Thanks for dropping by to take a look at some of my thoughts and ideals. Hope you will let me know if this has been helpful, useful, inspiring or whatever, and remember to come back soon.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Time really flies!

It always amazes me how time just seems to fly by and I can never seem to accomplish as much as I think I will be able to accomplish!  Always beginnings have the best intentions, and then life seems to get in the way and before you know it things are just slipping away.  Since my last post so many things have happened that I really don't know where to begin so............Yes I still have my quilt shop and I'm so very happy that I have been open now for over 2 years and I know that many quilt shops do not survive even the first year let alone the second.  God has been good to me. 

Second, there have been many classes taught at the shop and some of those classes I am extremely proud of all the people who have taken them.  We have completed a Marti Mechelle Block of the Month Program called Jamestown.

I love getting pictures of the ladies and their completed blocks.  Everyone had different colors and the quilts turned out beautifully and didn't even look like they were made from the same pattern when they were put together!  Lois did a great job.

Linda's blocks were always fun!

Another Jamestown block.

 In addition to the Jamestown Block of the Month Program we also have been working on an Arcadia Avenue Pattern from Sassafras Lane.  This has been very interesting.  One of the greatest things that I believe we have done is allow people to pick their own fabric for the Block of the Month Programs.  They are allowed to use from their stash too so all of the quilts reflect more the of makers personal identity and what colors she chooses.  I would guess that they all are in love with these wonderful quilts.
A block from the Sassafras Lane Arcadia Avenue Pattern.  Not nearly as difficult as most people think for a paper pieced project.  The finished quilt will be vibrant and warm!

In addition to that we have done some really wonderful projects like our purses!
It has been a wonderful few months and there are lots more projects that are making their way to the store.  We are involved in getting all of our Christmas Projects ready for everyone to see and we will also be trying to help make these projects affordable for everyone. 

As if all of this isn't enough to keep us busy, we are also involved with the First Annual Quilt Expo to be held in Ringgold, GA coming up in August!  That is going to be exciting and so much fun!  Lots of vendors, lots of quilts to oh and ah over and lots of lovely quilters!  Yes I said First Annual so this is something that they are planning to have every year.  If you are nearby, or if you are a fair distance away, please make plans to attend!  I bet you won't be disappointed by what you find. 

Wishing everyone a lovely day and I won't write anymore today but will try to update more frequently in the future.  Hugs and Happy Quilting!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Well it is once again time for me to get with the program.  I'm first reposting a blog that I wrote some time ago about getting things done and some of the things that cause us to not complete things.  Those same things happen in our everyday life as well as our quilting life.  So much has happened since I first started this blog.  I retired and thought I would have more time for blogging.  Then I decided to open my own "Quilt Shop" and often wonder "what was I thinking?".  All through those things health issues got in the way with my husband's heart attack and my mother's failing health as she is now into her "golden" years.  I don't know what is suppose to be golden about them.  Mom, who was born in 1928 is getting on up in years now and no longer able to do a lot of things including drive, go shopping (groceries, clothes, etc.), she can't do a lot of housecleaning because she can't get down even near the floor to pick up things, etc.  Even loading the dishwasher is a huge chore because of the bending over and moving the step from the sink to the dishwasher and emptying it is not something that gets done because of the moving from the dishwasher the 1-2 steps to the cabinets.  She is not able to use a stool to climb up so most of the time groceries are left on the counter so she has access to them.  Enough of all that, Mom is doing okay considering her age and health issues, she just needs some help at times to get things completed and when my sisters and I are taking care of her things, that means ours are piling up.  However, I will keep plugging on.  Why you ask....because I love what I am doing and the fact that I get to see my friends old and new and my quilting buddies and I get to make new friends and play with fabric and patterns.  Yes, life has been very good to me!

