I realize that I have been MIA, but for good reason as it all pertains to my love of quilting. Numerous commitments have kept me on the go; trust me even my husband thinks I’ve disappeared! First up was MQX (Machine Quilter’s Expo) in New Hampshire. I love attending this show, it holds a special place in my heart since it was my first teaching gig way back in 2006. I get such an overwhelming sense of nostalgia when I walk through the doors of this arena.
The word “amazing” doesn’t come close to describing this show or the quilts! AND the quilters were spectacular! I am beyond thrilled to report that my four-year (okay five-year) project, “Oh, My Bleeding Heart” placed 3rd in the Solo division! I am speechless and filled with immense joy.
During my classes I was in awe of my incredibly talented students, and that’s putting it mildly. They were amazing and brought tons of fun and the love of teaching to my days at MQX.
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No, no I have not forgotten about my Perfect Plumes class. The perfectionist that I am, I felt that I needed to add a “final” project to the session. This little addition to the class has taken me a little bit longer than expected to produce. Good things come to those that wait..lol!
I believe everyone will be excited to hear that the ProFeather Rulers have arrived! If you’re out of the loop and haven’t heard about them, you better get in the loop by checking them out !!!
Feathers… the technique I wanted to learn above all else. I LOVE feathers, and couldn’t wait to master this technique. I would invest hours, upon hours, drawing those beautiful images. But let’s be realistic the outcome of my first attempts weren’t very pretty. However, as practice would have it, my skills have matured and my confidence has grown in leaps and bounds since those initial feathering days.
Since I know how agonizing it can be wanting those magical feathers to appear sooner rather than later on your fabric I thought it might be beneficial to share my process. My goal is to prevent students from encountering the same struggles and frustration that I did many moons ago.
The class, “Perfect Plumes” is so close to launching! But before it makes its big debut I feel it necessary to make sure that the majority of students concerns are addressed during this course. “Perfect Plumes” will be a beginner class that guides you through the step by step process and basic shape of the feather. In addition, by the completion of this session you will also understand how to intertwine and hide feathers. You can expect to have fun learning how to feather away on your fabric!
So before I launch “Perfect Plumes” I ask that you please send me those concerns and major struggles that you have come across when creating feathers. Your success is important to me, so give me your input! My mission is to demonstrate the tools and method that brings the amazing art of designing feathers to your quilting world!
There was a lot going on in Heidelberg, PA regarding the craft of quilting! Saturday morning I headed out early, with my red-headed assistant along side of me, to the town located about an hour away.
My session took place in the banquet room of the Heidelberg Family Restaurant. Who says you can’t teach a class at a restaurant? Us quilters are very resourceful and the room was perfect!
I taught my favorite class, surrounded by a room full of engaging and delightful individuals.
Initially, many of my pupils, who were domestic machine users, were a bit intimidated by what I put before them. “Letting go” is always the most difficult part of this class; but I’d like to think that most of them “let go” a tiny bit by the conclusion of our day. I was impressed with the designs that were created; they all should be proud of their accomplishments.Thanks to all my creative students who were willing to step outside their comfort zone and embrace the adventures of today!
I have stated in the past that I will typically have three projects going simultaneously (cray or not, that’s me). My typical circus involves one in the piecing state, one incorporating an appliqué project, and finally one pertaining to quilting. Like I said that would all be “15 years worth of typical” until now.
To be honest and bring clarification to the previous statement:
I currently have one in the quilting process. Yes, it feels to me as if it will be the never-ending project BUT I haven’t refuse to give up on it!
I have TWO, yes count them “TWO” in the piecing stage and believe it or not I am contemplating a third.
Project 1 of Piecing: I hate to leave you all in suspense but this is a special project. Unfortunately, I cannot provide further details until late March. Sorry, but perhaps some of you will return in March to see exactly what I am talking about..lol!
Project 2 of Piecing:
I am sure that it will come as no surprise to many of you that I making use of my all time favorite fabrics in both projects. Yes, “Cherrywood” fabric is awesome! Now, seeing as I had the bleeding issues on my previous quilt, I pre-washed all my fabric in my kitchen sink. Using extremely hot water (almost too hot to handle) and good old regular blue “Dawn Dish Detergent”. Please note the darker fabrics took about 5 rinses before the water appeared to run clear.
Project 3: Well, I suppose it better be an appliqué project, right?! I’ll have to give that one a little more thought.
How many projects do you have going at one time? We all have them. Perhaps you are very disciplined and only concentrate on one at a time idea, or maybe you are a bit like this quilter and have your hands full of a few things going on at one time. Regardless, I’d love to hear how you balance your one project or many projects simultaneously!
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?
The last two weeks have flown by. I was in Las Vegas for BERNINA University, which was amazing!!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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.