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, December 30, 2012

New Year's Resolutions? Nah!

The above pics are just some things that I needed to finish for customers before Christmas.
The black pics are the back of the peacock quilt.  It was made for a daughter who belongs to Chi Omega, and her mom wanted me to incorporate that into her quilt.
  It's that time of year, again, when everyone seems to think that making some New Year's Resolutions is a good idea.  Ehhhh...not so much for me!  I know myself, and here is how it goes...I start thinking..." ----- would be a really good idea.  I should work really hard on it, and make it one of my New Year's Resolutions.  Ok, I will do it."  Week One:  All is well, resolve is strong, success is assured.  Week Two:  This is starting to lose its thrill, but I am going to gut it out.  Week Three:  This sucks, and I am no longer going to do it.  Week Four:  Life is back to normal.  I ask you...does this sound like fun to you?
  Rather than making an "all or nothing" resolution, I think this year, I will make 5 goals for the new year.  Nothing that requires a daily commitment, nothing that can be measured weekly but, rather, goals that must be measured and evaluated at the end of the year, and nothing that is going to stress me out and make me feel bad about myself if I fail.  O.K.---scratch that last one.  I always feel bad when I fail.  Call it "oldest child syndrome," but it is tough for me to admit failure.  I always want to be the best at what I choose to pursue.
   I think I will talk this over with my husband and see if he has any ideas for me.  Who knows...maybe he might even want to join me in setting some mutual goals for our marriage.  This could be fun after all!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Learning New Things

Sometimes we really get in a rut of doing what we are comfortable doing.  It is easy to just do what we know how to do in many areas of our lives.  That holds true for quilting, as well.  I know a lot of techniques, but I also have so much to learn.  Whenever a new tool comes out, I look at it and I think,  "Is this worth my time to figure out?"  Too often, the answer is "Not right now.  Maybe later."  However, I recently took a class using Deb Tucker's Rapid Fire Hunter's Star.  I LOVE IT!  This tool really makes creating 8-pointed stars easy.  The options in the tool for several sizes and either 2, 3, or 4 colors make it well worth the price.  After a one day class, I was comfortable enough to make another project on my own, and then, ultimately, to teach the class to others.  It just goes to show that it can pay off to try new things!  My next new thing?  I am going to try the wedge ruler and the Spicy Spiral Table Runner pattern.
  P.S.  I am very busy quilting for customers that need their quilts done in time for Christmas gifts.  I am looking forward to hanging out with family and taking at least a week off from quilting at the end of the month, but for now, my nose is to the grindstone!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vintage Quilts Present Challenges

  Everyone loves an antique quilt...except perhaps the person who has to decide how to quilt a very old, very thin, hand-pieced, out of square quilt top!  Okay, I am only kind of kidding on that.  I do love and appreciate antique quilts.  So often, they come to me in pretty good shape, but they do require extra careful handling.  I love it when they have lots of white space, and the owner lets me just "do whatever will make it pretty."  The Dresden plate quilt at the top uses fabrics from the 30's through probably the 50's.  The background fabric is flour sacks.  It was in great shape, and was really pretty square.  The customer who brought it to me had cleaned it and pressed it very carefully.  It was fun to work on, both of us were very pleased with the results. 
  The Lone Star quilt is really not that old.  I would guess that it is from the early 70's because it is very much like others that I have seen from that era.  What made it special was that the young girl who brought it to me had gotten it from among her late grandmother's belongings.  It was not at all square, and some of the hand-pieced seams were only about 1/8 of an inch.  I had to tread carefully.  I was so excited to work some magic in the 18 inch square corners.  Those big expanses of white fabric just screamed for some fun custom work.  Because the quilt wasn't a true "antique" I didn't feel that I needed to worry about trying to fit the quilting to the time period.  I took some serious tucks in the setting triangles, but they were not noticeable at all once I quilted the feathers and pebbles in those triangles.  I chose a solid red for the binding to match the center star, and most people would never know that the binding fabric was purchased at least 30+ years after the rest of the quilt was finished.  I was excited about the result, and the young woman was thrilled with it.  Knowing that I helped create a keepsake for her, and for her future children, made the time I spent well worth it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Best of Show

