Celebration of Fall colors (before it’s too late)

by Mary Beth Krapil

Here in North America it is still Autumn, although some regions might question that, as they experience snow and freezing temperatures. Winter is coming quickly; but we still have a few weeks to enjoy the spectacular colors, bright sunny days and cool crisp air of Fall here in the mid-Atlantic states. When I was at the Fall Paducah quilt show and at the MQX Midwest show in Springfield IL I took some photos of quilts sporting fabulous fall colors and I want to share them with you. Feel free to come back to this post in February. I know I will.

Handfuls of Scraps by
Ann Zemke
of Minneapolis, MN

 

Deep Breathing
by Sara Chappell and Sandra Morgan Cockrum of Lawrence, KS

 

Growing Up
by Gerrie Lynn Thompson
of Boise, ID

detail of Growing Up

 

Song of Summer
by Bethanne Nemesh
of Allentown, PA

detail of Song of Summer

 

Enchanted Village
by Martha Scott
of Sequim, WA

 

Autumn Bramble
by Susan Nelson
of Prior Lake, MN

 

Sew Sweet Modern Sampler
by Shelly Pagliai
of New Cambria, MO

 

Jewels of the Universe
by Phyllis and Terry Marcum of Colorado Springs, CO

 

Sunshine
by Kat Jones
of Chigwell, Tasmania, Australia

 

Still Standing in Clearwater, Idaho
by Karen Hull Sienk
of Colden, NY

 

detail of Tuscan Sun by Gina Perkes

 

Silken Defiance
by Gina Perkes

detail of Silken Defiance

 

Judy and Barb’s Great Adventure
by Gina Perkes

detail of Judy and Barb’s Great Adventure

 

Persistence
by Margaret Solomon Gunn

detail of Persistence

 

Copper Reflections
by Donna James
of Nelson, BC, Canada

detail of Copper Reflections

 

Fall is my season. What’s yours?

 

 

2018-11-27T11:24:08+00:00November 30th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Quilter’s Thanksgiving

by Mary Beth Krapil

Thanksgiving is the holiday we celebrate here in the USA on the forth Thursday in November each year. It originated with our ancestors as a harvest celebration. It has morphed in modern times into a day that we are mindful of and grateful for all of the things that make us comfortable, bring us joy and enrich our lives. Each person has their own personal list. We at Handi Quilter are grateful for quilting.

Comfort, joy and enrichment? Quilting fits that description to a T! After all, what could make you more comfortable than a warm snugly quilt? And joy? There is so much joy, from the very start. The quilt maker finds joy in deciding to make a quilt for someone special, choosing a pattern, gathering fabrics (that’s extra special joy!), cutting and sewing. And then comes the best part of all….. the quilting. Choosing quilting designs and sewing the 3 layers together into a finished quilt is so satisfying. Then the quilter shares the joy by giving the quilt away and the joy is multiplied. The quilt enriches both the maker and the receiver.

So yes, we are thankful for QUILTING. And pie, let’s not forget pie.

photo By Scott Bauer

Thank you for allowing Handi Quilter to be a part of your creative life. We pride ourselves on equipping, educating and inspiring you to finish more quilts.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Quilting!

 

2018-11-29T11:00:09+00:00November 22nd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Log Cabins of Donald Judd by Luke Haynes

by Mary Beth Krapil

Handi Quilter’s Ambassador, Luke Haynes, had a special exhibit of a collection of his quilts at the recent AQS Fall Paducah Quilt Week. It was a fantastic collection of 50 log cabin quilts, each 90 inches square. Luke says in his blog, “This is a show of textiles taking conceptual themes from the Donald Judd installation in Marfa at the Chinati foundation ‘100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982-1986’. The basic idea is that I want to make the 50 quilts, iterations of the log cabin. All different variations with the same language, all red centers with white and black fabric. All the fabric will be used textiles. so the patterns and language of the details will be dictate by the range of “black” or “white” or “red” that I have access to in the form of used garment/textiles. But all will read as graphic compositions in black and white. ”

The log cabin quilt is a timeless favorite, and no wonder! The block is simply pieced with strips of fabric surrounding a small central square and lends itself to so many variations. It is often one of the first quilt blocks that new quilters learn.

