May I Have Your Attention..

 

After five very long years I am pleased to announce that I have finished this quilt.

The photograph below was taken back in 2013, five very long years ago.

Cherrywood fabric, the love of my life when it comes to material. I am sure that is nothing new to my readers, and quilting friends.

This quilt has taken me on a journey of self discovery and a very difficult lesson in letting go. It will surprise no one to hear me say that I can be a little bit of a control freak and perfectionist (and that’s putting it mildly).  To further describe my character traits I am extremely hard on myself and this quilting adventure has, I pray, cured me of that personality flaw. This finished piece is far, very far, from perfect.  The list of mistakes is quite lengthy, but what I have learned and the amount I have grown as a quilter and individual is enormous.

I’m going to share a few revelations with you.

Revelation #1:  Basting and removing my quilt from the frame umpteen times will not happen again in my studio.   The result of basting my quilt and repeatedly removing it caused more than a few migraines!  Typically I go through the quilt and complete my SID and dividing lines which is enough to stabilize the quilt. However, I strayed from my “typical” routine on this project and paid the price.  Note to self, “Do Not Deviate!”

Revelation#2:  I always pre-wash my fabrics but I underestimated the TLC that hand dyed fabrics require.  This quilt quickly taught me that hand dyed material definitely needs a little “extra attention”.   If you look below you will observe a fabric bleed. This is not something any quilter wants to witness on their quilt.  Yes, I pre-washed the fabric.  No, it is NOT the fault of the dyer. Yes, it is my fault for treating Cherrywood like all my other fabric.


Now when I am working with hand dyed fabrics, I wash them in my sink with the hottest water possible and dawn dish detergent until the water is clear.  Hard lesson to learn? The word “hard” doesn’t do this lesson justice.  Thus, I have chosen to name this quilt “Oh, My Bleeding Heart”.  Rolling the dice I persevered and continue on with the quilting; hoping that a small miracle would transpire and the bleed would come out.

And it DID!  I’ve been bowing to the quilting gods above each morning. I followed Vicki Welsh’s directions.  Do yourself a favor and print off her directions and stash them in a safe spot. You might want to print off a couple of copies trust me may never know when you might need them.

Aside from the major catastrophe of the fabric bleeding, this quilt had challenges in the piecing as well.  I tend to generate designs and neglect to give much thought as to how I will execute what I have composed.  It has gotten me into a lot of trouble more than once  The most challenging aspect on this pattern was the inner pieced border…

 

 

What in the bleepity bleep was I thinking? Obviously I wasn’t!  Although it nearly killed me, I continued onward.

The question then became how in the world would I get these together?

I somehow managed to put them together, but it was less than easy.

This is, by far, my favorite quilt.  I absolutely love the design, but the true reason why it has become the love of my quilting life is due to all that I endured and discovered during the entire process.  I poured my heart into this piece for many, many years, and many, many lessons were unveiled.

I am hosting a lecture at the AQS Lancaster show in March called “Oh, My Bleeding Heart” , the subject matter is, of course, this lovely quilt.  I hope to see many of you there as I share moments of self discovery and quilting adversity during the creation of this unbelievable piece.

Do you have a quilt that challenged you till you almost gave up??

I REPEAT……

A Mantra I Have Lived By

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!

Next:

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!

 

 

 

 

Because you just NEVER know!

So Long, Farewell 2017 BUT

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season and a wonderful weekend ringing in the New Year!  I was very blessed to have all my boys together during the past couple of weeks. They always bring so much laughter, tons of craziness and endless love to our home. It certainly makes focusing on work difficult.  Those moments of having my boys under one roof for any length of time is simply priceless!

I will be implementing one major word into 2018.  And the word of the year is “EDUCATION“.  Yes, eduction with be the foundation for this quilter over the next twelve months.  Which will prove to be extremely beneficial to all those prospective quilters out there.   I have recently  launched my online class forum so check it out! This will be a combination of free classes, as well as smartly priced ones.  Currently, Rulers for Rookies is available as a free class for the domestic machine (longarm class is coming soon).  My mind is brewing with several ideas for future classes so be on the lookout. In the meantime, I know many of you have suggestions for classes swirling around in your creative heads so please feel free to share your suggestions with me! No idea is too big or small so don’t hesitate to say, “Hey Lisa, how about….”

Believe it or not I have not completely neglected my 4 year quilt over the holidays.  It has been a very slow process but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I have decided not to display the entire quilt until it makes its debut, or should I say if it makes its debut.  That darn bleed has to come out first! And that will be a major obstacle to overcome.  I anticipate its completion in the next couple of weeks.  The ultimate goal is that this project makes it to the Mancuso show in Virginia held in February.

