It's hard to believe we are already a week into 2017! There is so much to share and I feel like I am behind the times in sharing with you. I spend most of last week sick, so I am declaring today--the first day of the new year for me!
Where to start????
Pro-Stitcher Premium is finally here!
and yes...I am offering classes--both group and private on this awesome, totally fantastic and easy updated system.
I will also be blogging on this regularly
I'm can now offer classes in all things Superior Threads
In November I attended some very specialized and in-depth training from Dr. Bob and Mother Superior themselves. Look for these classes at a retailer or guild near year starting in April.
and yes...I will provide more information as the year goes on
I'm starting to use my 2017 Quilters Planner
A new year and a new calendar right? Well, this is a Quilters Planner and I haven't used it before but it was designed by a quilter and has some great tips etc...again..more on this as the year goes on.
Quilting out of my comfort zone
I've accepted a challenge to take a piece of dyed fabric and quilt it as a whole cloth. This is really out of my comfort zone, I've seen these pieces, admired these pieces but the thought of doing one has always overwhelmed me. It's time to get over all that and I'll be quilting and embellising a piece of dyed fabric. I'll keep you posted on this progress.
There is a lot of other stuff going on....
A search for shoes
Newsletter--coming soon, you can get these posts delviered to your inbox--that way you don't have to go looking for them
New classes coming up--Pro-Stitcher, Superior Thread, Handi Quilter
Requests....it's not the radio but you can request a class, If I can't teach it I will find someone who can..
A new class..(As A Student)...nothing to do with quilting or work in any way!
and that's just week one..
If you want to strike fear in me just use the words "quilt challenge". That's exactly what happened to me recently. I was gifted with a Beautiful and I do mean truly Beautiful piece of ice dyed fabric.
It was dyed by: Debra Linker from Texas. Look for her on Facebook--she has some absolutely beautiful pieces.
It was gifted to me from: Brenda Groelz, Director of Marketing and Education at Handi Quilter.
The Challenge: to add quilting to this piece.
Add quilting--right--sounds simple enough.
BUT--I want to add quilting that will enhance this absolutely beautiful piece of cloth which is a work of art all by itself.
Where will I start? How will I start?
I've started in all the typical ways--I've panicked, I've hyperventilated, I thought--I don't have to accept this challenge. Brenda was very clear--this was a gift to do anything I want to.
So....I've been looking at this on my design wall for a couple of weeks now.
I have now decided which side I am going to consider the top...
I am slowly narrowing down quilting designs in my head
I have some threads chosen
Now I'm going to let it percolate just a little bit longer before I load it onto my frame.
stay tuned...I'll keep you posted about this Work in Progress.
First let me say....Merry Christmas, it's a real different Christmas for us this year but more about that later. (and yes I have a thing for Flamingo's, it goes all the way back to the 80's so I don't expect to get over it anytime soon)
Second...let me say, I'm sorry for being so quiet on here the last few weeks. I've had soooo much going on that it's mind blowing.
I'm going to tell you about it all real soon--I promise but some things are a secret until certain dates, you know how that goes. So the only way I knew for sure I could keep it all secret was to keep quiet all together.
But in the spirit of Christmas let me say this...no never mind, I'm not good at hints.
So for now...
Have a safe a joyous Christmas season.
I'm looking forward to seeing many old freinds and meeting lots of new ones in 2017. Check back here soon for lots of updates.
I can finally share my Great News with you. I've been sitting on this awhile now, but you know how it is you have to do things in a certain order. Wait patiently (not my strong suit). I've been busting at the seams and short of throwing myself my own fireworks display I've just been smiling all summer long.
I am now an Educator for HandiQuilter! Yep--you read that right, this has been a dream of mine for six years, since we first got our long arm and I attended HandiQuilter University. Who said dreams don't come true? Not this hard working quilter, that's for sure.
