Happy 2018! It is a new year, and we have so many things on the agenda for the shop. I’m not a huge New Years Resolution person, but I am really hoping to find time to blog more this year.
With that said, I am also helping to continue learning more on Millie, and I started early learning new things this year. On Christmas Eve/Day, I quilted a custom quilt for my Brother-in-Law. Somehow, my two brother-in-laws have been able to convince me to only quilt custom for them. It has always been a large learning curve. Each time, I have learned new things, and thankfully the quilts always turn out great!
This particular quilt was a gift for the man officiating his wedding. The family’s last name starts with a G and they have three kids: Ellyn Beth, Jax Joseph, and Jones Dean. I promise we checked the spelling multiple times during this process, but it still made me nervous.
Devin, my brother-in-law, had the idea to quilt all of the childrens’ names into the quilt. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well… I couldn’t find an easy way to do it without a ton of jumps between every letter (A jump is when Millie stops sewing in one spot and moves to another spot. It leaves a stretch of loose thread that needs trimmed.), so I improvised. I spent quite a lot of time in PatternCad, a program in QuiltPath that allows a pattern to be “drawn”.
I grumbled quite often while “drawing” this pattern, but I love how it turned out. Now I want to do a similar quilt for my grandmother with all of the grandchildren’s names, but the idea of creating patterns for all of those names makes me worried.
I’m a numbers person. I struggle with scrappy, I try to find a pattern even if it is hidden deep, I want some sort of order to things. I look for numbers. I think this is the only reason I can work up a pattern from a picture. My brain functions by adding seam allowance to things and using one yard lengths, 40 inch width, and feeling at home with a calculator in my hand. I might be a numbers person, but please do not ask me to do anything in my head. I need a calculator and something to write on: a napkin, post it note, paper, anything.
This weekend we quilted EIGHT quilts. They were all beautiful and all completely different. The quilts ranged from: a Harry Potter baby quilt (pictures are top secret until later this month), a fabulously finished t-shirt quilt from our class earlier this month, a jelly roll strip quilt that came to life with the quilting, a peacock-lovers wedding quilt, two twin Farm Girl Vintage quilts (I LOVE FGV!), a scrap quilt where the lady used a piece of wood cut by her husband- so resourceful and so smart, I have too many ideas now- and lastly one we finished at the end of last week called Tapestry.
I also started TWO quilts this weekend. Go big or go home, right? We have a class coming up, and my goal is to always make at least one quilt of each size before sharing any fabric measurements or class patterns. I am still working full time in addition to the shop, so my time has been scarce. I finally disappeared this weekend and started cutting. Friday and Saturday I spent finishing one size using our brand new Moda line, Poetry, and Sunday I found a couple helpers to help cut out the second quilt. I went with a much different feel than the first, opting for solids and a more modern look. I started sewing this one Sunday and Monday evening. I have great things planned for the quilting of this modern-like quilt, but I am not sure when I will sneak in any of my quilts on Millie. I’m thinking that would have to happen in the middle of the night one of these days. If you ever pass the shop late one night and see the midnight oil burning away, you will know what I am up to.
I have ONE pup who will try her hardest to stay awake with me. (I had to come up with some excuse to share another puppy picture). Our oldest knows the routine, and she will always go to bed and get comfy, but the youngest will stay awake, or try to, until I am ready for bed. I caught her watching me from the top of the stairs Monday night as I sewed late trying to finish up a quilt. She would open her eyes if I looked her way or moved, but she was so tired and fighting sleep so badly. It was too funny to watch.
8 + 2 + 1 = A successful weekend and start of a new week!
Do you ever feel like you are cramming a week’s worth of living into one weekend. It is the end of the week, but everything starts spinning in fast forward motion.
I feel like I am on the teacup ride at Disney World with my husband and a family friend crammed into this little tea cup and they are spinning it so fast I cannot see anything outside the cup. You focus on the inside, and the only thing you can clearly see. The door is locked and you are stuck spinning away. That is my weekend, but I completely love it.
