Monday, April 25, 2016

Creative Quilting with Rulers, More Techniques and Motifs

Wooohooo!!!!!! Today's the day, launch day, time to see what I've been working on for the last 4 months, the unveiling of my new Craftsy class. Can you tell I'm excited?

photo credit Craftsy.com

This is the perfect follow-up to my first class and a great class for those who have already begun to do some ruler work and want to learn more designs and gain understanding of how to work with the rulers you may already have to develop your own designs for your projects. I also use larger projects in this class to help demonstrate how to manipulate rulers and quilts together.

In lesson 1, I give a brief intro and a few quick reminders about using rulers safely and effectively before jumping in to how to decide on and develop quilting designs for your own projects.

Lesson 2 is all about working within blocks with echoes and block designs. I'll show you designs that are great for emphasizing piecing and for quilting large blocks as a unit, even when you don't have big rulers.

Then we head outside the block with the rest of our lessons. First there's sashing designs in Lesson 3 followed by working with rulers in the wide open spaces of negative space and background areas of both traditional and modern quilts. Then we take it to the border and look at three great designs for quilt borders.

Finally, we wrap up with Lesson 6 and get a little fancy while creating motifs using rulers not only for a simple block motif, but also for larger whole cloth inspired designs.

Here's the class trailer:

video

To entice you to go ahead and buy the class instead of waiting for those predictable Craftsy class sales, I'm giving you a special discount link to get my NEW class at 25% off!

Still Haven't Tried Ruler Work?


My first class, "Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine," has been incredibly well received with reviews like:

"Loved the class. This is exactly what I was looking for to go to the next level of quilting on my home machine. I do free motion quilting and now with the aide of rulers I feel like the sky is the limit."
 --- Pattimorrow.

"I have purchased over 30 classes on Craftsy and this is one of the best. Amy has clear, informative lessons and creative ideas. I love that I can stop, replay, go back to, and review all the lessons...forever! I have been watching Amy's videos on her blog for quite awhile, and was so excited she did a Craftsy class.
Thanks, Amy."
--- keynotegal

If you haven't taken it yet, this is a 50% discount link from me to you, so what are you waiting for?

Sharing the Ruler Work Love with a Sale

Because I want more people to enjoy the fun and creativity of using rulers to guide your free motion quilting, I'm also having a sale site-wide at Amy's Quilting Adventures! Until May 15th, take 15% off of your order with the promocode SpringFling15. Make sure to enter the code, I can't add it after the fact.

That makes it a great time to finally order a ruler foot for your machine or to expand your collection of rulers. There's a great selection of rulers to choose from and they're all rulers that I find most useful and more importantly, usable with sewing machines and sit-down long-arm machines.

Lastly, I've got some winners to announce!

The winner of the official Craftsy class giveaway is maddie90 and the winner of my own giveaway for the class is Pam A. I'll be emailing these winners shortly with a code for their free class.

Goodness! I think I'm more excited than I expected. I've got butterflies fluttering in my tummy. Let me know what you think of the new class in the comments.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Winner: The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Out of 506 entries, Kristin Clifton is our winner of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson.



I've sent an email to Kristin and I'll be shipping out the book as soon as I get her address.

Many thanks to Christa for sending me a copy of the book to review and give away.

If you didn't win, check out Christa's blog for more information on where you can order it.

Don't forget to check out my last few posts for chances to win my new class with Craftsy which comes out Monday!

I'm also offering my blog readers a 15% discount to help you get a ruler foot or rulers or whatever at my online shop with the code SpringFling15. Make sure you enter the code or the discount won't apply.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring Fling Sales!

Spring has sprung and while many folks think about spring cleaning, I feel like the world is full of all kinds of growth and new opportunities, so don't miss any of the following opportunities:

We could all be cleaning, but let's have a little fun with some sales. Yes, that's plural. As in more than one sale!



Craftsy is no stranger to a sale and they are offering 50% off of their top classes through Saturday! Treat yourself to a new skill after you've done your spring cleaning or yard work. Did you know Craftsy even has classes on gardening? Don't forget outdoor photography. Maybe procrastinate by taking a class instead of cleaning. Those baseboards can wait. No judgement here regarding spring cleaning. Use my special instructor's link for this sale and put a little extra jingle in my pocket too.


I'm bringing in this big guy to announce my first ever sale over at Amy's Quilting Adventures. To celebrate the nearly here launch of my second class on ruler work with Craftsy, I'm offering everything (Everything!) in my shop at 15% off until May 15th. Use the code SpringFling15 at checkout to get the sale price.