 So please keep those fingers crossed friends and followers! Here is the last peek:

 

AT THE END OF JANUARY????

I will be teaching at Quiltique!  I have a great line up of classes scheduled: Rulers for Rookies, Divide and Design, and my newest class Flower Power!  Oh, I can’t leave out that I will also be hosting my Trunk Show!  I am hoping to see some of you there!

I’m hoping to see several class ideas fill my comment section, and get the chance to chat with a few friendly faces in Vegas!

Once Upon A Quilt

 

 

Recently I had the pleasure of traveling to Ft Lauderdale and taught at a retreat with Angie Steveson and Carol Ann Waugh.  Wow, I had a blast!  Let’s begin by saying this always freezing cold girl was headed somewhere warm!  Oh yeah!  The only downside was that it was the perfect weather for doing my favorites thing in the world, besides quilting, which is playing golf.   The mild temperatures and the bright shining sun teased me with their amazing golfing conditions.  I made a silent pact with weather gods of Ft Lauderdale that I would return, in the not so far off future, with golf clubs and a tee time calling my name.

The hub of where I taught was “One Upon A Quilt”.  This fabulous store is owned by Lisa Stevens. If you are ever in Ft Lauderdale and have any interest in quilting you MUST visit her shop!  I’ve included a quick video so that anyone that might be traveling her way can see what they are missing.  Trust me you don’t want to miss an opportunity to see what her establishment has to offer, I’m hoping that she invites me back very soon!

What does 60 fabulous quilters plus 3 days equal? An extraordinary amount of incredible quilting!  Angie Stevenson was the embroidery guru, Carol Ann Waugh was the stitching queen, and me; the quilting goddess… lol.

Each day we were presented with 20 new fresh quilters.  The three of us taught our specialty.  I’ll admit not everyone was thrilled to learn quilting with use of rulers. Many stated that they quilt by check, but I eventually brought 99.99999% of them to the ruler side of quilting. Moreover, now having learned this process they have obtained an appreciation for what their quilters must accomplish. At the retreats conclusion it appeared everyone was leaving with a lot of useful information and techniques.  I may have actually created some quilting monsters, or at least I hope I did!  It was very impressive to witness how talented these individuals were; even the ones who quilted by check…

My second class was by far my rowdiest group.  And I mean that in the best of ways.  Note the picture below.

Did I drive them all to drink? Is that picture a good thing or a bad thing?

I wonder what are your thoughts on that, please share!

 

Never Fear Lisa’s Here!

 

Have I really been gone a little more than a month without posting on here? Are you kidding me? Being sick and trying to prepare for the Houston International Quilt Festival really through a curve ball into my dedication to blogging.  But I am now back!

The Houston International Quilt Festival was as always a total blast, no shocker there.  I’m sad to report that my redheaded assistant was not in attendance.  It appears she is a hot commodity and has a 9-5 job which prevents her from joining me on trips such as these.  The studio is not the same without that non quilter’s presence.  One day I will hit the lottery, steal her away from job that currently pays her bills and take her full-time.  But I am happy to share that my unwavering cohort, Judy, was ready and willing to step up to the plate.  She never fails to bring a good time with her when we travel together.

Well, even the best laid plans have hiccups and Houston was no exception.  I had been extremely organized and was actually kicking back and relaxing (still recovering from the sickies) when WHAM!  My plans took a little detour.  I will not bore you with all the details as I might lose a few followers, but let’s just says that Judy and I had to drive the 24 hour trip home from Houston.  Stay tuned for more on this.

While in Texas the class I held was amazing and the students were pretty incredible as well!  The bad teacher that I am I didn’t take any pictures, I was to wrapped up in the task at hand and after class it was time to set up our booth.

BEFORE picture:

AFTER picture:  Here is the closest thing I have to an after picture, doesn’t do the booth much justice since the only view you get is between our heads..sorry folks!

I loved seeing all of my quilting peeps!  I know I say it after every event but it never gets old, I thoroughly enjoy seeing faces from the past and hopefully some for the future.  Once again, being the forgetful person I am, I don’t have any pictures to post, although many were taken.  So please, please, please, if you were kind enough to visit my booth and have a pic of the two of us send it to me!

I had the opportunity to dash through and take in all the quilts, they were simply amazing!  Here is my all time favorite.  I can feel a smile spread across my face every time I gaze upon this particular design.  The artist used my favorite fabrics… Cherrywood! Ahhh you can’t go wrong with Cherrywood! This beauty was made by Susan Stewart, doesn’t it just make you wanna smile?!