I am truly living every second of every weekend. I’m not sleeping it away or waiting for time to pass. I’m living in the moment, and enjoying it wholeheartedly. However, I’m a little tired. Many weeks and weekends with little sleep are causing my batteries to run low. Tonight, I am going to sleep early and I have announced this to my family. Hopefully these storms don’t get too nasty….
This weekend was our second sewing class- a full t-shirt class. This has been our most requested class, and it turned out to be such an exciting and all-around great class. Several people even finished their quilts!
We are almost certain two machines had smoke flying out of them as their owners earned several speeding tickets throughout the weekend, but we let them fly and loved their finished products.
My goal with every class is that each participant makes the quilt they truly want, not what is required. We have few requirements in our classes. There are so many different ways to sew, and we understand that. Things work for one person that do not work for someone else. We recognize this. My mom sews one way, and I sew a different way. Laugh if you will, but I was taught to cut by a left-hander (mom), so that is just a hilarious process unto itself.
There is no right or wrong- putting a needle through fabric is sewing. We will teach what we know and tricks and tips we have learned along the way. Most importantly, we will all have fun.
After a brief chat, everyone got to work. Baseball shirts, anniversary shirts, soccer, football, OSU, tie-dye, and fraternity—we saw so many different shirts and each quilt is incredible and different.
As class progressed, I was even able to play on Millie a bit. I stayed late and came early to prepare quilts so it wouldn’t disrupt class.
Two cute, matching KU quilts were finished, and we even took in a K-State quilt. We do not choose teams when it comes to quilting. 🙂
A small table runner or wall-hanging also made its way across the machine. This one was incredibly pieced and I loved getting to add the quilting.
Our most popular thread this month has been Sand, and we quilted with it again this weekend. A fabulously, fun quilt with a flower pattern was screaming for gold thread. Sand has a way of looking like the perfect gold for quilting, and that is just what it looked like on this one.
Two of the quilts this weekend used a fun color thread on a solid backing, which allowed the quilting to really pop. It creates a truly reversible quilt.
I have yet another unfinished project since I couldn’t fully finish my OSU T-shirt quilt, but this is the first full week of the month, and that means it is WIP Week! I have two quilts that I will be working on and hopefully you will get to see finished pictures soon…
One last project that happened this weekend–my batting wall. Friday night I walked my amazing husband into the quilt intake room and pointed at the massive pile of batting and said I wanted something to fix it. Then I left the room. The result was this awesome wall that works perfectly!
Our next class will be a Log Cabin quilt using the Creative Grids trim tool. I love the traditional log cabin block, so I cannot wait for this!
Weekends used to mean a time to relax, clean house, catch up on laundry, and go grocery shopping. Now, they mean sewing and being surrounded by fabric! I’m fine with this tradeoff, but my house might be included in the next State of Emergency Alert. Long days doing what I love, and an extremely understanding husband, make the tradeoff bearable.
This weekend was busy… and fabulous… and so much fun. Friday I worked with Millie and caught up on random shop things including placing more inventory around the shop and ordering even more fun stuff. Saturday we had our first class. The Disappearing Nine Patch Class was a blast. Although the pattern was the same, each quilt was vastly different. I cannot wait to see the finished quilts. Everyone made great progress during class, so ladies, don’t let that get buried in your unfinished project pile. I’m mainly talking to myself since I have had a partially finished D9P floating around in my car/backpack/sewing room for quite a while now.
Two of the quilts we finished this weekend were customer quilts. One was a fun Bruin T-shirt quilt and the other was a GORGEOUS star quilt. The t-shirt quilt was quilted using a pattern similar to the border print.
The Star quilt was quilted with a simple Damask pattern. Can we have an honest moment for three seconds? This quilt made me nervous. First, it is GORGEOUS. I cannot believe the time spent on this quilt. Secondly, the story behind it is one to break hearts and show love. Every stitch was sewn with love, and I felt compelled to carry that through the quilting. Lastly, it is just so breathtaking. I was not the one to take this quilt in, so I had not seen it before I started loading it onto Millie. Breathtaking. Simply amazing. I believe I asked my mom if they were sure they wanted me to touch it. A few deep breaths later Millie started to hum.
