Pa National Quilt Extravaganza!

 

I was teaching at the PNQE 2017!  In a shocker my students were incredible!  This event had me teaching three classes on the long arms, which were kindly provided by Val of, The Longarm Network, thanks  so much Val!  Our tech support was provided by Matt (we would have been lost without him).  Typically we have the double duo team of Matt and Keith but unfortunately Keith was not in attendance; he was greatly missed.  AND those that enjoy their company during the evening really missed the pair as I have heard they are very entertaining!

So here are a few pictures from PNQE.  My classes wouldn’t be the same without one troublemaker participating, see if you can pick her out.

Every student gave a 110%, and as usual I was a very proud of these students.  They never cease to amaze me with their willingness to try new things and step outside their comfort zone.  Kudos to all of you!

The morning prior to classes was spent setting up our booth.  I was actually excited to break away from the booth and see my students   BUT the most exciting part of my morning was sharing the news to my good friend, Deb Levy, that she won Best of Show! Her work is incredible and she was more than worthy of the award.

Many people stopped by to view her amazing piece, I only witnessed a couple of people drooling over it.  Not to worry I was close by with bibs, and napkins in hand!

On a personal note, I was more than thrilled that my quilt, A Silver Lining, won Best Wall Quilt.  Excuse the poor photography but I was in a bit of a hurry.  Places to go and people to see.

A Silver Lining

 

After completing two wonderful days of teaching, I spent the remainder of my time vending.  Although I did not take few, if any pictures, I had many visitors.  Making new friends and catching up with old ones, was terrific!  I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite mother daughter duos,  Debbie and Donna Lohman! Thank you both for taking the time to say hello, it is always great to see the two of you!  Other guests included, Jolene, who took a moment to stop by on her way back to Florida, Teri Lucas, Renee, and so many other incredible individuals!  I must admit that connecting with such wonderful people is one of the best parts of attending these events.

A HUGE Congrats goes out to Debbie Lohman for receiving “Best Longarm Workmanship in the Traditional Category”!   No pixie dust needed you spread all the sparkle on that beautiful award-winning piece on your own!

During my trip to Hershey, Judy and I met Daria (seen in picture below). We spent time chatting about our favorite topic… quilting, of course!  But who knew I’d come to PNQE and discover that Daria won the award for “Best Longarm Workmanship”?  Obviously, she is one talented quilter! Way to go Daria!

Best Longarm Workmanship

Believe it or not, Judy and I did have a little down time in  between customers.  Downtime between customers doesn’t mean downtime for getting work done.  Judy and I made the most of our time by completing some hand work.

As you can see I REALLY made the most of my time and accomplished quite a bit!

What do you do during down time while vending? Is there something special you have in the works?

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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Psst….Quilters Have Questions

 

 

 

You Have A Question, I Have An Answer 

 

I noticed in one of your posts that you had basted a quilt prior to actual quilting. I would like to know the best method for basting. I have been cross basting about every 8 inches. Would grid basting work better? And what is the best way to do this?  Cynthia 

Yes, Cynthia, the above quilt needed to come off the frame before it was done so I could get some samples completed.  I used a crosshatch basting, the spacing was about every 4 inches.  I did not want any of the fabric to shift or move which could have created possible areas that would cause the material to pleat.  If you only baste in one direction you risk the chance of the fabric shifting the other way.

How do you quilt a king size quilt (120″ square) on a 10 foot frame? Daniela

Hi Daniela,  This is not a situation I have ever experienced.  However, in thinking through the process here’s the plan of attack I would consider:  I’d have to completely ignore my first thought which tells me to “Run for the hills and dismiss any further notion of quilting a king size quilt!”  There is so much potential for things to go awry.   But I guess if I had no choice and needed to be very brave I would (fingers crossed) recommend the following:

I encourage you to load the backing, which would allow the part that didn’t fit on the frame to be situated to your right hand side.  Take time to ensure that you have an area to the left of the quilt where tension can be tested etc.  Next, I advise loading and floating the top.  In doing you then can mark how far over to go.  This will create some fluff room.  When the quilt is then advanced very carefully bring the “extra” backing and top and roll it.  After this is accomplished unload and reload the sandwich with the surplus hanging off the left and finalize the process.

**NOTE:  I have NOT had to execute this process, therefore,  I do not know how well this method will work.  Again, this is how I would strive to quilt a king size quilt on a small frame.  Good luck, please share your results and I  hope all goes well!

