Friday, September 4, 2015

Ready for the Weekend!

I am soooooo ready for this weekend! Hubby works in marine construction and this is one of the few minor holidays that he gets off since the lake will be full of boaters getting in their last hurrah. You just can't get much work done standing on a huge barge, trying to pound in giant posts with a crane when a speed boat zooms by. Since the last couple of weeks have been very busy with school, my travel, and Craftsy class launch, I'm looking forward to some extra family time and hopefully some time to work on my multiple unfinished projects.

I was supposed to be doing more finishing of projects this year!
Speaking of Craftsy, my class has been doing great! I've been busy answering questions and keeping up with the discussions on the platform. If you haven't signed up for Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine yet, this weekend is an excellent time to do so. Craftsy is running another huge sale between now and Wednesday! (That's a 50% off link right there folks! I'm not sure if Craftsy is selling it at 50% for this sale or not, but I am)

SALE on your best back to school ever! Shop Up to 50% off ALL online Craftsy classes for a limited time — no textbooks or pop quizzes allowed.

The back to school theme of the sale makes me giggle a little bit. My kids have just finished their 4th week of school! But it is a great time for us to do some learning too and at least we can do it from home in our pajamas if we want.

There are some really great free motion quilting classes on Craftsy right now. Besides my class, there's a class from Lori Kennedy of the Inbox Jaunt. I haven't taken Divide and Conquer: Creative Quilting for Any Space yet, but I keep up with her blog and she's so stinkin' talented and creative with her designs. There are several more from Leah Day, Patsy Thompson, Angela Walters, and more.

There are two great classes to take that could be utilized with ruler work: Angela Walters' Dot to Dot Quilting and Kim Brunner's Machine Quilting with Templates.

My daughter and I have continued learning from Kim Werker's  Crochet: Basics and Beyond. She's finally trying to follow patterns! Not that I want her to give up her free form crochet creations, but I'd like for her to find some joy in creating an actual, usable piece. Some of her creations resemble yarn vomit (without the ick factor).

In fact, her birthday is Tuesday and to celebrate it, she and I are going yarn shopping tomorrow! I'm trying to decide if she's ready for the nice yarn from the yarn shop, or if she's still just into quantity. We'll most likely stick to the big box hobby shops but we may pop into the boutique yarn shop for some inspiration. She's so excited about a "girls' day" together!

I've been catching up on a little reading too. Especially yesterday when I felt so icky. I think I've turned a corner for the better this morning. I found these magazines at Joanne's fairly recently, but have just been reading them little by little. Sadly, I hear  Artists & Makers is no longer going to be made. I have to admit, that while I should learn from these magazines, sometimes I'm just all about looking at the beautiful pictures.

I'm also hoping to get some more quilting done this weekend too. Because that's what we're all here for right? I know I am. Sigh....I need an assistant or maybe a housekeeper. Anybody looking for an unpaid internship? LOL.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Quilty Goodies

I was so glad to get this package today! It's all of my samples and rulers and such from my Craftsy shoot.

All my lovely rulers, how I have missed you. I may have gone a little overboard with big ziploc baggies when preparing my class.

 I also went through my Janome Institute goodies today. When my Janome dealer sent my to this dealer-only event, I had no idea there would be a vendor booth or a tote bag full of goodies.

I've got a bunch of thread samples to try out. Somewhere, I've got some Glide prewound bobbins that won't fit Janome machines and I plan on giving them away as soon as I can find the little things.

But first, I'm going to try to get over what ever germs my kids brought home from school.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Busy Little Bee

I've been a busy little bee lately. Maybe not so much on the little, more like a bumble bee, especially as I'm charting new territory and stretching a bit outside what I know. But how else do we learn? So I'm buzzing and bumbling along.

My Craftsy class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine, has been very well received! Over 1000 students so far and I'm getting a ton of positive feedback. I'm answering a ton of questions too, which is a great part of the Craftsy platform. That's still a discount link above, and there's going to be a big sale for Labor Day weekend at Craftsy, so come back here Friday to make sure you get a link for the best price available.

My poor happy flower is a little droopy. Somebody knocked it off the window ledge.

How do you like my new work surface as a backdrop for photos? I'm taking pictures of products (not this bee) for my soon to open online shop. I can't wait to open this convenient spot to review and purchase the best assortment of rulers for free motion quilting.

Here's one of the reasons I like my new tables to have wheels! I can move things around to take advantage of natural light.

I'm using a big piece of white foam core to help get light where I need it.
In other news, I've got a guest post up over at Christa Quilts today. Bet you didn't know that I was once worried that Christa might have been my first stalker? Turns out she was just very enthusiastic. Go check it out and see why!

Christa's a pretty busy little bee too. She's got a book coming out very soon and you'll hear more from me about that later, plus some great patterns and her own precut shop too.

