Keeping your Quilt Square!

Once you load your quilt, you may think that’s all that is needed to keep your quilt top square, however that may not be the case. When you quilt and depending on how heavy you quilt…. the top can pull in on the sides… this is why we have those side clamps!

My fabulous student, Janis, gave me and the other members of Quilter’s Groove® Tribe her secret and I thought I would pass it along to you.

This is a piece of bungee cord that I got on Amazon. My frame is 12′ so I bought the 25 yards. The little pink things, these are cord locks. I line these up with the seams in the quilt as well as the outer edges so that every time I advance the quilt, I can make adjustments if my quilt has shifted.

At first I tried to just tie the cord to the end of my machine but when I advanced the quilt it would drag. So off to Lowes to try and figure out what to do. I have a BERNINA Q20 on a frame and this is how I attached it.

Bought two of these, they were around $2 a piece.

I pulled back the black piece on the end of my machine and slipped the nut through while it was attached to the bolt. I then tightened it all up. Once I found what I needed, it was a very simple process.

Let me know in the comments how you keep your quilts square!!

A little R & R and Feathers!!!

I missed my FB live last week as I was on a much needed vacation to South Carolina! For the most part, I completely unplugged from work is a first in a while. It felt great to sit in the sun, play some golf and get to know my significant others family! Took a beautiful walk along the inter-coastal waterway.

Back at work this week…. who doesn’t love feathers??? I know, it isn’t me but there are some who don’t. I have had many requests for another video on how to do the Jelly Feather Fill, I did not want to disappoint! So here ya go!! Enjoy!

Am I the Only One?

I’ve been in this business for a long time… I started piecing in 1997 and started longarming in 2004 as a business. It quickly became a love… I couldn’t wait to get my piece on the longarm so I never really stretched my piecing skills. Now my longarming skills… that’s a different story. It didn’t take me long to start teaching…. 2006 and I love every minute that I spend with my students. With that being said… I do suffer from Imposter Syndrome at times. More so when I first started teaching but there are still times when I’m waiting for people to realize that I am not as good as they think I am.

When we first start on this journey most of us have no idea what we are doing and you know what??? That’s normal! If you think I knew what I was doing, you be crazy! I had no clue and learned by trial and error. What I learned is that if you aren’t failing …. you aren’t growing, see we learn more from our failures than our successes. There are still days where I am waiting for people to say… hmmmm, she isn’t as good as I thought she was. The difference between now and then… I’m ok with that. I know I love what I do and I love sharing it with as many people as I can.

Fast forward to today…. as I sit here and type out this blog. My business sure has changed a lot since I started it back in 2004 and when the pandemic hit… boom… my business model was sunk. Since I traveled to teach… it came to a screeching halt. (now the timing couldn’t have been worse since I had just gotten a divorce and needed to support myself) Over the past year and a half there have been many ups and downs in my business, when the downs hit.. I wonder maybe this is “someone” telling me I should be doing something else. But then I would hit a high… and think… I’ve got this.

Imposter syndrome hit and it hit hard. I needed to figure out how to survive with trying to teach online. I am not a techie person so the amount that I learned this year while putting together Quilter’s Groove® Heirloom Academy and Quilter’s Groove® Tribe was astounding. Hard, yes but oh so worth it but I had to keep telling myself.. you can do this, you got this. Not always the easiest thing to keep that mantra in your head.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, there have been many new quilters that have reached out with doubts… they have had their machines for a while and they use it as a coat hanger or some such thing. I want you all to know that whether you are new at this or experienced… we almost all go through the same emotions of “what am I doing”. I can’t do this… I don’t know what I was thinking. I am here to tell you… you can do this! If I can do this… you can too. Remember we all start in the same spot and the key here is to not compare yourself to anyone!

Your journey is unique to you. Embrace the ups and downs, figure out what you can learn when something didn’t turn out the way you thought it would! Most of all….. ENJOY yourself, be kind to yourself… the things we say to ourselves in our head matter!

So as Mel Robbins says…. look in that mirror and give yourself a high five today! YOU GOT THIS!

I would love to hear from all of you…. have you ever felt like an imposter? What do you do to motivate yourself when this happens? Leave it in the comments so I don’t feel like the only imposter out here. 💕

Rulers for Rookies 2: The Next Step!!!!! 15% off this weekend

So I realize that it’s been a while!  I apologize.  I have started to accept customer quilts again, it’s difficult  to try and get it all done but I’m trying!

I have had this new Rulers for Rookies 2 Kit in the works for quite a while now.  I can say as of today…. it is done!   I had so much fun designing this panel!  It comes with 5 different rulers.  ProCircle 7, ProEcho 12, ProPebble 3/4 – 1.75, Pro and my favorite…. the ProLine 8!

