our quilting reality.

 Ah yes, that moment of “Uh Oh” when for mere moments time stops, and you become acutely aware that something is wrong with the current situation.  During that particular period you inwardly talk yourself off a cliff and realize you would have to improvise somehow in the immediate future.  Are flashbacks running past movie clips in your mind as you relive that less than wonderful occasion?  I have had numerous occasions where improvising played a major factor in the success of my day.

I’m Willing to Share ONE Example

“Divide and Design”, one of my all time favorite classes to teach.  I love introducing my students to this amazing method of designing their quilts.  The facial expression of “By Golly George I Think I’ve Got This” that gradually travels its way across everyone’s face is priceless.  However, you cannot bring smiles, and feelings of success to your class when you neglect to bring the drawing templates that are essential to instructing the class.  Listen folks, we aren’t talking overlooking pencils, we are talking about a major component of the Divide and Design tutorial.  

Judy and I looked at one another and deduced that an immediate trip to the nearest Wal-Mart, or K-Mart was of the essence!  We flew by the seat of our pants and did whatever it took  in order to make this class work.

Let the Lisa Improv Show Commence!

Our speedy jaunt had us purchasing cups, plates, and bowls.  These were transformed into my templates for this particular class, allowing me to illustrate my Divide and Design method.  Above you will see that I grabbed a few items in the studio to show that they too could have also been utilized for teaching that class had I had them readily available.  What started out as a panic attack eventually turned into “I can handle this”.   The class went well, Judy and I survived one, of many, winging it adventures.

A Friendly Tip:  Keep Your “Uh Oh” on the Down Low

  Try to remain calm; easier said than done I know.  However, those around you don’t need to bear witness to your oops.  Heck, depending on what the oops is, no one may even realize you’ve improvised in the slightest way!  There is no reason to advertise your fault, we are all human and I big believer of “it’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you”.   At one point in time we all need to improvise in way or another.  Whether it pertains to our business or personal life; every now and then we need to fill in the blanks with words, or items we have forgotten.

If You Must, Fly By the Seat of Your Pants

  Do what you gotta go.  If it requires running to K-Mart,or Wal-Mart then that’s what one must do.  Those of us in the quilting world are very creative people!  Use that gift to your advantage when it comes to improvising.  You will be amazed with the ingenuity your creative juices will produce when push comes to shove.   So improvise, improvise, improvise! You might just surprise yourself and actually love what your spontaneity  brings about!

Have you had to improvise, fly by the seat of your pants or wing it to get through a quilting event?  If so I would love hear about your experience.

Classroom Etiquette/ Both Sides of The Fence

I couldn’t believe the response I received on my Quilt Show Etiquette post, so I figured I’d roll with it and end the week with a post on Teacher and Student Classroom Etiquette.  Notice I am being unbiased and am exploring BOTH sides of classroom etiquette.  So let’s take a look shall we?

Etiquette:  It was a toss of the coin which to discuss first, obviously Teacher Etiquette won or lost (however you want to look at it).  The instructor has obligations to his/her students, these individuals paid to be in their presences.  I am a huge believer of giving my pupils what they have signed up for, and giving them their money’s worth.  That being said we, as teachers, need to be mindful of the following:

  Arrive EARLY!  Yes, make sure to arrive with more than enough time to organize and prepare your class for what you will be teaching.  No student wants to enter a class that they have spent money on to wait patiently for the first 30 minutes while the instructor finishes arranging class materials etc.

Be Prepared!  Do you have enough materials for all your students?  Are you ready to discuss the topic you are going to present to the class? There is nothing worse than sitting before a teacher that is unorganized, they obviously haven’t worked through the class agenda or how each aspect of what they are sharing will transition into one another.  In a nutshell it’s a students nightmare! You have lost them at “Ah Good Morning, Give Me Just a Second”.

       Turn Off Your Cell Phone!  There is no need for your phone to beep with a text message, or ring during your lecture or hands on demonstration.  No student should wait while you pause momentarily to glance at the screen of your mobile device to view a text from your husband that inquires “When will you be home?”  That is simply rude!

   Answer Questions from your students.  Again, these lovely people are spending their morning, afternoon or entire day with you.  They are there to learn, and with any education we all learn differently.  Some of us need to hear information more than once, others of us are filled with curiosity and love the word “Why”.  Finally there are a  few that just like to hear themselves talk.  Regardless of the reason, there is no such thing as a stupid question.  If you want your class to gain confidence and understanding let them ask away.