If you've wanted to try ruler work but haven't yet gotten a foot, now's the time. I'm available to help you choose the right foot for your machine too.

If you've been wanting to expand your collection of rulers we can help with that too! 

You can get my first Craftsy class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine at 50% off here with my special instructor's affiliate link. Not only that, but when the new class launches (Monday sometime!), you can get it here only for a 25% discount right away!

So there's our sales, so now let's move on to a few giveaways!

I'll be drawing one winner for my copy of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Christa Watson and Angela Walters on Saturday. Enter here: http://goo.gl/forms/VX5MXlU3sE

Craftsy is sponsoring a giveaway for my new class, Creative Quilting with Rulers, More Techniques and Motifs and the winner will be announced as soon as the Class launches. Click here to enter! http://www.craftsy.com/ext/AmyJohnson_Giveaway

One last thing, I'm doing my own giveaway for the new class. Enter now with this link (one entry per person please) and maybe you'll win a code to take the class for free. I'll announce the winner Monday.

Oh! If you're even somewhat local to Lynchburg Virginia, my Janome dealer is having a fabulous sale on floor model machines. Seriously good deals.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting and a Giveaway

I've been checking out Christa Watson's new book written as a team effort with talented teacher and long arm quilter, Angela Walters. It's called, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, Long-Arm and Sit-Down by Martingale Press.


With the tag-line, Learn When, Where, Why, and How to Finish Your Quilts, it's packed full of quilt projects with patterns, instructions, and more importantly how the quilt was quilted, and why. Christa and Angela each talk about their own quilting design choices in well-designated sections with each author's remarks on different colored pages.


Here's an overview from the publisher:

In this must-have resource, long-arm-quilting expert Angela Walters and home-sewing-machine specialist Christa Watson team up to provide the ultimate guide for machine quilters. Gain insight into long-arm quilting, as well as guidance on quilting at a sit-down sewing machine. Whichever machine you use, you'll find warm encouragement and expert tips to help you every step of the way.


  • Find out why some designs and motifs are ideal for sit-down quilting while others are better suited to long-arm quilting
  • Packed with tips, tricks, and advice on how to machine quilt better, you'll learn everything you need to know to get started confidently and finish strong
  • Learn from the masters as you discover how to stitch a wide range of quilting designs, with instructions for 10 quilts




Angela Walters is one of my favorite sources of inspiration as she frequently uses rulers in her long-arm quilting. With my ruler work technique adapted to the sit-down and domestic machine, this book is a good source of design ideas. Christa even addresses the concept of using rulers on sit-down and domestic machines briefly, though she doesn't use rulers. She's a Bernina ambassador waiting for an official ruler foot.

The book addresses some necessary quilting basics of quilt assembly, basting, choosing designs, marking, and free motion fundamentals. It also features interesting and helpful tidbits of advice and information from both Christa and Angela.

You can get signed copies from Christa here: http://christaquilts.bigcartel.com/  Take the time to visit my quilty friend at her blog, Christa Quilts if you don't already follow her. Angela  is always up to something interesting at Quilting is my Therapy.

But before you do that, enter my giveaway for a chance to get my copy sent to you! Click here to enter: Ultimate Guide Giveaway. Please enter only once. Duplicate entries will not increase your chances of winning and will increase my irritation. This is open to anyone anywhere! A winner will be drawn Saturday, April 23rd.

Check it out! You won't be disappointed.

My thanks to Christa and Martingale for sending me a copy to review and giveaway.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Creative Quilting with Rulers

It's nearly time for my new class with Craftsy to launch and of course that means some giveaways and other special things are going on.

Photo courtesy of Craftsy.com

First, it's called:

Creative Quilting with Rulers
More Techniques and Motifs

Yes, that's a mouthful but the powers that be at Craftsy get to pick the name and I guess Quilting with Rulers 2 isn't as pleasing to their professional marketing peeps.

Photo courtesy of Craftsy.com

I am so excited to have made this class for you! First of all is the awesomeness of being able to do it with Craftsy, so the video quality is awesome and my editor and producer make sure that I stay on track and present the information in a coherent fashion. Plus you can watch it whenever you want and how you want, whether that's in your PJ's late at night or when you're in a hurry and you speed me up to 1.5 or even 2x speed. (I will sound like a chipmunk, but that's OK.) At regular speed I am my usual mellow, encouraging self and I take the time needed to fully explain any tricky bits.

Photo courtesy of Craftsy.com

The class is a follow up to the first one, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine (that's a 50% off link) so if you're completely unfamiliar with using rulers and a free motion ruler foot on your machine, you'll likely want to take the first class before this one. If you've already played around with rulers to guide your free motion quilting for really straight lines and smooth curves, you will find this class really helpful.

