“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!

 

BERNINA and Stitching in the Ditch…..

This past spring I took a trip that many quilters might compare to a child’s journey through Disney Land.  Yes, being the BERNINA Ambassador has given me the opportunity to experience the sights and quiet sounds of the BERNINA factory situated in Steckborn Switzerland. This quilter’s magical kingdom is located on the shore of Lake Constance, just across from Germany.

It’s not every day that you find yourself standing across from H.P. Ueltschi, the owner, and  also the grandson of the founder Fritz Gegauf.  I embraced his presence and found him to be both kind and delightful. Moreover, through my short visit with him I discovered that we both share a love for golf!

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I was overwhelmed entering the factory.  I was astonished how clean, and I mean clean, this facility appeared.  It sparkled, and yes you could serve dinner on the floors! And quiet! You would think the noise level of machines running would produce at least some sound, but nope.  You barely heard a thing.  Clean and quiet, two beautiful words to most women..lol

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After taking in everything presented before me in the factory, I then had a day of creating a video and then one day doing a print ad campaign.  During the four days the crew was awesome! Those around me  were so insightful and supportive as I grasped the process of all that shooting a video encompasses.  More than one take had me wondering how Jennifer Aniston does it! Same expression, same tone, but tilt the head a little to the right…oh my word!

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The days flew by, and four days with a German crew had me wishing I taken their language instead of french in high school.  But the entire adventure was something I will never forget.  Witnessing the process of building a video was fascinating, although the thought of viewing myself in the final product had me less than thrilled.  Most of all, observing all the facets of the factory has me appreciating my BERNINA even more.

So here I am today, October, in the USA.  As I turn on my machine I find myself loving it more and more with each use.  The use of this machine is like operating a brand new, car with all the bells and whistles. Your driving a Cadillac. Now, envision you have to hop into a Datsun B210 that’s rusted, and leaves a cloud of black smoke as you hit the gas. You desire the Cadillac, right?! Well, welcome to the BERNINA Q20.  I am in awe how light and smooth it maneuvers.  No heavy clanking or roughness.  It sails, just as a new Cadillac would down the highway.  Bells, and whistles…my most recent quilt, which I know I talk about often, is in need of a little SID around the appliqué.  No problem with the Q2o, it so efficient and simple to complete.  I am still adapting to the ease in which I can change the feet.  I mean it takes  mere seconds; and its interchangeable between the Q20 and my domestic machine.  Does it get any better than that?!

I wanted to share a quick video.  Realistically my quilting isn’t quite that speedy; in my dreams I quilt that fast.  But eventually I wake up from la la land, and realize my true pace and accept that it will take me awhile to finish this piece.

I used Aurifil’s Monofilament thread…. It’s thread is so fine that it fades into the seams.  And although it’s a beautiful thing, please refrain from using my name in a hostile way when you discover you may have trouble seeing it to thread the needle.  Below is a good example of the thread magically disappearing into the seam.

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Now that I have expressed that I still have SID to get done; remember slow and steady wins the race.  I ask, how do you accomplish your SID?  Would you say ruler or no ruler?  I can’t wait to hear what my fellow quilters have to say!

 

Zip, Zip, Zip…. Zippers or Pins?

So I have finished a couple of quilts on my BERNINA and am loving it!  BUT, it was time ….. to put the zippers on!

You may be thinking zippers on your longarm… whatever for?  Loading quilts can be a time consuming process so when I was doing customer quilts, I started using zippers instead of pinning my quilts to the leaders.  WOW, what a time difference.  But that wasn’t the only great thing about zippers…. There were times that I ran out of thread for a particular quilt and I was able easily zip it off and zip another on.  Once the thread arrived, I was able to zip the quilt back on and continue.

How many of you have stuck yourself with those corsage pins?  Those really hurt, pins are bad enough but those pins really gouge you. So happy to be done with them.  🙂

We are all familiar with the seam ripper.  Well, with the zippers, I was able to take the quilt off, rip out the offending stitches and put back on easily with those zippers.  Yippee!!!

So now that I have my new BERNINA Longarm, it was time  to put those zippers on the leaders.  I purchased my zippers from The Quilting Connection LLC .  Its called the Quick Zip system and it is super easy.

First I find the center of my leaders and the center of the zipper and I pin from the middle out.  I do this on both the backing leaders.

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Then I zip them together. But don’t pull tight.  I then take the machine and sew the zippers to the leaders removing the pins as I go along so I don’t hit them.

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Once both zippers are sewn to the leaders. You can pull tight.

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You can also put a zipper on the leader where you attach the quilt top.  I tend to either float my top or  just pin my top on with flower head pins as  I won’t take my quilt off till it is at least stabilized.   Then you can just zip your quilt on.  This quilt had zippers on because I had started it on my other machine.

IMG_0877When I am ready to do a new quilt, I will take the backing fabric over to my BERNINA 750QE and set my stitch length to the longest there is and baste the backing to the zippers.  I start from the center out to make sure it centered.  Then I can just zip the backing on.   The best part is when I am done with the quilt, I can just rip the quilt from the zippers.   LOVE that sound!

I am curious how everyone loads their quilts?  Do you float, pin, leader grips?  And why do you do it that way?

Quilt on, My friends!

Lisa

Changes….

Whether it is a new haircut, new school or a new machine, change is always a little scary.  It was time for a change in  my studio and I’m absolutely thrilled.  As some of you know, I have sold my A1 to a wonderful couple in Delaware who assure me she will have a great home.  It was bittersweet as I have been quilting on her for 10 years.  That is a LONG time.  We produced many beautiful quilts together…. these are just a few.