  Provide Breaks Throughout Your Class.  Teachers need to refuel, use the restroom and just take a breather.  Implement a couple breaks throughout your class.  Trust me no one wants to hear you drone on and on for 4- 6 hours (no matter how entertaining you may be) without the chance to step away for a minute or two.  You will find your students more productive and more relaxed if they are given a few minutes throughout their session to sit back and reflect on what is being taught.  By the way this is a great opportunity to reply to that distracting text of when you could be expected home!

Make Learning Fun!  No student has the desire to sit for 4 to 6 hours bored out of their mind, breaks can only provide so much relief.  Nor do they want to pay for boredom.  It’s a good idea to create an environment that allows your class to feel relaxed.   Providing a little humor makes the day for them and you pass by much faster.  So don’t get so wrapped up in being so professional that you appear stiff and uncomfortable, it’s a day of educating others on what you LOVE to do…so show them some love and let loose a little.

Time to Turn the Tables

 Etiquette:  Yes, educators are thrilled that you have chosen to spend your time with them and they look forward to enlightening you. Hopefully you will be exiting their class wearing a smile of satisfaction and eager to register for one of their other classes. However, there are a few things we instructors would like you to keep in mind, and they are:

Don’t be Late!  Please arrive a few minutes early.  It is not fair to the rest of the students to watch the instructor stop her class in order to get a tardy pupil settled for what they missed.  If you want to see several eyes roll, and heavy sighs then show up late and let the “late show” begin.

  Turn Off Your Phone Please.  Your fellow student and teacher do not want to try and talk or listen over a ringing cell phone, no matter how cute your ringtone may sound.  Place it in your bag, or pocket until break time, trust me there is voicemail on mobile devices for a reason.  Besides, don’t you want to get the most out of your class, after all you’ve paid to be sitting in that chair.

   If You Have a Question…Ask!  Rather than sit and chat with the person next to you on what is being taught… speak up. Who is the best person to ask, definitely not the person to your left or right…the teacher! In addition, it is distracting to the teacher, who is talking, to view students talking amongst each other while they are in the process lecturing or demonstrating.  If there is a concept you don’t quite understand you have the right to gain a better insight on what has been shared.  You should never leave a class confused or feeling lost on the topic.  Raise that hand high!

  Please Keep the Sickies at Home.  Sorry, but teachers AND students have NO desire to be exposed to the germs that will invade everyone’s work area by someone hacking with a cough or some other illness that should have kept them at home.  If you insist on attending the class you put yourself at risk for death stares and unkind mumbling from those surrounding you.  And trust me the instructor will not send sympathy smiles your way.

  It’s Okay to get Outside Your Comfort Zone.  The last and most important aspect of student etiquette is encouraging ALL students to step outside their comfort zone! If the instructor has done their job and given you something to giggle about and has urged you to relax then please do so! Trying to educate a group of students that won’t let go and feel free to embrace all that is presented before them makes for a difficult 4-6 hours. You are in a “no-judgement” zone (if you don’t think you are, slip out the door fast) during your time as a student.  Make the most of every moment, this is your chance to soak up all you can on that new technique, or concept. But soak it up with a clear understanding that learning should be fun and positive; especially when you’re stepping outside your comfort zone!

I am sure there are many other tips I could have elaborated on, like please don’t hate the teacher for the temperature of the room (I realize no one likes a classroom that’s 85  degrees); but I thought I’d just share a few.  Do you have a tip to give to either students or teachers?  I’m sure I’ll hear from some of you!

Quilt Show Etiquette

Quilting etiquette, is there is such a thing.  Yes, there most certainly is.  Whether you are vending, or attending, there are do’s and don’t’s to being a part of the quilting show world.  And although some of the “appropriate” behavior should be obvious, you would be amazed how many neglect to engage in the “Quilt Sh0w Etiquette”.

There are few major rules of Quilting Show Etiquette I’d like to share.

#1 Whether you are meandering the quilting venue or in a quilter’s booth, please be mindful that there are other people around you.

Like it, love it, or hate it.  If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it until you are securely locked in your car or hotel room.  It’s so frustrating listening to an individual rip apart a quilter’s project, a piece that has taken them much time and effort to create.  Remember, you never know who is standing right next to you and no one wants to overhear unkind words regarding anyone’s work.

