My Dearest Cherrywood,

My life would simply feel incomplete without special moments found in the presence of my quilting crush, Cherrywood Fabric.  Over the past couple of days not only was I fulfilling my passion of “quilting” but I also laid hands on the love of my life – CHERRYWOOD! Yes, Cherrywood Fabric ranks up there as my first love, but I also have a second love.  I mean, god forbid there’s no Cherrywood in my life I need to have options! So next in line would undoubtedly have to be feathers.  Oh, how I gush when I am quilting feathers into a design.  Now, just imagine my reaction when I am presented with a project that utilized Cherrywood Fabric AND Feathers!! Yes, I was beyond thrilled and I owe all my happiness to Linda McQuaid, who is a member of the Cherrywood team.  The planets aligned perfectly for me because she requested that I complete her very first quilt. Of course I gave her a big “Hell Yes!”  I was in dream land during this quilting process and although I didn’t want to wake up reality called, but I’m thrilled to report that the finished product will be displayed proudly in team Cherrywood’s booth. I highly recommend having those credit cards handy for the kit!

It felt like ions since I have completed a quilt for a customer, I was so excited to have the chance to not only produced a client quilt but this piece allowed me to cover issues that students inquire about during my Divide and Design Class.

First up:  What do you do if the quilt is not a square?

Second question:  What do you do if there really isn’t a central focal point?

In response to the first question if your quilt isn’t a square, relax, no big deal.  Breathe easy and treat the quilt as if it were a square.  You will simply begin in the center and divide your quilt.  Easy right?!

Pertaining to the second question, if there is no true focal point just create one. Looking at the picture above you can see there is a pieced block in the center, and it is the identical to the other pieced blocked on the fabric.  Our goal is to produce a design around that.

I implemented some straight line quilting to define a few areas; and then filled them.

Final question:  What if I don’t want to quilt my piece to death?

I understand, sometimes less is more.  I didn’t want to quilt this fabric too heavily, which was really unlike me.  I had to determine what I was going to apply on the outside of the quilt.  This was the real challenge on this quilt.  So I used my tracing paper to figure it all out.  In order to steer clear of quilting too much I chose to make a large-scale grid work (thank you Barb Persing) by using the piecing as my guide.

And there you have it; a little adventure that had me living the dream of working with my two loves; Cherrywood and feathers! Thank you Linda for allowing me to be a part of your quilting journey, and bringing the best of both worlds to my quilting days.

What do you all think?

 

I Just Wanna Have Fun

 

 

Most of you know it’s with much excitement that I’ve announced that Perfect Plumes has made its big debut.  But what you don’t know is that during the process of constructing my latest class, with a little help, I filmed a little promo video for the launch of my newest addition.  Below you will find the small segment to watch, if you haven’t already. And if you’re about to click “play” keep in mind that there’s nothing I love more than adding a bit of comedy into my work days.

So feel free take a look at the video:

Since you have watched the above little clip I’d like to now reveal the first couple recordings that were filmed.  But first I need to disclose that my red-headed assistant, Drea, was helping with this project. And whenever the two of us are found in the same room, regardless of size, a unique and rare element of playfulness fills the space. For the record I’d like to say that despite how many times fits of laughter place our work on a brief pause; we still manage to be productive!  So, on this particular day Drea, and I thought it would be fun to add a “tiny” bit of costuming to the video; and the chosen accessory was a wig. The end result is what you are about to observe below.  Now, I realize that you may not find it nearly as comical as we did; but trust me, managing a falling wig makes “serious” acting a bit difficult. My intent in sharing these clips is to encourage everyone to permit themselves to embrace silly, laughter-filled, moments in their day.  And if you’re lucky enough to have someone who brings that aspect into your life then make sure that you incorporate them into your tomorrows!

Enjoy and have a laugh…

 

Presenting… Perfect Plumes!

 

Some things are worth the wait, and I have to admit these are one of those things!  If you’ve been yearning to master the technique of creating beautiful heirloom feathers then, Perfect Plumes is calling your name!  The class is broken down into steps that are easy to understand and provides the knowledge and skills needed to enhance this aspect of quilting. The only catch is there is no magic fairy dust..

 

 

You may not want to hear this folks but the fact remains, like many things, the key to success with creating feathers is practice, practice, practice! You want to succeed, and I want you to succeed, so in order to achieve that, Perfect Plumes includes worksheets to be downloaded.  Trust me, they will be a huge learning asset. In addition, the class incorporates videos demonstrating drawings and stitching performed on the domestic machine.

When I began quilting, I desperately wanted to master feathers.  This didn’t happen over night, in fact, it took some patience, time, and a lot of doodling.  My unwavering dedication in grasping this concept evolved into a huge love of feathers.  They are, by no means perfect, but that’s just fine with me.

