Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How to make Quilt Labels on Your Computer

I have written this tutorial to help the Gems of the Prairie Guild prepare for the quilt show Aug. 27 & 28, 2016 at the Peoria Civic Center.  This tutorial helps with the computer part.  At the bottom is a link (click on the blue HERE) to find additional instructions and pictures on preparing the label to be sewn to the quilt. 

Open Word or I used Libre Officewriter.

Click on Table in the upper task bar.
Click Insert in the drop down menu, and then click on Table in the next menu. In the next box you should see Name: Table1 and below the choice for how many rows and columns. Choose 1 row and 1 column and click ok

You should have this long narrow box. Place your cursor over the righthand end line and you should see a double-sided arrow. Drag the double-sided arrow to the left to make the box the width you like.
THE BOX WILL EXPAND LENGTHWISE AS YOU TYPE IN THE INFORMATION. I like the information centered within the box, so choose the box in the task bar with the contents centered before you start typing in the information.   If you forget this step, finish typing in the information and highlight all the context and then choose the centering box in the task bar.

Now you may add the information about the quilt. If you have used someone's pattern, make sure you list the name of the quilt and the pattern designer's name to satisfy copyright issues. Give credit where credit is due.  Example below: 

Rustic Hearts Designed by Sherri Bain Driver
McCall's Quick Quilts, Oct/Nov 2012 issue
Quilt was sewn and machine quilted by
Terry Johnson, Princeton, IL
July 4, 2016

I print the label first on plain paper to see if I like it and to verify there are no errors. Have someone else proof it for you. This will also help you to judge what size of printable fabric to cut. I cut the piece of fabric with paper backing to fit what I need, for example 8 1/2” by 5”, I want to be able to trim down to 1/2” outside the lines after printing.

I use EQ printable fabric sheets or I buy a roll of fabric by Inkjet Printable Fabric Sheets by Jacquard. Its 100% washable and paper backed. I really like the roll of fabric as I find I don't waste much. I try to do two labels at once so I use up one cut of fabric from the roll.

You may cut and paste pictures into your label, but it will make your label bigger.  Be creative and have fun with the process.

To learn how to finish your label with borders and applying it to your quilt, click HERE

To see other finished labels and story, click HERE.

Yours in quilting,

Monday, June 13, 2016

Handi Quilter Academy 2016

I have been looking forward to this trip to HQ Academy for over a year.  Last year when the update came out for the Pro Stitcher, I was way behind in my learning.  When I downloaded the update, I could only turn the computer on.  Since I had not kept up with the updates, I was sadly behind.  Lesson #1:   Keep up on the updates!

Since I was not current on the updates, I did not try to attend Academy in 2015.  Instead I worked hard on re-learning Pro-Stitcher from the old system to the new system with the help of classes through local dealers and Elaine Gilmore, educator.

Fast forward to 2016, I registered for Art and Stitch Boot Camp, Art and Stitch classes and many Pro-Stitcher classes.  I boarded a plane at Chicago's O'Hare Airport and let the adventure begin!
Lesson #2:  Bring an extra suitcase.  I asked the question on the Facebook Pro-Stitcher Posse group how to pack for Academy.  Many responded to bring an extra suitcase for all the giveaways.  I packed a suitcase in a suitcase going out to Salt Lake City.  Packed efficiently and left home with my luggage weighing 26 lbs.  Lesson #3:  Wear layers of clothing, the classrooms were chilly.  My son suggested I buy a backpack meant for laptops for transporting my computers to the Academy.  Lesson #4:  Use a laptop backpack for carrying computer equipment from class to class.  I bought mine in the computer section at Wal Mart. I carried it on the plane, also.

The fun began as when I checked in at the Express Shuttle counter.  As soon as I had a seat in the waiting area the new friendships began.  Other quilters were already talking about Pro-Stitcher experiences, we were showing pictures on our smart phones, and then we shared the shuttle ride to the hotel.  Checking into the hotel went smoothly, we dropped our luggage in our rooms, and walked to Corbins for dinner.  Look at that view.
It felt good to walk to the restaurant after our flights.  Susie, Diane and Cindy Lou striking up the conversation.  They have attended Academy more than once.

Vicki Hoth and all the wonderful Handi Quilter staff and guests.

