Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day & Tuesday Tip

Today was suppose to be a quiet Valentine's Day.  I told my husband I didn't want anything accept to go to an antique store that is having a sale this Friday.  So how does my day start out?  I attend Garden Club at my local quilt shop, Quilter's Garden and they hand out cute valentines.  Sweetheart paper folded around a Kiss of Hershey's chocolate.
Next I received a sweet text from my sewing sister, Cathy!  Then later in the afternoon I received a special mushy card from my husband, he's a keeper. 
The biggest surprise was 3 beautiful red roses with a card from my son.
By the way, he's the best thing I ever made!  So the day was that was suppose to pass-by quietly ended up being precious.

Tuesday's Tip:  Have you been looking for a way to organize your Block of the Month or Block of the Week project?  My friend, Kathy Closen, showed me her method and I am sharing it with you because it really works nicely for me.  First, grab a three ring binder that is 2 to 3" wide at the binding. Second,  grab some plastic sheet protectors and slip the paper pattern into each sheet protector sleeve.

My project is Peace & Healing, from Debbie at Piecing the Past Quilts.  Click on the blue writing for the link to sign up for the Block of the Week.  She will send you an email each Monday with a new block.

Third, I go to my stash drawers and pull out fabrics until I am happy with  the combinations.  Then I slip the fabrics into the plastic page protector until I have time to cut out the pieces.  If I cut out the pieces, then only the pieces go into the page protector and I put the fabric back into the drawers.

If you are working on a large project and will need the fabrics throughout the project,  you might want to put the fabrics in ziplock bags or zipper style (pencil) bags that have three holes punched on the left.  This keeps all the fabrics together with the patterns and easy to handle each month or week.  I have two binders that I am working out of currently.  One for Women of the Bible that I shared yesterday and Peace and Healing from today's Blog.

I hope you enjoyed your day!

Yours in quilting,

Monday, February 13, 2017

What's on My Design Wall and My Mind

Welcome 2017.   Yes, I know I am late at welcoming in the new year on my blog as well as I have not written on here for quite some time.  Life just gets in the way of blogging.  Family definitely has taken a front row in my priorities.  I have decided I will blog and share when time allows.  There has also been one other issue that has kept me from blogging and that is unkind words from readers.  I know others have dealt with it, including one of my favorite bloggers, Bonnie Hunter.  I wasn't prepared to deal or accept the criticism so I shied away from dealing with it.  Time away from blogging has helped but more importantly positive reinforcement from friends stating that they missed reading and picking up tips on quilting from the blog, has helped. 

So I am back for now and see how things progress from here.  👉👉👉

On my design wall is a Quilt of Valor.  I had bought two jelly rolls of patriotic fabrics and planned on making these into Quilts of Valor.  There will be a Quilt of Valor ceremony in our town on March 24th.  I am trying to have two quilts made for the presentation. 

The pattern is Barns and Terraces from Quilters Garden Quilt Shop in Princeton, IL.  You can find their online store at www.quiltersgardenonline.com.  I am also working on Women of the Bible Block of the Week with Quilter's Garden.  (This is not a paid ad.  They are my local quilt shop and I support them whenever possible.)  Visit them on Facebook to find the free pattern.  You can also get announcements of the blocks by signing up for their newsletter.  I am sewing my blocks scrappy.  Each week I dig into my scrap drawers and pull fabrics.  My Tuesday Tip will about that subject tomorrow.

I hope you will join me when possible during 2017.  I have missed chatting with many of you and hope to hear from you on a regular basis.  Let's all lift up one another with positive feedback.

Yours in quilting,

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.  www.thefabstudio.com 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,