I will be travelling the across the country teaching classes on HandiQuilter Products. Check with your local dealer for classes near you and if none are scheduled yet ask for them. I'm so excited and honoured to be part of this amazing group of people who represent this awesome company.
As you know my love for quilting doesn't stop at long arming and piecing, I also just love to add embroidery to my quilts, so my embroidery software classes will continue as they have been, adding embroidery to my quilts helps take them to a whole other level.
So look for me at a show or dealer near you.
PS--I'm doing the happy dance because I will also be at Quilt Festival in Houston this year!!!
Some changes are coming soon--but I can't really tell you about them yet.
I'm good at keeping other peoples secrets--just not my own. Especially when it's exciting, opens new doors and will be just plain FUN.
But...I do have to keep it quiet a bit longer. You know how it is, you have to tell certain people in a certain order. Not that you are not all important to me but you know how it is. Right? Sure you do.
Suffice it to say-I'm excited, happy, elated and down right giddy. I am going to get to continue to travel and teach while at the same time get closer to returning to my roots. (that's a hint by the way)
So for today--be happy, enjoy your day.
An IMPOSSIBLE Question!
I get asked this question a lot, and I mean A LOT! This weekend alone I received one PM, and a couple of emails asking me this. In one case it was someone looking to purchase a machine and wanted some advice and direction in the others--I'm not sure why they asked the question.
Can you pick a favourite child?
OF course not--you love all of your children equally---which does not always mean the same but you don't have a favourite! I have three children I have one that I prefer to go the the farmers market with--that child is a cook and has an appreciation for food and fresh flavours. It doesn't mean I love that child more than the other two it just means I getting a different experience gong to the farmers market with that one than the other two. That child is not the the child I prefer to go to the spa with, that child couldn't sit still long enough to enjoy and mani-pedi and the spa music would send them screaming from the establishment. I still love that child and the spa child and the book store child--I love them all equally and celebrate that love by doing different things with them.
The same is true for my machines--I sew on two different brands. I LOVE them both and yes I did say LOVE, they bring me joy and often peace. Occasionally I get angry at them--but lets face it, that's likely mis-guided anger as if there is a glitch in the project it is usually user error--that would be me--it's usually something i've done or not done that has created the problem. I often just work ahead on projects on skip over some directions.
So I don't have a favourite machine--I like working with both brands. They sit on different desks--so sometimes I pick the one on the tidiest desk. I also share a sewing room with my husband a quilter and machine embroiderer so if he's already working on a project on a certain machine I use the other one.
Also--if its a project I've already started I try to sew the whole project on the same machine--this is just me. It's my preference, that's why I have certain 'travel' projects--meaning those projects I only work on at UFO days or open sewing days with my guild--they get pieced on my travel machine. I don't go from one machine to another with a project if I can avoid it at all.
A few of my favourite things....
I do have some favourite things though...
Cherry Burgundy ice cream
Jimmy Buffet songs in the summer
Fall in Southern Ontario (just like fall in New England)
A good book with a flannel quilt in the winter
Any road trip with my husband
Niagara Falls when the ice bridge forms
and my list can go on and on...
the point is I have lots of favourites--just not a favourite sewing machine, I love both my Husqvarna Viking and PFAFF sewing/embroidery machines. I count myself as blessed to be able to use one or another on any given day--and sometimes I am even using two at a time! Yep--life is that good.
One half of this 'whole quilt' embroidery is stippled and the other half is obviously not stippled.
I'm not sure which I like better
I think I want to try the stippling in Black--on the black fabric
Then I think I want to try the whole thing with double batting--for a more pouffy effect.
The Possibilities are endless--but I do need to try out a few different Ideas until I stumble on exactly the one I like best (for today anyway)
Do you do that--try one thing and then another? Am I too fussy? Too indecisive? I think the answer to both of those is no--I'm definitely not too fussy, I often let mistakes 'pass'. Too indecisive--sometimes, but generally I make up my mind and just keep on moving forward, but sometimes I only sort of know what I want and I have to try different things until I hit just the right note. It's fun, it's part of the process.
