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!

Have Wings Will Travel

 

 

Yep that’s where I’m headed, but what’s wrong with the picture below? If you said, ” The plane is not in the air” you would be correct!

Red Rocks Resort for Bernina University is my ultimate destination.  This amazing facility is where the Bernina dealers gather each year and are introduced to future BERNINA, concepts and ideas.  We also are given the opportunity to hear about new products, so exciting!  This year brings a little addition to my time at the University as I am teaching two classes tomorrow, both focused on how rulers are used and the most effective ways to sell rulers in shops.

PAST

The travel for this yearly jaunt seems to be a challenge, last years trip was to New Orleans.  During that little adventure I was supposed to play golf on an incredible course, but as my luck would have it I flew into Charlotte and had to stay the night.  The next day I took Con Air to Miami and eventually arrived in New Orleans.  Obviously I missed the golf experience.

BACK to PRESENT

10:27 am Monday, I should be half way to Las Vegas, but now that we are refueled and pushed back we have been advised that we are being rerouted. So I sit and wait once again but at least my seats mates are cool!

I told my row that once that drink cart is within my line of vision the first beverage is on me.  At this rate we could be having milk and cookies as a bedtime snack.

6:09 pm No bedtime snack required, I finally made it! Now let’s get happy and make the most of my time at BERNINA University.

Do you have one trip that undoubtedly brings adversity and frustration to your travels? If so please share!

 

Move Aside Testosterone

 

SEW(something I don’t normally do) + Testosterone (my three boys, my husband AND even my dog) = Me sewing a bag.  Yes, you heard correctly, this “quilter” (non sewer) decided on a whim to try her hand at sewing a bag.  And here’s why: I discovered this wonderful pattern for the Sew Together Bag at Pennington Quiltworks.  If you haven’t stepped inside “Pennington Quiltworks” do yourself a favor and pay a visit to this store. In addition to coming across this darling pattern, I also felt the need to embrace the estrogen part of my world, every now and then I feel a little suffocated by all the maleness encompassing my four walls.

A fellow shopper in the store was kind enough to give me a heads up that the directions weren’t the absolute best, (thank goodness for the kindness of strangers) but if I googled the pattern I would find there is a blog sew along (no, not sing along, although I had so much fun I was singing while I sewed)   Click here  if you would like to have access to the blog.  I chose this bag since it was touted as a beginner bag.  Since I like easy peasy and being a non sewer I felt this pattern was right up my alley.  Much to my surprise after googling the pattern, I found that some individuals didn’t agree that this was a beginner bag.  Well, I am very competitive at heart, ask anyone who plays golf with me.  Therefore, I gazed upon this pattern as if it were in a golf course and thought, “Back away from this non sewer, these opinions aren’t going to deter me.”  FYI, lets not forget that I had also invested money in all the materials required to make this little bag so if you think I was about to waste my hard-earned cash Hell no!

 

 

Begrudgingly, I read through the directions.  I am a visual learner and I cannot stand reading directions, don’t even think about commenting that I sound like a typical man.  Anywho, I knew that in order to complete this little project I would actually need to follow the instructions step by step.  The struggle was REAL!

DAY ONE: I completed most of the interior.


 

I actually completed all 3 zippers, now for me that’s pretty darn impressive! Remember people I am NOT a sewer, I am a quilter.  A straight line I can sew, and occasionally a curved one but that’s really pushing it!

DAY TWO: I brought this project to a close, zippers and all!

Regardless of what the task is, new or old, I always learn something new.  As I looked at my finished project I realized I would have liked longer handles. But overall for my initial attempt I am very happy and satisfied with the results.  Lord help me if I stumble across some cool golf fabric, because then there will be many more of these in my future.

Please act surprised when you receive one of these from me during Christmas…LOL

SaveSave

SaveSave

No Wasted Fabric Here!

 

 

 

 

Have you heard of  Quilts for Kids.?  I am sure many of you have, but if you haven’t you really owe it to  yourself to look into this organization.  My workshop last week gave me the opportunity to teach at their headquarters.  I was astounded, I mean it is quite an operation!

 


Above you will see the incredible founder of this company, Linda Ayre.  If you haven’t heard of her, please take a second and read her story here. 

This non-profit organization has helped so many children, if you would like to support the cause,  feel free to request a kit or use your own fabric.  For those of you that don’t know how to begin here are some patterns to get you started…  Quilts for Kids patterns.   After visiting Linda’s facility I’m now eager to make some  in the near future.  I hope after visiting her website and gaining a little insight on what a wonderful outreach program this is you too will join me!

I am so grateful for meeting Linda, she is a true inspiration!

 

SaveSave

It Simply Can’t Be!

 

 

 

 Nope still no quilting for this girl, and it’s FRIDAY!  Where did this week go? Today I am was at the University of Delaware with my middle son, Noah.  He had orientation. Yippee!!!  The excuses the rest of the week are MIA…

If you read my post No Quilting Game Here, you know that I was in Wisconsin for the US Open.  My wonderful husband surprised me with the trip!  We attended last year when it was in Pittsburgh, and as may of you know I captured a picture of Jordan Speith and myself.  Well, now it is a tradition for my husband and I.  This year’s trip proved to be challenging since the course was a little more wide-spread.   FYI,  Jodan has two State Police officers that follow him around the course…ugh!  Either someone ratted me out and gave him a  heads up that I would be stalking him for a picture, OR Jordan checked out my last post and learned of my upcoming visit.  I’d like to think he actually read my post!

Note the police officers in the pictures, and yes I know one might assume from what they see in the photograph that I was put behind bars for stalking Jordan.

No, I didn’t cause drama, just observing from the grandstand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I kicked and screamed like a five-year old, I did come back to Pottstown, PA.  My temper tantrum quickly ended when I went to Newtown Quilter’s Guild to teach for the day.  They all mastered the Divide and Design so fellow quilters watch out! Take a look at what just one class had these students producing.

Just think this was just the beginning for these talented individuals.  Can you imagine what they will create in the near future? I am so anxious to see what their new skills and creativity brings to their fabric.  With a little practice they will all be unstoppable!