Sunday, September 20, 2015

Quilt Expo was so much fun!

I got back from lecturing at Quilt Expo and had the best time.  Of course getting to bring Grandma with me to a big quilt show is a guarantee of a good time, so no surprise there.  Wisconsin is a beautiful state filled with lovely kind people, I met so many wonderful folks! It was a pleasure to get to see Nancy Zieman again and meet some new friends in the BERNINA booth.  I loved getting to demo free motion quilting on the show floor- it was a great way to meet people and show them what I am so passionate about.  I really loved doing the lectures every day.  So many wonderful people came to hear me talk about free motion quilting and I have to say getting to teach them more about my passion was addicting.  I am already looking for more opportunities to teach.  I saw so much talent on display in this show, I snapped just a few photos, but wish I had more to share.  If you ever get the chance to attend this show I recommend it wholeheartedly!

love the fabric and design of this quilt
look at the tiny detailed FMQ... amazing! (fingers are for scale)
getting my demo on!
love every single thing about this quilt....
the huge show... this pic doesn't do it justice...
Grandma and I celebrating after the last lecture... on a job well done!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

my bags are packed.... I'm ready to go! And New Products/Giveaway!

Hi Friends~
The time has come I have been waiting all year for- Quilt Expo is in just a few days and tomorrow I get on a plane to meet Grandma and both of us are headed to Madison WI for 3 glorious days of quilty fun.  If you have been following along you know that I am giving 3 lectures there at 4pm daily.  Last I heard there was still space in my lectures so if you would like to hear all about the book and get to see the book samples live as well as lots more fun Free Motion Quilting talk then get yourself signed up here.  Make sure and look through all the classes and lectures and sign up for a few if you are attending- there are so many great ones to choose from.   If you are coming to my lectures- I have a treat for you- One lucky person in each lecture will be randomly chosen to win a prize pack from Thermoweb with tons of fun sewing/quilting products including my very favorite fusible fleece!

I am very excited to tell you all that BERNINA has asked me to do some free motion quilting demos in their booth on the show floor.  I will be doing free motion quilting demos at 11am and 2pm daily in the BERNINA booth.  See me stitch all the designs in the book live in action.  I will be there to answer your FMQ questions and take requests of designs you would like to see demonstrated.  I am really looking forward to getting to spend some quality time on a BERNINA and to get to show you all how I quilt my designs in person.  If you aren't going to the show and would like to see me quilt the designs in the book don't forget that I have 2 episodes of Sewing with Nancy that I filmed last year which you can view online for free.

I have a new product I have been working on for a while which is finally ready and available for sale in my Etsy store.   This is for all of you who roll your eyes when I tell you that sketching is the best way to get good at free motion quilting fast.  Some of you, like me, love an excuse to sketch or doodle your day away and have no problem filling pages with free motion quilting designs.  Some of you (like Grandma) don't quite feel the love with the sketchbook and pen.  She has always felt overwhelmed by the process and staring at a blank page of paper stressed her out.  Sketching or doodling was never a good fit for Grandma and I know there are more of you like her out there.  I decided to make sketching "cheat sheets" or design aids as I will call them that will help the overwhelmed beginner get started.  I have PDF files for sale in my Etsy shop and you can download the design you want and print out the pages (4 in each design) and grab a colored marker and draw right on top of the drawings I have made.  You are literally getting sketches I have made myself and getting to "cheat" by tracing over top of them instead of having to start from scratch and fill a page yourself.  The best part is that you are still learning muscle memory by practicing this way and by me doing all the initial work for you it becomes fun and relaxing instead of stressful.  Start in the middle of the page and follow the continuous line of stippling all over the page- or trace around hundreds of small pebbles never letting your pen leave the paper. Eventually you will build up enough muscle memory that you will have no problem drawing or quilting these yourself with no aid.  The great thing about PDF files is you can print these pages over and over and keep practicing until you feel comfortable.  I am hoping these are helpful to those of you who want to get better at free motion quilting and are having a hard time with sketching/doodling the designs as practice.  I would love to hear what you think and if this is something you would find useful.
 I have decided to give-away 3 PDF files to commenters below- This will go through Sunday and on Monday when I am back I will have another blog post complete with pictures of the show and will announce the winners.  To enter all you need to do is comment below telling me which design you would choose first and if you think the idea of doodling to learn FMQ faster is stressful or exciting.   The winners will get the design of their choice for free!  Thanks for following along, hope to hear from you all in the comments below and looking forward to meeting some of you in my lectures and demos later this week at Quilt Expo!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sew Happy about Lori Kennedy's new Craftsy Class Divide & Conquer Creative Quilting for Any Space

If you all have been following my blog for a while you will remember Lori Kennedy of the Inbox Jaunt blog.  She is a fantastic free motion quilter, and she reviewed my book Free Motion Quilting for Beginners when it came out.  She is also a fellow BERNINA ambassador- and has become a friend of mine as well.  She really has a fabulous take on free motion quilting, especially if you are like me and love to use free motion quilting to enhance a theme of your quilt.  It's funny, but the question I am most often asked by others is "how do you choose your quilting designs".  I, like Lori, really like to go for a theme when I can and use that to help me pick a design that enhances that and makes it all more fun and whimsical.  It goes back to adding that extra layer of art to your quilt or project with FMQ.  When Lori asked me to review her Craftsy class Divide and Conquer Creative Quilting for Any Space I jumped at the chance.  I am a big fan of her work and was excited to learn more about her process.

Lori's class is outstanding.  A true gem for any free motion quilter, this class is a very different look at FMQ.  She is a big proponent of using minimal marking to make her quilting designs.  It is a different approach then I typically take, but certainly fun to learn and try.  If you love to learn new techniques and lots of fun theme-y quilting designs then this class is a must.  I will say that for beginners much of it is very do-able... it may challenge the brand new beginner, but her encouraging tone and "messy is okay" approach makes it all seem very possible for quilters of all levels to take away something or many great things. 

After watching her class I was inspired to make my own little mini- quilt like she uses for all her teaching, and it was SEW MUCH FUN.  I chose her Thread Spool design and combined it with my handwriting quilting and I had a ball quilting it.  It was the perfect quick fix for a quilting session that was relaxing and enjoyable.  I think if you take the class you will certainly be inspired to start making little quilts like this too, as well as finding places on your quilt tops that are just perfect for her designs.  I couldn't recommend it more, she is fantastic, her blog is fantastic and the class was fantastic as well...  Let me know if you do take it and share pictures of your quilting on my facebook page- I would love to see what you all come up with.

I worked out my design on paper first, something both Lori and I highly recommend

Here is my little mini quilt on the machine... if I had it to do over I would pick a more contrasting thread... but that is the great thing about small little quilts like this 10" square... easily re-made, and perfect for practice.

and here it is all finished... Grandma Pat this little quilt is coming your way... love you!