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!

 

My “Almost” Shoulda, Coulda Been Houston Auction Quilt

 

It’s almost time to say,”Goodbye September and Hello October.”  Which means that getting ready for the big event in Houston is in full swing!  I am keeping my toes and fingers crossed that I see many of you there; just in case you are wondering where we will be located this year I am here to share that we will be in booth # 1223!

 

 

 

 And if necessary there’s always 24 other options available according to the alphabet!  Does the below photograph look familiar to you? My mind has immediate horrifying flashbacks when looking at it!

No too long ago, I had created a post regarding my  4 year forever quilt….. , and the lovely bleeding that graced it’s presence on my fabric.  Bear with me readers… I had an orphan block for this piece and had decided that after applying some beaded piping and a border on this project I would then quilt it.

My goal was to finally have this completed  for the Houston International Quilt Festival’s auction. I’m sad to report that  Houston isn’t going to happen.  Now, although the process did not meet the Houston deadline I DID finish quilting it!  I’m currently waiting for my friend Liz Haskell to provide me with the fabric needed which will allow me to bind this piece.  Having had the unfortunate experience of  the “4 year quilt bled bath” I am thinking that this scenario could repeat itself with the piece displayed below.  This time I am going to be proactive instead of reactive!  When it is time to block the needed area, I will implement the same process (dawn dish detergent) for this piece.  Typically I wouldn’t block such a small piece but I figure I might be about to learn another huge life lesson in regarding my quilting so better to be safe than sorry!

Below is a picture of the almost finished piece.

After much consideration I have also decided to hold off and reserve this for next years auction piece.  Hopefully I will FINALLY have the 4 year quilt finished in its entirety and entered into the Houston show.

Stay tuned for results on how  the blocking of this piece turns out!

Is anyone else gearing up for Houston? Whether you’re vending, teaching or planning on visiting please share your plans!

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?

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!

We Need to Talk…

 

I have no problem encouraging my students to step out of their comfort zone and push themselves to experience something new but sometimes I don’t always like to practice what I preach.  Yes, I am admitting yet another “Lisa flaw”.  Anyone that read a recent post will recall that I did sew a bag, which is not my thing, and I had a great time.  But I am ultimately a creature of habit and feel very uncomfortable taking steps into “newness” and that includes welcoming new things into my studio easily. And here’s what I mean:

My beloved BERNINA longarm has a friend now.  Heavens no, not another machine, although that thought is very tempting.  LOL  I have the QMatic which is the computer component for the BERNINA.  Now, I’m not a total dinosaur, in the past I did “computerized” quilting but this was back in the day (many moons ago) when I was quilting daily for customers and could not fathom completing projects without computerizing.  Since I currently quilt for myself, I now find it hard to jump in and bring myself up to speed with technology.  Yes, I need to come face reality, and with this incredible addition I’ll be in feeling like a more modern quilting girl in no time.  BUT it will take some practice!

 

Learning the software is obviously my first goal, however, I also need to become familiar with the new weight of the machine while doing freehand.  Ah, major learning curve! This is extremely important because although the machine doesn’t necessarily feel much different, the swing is a little different.  Therefore, in order to apply those nice backtracking feathers, it requires me to practice, practice and practice some more.  To aid in my training I’ve placed practice fabric (fabric I care less about) to make sure I’m comfortable with the new weight of the machine.  After gaining confidence in the adjusted swing of my machine I plan on tackling a small piece that will hopefully be an auction piece at Houston. Fingers crossed.

Below you can see an orphan block from my four-year, never-ending quilt.  This will be my Houston Quilt Festival Auction piece if I can get my rear in gear and get it on the machine.  Yes, I realize there is a seam ripper in the picture.  Remember I’m a WIP, need I say more?!

This quilt is  more like the four-year and some odd month, never-ending, quilt…lol    Goal 450 billion is to get that finished by the end of 2017.  I refuse to let it become,”The 5 Year Quilt”.

So I’m off to  practice what I preach and throw myself full force into learning, and understanding this new software.  Big girl pants are pulled up, zipped and belted tightly!

 

What changes have you recently encountered that has you hesitant to step into the new, and unknown?

 

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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!

Well Hello New Hampshire!

WE HAVE ARRIVED FOLKS!

Manchester, New England will never be the same after these girls claim their territory in booth 188!  Classes, vending, and lots of fun are creating a few days of quilters heaven!

Kicked off MQX with a Totally Templates Class

What a great way to begin my time here in New Hampshire.  There’s nothing better than starting the Quilting Show with a class that consists of amazing students eager to learn!

I was extremely proud to give my Teacher’s Ribbon to:

Marie Alexander from Groton MA

“NEW HOPE”

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY…What a Great Machine Quilting Show!

