Saturday, April 11, 2015

EQ Academy 2015!

Today wrapped up Electric Quilt's first EQ Academy training seminar held in Perrysburg, Ohio.  There were two sessions for EQ7 and one sessions for EQStitch. Each session included 3-days of hands-on instruction.  So much fun!!
EQ Academy 2015 was held at Bowling Green State University
building at Levis Commons in Perrysburg, Ohio

I attended the EQ Stitch session which was taught by educator Yvonne Menear.  Yvonne had prepared over 170+ pages for our handout.  Lots of information to cover in 3 days.

Topics covered in our EQ Stitch class included learning the tools of the Stitchings work table, the many ways a task may be done in EQ, looking at our work with a critical eye to refine it for the best results, creating your own appliqué, using photos with your stitchings, and even designing stitchings for simple in-the-hoop projects.

The Electric Quilt company provided boxed lunches for us each day, along with light snacks and drinks during the day.  Last evening, we were treated to a catered dinner and short lectures from each of three EQ Academy educators: Yvonne, Mary Ellen Kranz and Barb Vlack. The lectures were fun and informative. Nice door prizes were given away as well.

EQ Academy attendee Goodie Bag
A bit of excitement was had this week in Perrysburg as bad weather came through on Thursday.  The sky was not looking good, and an alert popped up on my phone indicating a tornado warning for the area with advice to seek shelter.  I had never seen an alert like that before, nor have I ever been in an area where tornados occur.  As I was wondering if it should be taken seriously, the hotel alarm sounded for everyone to evacuate to the cement stairwells to wait out the storm.  Tornados had been spotted in our area, but thankfully the storm passed our hotel area without incident.  We stepped outside as the rain and hail subsided to watch the storm clouds roll away.
The calm behind the storm.

Our class was a lot of fun.  Definitely learned a lot and would recommend this to others who really want to get the most out of their EQ software program.
EQ Academy's charter EQ Stitch class.

Yvonne was a great instructor with in-depth knowledge on how to get the most out of EQ Stitch.  She has published an EQ Stitch book for the company as is currently teaching EQ Stitch classes online at EQ University.  I have taken her intro to EQ Stitch class online already.  I also have her book - but have to admit that I have not read it yet - it is on my To-Do List!  Definitely would recommend her classes to others.
Me & Yvonne at dinner.  :-)

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chemo Bag Covers - How to

Our local warrior, young Mathias Giordano, passed away this past December, on December 7, 2014.  He is missed tremendously.  His smiling face, grace, dignity and giving spirit have been an inspiration to all who came in contact with Mathias and his family.

One of the many things that Mathias inspired others to do was to sew chemo bag covers.   A small cotton cover, made from bright fabric is a simple way to lighten the spirit of someone who may not want to see their chemo product.  We have hosted a few sit-n-sew events to make these coves to donate to our local hospitals and clinics.

Mathias, some chemo bag covers, chemo product and a cover in use.
I posted instructions a year ago, and am happy to share them again:
  • Cut the fabrics 11"L x 9"W and pair them (for a front and a back to the bag).  Pay attention if the fabric has a directional print - cut it so the design is straight up with a portrait orientation rather than sideways or upside-down.  
  • Darker, brighter color fabrics are preferred, so the chemo product cannot be seen through the fabric when hung on the IV pole.
  • You can print the directions here.   (The instructions do not indicate a seam allowance, but based on a sample bag I had, I used 1/4" seams.)
A pair of 11" x 9" fabric

Fold over the short sides of the fabric 1/4 inch and stitch down.

Attach a Team Mathias label to the front cover fabric (if done for Team Mathias).

Lay the two fabrics right-sides together.
Leave about a 3" opening in the center of the top of the cover.
Pin to mark the opening.

Stitch from the pin to the corner and down the side edge.
Repeat for other side.
Leave the bottom edge open.

Turn out, iron smooth, and you're done!

You can also make these chemo bag covers to donate to your local hospital/clinic near you.  It's an easy way to make a child's day a little brighter.  You can use non-child print fabric for adults as well.