  This past weekend, our local quilt guild had our semi-annual quilt show.  I brought 10 quilts of various sizes to the show.  It was nice to see that I have accomplished quite a bit in the last couple of years.  In addition to my own quilts, several of the ladies from the guild are kind enough to trust me with quilting their quilts, so it was great to have a lot of my work on display for people in the community to see. I was thrilled to receive the "Best of Show" award for my 1930's reproduction quilt sampler.  There were lots of beautiful quilts at the show, so it was truly an honor to win the ribbon.  My "Poppies Delight" wallhanging also won a ribbon for "Best Applique." 
  The show was a lot of work to put on, and our coordinator did a wonderful job.  The way it was organized, the decorative displays, the food stand...everything went smoothly and people really seemed to enjoy it.  We gave away our raffle quilt, and after selling hundreds of tickets, a member of our own guild won the quilt!  We were thrilled for her!  All in all, the show was a big success, and it was fun to be a part of it.  Now, I better get busy working on new quilts for the next one!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Creating a Trunk Show

The bright Twister that I made for a class...still unquilted
  In the quilting world, I am still an unknown.  However, I would like to change that someday and perhaps be able to travel and teach a bit.  I am only 45, (which is still pretty young-or so I keep telling myself!) and, for now, I am thinking about the future of my career each time I make a new quilt.  I know that in order to make a name for myself, I need to create a trunk show of quilts that people would enjoy seeing and want to hear about.  That can be tough when I need to spend most of my time quilting for customers.  I've decided that I have plenty of time to accomplish my goals as long as I approach it (to use an old saying), "like eating an elephant, one bite at a time."  My first step has been to start thinking in terms of making more elaborate quilts, and then to quilt the quilts I do make in a fancier way.  In the past, a lot of my quilts have been small, quick projects with utility-type quilting because my goal was to finish the project and either give it away or use it.  My 1930's quilt was one of the first quilts that I did where I followed Karen McTavish's advice.  When I took a class with her she said the following, and it really stuck with me:  "Always do the hardest thing."  Her point was that difficult idea that you had, but are fighting doing because you know it will take more time, is what will make the quilt special. I am remembering that from now on.  Each quilt that I add to my future trunk show will include at least one element that makes it special, whether that is in the piecing or in the quilting, or both, remains to be seen.  My second step is to do more of my own design work.  Whether it is taking a pattern and modifying it to fit my own ideas, or making my own designs from scratch, I know it is important that my quilts not just be "cookie cutter" quilts from patterns that everyone else is also making.  I often modify patterns, but I need to step further out of my comfort zone and really get creative.  In order to create more, I need to set aside time to work on my own projects.  I have decided that from now on, unless I am up against a deadline, I am going to save one day a week to work on my own projects.  I can't wait! 


Friday, September 7, 2012

Trying to promote the Blog...I am not smart enough for this stuff!

Okay, here is a confession...while I consider myself a smarter than average person, I am quite lazy when it comes to learning new things-especially when it comes to technology.  I read a book about blogging and it looked kind of fun.  So, I decided to do this blog.  I enjoy looking at other people's blogs, and I wanted to promote my business, so I jumped in.  Well, I am enjoying it.  However, I don't have many followers, so I decided to try to promote my blog by using a quilters blog promotion site.  http://www.allquilting.biz/quilt-blogs/  It is so nice of them to help people promote their blogs, and so, I want to give them a shout out!  Please, go to their blog and see what they have to offer.  I feel like I could do so much more with this blog, but I don't want to spend too much time on the computer when I should be quilting for customers.  Speaking of which, I finished a couple of quilts in the last couple of weeks, so I will post their pictures below.
Back of a mystery quilt.
Custom free-motion work made this quilt special.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer is Winding Down

