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.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Pattern is Only a Suggestion

  Do you ever look at the picture on the front of a pattern and think, "What on Earth were they thinking using that ugly fabric?"  Well,  there is no accounting for taste (or the lack thereof).  I would say that I usually don't like the fabrics that a designer used in their sample for the front of a pattern.  Then again, w+hat I like in fabrics and patterns may be horrible to someone else.  Variety is the spice of life, right?
   So, the pattern "Bloom" by V & Co. was not one of those patterns.  I loved the white quilt on the front of the pattern.  It used variegated 2 1/2 inch strips from a year or so ago, and I happened to have some of those strips at home, so I immediately purchased the pattern.  I showed it to my mom at the Quilters Cottage in Kearney, NE and she agreed that we should order patterns and make up some kits for the quilt.  Problem (opportunity?) we had strips that were not in the color way on the front of the pattern.  What to do???  Well, I decided that we should make a second color way and call it "Bloom at Dusk."  Here's the funny thing, I loved the white version so much, that I was afraid that I wouldn't like the gray version.  So, as is my peculiar habit, I made the one that I didn't think I would like first.  I tend to categorize tasks in terms of what I want to do and what I don't really want to do...then do the things I don't want first.  Sometimes that backfires because I don't always have time to do both.  Some might say, " life is short" and I should start with the fun stuff, but "I am what I am." :)
  Anyway, SURPRISE---I love the gray version.  This quilt is a perfect example of how we should try things that we don't think we will like.  We should make our own interpretations of patterns rather than just grabbing a kit that has all the thinking done for us.  (Don't tell my mom I just said that!)  We should definitely operate our creative lives using a motto of mine..."A Pattern is Only a Suggestion"!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Surprises are Overrated When it Comes to Quilts!

Here's the thing...quilts are expensive to make.  Right?  Even when your mom owns a quilt shop, and you have your own longarm business and can quilt your own quilts...quilts are expensive to make.  So, since we can all agree on that, let me throw out a radical concept:  Don't waste your time and money creating a wonderful gift for someone as a surprise.  WHAT!?!?  Here is my point:   If we are going to spend our very valuable time and our limited resources making a quilt for someone as a gift, they should LOVE it!  How can we guarantee that they will LOVE it?  ASK THEM WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO MAKE!  Better yet, take them shopping to help pick the fabrics, or at least take them to your stash and let them tell you what fabrics they like.  Why would you make a quilt out of reproduction Civil War fabrics for someone who loves batiks?  Why would you make a quilt out of batiks for someone who likes 30's prints?  The answer...because you didn't know any better.
  Case in point, the above quilt.  My little granddaughter is getting her first "big girl" bed.  Now, Grammy (otherwise known as me) would choose bright fabrics for that quilt, if left to her own devices. :)  I LOVE BRIGHTS!  I could just envision a bright, colorful quilt, with some fun novelty print as the focus and a rainbow of colors included.  However, knowing that my daughter-in-law has her own ideas and opinions, I decided to get her input.  After all, it is her house.  Guess what?  She doesn't like brights.  She loves 1930's reproduction prints.  However, she doesn't love traditional block style quilts.  How do I know this...she told me! She wanted a modern quilt using reproduction 30's prints.  I found a similar quilt to the one I ended up making in a Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting  magazine and showed it to my daughter-in-law.  She loved it.  I bought the supplies and cut out all the circles.
  When it was time to lay out the circles, I would have done something radical and swirled them around heavily on one side leaving a big area of white-space to show my quilting.  Did I do that?  No.  I asked my daughter-in-law to help me lay out and pin the circles in the way that she would like them to look.  The above pictures are the result.  I quilted it the way that I wanted to adding flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies that I borrowed from Judy Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts.  It turned out beautifully, and what makes it extra special to me is that I KNOW my daughter-in-law will love it and use it.  After all, isn't that more important than a "surprise."

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I've started a Bloglovin profile!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6553897/?claim=gamgn3qc56j">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Hello everyone! I recently purchased an Ipad and am working on my social media skills! I started a Bloglovin account and would love for everyone to pop over and follow me! Just search for renaissanceSandi and click follow. Thanks so much!