The quilting pattern was perfect as it did not take away from the quilt piecing. Thank goodness. I would not have been able to handle it if the quilting changed this quilt in the smallest way.
Shout out to tall husbands and brothers. Also chairs and friends. Taking some of these pictures can be difficult but they put up with my “just a few more pictures” every single time.
The last quilt from the weekend (which is still on Millie) was a quilt my brother-in-law, Devin, has sewn. He pixilated two Star Wars graphics and pieced them together using 3 1/2 inch squares. I think there is a rule that you try to do anything a brother asks (I only have brothers), so we were jumping into the deep end and learning new things, left and right this weekend.
First, we wanted to keep the squares lined up. The front and back were the same size and used the same 3 1/2 squares, so in theory they were to line up. To handle this and knowing that the back sometimes shrinks up more while quilting on a Longarm we pinned the squares together all throughout the quilt. I also attached leaders onto the backing so I would have enough space to attach the quilt to Millie. On the last row of pinning, we found that there was an extra row on the top piece. Something was wrong. The unpinning began and we finally found the problem in the middle. We repined and were ready to start quilting.
Devin found two images he liked and wanted quilted throughout his quilt. One was a TIE Fighter and the other was a X Wing. At first, we tried pulling the images into Quilt Path, the program I use on Millie, but the program could not understand what line to draw next. She was moving all over the place and creating around 45 “jumps” in one small square (Jumps are when the machine moves but does not sew, so you are left with long threads to trim). I finally decided to draw each image line-by-line, so I could control what she would sew next. I figured out how to upload a background image to “trace”, but it still took quite a bit of time, and it was a huge learning curve. I was besties with that undo button.
I also reset the line and dot design he had found so it would fit in the different spaces. We made different sized blocks so all of the lines and circles would stay the same size and not get stretched or scrunched when we set each block. I set Quilt Path up to have four point marking in place. Every block could be placed within the set boundary and not start to sew outside of the grid. Although some blocks are off slightly, most are extremely close.
After all the blocks were designed and ready, I showed Devin how to place each block using the four point set up, pull the bobbin up, and get Millie to sew each blocks. While he worked on this, I was able to work on a handful of other things around the shop.
Out of nowhere, we heard an awful noise and everyone started running to Millie as I kept saying “Press stop! Press stop!” Devin caught it, pressed stop many times, and we were there. She broke a needle. I tried looking for the other part of the needle and said a prayer that Millie’s timing was not messed up. After looking underneath Millie, I quickly noticed the hook assembly looked out of place and way wrong. To test, I put a new needle in and tried using the fly-wheel to make sure everything was okay. It was not. I jumped online and searched for the re-timing video APQS has recorded on YouTube. A machine’s timing is correct when the needle can enter the bobbin basket as the hook assembly spins around at just the right time. This creates a stitch. Needle down, hook assembly spins, needle up, stitch created. That is the simple way to say it.
When I realized the video was almost an hour long and knowing we still had quite a bit of quilting left to do, I called Brenda (The sweetest distributor from Barnsdall – Red Barn Quilting). She confirmed my fear and said we really needed to watch the video and follow each step in order and fully. I thanked her and turned back to the computer. Here goes nothing… After the first three steps, back up was called in. My father-in-law was already at the shop, so he stepped in and I walked away.
I was a ball of nerves as the video continued; file this using an emery board, pull on this, unscrew and remove that. Each step caused me more fear, and I was not helpful. I quickly exited the room and worked elsewhere while they went at it. On occasion they asked for my help, then I would quickly leave again. It was best this way.
Eventually she was back to sewing happily, which meant that I was back to being happy. We began sewing again, this time moving on from the line design and starting on the X Wing blocks. On the first block we all gathered around and were mesmerized by Millie (it happens quite often).
Devin continued placing the blocks and working away. All that is left now are the vertical borders which I will finish up this week. I need to work more in the design software to set those up. This takes quite a bit of time and we were all exhausted last night. Soon it will be finished.
All in all it was a busy but fabulous weekend. We accomplished quite a lot, chatted with friends, and finished quilts. Learning new things is a key component of this journey and I am always pleased when things turn out well even if we have to take the long route to the finish line.