Log cabin blocks are quick and easy to sew. They are a terrific way to play with color and value. You can place different colors or values in different parts of the block to get strikingly different effects.

It’s a great way to play with scraps, too.

The arrangement of the blocks can create a multitude of unique patterns.

Luke’s display was fantastically diverse even though he used only black, white, and red.

The sheer size of each piece – 90″ x 90″ – created impressive impact.

Some arrangements create large, open spaces that lend themselves to spectacular quilting designs. SCORE!

Doesn’t this make you want to dig into your scrap bin and start cutting logs? There are tons of tutorials on piecing log cabin blocks online.

I wasn’t able to photograph all 50 quilts but I got a nice sampling to share with you. Enjoy!

Which is your favorite?

 

 

 

2018-11-08T12:59:51+00:00November 2nd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

The Care and Feeding of a Longarm

by Mary Beth Krapil

Once you have your longarm machine all set up in your studio and you are getting familiar with how to use it, you’ll also want to know how to care for it, so that it continues to run in tip-top shape for many years to come.

Handi Quilter machines require very simple maintenance.

Did you know that quilting is a dirty business? SO much lint! Where does it all come from? Lint is created by the friction of the thread and needle passing through the 3 layers of the quilt sandwich. Lint not only accumulates in the bobbin area of the machine, but also flies through the air and settles on all surfaces.

So follow this schedule to keep things clean:

Every bobbin change:

When you change the bobbin, use the small brush provided, or in the case of the HQ Amara, HQ Forte or HQ Infinity, a small puff of canned air, to clean out the lint from the bobbin area. Also check inside the bobbin case for lint and brush it out if needed.

Once you have the lint cleaned out, place one drop of oil on the bobbin race. This is the ONLY place you will oil your machine.

With every new project:

Clean the tracks and the wheels by taking a small piece ( approximately 3″ x3″) of left over batting and wiping the tracks, both on the frame and on the carriage. Then hold the batting against the bottom of the wheel and move the machine back and forth so that you wipe the entire rolling surface of the wheel. What comes off will be black. The wheels compress the dust on the tracks as they pass over and pick it up. The black gunk is merely compressed lint. At the same time check for threads wrapped around your wheels.

Occasionally (depending on how often you quilt):

Clean the display with a lint-free static-free cloth, like what you would use to clean your computer screen. Don’t use any cleaners, just the cloth is enough.

Dust the body of the machine. If you would like to make a dust cover for your machine, so you can cover your machine while not in use, you can find a pattern here.

Dust the table top and check for threads caught in the blue Pro-Stitcher rack (if you have a Pro-Stitcher).

Once every 2 years or 10 million stitches (which ever comes first)

Schedule a spa treatment for your machine. Either bring it to your local retailer or make an appointment to have them come to you.  This is the required maintenance needed to lubricate the inner parts of your machine. Your retailer’s service technician was trained at Handi Quilter to perform this service and has all of the specific lubricants to use. They will open the machine, clean out any lint and check that all the tolerances, including timing, are within specs and make adjustments if needed. They will re-lubricate the appropriate parts with special long lasting lubricants. Once done, your machine will be in optimal condition and good to go for another 2 years or 10 million stitches.

As you can see, Handi Quilter maintenance is really quite simple. We know quilters would much rather be quilting than having to perform complicated oiling and machine maintenance. You’re welcome!

Now you can go finish more quilts!

 

2018-10-12T11:32:02+00:00October 12th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|9 Comments

Quilting Beautiful Borders

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

I was recently at the AQS Fall Paducah Quilt Week, and of course, I took time to look at the quilts. As usual, something caught my attention on one of the first quilts I saw. And, as usual, I started to look at that one aspect on all the other quilts. This time it was borders.

Why do we add borders to our quilts? They can create a nice frame for the piecing, they can add size (so it fits the bed!), they can help to square the quilt up. There are all kinds of borders, from simple strips of fabric to elaborately pieced borders. Some times we add multiple borders. Once the borders are added, comes the task of quilting them. And just like the borders themselves, there are many ways to get them quilted.