I am getting ready to start a challenge at the store with the Row x Row kits and patterns that everyone has been gathering up, some of us for the past 3 years, and we haven't completed!!  The challenge is to use a block from the row from my store and create something different with one block.  Suggestions include use the block as the top of a pillow, a placemat, it could even be a potholder.  Use the block to decorate a tote or purse, or make a wall hanging from one block.  Since this is limited to my row there will be some things that you would not be able to do.  Making an entire quilt from the one block would be difficult, but this whole process is to get people to think outside of the box and see what wonderful creativity we all have inside ourselves.  I've asked people to enter their items by e-mailing me a picture, or posting it to my facebook page, or you can bring it by the store and I will make a picture.  I do ask the picture not have the face of the person who has made the item to prevent any prejudicial votes.  Each item is to be judged on the merit of the item.  Everyone who comes into the shop is asked to vote for their favorite item.  If 12 people come into the store and all 12 like your item the best then you will have 12 chances in our drawing.  The longer your item is up the more chances you have for people to like it and vote for it and have more chances in the drawing.  I ask that all items be entered by August 23rd and the drawing will take place over the Labor Day Holiday.  The prize is to be picked up at the store, or you can call me and I will mail it to you if you pay the postage.  All entries will receive a gift from the store but they must be picked up within 2 weeks from the store.  So, what is your pleasure ladies?  From totes to tea towels, the choice is yours.

Now we all know that I don't post frequently, so you can't complain that I fill your inbox up with things you don't want.  However, if you follow this page then you will be sure to get the blogs that I do write and the tutorials that I post.  I really hope you have a wonderful day and happy quilting.  I promise that next post will have some more great ideals for things to do!

Wishing you straight seams and full bobbins!


Thursday, October 17, 2013


Well ladies I've been off for a while during the especially busy summer months around here.  For those of you who do not know I am an avid gardener and canner so the spring and summer and somewhat into the autumn months I stay extremely busy.  Also this year I took a trip to see my grandson in Hawaii.  I had a wonderful time and got to visit a lot of quilt shops in the islands and purchased a lot of fabric.  Even had the opportunity to take a quilting class on Hawaiian quilting while I was there.

Well it's time to get it all back together and back to quilting for my late autumn and winter months.  Right now I am getting ready to start a class at the Senior Center and I'm really looking forward to that.  I've also entered some of my quilting into the local Agriculture Fair, in addition to some of my canning projects.

Got several quilts to get done, some for me, some for paying customers and some that I do as a charity project so I've been busy upstairs this morning working on some of those.  I'm still practicing some of the things I learned in my class with Lisa Sipes who is a wonderful quilting and if you don't know about her, please check her out on the web or FB.  She does wonderful quilting.  I have many friends on FB that are quilters and I love sharing some of their pictures and they always and forever inspire me.  Lisa Calle is just a wonderful quilter at Stone House Quilting and has some great rulers which are on my wish list.

Today I will not be posting any pictures of the projects I have completed over the summer and there have been a few.  One of the ones I am working on is for my grandson Collan who is going to get married in June.  He is the one who is currently living in Hawaii and he is a precious man!  But then I also have another precious grandson and two precious granddaughters and one great-grandson.  Each one is special in their own way and there is no way I could even begin to tell you how much they are loved and adored by me.  Oh well enough of that.

What's on my schedule in quilting?  Oh we will be using up some scraps and finishing some projects that are already started.  Looking forward to my class.  Looking forward to getting a few more supplies, such as the rulers I spoke about and learning to use them.

One little thing that I want to share with you is the importance of getting good instructions about how to use the things you are purchasing.  One of the reasons for this is my own problems that I have had.  I had someone recommend a particular item to me that would make my life so much easier.  It was a quicker way to get my backing and tops loaded onto my longarm machine.  Then another person recommended it also so I bought it.  The cost wasn't astronomical but nevertheless at $80 it wasn't a cheapo.........Well try as I might I was having all kinds of trouble using this new device.  After months of struggle and complaint that my hands just weren't strong enough and it was really hard to use someone posted and sent me a link on how to use the thing.  Guess what, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought and I could use it when I started doing in the way they showed.  Instruction is very important!  What can I say.....I'll try not to make that mistake again!  Now some things you can learn how to use very easily and there is another item that I purchased that actually cost me well over $100 that was a breeze to use!  I didn't need anything more than being told once how to do it and it worked really well.  Be on the safe side though, and get your instructions.  If there is a free class or if you can look at U-tube videos and see how to use it, go for it!  If the class will cost you extra money you may want to try to figure it out first and then if things don't work out well think about the class!

I hope you all have a wonderful day!  See you soon.

