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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Graduation Season is Over, thank goodness:)

  Is it me, or do more and more people these days seem to be making t-shirt quilts for graduation gifts?  I got my first call to be "put on the list" for graduation quilts back in January.  From then on, I was keeping my eye on deadlines and taking in lots of graduation gifts.  I finished the above, for a close friend, a week ago.  It was my last t-shirt quilt of the season.  I can't say that I was sad about that!  Sometimes, the monotony of t-shirt quilt after t-shirt quilt gets to me.  This one was a little different because we designed it together, I knew the graduate, and his school shirts were from the school where I taught social sciences and English for 16 years.  It also helped that I knew it was my last one for this May!
  Now that graduation season is over, it is time for wedding quilts.  My life used to be organized and ordered according to a school calendar.  I thought of time in terms of:  1st semester, 2nd semester, and summer.  Now, I find that I think of things in terms of:  graduation season, wedding season, fair season, and Christmas season.  Those are my busiest deadline times.  It can get stressful trying to decide exactly how much I can reasonably get finished and within what time frame I can expect to finish.  It is an inexact science, for sure.  I would welcome comments from fellow longarmers out there who have a system for figuring that out.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quilting Outside the Box

  Several new patterns have come out lately that challenge quilters to "quilt outside the box."  Examples of what I am talking about are the above pictured "Stargello," the Spicy Spiral table runner, and Phillips Fiber Arts book Quilts Without Corners, which features all kinds of beautiful butterflies and rainbows of wedges.  All of these interesting projects use either a 9 or 10 degree wedge ruler.
  I am amazed by the creativity that led to these and many other awesome tools and patterns.  I have recently been working with tools by Deb Tucker for old-school eight pointed stars that (unlike the days of old) now can be made without y seams or set in places.  FABULOUS!  The Rapid Fire Hunters Star, Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star, etc. are marvels of engineering.  I am so glad that there are men and women out there who continue to make our quilting lives easier and, at the same time, help us make more and more beautiful works of art.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Taking on New Challenges

  So, it has been a whirlwind of a month!  We had 10 days of the annual NIFS Shop Hop in April, and I tried to keep up with quilting for customers in the middle of it.  I took a class at the beginning of the month from Jean Nolte, the editor of Fons and Porter's magazine.  She was doing a class on a quilt she designed for the magazine a few years ago called "Amish Buggy Wheels."  I consider myself a tolerably good quilter, but one thing that I have avoided all these years is curved piecing (dun, dun, dun!). 
  In my younger days as a 4-H member, and then later as a young mother, I did some clothing construction.  So, I had done "curved piecing" on sleeves and armholes.  That was enough to tell me that it wasn't much fun!  However, in the spirit of trying new things, taking on new challenges, etc. I decided to take the class.  I am so glad that I did!  It wasn't that hard!  Now, my first block did have a MAJOR hump in the middle.  I decided to take the easy way out and just iron in a nice big fold, which I planned to stitch down later.  Well, three days later,( and much obsessing about my imperfect block), I simply had to take the whole thing apart and try again.  This time, the hump was gone, but the circle didn't perfectly match up around the edge.  Dang it!  Three tries later (my official limit or retries) it is what it is.  I do have the advantage of doing my own quilting, and by the time I am done quilting it, no one will ever notice it.  Luckily, the second block looked much better.  I am guessing that by the time I finish all 12 blocks, I will be quite comfy with curves!
  The month ended with very exciting news about a humorous essay that I wrote and submitted to American Quilter magazine, published by The American Quilters Society.  The editor contacted me and they plan to publish it in the next issue.  I have always wanted to be a published author, and now I will be able to say that I am!  Hurray for taking on new challenges!  I can't wait to see what is next!