Judy and I have been on the go; teaching and also vending in booth 188!  Meeting, educating and sharing all that Quilter’s Groove Rulers have to offer to those who quilt, these last few days have been a whirlwind of events.  But with all the incredible individuals we encounter each day we can’t help but smile and realize how lucky we are!

Did I mention we have been busy? Did I mention how much I love sharing my craft with fellow quilters?  This adventure to New Hampshire has been simply marvelous!

Are you in town? If so please stop by and say hello! If you have attended MQX over the past few days I’d love to hear what you’ve done and if you enjoyed your time in Manchester!

The Inner Struggle of Teaching

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 I LOVE teaching! I actually beginning prepping for an upcoming class weeks ahead of time, partly because I am OCD and need to be super, duper prepared, but mostly because I am just that enthusiastic about teaching!  I look so forward to the actual day when I am able to walk into the classroom and share a morning, afternoon, or entire day with those that are willing to endure my instruction for a length of time and share in my passion.  But I cannot ignore the fact that prior to every session I teach my mind starts the playing “The Doubting Game”.  images-111

And here is how this game plays out.  I gaze upon my class roster, I look at what I am teaching that day and the wheel starts spinning.

At the first spin the wheel stops on:

Will it be worth their time?  

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After all these students have paid to sit before me and learn something.  I always to strive to give my student quality instruction.

Next spinner lands on:

Will they absorb the information I am trying to convey?  I can prepare materials, go over what is being taught in my head and feel confident that I am going to nail the information I will present. But then that nagging uncertainty creeps in and this is what I always fear will be looking back at me when the day is upon me (and I will see about 15-25 of these faces)

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Then the spinner slowly falls upon:

Are my students enjoying what they are learning?  Let’s face it these individuals should enjoy their time of being educated.  No one wants to sit in a classroom and feel like they are sitting before Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

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Ah, NO way! I want my students to have a great time AND learn!

Lastly, the wheel comes to a halt at:

Was this class productive?  Did my class give my students what they expected, and wanted over the last several hours AND for what they paid for?  I want these quilters to exit my session feeling as though they have gained at least a few new tools, and concepts.  My inner voice has me wondering if they will all  feel better equipped to take tackle their design.images-99

For me the major challenge of teaching is creating an environment where I give those before me the opportunity to learn, and feel empowered to take the next step in the quilting journey.

This is what I hope to witness at the end of each lecture, or class.

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For all my fellow instructors out there, do you have an aspect of teaching that you find most challenging? If so do tell!

Priceless Advice

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As a child, student, parent and professional we have all been provided with guidance, and advice on how to find our way along the different paths of life.  “It’s not about winning”, “More working and less talking”, “Practice what you preach”, and “You gain more out of the mistakes you make than the success you achieve”.  I am sure they all sound familiar and will remind you of phrases heard from your past.

When I first began long arming I would look at feathers, admiring their beauty and wishing I could allow them to float across my fabric.  My biggest challenge was obtaining uniformity.  The perfection I yearned to portray on my quilt never made an appearance.  After struggling with this technique for quite some time I decided to pose my situation to an online forum.  I asked my million dollar question, “How does everyone get their feathers to look the same, mine all look different.”  I stared at the empty screen, and after several seconds an answer popped up.  The words scrolled across my monitor screen would forever change my way of designing.  The million dollar answer was “Why would you want them to be the same?”  That short sentence would be a HUGE  “Aha” moment for me and would be carried on forever in my way of quilting.   

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During my classes I can often be heard telling my students  “Don’t let anyone tell you there are rules.”  Designing opens a pathway to forgoing rules and encouraging our uniqueness.  Dare to be different, and dare to show the world you.  There isn’t always a right way, or a wrong way, but there is YOUR way.

Do you have an important piece of advice that has played a significant part of your quilting journey?  If so I loved for you to share it with me.

Flat Lisa is STILL in Pennsylvania?? Say It Isn’t So!!

WHAT,  Flat Lisa is STILL in Pennsylvania?! Say It Isn’t So!!  img_8873

Where is everyone? I know quilters reside in places other than Pennsylvania, so why is Flat Lisa stuck in Pennsylvania? Okay, perhaps you missed the Flat Lisa Reveal, maybe you skipped the Flat Lisa Reveal, or I suppose there is a slight possibility you aren’t interested in Flat Lisa.? Regardless, I will say it again I am eager to view my quilting friends globally.  That being said I’d like, one more time, to introduce Flat Lisa! Share with me your quilting studio, classes, shows etc.(be creative if you’d like).  Simply right-click on Flat Lisa below, save it to your computer and print out copy.  Take a selfie with you and Flat Lisa and send your picture via email to Lisahcalle@me.com  –It’s that easy!!

****Make sure you include your location so that I can track where my adventures have taken me. All photographs will be posted AND you will be entered to win a copy of my book “Divide and Design”.  A winner will be drawn for end of this month.  You don’t have a lot of time, so come on quilting friends I know you’re out there!!

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