Guild Quilt

I joined with a lovely group of ladies several years ago and we decided that we would form a quilt guild, so we did and we found a place to start meeting and getting together and now there are quite a few lovely ladies that have joined with us.  Our guild decided early on, that we would like to give to the community and not be just takers.  Giving back is such a wonderful feeling and we have in the past completed many wonderful projects.  We've done a little of everything we could think of and when people have new projects they are interested they can present those projects to the guild and see if this is some the group wants to be involved in also.

We had decided to let the guild purchase some background fabric and each month as we present new blocks to the membership the members are to make up the block and bring one in to the guild for donation and we put those block together and get the top quilted and bound and then donate the quilt to whichever charity that we have chosen.  At present we are working on some quilts for the crisis center in our town.

This week I worked on getting one of the quilts quilted and I decided to use a variety of quilting patterns in the background fabric.  Since I had just taken a class with Lisa Sipes, who is majorly awesome, much of my inspiration comes from what she was teaching us in class and some of her work.  The block pattern here is a bow tie and I decided that I would do minimal quilting in the bow tie and just did some loops to represent the folds that you will see around the knot in the bowtie.  I put stars in the outer border because we have no ideal if this will be used on a bed for a man, woman, boy or girl and stars are so generic.  I really hope whoever gets to use the quilt really enjoys it!

Here are some pictures.
After it is all put together.  These quilts are for twin size beds and should fit them really well.  The bed it is displayed on is a queen size.

Hate when I get the camera strap in the picture!  This picture shows some of the different quilting patterns I used and you can just faintly see the bowtie patter in the green block.

More backgrounds, this is very angular.

And this one is curvy.

This is both straight lines with rows of bubbles.

Swirl pattern.

A bubble with a little wink!  Takes longer than I expected.

Any old timers out there remember paisley.

My little butterflies.  I've been doing these for a long time now.

Another oldie in the meandering hearts.
And finally just some pebbles.
I also did some straight lines and double lines and triple lines and just wavey lines and meandering in addition to all of the above and some cross hatching.  At any rate it was fun to just practice some of the background fills that I know and some new ones that I learned.  Now on to the next quilt!
Oh I also purchased some red snappers which are devices used to attach the quilt backing to the quilting machine.  Now I just hope I'll be able to use them.  Getting them on the first time was not easy at all!  Still waiting to get a stapler that works!  Hate when I get something home and it does not work and then I have to carry it back and wait for the replacement.  Drat!!! and Double Drat!!!
I hope you all have a wonderful week quilting and doing those things you love to do.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What should I do?

Well it has been an interesting week this week, as most weeks are.  Wanted to take some time to talk about quilt/quilting classes.  There are really so many of them out there and they are being taught by people who fancy themselves teachers because they have made a quilt!  Some of them haven't even made an entire quilt, but they have made quilt tops.  Many of them are teaching classes and all of their quilts have been quilted by others and usually even their binding has been put on the quilts by others.  Now there is nothing wrong with them wanted to share what they know.  My feeling is they should only teach what they really, really know and understand.  I know everyone has to start somewhere.  That somewhere can been by doing a demonstration at your local guild.  Don't have a guild, then talk to your local quilt shop owner and see if she will set up a demonstration day, on a day that she is having a big sale or is involved in a shop hop.  (I've actually done this a couple of times.)  The owners are typically so happy to have someone to attract more customers into the shop and in addition if you will go over what you are going to be demonstrating with the owner and make very sure that she has all of the supplies that you are using in your demo.  You can even talk with her about what she would love for you to demo so she can sell more of that particular item.  These events are a win/win/win situation.  Noone loses.  The shop owner can get more customers into her shop and have the opportunity to sale more items.  If she stocks up on what you are demonstrating she even stands the chance of making even more sales there.  You get to practice your teaching skills and present yourself to lots of people as a teacher so you have done a lot of advertising for yourself at no monitary cost and the customer has the opportunity to learn something new at no cost to her/him!  Now where is the downside to this?  Sorry I can't find one!

Well maybe there is one downside...........you have to know what you are going to teach!  It is also helpful to bring along the items you will need for demonstrating your project.  If you have never completed this particular project, do not try to teach others how to do it!  Please, it is an exercise in frustration and futility when you are not able to answer questions they may have about how to do something.  It is not likely they will want to consider taking any other classes from you.

