Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Basics on Wednesday

Today I will be traveling to Susan's Calico Creations in Fulton, IL to teach Beginning Basic Machine Quilting on your domestic machine.  We practice sandwiching, marking, stitch in the ditch, and the basic free motion quilting.  We will talk about quilting that enhances the quilt and I bring samples of quilts I have done.  I also bring a big laminated sheet that students can practice stippling or other free motion quilting before trying it on their machines. 

Yesterday was a very busy day.  It was time to pay the real estate taxes, do some banking, and delivered six quilts to the fair.  Then I came home and turned on the longarm determined not to let learning the new software get me down today.  Tadah!  I did it.  I completed three rows of stitching on my own.  I also ran out of bobbin thread, loaded a new bobbin and got the machine started on pattern again without calling for assistance.

I would like to send out a big "Thank YOU!" to Elaine Gilmore, National Educator with Handi Quilter for all your support, phone calls, and printed tutorial.  She reached out to me at my darkest moment in trying to learn the new software update by Handi Quilter.  I am excited that I will be headed to Naperville, IL, to take lessons with Elaine this Friday.  I know this will open many creative possibilities for me.  I am impatient with my learning curve on the Pro Stitcher, I want to know it all now and don't like struggling.  I am a hands-on learner and taking my tablet with the simulator on it will be a great advantage.  The simulator mode is a new part of the software and will make learning much easier.

My lesson learned on the Handi Quilter software rollout, is don't procrastinate learning each update in a reasonable amount of the time.  I put off updating three updates and then this major update came out June 15th.  I am working to learn four updates at once. I have no one to blame but myself, I will persevere and continue to strive to be a better longarm quilter for my enjoyment and my customers' quilts.
Also, I chose a difficult pattern to line up, that made the learning process more difficult.  I am thankful that today things started to make sense.
Have a great Wednesday and thank you, Elaine!
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday Tips

Its Fair Day.  Time to make sure the quilts are clean and pet hair free.  I will be delivering six quilts to the Marshall-Putnam County Fair today.  So I pulled them out of storage from my last speaking engagement.  I then go over them with a lint roller.  I also pull out my entry sheet and make notes on post-it notes.  I put a post-it note on each quilt of what class number it was entered in.  This just makes it very easy when you arrive at check in at the fairgrounds.

The rules of the fair state that you must cover your quilt label.  So I measured the center of each quilt label where the writing appears, cut a piece of dark fabric the size of the label center and whip stitched the dark fabric over the label's writing.

Covering label keeps things fair and impartial.
Tips for today. 
 1.  Make sure your quilts are clean and neat, ready to be shown.  Each quilt has a hanging sleeve.
2.  Read the rules and directions carefully. 
3.  Cover label info with a piece of dark fabric, if required.
4.  Have fun showing your quilts!
Tomorrow I will be traveling to Fulton, IL, to teach Basic Beginning Machine Quilting on your domestic machine at Susan's Calico Creations.
Today I am linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the River.
Yours in quilting,

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday, Monday

Just let you know there is nothing quilty happening today.  My husband found out late last night that he has today off work.  This never happens!  So today I am offline doing "honey do's".  Its just so good to spend time together.  We normally get an hour together from the time we get up to the time he leaves for work.  He has been working so many hours, I am in bed when he comes home or sometimes he works such long hours he stays in a hotel. 
Cheers honey!  This day is for you!
Yours in quilting,

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Vintage Thingie Thursday

While in Shipshewana we visited a store with lots of lamps and primitive decorations.  We came upon this reproduction vintage sewing machine lamp.

The ladies were teasing and taunting me.  "This lamp is so you, Terry", "we ought to call your husband and tell him to buy this for your birthday", and " you need to buy this, we can change the lamp shade if that's what is bothering you".  I am sure there were many other reasons they rattled off but those are the few that stuck in my brain.  We did end up changing the lamp shade from wool to the cute Civil War Repro fabric.

I spent time yesterday working on learning the new Pro Stitcher updates.  I finished three rows of quilting and then ran into trouble.  I will be working with, Elaine Gilmore, Handi Quilter Educator to learn the basics before my classes next week.  Thanks, Elaine for coming to my rescue.  There is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel.
I took a break from working on the longarm lessons to meet the vet over at the horse barn.  It was time for Hoot's annual shots and Coggins test. He passed with flying colors.  Now to get him moved out to pasture. 
When I get stressed I like to piece.  So I had this block cut out and partially pieced.  I sat down and finished it easily in about a 1/2 hour.
My inspiration for trying this sheep block were my friends, Kelly who raises Shetland Sheep and Lisa who likes to decorate her home with sheep.  It turned out cute and to size.  There are pieces as little as 1" square.  This has helped me decided that I want to make the quilt with 12" blocks.
I hope you are having beautiful weather wherever you are.  We are having back-to-back cool, low humidity days that are very comfortable.  It also made for good sleeping at night.
Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Working on Wednesday

Headed down to work on my longarm shortly.  After the big update on June 15th, I have had many difficulties learning the new software.  I have classes scheduled for next week which should help a lot.  If you are a Handi Quilter owner with a Pro Stitcher, due not delay updating your machine when the updates are offered.  I put this off for two years and now I am lost because I have delayed four updates.  Procrastination is not your friend.  On today's agenda is watching YouTube videos, testing out my knowledge and possibly a call to Handi Quilter for assistance.  Ugh! Its my own fault.  Anyway, enough whining..

Yesterday, Harry Potter and I made our monthly visit to the Tiskilwa Public Library.  We had nine children show up for summer reading to Harry.
This means Harry heard about 18 books because everyone read at least two books. 
These kids amaze me with their talent.  Harry patiently listens to all the stories and the kids chatter.