I finished up my ruler work sampler for the backdrop of the class too. They redid the studio I was in so I felt a little lost without the old gray background and Craftsy props.

I don't get to see the actual finished edition of my class for a few more days, but I feel really good about it. It is cram-packed with designs and tips, plus I used several different quilt projects in the class to stitch on, so you get to see how to manage your rulers on actual quilts instead of the plain samples I used for the first class.

Photo courtesy of Craftsy.com
The best thing about this class is that you don't need any fancy rulers. We're just using a straight edge and a few basic curved rulers and I'm showing how you can use them in a bunch of ways, even smaller rulers in big blocks, and simple rulers to make complex designs.

I've got some exciting events coming up for you as the class launches.

First is a giveaway! Use this special link right now to enter a giveaway hosted by Craftsy. They'll draw the winner the night before the class goes live (currently, scheduled for April 25.). I'll have that name for you on launch day.

I'll be setting up my own giveaway for the class later this week for another chance to win a code to get the class for free. That name will also be announced on launch day.

I'm also going to be posting a special discount link here for the new class! Yes! While it's still brand new, you can get it at a discount right here. I can guarantee it'll be a while before you can get the class cheaper through one of Craftsy's sales.

I'll also be running a sale on rulers and all other products at Amy's Quilting Adventures in conjunction with the class launch. Not entirely sure how I'll be setting this up at this point so keep your eyes peeled for my newsletter (long overdue neglected thing that it is), info on my Facebook page, and of course, here for more information coming soon.

I've got another special project in the works, so I don't want to over-commit myself, but I'm also hoping to share a tutorial or pattern or two for the projects I've used in the class. Some of that will have to wait until I get those projects back from Craftsy, but I'll know more about my special project by then so you'll get news on one or the other.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Free Motion Quilting Video: Ferny Feather

I did manage to take a little video of my stitching yesterday with the ferny feather. I used an iPad Mini to film with as it's supposed to be easier to edit videos on it, but the sound quality isn't so good when the machine is running. I'll have to see about getting a microphone for it before shooting another video.



It's been so long since I uploaded a new video, so I was totally shocked to see I have over 10,000 subscribers! There have been over 916,000 views of my videos too. Amazing! Guess I ought to shoot a few more.

Monday, April 11, 2016

My Encourager

One of my biggest encouragers has departed this earth. Living in the fairly rural South, we called her Miss Linda. She would ooo and ahhh over every quilt project I showed her and since she lived right across the street, I could run over to visit her in the evenings after the kids were in bed. She totally delighted in my blog's growth and my new 'career' in teaching and selling my favorite quilting supplies.


She was a generous soul and helped us financially when my husband had cancer. When the church we attended needed a proper church building (it was a new church) and a local church building came up for sale, she pretty much bought it. When I entered my Poured Out Quilt into Sacred Threads in Washington DC, she and I drove up for a weekend trip and she treated me.


Anyone who knew her knew that she was a lady with a strong faith. There was a story she would tell about finding a white feather during a brief moment of joy during a time of trial and while I can't remember the details, the image of a white feather is stuck in my mind. I did a little stitching today and stitched this feather. I think there's a feathered quilt in my future (like I need another project!) though this was just a trial stitch out.

Lest you imagine a sedate and prim elderly lady, I leave you with this photo. She had a great sense of humor and didn't give a flip what others thought.


She thoroughly enjoyed the life that God gave her and the world is a better place for having her in it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Shop Hoppin' in Denver

While I was in Denver and waiting for my rescheduled flight, my Mom came up and spent the day with me. We decided to do a little shopping and walking. Mom's passionate about walking at least 2 miles a day so when we looked up Fabric Bliss and saw it was 1.1 miles from the hotel, we had a destination.


First we had to sneak by this big guy! Good thing he was preoccupied with the interior of the performance center.


Once we made it down to Fabric Bliss, we were happy to find it was an adorable, bright little shop. I bought just 2 fabrics and some yarn, including some yarn for my crochet nut of a daughter. Can't wait for another Craftsy instructors class to come out which is on reading and following a crochet pattern, because the child needs to learn to make a 'something' instead of her current artfully done tangles.


Once we got back to the hotel, we took Mom's car to Fancy Tiger Crafts. I follow them in my Instagram feed, so I was certain I'd find a great shop and I was not disappointed. I wish we had more time to poke around the neighborhood as it looked like there were some fabulous shops in the area.


Check out their ceiling fan! It's an enormous wind mill. I think it's amazing. The whole shop is a feast for the eyes.


