Friday, May 11, 2018

Spring Clean Your Studio

Today is my day on the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop hosted by Muppin.Com.  I'm so excited!

I sew in the family room of my house.  My house is under the trees on the side of a mountain on the Appalachian Trail in the Hudson Valley of New York so I don't get a lot of sunshine.  My family room has walnut floors and paneling so it's like quilting in a cave.  I promised myself to brighten up my sewing space once I got things cleaned and organized.  Maybe this year will be the year?

I have been traveling non-stop, teaching quilting in Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Hampshire for the last five weeks.  Yes, my booking agent hates me.  (I am my own booking agent.)  I was in my house for exactly five days in the month of April and apparently the only thing I did on the days I was home was make quite a mess!  I'm not strong enough to show the full disaster, but I took a few photos as I was tidying up.  Note:  it was even worse before I started!

Cutting table?  What cutting table?

Does it get any more real than this?

These photos show approximate 25% of my sewing space.  The rest is just as bad, trust me.

I put on my headphones and got to work.  I made some great progress until:


I accidentally tripped and fell into my 1 1/2" scrap bucket:

I've apparently fallen and can't get up.

My goal is to clean out the sewing room, and we all know that the quickest way to do that is to start working on the smallest cut of fabric in the room instead of doing any actual cleaning.

I think I'm going to be here for a while.

All is not lost, though.

I found my cutting table:

And did you know that there was a DOOR in my sewing room?

That door has been a window for the last 3 years!  I walked onto my deck every day JUST BECAUSE I COULD!

More from my sewing room --

My Dream Big quilt 

is on my new Handi Quilter Forte.  I love that machine and named him Jason Momoa because they are both big and strong and... oh my!

Another one of my longarms is showcasing my favorite ribbon candy quilting:

I teach different versions of ribbon candy in each of my Craftsy classes.  I haven't taught it yet on Annie's Creative Studios, but I have some other fun classes there!  I also have well over 100 YouTube videos about machine quilting.

I'm filming some new machine quilting classes now that will release shortly.  To stay in the know and get quilty goodness delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to my newsletter.

Thanks for visiting with me today.  I hope you'll stop by here more often!
*This photo is of the door to my sewing room when the darn squirrel scared me to death!

Follow along the blog hop here:
April 23 – Lori Crawley Kennedy –
April 24 – Jennifer Thomas –
April 25 – Robin Koehler – 
April 26 – Andi Barney-
April 27 – Misty Cole –
April 28 – Carolina Moore-
April 29 – Heather Pregger –
April 30 – Linda Bratten –
May 1 – Lisa Reber –
May 2 – Teresa Coates –
May 3 – Lisa Chin –
May 4 – Jamie Fingal –
May 5 – Sam Hunter – 
May 6 – Jessee Maloney –
May 7 – Randa Parrish –
May 8 – Sarah Vedeler-
May 9 – Jessica Darling –
May 10 – Melody Crust –
May 11 – Debby Brown –
May 12 – Cheryl Sleboda –

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Quilting is the Best Medicine

Due to some regularly scheduled medical treatments, I am on sick leave this week.  My body is fighting against my infusion so I'm tired, but I'm also on super-high doses of steroids so I'm high-strung and wired.  Let's just say it's interesting being me this week.   I'm not my smartest, so I'm trying to avoid actual work where making a mistake would be a bad thing.  What does sick leave look like when you are self-employed?  It looks like giving yourself permission to sleep until noon, nap frequently, and play in the sewing room when able.

Playing in the sewing room looked like this:

I dove head-first into my box of 1 1/2" scrap squares.  I sewed them together with some white sashing until I ran out of squares.   My 70"x70" quilt is currently 70"x20".  I need to keep quilting and making scraps so I can finish this quilt!

Keeping me company while quilting was Palace of Treason, book two in the Red Sparrow trilogy.  As soon as I see a trailer for a new movie, I check to see if it is based on a book and then read the book while waiting for the movie to come out on disc at the library.  This book gave me three books to occupy my time while waiting to see Jennifer Lawrence play a Russian/American/double? agent.

I'm taking another sick day today.  I need to find a new quilt project and a new book since I am at a waiting spot on each.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Not An Artist

I'm not an artist and yet I am a comptent free-motion quilter.  I am able to quilt things that are nearly impossible for me to draw.  How weird is that?

I teach my "non-artist" way of quilting on Craftsy.

Anyone who has ever taken a class with me knows that ribbon candy is one of my favorite machine quilting designs.