#2 No Touchy

That’s right, unless you own the design it don’t assume it’s okay to feel the fabric,  or pull the quilt towards you in order to obtain a closer view.  That delicious chocolate bar you ate a few minutes ago might have a few tiny specs of sweet treats left on your fingers which will, according to  Murphy’s Law, find its way on that quilter’s prized project!  Or that Starbucks Mocha Latte Grande that you are slowly slurping while viewing the vendor’s quilting, again according to Murphy’s Law, will dribble onto the lightest portion of the prized quilt.  All a big:

Keep in mind that the owner is most likely standing within mental slapping distance!

#3 Conversing with the vendor.   The opportunity to speak with the owner of the booth is exciting. But again, please be mindful of others waiting to talk, or ask the vendor a question.

I love assisting guests with questions whether it’s regarding which ruler to use, insight on which classes to select, or simply exchanging quilting experiences.  That being said, I am very conscientious of other visitors who are taking the time to stop at my booth.  I encourage everyone to meet the designers they love (trust me, we want to meet you too!),  but I kindly suggest that you take note of others standing nearby who also may need a minute or two of the owners time.

What is you’re top Quilting Show Etiquette rule?

Just Say “NO”…Nicely

The word “No”, it is surely one of the shortest words in the dictionary.  BUT  those in the quilting business must acquire the ability to say it confidently and clearly.  I know, we always hear “stay away from negative words”, but when it comes to customer contact, networking, and growing your business it is imperative to understand that it is okay to say “NO”…nicely.

In case some of you out there need some examples of when it’s appropriate (or alleviates your guilt) to share that word, here is a short list.

The Okay to “No” List (according to Lisa)

When asked to use red thread  on the top of the quilt, and white thread in the bobbin.

If you don’t think the color choice is going to work it’s okay to give your opinion.  I would hope customers would appreciate your input and concern for the outcome of their project.  You are only giving a suggestion, and if it helps you sleep better at night for heaven’s sake “Say what you gotta say!”…nicely.

When your customer feels that quilting their king size top should cost $60.00 to complete.

It is ultimately YOUR time, and what does YOUR time mean to you? It’s okay to kindly indicate the price YOU feel is appropriate (that’s if you want to quilt a king size top in the first place).  But if you know that the price and size aren’t to your liking kindly tell your customer no…nicely.

You are asked to give a lecture, very exciting.  The lecture is 5 hours away and they want you to speak for 2 hours, is it really that exciting?

Perhaps it’s considered exciting if you feel that after adding up all your expenses, and time taken to do the lecture you can find some margin of profit that would be beneficial to you.  Again there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that the distance just doesn’t meet the criteria that makes it a worthwhile venture.  Decline the offer by saying no…nicely.

Your quilt has caught the eye of a client who asks to purchase you prize-winning quilt for $400.00 dollars.

This should really be an easy “no”.  I realize that it is very flattering when a customer, or fellow quilter, is in awe of what you have designed. It’s especially attractive in regards to a project that’s been highly recognized and given a pretty blue ribbon.  However, the love, and sweat you poured into this amazing piece is way beyond $400. 00 if not priceless.  So give careful consideration when tempted to part with the quilt that has won “Best In Show”; be mindful of the dollars you are going to receive in exchange for the art you have created and probably will never forget.  You needn’t respond like Wonder Woman (although you may want to), but humbly say thank you and no…nicely.

Uttering the word “no” is not easy, but it needs to be communicated.  When I say communicated, I mean spoken “nicely” to that particular individual.  It’s not what you say to those around you, but how you say it that matters.  Done in a polite, respectful manner, the word “no” can be a very beautiful, short, and sweet expression.

Do you have a hard time saying no? Or maybe you can’t even fathom telling someone “no”.  Please share your experience on how you have/haven’t come to terms with that forbidden one syllable word.

Tiffany’s…Make Room for ProDiamonds!

What Do the New Rulers Have in Common with Audrey?

Let’s just say Audrey Hepburn would have shared in our excitement once we shared that we’re expecting a delivery!  She may have even snubbed her nose at jewelry wrapped in pretty blue once she discovered that the new ProDiamonds are in route! I tend to think this “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” woman would have been phoning away, advising all her friends to take advantage of the 10% discount being offered to celebrate these beauties!  See Ya Tiffany’s! Hello ProDiamonds!

The ProDiamond Sample!

