“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!

 

Technology: Friend or Foe?

images-58With the advances many gifted humans have made throughout time it is not surprising to witness applied science making its way into the quilting world.  Beginning with the birth of the first patented sewing machine in 1791 to the now visible computerized quilting machines; mechanics has evolved quilting into an amazing hobby and business.

Somehow in this ever-changing quilting world I still embrace the tried and true, (a.k.a the old-fashioned way) pencil and paper.  Bells and whistles are in abundance; enhancing the efficiency and uniqueness to what can be created with a small needle and thread.  Yet, I forever find myself holding my graphite pencil prepared for brainstorming battle on sketching paper.  I know my BERNINA 750QE is a playground of fun that I have allowed myself to only slightly enjoy.  Maybe, one day, I’ll venture to the BERNINA playground filled with wonderful stitches.  Or maybe not.unknown-22

 

 

 

 

In regards to computer programs and the quilting world I do possess the EQ 7, however, I do not utilize it often.  I am reluctant to be unfaithful to my pencil and paper, I simply find it faster and reliable.  I even hesitate to stray from my handy-dandy calculator for determining yardage.  The words “Computer Savvy” and “Lisa Calle” do not seem to compute.  However, I  do make use of “Illustrator”.  I am actually quite proud to share that Illustrator and I are going on a 7 year relationship.  I honestly cannot ever see me totally breaking up with Illustrator as this program has definitely become a small piece of me.  There are moments during my creative process that, with the help of handsome Illustrator, I will produce an appliqué design.  The results have me grinning from ear to ear as my eyes take in printed designs in various sizes.  But every relationship needs a break, and I since I’m not very good at juggling relationships I always follow my heart back to my pencil and paper.

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Breaking up is hard to do.  So until my loyal pencil and paper decide to call it quits with this designer, I will be sticking with the tried and true.  That’s not to say that technology won’t tempt me into putting my pencil and paper on the back burner.

Has technology found its way into your quilting world? I am sure there are many tech savvy quilters among us, so share your modern must haves!

Am I Really Quilting Today?

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Most days have me descending down the stairs to my quiet haven and loving all the components that make my business complete.  But that is not to say that there aren’t a few days here and there when time in the studio has me feeling as though I have just entered a gymnasium and am about to be a participant in a wrestling match.

How do the two compare? Believe it or not in quite a few ways.

Me V.S. Fabric

Round 1:   Pre-Washing Fabric Yes as beautiful as it appears in the store, and in your car, the idea of washing it is not appealing.  Loading this amazing purchase into the washer isn’t horrible, but the results of the washer is quite exhausting.  Let me say these two words “Wet Fabric”.  Just like a wrestler moves about the mat being focused and cautious not to step outside the circle, removing the material without bringing water onto the floor is challenging! 

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Round 2: Ironing Yards and Yards of Fabric 

Ironing, ironing and more ironing.  Pressing wrinkles out of a mountain of fabric located to the left of my ironing board can feel endless and yet has to be done carefully.  After spending hours of steaming, and pressing I must be cautious not to trip over the fabric that has been ironed into silky smoothness laying to the right of my ironing board.  This has me dancing around, like a wrestler on the mat, trying to prevent my opponent from bringing me down onto all fours. images-57

Round 3: Piecing Large Quilts in a Small Area  Intense to say the least.  Piecing the fabric to the quilt is quite similar to a wrestler performing the right technique on their opponent in order to gain and keep control. Both are done repeatedly using skill and patience.

Round 4: Feeding Fabric Through the Machine  Without a Longarm working your material through the machine is taxing.  Will it ever end? Pulling, pushing, aligning, and keeping a nice pace.  These are all characteristics that a wrestler acquires in order to prevent being pinned by their opponent; yes you see we are alike!images-53

 

Round 5: Longarm Quilters, Taking Fabric Off Machine and Folding It Neatly Rather than rip my gorgeous pre-washed, ironed, and quilted fabric to the ground, I will firmly tug and pull the beast off my Longarm.  After I have mastered the removal off the Longarm, I will neatly fold the quilt.  In my eyes this is a “PIN”..and to a wrestler this is also considered a win.

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 Both take physical endurance, and both demand mental skill.  But it is both those abilities that push me forward, and I would think this would also pertain to the wrestler.  The wrestler will face easy matches, just as I encounter days that everything in my studio runs smoothly.  However, those arduous matches, and quilting days, make both of us work harder and educate each of us more than those simple periods.

Does quilting remind you of any sport, or event in particular?  We all encounter different challenges, and adversities when we quilt.  I would love to know yours!