I will never understand why anyone would even try to teach something they have never completed, but some people look at it and say, oh, it can't be that hard, I'm sure I can figure it out.  Sorry I'm not paying you so you can figure it out on my time and possibally give me wrong answers.

Well enough about teachers who don't know what they are doing..........Let's get down to the students.  I've been there on both sides of the fence and I guess I've made every mistake that it is possible to make and I do have to say that I have tried to learn from at least the majority of those mistakes.

As a student, please listen when the teacher is talking.  If you want to make notes then be sure and have your pencil and paper ready to take notes.  It's not anyone's responsibility to bring things you may need to a class except yours.  If there was a list of what to bring, please be sure you have all the items on the list before class time.  It's really nice to get there a few minutes early to set up what you need if that is allowed by the store and the space is available.  Sometimes classes are back to back and this is not possible.

Please read the directions that are handed out!  The teacher may make a statement and either she may "say it wrong" or you may "hear it wrong" and then there is a miscommunication and this can spell disaster to a quilt top!  If the directions say cut something at 2 1/4" and for some reason you have 2 1/2" stuck in your brain then there will be a problem.  Now that problem is easily solved by cutting off the extra 1/4", but if the directions say 2 1/2" and you cut at 2 1/4" then that is not as easily fixed!  This could present a big problem.  If the directions are handed to you in written form and the teacher says something else or you hear something else, you need to ask.  Sometimes the teacher will make a statement that the written directions say "............." but that is a mistake and instead do "............"  be sure and make that note on the directions that you have been given so there is no mistaking what you are suppose to do!  Ask for clarification if you have questions.  Good teachers do not mind answering questions about a project.

Things that students may not want to ask and likely should not ask, is "can't I make this block doing by doing it this way instead of what it shows here?"  That would be your choice and yours alone.  It would not be up to the teacher to figure out what size you need to cut each piece of fabric if you decide to do that block a different way.  You can do whatever you want, but don't ask the teacher to teach everyone else in class the project as she has it down and then teach you a different method.  That is a different class and you should have signed up for that if you want to do everything that way!

Okay enough of my rant on those things.

Another thing to take into consideration when signing up and attending classes.  As with anything wear layered clothing so you can take something off if you are hot, or can put that sweater or long sleeved shirt on if you are cold!  Everyone hates to be uncomfortable when they are trying to work and unfortunately people like different temps.  Also, toss a bottle of water or another drink of your choice into your bag so you don't have to go hunting something to drink!  It's a good ideal to make sure that all bottles have screw lids and if the bottle is not in your hand it should have the lid on to avoid accidental spills.  They can happen!  It's also really nice to have a snack if you get hungry.  Just a pack of crackers or a candy bar or pastry if the class isn't too long and if it is long you may be told to bring a sack lunch and you will be given time to eat that at some point in the class.  Be sure to bring a wipe of somekind to clean your hands after you eat so you don't accidentally get a grease spot on your fabric!

It's wonderful to chat with those who are working next to you or at your table, but that chatting should only be taking place when the teacher is not talking.  Be kind to your classmates and don't talk during instruction time so they can hear what they have paid to learn.

The most important part is to have fun!  Regardless of what happens..............you came to learn something and if that something is that the person that sat next to you in class has a really dry sense of humor and really made you roll on the floor laughing during the class then you have learned something!  It isn't all about sewing.  Sometimes it's about making friends and sharing. 

I hope you all have a wonderful day!  Learn something new today! 

I have to add a little update on this post.  This post was actually written several weeks ago.   It was far before I took a class at the Sewing & Quilting Expo with Lisa Sipes and this post has absolutely nothing to do with that particular class.  I frequently write several post when I have time and just keep those in reserve for the times when life is crazy and I didn't get anything done toward my blog that week.  Well this has been one of those weeks.  It's spring and I do an enormous amount of gardening and canning, etc not to mention, life goes on, so I didn't get to write anything this week, so I'm pulling out one of my drafts.  Less you think I am specifically speaking of one person or one class, I am not!!!  One thing that I really wanted to say though about classes and make it a point to say several times, be friendly and have fun!  Don't throw off on anyone's work....You can meet some wonderful people in quilt classes and they can become life-long friends.  My friend Kay and I met at a class and we have been friends since then.  My friend Nita and I met in a class and we went on to start the local quilt guild.  My friend Emily I met in a quilt class and I could go on and on!!!  You can meet wonderful people where ever you go.  Be happy, be friendly and enjoy your class.  Who knows, you may learn a lot more than you ever expected!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Awesome Class