Mark, the CEO of Handi Quilter, demonstrating the batik sarong.  He is such a good sport and was a great host to all of us. 
I took classes from many of the educators.   This is Susan Manry.  She spoke to my learning style, Pro-Stitcher!

This is my project with Lynn Blevins.  She is a new HQ Educator and I loved her step-by-step process.  I know this hand-out will help me re-create this project at home.

This is Jan Potter, fabric artist.  She brought her thread painting of her dog to a meal so I could see it. 
It is just like a photo it is so life-like. 
Here's a picture from one of the classes in custom quilting with Vicki Hoth.
The daisy quilt was from two classes on custom quilting and creative fills class by Vicki Hoth.

The last day I took a Zentagles class from Linda Matteotti. 
We drew this block in Art and Stitch.  I have it saved and am looking forward to stitching it out. 
Another sample of Zentagle by Linda M.

There certainly was a lot of entertainment and joking around.  Never a dull moment with Mark and Vicki and the whole Handi Quilter Family.  Our speakers were Bruce Madigson, owner of Sew Batiks and Kimmy Brunner.  Both speakers had fun and informative stories, and after the long days of learning it was easy to sit back and enjoy them.

This notebook is my new golden book!  All my handouts and notes are in a safe place.
The teachers gave all their handouts with three holes already punched and you could place them in your notebook immediately. 
Now for all the swag! 
Threads from Aurifil, Wonderfil, Superior.
Gadgets and goodies from Handi Quilter.
Fat quarters and candy from the quilt shops on the hop.

Books and magazines from teachers, vendors and other sponsors.

Free Pro-Stitcher patterns, discounts, and measuring tape from pattern designers.

I also purchased items from Handi Quilter with their 10% discount, some I was able to bring home and the rest will be shipped to me.

Thank you to all involved in the Handi Quilter Academy.  A special thank you to my roommate, Susan Lippolis.  You were the perfect roommate.

 Lesson # 5:  I would highly recommend Handi Quilter Academy.  Its four days of intense learning that is worth the investment!

Yours in quilting,

Monday, May 30, 2016

Quilt of Valor Suprise for My Dad

I have been working with my step-mother, Pat, to surprise my Dad with a Quilt of Valor.  I had a difficult finding out if it could be entered in the show but once I talked to the Quilt of Valor folks things went very smoothly.  I added the label and shipped it to Iowa.

The America Quilts Expo was held in DesMoines, IA on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  At 9:30am, 5:30pm (Thursday and Friday), and 3:30pm on Saturday, Quilts of Valor were presented to veterans in gracious ceremony celebrating those served our country.  My husband and I arrived at the show a littler earlier to find the quilt, shop for thread for my longarm and see a few lectures.  My Dad and Pat arrived around 3pm Friday.  We looked at the quilts and vendors.  Unfortunately, that didn't take as long as planned.  Thankfully, friends-Dave and Sylvia were on their way to meet us so we sat at a table and visited waiting for their arrival.  Dad still had not figured out that he was getting my quilt.  When Dave and Sylvia arrived we moved to the front stage of the show where the ceremony would take place and listened to Mary Fons' story about joining her mother, Marianne Fons, in the quilting world.  After Mary finished speaking Dad turned to me and asked "how do veterans get these quilts, do they draw names or what?"  I tried making up things but he persisted with questions.  There was a lady sitting behind Dad listening to our conversation and you should have seen the consternation on her face.  She was making faces at me, shaking her head and mouthing words back to me.  Finally, Dad decided he better go use the restroom before the ceremony started.  After he left the area, I got up and told the lady what was going on and that we had been trying to keep this a surprise for my Dad.  She assured me that now she understood the strange conversation and was excited to hear that Dad would be receiving a quilt in the next ceremony. 

Then the announcer paged the Joel Harris family.  Luckily, Dad was still out of the room and we finished making the final arrangements with the Quilt of Valor people.  We were moved to the seats in the front, Dave and Sylvia manned the cameras, and Dad returned.  The Lee family came over to greet Dad and congratulated him on being a recipient of a Quilt of Valor.  Now the secret was out!  He got all choked and said he was going to cry.

Mr. and Mrs. Lee as his quilt is shown.  Warren Larsen, from Quilts of Valor is on the left making the presentation.  The front of each quilt is shown and then...
....the quilt is turned over and wrapped around the recipient. 
Now the presentation of Dad's quilt.  I was invited to be one of the presenters.
Wrapped in his quilt and being thanked by many Quilt of Valor members. 
Taking his quilt home along with the certificate! 

