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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Webinars are ready for you to sign up!

If you haven't heard there are a few Webinars scheduled over the next couple of months.
Sign up soon, classes have limited space. 

Please register for the following Webinars:

Frame basics on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM EST
Best Practice when using the Quilt Magician  Monday, March 24, 2014 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM EST

Getting the most with the Quilt Magician Monday, March 31, 2014 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

When, where, how and why record with the Quilt Magician? Tuesday, April 8, 2014 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EST
Free Motion quilting  on Monday, April 21, 2014 10:00 AM - 9:00 AM EST

When signing up be sure to register for your time zone.  

Hope you can join us for the Webinars, 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Atlanta is the frozen tundra

Yesterday I landed in Atlanta to set off for my journey around the city.  Little did I know that the weather would turn into the frozen tundra.  Since I am from Michigan the weather does not effect me as it might you.  Well I have changed my mind...the weather is beautiful with the snow, conditions are not so good.  All of the hotels are booked and overbooked.  Lucky I stopped at a hotel that had 3 open rooms and one of them is now mine. 
Many vehicles are abandon with no gas or frozen in the ice

It's like a ghost town on the major streets

My walk was slow across the icy roads

The green bushes are snow covered and icicles hanging from them

3" of snow in Marietta

I am feeling right at home with the snow

Be safe and warm it's time to sew.  Since I have no sewing machine in my room I will be hand sewing.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

It was a Christmas gift to remember

A few years ago I was working at a lovely quilt store in Marion, Indiana.  Sew Biz was having a local event and happened to invited me to teach during the event.  The whole day I was blessed by getting to look at the best eye candy.  Then of course I had to purchase the kit.  My friend Barb wanted the kit too once I showed her.  So she ordered one also.  Well, we knew that Carolyn would love the quilt too.  So we searched and searched for the fabric to give her for a Christmas gift from the two of us and after many months we were able to get fabric that would work with the center panel.

Carolyn just picked her quilt up from being hand quilted by a few Mennonite ladies she knows.  Wow!  It is just beautiful.  I can understand why you love it so much.  Barb and I are glad you share the same quilt with us.  Great job Carolyn and I love the quilt too.

Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Big truck and loaded for the show that opens in the morning

Monday once I found my way to OC Sewing, my job was to drive the big truck to the convention center.  The truck was loaded with the supplies for the booth at the show.  Very different large truck.  It is a hybrid, diesel and a big step up.  Made it to Ontario, CA at 9:00pm, just in time to get some rest.

So now that we have unloaded the truck and set the booth up we are ready for the show to open tomorrow morning.  Between the show opening and the day I arrived we kept very busy.

Monday was the day to drive the truck and deliver the product to the show along with getting the classroom setup for classes to start on Tuesday. 

Tuesday our first class we assisted in was taught by Janna Thomas. It was a full class with 20 students and lots of fun. Student learned to make a string of strip, cut and create these beautiful stars that just turned out vibrant. Even the quilting is very inspirational.  

Marge finished her block and couldn't wait to make more

Wednesday's class was a old fashion block swap.  So your wondering how this works. Each student stitched using triangle paper.  12 sets of fabric were used to create 28 half square triangles times 12.  Then each student kept 7 of the half square triangles for their stash.  When all was said and done each student went home with 240 swapped half square triangles plus the 7 from each set stitched.  Edyta Sitar was our teach and it was amazing to see how well everyone did with the sewing machine and triangle paper.  Many of the students had not used this method before today.

The day has come to an end and its time to get some sleep to be ready for opening of the show.  Stop by and say hello, I'll be in the OC Sewing Husqvarna Viking booth 826/828/927/929.

Happy Sewing and Quilting,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tip for Tuesday Quilting with silk

DS silk quilt
Table Topper Project

Just in case some of you missed the article about quilting with silk, I thought it would be good to post the information on my new blog. 

Quilting with Silk

A few years ago I wrote an article for McCall's Quilting magazine.  For the article I designed a table topper and quilter pattern to be used with silk. 
You can read the article  Working with silk can be fun and challenging at the same time.  Don't miss this online article and learn more about how to use silk in garments, home decorating and quilting.

Download the folder found on this website. Be sure to scroll down to see the link. The folder contains multi formats for quilting robots. 

Happy Quilting, 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Traveling to the next show and we hope to see you there!

Road to California Quilter’s Conference and Showcase
“The Best in the West”
at the Ontario Convention Center, Ontario CA

January 23-26, 2014

Once we get the booth packed in the truck, delivered to the show, unloaded and setup I can post the booth number and let you know where we are. 

See you at the show!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 2014 Winter Retreat

One of the best ways to bring in the new year is to be at a retreat.  This years retreat started on Thursday at noon and will end on Monday around 3PM.  There are 27 ladies and lots of fun.  Each year when attending a retreat I lay out my attack plan and set a goal.  Barb and I exceed our goal.  We have taken pictures of our progress to inspire and share with you.