There is also a class to go along with this kit, both domestic and longarm!  The class is only $10 and helps to  pay for the site that it is on.

This weekend!  15% off the Rulers for Rookies 2:  The Next Step Kit!

Don’t miss out!  2/14/20-2/17/20 No code needed!

It’s HERE!! It’s Finally HERE!!

“Ain’t No Junk:  Trunk Tell All (TTA)” is LIVE!! Can you feel my happy dance?

Here are some Q&A:

When is the Facebook LIVE event?

The Facebook LIVE event will be held on July 26th at 1pm EST. 

 

 

What exactly is a Trunk Tell All (TTA)?? 

Initially, the concept behind placing my trunkshow “No Junk In the Trunk” on my website was to allow those individuals who were unable to attend this event an alternative to simply missing out all together. However, I soon came to the realization that when I host a trunk show the duration is only an hour due to the fact that it’s a live presentation.  Immediately the idea of limiting an online session became ludicrous, and it was apparent that such restrictions were not going to beneficial.  Next, I felt the title of “No Junk In the Trunk” needed a little fine tuning, as this class contains more than me moving my lips. Yes, you will hear the tale on how I took my first steps into the quilting world, my successes and even my failures but included are great designing tips! AND Freebies! Who out there doesn’t like free things???

Are you stuck for inspiration?

If so, trust me you aren’t alone! There are many designers that become caught up in the tornado of the uninspired.  We all go through periods where we feel as though we aren’t in Kansas anymore.  Feeling lost is not pleasant! This “Trunk Tell All ” will reveal the yellow brick road to creativity; and Lisa will have you tossing those ruby glass heels away!

 

Are you frustrated with missing out on great quilts and advice because you can’t travel to shows?

Life is a tough act to balance, and the ability to create opportunities to attend shows is not an easy task!  That’s why this newest course “Trunk Tell All” is such a Win, Win!! You have the capability of gaining great inspiration, advice, and support without having to worry about location!

 

 

Are you new to quilting or longarming?

Then welcome! We have ALL worn that tag at one particular time.  During this class you will instantly be put at ease witnessing Lisa share her journey from newbie (first quilt), to her latest, and all that has transpired for this quilter in between.

Why should you listen to Lisa? 

The quick and short of it is that Lisa has been piecing since 1997 and longarming since 2004.  AND let’s not forget that after providing over 3000 customer quilts her plethora of knowledge and understanding regarding the quilting arena is enormous!

If I have taken Lisa’s online Divide and Design Class, should I still take this?

The Trunk Tell All does not teach you the divide and design process.  The TTA  is a fun, entertaining, inspirational and yes, slightly educational way to spend your time.  So the answer to your question is YES!

If I sign up, how long do I have to take the class?

The great news is you have forever! The class is broken down into Chapters so you can easily stop and start as needed.  So if life has you hitting the pause button that’s okay! The session incorporates approximately an hour and a half of videos, in addition to its pictures and text.

What exactly is Facebook LIVE?

Facebook Live is an event that streams real-time, you must have a Facebook account to attend.  During the session you will have the opportunity to ask Lisa questions pertaining to ANYTHING your little heart desires! You may want to have a pen and paper handy so you can take notes.  So get your list of inquires ready and become a part of Lisa’s new FB community!

If I can’t make the Facebook LIVE event, or don’t have a Facebook account  and want to become a part of FB Community what should I do? 

You do need a Facebook account to participate in the event, the good news is they are very easy to set up!   If you can’t make the LIVE event, email me your questions and I will make sure to answer them.  You will then be able to view it in my Facebook community at your leisure.

 

DONT MISS OUT!    ~Lisa

 

 

 

 

Something Exciting is coming…..

 

I can barely contain my excitement… you’ve asked and I’ve listened… Yeah…..

Make sure you are signed up to receive my newsletter, or follow my blog, instagram or Facebook… one of them or all of them… you don’t want to miss out…. I am hoping to be spilling the beans next week…. so stay tuned.