Quilting borders poses some unique challenges.  They are long spaces that really catch the eye. So you really want the quilting to be right. If you choose to quilt a symmetrical design, it has to be well planned out, so it fits nicely in the space. This quilt is a great example of that concept. I loved the symmetry of this quilt, the piecing, applique, and the quilting all contribute to that symmetry. I think the quilter chose the perfect border design.

Sonne Blume
by Jill Zollinger of Franklin, TN

 

 

Here is another nice example of symmetry:

Autumn Bramble by
Susan Nelson of Prior Lake, MN

 

Sometimes it’s just easier to not worry about the symmetry. This video by HQ Ambassador, Angela Walters, explores that possibility.

Sometimes, there are no borders, so there’s nothing to worry about!

Ohio Snowball by
Christine Perrige of Erie, CO

But sometimes, even though there are no borders, you can create a border with the quilting.

Paying It Forward by Joan Knight and Southern Belle Quilters of Prattville, AL

 

Gypsy by
Judi Madsen of
St. George, UT

 

Ginger Blossoms
designed by Tula Pink
pieced by Tula Pink
quilted by Angela Walters

 

Sew Sweet Modern Sampler by
Shelly Pagliai of
New Cambria, MO

 

Fire and Ice by
Jackie Van Houten
of Monroe, MI

Of course that is the case with a wholecloth quilt. The center is framed nicely by a distinct quilted border. Notice how Bethanne left a narrow space with no quilting to create the illusion of a frame and then repeated that space at the outside edge to skillfully define the frame.

Song of Summer by
Bethanne Nemesh of
Allentown, PA

 

Sometimes the piecing of the borders define spaces for quilting designs. In this lovely quilt, the piecing pokes out into the border. Margaret quilted a fantastic twisted feather design and it seemingly goes under the blocks that protrude into the border and continues all the way around the quilt.

The Twisted Sister
by Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, ME

 

Here the border design flows beautifully around the quilt  and the shape is defined by the pieced elements of the outer border.

Rejoice by Molly Y Hamilton-McNally of Tehachapi, CA

 

In this medallion quilt the white triangular spaces in the outer border are the perfect place for a quilted motif. Medallion quilts typically are multiple borders around a center piece or center medallion. It sure gives lots of opportunity for designing border quilting!

Halo Medallion by
Angelee White of Gray, TN

 

Here the print of the border fabric dictates the shape of the quilting.

Jewels of the Universe by Phyllis Marcum and Terry Marcum of Colorado Springs, CO

 

In this quilt, the piecing of the border totally defines the quilting. This is an example where you would not want the quilting to overpower the beautiful piecing. The quilted motifs in the solid border are a lovely accent to the pieced border.

Moment in Time by Laurie Tigner of Rapid City, SD

 

And sometimes it is best to keep the quilting in the border simple and let the main focus of the quilt shine.

Great Balls of Fire by Claudia Clark Myers quilted by Marilyn Badger

 

Valorie quilted a simple motif in the grey border that mimics the shapes in the applique. Repetition of shapes is always a good design idea.

Rhapsody’s Feathered Flight by Valorie Smith of Enid, OK

 

In this quilt, the piecing and applique are the undoubted stars, so the simple piano key around the border is perfect.

Blueberry Hill by Nancy Arseneault
of Tuscon, AZ

 

I hope you got some inspiration and some insight into what designs work well on borders. Do you study quilting designs when you’re at a quilt show? What have you learned? I think it’s the perfect place to see designs that work, and those that miss the mark.

See you at the quilt show!

 

 

 

 

 

2018-09-27T12:01:08+00:00September 28th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|3 Comments

Simple But Effective

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

I have one of the BEST jobs. I travel, and I get to see lots of quilts from all over the world! I’ve seen so many different quilting styles, from simple to complex. I believe each quilt calls for its own style and complexity depending on the quilt top and the use for which it is destined. Bed quilt, couch quilt, toddler quilt, baby quilt, Tee-shirt quilt, wall hanging, art quilt, table topper, just to mention a few. Each one has requirements. Will the quilting (including thread choice) stand up to washing? Or maybe it won’t ever be washed? Will the quilting make the final product soft and drape-able and comfy? Or will the quilting make the quilt flat, square, and stable and at the same time give texture and dimension? There is a lot to consider when choosing quilting designs. Of course it needs to compliment the quilt top piecing or applique without overpowering.