A new week awaits and another class, the t-shirt quilt class, is happening next weekend.
Well, I jumped off the deep end for a moment and forgot to clue you all in. It’s been a little while since my last post.
On top of the quilt shop, I am still working a full time job. This week I had a business trip, so I did what every quilter would do and I loaded up my sewing machine in hopes of setting aside a few hours for sewing. Although my evenings were pretty full, I was able to start a new project. I like to think I needed a new project because I was in a new place. I’ll take any excuse to start something new.
It isn’t WIP Week, so I cannot get in trouble. Remember, one of the goals about WIP Week is no new projects, though I often break that rule too.
Anyways, right before I left I cut, and cut, and cut my fabric. Now all my pieces are cut and all I have to do is sew. This quilt is an old paper piecing pattern. I’m playing and learning, but mostly playing.
I did not get far, however I do have one fully finished block to share.
I know I have several other things to update you on, but I always forget or jump around while writing.
We had another warehouse trip this week, so watch for new inventory!! If you come to Open Sew Night tonight you might get a sneak peek as I input everything into our inventory system. Make sure you stop by. 🙂
Boxes and car loads of fabric are a few of my favorite things. Of course, Millie tops this list, but they are both pretty fabulous.
Last week I ventured more into custom quilting with several wall hangings. They turned out really well, and I had a blast learning even more.
I also finished a spectacular customer quilt in purples. There are even more quilts making it onto my need-to-make list, but I know I will never quite be able to finish that list. Instead, I will fall in love with each quilt that passes and enjoy getting to work with them for the moment.
A funny story; we looked high and low for a quilting pattern for the Kitty Cat quilt. The customer asked for paws or balls of yarn. The only paws I could find were obviously puppy dog paws or a tiger/bear type of paw. I couldn’t find any balls of yarn either. Finally, I found cricket balls. They really looked like balls of yarn, especially on a kitty cat quilt. I sent a picture to the customer and we agreed this was perfect! You never know what we will find, but I will keep looking until we can capture the look you are hoping for on your quilt.
Another update is that our first quilt class is this Saturday! The class is a disappearing nine patch quilt and we cannot wait. I have worked up several different sizes and the class is aimed at beginner level and up. Anyone can take this class and be successful.
I have finished the layer cake friendly version and I am working on the throw quilt/charm pack friendly version. I am using Ellen Medlock fabrics and I LOVE how it is turning out. Such a perfect spring quilt.
I think that brings you up-to-date. Don’t forget Open Sew Night TONIGHT! (It’s free!)
Wow! The week flew past, yet somehow I was able to finish a few things. I sure hope you were able to as well.
First, I worked on a class sample. Our first class is February 25th and it is a beginner quilt class on making a Disappearing Nine Patch; although, any skill level could join. I have set up three different sizes: a queen layer cake friendly version, a charm pack friendly throw size, and a charm pack friendly crib/toddler version.
This is such a fun, versatile pattern. I used a Moda Grunge layer cake and grey complementary fabric to whip up this sample. I actually really like it and cannot wait for it to be my new couch quilt. I am using Ellen Medlock’s fabric line to make the throw quilt size. It will be an excellent quilt for the spring with all the bright colors. I just started this one, though, so it is not making the leap to the finished quilt pile just yet.
In addition to the Disappearing Nine Patch quilts, Millie was a go getter. This weekend we quilted about 10 quilts. It was such a great weekend spent getting to see different quilts and how the quilting pattern changed the quilt for the better. Everyone has such a unique style that I just love.
We still have a few spots open for the Disappearing Nine Patch Class and Thursday is Open Sew Night at Quilter’s Hideaway! Last week we stayed sewing until after 9pm.
I do not even know how to begin telling you about this past weekend. I’ve talked to several people about how to start this post, what to write, how to translate what is in my head out into words. I guess I should start with a deep breath.
*breathe in* *breathe out*
I’m somewhere lost in the clouds. I wasn’t sure what to expect this weekend, but OH MY GOODNESS it was more than I ever could have dreamed. Friday night as we worked through last minute details everyone started guessing at how Saturday, the Grand Opening for Quilter’s Hideaway, would go. Some thought we would have quite a few people show up, others thought a handful, and my favorite saying was that no one would show up and we would all just eat the cake ourselves.