Make sure you take the time today to enjoy the process.
I love visiting large trade shows like The Creative Festival held every spring and Fall in Toronto Canada. Visiting these shows gives me a chance to shop many vendors in one spot not to mention the ability to compare machines and pricing.
Not a fan of crowds--no problem, my advise for visiting show and avoiding crowds is to come a bit later in the day. First thing in the morning there is usually a line up to get in. So avoid that line up, come on in during the afternoon and you can likely walk right in without a line.
In the market for a large ticket item like a sewing machine? Digital Cutting machine? Embroidery Software? This is the perfect place to shop for those things. You can compare brands all under one roof, ask questions, get shown how something works, Compare, compare and compare some more.
Time to think. After you have compared, take some time to sit down and have a coffee or soft drink and think about your possible purchases. Maybe you will have more questions, go back and ask them.
Here's my one word of warning--question the people in the sales booth. Where are they from? If you are not local and purchase here--who will provide the support? Who will honour the warranty? For the most part I have always been pleased with the answers I get to these questions but I have received feedback from readers that this is not always the case, so go, compare, learn, make an educated decision.
What if you aren't in the market for a 'major purchase?"
That's great, that means visiting the trade show is for pure enjoyment and inspiration. Go, get ideas, see new products, meet a new vendor. One of my first visits to the Creative Festival many years ago introduced me to a vendor from another province. I signed up for a block of the month from their store, they mailed me my block every month. This was a chance to do something I wouldn't have even known about without a visit to the festival. I wasn't go to visit that province, I wouldn't have been exposed to their store otherwise.
I just Love visiting the trade shows, if you can go with a friend even better. Take the time to feel the fabric, feast your eyes upon completed projects and treat yourself to something you might not be able to get locally.
One other thing I love about the Spring Creative Festival? It means that Quilt Show season is here! So many local guilds host shows and these are my favourite for inspiration, browsing and again--shopping vendors specific to my hobby!
It snuck up on me again. I'm finalizing arrangements, putting the finishing touches on some samples, polishing off my lesson notes and before I know it I'll be on the road again!
I love it.
I think the bright sunshine of today has made everyone think about spring and I've been busy on the phone a lot today finalizing plans for April classes.
I'll spend a couple of days at The Needle Works Studio in Cochrane Ontario before I head to the West for four days of teaching on the island.
You will also likely find me at the Creative Festival again this year, then I'll be taking a week off while my husband gets a brand new knee. Then it's May.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not rushing the time away but it's in my nature and my job to be planning ahead.
Enjoy the last few weeks of winter, maybe I'll see you at a class in the spring.
This poster says it all for me right now. It's time to just start doing. Quite waiting for everything to fall into place or putting off my 'hobby' until other things are done first.
I am now taking the approach that a few minutes a day at least doing something I love to do will put me in a better frame of mind for doing those things I don't want to do. Rather than saying I can go to my quilt room--AFTER I've done this or that, I'm going to go to my quilt room first.
How radical huh? Now, I may have to put on a timer or something, because lets face it the housework and groceries and shopping need to get done sometime but I'm going to start to reward myself first.
It's also time to stop wishing I knew how to do something or that I could do something better etc. There is only one way to learn anything--do it, repeat it, practice it and you will get better at it.
So--now I'm moving forward, I am going to spend some time each week learning my serger. I'm going to spend some time each day in my sewing room--it may have to be at 6:00 a.m. before my work day starts but it's going to be worth it!
Gail Berry Quilts
We offer a full range of customized, long arm quilting services that will meet all of your quilting needs.
I fell in love with the art of quilting in my late 40's and I haven't looked back. It opened a whole new world of creating and friendships. I never would have met the amazing women and men I've come to love and call friends without this amazing way of life.