Sometimes, the best choice is to keep it simple. I collected some photos of quilts from shows I recently attended, that illustrate my point.  Please allow me to share.

Inside the Triangles
by Jill Matyastik

detail of Inside the Triangles by Jill Matyastik

See those loops in the border? I thought it was perfect for that space and yet so simple to quilt. Great choice!

 

New York Beauty
by Janie Merritt

 

detail of New York Beauty
by Janie Merritt

Some of this quilt has some pretty intense quilting. But I was drawn by the loops on the inner ring and ribbon candy in the outer ring. (seen in the detail shot)

 

Snowflake
by Pam Gantz

You can (almost) never go wrong with straight lines. I love the angle changes in this piece with echo quilting.

 

Blooming Wildflowers
by Donna Thornton

This echo quilting is so interesting. It starts out curvy and stays curvy on the left, but on the right, it morphs into straight lines with edgy angle changes. That really moves the eye.

 

Day in the Sunshine
by Joyce Erwin

More straight lines but this time radiating from the center feathered wreath. Simple piecing and simple quilting; but really effective and beautiful!

 

One Lucky Leaf
by Donna Motley

Another example of echo quilting is just the ticket for this curvaceous leaf. This looks very simple, but it is very well executed, which is no easy task! Getting the echoes evenly spaced and a perfect echo of the previous line of stitching takes great skill.

 

1930’s Scrappy Friendship Star
by Lisa Rawlings

The simple hand-quilted Baptist Fan motif on this hand-pieced feed sack quilt lends a new dimension of motion to a simple friendship star block.

 

Hourglass Figure
by Nadine Villani

detail of Hourglass Figure
by Nadine Villani

Masterful straight line quilting with varying spacing gives great texture to this quilt. Once again, not an easy task to get it done right!

 

My Neck of the Woods
by Maggie Schwamb

detail of My Neck of the Woods
by Maggie Schwamb

I love the way the simple curves quilted in the blue fabric gives a real feel of water.

 

Visions of Beach Time
by Diane Kelley

detail of Visions of Beach Time
by Diane Kelley

This simple swirly edge-to-edge quilting adds texture to the quilt without obscuring the wonderful design created by the color choices and piecing.

 

The Rug
by Brenda Cookson

detail of The Rug
by Brenda Cookson

The simple Orange Peel (or Continuous Curve) quilting is really quite nice on this quilt. I was struck by the title. Surely she means she took her inspiration from a rug, and not that she intends to use this beauty as a rug!

So when you are mulling over quilting design choices for your next quilt, don’t forget about the simple. It can be quite effective!

Do you have a quilt with simple but effective quilting? We’d all love to see pictures! Feel free to add them to the comments.

2018-09-04T14:34:18+00:00September 7th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|2 Comments

5 Tips for Stitch in the Ditch

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

Let me answer a few Q’s to get us started.

Q: What is “the ditch”?

A: The ditch is formed by the seam between two pieces of fabric. A pieced quilt top has lots of ditches.

 

Q: Why do I want to stitch in it?

A: Ditch stitching defines the spaces on the quilt top and creates areas for other quilting designs. If done correctly, SID (stitch in the ditch) can help to stabilize and square the quilt.

 

Q: Why do quilters avoid stitch in the ditch?

A: The short answer: it is boring. It is exacting work that really doesn’t show on the top of the quilt. If it shows, you’re not doing it right. It has to be done right. It is very unforgiving, the stitches must remain in the ditch at all times. NO wandering out of the ditch.  After all, it is called, “stitch IN the ditch”.  It is not called, “stitch somewhere near the ditch”.

 

So, we have some tips to help you bring your stitch in the ditch to the professional level.

1. Use invisible thread. My favorite is MonoPoly by Superior Threads.

It works for all quilt tops and helps hide the stitches.

Alternatively, you can use a matching, fine thread.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Use the Sure Foot. It has a higher profile than the ruler foot that makes using rulers much more secure. Less danger of the ruler getting between the foot and the needle.

 

3. Use the Ditch Ruler. The tabs on the end of the ruler are lined up on the seam line, which places the needle right in the ditch.

 

 

4. Stitch on the low side of the seam.

Q: What is the low side?

