Archive for June 2014

Progress on 2014 Goals

Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me! 


So, what have I been up to since January?  It's funny how you never realize just how busy you've been into you start writing it all down. This list is according to the goals I set out in January 1st. It helps keep me on track. 

1. I'm drawing Quilting designs/motifs all over the place. Not just in my notebook but on any paper or surface that doesn't have a different long term purpose. 

2. I've submitted one quilt design for publication. I sent it in at the end of April and I haven't heard yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

3. I have 2 bed sized quilt tops completed. I have to get them ready to quilt. I want to take them down to Olde City Quilts so I can quilt them on one of their Innova long arms. 

4. Zero progress on my 4 sets of seasonal quilted placemats and/or table runners for dining room table. 

5. I am almost done with a peoject that I am going to send through the quilt show circuit starting next month. 

6. Hmmmm...not sure where I am on UFOs. I'll have to pull then out and take a look. 

7. I have prepared a list of lectures and workshops. You can find them on the Learn page. I'll be adding classes based on some of the quilts I've designed. I'll start talking to shops in July. 

8. I am putting the finishing touches on a mini wholecloth I started in late February/early March and then I have to put on the binding. 

Well, not bad for six months of quilting these are just the goal related quilts that I made. 

Here's a list of miscellaneous quilting projects that have cropped up. 

Finished a beautiful table runner made from a charm pack and gave away to a coworker. 
Completed my Candied Coins quilt top. 
Completed a red mini wholecloth quilt. 
Completed the Quilting on sunshine charity quilts for my guild. 

I've had a great year so far & I can't want to finish some of these other projects. 

Quilt. Create. Enjoy!


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My Favorite Free Motion Quilting Tips

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I've posted this information before at the bottom of a previous post.  I thought it was worth posting on its own.

These are some of the tools and processes I find most useful when FMQ'ing.  I'll start out with the first five and add a few more over the next few Fridays.

1. Find quilting gloves that work for you.  I love, love, love Quilter's Comfort Gloves by Dritz Longarm.  They have gripper dots on the palm and fingers.  What puts them over the top for me?  It's a mild compression glove!  They're usually $30, but I wait until Joann Fabrics has them on sale or I wait until I have a 50% off coupon.  You can also try Machingers or Fons & Porter Grip Gloves.

2. Use a slider on your machine.  My Babylock Crescendo has a TruGlide Overlay accessory. It makes it easier to get a nice groove going and to keep it going when FMQ'ing.  If your machine doesn't have a custom one as an accessory, you can try a Supreme Slider.  It comes in two sizes 8 x 11 1/2 and 11 1/2 x 17.

3. Find your machine's sweet spot.  The point at which your machine is running just right for optimal performance when FMQ'ing.  Cindy Needham calls it the "Hum Purr" of the machine.  If you haven't already taken her Craftsy class, it is filled with so many great lessons, I highly recommend it.

4. Invest in yourself.  Give yourself time to improve your skills.  Give yourself the training you need to improve your skills.  Whether it's a book, LQS/guild workshop, Craftsy class, or tip you heard or read online, if improving your craft is important to you, make it and yourself a priority.  

5. Buy a sketchbook.  Now use it!  I keep a 5 x 8.25" moleskin graph notebook in my purse.  When I have a bit of free time, I practice FMQ'ing designs, plan the quilting for one of my tops, or design quilts.  It gives me a safe place to practice and design.  Plus, I almost always have it with me.  I also date each of the pages so I can track my design work.

I hope you find these tips helpful! 

Quilt. Create. Enjoy!


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Technique Tuesday - 3

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Today's Technique: Get Involved!

I've been away from the blog for a while, but I can tell you that I have been working very hard on my quilting goals! More on my goal progress tomorrow. 

Today I wanted to write a little bit about getting involved in your quilting community. One of the fastest ways to improve your technique and to increase creativity is to be around other quilters. 

3 Ways to Get Involved

1. Join a Guild! 

I've been part of a quilting group for 15+ years. We do projects together and swaps and parties etc. 

This year I joined the Garden State Quilter's Guild. It's amazing! They had some great speakers this year and they have great workshops already booked for next year. 

What's that? You're already part of a guild?  That's fantastic! Now you can get to the technique part and get involved. 

  • Are you participating in their swaps? 
  • Have you volunteered to piece, quilt, or bind one of their charity quilts? 
  • Are you participating in the block of the month?
  • Have you joined a committee?
There are so many opportunities for growth in a quilt guild. Make sure you're taking advantage of them. 

2. Attend a Quilt Show or Conference or Exhibit 

Whether it's a small local show, a large national show or a local museum, be sure you make time to go to some sort of quilt exhibition every year. Almost everyone will find something to be inspired by. Get chatty while you're there and you'll be sure to make new friends. 

This year I attended the Birds of a Feather longarm quilting conference.  I met a lot of great people and attended some fantastic workshops.  I'm also planning to attend Quilt Odyssey in Hershey.  

If any of you are in New York City or around, don't forget to stop by the Grand Central Centennial Quilt show. It runs through July 6. 

3. Grow your Online Quilt Network 

Go online and find other people who have the same interests. More importantly, find other people who know things that you don't know. If you're reading this blog, odds are you're already doing some of that.  The next step could be to start following other people's blogs or to start your own blog.  

Maybe Twitter is the way to go for you. Not sure what or why a tweet is? Google it!  While you're there try a Google hangout. Are you on Pinterest? Instagram? 

All different kinds of quilters are online networking via so many different avenues. You'd be hard-pressed not to find what you're looking for.  Try them and figure out which one or all fits you best! 

And's about getting involved. Give a little and you'll reap the benefits. Tell people what you're working on, show photos of your newest project, share your quilting successes and failures and be kind. 

I'd love to hear from everybody in the comment section:

What things are you doing to get involved in your quilting community? 

Quilt. Create. Enjoy!


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