  In spite of the fact that I no longer teach high school kids, I find myself measuring my life in semesters and summer vacation.  We just returned from a week on the North Shore of Lake Superior, and as I sorted through the pictures this morning, I started to wonder why we went when we did.  We don't have kids in school anymore.  I am not in school anymore.  We could have gone this fall when all of the fall colors are at their finest!  Oh well, we had a great time, and the weather was glorious!  After a brutally hot and dry summer, it was so refreshing to travel to Minnesota where everything is nice and green.  The average highs for the week were in the low 70's.  I got to wear blue jeans and a sweater!  It was fabulous!
  My other reason for traveling when we did was that Minnesota was having their annual statewide shop hop.  Every year during the Nebraska shop hop, I end up working at the quilt shop in Kearney, and never get to go hopping.  It was a lot of fun to stop at shops along the route to our trip.  My wonderful husband took me to 10 different quilt shops over the course of the week, and never complained once!  I bought a bunch of the Minnesota fabric to make a quilt as a momento of the trip.  It will be a lot of fun, once I get the chance to work on it, to have a quilt with lakes, moose, and loons on it.  It's not something that many people in Nebraska will have!
  Now that I am back, I am trying to get motivated to quilt for my customers.  My back is fairly fragile, and it is protesting all those miles in the car.  At one time, we were only about 30 miles from Canada, which is a LONG way from central Nebraska.  I am feeling it!  Slowly, and with several breaks a day to put ice on my back, I am finishing a queen-size quilt made out of flip flop fabric.  It is fun, and that helps motivate me to keep working.
  Summer's end is here.  Kids are back in school.  My life hasn't changed, but I look forward to fall football season, working on Christmas quilts, and cooler weather! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fair Time

It's that time of year...frantic last minute calls that go something like this, "How far out are you?  Well, I was wondering if there was any way possible that you could do a quilt for me in time for fair?  I am sorry to be calling so late...."  The answer?  Sometimes "yes" and sometimes "no," but mostly "no."  I do try to keep some spots open this time of year for those calls, and I love knowing that my work will be seen by lots of people at our local county fair and at the Nebraska State Fair, which, by the way, has a fabulous quilt show.  If you have never been to the quilt show at the Nebraska State Fair, I would highly recommend it.  There are hundreds of beautiful quilts running from novice to professional skill levels.  It is quite inspiring as a quilter to see what others around the state are making.  The fair this year will be from the weekend of the 25th of August through Labor Day weekend and is located in Grand Island.  I am entering two quilts this year, and although I don't expect to win anything, I enjoy seeing my work hanging at the fair.  The deadline for online entry is August 8, so it's not too late for you to enter your work!  Go for it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been doing a lot more quilting lately, but I have also had several weddings to go to, time with family, moving my daughter and her husband to Omaha, and a couple of classes to work into my life.  Most recently, I took a class using the Rapid Fire Hunter's Star ruler.  It was a lot of fun, and I really learned a lot.  When I finish the project, I will add photos.  In addition to that, I have finally finished my Aunt Grace's sampler and hope to get the binding on it in time to send it to state fair.  Again, pics will follow.  Instead of a quilt pic, I decided to use my favorite pic from this summer of my two grandkids.  I think they are the cutest and sweetest little people on the face of the earth!  I wish I could see them more often, but as busy as my life is, my son's life is busier, at least in the summer.  Hopefully, once the summer is over (he works at a Bible camp) his schedule will slow down, and we can get together for more than a quick one night stay.  I can't believe it has been a month since I added anything to my blog.  I will strive to do better!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Putting a New Spin on Old Ideas