Okay, enough about me, back to YOU and Perfect Plumes! Finally, the conclusion of this session incorporates a final project to test your skills, and the pattern is included! A class with manageable steps, videos, worksheets, and a final project; what more could a fan of heirloom feathers ask for?  Trust me you’ll soon see that magic fairy dust isn’t necessary; the true magic lies in YOU!

So let’s get you flying with feathers! Sign up now!

ProFeather™ Ruler Pre-Orders Start NOW!

Preorders are being taken now!

 

Just hang in there with me; those beautiful pieces of clear plastic will be in my hot little hands within 2 weeks!  Remember my last post containing  the video of hopelessness? If not, go back and watch.  If you did watched that little excerpt, and giggled, and moreover connected with my message then you really need to witness the ProFeather ruler in action.  I’ll admit, perhaps my acting wasn’t quite convincing enough to have you believe that this tool would be incredibly helpful.  BUT I am quite confident that the video below will demonstrate how unbelievably useful this instrument could be in producing feathers freehand!

Now that you have viewed my tutorial aren’t you super excited about getting your hands on one of cute little rulers? Yes,  FINALLY this product ready to launch! How about we let a flock of feather’s fly among your fabric!

Preorders are being taken now!

Happy April everyone! Orders will ship the week of the April 23rd!!

Folks We Are SOO Close!

 

Does the following little video have you glancing in the mirror saying, “Oh my god! That’s me!”  If so, then you’ll be happy to know I have a solution!

 

Yes, step by step, things are really starting to move forward in my little studio, here in Pennsylvania.  Even during the process of preparing for shows, lectures, etc. I have remained focused on producing the ProFeather™ ruler AND the Perfect Plumes Class.  No doubt it’s a lot to juggle, but I’m so excited that I’m putting the finishing touches on my newest ruler and class that I can’t set it aside now! Heck no! So be on the look out, they are coming your way very soon!!!

 

Snow and Slow to Lancaster 2018 We Go!

 

 

I’m still looking for February; and searching high and low for March!

I spent the better portion of last week at the AQS Lancaster Quiltweek.  My trip began with a lovely spring blizzard which kindly dropped 12″ of snow on surrounding roads.  Moreover,  it’s timing couldn’t have been better…not.   Those beautiful, white, flakes began falling from the sky above on the day I was scheduled to leave.  But I pulled my big girl snow pants up, as high as they would go, and prayed that my 4 wheel drive SUV was up to challenge of  transporting this quilter to Lancaster.

You will note that the speedometer above shows the average speed at which I drove.  Slowly, but surely, moving at a snail’s pace of 20 mph, I inched my way towards my destination.

I MADE IT TO LANCASTER!

The workmanship and creativity in the quilts I encountered were spectacular.  I had to share one of my favorites below.  Karen Kay Buckley and Renae Haddadin make an amazing team as you can clearly see by what they created.

I was so proud and ecstatic that my BFF, Barbara Persing, piece won 1st place!  AQS allowed me to conduct her winner’s interview.  Doesn’t get better than that, for me at least! LOL

My time in Lancaster had me taking in the sites of many gorgeous quilts, and teaching classes.  What more could I have asked for? Well, how about spending time with friends from near and far? Ah yes, that was the icing on the cake! So that grueling, 20 mph, crawl to the AQS Lancaster Quiltweek was more than worth it!


 

What I “Did” VS What He “Thought I Did”

The MidAtlantic Quilt Festival was upon me, and I had yet to make a sign for my booth.  I was hell-bent on creating a sign; I refused to present my space without it! No way, no how, this quilter was in a “get out of my way” mode until this task had been accomplished (I’m sure many of you can relate to a project that brought you similar feelings) Was having this piece absolutely necessary? Was the world going to end if I my sign wasn’t present at the show? When I am in a sane state of mind I would obviously say, of course not.

So I kindly informed my husband, Jon, that I was going to allow my studio to hold me hostage in order to erect the lovely sign for my booth.  Many hours later, and I mean MANY, I emerged, weary, and blurry eyed; but victorious!  My company sign was finished!  I was so proud, and yet Jon raised his eyebrows at me like I was some lunatic. I wanted to grab his cheeks and say, “Hello? Do you understand what I have just accomplished?” But I refrained from doing so and relished silently in my personal success.  It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to read my husbands FB post that it became very apparent that he had no idea the “type” of sign I was making. Silly boy!

BTW, it looked fabulous in the booth and was well worth the hours of stitching.  I hope my husband realizes that sharpies and poster board are for beginners, this quilter is a little more advance than that 🙂

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!