I teach ribbon candy and a few variations in this Craftsy class!

If ribbon candy isn't your favorite machine quilting pattern, why not? what is?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Day in the LIfe of a Handi Quilter Educator

I'm convinced that I have the best job in the whole wide world.  I have been a Handi Quilter educator for over a decade and the job gets better every single year.  I love my company, my co-workers, my retailers, and my students.  Who can ask for anything more?

Here's a glimpse of my yesterday as a Handi Quilter Educator:

I checked out of my hotel in Dublin, Ohio and grabbed a quick breakfast.  In the restaurant parking lot, I had to Make Way for Ducklings.

These were not my goslings because I left my phone on the car seat and just sat and watched the family move through the parking lot.  It was a beautiful few minutes to see five baby goslings led by one parent and followed by the other.  When I looked around, all of the other drivers and pedestrians were smiling broadly.  What a great start to the morning!

I taught two machine quilting classes at Red Rooster Quilt Shop:

This is a fun shop with fun students and fun fabrics.  Fabrics like Ohio State University fabrics:

We all know that Ohio State has the best darn band in the whole darn land:

I bought a darling kit of Cluck Cluck Sew's Touchdown pattern, with Ohio State's scarlet and gray colors, of course.

In case you are wondering about my allegiance to The Ohio State University, I should probably let you know that one of the people that I birthed attended that university.  In other words: four years of my salary went to this hallowed institution.

During class today, my students told me that I had to try Graeter's ice cream because it was one of the best ice creams in the entire country.  That is a claim not to be missed, so I tried it:

Ho-ly yum!   Black raspberry chip is my new favorite ice cream!

After fortifying myself with ice cream, I drove to Pittsburgh to stay at my childhood home overnight.  There is a small obstacle just south of the city that makes driving into Pittsburgh a challenge:  Mt. Washington.  After checking to see that the Pirate game wasn't over and that I wouldn't be driving into stadium traffic (note: the Pirates won and are back in first place), I decided to be brave and drive through the Ft. Pitt tunnel tubes instead of diverting around the city.  As I was in the tunnel, a song from my teenage years was on the radio station that I listened to as a teenager:

It was the perfect soundtrack to accompany my night-time drive where I emerged from the tunnel into one of the most stunning skylines I've ever seen:

After safely negotiating eleventy thousand a few lane changes to continue driving north, I arrived at mom's house safely to spend the night.

Is it just me, or was it a wonderful yesterday?  It's true that I am often away from home, that I fly a lot, and drive even more but those are small prices to pay for the joys, small and large, that I encounter daily as a Handi Quilter Educator.

Today I am continuing my drive home and will enjoy a few quilt-filled days before I head to Bits 'N Pieces in Pelham, NH for a birthday bash weekend of Handi Quilter and other machine quilting classes, longarm and domestic.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

In The Meadow Blog Tour

Welcome, Blog Hoppers!  I'm so glad that you are visiting here today!

When Shari Butler invited me to be part of her In The Meadow Blog tour, I was so excited!  I was also a little nervous since I knew that I would be on a 6-week machine quilting teaching trip covering all aspects of the hop so I would have to pull this together from a variety of hotels and other locations other than my home studio.

As soon as the fabrics arrived, I had to pet them arrange them and come up with a plan quickly.

I wanted to use as many as these beauties as possible.  Fortunately, I design Cutie Patterns which use sixteen fat eighths.  I decided to make an In The Meadow version of my latest Cutie Pattern, A La Mode.

A La Mode is a really simple pattern that shows off the fabric well.

I pieced my quilt on my travel sewing machine, Pigwidgeon, in hotels in New Hampshire and Ohio:

I photographed the quilt on a very dark and dreary day at my mom's house in Pittsburgh:

I had fun using my mother's childhood doll cradle (circa 1940) when taking the photos in her front yard:

Photo day was a day full of memories for me.  Hopefully this quilt will be part of its owner's memories as well.

Since I am a machine quilting teacher, you may wonder how I am going to quilt this quilt.  Well, I am thrilled to finally announce that I am putting the finishing touches on a video class on how to quilt this quilt on a home sewing machine.

So, I could quilt this quilt in a allover loop pattern like I did on my nautical quilt:

I could quilt a walking foot zig-zag like I did on my black and white and aqua quilt:

I could stitch custom free-motion quilting (ribbon candy, naturally) like I did on my Riley Blake floral quilt:

Or I could combine ruler quilting with free-motion quilting like I did on my neutral quilt:

I'm always asked "What is the best way to quilt this quilt?"  As you can see, each of these quilts were quilted differently and each one is wonderful in its own way!

