Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Videos Are Up!!


Thanks, all you BERNINA fans for the wonderful comments.  I am really enjoying my new machine.  I will choose a winner of the thread packet and patterns on Thursday.  So if you haven't entered, just leave a comment on the last post, "Before and After" and if you are not a blog follower, please join me.

Today I have some fun news.  I recently went to Texas to do some filming with Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop.  Well, the videos are done, and are up on their YouTube channel.  I think there are about 12 or so--just short little tutorials with quick tips to help you in your sewing.

Here is one on preparing your appliqué pieces:
 

Now that was fun!  I didn't realize that I talk so fast!  Some of those videos would be an hour long, but I talk fast enough to get them into a few minutes!!  Sorry about that.

Kimberly and I had such a great time.  We just kept thinking of all kinds of information we could share with you--so we kept adding to our list of videos!    Go on over to the FAT QUARTER SHOP YouTube channel and look around.  There is lots of very helpful information there!

I will show you one more here on my blog, then you can go see all of them.  This one is about my Poke-A-Dots:



Ahh, Poke-A-Dots.  I couldn't live without them!  I think I am addicted.
Well, I know you will want to see the rest of the videos we did, so here you go.
This is a list of most the titles with their links:












Thanks for stopping by.  I hope this is helpful information for you!

Happy Quilting!
Jill

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Before and After

Almost a month.  This might even be a record.  All I know is that it has been so long since I wrote a post that I forgot how to get in here, so I have been even more delayed!  Things have been crazy busy. As usual, but actually, more than usual.  I have been creating up a storm, and it shows.  Not in any actual finished projects, but in the huge mess I left in my studio.

Last fall I had a photo shoot here at my home.  (More about that later.) Yesterday I finally got the photos back to proof, and I was stunned.  They are beautiful.  Then I looked at my studio.


Pause here to let it sink in.  (This is a bit embarrassing.  Don't tell my Mom. Oh, she probably already knows.)

Something is wrong with this picture.  Too many projects going on at once!! I haven't seen the window seat in months.  Shipments of products are all over.  My designing mess has exploded.  I still haven't unpacked from my last trip, (there was no where to put anything, anyway)  there is a cutting mat under here somewhere. . .  It was so bad it was getting funny.

I asked my husband what he thought of the photos from the profile shoot.  His reaction was the same as mine.  (Wow, the studio was clean back then.)

So I finished the deadlines I had, and today Sarah and I tackled the studio.  We are not done re-organizing yet, but I can say that I do have surface area!! I had forgotten!
Here is an "after" shot.


Much better.  I know you have seen this before, but I had to prove to you that I did clean up today.  Now I can get back to sewing!! Can't wait!  I have a whole bunch of projects to do for Market that is coming up next month, so I needed some space to THINK.  And sew.  I can't seem to concentrate when everything is a mess.  How about you?  Do you like to work in a clean space, or does it matter?

After I found my sewing counter, I set up something new.  Guess what I got?


Yep.  The good folks at BERNINA sent me a new machine to try out for a year.  I am a BERNINA Ambassador--how lucky can I be??  My favorite sewing machines ever!!!!  I have had two BERNINA machines before this and wouldn't sew on anything else!  My first machine lasted me 20+ years, and actually, it is still sewing.  It has a LOT of miles on it!  My sweet husband thought I had it long enough and one day he came home from work early and took me to the BERNINA store to pick out a new machine.  I love the new machine he bought me that day--it isn't very old, only about 6 or 7 years, and I will continue to use it a long into the future.

So now I have this:


A BERNINA 750 QE.  It is huge!  And heavy.  (I won't be taking this machine on any airplanes--so it is a good thing I still have my other BERNINAs.)  I choose this machine for many reasons.  Here are a few:
   * Extra long free arm.  A full 10" to the right of the needle!  Great for quilting.
   * Dual Feed.  You can engage it or not--to feed the top and bottom fabrics at the same time.
   *  Stitch regulator.  Free motion quilting sure is easy with this gadget.
   *  Knee lift.  A BERNINA feature I always love.
   *  9mm stitch width for decorative and zig zag stitches.
   *  the 9 Hook system--makes it run quiet and FAST.  1000 stitches per minute!
   *  Large capacity bobbin--holds 80% more than standard bobbins.  (And with Aurifil thread, it's even better!)

But there is a draw-back.  I don't know how to use it.  I guess I will have to watch the video and take a class or two.  It is a "sewing computer,"  and that can have a bit of a learning curve.
Now that I have a nice clean space and room to sew,  I'm sure I'll be stitching in no time!

BERNINA is the "Cadillac" of sewing machines, and Aurifil is the "Cadillac" of threads. They are a great combo!!   I feel so fortunate to be a representative of both companies.