My Dearest Cherrywood,

My life would simply feel incomplete without special moments found in the presence of my quilting crush, Cherrywood Fabric.  Over the past couple of days not only was I fulfilling my passion of “quilting” but I also laid hands on the love of my life – CHERRYWOOD! Yes, Cherrywood Fabric ranks up there as my first love, but I also have a second love.  I mean, god forbid there’s no Cherrywood in my life I need to have options! So next in line would undoubtedly have to be feathers.  Oh, how I gush when I am quilting feathers into a design.  Now, just imagine my reaction when I am presented with a project that utilized Cherrywood Fabric AND Feathers!! Yes, I was beyond thrilled and I owe all my happiness to Linda McQuaid, who is a member of the Cherrywood team.  The planets aligned perfectly for me because she requested that I complete her very first quilt. Of course I gave her a big “Hell Yes!”  I was in dream land during this quilting process and although I didn’t want to wake up reality called, but I’m thrilled to report that the finished product will be displayed proudly in team Cherrywood’s booth. I highly recommend having those credit cards handy for the kit!

It felt like ions since I have completed a quilt for a customer, I was so excited to have the chance to not only produced a client quilt but this piece allowed me to cover issues that students inquire about during my Divide and Design Class.

First up:  What do you do if the quilt is not a square?

Second question:  What do you do if there really isn’t a central focal point?

In response to the first question if your quilt isn’t a square, relax, no big deal.  Breathe easy and treat the quilt as if it were a square.  You will simply begin in the center and divide your quilt.  Easy right?!

Pertaining to the second question, if there is no true focal point just create one. Looking at the picture above you can see there is a pieced block in the center, and it is the identical to the other pieced blocked on the fabric.  Our goal is to produce a design around that.

I implemented some straight line quilting to define a few areas; and then filled them.

Final question:  What if I don’t want to quilt my piece to death?

I understand, sometimes less is more.  I didn’t want to quilt this fabric too heavily, which was really unlike me.  I had to determine what I was going to apply on the outside of the quilt.  This was the real challenge on this quilt.  So I used my tracing paper to figure it all out.  In order to steer clear of quilting too much I chose to make a large-scale grid work (thank you Barb Persing) by using the piecing as my guide.

And there you have it; a little adventure that had me living the dream of working with my two loves; Cherrywood and feathers! Thank you Linda for allowing me to be a part of your quilting journey, and bringing the best of both worlds to my quilting days.

What do you all think?

 

One Step Forward

I am completely overwhelmed with the response to my last post.  Thank you all for your words of encouragement!  It really has helped make this less painful knowing that you all are there!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

 

Now that I have made the decision to move on with, my less than perfect quilt; it is time to keep taking steps forward. Therefore the center portion of this quilt is now completely finished, and this was accomplished by enhancing the design with little pebbles.

Yes, they are tiny aren’t they? If you are wondering how I executed this technique well wonder no more, the secret to my success can be viewed in this tutorial.

Watch and You will No Longer Need to Wonder!

It wasn’t a great angle…. sorry, didn’t realize till I was done.

 

Pebble Variation

See how easy that is to achieve! And now YOU can put some small pebbles into your design.  If you have decided to take a step forward and place small pebbles into your project I’d love to see what you have done! I encourage you to share your efforts with me via email, lisahcalle@me.com

And stay tuned for the next step I take along this unexpected journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 1:1 with the Non Quilter

I’ve introduced Drea to the Quilting Language; and daily she is picking up the verbiage.  As she digs deeper into the ins and outs of my business I thought it would be interesting to obtain a “non quilter’s” (aka Drea) insight on what she feels about this craft.  Did she have any preconceived notions, and most importantly what has my newest member of the quilting world learned?

img_4171I appreciated the fact that she gave much consideration before providing me with her thoughts and feelings on the selected topic.  I am quite certain there was a little intimidation stirring within that little red-head of hers.  Drea may be a newbie but she is a smart cookie. Knowing that this little discussion was for my blog post, the idea of defending herself against quilting clients, friends and mentors wouldn’t be on Drea’s top 10 things to do.  More importantly,  this conversation was among her and her boss (ME), the one who hands her a pay check every two weeks.  Yes, I was silently sending the vibes of “Take your time Drea and speak carefully!”

Did she have any preconceived notions of the word “quilter”?

Yes she did.  Prior to stepping into my studio she had envisioned minimal modern technology.  The word “quilter” brought to this “non quilter’s” mind a rather large table, chairs, needles, threads, and an enormous amount of fabric.  In other words Drea depicted a small dark room that could be showcased on the televised show Hoarders.  Okay maybe not that small and cluttered.  Drea was in awe of the size my long arm machine and the space it required.  My “rulers” were not only a mathematical puzzle to her but her eyes widen when I demonstrated how one would be used to create a curve on a piece of fabric.  img_9266Maybe I am being a little dramatic, but in all seriousness she was taken back by what my business and craft incorporated. Rulers, templates, techniques, etc. the list that shredded her “idea” of a typical quilter was lengthy and her notion had been shot to pieces.