A good friend of mine, Gilbert Muniz,  is a garment maker and I swear he had me in mind when he created this…

 

He is so lucky he didn’t find it missing, I absolutely LOVE IT!!

Houston Quilt Festival is now an event of the past and I am already looking forward to next year.  But let’s just say I will make damn sure I don’t drive home in 2018!  And that topic is just around the corner folks!

 

There’s a Traffic Jam Ahead

 

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?

 

Idea Overload

 

Can You Relate? How to Deter Idea Overload!

It’s so exciting when you are ready to start a new project. Maybe to boost your wheels of creativity  you’ve attended a recent quilt show, googled images on your computer or made a trip to a quilt shop.  During those moments you’ve meandered up and down the aisles gazing upon one piece after another, or perhaps browsed the infinite number of images on the internet. You’ve invested a lot of time to collect all the insight possible, because you want to be fully prepared when it comes time to move full steam ahead on this new endeavor.  Then you eventually return to your sacred space designated for designing your new quilt; the birth of this amazing piece is just around the corner and then BAM mentally you’re combusting with the “how about this” and “what about that” statements.  The result is that you find yourself closing your eyes with a heavy feeling of anxiety and strong sense of being overwhelmed while silently saying this:     

I’ve been there and it really can suck the air right out of the “I can’t wait to start” feeling of a new project.  My secret to not letting this happen is simply this.  IF I’m starting a new quilt I deliberately don’t go to quilt shows, online, or into shops for inspiration.  This solution sounds a bit crazy but for me it works. It’s one thing to get a better understanding of how certain techniques are applied to a quilt, but quite frankly I don’t want someone else’s finished product to influence what I am going to create.  I find it way to easy for my brain to get overstimulated when I look at other quilters pieces; in order for my designs to feel organic I stick to my tried and true process of sketching.  So often we don’t give ourselves enough credit that we can come up with ideas without having to use designs we’ve encountered as a springboard for our personal art.  We presume gathering one idea upon another idea will make things easier, reassuring ourselves that several concepts are better than just one or two.  You may want to ask yourself “How is this working for me, am I mentally exhausted?”


Do you have any special ways you combat inspiration overload?

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

 

Next up after Vegas was Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA. Yes, two trips back to back, but thank goodness no flights were needed for my trip to Hershey, PA.

I was thrilled to have my partner and crime, Judy, on this trip.  The two of us always have a great time traveling together and Hershey proved no different.  We set up the booth in record time, an hour and half, in case you were wondering what record time was, and then we relaxed while waiting for my teachers meeting to commence.

I taught a fun class entitled, “Getting in the Groove”.  It was great!  I loved witnessing my students getting in the groove and progressing in confidence and skill throughout the class.

Finally it was time to host my trunk show.  Sharing my journey of quilting brings me such pleasure as I discuss my trials and triumphs of getting where I am today.  I do pass my quilts arounds, I just request that hands are free of objects that may spill or soil the material.   

 

As many of you know Hot Yoga is my exercise of choice, and about my ONLY exercise of choice (unless you want to include my love of golf).  But on this trip I had to compromise and endure walking, which Judy loves to do.  Since I held her captive in the booth each day and kept her “daily” steps throughout the day at a minimum I had to pull my big girl yoga pants up high and put one foot in front of the other as Judy and I walked every morning.  One word….BORING.  Just to clarify Judy’s company wasn’t boring I was referring to the exercise of walking. You aren’t going to catch me throwing my dear friend under the bus!

As a reward for walking without complaining, until just now, I felt deserving of the treats that my friend, Susan, bestowed upon me. She provided a little bit of everything in order to satisfy my sugar tooth.

 

I cannot thank you enough Susan, I loved all those yummy treats but the Swedish Fish were the best!

And just a little random information:

For future reference, I am not normally a soda drinker but when I need a carbonated beverage, my go to is Coca Cola.  Sorry PEPSI fans.  However, it has been suggested that I do a blind taste test challenge to confirm that my taste buds are correct in their choice of flavor.

 

And while browsing through the ever chocolate infused Hershey gift shop….

 

 

Finally one of the best, and most treasured part about traveling to quilt shows is the opportunity to spend time with my precious quilt friends! Whether it’s Vegas, or Hershey, friends make traveling well worthwhile!

 

For now that brings my business travel to a close.  Cheers!

 

Living the DREAM!!

 

The last two weeks have flown by.  I was in Las Vegas for BERNINA University, which was amazing!!

Except for:

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! 

 

Life is Getting in the Way!

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!