Monday, January 27, 2014

Man Quilters!!!

So, there is something going on in quilting right now...it is not a completely new phenomenon, we have all heard of Ricky Tims -  http://www.rickytims.com/, and Jamie Wallen -  http://www.jamiewallen.com/jamiewallen/Welcome.html etc., but it seems to be going more mainstream!!!!  I discovered it this summer, right after I opened the new studio for Liz B. Quilting, when a man came in and asked me to quilt for him.  He was with his wife and just like a used car sales man, I kept trying to talk to her, so she let me know in no uncertain terms that it was HIS quilt and to talk to HIM!  Cool!  Especially when you see how his quilt looked...


I know right?!!!  It was his first quilt and not only is it crazy hard, but it is a signature quilt as well for one of his nieces...What???

At the Grand Opening of Liz B. Quilting new studio a man came in and said he was a quilter...I said great.  It was/is amazing because he is also a Vietnam Vet...he used to be a mason and now quilts to stay young in the mind!  He has since brought me probably 10 quilts, they are all huge and he donates them all to Wounded Warriors.  They are all his own designs (not that they are not already done, but he doesn't use a pattern, just figures it out).  Here are some of his latest creations...



Next thing you know a guy (who also came to the Grand Opening) comes in and wants to take the beginning quilting class...he takes and does such an AWESOME job!  He started to make a quilt for his Mother-in-Law's church...should have taken a picture of that when he was coming in for open sew.  Here is his beginning quilting class top...


Next thing you know another man shows up for my Spring Bed Runner Class with his wife...he finishes his whole bed runner in one after noon!  He then proceeded to go home and piece a crazy hard chain pattern that I can't seem to get off my phone.  He used strip piecing and chain piecing methods all by himself  What???


And then this morning...this one shows up!  This one was made by a retired Marine who has a mini museum in his basement and is going to put this on the bed down there...then, he is going to make his new grand-baby girl a pink one like this...What???  He designed it himself and even is letting me borrow the pattern (that he designed on Power Point) for my hubby's retirement quilt...(don't read this honey : D). 


As if that isn't impressive enough...he mitered his corners!!!


This is so exciting!  I am loving these Man Quilters!!!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Christmas Blog

I know that I am woefully late with this blog, but it is such a great story I have to share no matter how late : D...

A few months ago I had a customer come in and ask if I could sew some blocks together for her.  I said, of course I would be happy to do it.  Then, she showed me the blocks...they were beautiful red, green, tan and cream sampler blocks.  They were very hard blocks to make...Dresden Plate, Tumbling Blocks, Appliqué Hearts, Grandmother's Flower Garden, Turkey Tracks - all the usual suspects...AND they were all hand pieced!  They were done very well with lots of room for seam allowance without losing ANY points.  We decided that they couldn't be just sewn together that they needed sashing and cornerstones...a few of the blocks were smaller than the others, so we would put frames around those to make them a little bigger...



So, I had to ask her what was the story of the blocks...and what she told me warmed my heart and I want to share the story with you.   

It turns out 20 years ago she had a very good friend and they started quilting together.  They had made these blocks together and these were her friends.  They were teachers together here in Stafford and her friend had been very meticulous about putting these blocks together.  She further explained that quilting wasn't her thing and she had since had 5 kids and here just wasn't time for her to do them. 

So, I asked her how did she end up with the blocks...she stated that her friend had passed away of cancer and that she had had these blocks for 19 years...and she wanted to get them put together and quilted to give it to one of their very good mutual friends.  This just warmed my heart and I couldn't wait to get started!  

Here is a picture of what it looked like when we it was finished.  She was thrilled and I am so happy to say that her friend loved it too!  She wrote to me afterward and let me know that her friend was very surprised and very happy to have it.  I love my job!!!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Thanksgiving Blog...

I wake up in the morning and I cannot believe that this is my life…  I tried to think up the things I am thankful for and it was impossible!  I am thankful for EVERYTHING!  I am first thankful to God and then to my husband who stands with me in the wonderful life that I get live and my family who made me who I am…my Mother especially without whom I would not be strong; determined nor capable as I am today. 

I am thankful for my home, the good food I can afford, the nice clothes I can wear, the ability to buy whatever I want (and the blessing that I do not want too much to be happy).  I am thankful for my health.  I am thankful I am an American and that I have The Bill of Rights and freedom.  I am thankful for all the men and women who defend freedom for me. 

I am thankful for my son. I love that I was allowed to be a Mother and that my son is happy and healthy.  I am thankful for all that he teaches me daily and that I am allowed to teach him too. 

I am thankful for my business that allows me to make people happy; be creative; to be in charge of my own destiny (to a degree) and to make money. It is everything that I have always wanted in a “job/career”.

I am thankful for my maturity, my inner contentment, peace and happiness.  I am happy for the most part all of the time. 

 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cool quilt! No, didn't make it...so cool!!! He was a tractor puller and these are his ribbons...I wish I made it!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Spa Treatment for Bella

A few weeks ago, it was time to do some maintenance on Bella (my 12' frame and 26' sew head with Autopilot).  I call this giving her the "Spa Treatment".  I love the Innova because it is so easy to do this "spa treatment" and it makes her so happy! 

First you get some rubbing alcohol and some cotton swabs...


Then you dip the cotton swab into the alcohol and wipe all the white wheels on the carriage...


Then, put some alcohol on a paper towel and wipe off the tracks on the carriage and the frame...

 
Then, wet a cotton swap with alcohol and wipe off the encoders...
 
 
You might notice that there is thread in your wheels (I had some after almost 3 years of use)...

 
You can easily take the wheels off by putting some books under your carriage, loosen the bolt (paying attention to the order that the bolt, washer etc. go together when you take it out) take out the bold and take off the wheel, to get the thread out.  Then, put the bolt assembly back together and tighten it back up.
 
 

If you have an autopilot, you might want to check where the belts go around the pulleys at the end and under the sew head...(be very careful not to pinch your fingers).  If you grab the thread and move the sew head it will come right out.

Bella is so very happy now!  However, the coolest thing is - even with all this thread in the wheel, and lint on the wheels, she still stitched beautiful!!!