As of the 4th day we have accomplished a few things and we were amazed as I think you will be also.
The first goal was to complete a quilt from a book that I have had since 2002.  You may have the same book.  It was lots of fun to make and the quilt turned out just beautiful.

Quilt without Corners

Strips and wedges then sew back together

Ready to sew!

It's a beautiful moth.  What do you think?

The next project took a bit of time to collect 24 fabrics.  Kaufmann striped batiks in an array of colors.  30 degree wedge ruler and 1st day beginning at 8 and we stopped sewing at 2 AM.  

A designing challenge
Results are wonderful! Great job sewing Barb.
 Can't wait to see how we can quilt this project.  It is going to be fun to design something in the Art & Stitch software very special for this quilt.

A skinny quilt to go above my bookcase and it will hang horizontal

This hand dyed flannel rag quilt is going to be very warm this winter. 

Barb is hiding like Wilson on Tool Time...

A Little Duffle Do It pattern was simple and fun to make these little bags. 

Saturday night we play a fun group event and the people that do not participate even enjoy a few laughs.  I think of it as a white elephant exchange but you bring a UFO (unfinished object/project for your non sewist and most of us sewers have a few).  Then you draw a number and in order draw a bag of fabulous gifts and prizes.  Some more fabulous than others.  Then you have the people who steal the gifts that are really nice or they really want it bad. 
Jane is opening a bag that was filled with biscuits that you sew.  They are little puffy pillows made in a quilt.   

Nancy is wondering if she is going to like her project she picked. The green bag seen in the above picture was the best prize...purple fabric and lots of curves. 

Carol was dancing because she loved her prize until someone named Barb stoled it.   
Love my new duffle that was quilted and hand made handles.
The duffle bag has a matching phone holder with key fob too.
Key fob with phone holder.  Just love it! The instructions for this project are from  Quilting Arts Magazine. 
Thank you to all of the Ladies that turned in or made your Lacasa Quilt Block.  They are just beautiful.  Almost all of the block have been turned in.  The top will be finished next month.  I will post the picture once it has been completed. 

Lacasa Fundraiser Quilt Block

Although the retreat is still going on my time at the retreat is over for me.  I enjoyed the time with friends and can't wait for the next retreat in April with Phyllis.  

The best part of the day was ending having dinner with my dad.  He and I do not get to see each other everyday but the time I do get with him is priceless.  My father lives in Oscoda on a lake where he can feed the birds, fish, walk the dogs and just enjoy life.  It is beautiful in northern Michigan where the retreat is still going on and my father lives right off Lake Huron. 

Off to California, time to enjoy a little sunshine, time with friends and working at the Road to California Show in Ontario.   If you are taking a class you may see me helping out in the classroom, taking classes and sew many other things.  

Happy Quilting, 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Art & Stitch OnDemand Classes

As a freelance educator I have been contracted by Baby Lock to record a few Art & Stitch Classes.
The following list has the titles and descriptions for each of the classes.

*Looking into the Magic with Art & Stitch-Beginner 
Within the Art & Stitch program there are three different magic features.  Magic circle turns on element into a circle of elements that create one design.  Magic Square transforms an element into blocks or borders depending on your rotation and the design.  Using the Magic Rays you can add a special echo quilting technique around applique or embroidery design.  Join us to see the many styles of magic with Art & Stitch. 
Lesson 1 Magic Circle
Lesson 2 Magic Circle rotating in and out
Lesson 3 Magic Square
Lesson 4 Magic Rays

*TrueType Fonts: Making them More Than Letters with Art & Stitch-Intermediate 
Did you know that there are TrueType fonts that can be downloaded from the internet?  Some of our favorite TT fonts are flowers, butterflies, snowflakes, and even Hawaiian quilt blocks can be found as a TT font.  Be sure to take this class and learn more about what TT fonts can bring to your quilting world using the Art & Stitch software. 
Lesson 1 Making a snowflake design from TT fonts
Lesson 2 Quilt labels making

*Dot to Dot Digitizing- Intermediate 
When we were children we learned to draw with coloring books and dot to dot.  Digitizing is simplified when we learn how to create a quilting pattern using dot to dots.  We will walk you through the process of downloading the dot to dot, bringing the image into your Art & Stitch program and then digitize a beautiful quilting design. 
Lesson 1 Using Dot to Dot basic steps to digitizing
Lesson 2 Computer downloaded clipart to design 

Making Blocks Using Art & Stitch and Clip Art-Beginner
Are you looking to make a design that compliments your quilt block or fabric?  Maybe you have a theme that you are looking to convey and there are no designs to match your thoughts.  Bringing in clip art into the Art & Stitch software will help you to simplify the process.  Learn how to digitize a block from clip art that can be downloaded from the internet. 
Lesson 1 Using Dover Publications and clipart to create a design
Lesson 2 Computer Clipart to design