Posing for the Quilt of Valor folks with the Dad and Pat.
A picture of my dad, who served during the Korean Conflict, 1953-1957, in the US Air Force.

At the end of the ceremony they had a drawing for daily prizes.  I won a new Elna Explorer 220 Sewing Machine from the Sewing House in Ottamwa, IL.   Thank you Tim Dobson for donating this machine for a door prize!

Below is the picture and description of the quilt made by my fellow quilter, Kathy Crofoot.  It had already been given to a veteran by the time I had arrived at the show.  Thank Kathy for encouraging me to make Quilts of Valor.  I have many more QOV in my future.

Thank you to all our veterans!  Take a minute to pray for all our troops, past and present on this Memorial Day.

Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday Tips

I recently had a quilt come in that did not want to play nice.  What I mean by that is the borders were wavy due to the amount of bulk in the center.  I used a technique explained on Kelly Cline's website in a tutorial.  When I worked on the quilt I used Best Press because its what I had on hand.  On the next trip to Wal Mart, or as my husband calls it "Terry's World", I purchased the spray starch Kelly Cline recommended.  I love it!

When I am stressed out or frustrated with a quilt, I take a break and go piece a quilt.  I tried the spray starch on those tough fold marks in the fabric, left it set for a minute or two to soak in, and then pressed.  Beautiful pressing without any fold marks and no flaking as you will get with many starches.  (Now a word of warning - if you are working on a quilt that may never be washed and maybe stored, starch can draw small bugs that can damage your quilt. It is a small risk but one you need to be made aware.) 

Have a great day!

Yours in quilting,

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Work in Progress Wednesday & Trip Pictures

Today I feel like I have played shuffle the deck with things around the house.  I am moving stuff out of the way of the electrician and putting back things we had moved in anticipation of work by the contractor.  The electrical contractor is here today installing new lights and new circuits.  WooHoo! for new lighting on the outside of the house.  We have always had yellow glass in our lights which gives off a haunting glow.  Now we will have LED lighting and bright, so beware burglars.  When you lived in house for many years (26+) there comes a time when updating is a necessity.  It has been a long drawn out process over the last year and a half.  I will post pictures in the future.
We have just returned from a vacation in Washington DC and the contractors have returned to finish the work in our house. On our second day of our bus trip, we visited Gettysburg.  This view is from Round Top looking over the battlefields.
The South Carolina memorial. 
Rod at the Mississipi Memorial. 
Inside the museum is the Cyclorama.  This is an oil painting in-the-round. 
Another view in the Cyclorama.
We had been to Gettysburg before, about 15 years ago with our son.  They have built a new museum and visitors center along with the Cyclorama.  Its a beautiful place to visit.  We also ate dinner at the Dobbin House Tavern.  The Dobbin House was also part of the underground railroad for slaves.  They hid the slaves between the floors during the day.  The slaves came out and traveled by night.
They took us upstairs to eat.  It was tight quarters up there but the food was good.  Below is our beautiful candlelit dinner table with Joe and Kathy Olson.  We also enjoyed meeting many other couples on our bus, plus finding out we knew many other people in common.  It's a small world. 
Have a great day!  The sun is shining and its starting to warm up.  This weather is much nicer than what we dealt with last week. 
Yours in quilting,