  Wow is it hot!  I can't believe that we are nearing July 1 already, but it feels like July outside.  After going to school all my life and then teaching school for 16 years, I still measure my life by semesters and summer vacation.  Even though I haven't taught for the past five years, the habit is still with me.  I find that I make goals for myself for the summer break.  One of those goals is to paint the family room a lovely shade of seaglass blue green.  I find the color very calming, and it will look nice with the chocolate brown couch that we bought last year.  Another goal is always to catch up on my customer quilts to the point that I feel like I can take a week or two off to custom quilt something of my own.  So far, I am making good headway on the quilting goal.  I hope to throw something of mine on the frame mid-month and have it done in time to take it to the fair.
  A couple of weeks ago, I did back to back double Irish Chain quilts.  The two were very different, and I quilted them both differently.  Some people find what they like to do and stick with it.  Me...well, I have a very short attention span, so I rarely, if ever, do the same thing twice on a quilt.  Not to say that I don't repeat designs and have my favorite "go to" things that I like to do.  I just like to throw them together in different combinations to break up boredom.  I am always scanning new magazines, Youtube, and QNNTV.com for new ideas or new ways to spin old ideas.  No need to reinvent the wheel, so why not borrow ideas and put my own spin on them?  So, to all of those out there who have published ideas...Thanks!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A godly father is a blessing!

My husband is such a blessing in my life and in the lives of his children and grandchildren.  He is calm, cool, and collected most of the time.  He is a man of great intelligence and integrity.  When Father's Day rolls around, even though the kids aren't home anymore, I make sure to celebrate with him all that he has been to me and to them over the past 24 years.  As I see my son fathering his son, I am so thankful for the blessing of a wonderful husband who modeled for my children all the things in life that are important:  loving the Lord, being honest and trustworthy, and being a great husband.  Those lessons will stick with them long after we are gone, and, hopefully, be passed down to their children. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Custom beats Edge to Edge!

I recently had fun McTavishing this embroidered quilt for an elderly woman.  The handwork was very beautiful, and I insisted that she let me custom this quilt.  When she brought it to me, she requested edge to edge.  I told her that I couldn't ruin the quilt that way, and that if she wanted it done E2E, she would have to take it to someone else.  She decided to let me do it my way, and I am so glad she did!  It turned out so much nicer, and is now a true heirloom for her family.
Beyond that, I have been doing lots of quilts lately.  Every time I think that I will get ahead, I take in two or three more.  Right now, thankfully, I don't have any "deadline" quilts waiting.  It is nice to know that all of the ones I have waiting are "just whenever you get to it" quilts.  With the county fair and the state fair coming up at the end of July and August, I am sure that more of those deadlines will be coming in the next few weeks.  Thus far, I am still enjoying my work, but wishing I had more time to do my own projects.  Balancing my time is still a struggle, but I am getting faster and more productive all the time, so eventually, I hope to set aside a whole day of rest, and at least one day a week to scrapbook or sew on my own projects.  First, I want to catch up a bit on those that I have waiting!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Our nephew examines the quilt I gave him for his graduation earlier this month.
  It has been such a busy month!  Finally, today, I have some time to write a bit.  Between graduations, my husband's neck surgery, and keeping up with my quilting business, it has flown by.  I love that we have a three day weekend with my husband home to catch up on stuff around the house.  Yesterday in church, they showed a video clip reminding us of the reasons we observe Memorial Day and the heroes who have fought and are still fighting to keep us safe.  It's easy to take it for granted sometimes, but I am thankful for those men and women, and especially for God watching over us all.  God bless the U.S.A.!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Taking it all for Granted.

  I have been working on several projects lately, as well as trying to keep up with my longarm business.  It seems that many days, I get up, have my coffee, and then work on whatever it is that I feel like working on for that day.  Routine can sometimes lull us into such complacency that we lose motivation and focus.  I was snapped back into a larger sense of thankfulness for my life recently when my husband had to have surgery to fuse vertebrae in his neck.  As I sat in the hospital waiting for word, I couldn't help thinking of what my life would be without him.  We will be married 26 years this summer.  Even as I write this, the doorbell rang, and a girl brought me flowers for Mother's Day from this wonderful man :)  Anyway, I realized that the routines of my life would be drastically changed if I didn't have him anymore.  I would probably have to return full time to my teaching career in order to provide for myself.  My empty nest would be even more empty.  I felt a new sense of compassion for those who have lost a spouse and are now alone, and I prayed that I would not yet join their ranks.  When the nurse called to tell me everything had gone well, I felt such relief and thankfulness!
  Now, he is home and doing very well, but daily I am reminded of all the little things he does for me.  I had to mow the yard this week!  I had to carry out the trash, and drag the big container to the curb.  I had to carry in all my groceries.  My daily activities haven't changed, but I am grateful for that.  It may be awhile before I take it all for granted!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring is Here!

