Monthly Archives: September 2010

Class with Terry White

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Terry White speaking to Empire Quilt Guild (NYC) on Sept 11

I am very fortunate to be a member of Empire Quilt Guild in New York City, a large guild that brings in excellent speakers. Terry White was the speaker at our Saturday meeting, and then gave a workshop the following day (which I also attended).

This was a perfect workshop for me. Lots of playing with threads, couching, and bobbin work. Best of all, Terry has created a method of adding beads to the top of a quilt using the sewing machine. Basically, you move string the beads to a thread, move the beads to the side, and then couch the threads. She has written a couple of books on her methodology and I won’t attempt to describe it here. It takes some practice, but it’s very do-able and ultimately a lot faster than applying beads by hand.

She’s a very nice lady and great teacher. I was fortunate that there were just four of us in the class, so it was a great day with lots of personal attention. I’d highly recommend taking a class from Terry.

I have a small Janome machine that I use for classes. I used the machine exclusively for six months, and have taken dozens of classes with it. Terry was the only person who realized that I’ve been putting my bobbin in backwards. Oops! Anyway … she’s got a great knowledge of machines on top of her sewing skills.

Pig Quilt

Ricky Tims Seminar

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Libby Lehman, Alex Anderson & Ricky Tims on Stage

Ricky Tims has a unique approach to teaching quilting — nothing hands-on. No sewing machine. No fabric. No thread. Just 2.5 days of listening and lectures. And you have to wonder how effective it is. Well here’s the truth — it is VERY effective.

Each 2-hour lecture covers a different topic and/or style of quilting. All lectures are informative and entertaining. You can see the sewing part on the big screen via a camera aimed at the BERNINA sewing machine (yes, they are all Bernina fans and you will get several Bernina testimonials throughout the event). There is a fabulous book that goes along with the course … so you have all the information with you at home.

All three lecturers bring something different to the seminar. Ricky has a gentle spirit and is a man of great humility. You can tell that he has an artistic gift and that he feels the need to share it. He brings his quilts to the seminar, including his very first quilt — and proudly points out the mismatches and errors in his piecing. Ricky is a man who inspires you to believe that you can, with enough practice, do anything.

Libby Lehman is hilarious. Also an incredibly talented artist, she missed her calling as a standup comic. I would consider her quilts to be art quilts, and she admits that quilting is just an excuse for her to work with threads.

Alex Anderson is the traditionalist of the bunch. She is the hand quilter and her quilts are also exquisite. Alex was the kind of person you can imagine who would be the perfect quilting teacher — patient, sweet, but with a great sense of humor as well.

All in all, I can’t say enough good things about this seminar. I learned a lot. There were a couple of times that Ricky went too fast and lost me … but I can figure it out with the help of my book (which I haven’t had a chance to look at since the seminar). It was inspiring and fun!

Ricky (with the help of Libby) showing his kalaidescope quilting technique.

Ricky's Christmas tree quilt (I love this one!)

Why I Love Outback Steakhouse

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Our waiter, Matthew

Just as a disclaimer, I don’t work for Outback, nor do I have any financial interest in the company. But I still sing it’s praises.

For one thing … they were one of the first companies to have a gluten-free menu. Being that I have celiac disease and cannot eat any gluten, I have been a loyal Outback customer for almost a decade solely for their gluten-free menu. (Plus their food is delicious!).

Plus their serving staff are awesome. Here’s our server in Cape Cod, Mass.last month¬† during Hurricane Earl. I love their horseradish sauce, but it was no longer on the menu. However Matthew remembered how to make it and concocted a batch just for me. Thus the picture. Now that’s customer service!

Psssttt … Outback staff … this boy deserves a bonus!

Why I haven’t been blogging

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Pumpkin Patch on Long Island!

My last post was July 2nd and it’s now almost the end of September. So where have I been?

Well … I’ve been to several quilt shows. The Hershey Quilt Show in Pennsylvania. The World Quilt Show (New England) in New Jersey. The Ricky Tims seminar in Cape Cod. And, this past week, Innovations 2010 in Tacoma, Washington. I also took several classes at my local quilt shop.¬† And I fit in three day-long classes from two awesome national teachers. So lots and lots of quilting.

But the big news was my decision to purchase a longarm quilting machine (an A1) and start my own business. This has required some major renovations to our home to make room for our new addition, which is about 6′ by 12′. We’ve been closing in walls and cutting holes in other walls, adding doors, and moving furniture. This process has not gone quickly. My longarm machine was slated to arrive two weeks ago and I postponed it until next week, hoping that we’d have space cleared and painted … that’s not going to happen so I’m just going to take delivery so I can practice and I’ll let the environment develop as time permits.

I’ll share more about my quilting adventures in the next few weeks. I must also say that there’s a fair bit of paperwork with starting a business. With my last business (16 years ago), the economy was better and there were more people around for hand-holding. Now it seems everything is online and you just figure it out for yourself!

We also spent a week in Ontario, Canada on vacation with my family. My kids are back at school, and we started our 7th year home schooling. I also got to experience shingles for a miserable three weeks of my life this August. Not recommended, in case anybody was considering it.

Anyway, I’m happy to be back blogging. Writing is my second favorite activity (next to quilting).