 

 

 

In Drea’s words:

“Yes Lisa, you are a “quilter”, but you are so much more than that word conveys.  You, in my eyes, are an artist.  Some artists utilize brushes, paint and canvas.  Your brush is that of an incredible long arm, those delicate threads become your paint, and the fabric you choose, from your tiny stash, transforms into your canvas.  As with any artist, each “quilter” is unique.  No two quilters can replicate the exact design.  Even implementing new techniques and tools the end result will vary; each individual will design a masterpiece that has been drawn upon from their own style and vision.  I can accept the word “quilter” but just realize that, in my eyes, all those that take part in this quilting arena are talented in a way I had not fathomed.  I may be a “non quilter” because there will never be a long arm, or spools of thread in home, but I am honored to be a small part of what takes place in your studio.

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After we concluded I put my pen and paper down feeling energized.  I strive daily to touch and educate those wanting to learn this business and craft.  Upon taking in what my red-headed assistant has learned, as one who doesn’t have the desire to quilt (nor should she ever try), yet can appreciate and see the gift those quilters out there possess was overwhelming.  I surmised that I would keep Drea on board and hope that as she travels outside my studio she will enlighten all those other non quilters she encounters.

 

Quilting for Customers: “How To”

Longwood quilt

Longwood Gardens Quilt  2010

Quilting for customers, yes this is a specialty that I was successful doing for approximately 10 and half years.  I loved it and quilted some 3000 quilts through this livelihood.  Are you considering expanding your quilting to the next level? If so, this is a wonderful way to make that goal a reality.

Trust is a HUGE word, and one of the best feeling in the world is when your customers embrace your talent, and depend on you to bring life and beauty to their quilt.  What does that feel like? I cannot imagine giving my quilts, which I consider my babies, to someone else.  Speaking for myself I pour my heart and soul into the quilting process and have no doubt it would be painful letting another individual take charge temporarily.  For me that’s one of the aspects of this profession that I find so rewarding, each piece is one of my client’s babies.

Calle boys

All three of my boys… back in the day…

To Be or Not to Be: What about this business appeals to you? Is the idea that you simply love quilting or are you looking for additional income? These are two significant questions to consider.  For those individuals choosing to quilt as a hobby, kudos to you! I say quilt away and surround yourself with all the creativeness you can gather; but please be mindful of those that do quilt for monetary reasons.  Being a professional quilter becomes very challenging when a customer declares my cost expensive compared to that of Quinn Quilter.  What my customer does not realize is there is a difference between Quinn Quilter and Lisa Calle.  Quinn Quilter loves this craft as a hobby; Lisa Calle not only loves this trade but also has made a career out of quilting.  If you feel that this a business you are aspiring to become a part of then I can only offer this piece of advice; I quilt for the purpose of making both my clients and ME happy. I must remain true to the fact that this is a business and income for my family.  Therefore, the ability to lower my costs to meet the prices of those that are fortunate to quilt as a hobby is not something I can justify.  Yes, possess an attitude! If you have committed to making quilting a business then you are worthy of owning your quilting ideals,  methods AND prices.

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It’s All About the Money: Begin by setting an hourly wage that you feel will be advantageous of your time, and materials.  YOU need to be satisfied with the price you are charging, and obviously this might be different for everyone.  I am not a low-priced quilter, as a matter of fact I’m fairly certain that I may have ended up being the most expensive in my area.  However, I knew what I wanted to make monetarily; I was realistic that I had other responsibilities that also demanded my time.  I was comfortable putting those obligations aside in order to run my business AND I was also comfortable putting those considerations into my quilting price.

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The AH HA Moment: Retail and I have always been united, “Customers Come First” was my motto and I went out of my way to ensure my customers were more than satisfied.  Did I make everyone happy?  Heck no, I would never please everyone.  Boy, I definitely had my share of those clients that undoubtedly could not be appeased in any way possible. On those work days happy hour felt like it would never arrive!  Even enduring sweat and tears there were some partnerships that dissolved.  Quickly I would come to terms with the understanding that there were going to be professional relationships that would find me and my client parting ways…and Ah Ha… that’s okay.

Next Up: Mastering feathers, I always wanted to conquer this technique.  I could be found, pencil in hand, quietly doodling for hours and hours.  My dedication paid off and gradually I was feathering away!  Now did every customer love my new gift of feathering? No way, as I stated before there was, at least, that one customer who shuddered “Oh no I’m not fond of feathers”.  For the sake of feathers people quit bursting my bubble,  feathers are my thang!  My advice, don’t let anyone get in the way of your thang!

It Needs a Price Tag:  Well friends that is a post in and of itself!

Lisa