It has been a hectic Spring.  The NIFS Shop Hop was from April 19th through April 29th, and with extended hours, it really kept us hopping!  We had a great time and really enjoyed seeing the over 400 people who came through the shop in that 10 day period.  All that to say, I haven't accomplished much in my quilting business these past couple of weeks!  Spring weather has arrived, and I couldn't resist posting the picture of my son and his son enjoying the beautiful weather.  It has been so nice these past few days that it has been a real shame to be inside!  I hope everyone is loving the Spring this year as much as I am.  Hopefully, it will last longer than a short bit.  Seems like sometimes in Nebraska it goes directly from too cold to too hot!  So far this year, it has been great!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Forks in the Road"

  This week, I have been working on a couple of quilts that a lady made for her two granddaughters.  They are fun, happy quilts with fun, happy colors...my favorite!  Each day that I quilt, I spend some time when I get up drinking my coffee and relaxing.  Then I go in and either look at the quilt, or press and load the back all the while thinking about what the quilt "wants" for its finishing look.  Usually, it doesn't take me long to decide what I want to do on the quilt, and then it is just a matter of taking that first deep breath and starting to stitch.  Occasionally, I start to second guess my choice about one pass into the design, but I never rip out what I have done based on that feeling alone.  My instincts are good, and I just trust that it will all work together in the best interest of the quilt.  I haven't regretted that yet.  Without fail, the more I quilt the better I like my choice.  This is not to say that I never think, "so and so would have looked nice too" on this quilt.  At the end of the day, it is simply a matter of choices.  Much like life, there is always a "fork in the road" so to speak when a decision must be made.  The choices are many, and few are necessarily "wrong" for the quilt.  Lots of patterns can enhance the design.  My philosophy is to make a decision and then do what I need to do to make it work.  Come to think of it, that's also the way I run my life...so far, so good.  :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Scrapbooking Retreat Was So Fun!

This past weekend I went to the scrapbooking retreat at Maranatha.  It was so much fun!  We started scrapping on Thursday and continued into the wee hours of the night each night through Saturday.  I was operating on only 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night.  About Saturday night around midnight, I started to realize that I am way to old to keep that kind of schedule for any amount of time!  Anyway, I got 45 pages done in my daughter's wedding album.  I started the album when I got there, and all I have left to finish are a few layouts from the reception.  The Save the Date layout in the picture above was the winner of the "Page of the Day" contest on Friday, and I won a new organizing container for my Cricut cartridges.  I was very surprised to win, and loved my prize.
In between scrapping, I was able to spend time with my grandbabies.  My granddaughter stayed with us so that my daughter in law could feed her.  She was such a good little girl!  We didn't have any problems keeping her happy while we worked.  My son and grandson joined us for meals and visited us a couple of times a day.  It was a great weekend!  Now, I am back to quilting.  With shop hop around the corner, I am working on getting as much done as I can before I go to Kearney to help mom.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Life is Busy...but soooo good:)

  I have been crazy busy this past couple of weeks because I went to Kearney to run the quilt shop for my mom while she and dad went on vacation last week. In the time that I have been home, I have been quilting madly so that I can justify taking several days off next week to go to a scrapbooking retreat.  The best part of the retreat is that it is held at the Bible camp where my son works, so I can stay with his family and hang out with my adorable grandchildren!  I can't wait!  My grandson is turning 2 in May, and I am amazed at how quickly he has changed from being a "baby" to being a little boy.  He is running everywhere, learning to talk, and soooo sweet with his baby sister.  I had two babies of my own that grew up too fast, but it was long ago, and I had forgotten how quickly they do grow up.  I am trying to enjoy every chance I get to spend with them.  As quickly as one chance ends, I start scheming how I can see them again.  Yesterday, my son told me that he is moving closer to home and going back to college.  That will give me even more chances to spend time with my babies!  It is going to be great!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Silence is golden...or deafening...depending on your perspective!