Hey L…when are you going to come and teach a class here in Florida… you could mix work with fun we have really nice golf courses here! Seriously I do have a question… do you free motion with the stitch regulator or without…I am new to the long arm coming from a sit down…I seem to get beautiful results on my free motion feathers and curves when I turn it off…turn it on… not so good! Just wondering! Jan

Hi Jan, you don’t have to say the word Florida to me twice!  I’d love to come your way for a little warm weather, golf and quilting, of course!  To answer your question I complete most of my fill work with the stitch regulator off.   I find the machine always feels much smoother when I don’t have the stitch regulator on.  In my opinion, if you are getting better results without  engaging the stitch regulator, then by all means go for it.  Remember, there are NO rules.  But you may want to examine how many stitches per inch it is set on once your regulator is activated.  This could indicate that you’re stitches aren’t set appropriate, maybe go for more stitches per inch.

I did receive a couple of late entries to the show~n~tell post that I didn’t want to neglect sharing with everyone. So enjoy these wonderful designs!

Kathy Jessee’s beautiful Unicorn! The detail is amazing!

Carol Higdon’s  created this incredible quilt for her grandson’s wedding!  Is anyone surprised that to observe a ribbon hanging from it? I’m not! Way to go Carol!

Thanks for sending me your inquires.  I hope I was able to give you some insight on the question, or concern you shared.  Feel free to send me any quilts questions that you stumble upon during your design process.  I’d be more than happy incorporate them into my posts.

 

New Jersey I am On My Way

Hunterdon County Quilting Guild

Friday April 21, 2017

This week has me off and running to New Jersey where I will be teaching my favorite Divide and Design Class!  This workshop is wonderful for those wanting a simple method to designing the quilting for your tops.  Three easy steps will be introduced to my students, and they will discover that the process of designing doesn’t have to be complicated.

So if you haven’t taken this class please check out my website, for more details, and who knows maybe you’ll come across another workshop that sparks your interest.

THIS Friday I will be hosting “Show ~n~ Tell” on my blog.

What does that mean for you my fellow quilters?

That means that all of crafty quilters need to send me photos of a project that you have in the works, or have completed (no one has to know how long ago you completed it..lol)  I will post pictures of all that I received on Friday’s blog entry.  Then, we will have the opportunity to observe what peers have accomplished, or are in the process of accomplishing.  This is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE! That being said, if you choose to leave a comment please play nice in my sandbox.  Maybe we will ignite creativity in one another, and enjoy this chance to admire the amazing talent transpiring all around us.  All photos can be emailed to me at lisahcalle@me.com. Come on folks you have 2 days to use that camera on your phone, or forward a picture from your computer to me! Click away!

I hope to see MANY projects taking up space in my inbox!

Social Media Take One

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AND ACTION…

Facebook, Tweeter, Snapchat, and Pinterest are just a few of the many social media sources that we all utilize to share our business and craft of quilting.  The internet is amazing in providing us with the such ample opportunities to connect with one another.  I did say amazing, but the word “amazing” encompasses the amazingly good, the amazingly  bad and the amazingly ugly!

I love providing information, and instruction for peers in this arena that would like to enhance their quilting skills.  I recently have taken to trying out Facebook Live as a different approach to sharing my work rather than simply posting to Facebook or Youtube.

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 All we want to do is share in a positive manner, correct? Well, this where we leave the “amazingly good” and step into the “amazingly bad” and “amazingly ugly”.

I am extremely lucky to have such a responsive group of followers.  Most of whom provided me with incredible insight on what they have experienced after viewing or reading my material on social media.  However, there are those that feel the need to express certain opinions, or statements that have me wondering “Didn’t their elders teach them that if they can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”?  Apparently they didn’t absorb that little life lesson.  Constructive criticism is part of life, that I get, and that I truly appreciate.  However, social media does open up Pandora’s Box and allows those random few to spread negativity into my sites.  This is where we notice the amazingly ugly.

I’d like to say:

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That’s right, I politely say no thank you to those that insist on using my social media as a soap box for their little thoughts.  If I wanted your unkind opinions and comments I would ask for them. I do not.

And secondly:

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I purposely provide videos and informational posts on various social media that won’t cost anyone a dime, nickel or penny.  Close the tab, screen, whatever and one would be “Lisa Free”!

So to all those lovely social media resources that I have implemented into my business, I am grateful for all the connections I have made and continue to make on a daily basis.   But to all my viewers I would like to remind everyone that it is “my” sandbox.  I am more than happy to invite anyone who is willing to play nicely to join me.  If you aren’t going to play nice then stay away from “Lisa’s” sandbox!

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Pantographs, Good or Bad for the Newbie?

My adventure in longarm quilting took off in 2004, and at that time I longed to be able to stitch out a pantograph.  Alas, I did NOT seem to have any talent for producing a  pantograph.  I was totally “Pantograph Challenged” which was a blessing, unbeknownst to me, in disguise.  But during that time period it was sadly, quite clear pantographs  and Lisa weren’t going to be friends.

