Thursday, September 26, 2013

Big Plans... Baby Steps...

Like the title says -- BIG plans, yep, I've got lots of big plans.  BUT, I am taking tiny little baby steps.  Here's why - You might not know this about me, but I suffer from anxiety, bad.  I'm okay in my little world, doing my normal little things that I'm accustom to.  Like going to guild -- it's fine, I'm happy, I talk, I make noise (sometimes too much), I can talk while doing show and tell -- I didn't used to, but got better at it -- that's one of my big things, talking in front of groups.  I'm slowly getting better at talking in front of groups, and the ADD doesn't really help, sometimes I need people to keep me focused and on track because before you know it I'll be discussing laundry and grocery lists instead of quilting -- or worse, I'll just stop in the middle of a sentence and be done with that thought, not because I forgot, but because a new better thought jumped in front.  Those of you that know me are shaking your heads up and down right now, because it is true -- I'm like the absent-minded idiot sometimes!

Some of you that have followed me for a while even know I don't like talking on my videos... I've gotten better at that too!  Here's one quickly explaining the path I travel while doing stitch-in-the-ditch on a double wedding ring quilt:

Not too bad huh?  I talked, yeah, I may have repeated the same thing, but it was kind of the point to show you the travelling path.

All this is leading up to one of the BIG plans... teaching and possibly some instructional videos.

Ahhhhh, did I really just say that? YES.  I'll be starting small, teaching some wonderful local peeps so that I'm better prepared for all you other quilties out there!  I also have to take some time to work on actual classes, outlines, etc.  And time is the key word here, I don't have much extra time to go around so I'll be sleeping even less than now!  Seriously, I don't want to jump into this only to fail.  I'm not like that.  I have to know everything possible, all the ins-outs, loops, pitfalls, everything!  Nor do I want to disappoint any of you.  I know some of you have waited a while for me to finally get out of my own way and do this!  Yes, I need to put all my anxieties, worries, doubts, concerns, and *little voices* away and just do this -- but slowly!

So here's a peek into the second part of that video:

So all my fears and worries about teaching are probably just in my own head.  We're all human, we all have faults, issues, inadequacies, and well, stuff -- it's what makes us real.  So I guess if I can deal with all my *stuff* maybe you guys can deal with it too!

I'll keep you all in-the-know and up-to-date on when the teaching will start.  In the meantime, my locals peeps, let me know if you're still interested and I'll work something up!

Oh, and a big shout-out to my friends who have dealt with my fears and crazies in getting to this point!  I love you all dearly!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mari's arms just grew!

That's right, Mari's arms just grew... into longarms! 

Here is a quilt top I've had in my tub of UFO's for awhile now.  The pattern is Organized Chaos by Cozy Quilt Designs.  It was cute, easy, and never got quilted.  You see in a second that this turns out great for Mari.  Oh, for those of you that don't know, Mari is my son's girlfriend -- she is an absolute doll!

As I was reading the categories for MQX Quilt Festivals Pacific Northwest competition I noticed there was a Youth Category.  Hey... I'm teaching Mari to piece her first quilt could this be possible?  Well no, Mari is no where near finished piecing her quilt.  BUT... yep, those darn buts, sometimes they are actually good.  This one was good -- the Youth Category states that the kids are only being judged on the machine quilting -- anyone can piece the top.  Whooooohoooo!!!  This UFO works perfect!  And so it begins...

No, I didn't just throw her on the machine and say go.  She practiced and got the feel of moving the Gammill and doodled and played and liked it!  But she didn't feel comfortable enough to quilt from the front quite yet and wanted to try a panto.  Hmmmm... I had a bunch of them eons ago and I gave them all away to a friend.  For those of you that don't know I used a panto twice, once to try it, and a second time to confirm I did not like using a panto!  So we borrowed a couple of pantos from another friend and Mari made her decision on this one:

She starts by basting the quilt square (hmm... someone taught her well).

And thinking about threads... she chose a chocolatey brown.

And she's off!

She didn't get real far on Day 1 -- I forgot to mention that she goes to school, works, and also does virtual school so that she can graduate a year early.  Amazing right!

So here goes Day 2 - she is a determinted one - look at that lip biting (must be a concentrating quilter thing)!

And a peek at her first stitches:

And she took a nice break for Labor Day -- aren't they just the cutest!

Here she is on her last pass...

And... DONE!

Well, almost done.  This weekend Mari will learn how to make binding, how to attach binding, and then how to sew it by hand.  Then she'll be done!

I am so proud of her.  I'm honored and thrilled that she wanted to learn, not only the piecing, but the machine quilting as well.  I'll keep you updated on her pieced quilt as she works on it, and also when she quilts it!

And please, if you know someone that wants to learn, teach them!  This is the future of our industry!!!