A: the side that the seam allowances are pressed toward is the high side. The other side of the seam is the low side.

Stitching on the low side helps hide the stitches in the ditch.

Also, keep the ruler on the low side.

 

5. If you bobble out of the ditch, don’t un-pick the whole line of stitching. Stitch back over your previous SID, being careful to keep in the ditch where you bobbled out. Then just un-pick the small part where you bobbled. The over-stitching will secure your threads.

6. (this is a bonus for Pro-Stitcher users) Use Mark to stitch in the ditch. If you need to learn about Mark, go to http://hqprostitcher.com/education and watch the video titled “Record”. If you are a Pro-Stitcher user, Mark is the way to go for SID!

 

Yellow Quilt by Marie Eldredge

The photos in this post came from Marie Eldredge’s Color Play Video on the Yellow Quilt. Handi Quilter has offered free patterns for Marie’s Color Play Quilts and American Patchwork and Quilting offers free videos of Marie showing how she quilted these quilts. Get the patterns here. To see the videos click on “Watch the video” under the quilt. A new video is released each month. Watch the Yellow video here.

See you in the ditch!

 

2018-08-20T17:52:03+00:00August 24th, 2018|Categories: Education|11 Comments

Red and White Quilting

by Mary Beth Krapil

I was amazed at the beautiful collection of red and white quilts from Linda Pumphrey’s new book, Red and White Quilting, An Iconic Tradition on 40 Blocks. It was on display recently at the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in Raleigh, NC.  The sign introducing the display says it all.

“Bold, graphic, stunning and versatile describes this iconic collection of quilts. They are original designs based on traditional blocks, rearranged to be contemporary with high-contrast appeal. Classic yet contemporary, red and white is one of the most iconic color combinations in quilting, inspiring designers, collectors and major exhibits. The vibrant contrasts of red and white quilts has enticed quilters for 3 centuries and been a staple since the mid-nineteenth century.”

I was able to take some photos to share with you. The text after each photo comes from the placard that accompanied each quilt. Enjoy!

Simply Touching Stars

“Dreams are like stars. You may never touch them, but if you follow them they may lead you to your destiny” – Anonymous

The simple arrangement of four blocks placed together is made a little more intricate by adding pieced or appliqued setting blocks. Four-block quilts were popular in quiltmaking between 1850 and 1900. The same motif repeated created the overall design.

 

Duck, Duck, Goose

Duck, duck, goose was a favorite schoolyard game of mine growing up, so I decided to borrow the name for this quilt. Although the game goes by different names depending on where you live, according to one legend, the original was invented in the 1700’s. Sadly the game’s inventor was playing in the mountains one day and fell off of the cliff while chasing the “goose.” Fortunately you will have a much happier ending when you complete this quilt.

 

Balancing Act

In literature, Courthouse Steps has been used to represent social equality, while the Hourglass has symbolized the need to rethink your thoughts and actions once in a while, or always been drawn to the other side. The symbolic meaning of these two blocks compliments each other as does the appeal of their bold design.

 

Drinking Party

 

detail of Drinking Party

At one time, quilters had a myth that if you slept under a quilt made with Drunkard’s Path blocks you would develop a liking for drink just a little too much. The construction of this unusual quilt is simple but looks complex.

 

X Marks the Spot

 

detail of X Marks the Spot

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the expression “X marks the spot” dates back to the early 1800’s. In pirate lore, the phrase is used to indicate where buried treasure might lie. Hopefully the quilt you make will be your treasure.

 

Winter Time

 

detail of Winter Time

Do you love quilts where the blocks create a secondary design once they are put together? Then this Winter Time quilt pattern is for you. The two blocks, Cactus Flower and Snowflake, are inspired by an album quilt in the International Quilt Study Center and Museum’s collection, that was made in Boston, MA, and dated from 1850. Both blocks are interesting ad striking on their own. Paired together, they create an eye-catching secondary design.

 

Childhood Games

 

detail of Childhood Games

Just like the poem “Snowball” by Shel Silverstein, you too can make a snowball as perfect as it can be. And let it sleep with you. Snowballs bring visions of childhood memories of snowy winter days when snowball fights just happen. Combine it with another childhood memory of playing checkers on a cold winter evening by the fireplace to create this unique combination, a quilt full of fun and memories and graphic appeal.