Designing from a Backdrop with Art & Stitch-Beginner
Take a snap shot of fabric and bring the image into the Art & Stitch software to create a one of a kind design that compliments your quilt.  Almost any image can become a quilting design.  When taking this class you will look at your world from a different perspective.  Carpet, buildings, wallpaper, fabric, and sew much more will be images that you can create your very own personal quilting designs from.  With this class your new window to the world starts today.
Lesson 1 Using scanned images
Lesson 2 Importing camera images

From Block to Border to Quilt—All with Art & Stitch – Beginner
Creating a block can be easy, but have you ever wanted to create a block and border that came from the same element.  We will take you through the process of creating a block from an existing design found in the Art & Stitch library.  Then we will take the block and turn it into a border, corner and other designs that you will be able to quilt and will complement each other.  They will be similar designs but very different. 
Lesson 1 Edit an existing designs from library
Lesson 2 Creating the block to border 

*These classes and handouts can be found at:

Have fun learning your Art & Stitch Software!
Practice, Practice, Practice,

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Results to dye for...and can't wait to cut them up for a quilt or small wallhanging

Thanks Phyllis for a great day of creating and fun!

Folded and rubberbands

Popsicle sticks, rubberbands and clothes pins

Mason jar jammed with fabric, snow and dye

Folded and banned

Pleated, sewn and clothes pins

This came from a ball of fabric

Folded and sewed

Folded, sewing and clothespins

Random pleats rolled like a cinnamon roll

Pleated on the point sewed and rubber banded 

Cinnamon roll with pleats

2nd go in the Mason jar - It looks like a star blowing up in the sky.  Just beautiful!

Rainbow of colors
With pieces of fabric in many sizes.  Fat quarters, 1/2 yard and 1 yard pieces.  It will be fun to cut these up and make many beautiful things from each piece.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hands on Snow Dyeing

Ping Pong Table with drop cloth 
We have plenty of snow and more to come.  Sure thankful that I picked this weekend to snow dye.  Over 10 yards of fabric and sew much fun too!

Get your dyeing station ready to make a mess.
Wear clothes and shoes that you do not care so much about.  If they get dye on them it doesn't hurt as bad.  Or maybe you want to dye something you are wearing.

    1. Wear gloves and face mask
    2. Dissolve in warm water
    3. 1 hour or more
    4. Saturate fabrics and t-shirts
  1. Prepare your dyes: liquid or powder safety 1st 
    1. Wear gloves and face mask
    2. We used the condiment containers to mix the liquid and power dyes
    3. Mark lid and containers with color or color number
    4. Mix dyes in condiment container
    5. Mix well by shaking over bucket or trash can
  2. Prepare the Urea solution: We used a condiment container and this will make for easy distribution to the dyeing containers.
    1. Wear gloves and face mask
    2. Mix well and shake over bucket
    3. Hot or Warm water works best for dissolving Urea
  3. Set up your tubs for dyeing: 
    1. Screening on tub with clips
    2. Set on area with drop cloth
  4. Prepare fabrics one they have soaked
    1. Fold
    2. Stitch (no wet fabrics)
    3. Rubberband
    4. Tie
    5. Wet or dry fabrics both work great
    6. Fabrics placed on screening
      Tubs covered with window screening
    7. Just have fun no rules
  5. Get your winter clothes on and get some snow:
    1. small bucket
    2. trash cans
  6. Lay prepared fabrics on screening
  7. Cover fabrics with 2-3" of snow
    1. white not yellow
    2. make one trip outside and line the buckets filled with snow at the door
  8. Add your dye to the snow
    1. Eye droppers
    2. Condiment containers
    3. Small amounts at a time
  9. Patients: wait for the snow to melt
    1. Some of our fabric took 5 hours for the snow to melt
    2. You can watch the snow melt and the liquid will go into the bucket or tub below
  10. Rinse, wash and dye 
    1. Do not mix colors together in same rinse tub
    2. Warm water
    3. Wash with 
One thing I must say it is much more fun to do this type of creating with a friend.  Phyllis and I sure enjoyed our day together.  Can't wait to do this again.  No spills, No accidents just plain fun!

Now it's time to enjoy your creations.  Here is what Phyllis and I created.  It was fun and a learning experience at the same time.  More pictures below with steps on how the process worked for us. 

Wrapped, tied, banded and clipped fabrics ready to dye

Add caption
Time to get our boots and get some snow
Snow placed on the fabric and dyes is added

More tubs more dye

Let it melt

It's not a fast process...started at 10am ended at 10pm

New batch more snow

t-shirts are just as fun as fabrics
Tucked, folded and sewn

Folded with clothespins and popsicle sticks

Folded and tied

It's our very own personal rainbow

This is my favorite piece...the camera just doesn't show the bright colors!