But it was time.  Many of you have asked over the last several months what machine I was going to get.  I looked at them all…. Innova, BERNINA, etc…. I have settled on

HQ Fusion

There are many reason why I chose this machine and it would take me forever to go into all of them but to touch on a few….. I have used HandiQuilters in my hands-on classrooms for a while now and have never had any issues (this is huge when there are so many people using the machines.  The Fusion is the midsize machine and I love the added bit of throat space I get vs my A1.  It is a little bit heavier but not by much.  The people that work for HandiQuilter are top notch.  I haven’t met one person who I haven’t throughly enjoyed.

As with any new machine, there is a bit of learning curve.  Since it is a little heavier I find that my feathers either don’t close or I over shoot.  This will work itself out as I use the machine more.  I tell you this so you don’t think that there isn’t a getting to know you period.  I also have the ProStitcher which as of yet  I have not used… I’ll have to wait till after my Canada trip.  I am looking forward to exploring this new tool.  I am not a computer newbie as I had the IQ so hopefully I’ll pick it up quickly.

Here is some of my work on the Fusion…..

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I’ll post more pictures as I go.

I am excited to be a part of the HandiQuilter family as an ambassador!

 

Quilt on, My Friends!

Lisa

Mini Me’s… hmmm….

I have been teaching now for quite a while and I hear this phrase spoken quite often….” I want to quilt just like you.”  This is very flattering to say the least…. however, I want you to quilt just like you!

My friend Teri Lucas wrote a blog post that got me thinking about this. ( make sure you read her post)  She was so right when she wrote that master painters didn’t become masterful overnight.  It took a lot of failures along the way before they got to where they are.

When I first started quilting , I wanted to quilt just like Linda Taylor, Renae Haddadin and Kim Brunner all rolled into one.  LOL   And I wanted it to happen overnight…… well, I can tell you  from experience that it doesn’t happen that way.  It is a lot of practice and hard work but it is so worth it.  When I look back at my earlier quilts, I can totally see their influences.  (btw, all great ladies, if you get a chance to take a class with any of them…. run to it)  Here is an example of my first “show” quilt.

Playing Hookie Full

I often look back at this quilt and wonder how I would quilt it now.   Probably much different… maybe I’ll give it a try in some spare time.

Like Teri, I don’t teach to create mini me’s but to inspire you to find your own style of quilting.  I encourage you to take classes from many different teachers, we all have something to offer and your quilting will thank you!

Quilt on, My Friends!

Lisa

 

ProSpine™ rulers have arrived….

ProSpine Small : Shallow curve

ProSpine Small : Shallow curve

 

The ProSpine™ rulers have arrived… poor Fed Ex had to trudge through feet a couple inches of snow.  I have a limited amount in this order but have a second order coming.  So to celebrate the arrival of the new babies…. I will be offering them at 15% off till Sunday Feb 1st!   I will have them at Birds of a Feather as well.

ProSpine™ Small Deep Curve

ProSpine™ Small Deep Curve

 

Quilt on, My Friends!

Lisa

 

Gettin in the Groove!!

I am sure it comes as no surprise to many of you, I LOVE ruler work.  So much so that I have my own line of rulers, Quilter’s Groove Rulers.  Since I have designed my rulers to do what I love with minimal markings, I was encouraged to create a class to teach you all how to use them.  If you already have some , thank you!  I’d love to hear how you use them and how they made your quilting easier.  If you are not familiar with them…. come to the Gettin in the Groove class to learn how having the right tool for the job makes life oh so much easier.   I will be teaching this class at two shows this year,  Birds of a Feather (Feb 7, 10:30a-12:30p) and MQX (April 10, 1-5)

I have 3 new rulers!  ProSpine™ Small, ProSpine™ Medium and ProSpine™ Large!  They each have two different size curves so that’s 6 different spines!  They will be sold individually and in a set.  I am so excited about these.  We will be using the ProSpine™ small in class.  I am expecting the shipment at the end of the week  so shipping will commence the first week of February.

Here is the class sample….

Gettin in the Groove Sample

Gettin in the Groove Sample

 

Sign up today!!

If you would like to know more about some of the things you can do with my rulers, go to the video tutorial page on my website.

Quilt on!

Lisa

Beat the Winter Blues…. Take a Road Trip

Oh, the weather outside is frightful but the fire is so delightful….. ok, no, I’m not going to torture you by singing.  I can’t carry a tune to save my life so I will spare you that.  But the weather has been terribly cold and most of you might know, I can’t stand the cold.  So I am flying south from Feb 6th -8th to Virginia Beach to teach at Birds of a Feather.    What?? you haven’t heard of it?  Where have you been?  This is a wonderful conference to further your machine quilting skills with lectures, hands on classes, drawing classes and lecture demos and  the faculty list is amazing!!!

Check out this great class!  I will not be teaching this class again this year on the East Coast so don’t miss out.

Totally Templates:

Totally Template Sample

Totally Template Sample

“Lisa relies on quilting templates to make the most of her complex and dynamic quilting designs. But using templates and rulers to stitch straight lines and perfect curves can be daunting. Join her as she shares her insider knowledge on how to use them and how just a few simple shapes open up 100‘s of possibilities. You will leave this class with a solid knowledge of how to make the most of templates and work with them with confidence. This is a beginner template class.”

Totally Templates

Totally Templates

 

Join me for this 2 hour hands on class on Feb 7th from 8-10!  We will have a blast!

Quilt on!

Lisa