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My inability to stitch a panto forced me to initiate my work from the front of my machine.  It became apparent if  I wanted any of my designs to come alive on fabric I would need to start the process off this way.  I took baby steps, to begin it was just a meander.  Next I incorporated stars, loops, and hearts to this meander.  As my baby steps grew, the strides in designs grew.  Over time I was no longer taking steps; I was running!  My confidence finally paved the road to implementing feathers, feathers flew into custom, custom brought about stitch in the ditch…and so on, and so on, and so on.unknown-27

Being “Pantograph Challenged” was fate.    I truly believe that piece of my quilting journey drove me to become the quilter I am today.  If creating pantos had been smooth sailing from the get go I often wonder where I might be now.

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So this raises a question to many quilters:  Are Pantos a Good Place to Start?

They aren’t  necessarily a bad place to begin.  I encourage my students to become more familiar and comfortable standing in front of the machine, rather than behind the machine.  Starting in the front of the machine will help in a couple of ways:

  • Gaining insight and understanding regarding “proper balance”.  Was the quilt evenly quilted or did it become smaller and tighter on one side?
  • Hearing the sound of the machine when things go awry.  With some machines the sound changes, (i.e tension) In addition, being positioned in front of the machine will provide the ability to  SEE the stitches. Obviously having a visual will allow immediate access to viewing issues.

After about a year, I became proficiently decent at pantos.  I vividly recall completing an entire row of quilting, only to spend an unpleasant amount of time ripping out the that row due to tension issues. Yes, I had heard the machine, it sounded a little different.  Yes, I chose to ignore it.   And yes, I ultimately paid the price for my lazy choices. What took 15 minutes to establish, took 3 hours to eliminate.  That most definitely was not  a good quilting day.

Are you new to your machine?  If so I would ask you to consider working from the front of your machine for a couple of months prior to diving head first into attempting any pantos from behind.  Then let me know how the transition went.

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Goodbye 2016 and Hello 2017

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As 2016 comes to a close it is time to do some business soul-searching.  This professional soul-searching has me asking myself “What has benefitted my customers and myself financially?”  Well, after much deliberating, and number counting I have determined that it is necessary to wish a fond farewell to some of my rulers.

The ProCurve 4, 8 and 16 rulers and the ProCurve Lite 1,2 and 16 rulers will no longer be available for purchase after those in stock have been sold.  Why am I discontinuing these products? Well, numbers don’t lie and unfortunately the sales from these rulers do not justify any further manufacturing.  I am excited to say that upon review the ProCurve 1 and 2 and the ProCurve Lite 4 and 8 remained  solid sellers and therefore they have no plans of going anywhere.

Act now since the ProCurve 4, 8 and 16 rulers; in addition to the ProCurve Lite 1,2 and 16 rulers are on sale for 50% off.  I have a limited supply in stock so if these were on your want list now is the time to get them!

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It’s too hard to keep quiet when some thrilling news is brewing here in my studio.  So why keep quiet?  Life is too short not share good new! That being said, coming soon in 2017 will I will be revealing a new ruler!unknown-30

If all goes according to plan it will be making its debut during the first quarter of this upcoming year,  I’m pretty sure it might just be a girls best friend.

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Reality Check-Vending 102

Houston we have arrived…bring on the world of VENDING.

Since I am an individual who feels very out of control unless I have everything mapped out, down to the tiniest detail, Judy and I created a mock vending booth in my studio a few weeks prior to the event.  Together we took the morning to put together display racks and configure exactly how our “real” booth would appear once we reached Houston.  Taking into consideration all the pieces of equipment and quilting items our space required, we both felt as though a two-hour set up was more than manageable.

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This ensemble was an estimated five-hour production. Not two, but five hours which is over double what this team had projected as a reasonable time frame.  What was I thinking? I obviously had the mindset of a “newbie”.  Erecting this exhibit took an exorbitant amount of energy and time which we were depleted of by the half way mark.  Oh, that’s right, the “half way mark” was what Judy and I thought would be the allotted time needed to furnish our booth.

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Five hours later, our mission was accomplished.  Deep breaths were taken, and our back and minds were aching.   Nevertheless, as you can see below, Judy was rearing and ready to go for all our Houston quilters!

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Thank you Houston for an amazing vending experience! Judy and I are having a  wonderful time and will be heading back to Pennsylvania having learned so much. I have compiled a list or rather lists of “What to Do” and “What Not to Do” for our next vending adventure.  I am very curious to see if we can minimize the five-hour installation time.   Do you have any insight to bestow upon this green vendor? As you can see I could definitely use any and all tips you have to offer!

If you haven’t been by the booth and are in Houston, its booth #1323.  Love to see you and Flat Lisa.

Lisa