My new video class will teach all of these techniques.  It's not quite ready yet, but you can join my mailing list to stay in-the-know about all of my upcoming classes.  Yes, I said classes, PLURAL!!!


Would you like to make an A La Mode quilt?  How about an A La Mode quilt using In The Meadow fabrics?  Well, enter HERE to win a kit to make this 48"x48" quilt yourself!

I had so much fun working on the In The Meadow blog hop.  I hope that you have fun visiting all of the other stops on this tour as well!

Tuesday, April 17: Jedi Craft Girl | 
Thursday April 19: Jina Barney Designs |  
Tuesday April 24: Gigi's Thimble | 
Thursday April 26: Debby Brown Quilts | 
Tuesday May 1: Piper's Girls | 
Thursday May 3: Go Go Kim | 
Tuesday May 8: Kea Bee | 
Thursday May 10: Doohikey Designs |

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I'm totally addicted!

I am totally addicted to making Microwave Bowl Cozies.  Have you fallen into this black hole?  I've made six sets to give to family members and was surprised at how quickly they all came together.

If you've never made a Microwave Bowl Cozy, check out one of my classes on Annie's Creative Studio:

This episode is available on Annie's Creative Studio

Are you a member?  Right now you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.  Click HERE for more information.

Monday, April 16, 2018

It's Time to Play!

This March was the longest year of my life with snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm and April hasn't been an improvement.  The silver lining to all of the bad weather and accompanying aches and pains was many snow day/sew days at home!

I made a graphic black and white version of my A La Mode Cutie Pattern.

I'm sew in love with the walking foot on my sweet Hedwig and I'm thrilled to be teaching a walking foot class at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in November!

Did you notice the cool cars sitting on the quilt?  I never knew any of my grandparents but my oldest uncle filled the role of Grandfather in my life. These were his handmade cars and I was honored to receive them when he passed away a few years ago.  What a treat to see my own grandbabies play with them!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Who Doesn't Love Fabric?

How do you buy your fabric?  Do you...
  • Pick from the shelves at your local quilt shop?
  • Browse online shops and look for inspiration?
  • Follow specific designers online and wait (im)patiently for their new lines to hit the shelves?
However you find your fabrics, all fabrics start in one place -- with a designer.

When I was at Quilt Market in Houston, I interviewed several fabric designers to find out what inspired them to create their next lines.

This episode is available on Annie's Creative Studio

Are you a member?  Right now you can sign up for a free 30-day membership.  Click HERE for more information.

I can't wait to go to Quilt Market in May to see what these talented designers have created for us this year!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Surprise Revealed -- A Very Splendid Sequel!

One of the secrets I've been keeping is that I'm one of the designers for The Splendid Sampler 2!!!

Read all about it HERE!

If you want to join in the fun, pre-order your book HERE.*

I'm so excited to be a part of this project and I have a few surprises to share about it over time.

Stay tuned for more announcements.
*By purchasing through an affiliate link I may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small commission to keep my website running.

Friday, April 06, 2018

My Trip to Cleveland... so far

This week I am working for Red Rooster quilt shop at OSQE Cleveland.  If you can, come and visit me and try out the newest Handi Quilter machine!

My trip to Cleveland started out well.  Even though it's 500 miles from my house to Cleveland, I choose to drive because it's much less stressful (and germy!) than flying.  While driving, I design quilts, make a few chatty phone calls, and listen to audiobooks.  The miles just fly by!

Every time I drive through Pennsylvania, I see a huge sign reading PIEROGIES on the roof a building near the interstate.  I've promised myself that I'd stop and check it out someday, and this trip was the time!

I'm trying to save the pierogies until I get home, but my hotel room has a kitchen and a fry pan.  The struggle is real!

The drive became a bit stressful as the snow and winds picked up.

I am friends with some truck drivers so I'm always a polite driver around the big rigs.  That day I gave them even more space because the winds were brutal and they were trying so hard to stay on the road.

The drive became challenging when it came time to... um... find some facilities.  I pulled off an exit and the power was out due to the high winds, closing all of the restaurants in the area.

I had to drive a while to find an open restroom restaurant but found one just in time!

Finally, I checked into my sewing room hotel room and made myself at home:

Can you see Shari Butler's newest In The Meadow fabrics?  They are oh so yummy!  Stay tuned to see what I'm making!