My constant companion, Candy our Boston Terrier follows me around the house from room to room throughout the day.  She burrows under the quilts on our guest bed and just hangs out there while I quilt.  If I stop working and go to another room, she follows me.  I find her presence a great comfort on days when I am missing people.  Transitioning from teaching full time to working as an administrative assistant to working out of my home has been a journey.  The best and worst of it are the same...I am by myself all day.  The silence is sometimes really nice, but at other times I miss human companionship.  At those times, I text my husband, daughter, or friend Jo hoping to reach out and connect with another person. Thank goodness for texting!  I can make a connection without actually distracting them from their work or me from mine.  The creative process is rewarding in itself, but it would be great to have my machine in a quilt shop where I could just hang out and visit with customers,  However, if it was, I wouldn't get near as much done!  So, for now, every couple of weeks I head to the quilt shop in Kearney to help my mom and get some social interaction!

Monday, February 20, 2012

February is Flying By!

  Well, I am officially another year older.  I had my birthday last week, and celebrated it, as I have most of the past decade at State Wrestling in Omaha.  I enjoy going to state, and I love being in Omaha, so it is a fun way to spend my birthday.  I went to Archiver's with a friend and spent too much on scrapbooking supplies!  At the end of March, I am heading to a scrapbooking retreat, so I have been stocking up on embellishments and papers in anticipation of that weekend.  Today, I finished up a baby quilt, and quilted a small wallhanging and another baby quilt.  I am trying to get as much as I can finished before I go to Kearney this weekend so that I can deliver to my customers there.  Below, I have included a couple of pics from the quilt I finished last week.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Balancing Life

For the past couple of weeks, I have been working on quilts and going about my normal life.  I have spent some time at the quilt shop working with my mom, and last week, I was able to go visit my grandkids for the day.  Their other grandma and I drove out together for the day to see our grandbabies, and it was a lot of fun.  I have attended several wrestling meets, and am heading out tomorrow for two days in Omaha at State Wrestling. I have also spent some time scrapbooking with a friend and with my daughter.  We even made Valentine's for our husband last week.  All these activities keep me busy, but I am still struggling with how to balance real life with a home based business.  Work is always there waiting, and when I choose other activities, there is a nagging sense that I should be working.  I would be interested to know how others who work from their home strike that balance.  After over two years, I still haven't figured out how to achieve it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Always Room for Improvement!

  For those of you that are not from Nebraska, the picture is of this year's Nebraska State Quilt Guild raffle quilt.  It is the most beautiful quilt that I have ever seen up close.  A committee of several ladies designed and made the quilt, and a young, very talented quilter from Lincoln, NE quilted it.
This quilt reminds me that there is always room for improvement, that excellence sometimes takes collaboration, and that quilts are works of art.  Needless to say, I bought several raffle tickets for this beauty!  If I win, you will hear me scream with excitement from wherever you are!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Finished my workshop quilt from Saturday!

Last Saturday, I went to a quilt retreat for the day with three of my best quilting buddies. 
This 48 X 48 inch wall quilt was the result.  I must admit that when I go to a retreat, I may not be the most fun person there.  I am so task-oriented that I cannot help keeping my nose to the grindstone and trying to get as much done as I can while I am there.  It isn't necessarily that I am anti-social; I just know that if I take it home half done, it will remain that way for some time.  If I take it home "almost done," I will finish it.  That's just me.  Anyway, this only needed the borders sewn on and the decorative stitching around the curves in order to finish it, so I did that on Sunday.  Right now, it is on the longarm.  I decided to throw it on the frame and quilt it so that I can take it to our guild meeting the second week of February.  One more project done and ready for our October quilt show:)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Down, but not Out!

