Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey.

Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey. My goal is to share a little about my life, and a lot about my longarm quilting business, Lone Tree Designs.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Quilt Nebraska 2015

  Each year in July the Nebraska State Quilt Guild holds their annual Quilt Nebraska convention.  The location moves around the state, but the dates are always the last full weekend in July.  Convention starts on Thursday with Quilt History Day and opening receptions, and then continues through Friday and Saturday with lots of classes, lectures, and banquets with speakers each night.  The winning raffle ticket for the raffle quilt from the year before is drawn, and the new raffle quilt is revealed.  A small quilt show featuring quilts from the participating teachers and the year's challenge quilts, along with a vending mall, is available not only to participants in the convention, but also to the public.  All in all, it is loads of fun and there is always something going on.
  Part of the fun of convention is seeing and hanging out with friends and acquaintances from around the state who share a genuine love of the art of quilting.  The variety of styles, tastes, skill levels, and preferences is mind-boggling!  Those that plan the convention always do a good job of providing a wide variety of classes in an attempt to appeal to the many interests of those that attend.
  This year in Norfolk, I had the privilege of teaching a class at Quilt Nebraska 2015!  I had to send in a proposal for a class and then waited to be accepted or rejected as one of the regional teachers.  The conventions always bring in several national teachers from around the country and then fill in the rest of the schedule with regional teachers.  I was accepted and taught a "make and take" type class with my original design for "My Nebraska" wall quilt.  As those of you that follow my blog know, I had designed the center for the AMB solids blog tour sponsored by Clothworks last spring.  After the blog tour was over, I wanted to extend the size of my original 6 x 9 inch design and added a row of chasing flying geese to represent the many migrating birds that cross our state every year.
  I had 13 eager ladies sign up for my class, and they each made a great start on their wall quilt.  In a three hour class, they were able to completely finish the center of the quilt, and hopefully went home with enough knowledge to finish their little project at home.  I had a blast doing it!  I do quite a bit of teaching, but teaching at Quilt Nebraska felt like a real honor.  I may just apply to do it again in the future!
  Next year, the convention is being held in Lincoln at the Cornhusker Hotel.  I, for one, will be there with bells on!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's Row by Row Time!

  As a former high school teacher, my year was governed by:  1st semester, Christmas vacation, 2nd semester, and summer break.  In fact, if you count all the years that I was a student myself, my life was governed by those terms for 35 years!  Often, I still find myself thinking of the year in that way.
  Nowadays, though, I am more likely to think in terms of "graduation quilts," "wedding quilts,"  "Christmas gift quilts,"  NIFS Spring Shop Hop, and now the annual Row by Row Experience.
These times of year determine my professional schedule and, I am tentative to admit, my vacation plans!  I have already been scheming to figure out how I can get my husband, who is extremely busy with construction season, to take me on a trip before September 8 so that I can collect some rows from out of state.
  As I ponder my plans, a light shines on me, and hubby says:  "I need to go to Kansas City for training on August 4.  Do you want to come along and we can make a weekend of it to celebrate our anniversary on August 2?"  DO I???  Now, the question is:  how many quilt shops in the Kansas City area are participating in the Row by Row, and how many can I legitimately get to in a three day period:)  The best way to figure that out is to explore the website, check for cute rows on Facebook, use my trusty atlas and GoogleMaps, and formulate  my plan.
  Last year, we went to Paducah, KY via Hamilton, Hannibal, and St. Louis, MO so that I could pick up rows.  With only 35 states participating last year, we covered a lost of territory that was "row free."  This year...all 50 states are playing!!!  If you are traveling ANYWHERE this summer, you can find rows kits, license plates, and free patterns.  The pictures on this page are of the row that I designed for the Quilters Cottage in Kearney, NE.  I made the row so that it can be made either vertically or horizontally.  On Facebook, all you have to do it type in the name of the state followed by rowbyrowexperience and you can see pictures of many of the available rows and where to find them in that state.  Genius!!!
  If you haven't yet begun, there's still plenty of time!  So, get out there and experience the fun of collecting rows for your own personal travel memento!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

It's Retreat Time Again!

