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.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Get Finished!

Urban Candy by Sew Kind of Wonderful
   If you are like me, you have a lot of unfinished projects.  I love the creativity of starting a new project!  Choosing the pattern, deciding on the fabrics, hunting through my stash and then through quilt shops to find the perfect choices, and the thrill of beginning.  I love it all!
  Things get a little iffy after that:)  I generally work on a project for a day or two before I have to get back to my "day job" of longarm quilting for customers.  It is rare that I have more than a couple of days a month to actually sew on my own projects.  I take time to babysit my three beautiful grandchildren, go to Kearney to work at my mom's quilt shop, go to quilt guild, take classes, and do lots of other necessities of life, so, too often, piecing and quilting my own projects takes a back seat.
  After awhile, though, I get to the point where I am close enough to finishing a project that I can smell it!  I know the end is in sight, and I have the motivation to put all other distractions aside and FINISH!  Quite often, that motivation is external in that I have a trunk show or a class coming that requires me to finish something new to show and tell.

 Urban Candy was a sample that I originally started for a
class that I was going to teach at the Quilters Cottage.  It is generally my practice to begin a sample, figure out all the ins and outs of the pattern, the new ruler, etc. and then teach the class while my sample is in process so that I can show the step by step process of making the quilt.  The problem with that for me is that once the class is over, there is no need to rush to finish the project because, more often than not, I am already on to the next sample for the next class.
  I taught the Urban Candy class as a part of a series of several classes using the Quick Curves Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful in 2015.  Each sample was partially finished when I taught the class.  I decided this year that I really do need to finish those samples and add them to my trunk shows because they are so pretty!  The one that was the closest to completion was Urban Candy, so I buckled down and got 'er done!  The next one to get completed is Metro Rings, and it is on my design wall right now.  I will share it when I get it done.  It is fabulous!
  Here's a tip for you...just like the idea of paying off debt by focusing on the smallest bill first, paying it off, and then moving on to the next smallest...I find that the most productive way to finish projects is to focus on the projects that are the closest to being finished.   Get one done, move on to the next.
Granted, we all have projects that are going to take us a long time to complete.  I took class with Bonnie Hunter last April for two different quilts.  I haven't touched either one since I left the class. Why?  I know they are going to be time consuming, and I am focusing on older projects that are closer to completion.  Those projects will be something that I will pack up and take to an all day sew or a retreat where I can just sew the day away on making blocks, and making some headway on a time consuming project.  
  Another way to be more productive is to focus on one project per month.  I have talked about this before on the blog, but for those of you that are new, here's how it works:  Choose 12 projects that you need to work on for the year.  Number them 1-12.  Each month, draw a number, and for that month you work on that number of project.  If you finish early, you can go back and work on a project from a previous month that you didn't get finished, or you can do like I do and have a secondary list of what I like to call "bonus" projects that you can work on once you finish your project for the month.  Many months, you will not finish that project.  Life gets in the way.  Projects are too big to finish.  At the beginning of the next month, you put that project away and work on the new project.  This really helps with burnout and keeps you excited about your sewing projects.  Sometimes, you may be so close to finish that you will continue on the next month.  That's okay, too.  It is just important that you get motivated, get working, and get FINISHED!                                                              

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hop 'til You Drop with Row by Row

The back of a customer's Metro Rings quilt.
My Row by Row License Plate Collection

  Well, I am half way through another month, and in spite of my desire to slow down and enjoy some quiet sewing of my own...I have been running around like a crazy person again!  I have been working a lot to catch up on customer quilts after being gone so much in June, and have come to a place where I am comfortable with my waiting list.
My Dresden Star featuring "Ugly" fabric!
  I was able to take a class this month on Edyta Sitar's Dresden Star pattern with a good friend at the Quilters Cottage in Kearney with my mom as the teacher.  The fabrics that I am using are not necessarily what I would choose, but the centers are a part of an "ugly fabric challenge" that we put together for next year's June retreat.  I was actually pretty happy when I drew my "ugly" because I like it! That just goes to show that we all have different tastes and different creativity, and that is one of the things that makes quilting so great!  My quilts are like no one else's (unless I bought a kit, or sold my idea as a kit in the shop, which is the most likely of those two scenarios).
  This past weekend was so much fun!  A few friends and I took a quick little day trip to the east and collected some license plates, row kits, patterns, and a whole
lot of fabrics and fun for the annual Row by Row.  If you haven't joined in this new phenomenon, you really should!  It is a really great way to travel, visit quilt shops
and collect some mementos along the way.  My advice:  Get
out there and "Hop 'til you Drop!!!" 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Crazy, Quilty June