It's fabrics along one half of the huge store and yarn and other fiber crafts down the other. There were quilting cottons, chambray, double gauze, denin, wool and more. A little more focus on sewing and garments but absolutely fabulous. There were solids, Liberty prints, Cotton+Steel, Tula Pink, and I'm pretty sure it's good for my wallet that I don't live nearby. Everything wanted to come home with me.


Even my mom, a non-sewer (ain't it a shame?) found the shop full of interesting items. That's her in red below, looking at all the crafty goodness.


They even had spinning wheels, roving, and adorable needle felting kits. Look at these cute projects below.


I was the absolute image of restraint. I purchased just this small-ish pile of chambray and yarn-dyed/shot cotton. I foresee an applique quilt in my future. Though I really don't want to start anything new until I finish up my projects from my Craftsy class.


I'm so excited for this new class to go live. This time, I'm keeping the focus on designing a quilting plan with the rulers you may already have and keeping the rulers I use very basic. Instead of plain fabric samples, I'm stitching on actual quilt projects this time so you get a better feel for how to manipulate the fabric and rulers under the machine. It will be available later this month and I'll be running a giveaway prior to the launch.


Monday, April 4, 2016

I'm a Guest on American Patchwork and Quilting with Pat Sloan

Thank you for all the encouraging words following yesterday's post. I'm doing my best to keep busy and count my many blessings. It's a great day for being sunny and busy! Today I'm a guest on Pat Sloan's radio show with American Patchwork and Quilting.


Pat's intrigued with my ruler work technique on a sewing machine and will be asking about my class with Craftsy and my recent shooting of my second class with Craftsy on the subject.

It's broadcast live at 4pm EST, so I hope I don't sound like an idiot. One bonus of shooting with Craftsy is the editing process and knowing that if something is horribly wrong, we can re-shoot. Not so today!

I'm in good company with Pat and the other participants of today's show, quilter, designer, and author Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Lisa Bongean, the designer behind Primitive Gatherings.

You can listen here: http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/quilting-podcast


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dear Quilting Friends,

Remember my sweet friend Robin who recently posted about her plan to remove the stumbling blocks of quilting perfectionism? She had worked her new productive quilting skills on the projects she made for her new grandbaby with several quilts and bibs, plus many baby quilts for others.

Sadly, the baby was born by emergency C section and died. I don't know the details, but you know this is a shock and a heartbreaking time. It is made even more heart wrenching as this young couple had already lost their first baby to miscarriage and all seemed well with this pregnancy.

I asked Robin as we are both big believers in prayer if she'd mind me sharing with you. She would appreciate any prayers you would lift up on behalf of her son, daughter in law, herself and the rest of the family.

Not that it compares at all with what Robin's family is going through, I wouldn't mind a few prayers or encouraging words for myself and another special friend. I've struggled a bit with depression over the years, not serious suicidal levels, but I can feel myself on the edge of that dark pit. There's always a bit of a void for me after any huge creative endeavor and finishing my newest Craftsy class definitely qualifies, but there are other factors this time.

My wonderful neighbor and friend is dying from cancer and I haven't been able to see her since before I went to Denver. I am desperately hoping she is feeling good enough that she (or her family) will let me visit soon. She's a strong woman who hates for people to see her when she is feeling weak.

She has supported me in my creative endeavors ever since I met her over 7 years ago when she moved across the street. Many a night I would run over for a visit after the kids were put in bed and she'd listen to me alternately whine, rage, rejoice, and plan over the various aspects of my life. I've sobbed on her shoulder with big ugly, runny nose tears when my husband had cancer and she single handedly kept us out of complete financial ruin when he was out of work during and after chemo.

She keeps telling me how proud she is of me and how much she's enjoyed seeing me "blossom" in my quilting business. I don't know how I'll get by without being able to run over to her house of a night so we can laugh and sometimes cry together.

Her faith is strong and her husband went before her so I know she's not afraid of what is coming. But it will be incredibly hard to say goodbye and cancer is such a horrible thing. Her family is with her nearly everyday. I just want to see her and say goodbye. (I wish there was no need to say goodbye.)

Friends, life is too short and bittersweet. Love your family and friends and quilt on......




Friday, April 1, 2016

The 'Art' of the Selfie

Have you seen this new incredible class from Craftsy? I was actually in the presence of these talented people last week and didn't even know it. With this class, I'll be able to share even more selfies with you.....something I'm very well known for.....You can't hardly come to my blog without seeing a ton of my selfies and now, they can be so much better!



What do you think? Are you a selfie stick pro? Maybe with this class, we can all improve our duck lip pout. One of the important tips? It's April Fools!