Because it has been so long since I wrote on this blog, I think I should reward you for coming back.  Let's have a little prize give-away.  Do you own a BERNINA?  Tell me what you love about it.  And if you don't have one, tell me why you would like to get one someday.  I'll pick a winner in a few days and send a prize package of Aurifil thread!!  You will love it!  Maybe I'll throw in a pattern or two.
Good luck, and thanks for following!



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cameras Rolling . . .

Wow, I have been busy.  But busy is good, right?  I just returned from a trip to Texas.  I was invited by the Fat Quarter Shop to film some tutorial videos with them. We had a great time!


Kimberly Jolly had her cute set all fixed up with my "Twirl" fabric collection displayed.  We changed out the background quilt for each video, and it looked great.



Here is Kimberly showing off a cute personalized towel that Janet Platt of QuickPoints Rulers made using my "Twirl" fabrics.    The quilt hanging in the background is the free pattern, "Twirl" which you can download on my website.  The pattern uses a regular binding, but I decided to add a scalloped binding--and it turned out great!  (Kits available here)


The quilting on the Twirl quilt is so cute.  Maika did some swirls mixed with ballet shoes.  How appropriate!


A lot of work goes into making those tutorials look good.  There was a team of photographers and audio-ist (that's a word, right?) making sure it all turned out well.  The overhead camera, and over-the-shoulder camera give nice, close up, detailed shots so you can really see what we are working on.

Kimberly has a great operation going there at the Fat Quarter Shop!  She keeps everyone on their toes, and brings you all the best in quilting and sewing videos.  My videos will be up in a few weeks when they are edited.  Stay tuned, and I will post the link to all of the fun we had!

Speaking of being on your toes. . . . one of the quilts we featured in our filming was my "Bows and Toes" quilt (kits available here) .  It started off with Kimberly wanting me to show appliqué for this quilt, and then it just expanded from there.


We did appliqué, notions, techniques--everything we could think of!  Tons of good quilting information is in those short tutorials.  I am very excited about it.

On the appliqué video, I did a simple block with a flower in the center, using fabrics from my Jams and Jellies collection.  Then later that night in my hotel room, I turned it into a pillow.  I didn't have all my supplies with me, and had to just "eyeball" the quilting, but it turned out so cute that I am going to use it as my PDQ project this month.  That means that the free pattern will be available on the Henry Glass website.

I better go write the pattern!  I'll let you know when it is ready.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Future of Quilting


This week, one of my blog post tutorials was featured on the Martingale's STITCH THIS blog.  It teaches how to make and use bias tape.  I wanted to let you know about it because there are many other wonderful tutorials featured there as well.  You will want to check it out:

http://blog.shopmartingale.com/quilting-sewing/14-awesome-quilting-tutorials-from-our-authors/

And if you want more information about my bias tape lessons, there is a video tutorial on my website as well.  Just click HERE.

Now on to my thought for the day.  I wanted to let you know that our art is in good hands.  Every where I travel, I meet people who are teaching quilting to young children, and by this, quilting is passed on to the next generation.  They will have the joy and fulfillment of creating something that lasts--and most likely, they will also pass it on.  We have been doing this for generations, and it just gets better and better over time.

When I was in Colorado last week, I met a grandmother who brought her darling grand-daughter,  Sarah (age 6) to meet me.  She had done her first quilt, and had earned a ribbon at a local quilt show.


Isn't that great!!  Way to go, Sarah!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Beautiful Colorado

I visited a guild in Colorado Springs last week called  Piecing Partners.  They are a wonderful bunch!  The guild meeting was very well organized and they have all kinds of stuff going on, with different committees working all the time.  I was very impressed!  Our meeting started with a light brunch that the quilters provided, and then I gave my trunk show.  There were so many quilters there!! Looked like about 200.  I had a wonderful time sharing some of my quilting adventures with them.  They were all so kind and welcomed me warmly.


After the trunk show,  I was whisked away to teach a half-day workshop.  We had a full class of talented quilters all working on the Overture quilt from my book, "Home Sweet Quilt."


I think these are going to be beautiful quilts--so if you were there, please share a picture of your project when you get done!  On the original quilt I used wool for the appliqué, but in this class I also taught cotton appliqué, so I am anxious to see the finished projects!

That evening, my hostess Vinda, (a wonderful gal that I really enjoyed getting to know)  took me on a quick driving tour of the area.  We drove through the Garden of the Gods, and up a canyon to a cute little town with fun shops and cafes.   It was just beautiful.  I love seeing new things, don't you?



Then it was back to my hotel to get everything ready for the next class.  The next morning I taught a full-day workshop on Berry Patch, which is also in my book.  I taught how to use bias tape to make lettering, and we really had a fun time doing it.  It really is simple!!