If you haven't signed up for my newsletter (see right side of blog), please do so. This is new for me and different from following the blog via email (an option on the left sidebar- I don't have access to those emails). I want to be able to send you additional great quilting info, updates, and an announcement when my shop opens. I promise not to hit you with a bunch of spammy "buy, buy, shop, shop" kind of things.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Go Slow

When you've left your kids twice during the summer and then birthed a new baby in the form of a Craftsy class, the quilting slows down for some important things.

Like this beautiful, creative, crafty, free-spirited girl of mine. We've been sitting down to watch a Craftsy class on crochet together, Crochet Basics and Beyond. She's been crocheting for a while, but not following patterns and not really wanting me to teach her more than a few basic stitches. She likes free form crochet. After going through enough yarn to wrap around our house a few billion times, much of which ended up looking like a shag rug went through a shredder, she's now delighted to follow a class together. Even more so when she realized the instructor was the author of her favorite crochet book, Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting, Kim Werker. My daughter is so worth going slow for.

But I have gotten some quilting in between answering emails and questions/discussions in my class, doing some promoting of the class, trying to get some other work done, and more.

This quilt is worth going slow for too. It's a nice sampler quilt that I challenged myself to piece. See, I'm really all about the quilting and have always thought I was a pretty poor piecer. But I took my time and got it put together quite well.
curved crosshatching on a regular sewing machine

Now I'm using it to showcase a wide variety of ruler work designs. I'm using a light turquiose thread to show the quilting better, which of course means any little bobbles show. It reminds me of watching gymnastics: "Oh! A little bobble there. That's going to cost her." Nevermind the girl may have done a triple handspring with a 180 twist on the beam, a little bobble shows.

For me, it's not the quilt police or even show judges that I'm worried about. It's my own perfectionistic tendencies and inner mean-girl. But I'm getting better at shutting up my own worst critic. I planned to take a picture of this area below to show you why you should go slow when you start stitching with rulers.

Once I got the camera out, I could hardly see the spot that I wanted to show you. It really wasn't that bad at all. I'll get to the tip in a moment, but let me just point out the bigger thing here and that is if you see some quilting as you stitch that you don't like, step away from the quilt for a moment. Spread it on a bed or take a picture (not with the macro lens!) and then decide if it's something that really needs fixing.

What I wanted to point out is that it always pays to start out slow when free motion quilting, especially when doing ruler work. There are some side-to-side forces on the fabric sandwich and while you're using your needle down function (I hope you are!) everything is secure. But the minute that needle goes up, if there's tension in the wrong direction, the quilt can shoot off from where you wanted those first stitches to go. So take it very slow until that first stitch is in and the quilt is under your full control.

This part above definitely needs fixing! I got a little careless and stitched right into the frame of my curved crosshatching. But it was easily fixed.

free motion quilting with rulers on a sewing machine

Another block down, but what will I do to finish out that sashing design? It's reminiscent of the frame border I teach in my class, but in a much smaller scale. It's done with the BFF from the Quilted Pineapple (See her ad for templates in the right sidebar), but I don't want to treat it like that design. I'll quilt somewhere else while I think about it.

Speaking of going slow, if you're new to ruler work, don't feel like you've got to run out and buy a ton of new rulers. You can learn the technique and explore a lot of designs with just a straight ruler and a curve or two. There's plenty of time to add to your ruler collection. Of course, if you want to buy a bunch, I'm hoping you'll visit some of my sponsors or wait another week or two for my shop opening. I definitely didn't go slow when ordering rulers and templates for my online shop. If I think too hard about how much I have spent, my heart starts to race!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ruler Work Friendly Classes and a Craftsy Sale

Happy weekend! One of the things I love about ruler work and my Craftsy class on it, is that there are other Craftsy classes (and their wonderful techniques) that are made easier for domestic/sit-down quilters when you know how to use rulers to guide your free motion quilting.

My favorite classes for incorporating ruler work on Craftsy are Kim Brunner's Machine Quilting with Templates, Creating Design Perfection and Dot to Dot Quilting with Angela Walters which aren't included in this weekend's sale, but Leah Day's newest class, The Free Motion Effect; Machine Quilting Beautiful Borders, with Eva Larkin Hawkins; Free-Motion Quilting Essentials, with Christina Cameli, and more can be adapted to ruler work and are in this sale. Many of Angela Walters classes adapt well to ruler work too.

My class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home machine isn't included in this sale, but you can still get it with my discount link at $10 off the regular price. If you've already bought the class, I'd love if you'd leave a review on Craftsy for it. I know you love it from the comments I've been getting here, but as a new Craftsy Instructor, more reviews would be very helpful for those who don't know my work through this blog.

home machine quilting with rulers

Here's some of the ruler work I was able to get to yesterday and I hope to get more done today.

ruler work on a home machine

Don't miss Craftsy's sale this weekend on classes in the category, Quilting: Machine Quilting Motifs & Fillers!

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