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.

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!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April Activities

  April has been super busy!  I helped my mom with the annual NIFS Shop Hop which lasted from April 9 through the 19th.  In preparation for that event, I designed a pattern for our shop quilt and called it "Follow the Dots."  Our friend and super sample sewer Nancy sewed my pattern into the really fun solids quilt, and I custom quilted it in time to display it for our "hoppers"--Then, I decided to modify the pattern slightly, and use some of  the Shop Hop fabric, to create the black, gray, and Nebraska version.  I love both versions, and, actually, this pattern is so much fun that I have decided to self-publish and sell it now that the hop is over.  I create patterns for kits at the shop quite often, and I have decided that I should start making a little money from my creativity!  So, Lone Tree Designs is officially venturing into pattern sales:)
  A while ago, we had a Calendar club at the shop where we made these great little wall hangings.  I made all 12, but never got around to quilting and finishing them.  It seemed like a good month to finish small projects, so I quilted 8 of these babies so far this month!  I sew binding by machine on most projects of this type, and thus far, I have bound 5 of them.  My sewing room door is outfitted with a special ordered quilt hanger just the right size for these wall quilts, and I am looking forward to hanging one each month to brighten my hallway.  Even though these are small, it feels great to be finished!  I am continuing with our facebook group goal of working on and/or finishing a project each month.  This year, I have finished lots of projects and can't wait to look back at the end of the year at my list and breathe a long sigh of happiness that I accomplished so much!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nebraska Shop Hop Around the Corner

  Every year when the weather begins to turn nicer, quilters all over Nebraska are thinking one thing: ROAD TRIP!  Each spring, the N.I.F.S. organization (N.I.F.S. stands for Nebraska Independent Fabric Shops, by the way) sponsors a statewide Shop Hop.  The member shops meet together several times a year to discuss and plan so that quilters will have an enjoyable experience.  Each year a theme is chosen, with much deliberation and discussion, and after the theme comes bag selection, dates, fabric choices, and lots of other details.  After the final pre-hop meeting in February where everyone picks up their bags and final details are ironed out, shop owners and their employees get busy getting ready for the excitement of the hop.  By the time April comes, all the shops are ready for the arrival of their guests.
  This year, the theme is "Follow the Dots to Fun"--personally, I think it is one of the more fun themes that we have had to work with.  Participating shops have been hard at work creating projects to show off "dotty" fabrics, or that follow a "dotty" theme.  Each shop is required to hand out a free pattern for their project to the 'hoppers' that come through their doors.  In addition to the free pattern, some shops get together and create projects with components found at several different shops.  All shops have "skinny bolts" on sale, and many even provide snacks for the "hoppers"!
  The bags this year are a super fun burlap with either white or black polka dots.  They have a lining, a zipper, and even an internal pocket. In addition, they come with a fun 2015 Shop Hop button, and (wait for it...) each shop will give a small pin to the "hoppers" to add to their bags.  The more shops visited, the more pins collected, the more fun the bags become!  Not only that, as is always the case, the bags have maps, stamp cards, and are good for discounts at the shops on every 5th Saturday throughout the coming year.  All that fun for only $15!  
  The N.I.F.S. shops are ready and excited to see you all April 9th through April 19th, 2015.  Shops do follow extended hours on Thursdays through Saturdays, and are open on both Sundays this year.
  To keep up with all the current information, check out the facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/NebraskaShopHop?fref=ts