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Finishes - Good Friday

It has been sometime since I have posted and shared my quilting with you.  I am happy to say I have quite a bit to share today. Get your favorite cup of coffee, tea or a healthy smoothie, and settle down for a good read and pictures.
 I have been working on a quilt for over three (3) years for my best friend, Kelly.  The day we picked out the fabric and gave birth to this quilt was quite an adventure.  You may read the story:
Last Sunday, Kelly and her husband, Mike, took time off from the fiber farm to drive down for a visit.  We spent some time catching up on each others' lives.  Kelly and Mike own OK Acres farm where they raise Shetland sheep, chickens, horses, 1 alpaca, 2 lamas, 2 angora bunnies and multiple dogs.  They have guardian dogs that live with the sheep and house dogs that are their pets. Oh, let's not forget the two cats!  Before arriving Sunday, their son had been over to help install cameras in the barn to help with lambing season.  Now they will be check on the ewes from work, from bed in the middle of the night and from the house, without trekking down to the barn.  Kelly and Mike will be snuggling under the new quilt this Spring.  The outer border below is quilted with swags and piano keys quilting, along with the second border quilted with clam shells with curls (Handi Quilter patterns).  I used navy and off-white Magnifico threads.  The center of the quilt is quilted with Counting Sheep E2E by Three Sisters. 
Below is view of a corner.  I cropped the center pattern down to one sheep and stitched it in each corner square. 
I was never so glad to finish a quilt top.  I had taken so long to finish the quilt there was a danger I wouldn't be able to get additional fabric, if needed.  I would have been short of the outer border fabric but I took creative license and added corner stones to the border.  I am very pleased with the overall finished product. 
I also made a label telling the story. 
There once was a girl who raised sheep. She said let's go on a road trip, beep, beep!
So, we loaded up Pearl Jam, the ram lamb and sped down the highway towards Beaver Dam. After the sheep shuffle, we bought a few hens with money to spare. So we stopped at the quilt shop where the fabric we did find. In twenty minutes flat - a pattern and fine fabric were all in our bag. As we dashed home from Sun Prairie with a coo from the hens, I promised a beautiful quilt I would make. But, we won't discuss how much time it did take.

May you enjoy your quilt for many years to come. The pattern is Cabin Fever by Bonnie Sullivan.
The quilt was pieced and quilted by Terry Johnson, Quilt Crazie, Princeton, IL. March 2, 2016
Please label your quilts and have as many appraised as you can.  Add them to your home owner's insurance. 
Tuesday morning I was so happy to meet Gudrun Erla of G.E. Quilt Designs.  She was the guest speaker at Quilter's Garden in Princeton.  There were 85 quilters gathered to hear Gudrun's story of her quilting journey.  She has developed the Stripology Ruler with Creative Grids and has authored many books and single patterns. You can visit her through her blog at or on Facebook join her group Gudrun's Quilt Crew.  I joined her Crew a few months ago and recently made her free pattern, Come Together.
Gudrun's patterns are well written and easy to follow. 
 I am happy to say I made this top all on my featherweight. 
It is quilted with butterflies and backed with minky.  
Pattern is Handi Quilter Flutterbys and thread is Omni Banana.
This quilt was a collaborative effort with my friend, Kathy Olson.  Last June, we traveled to Shipshewana for the quilt show and shop hop.  Thanks to Kathy Allen, who is very familiar with the area, she made the hotel arrangements and drove us to all the events.  Kathy Olson and bought this panel (the center) at Yoders Department Store.  We planned to make Kathy Allen a quilt for taking us on the trip, as she is not a quilter.    Kathy O and I drew our inspiration from the panel and repeated the blocks in the panel in the borders.  It was exciting to find fabrics that matched the panel colors so easily.  We worked on the project at a January retreat and what we didn't finish at the retreat, we took turns working on the project at home.  Each of us made blocks and borders. 
It is quilted with Maple Omini thread and the pattern is Gingersnap by Apricot Moon. The barn blocks are a pattern by Lori Holt, Bee in My Bonnet.
Here is the story on the label.
To the bestest quilt shop hop chauffer.
Thank you for the trip to the Shipshewana area,
Shop Hop, Antique Shops, and Quilt Show in June 2015.
This quilt was designed, pieced and quilted
especially for you by Kathy Olson (Wyanet, IL)
and Terry Johnson (Princeton, IL).
Thanks for the memories!
The quilt below is one of my customer's quilts.  She recently finished this fabulous UFO.  Its a Nancy Halvorsen design, Beatitudes. 
Great applique.  She will be adding the decorative buttons to finish it!
Have blessed Easter weekend.
Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Working on Wednesday

This past weekend, my friend Cathy K, gave a class on how to clean and maintain your Featherweight sewing machine.  There were four students in the class and it was very informative as well as hands-on learning.
Our teacher was "Little Cathy" in the black top on the right side of the above picture.  I am the one with the olive colored shirt. Notice in the background that all the walls are carpeted.  Every wall is a design wall. 
Below we are learning to use Singer lubricant on the gears.  Little Cathy was great about going around and working individually with each of us.
Below, I went home and set-up my Featherweight table and worked on a quilt while watching The Bachelor Monday night.  It was really cold here and I didn't feel like going to the basement.
Hope you had a good day and got a little sewing in.
Yours in quilting,