Just a little glimpse of what these jewels can create.  This had to be my favorite sample to make thus far.  I had an absolute blast quilting this pretty little thing.  I knew I loved crosshatch, but DIAMOND crosshatch has brought a whole new meaning to “loving crosshatch”.  I love, love, love the diamond crosshatch!  But then again, doesn’t every girl LOVE diamonds?!

If you think Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, you would be correct.  If you think that a diamond belong only on your finger then you would be VERY wrong!

Seriously! Let the ProDiamond rulers bring bling and a new way to design to your quilt.  Bling isn’t restricted to those embellishments found on rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. It’s now time to bring  the diamonds to your quilting design.

If you still need a little convincing take a look at my video that will demonstrate the enhancements the amazing ProDiamond ruler will add to your design.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG22d3aQrmk

 

Now I am hoping these beautiful diamonds have you wanting to add to your Quilter’s Groove Ruler collection! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to receive 10% off during our reveal deal!  I promise you won’t break the bank splurging on my diamonds!

Perks of Having a Design Wall

unknown-6

Oh my precious design wall, where would I be without you?  I really can’t even contemplate that question because I have no idea what I would do without being able to utilize that space of open creativity.

images-113

Yes I would be lost without my design board!

The benefits of utilizing a design board.

different-perspectives1

By placing fabric on my design board I am able to perceive various viewpoints of the final product I will eventually make.  Having my project lying flat on my table, the design, may look completely different from anything that I observed when it was positioned vertically.

Below I have displayed some of my ruler samples utilizing my design board.  Of course these samples are completed so there is no tweaking involved, however, you can see how I have the capability to view them upright.  This allows me to decide whether I am comfortable with the project both in a horizontal and vertical positions.

9b9e482b-d16e-463e-90d4-7b793d6fcf43-jpg

 

images-114

 

 

 

 

Yes, I audition my fabric for each of my designs.  I don’t just assume the material I have chosen is going to be a success.  Remember I am a WIP!  Ideas don’t always fall into place the way I had initially intended; so I put forth a little preview prior to making a commitment. No, they aren’t contestants on “Project Runway” but there are times when I must shake my head at what I thought would work perfectly and say:

unknown-54

Using my design board to perceive how my piecing will come together on a quilt is wonderful!  Laying out the rows ahead of time for chain piecing…. Will my hands come together in exciting, or will my eyebrows furrow in dismay?  I’d much rather do a trial run on my design board and have to reconfigure its look prior to sewing rather THAN discovering I am not a fan of its look.

Do you use a design board? What are the perks of your design board?

 

Social Media Take Two

images-106

AND ACTION!

I am really pushing the social media button, but that’s okay.  Without social media where would I/we be? Therefore, I am a HUGE advocate of uniting with my quilting community by means of social media in order to enhance my craft. Yes, networking is a fundamental part of my profession.

images-109

But let’s face it, its intimidating when we see other quilters also using Facebook, Snapchat, and Tweeter.  Trust me, after seeing what “Sewing Susie” has posted I feel undeniably “less than”.  Her style seems better, photos of what she has completed are simply breath-taking and she is circulating ideas and achievements that I know are on my someday list.

images-107

This mind-set deters me from posting any “new” projects because I feel I cannot compete with “Sewing Susie”.  With a little self therapy (yes, that would be talking to my dog and quilting friends) I’ve learned a little something about “Sewing Susie”!

unknown-52

Sewing Susie is NOT perfect!

As stated above no one is perfect! Sewing Susie is very smart, she is going to post her best!  That includes her best quilts, her best accomplishments, basically anything that she feels falls into the “best” category.  The fact that we are all human has us yearning to show the world our supreme masterpieces and triumphs.  So when it comes to social media why would Sewing Susie volunteer anything less?  I am constantly reminding myself that what I perceive on my computer doesn’t imply that I am an unworthy participant . We are all worthy of posting.  Don’t let Sewing Susie take up your mental space in regards to sharing your quilting accomplishments or thoughts.  Enjoy viewing post from those in the quilting arena. Focus on gaining some insight that will encourage you to create and inspire you to be the best you can be.

It’s Okay to be a WIP, I am!

images-24

Step aside Sewing Susie, and make room for Lisa who loves being a “WIP”.  I embrace being a WIP full heartedly, and I love sharing the ups and downs of my quilting journey.  Believe it or not I find it less of a burden knowing I’m willing to share my many flaws!

And if all else fails try saying this five times fast:

“Sewing Susie stipples sucky samples.”