My 30's block for the drawing at our retreat this year.
So, the time has come for a yearly retreat with friends from our area and from Iowa.  This group was begun through Facebook by our common friend, Anna, and we try to get together once a year for a retreat.  Last year, we met in Creston, IA.  That was my first "overnight" retreat, and it was so much fun!   This year the retreat it being held in Kearney, NE.  We are so excited about having 40 women descend upon us for a four day quilt-fest!  I have only been to a few retreats, but I know the first time I went, I was completely clueless as to what goes on and what to bring.  I thought I might share my experience here:
  What to bring:
1. Sewing machine with feet, all cords, bobbins, and other notions.
2. Extension cord and/or power strip.
3. Personal iron and ironing surface, if desired.  Usually, those hosting the retreat provide two or three ironing stations for everyone to share.
4.  Personal cutting mat, rotary cutter, etc.  Again, sometimes there is a station set up for cutting, but I always bring my own cutting supplies.
5.  Snacks for yourself and to share with others.
6.  Drinks for yourself-the retreat location this year is providing us with water and tea.  They will also have other drinks available for sale.
7.  Extra lighting, such as an Ott light, if you think you may need it.

Other tips:
1.  Wear comfortable clothes!  This is the time for yoga pants, comfy shirts, and flip flops!  I would always bring a sweater, just in case it is too chilly in the room, but wear a short sleeved light weight shirt underneath, just in case it is too hot.  In a room of 40 women...somebody is going to be too hot or too cold!  Same idea for shoes--you may want some fluffy socks along.
2.  Bring at least three projects to work on.  You may finish faster than you think.  You may get bored.  I even bring handwork, just in case I get tired of sewing on my machine and want to sit and visit.
3.  Don't be so task oriented that you miss out on the social aspect of the retreat!  I am notorious for doing this...and, in the past, I have missed out on getting to know the others attending the retreat.  Walk around and see what others are working on.  Introduce yourself to those that you haven't met.
4.  Take time to get up and walk around for at least 5 to 10 minutes every hour.  Your body will thank you!  The retreat location this year is within a block of the Quilters Cottage in Kearney, so you can easily walk over to stretch your legs and see what's going on over there!

What goes on:
1.  Fun, fun, fun!
2.  An opportunity to see all kinds of tastes in fabrics and lots of different projects for inspiration.
3.  Demos--this year there is one on Thursday night, a trunk show and demo on Friday night at the Quilters Cottage, and a demo on Saturday night.
4.Fabric exchanges--we bring  10" squares with an assigned theme or color to exchange with everyone else.  Last year we did black and yellow.  The goal is to make a quilt with the squares and bring it to the retreat the next year for show and tell.  Our colors this year are teal and lavender.
5.  Block exchange-we each bring a 12 inch block, put our names in a hat, and the winner goes home with all the blocks!  Our theme last year was "Kansas Troubles" and this year it is "30's prints"--I hope I win!
5.  Flexibility of schedules--come and go as you please.  Go to the quilt store to do some shopping, go out to lunch and supper with others, stay and work away through meals, go back to your hotel to get a nap...you are away from home and the usual responsibilities!  Enjoy yourself!

On a more personal level...I always bring way more than I could possibly finish!  My attention span is pretty short, so I bring 5 or 6 projects to work on.  Some people bring one thing to work on for the entire time, planning to finish it at retreat.  Each to her own!

Here are some pics of the things I have been working on lately, and that I will bring to continue at retreat.  I am teaching classes on all three projects this summer, and giving a demo on Friday night using the Quick Curves Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful.
Metro Rings

Metro Medallion

Urban Candy

In addition to these projects, I have a hexi stack and whack, and an heirloom linens applique quilt that I hope to work on enough to make it worth bringing them!  I am so excited---Can't wait to see everyone!