Well, I didn’t get a single piece of cake, and I am beyond okay with that. You all showed up. It wasn’t in waves or even a trickle. We were packed constantly. I really hope everyone felt welcomed, though, as we tried our best to greet everyone as if they were our focus. Each person who walked through those doors meant something to us. It was a shared dream. So many people wanted a quilt shop to visit and our dream was coming true with each passing minute.
We had many friends visit. My sweet Bible Study friends did not disappoint with doughnuts, flowers, and lemon cookies (my favorite!) other friends brought flowers, smiles, and hugs. A lady my mom swims with even brought each of us handmade leis. They smelled and looked incredible!
Although we were busy I was still able to catch glimpses of friends running into each other, people seeing one another after many years apart, and people meeting potential new friends. This is exactly what we were hoping for. A community of people coming together and enjoying the same thing. So many prayers were answered this weekend and our dreams came true before our eyes.
We could not have made it without our incredible friends who helped us tremendously! My mother in law and her bestie helped cut fabric and kept fabric put up, another sweet lady helped take care of the snacks and punch, yet another helped cut fabric and greet visitors, someone made a lunch run for us, others helped with random things that came up, and my husband rolled his sleeves up and jumped in to help enter fabric and take care of whatever needed done (so thankful for him!).
When we started this journey we really only planned on having one room for our shop and one room for the classroom. Now, we have spilled into four rooms for the shop. And don’t tell anyone, but I have more fabric being delivered this week.
I think my biggest worry about opening was how our point of sale system would work. I wanted a way to track inventory so when we open our online shop, the QH shop and the online shop could run simultaneously. I didn’t want to have to update the online inventory every time we sold something in the store. This took quite a bit of preplanning, research, and time spent inputting every item. The other component of it was that we wanted a way to open a ticket at the cutting table and let it feed over to the checkout… some way.
After reading and reading, we found a way! The Square offered an open ticket component that allows us to start a ticket and save it for later use. If you came into our shop this weekend, you were asked for your name at the cutting table. Well, you were asked your name unless you came back again later in the day and my husband remembered what your name was. I have no idea how he did that, but there were a couple times he remembered and I was in shock. I guess I better step it up.
We asked your name to start your ticket. Then, when you were ready to check out, you could head over and add your remaining goodies without having to carry everything around the whole time. It actually worked really well! I was pleasantly surprised and hope you enjoyed that quality as well.
There was one giant hiccup where I managed to miss inputting the barcodes for a few bolts of backing. I had to give my husband a crash course in the middle of everything so those could be updated. It all managed to work itself out. Now I just look back and giggle over it. I also might have forgotten to order more business cards but Quick Prints saved the day and we had plenty just in time.
There were a couple activities we had going on during Grand Opening as well. One of the activities was our giveaways. Every hour we had a drawing. There were a couple gift certificates to QH, a QH T-shirt, thread, free classes, and a couple free fabric items. These were so fun, and I have emailed the winners who were not present when their name was drawn. Our first winner was actually checking out when her name was drawn, and she won a gift certificate. It worked out perfectly!
Another activity we had going was to pick a quilt for our March 25th sewing class. There were three teams: Team Blue (Log Cabin), Team White (Turning 20), and Team Green (Half Square Triangle). Many people participated by placing a button of their favorite team into a jar. At the end of the day the totals were 12 Team White, 43 Team Green, and 57 Team Blue. It looks like we will be having a Log Cabin class in March! Many classes have already started filling, so make sure you sign up soon. We do not have our online sign up set up at this time, so you will need to sign up in the shop.
We cannot thank you enough for supporting Quilter’s Hideaway! We have many fun things planned for the year and cannot wait to share them with you.
On a completely different note, it is WIP Week! The first full week of every month is WIP (Work in Progress) Week. Find a project and try to tackle it. I have a few projects in mind that I will hopefully be finishing up this week. Stay tuned.
Make sure you share your WIPs using #QHWIPWeek on Facebook and Instagram so we can see what you are up to!