 

Ring Around the Rosy

The nursery rhyme and game, Ring Around the Rosy, is thought to be a child’s version of a ring dance. Reel dances or ring dances trace their history back to the Druids, who danced in religious rituals honoring the oak tree. It seems fitting in this quilt the Oak Reel blocks are dancing around the circular Wagon Wheel block. When looking at this quilt you can almost hear the children singing.

 

Starry Flower Garden

 

detail of Starry Flower Garden

This quilt reminds me of Victor Hugo’s quote from Les Miserables, “A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in – what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”

 

Heart Handkerchief

Cloth handkerchiefs are thought to have been first used by King Richard II of England when he used plain pieces of cloth. Since that time, handkerchiefs have become very decorative, with all sorts of designs. The heart shapes on the Handkerchief blocks give a romantic feel to the quilt.

 

So there you have it! Isn’t it fun and interesting to read the quiltmaker’s own comments? It brings a new and deeper dimension to the experience of the quilts. I hope that you get to see these quilts at a show in person some day, they are really fantastic. Thanks Linda and well done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018-08-06T20:47:51+00:00August 10th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|2 Comments

An Interview with Handi Quilter Ambassador, Laurie Tigner

by Mary Beth  Krapil
It’s time to meet another of our wonderful Handi Quilter Ambassadors, Laurie Tigner.
Laurie is an award-winning quilter residing in South Dakota. Although she doesn’t have a favorite style of quilt, she has a definite affinity for whole-cloth quilts and painting religious icons (some on fabric and then quilted). Laurie first discovered stitchery while a young girl of 8 or 9 when she completed an embroidered pillowcase. In the summer of 2007, Laurie attended her first quilt show. She went home and talked to her husband about retiring from nursing. They immediately ordered a longarm quilting machine and Laurie learned longarm quilting skills. Laurie quilts on an HQ Fusion and admits to being addicted to quilting.

Silver Madonna 2012

HQ:  What does being an HQ Ambassador mean to you?
LT: It is a chance to get out there and promote a product that I dearly love while teaching and quilting.  What could be better? Since my first encounter with HQ, I have been smitten with their kindness and integrity as a company.
HQ: How long have you been an HQ Ambassador?
LT: Just over two years.
HQ:  What is the most fun thing you have done as an HQ Ambassador?
LT: It is hard to choose just one thing, but I particularly loved my visit to teach at Pinhole Quilting in the UK.  I absolutely fell in love with the owners and the students alike.  So much talent there!  Such kind people! The teaching venue was just something out of a dream and having lived in the UK while serving in the USAF,  it was just magical to get to visit the country again.
HQ: Of all your quilts, which is your favorite?
LT: That is so easy.  My last quilt that was finished earlier this year.   It is called Moment in Time.  While teaching for HQ in India last year, I had an encounter with an elderly man who was admiring a shiny new motorcycle while I watched from just a few feet away.  The quiet dignity of his demeanor captured me.  There is so much meaning in the subject as well as the construction of it.   I think it will always be my favorite quilt.

Moment in Time – Jan 2018

HQ:  Do you still have your first quilt?
LT: No.  I don’t even remember what my first quilt was.  Most of my quilts are given away, often to people I either don’t know or barely know, so am not even sure where they all are.  For me it is just about the joy of making them.
HQ: Who is your inspiration/muse?
LT: Everything around me.  Mostly just a passing color combination or a piece of architecture that I can build on.  Everything I seem to see wants to be translated into a quilt. If only there were enough hours in a day.    As far as another quilter, I would have to say I am crushing on the work of Jane Sassaman.  I love her work!  Her color choices and patterns are amazing!
HQ:  Of all the “tasks” in creating a quilt, which is your fave and least favorite?
LT: My favorite task in creating a quilt is the actual quilting which is followed closely by the actual designing phase.  I love watching a design morph as it is actually created.  So seldom does it stay like the original sketches.  Oh heck,  I love it all, EXCEPT the binding.   By that time, my mind is firmly on the creation of something new.   It is my testing of patience in this life to sit and sew a binding on when there is new and exciting fabric to be cut for another project.