I had a wonderful quilting experience this week as I had the privilege of taking a class from Lisa Snipes.  Lisa is a truly wonderful longarm quilter with many awards to her tallent.  Her most recent award was a Best in Show quilt at QuiltCon which was pieced by Victoria Wolfe and quilted by Lisa.  Lisa is a spokesperson for Gammill Quilting Machines in Missouri.  Her tallent is amazing and if you are going through any quilting magazines and see an ad for Gammill Machines you may well be looking at some of Lisa's quilting expertise.

It is amazing to me to be able to look at some of the work she does and realize that she has quilted on a piece of white fabric or black fabric and has used different colors of thread to create amazing designs.  If you check out the QuiltCon Best In Show Quilt at Victoria's Blog (Bumblebeansinc.com) or on Lisa's Blog (That Crazy Quilty Girl) you can see the totally awesome triple line crosshatch that adds so much deminsion and movement to the quilt.  Victoria has used a Double Wedding Ring type pattern, but the quilting truly makes this quilt and even more awesome thing to behold.

Being a longarm quilter and quilting for other people makes each quilt a really unique piece of art.  Without either person the result would never be the same!  The piecer and the quilter each bring a unique talent to the table.  When you get two people, both with amazing tallent in their own right and put those together you get truly amazing awesomeness!

At any rate I hope to be able to put some of the new techniques to work in my own quilting room.  I've already been practicing the triple straight line stitching and some of the different fills that she brought to our table in the class.  In my opinion, every quilter needs an infusion of new thought at intervals or they are prone to get into a rut and none of us want to be in a rut.  The same holds true with people who piece quilts.  Take a look at your fabric stash and you will see what particular colors that you tend to purchase.  The majority of people will gravitate toward one hue, light, medium or dark in addition to purchasing a lot more of one particular color family, green, yellow or red or anywhere in between.  I found that I typically purchase medium hues and when I would hunt for lights or darks I would wind up back at the fabric shop.  Now, I try to keep it changed up and one day when I am going to visit the quilt shop for nothing in particular I make it a point to pick up a light color, and then again I may decide I'm going to pick up a dark and those pieces are just for my stash.  Because I discovered this some time ago, I can now go upstairs to my stash and pick out all of the fabrics necessary for a quilt and I will have a good mixture of lights, mediums and darks. 

I have also found that I frequently tend to not purchase any geometric patterned fabric and therefore sometimes I just make it a point to pick up a geometric, when I have an extra dollar or two and this is just for my stash.  There is nothing like diversity to keep your mind fresh and your stash varied and that variation will make for some really interesting quilts if you allow that to happen.  You would have really had a laugh if you had been with me when I was trying to find fabric for a wall hanging nativity scene that I have been working on and I had very specific requirements for those fabrics. 
I needed flesh colored fabric, but I wanted one of those to be European, and one Asian, and one Moor.  In addition I needed fabric for hair for the European and Asian and the Moor in addition to fabric for the hair of Mary, Jesus, Joseph, the Shepherd and the Angel.  I did not want to use the same hair on two figures in the scene and I needed hair for a beard for at least two of the men.  Then there was fabric with the pattern of fur for the cattle, sheep and camels.  You would never believe how many shops I visited and how many hours I spent on the computer looking for exactly the right fabric.  Now those type of quilts will bring a new dimension to your stash that is truly wonderful. 

All of the above also applies to longarm quilting.  Not only do we have the patterns but we have the different colors of threads and the different textures in addition to the embellishments that are readily available to dress up the quilt.  Rickrack, ribbons, buttons and gems are truly only the beginning of what can be used to embellish a quilt. 

All of this being said, I strive to be a little different, but not overly out there because that just isn't in my nature.  Lisa, however is out there and I am so happy that she is.  Without those people who step outside the box, we would miss so very much!