Both classes learned my appliqué method and some piecing tips as well.  One of my students took the class to learn the lettering--but she was using it on a different project.  I just have to share it with you.  Jeanne was making a quilt for her son's track coach, and wanted to put his name on it.  I think it will also have the high school name on the bottom section when she is done.  Didn't she do a wonderful job?  I love it!


I wish I had taken more photos of our event--but I was just so busy with all my new quilting friends.  I want to say THANKS to all the quilters in Piecing Partners for a wonderful time!  I so enjoyed being with your and sharing some quilting fun!!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

A "Twirl-y" Swirly Snowy Mountain


Winter is beautiful.  But I bet many of my friends in the eastern US are getting tired of it about now.  This is the time of year that we start thinking about the breath of fresh air that Spring will bring us.  
As I was coming out of the grocery store the other day, the sun was going down and everything had that rosy glow.  I looked up at the mountains and the snowy peaks looked as if they had been covered with pink frosting.  Now that is the way to enjoy snow!  Up there on the mountain, where I can look at it! 


It is just the right color to go with my newest fabric collection--WHICH JUST ARRIVED!


FINALLY!

Meet "Twirl"

This collection was a lot of fun to do, because it is a little bit different than what I usually do.  A sweet group for little dancers--in pinks, greens, and grays, with a bit of black to set it off.  

My camera just doesn't do this collection justice.  It is just so cute.  I will post some more photos when I get the fat quarters cut.  I have to cut some kits, too. I will post more about that later.  



So Twirl is a small collection:

   Three pieces of ballet shoes on a subtle stripe--gray, green, and pink. 
(The colors don't look very good in these photos, but they are much nicer in person!)
Three pieces with ballerinas-- 
pink, gray and green. 
 Three pieces with ballet terms like "plie"  and "tondu"  and "first position"  etc.

This one is in black, pink, and white.

That's all of the Twirl collection, but there is more.
I have a new basics collection that will add coordinating pieces to all my lines, and will always be available.  Here are the first few pieces of Jams and Jellies--in coordinating colors to go with Twirl.

There's a houndstooth in pink, gray and green. . . 


A vine in green, white and black. . .


A beautiful damask print in gray, black and pink. . .


And some fun polka-dots in gray, green and pink.


Here is the whole group together.  






I have some fun projects planned with this group, I can't wait to get sewing!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Road leads to California


It has a been a while.  I never intended to leave for so long, but you have heard that before.  I need to catch you up on what has been going on around here.  December was the usual hectic rush mixed together with illness and work and constantly being behind.  But I got through it and had a wonderful time with my family.

 After we came out of the holidays, I realized that there was very little time to get ready for Road to California--so I got busy and then we headed down the road.  This show was so much fun.  I drove and pulled a trailer to get all my booth stuff there.  It was a fun adventure.
My booth was a happy, hopping' spot!  We were so busy--it was a blurr--kind of like these photos!


There was lot of interest in the kits and in my appliqué demo. ( I still have some orders for kits to be sent, so if you are still waiting for your "Twirl" fabric, it will be here soon.)  I had a great time meeting all the wonderful, kind, sweet, and friendly quilters of California!  I have many quilt friends there now that I see every year, it is like going home.

This is the first time my husband was able to come with me to a show.  He was amazed!  I think he thought that I have this little hobby I do, and a few other people do it too.


But now he knows the truth--Quilter's ROCK!  It is a huge industry with lots of talented people who are passionate about their craft.  And I am not alone.  Did you know that quilting is among the top activities listed as a hobby in the USA?  And there are lots of other countries deeply involved as well.  You are part of a huge creative movement!

 Within a few minutes, I had him trained to take the money and answer a few questions.  You would think any engineer/executive could handle that, right?  He is ready to give up his day job.  But I need him to stick it out--someone has to bank roll this adventure!

All kidding aside, it was so nice to have Randy with me and not just tell him about it when I get home.  I'm sure this won't be a regular occurrence, so I enjoyed it completely.

One of our best selling kits sold out the first day.  This little table runner, called "Lotsa Dots" is made using my Poppy Patio fabrics.  (The pattern is on my website, or ask your local shop to carry it.)  I don't have the kits on my site because I am running out of the fabric.  Common tale.


The Aurifil Thread collections also sold well.  I am happy to spread the Aurifil word!  Do you Aurifil yet?  You MUST try this thread. It is awesome.

To top off a wonderful show, I always get to see Eleanor Burns.  She stopped by and we snapped a quick, blurry pic, just as proof that a famous person came by my booth!


Next week I am headed to Colorado Springs to the Piecing Partners Quilt Guild.  I am doing a trunk show and workshops there for a few days.  If you live in the area, please come say hello.  You can contact Vinda for information at:  vindagrobison@q.com