Gilbert – 2016

 

Waiting for Mr Fraser 2016

 

Blue Danube 2015

 

Carved in Stone
October 2017

HQ: Thank you Laurie! We can’t wait to see what you create next. Where can someone get in touch with you or see more of your work?
LT: I no longer have a website but I am available by email.   laurietigner@gmail.com   I also have a professional page on Facebook, Laurie Tigner Designs. I am TRYING to learn Instagram!
I love teaching at guilds, as you get the full immersion thing going.  You not only get to teach among a group that are already friends, but you have the time to make new quilting friends. If your guild is interested in hosting a workshop, please contact me by email.
2018-07-18T12:39:48+00:00July 20th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

Top Ten Tips for New Longarm Quilters

by Mary Beth Krapil

 

If you’re new to the world of longarm quilting, it can be overwhelming; as there is seemingly so much to learn. As a 10 year veteran Handi Quilter National Educator, I’ve been all over the world teaching longarm classes. I’ve met thousands of quilters and the vast majority of them have been newbies. I’ve heard all the dumb (not really) questions, and all the (unfounded) fears and (silly) misgivings. Hopefully I answered all those questions and gave those newbies courage and inspiration to dive into learning how to use their new machines. I thought I would share the ten best tips I have. It was really hard to narrow it down to just ten. I also got some help from my fellow Educators, Jane Hauprich and Linda Gosselin. We had several tips on our lists that overlapped, so I knew they must be the good ones.

#1 First and Foremost: Do NOT be afraid of your machine!

Jane shared with me that she was so terrified of her machine when she first got it, she didn’t even want to step into the room! She went to the door several times a day and peeked in. For two weeks she told herself she could not do it. Thankfully she found her courage! She is an amazing quilter and a great teacher today. Don’t be afraid. It is just a sewing machine. You’ve likely been around sewing machines for some time now. Ya, it’s big. But it’s just a sewing machine.

#2 Give yourself permission to PLAY (It’s really practice, but call it play. It sounds so much more fun that way!)

#3 Practice PLAY every day. It sounds like a huge time commitment, but it really is not. 15 minutes a day is all it takes. Did you notice the word “every”? That is 15 minutes every day. You cannot save it up and do an hour and a half on Saturday! The key is to do a little every day so that you will build your skills. What it takes to be able to do that is to be prepared. If you have a stand-up machine have a practice piece loaded on your frame all the time. If you have a sit-down machine have a stack of prepared quilt sandwiches sitting next to your machine, all the time. That way when you have those few 15 minutes, you can go and stitch. No excuses! Schedule that time for yourself to play, you deserve it!

#4 It’s just fabric and thread. You can always buy more. See that? I just gave you permission to go to the quilt shop. You’re welcome.

#5 Draw and doodle when you can’t be at your machine. That muscle memory thing? It’s real. You will develop your skills at creating continuous line patterns. You will train your brain to know where to go next. One rule: When you draw, you must not lift your pencil!

#6 Don’t be overly critical of your stitches. You do need to take a good look at what you are doing to figure out where you need to improve and what you need to work on, but don’t expect perfection. Even the best quilters on the show circuit are not perfect.

#7 Put your first practice piece away. Don’t throw it away. Then bring it out and look at it in 6 months time. You will be amazed at how much you will have improved! That 15 minutes a day really works!

#8 Never point out your mistakes to anyone. When someone admires your quilt, just smile and say, “Thanks! I had a lot of fun making it!”. Even if the tension is bad and the points don’t match and your quilted circles are more like squares and your straight lines are only straight-ish and you chose the wrong color thread.  If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, those looking at your quilt (with the exception of show judges) don’t know and don’t care. They just know they like the quilt and that you worked hard to make it, so they compliment you. Soak it up.

#9 Use the same color thread in the top and in the bobbin. It can hide minor tension issues. It does not have to be the same thread, just the same color. BUT, when you are just learning how to adjust tension, use different colors top and bobbin. This will help to see how your stitches formed and help you figure out how to adjust to get it perfect. Just remember: Righty, tighty; Lefty loosey.

#10 Take classes and keep learning. Then share what you know with a newbie. It doubles the fun!

2018-07-02T17:37:22+00:00July 6th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|32 Comments