So, I have a little back issue that, once in awhile, rears its ugly head.  This happens to be the case this weekend.  It started back on Thursday feeling a little "twingy" and by Saturday it was in serious..."Don't move around too much or you will be sorry" mode.  Of course, I went and sat at a wrestling meet most of the afternoon and evening on Friday, and then went to a quilter's retreat from 9:00 to 6:00 on Saturday, so today my back is screaming in protest.  I have tried to take it easy today, really, but I did finish sewing together a wallhanging sample for the shop from Kim Shaeffer's Calendar quilts wallhangings pattern.  It is sooo cute!  I also worked on sewing the borders on and adding decorative stitches to  the quilt I made during my retreat workshop yesterday.  Now, I am just laying flat on the couch and working on my blog.  I am also trying to watch Cricut Gypsy tutorials on Youtube for my (on its way, YAY!) new gypsy!  Thank goodness for computers.  Otherwise, I would be stuck watching "Cowboys and Aliens" with my hubby and new son-in-law!  Perish the thought!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Creativity in Quilting is an Amazing Thing!


As I continue to catch up with quilts from the past few weeks, I am amazed at the creativity in people.  Fabric designers, pattern designers, and quilters combine all that creativity into some very beautiful projects for me to work on.  Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to think that my quilting will be the final touch on someone else's hard work.  I give a lot of thought and research to different types of quilting designs to use on quilts for my customers.  I use QNNtv.com, the internet, and lots of magazines to look for new ideas and to stay on top of what is new in the world of quilting.  There are many different types of quilters out there.  Each person brings their own unique talents to the table when it comes to quilting.  To each his/her own!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

So Many Projects, Sew Little Time!

The new quilt I am working on for my class in February.
After spending a couple of days last week helping my mom in her quilt shop, I returned home with all kinds of ideas and plans for new quilts.  Alas, I had to continue my work on customer quilts, too.  However, I did manage to get quite a bit done on a sample using the Lazy Angle Ruler for a class that I plan to teach at the shop at the end of February.  I decided that unless I am up against a serious deadline, I am going to spend at least part of the day on Saturday, or Sunday afternoons, sewing on my own projects.  All work and no play can make Sandi a crabby girl!  It's a good thing that my "work" is kind of like "play" most of the time!
A customer's first quilt which she made in mom's beginning quilting class.
I decided on an all over panto-style free motion quilting for this quilt since she asked for an E2E design.  I used off-white thread since there were a lot of colors in the quilt, and it ended up looking very nice.  She was quite pleased with it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Day in Paradise!

Today I worked on fixing a wall quilt that my aunt had quilted a while ago by someone else.  It had large expanses of black applique pieces on it that did not get any quilting.  Needless to say, they had puffed up and would not lay flat or look nice.  She showed it to me several months ago and asked if I could make it any better.  I offered to try, so when she was here for my daughter's wedding, she brought it along.  I pinned it in the frame and ended up McTavishing the appliques.  It turned out great!  I can't wait for her to see it.  Lesson learned...don't leave big areas unquilted.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Rocks!

There is nothing like the feeling of completing a quilt and knowing that it looks great!  Sometimes, when I am first thinking about what to do on a quilt, I start to second guess myself and worry that it won't look good.  However, usually if I just look at the quilt a while and then go away from it, the quilt will "tell me" what to do to make it look great.  Often, my customers are looking for "quick and cheap" which is really sad because the quick and the cheap don't generally translate into a beautiful quilt.  I love it when a customer asks me to do "whatever the quilt tells me" because I can then feel free to make it look wonderful, even if it takes a bit longer and costs a bit more.  These quilts were all belonging to the same person, and she told me to do whatever I wanted to do.  I used a combination of free-motion and template work to enhance the piecing that she did.  Free-motion work allows me to work quicker than using stencils and lots of templates, which translates into a less expensive bill for my customers.  I love the heirloom work that some quilters do, but my preference is definitely leaning toward free-motion.  Using creativity and skill allows a unique look for every quilt.  I don't have a computerized system, and I don't think I will ever invest in one.  To me, the artistry would then be gone.  In my opinion, free motion quilting that relies on the quilter will always be my standard!