Taking Your Quilt to A Longarmer

20 11 2008

Over the past few days I have had three clients bring me their quilts for quilting. It has been so much fun to visit with these quilters because we had a chance to really brainstorm not only about their budget for the services but also the vision that they have for their quilts. One of the things that I have started doing, along with trying to have samples to help with their decisions, is having preview paper and a plexiglass sheet so that I can actually draw out the design and place it across the quilt. What a difference this has made when it comes to visualizing what design might be the most appropriate both in aesthetics and in size/scale! Another step that I like to take is having the client look at the possible threads and then laying them across the quilt in a meadering line. Seeing how the thread looks across the body of the quilt is a great way to make a decision.

Of course, there are some clients who want me to make the final decisions or simply say, “it’s up to you” and I love that they trust me to do that for them. However, it is really fun to work through the quilt with a client and have them “see” how their ideas might look when brought to fruition. That being said, the next time you meet with a longarmer, you might enjoy going through the process that I just described;it is a very creative exercise.


ToriQue Pattern from Creative Sewlutions

16 11 2008
Creative Sewlutions ToriQue Pattern

Creative Sewlutions ToriQue Pattern

I enjoy piecing quilts as much as I LOVE quilting them, so one of my “other” jobs is putting goether samples for a darling quilt shop in New Braunfels, Texas, The Quilt Haus. Their pattern business name is Creative Sewlutions and one of their newest patterns is one that I think you might really enjoy. It is perfect for that focus fabric that you would hate to cut up into small pieces; it is built on large pieces that give the illusion of being pieced. I am including a photo of the pattern in this post and will soon  post a picture of the completed quilt. I think you will REALLY like it. It is fast, easy and looks like you spent hours and hours at the sewing machine putting it together :).

A Personal Story: Taking Charge of Your Health as a Woman

13 11 2008

Because so many of my clients are women, I wanted to share an experience that happened to me yesterday. On October 28, 2008, I had my annual mammogram, planning it so that it would coincide with my annual appointment with my gynocologist. The mammography clinic indicated that the results would be faxed to my doctor the following day.

I had my appointment on November 4, 2008. I asked the doctor specifically about my mammogram as I had micro calcification in a scan in 2007. She said it was sitting on her desk, she hadn’t looked at it but was sure it was fine. Being a trusting soul, I didn’t push her further.

Yesterday I received a letter from the mammography clinic indicating that my latest scan was abnormal. I was LIVID that the doctor hadn’t contacted me and had led me to believe all was well. I can’t get a re-scan until Wednesday of next week and, of course, I have some heavy duty worry about what the problem might be; I don’t know if it is the same problem that has worsened or a totally new problem. Of course my prayer is that it won’t be a big deal, but I wonder what would have happened if the mammography clinic had not sent me the letter…I could not depend on the doctor, obviously.

My reason for sharing this experience is to encourage you to ALWAYS ask questions about your health and NEVER just assume all is well. Be sure that you go to a really reputable mammography clinic, too. Thank God that they are more organized than the doctor!  I will be changing doctors as of today, but what really is amazing that the doctor’s office offered no apologies or explanations. You also can’t assume that a woman physician will be more attuned to your needs; this particular doctor was clueless and, scarier still, came highly recommended.

We all have had friends who have dealt with breast cancer. I will never just assume that any doctor has my best interest in mind ever again; I will ALWAYS ask questions and do a followup to be sure everything is okay. A good recommendation isn’t necessarily a guarantee; ask me, I know!

Quilter’s EXCELLENT Chocolate Cake Recipe

12 11 2008

Today’s recipe is from one of my FAVORITE clients, Joannie Alderman, of San Antonio, Texas. Joanie is not only an awesome piecer (I have quilted two of her quilts and I am currently working on one for her that is a French Braid) but an excellent cook. Below is her UNBELIEVEABLE chocolate cake. Enjoy!

Hershey’s Prize Chocolate Cake

1/4   cup butter

1/4    cup shortening

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

3/4   teaspoon baking soda

3/4   teaspoon baking powder

3/4  cup Hershey’s Cocoa

1  3/4   cups  unsifted all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 3/4  cups milk


Generously grease and flour two  9-inch round cake pans.  Cream butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy; blend in eggs.

Combine baking soda, cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt in bowl; add alternately with milk to the batter.  Blend well.

Pour into prepared pans; bake at 350 degrees for 30- 35 minutes  or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans.

 Frost with your favorite frosting recipe.


Luggage Tags and Koozies Arrive!

9 11 2008

First, a quick hello to Leann and Robyn, the new friends that I made at the Houston Quilt Festival. I will be checking in with you in the near future. I thoroughly  enjoyed hearing not only about life in Australia, but also life in North Texas!Thanks for your comments on an earlier post.

My blank luggage tags and koozies have arrived and I had to share them with you. I LOVE the colors of the luggage tags and I think that those who receive them will find that they will be a big help when they are trying to identify their bags at the airport!Even the black tags will stand out with bright monogramming; I think anyone would be happy to receive one, regardless of their age or gender.

The koozies are also VERY cute and the camouflage variety will be a big hit with a “hard to buy for” guy on your Christmas list.  Dots are still a fashion item, so I think the lime dots and pink dots would be happily received by anyone on a Christmas list as well.

I hope to add some pet products to our product line, too. I am currently investigating leashes and collars as well as bandannas for your favorite canine or feline.

If it sounds like I am having way too much fun finding this item, I have to admit that I am enjoying it! The best part is that I believe that folks who will receive them will enjoy them, too.

Quilter’s Recipe: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

3 11 2008

This is a new “go to” recipe for me. My quilting buddies have enjoyed it and have taken it as their own. I can’t take credit…I found it in Weight Watchers Slow Cooker Recipe Book. It is really flavorful and best of all, it won’t add to your waistline.

Pulled Port Sandwiches

Pork Roast (amount according to family size)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I use a low sugar, but any flavor or brand will do)
1/2 can of diet cola
mince garlic to taste
fajita seasoning (optional…this is a Texas thing!)

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn temperature to low and cook for 6-8 hours. When cookin is complete, run a fork through the roast (it will be very tender) to pull the pieces of meat apart. Place on sugar free buns (Nature’s Own) and serve with broccoli slaw or chips. Yummy!

Houston Quilt Festival: DisneyWorld for Quilters

1 11 2008
I am back in San Antonio after a wonderful trip to the festival. I came home with awesome hand dyed fabric that looks like suede, a new kit for a t-shirt quilt, threads, battings, gadgets from Gadget Girls and, generally a new education on the latest trends.

I felt the new soy batting from Mountain Mist. It is SOOO soft and will be on my list to buy when it officially becomes available in January. I also love the new edition of Accucut…that will also be available in January and that, I hope, will be my Christmas present.

I have pictures of the winning quilts as well as of the Best of Show Winner, Sharon Schamber. I met her at the Purple Daisies booth. What a lovely lady and very innovative both in her work and how she teaches techniques.  You will notice a picture that shows some of the vendors from the 3rd floor of the convention center. The rows are numbered from 100 to 2000 so that should give you an idea of the number of vendors that are present at this event. One other wonderful exhibit was the DAR quilts. Pictures were not allowed but I can tell you that the quilts were from the 18th and 19th century and one of the quilts that I particularly loved was a Baltimore Album that looked like the quilting was about 18-22 stitches to the inch and was done yesterday. It was unbelievable.

I hope you enjoy the pictures; Houston is a “must see” for any quilter.