Wow!  It has been a crazy month!  It started out with a trunk show in Cedar Rapids, NE where I presented about 50 of my quilts to a group of about that many ladies!  It was an easy drive through beautiful green countryside with my hubby at the wheel, and then a program where I showed my work and talked about my quilts...never a problem for me:)
  Next, it was off to Kearney to help mom settle in to her new quilt shop.  We had spent all of Memorial Day weekend moving her stuff just two doors down the street on the bricks in Kearney, and getting everything in order to reopen, all in the span of 4 days.  Not an easy task, but well worth it because the new shop has much better lighting and several aspects made it a wise change.
  On the 8th of June, several friends and I headed off to Creston, IA for a five day retreat with a group of about 40 women from both Iowa and Nebraska.  We get together once a year for this retreat, and the rest of the year we are looking forward to getting together again!  It was so much fun, not so much sleep, and a fair amount of productive sewing:)

  Literally five days after we returned from our crazy, quilty fun in Iowa, a bunch of us hopped on a bus with ladies from the Grand Island Prairie Pioneers quilt guild and headed out for a bus trip!  Needless to say, the bus trip was tons of fun, and I bought even more quilty stuff...also never a big problem for me!  After a couple of days of recovery, I was once again in Kearney to work for my mom and to hang up my latest class sample, which I quilted somewhere between the retreat and the bus trip.

  Last, but not least, this weekend I am the featured quilter at the Nimble Thimbles Quilt Show in Aurora, NE.  I took 22 of my quilts to Aurora on Wednesday, and the lovely ladies from that guild got them all hung and ready for public show which lasted Thursday through Sunday.  I spent Friday afternoon hanging out at the show and visiting with anyone who wanted to talk about my quilts.  It was a lot of fun, and I was very honored to have been asked.  I was even interviewed and photographed for the local paper...must have been a slow new week! LOL!  Following are some of my quilts hanging at the show.  It was a bit dark for my iPhone to capture some of them, but you get the idea

  The Vintage Linens quilt to the left was created from cutting up and using linens made by my Great Aunt Adelaide Walthers, who is now 97 years old, my grandma Dorothy Hansen, my mom Phyllis, and my Great grandmother Georgia Hansen.  There are hankies, doilies, dresser scarves, pillow case tops, and armchair covers all used in this unique quilt.  The pattern comes from a class I did with Rose Cottage Quilts. Check out their website if you are interested in making a quilt like this one.  Cutting up these types of family pieces can be a bit scary, but it is worth it!
My Pineapple Retreat quilt was made from the 10" squares exchange that we did at our Iowa/Nebraska retreat in 2015.

Madame Butterfly was awarded a blue ribbon at the 2015 Nebraska State Fair.

 The Pineapple Blossom quilt to the right is a free downloadable pattern from Bonnie Hunter's website Quiltville.com, and was a really simple quilt to make.  I love the end result so much that I have already collected the fabrics in oranges and grays to make another one.  Stay tuned for photos of that work in progress.

 So, here I am at the end of the month.  My goal for the next few days is to quilt as many customer quilts as I can before heading off to Kearney to help my mom!  I am also working on a new sample for a class that I am teaching toward the end of July on Eleanor Burn's LeMoyne Star pattern.  Its a super easy was to create a quilt that looks very difficult...thanks, Eleanor!
  Hope July is a little more relaxing!  All this crazy, quilty fun has left me wiped out!  I need a vacation...so that I can collect my Row by Row!