The special reward for the kids was getting to hold and play with Tucker, if they read a book.
Tucker was wiggly when we got started, but settled in and chewed on a toy.  After playing with the kids, he curled up and took a nap on the way home.  We just might make a therapy dog out of this pup.  He would be such a nice size for nursing homes.  We will keep socializing him and exposing him to new experiences as training to see where it takes us.
I bought Vintage Farm Girl by Lori Holt earlier in June.  Last night I took a little "me time" to cut out and start piecing a 6" block.  Then someone walked down the basement steps and it was my husband home early.  Whoopee!  That was the end of sewing.  He has been coming home late (when I am in bed) for weeks.  What a treat for me!  He didn't call to tell me, he just came right home to surprise me.
Well it's time to quilt playing on the computer and get to work on the longarm.
Wish me luck!
Today I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday Tips

Tuesday Tip 1:  Take some time to enjoy the roses, get away with family and/or friends.    Last Tuesday I was in Shipshewana for the Quilt Show.  We got in some early shopping at A Little Bit of Lolly's in the basement of Davis Mercantile  before the quilt show opened.  They had a happy hour of $1.50 fat quarters from 5-6pm.  We also enjoyed the local flea market on Tuesday.  Both Tuesday and Wednesday nights we ate at the Blue Gate Restaurant.  The homestyle food is so good.

While on our trip I didn't work on handwork, instead I was reading Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts.  I miss reading and had picked the book up at the airport in LasVegas because we were going to be waiting for our flight for a couple of hours.  It was a great book and I finished it after we got home from Shipshewana.
Tip 2:   Use the App - Axis 360 for accessing books.  My next adventure in reading will probably be in audio books.  My friend, Corry, introduced me to the application for your phone or IPad called Axis 360.  It allows you to check out books from your local library.  You must have a library card from your library first!  I was able to simply sign-up on line and enter my library card number and boom, I was connected to a whole library of e-books and audio books.  I will be turning off the TV and listening to more books.  This will be so much easier than running back and forth to library to pick up audio book tapes/CDs.
Tip 3:  Below are updates for the free patterns I have been posting. 
Have a terrific Tuesday and I hope you have time to sew a few stitches.  Today I will be linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the River.
Yours in quilting,

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Design Wall with So Many Possibilities

I left with three friends last week for the Shipshewana Quilt Show, a shop hop and antiquing.  I was so tired from preparing to leave on the trip, that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself.  Boy, was I wrong about that.  We had a great trip and we are singing "I left my money in Shipshewana".

For Design Wall Monday,  this is still on my design wall from last week.  Look at the quilt "possibilities" to follow.  Lots of fabrics came home with me for future quilts.
Now to show you my purchases in Shipshewana.  The first quilt shop we stopped at was "A Little Bit of Lolly's" in the basement of Davis Mercantile in Shipshewana. 
They had Happy Hour from 5-6pm and all fat quarters were a $1.50.  So we sat down around this row boat that was filled with rolled up fat quarters and there were several quilters already enjoying happy hour.  We started chatting and asking each other "if you find another fat quarter like this can I have it".  It really turned into a group effort quickly.  The shop clerk was chatting with us and encouraging us to dig.  I asked if I could sit in the middle of the boat for a picture for the blog.
The first picture was safe.  See my foot is still hanging out and I am anchored to the floor.  But remember the store clerk was encouraging all of us.  Things quickly spiraled out of control.

First, they said just lay back and look like you're having fun.  No problem, I was having fun!
The clerk chirped, "they buried a quilter in fat quarters last year".  That's all anyone needed to hear and suddenly everyone was digging up armloads of fat quarters and burying me. 
I don't even know everyone that helped, but we were giggling and laughing. 
It truly was a "Happy Hour" of fabric fondling.  More quilters wandered in the door wondering what the heck was going on inside.  Notice that I never let go of my stash of fat quarters!  We visited Yoder's and the Cotton Corner the first day, also. 
Wednesday, we back and did the shop hop first thing in the morning before the Quilt Show opened at noon.  The shop hop included Yoder's Department Store, Caroline's Cottage Cottons, Lavender Patch, The Cotton Corner, Sara's Attic, The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus, and Pumpkinvine Quilting.  All the shops were nice, friendly and ready for all the shoppers.  If I had to pick one shop, Caroline's Cottage Cottons was my favorite.  It was located in a cute, brick cottage with all the fabrics I love:  civil war repros, 1930's repros, and many other fabrics, kits and samples.  On our way back to Shipshewana my phone refused to let the GPS show us the way back.  We resorted to using the old fashioned map and found the Topeka Quilt Show and Sale. 

At Topeka, you could buy quilts already to put on your bed or quilt tops that needed quilting.  Kathy O bought an antique Double Wedding Ring top.  When she showed it to us back at the hotel, we discovered it was just two rows of the quilt.  It is enough to make two table runners, or a bed runner and table runner.  It was made with double pink and some fun vintage fabrics.
When leaving Pumpkinvine Quilting we saw this fun car appliqued with the flamingo!

At The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus, we saw this cute Bobbin the Robin pin cushion.  We did collect the Row by Row Experience patterns at each shop.  This little robin had on her shower cap and a towel draped over her wing.  Check out her crocs on her feet.  There was a whole assortment of shoes to choose from, i.e. saddle shoes, crocs in many colors, ruby slippers, bunny slippers, high top tennis shoes, sequined tennis shoes, etc.
Above are my Row by Row patterns.
Below are my collection of recipes from each shop on the shop hop.
Last but not least, below is my stash purchased in Shipshewana.

Below is the newest panel released by Yoder's, 2015 barns. 
Below is last year's 2014 panel from Yoder's. 
Its always good to travel with great friends...
but its good to get home and sleep in your own bed.
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,