Hey, who knows this might be just what you need to get your mental space headed in a positive direction!

Is anyone else out there a “WIP”?  Or does the name “Sewing Susie” have you intimated of taking a step in the internet world of connecting with quilters?

AND THAT’S A WRAP FOLKS!

The Inner Struggle of Teaching

images-109

 I LOVE teaching! I actually beginning prepping for an upcoming class weeks ahead of time, partly because I am OCD and need to be super, duper prepared, but mostly because I am just that enthusiastic about teaching!  I look so forward to the actual day when I am able to walk into the classroom and share a morning, afternoon, or entire day with those that are willing to endure my instruction for a length of time and share in my passion.  But I cannot ignore the fact that prior to every session I teach my mind starts the playing “The Doubting Game”.  images-111

And here is how this game plays out.  I gaze upon my class roster, I look at what I am teaching that day and the wheel starts spinning.

At the first spin the wheel stops on:

Will it be worth their time?  

unknown-50

 

 

 

 

 

After all these students have paid to sit before me and learn something.  I always to strive to give my student quality instruction.

Next spinner lands on:

Will they absorb the information I am trying to convey?  I can prepare materials, go over what is being taught in my head and feel confident that I am going to nail the information I will present. But then that nagging uncertainty creeps in and this is what I always fear will be looking back at me when the day is upon me (and I will see about 15-25 of these faces)

images-96

Then the spinner slowly falls upon:

Are my students enjoying what they are learning?  Let’s face it these individuals should enjoy their time of being educated.  No one wants to sit in a classroom and feel like they are sitting before Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

images-98

Ah, NO way! I want my students to have a great time AND learn!

Lastly, the wheel comes to a halt at:

Was this class productive?  Did my class give my students what they expected, and wanted over the last several hours AND for what they paid for?  I want these quilters to exit my session feeling as though they have gained at least a few new tools, and concepts.  My inner voice has me wondering if they will all  feel better equipped to take tackle their design.images-99

For me the major challenge of teaching is creating an environment where I give those before me the opportunity to learn, and feel empowered to take the next step in the quilting journey.

This is what I hope to witness at the end of each lecture, or class.

unknown-47

For all my fellow instructors out there, do you have an aspect of teaching that you find most challenging? If so do tell!

I ain’t doing that!!!

images-16

 

When I began quilting, I chose fairly subdued fabrics.  I had a tendency to lean towards blues, browns. burgundy’s; and gravitated towards material that displayed busy prints.  Oh and the busier the better; bring on the BUSY for this designer.  Over time my quilting journey has me constantly evolving, and I’ve discovered new likes and dislikes.  Those super busy prints that I was a fanatic about has lost it’s luster.  I now find that my choices in fabric has followed a new path.  I am now drawn towards materials that possess bright colors and has me wearing a smile as I gaze upon them.  The grin on my face quickly spreads from ear to ear as my mind is filled with incredible design possibilities.  What amazing creation will find its way onto this amazing fabric?   Therefore, it probably won’t surprise anyone to hear that I now LOVE solid colors that will really show off the quilting.  Why lose all that hard work of quilting  amidst a chaotic print?  In conclusion not only has my ideal fabric palate changed dramatically; but my appetite for super busy prints has diminished drastically.  I guess you could say it I don’t have any appetite for busy prints. Less is more!

During one of my many stepping stone through quilting many moons ago,  I had witnessed customers as they entered the shop and browse for their “appliqué” project.  If that wasn’t bad enough, these delicate ears would hear that these clients were searching for their “HAND” appliqué project.  I wanted to yell “Hello? Isn’t that why God invented sewing machines?!”  For the love of Pete, Hand work takes so much longer! I swore I WOULD NEVER do that!

Center Medallion designed by Ronda Beyer

First machine Applique  Center Medallion designed by Ronda K Scott

I was soon eating my works, and have since learned “never say never”.  I admittedly LOVE appliqué and really love hand appliqué. Never in a million, bazillion years would I have thought this quilter would yearn to sit and hand sew.  The craft of appliqué and hand appliqué bestows such a calming effect that I find it very therapeutic. I know who would have thought? Definitely not me!

New Project

Which has me thinking that I’m long overdue and need to start another hand project!

My question to you fellow quilters is:  Has there been something in quilting that you never thought you would enjoy doing and now love? It’s okay to admit that we all have said “I’D NEVER”.   Then eventually life has us kicking ourselves as we think “NEVER say NEVER”!