A wonderful picture of some of Lisa's quilting!  I told you she was awesome. 
Picture of Lisa and I at the class.  It was a wonderful class.
While I aspire to be a quilter that produces work like Lisa, I'm afraid that I'll never quite make it that far, but I can still practice, practice, practice, as long as people continue to bring me practice pieces for me to quilt.
For a wonderfully entertaining hour check out Lisa's blog and look at her fab work.  Oh be sure and get a Kleenex before you start to keep the drool off the screen!  Hope you all have a wonderful quilty day!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Are you seeing Double?

It is not very frequently that I have people insist that they want their quilt done exactly like someone else's quilt.  I typically just don't do that because every quilt is an individual masterpiece to the person who made that particular top.  People just don't pick the same colors and styles of fabric patterns and quilts can look so very different and all of them awesome in their own way because people are different.  While it is a compliment for someone to want to do something like you most people still want just a little something different so they can call it their own.  Recently I had a lady call and she said I have made a quilt like Gloria's and I want you to quilt it exactly like that!  I even borrowed her quilt because I wanted to be sure that the pattern was exactly like her's because I just love that quilt and I love the way you quilted it because it is so much a springtime quilt, and has the light and airy quilting that isn't the heavy stuff you see on most quilts.  Oh well to each their own.

Because I do each quilt as an individual I don't always remember all of the details of what I did with a specific quilt and this is one that I did at one of my busy times and I did not get any pictures made to put up on my blog.  Drat, that will teach me!  I have to remember to do that so I have a record of what I did to what!  I had to borrow Gloria's quilt so I would know how the quilt the thing! 

Well I finished quilting this morning so I am definately going to post pictures of this one.  There is a little difference between the two quilts because the border fabric that Gloria used was not available any longer on Janice had to pick out another border fabric.  The backing fabric that Gloria used was great but again Janice could not get enough to make a backing so she had to piece her backing and that turned out great.  The thread that I used on Gloria's did not go as well with Janice's quilt because of the difference in the border so I used a slightly different thread.  I'm not sure what Janice will bind the quilt with, but that may be another difference.  Anyway, here is Janice's quilt.

This picture is the quilt just laid out across the bed.  It will really be a great springtime quilt with those vibrant colors!  Now the center of the quilt is not quite centered on teh bed because the center is actually the light strip.  The quilt top is centered on the backing though!

The vibrant colors and then the half-square triangles that is using cloth made from all of the fabrics is really awesome, and a really wonderful way to use up scraps.  In every section of "made" fabric there is one strip of the color of the solid portion of the half-square triangle which really is nice!  And the way the 1/2 square triangles are rotated brings an interesting secondary pattern to the quilt.

This is all part of the light and airy quality of the quilting.  Using the varigated thread that contains the colors in the print really brings visual interest.  You can't see it in this picture but there is a straight line of quilting running through the center of the print strip so the quilting does meet the guidelines for that particular batting and how closely it should be quilted.

All of the orange pieces have the same quilting pattern which is some curlie q's.  The pink and orange prints all have a leaf pattern for the quilting.

Now this is the back which was pieced with this orange strip lengthwise down the center of the backing.  So nice that the top of the quilt had the strip that ran the exact same way so here is that quilting pattern that is on the front printed strip down the center of the back in the orange piece of fabric with the two sides having the quiting from the pieced strips.

A close up picture of the pieces strips on the front.

A closer picture of the back so you can see the line running up the center of that printed strip on the front.

 The pink and orange border with the little circle pattern quilted around that border.
The outer blue flower border has the leaf mofit quilted there as does the blue flower fabric that is one the ends of the pieced strips on the front.

I think this quilt turned out very nice.  Sure do hope the customer likes it also!

I'm working on some other things including a tee-shirt quilt that I have to finish by April, just another month away and then there is another tee-shirt quilt to be finished by August.  My tee-shirt quilts are really time intensive.  People seem to want to bring in their tee-shirts and then they find more they want added, and then they decide to add pictures, and then they decide they want some message or saying quilted into the quilt and so it can really get to be a long and drawn out process so I have to start those things early in order to get them finished!  Also have a few of my own projects that I would like to make some progress on! 

I hope you all have a wonderful quilty week!