To read more about Mathias, visit the Team Mathias page on Facebook, or Mathias Giordano on CaringBridge.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Sewing Guild Retreat

Last month finished in a blur.  So much to do before summer ends and school starts.
For one weekend in August, I got to attend my sewing guild's Taste of Retreat.  It was local, so I did not have to stay at the hotel, but I did get to enjoy three full days of fun and friendship with sewing friends.

Glance across one half of the room.

I spent most of the weekend embroider-quilting my quilt that I started last year.  It took a long time, but I got it done.  I'll add a post about it soon.
I shared a table space with a new friend, Johanna.  :-)

Checking out new fabrics.

I spent the entire weekend doing embroidery.  First up was a stack of shirts to have the Montessori school label done.  I have cut back on doing these, so these were the last ones.
My table space.

A cooler bag for a friend.

A backpack for my daughter.

A set of dish cloths for my sister.

Quilting my quilt using embroidery.  More on this soon!  :-)
Happy Stitching!!

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Crafty One?? Plastic Canvas Club

My 7-year-old trying a latch-hook craft

So I convinced my friend Sherry to try the Plastic Canvas Club-of-the-Month program through Mary Maxim with me.   I enjoy doing plastic canvas crafts, and I know she likes them too.  This week, I started working on August's craft.  It is a lighthouse-motif Welcome sign.

Love when my package comes in the mail!

Canvas cut.

Last night, when I started stitching some white long stitches, my 7-year-old daughter starts watching me and offers to help.  I show her how to follow a color chart, and make long stitches.  She loved it!  She wanted to do more, but it was getting late.

Work in progress with my daughter's help...

First thing this morning, she is in my room, asking to do some more stitches.  I told her I would find her a project she can work on.  I found a latch hook kit in my project stash.  I figure the repetitive hooking-action is something she can master, and the printed canvas along with the color chart will make it easy to follow.

Happy to craft - still in her PJs.  :-)

She is so excited!  She is quite content to sit and craft for a while.   Maybe I have another crafty one?  Time will tell, but I'm glad to see her interest.  After she finished her first row across her project, she sighs and says "Only 66 more rows to go!"  Spoken like a true crafter.  ;-)

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Annie's Mystery Quilt Block 4

It has been a while since I finished the fourth book in the Annie's Quilted Mysteries Book Club, titled Broderie Curse.  I am just now getting a chance to blog about it.

Each book in the series includes a block for a mystery sampler quilt.  The first three blocks include:
  1. Friendship Star block.  
  2. Raven  
  3. Roman Tiles
The last book in the series will also include finishing instructions to create a mystery quilt designed by the series' characters, Cotton & Grace.

The fourth block is called Castle Block with a Finished Block Size of 12"x12".

This block uses four colors:  two lights, one medium and one dark.  I auditioned similar fabrics from the first three blocks in Electric Quilt again.  I decided to go with the yellow for my light color, along with a new large pink floral print as my second light fabric.  I used the green for my medium and blue again for my dark color.
Fabric choices for block 4

If you want to make your own Castle block, here is my rotary cutting printout from EQ for this block.

EQ7 Version of my Castle Block

Pieces cut.

Small units sewn together.

Rows ready for piecing.

Castle Block done.

Here are my first four blocks for this mystery quilt.  It feels very much like a Spring quilt.  :-)

Roman Tiles

I finished the book and made this block before summer started, so several more books have come in since then, and I need to get caught up!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Some Beach Embroidery

We're getting ready for our annual group trip with friends from our college days.  This is my 20th consecutive trip with these guys!  Twenty years ago, we were all single and no kids.  Time has passed and we've all grown in many ways.  Our group this year is 11 adults and 12 growing kids.    

I wanted to embroider a little something for everyone this trip.  Thought a cooler bag would be handy at the beach, so I picked up these 12-Can Cooler bags at Five Below.

 My crafty daughter helped design the embroidery using Brother Embroidery Lettering Software.

I used a stick-and-tear-away stabilizer in the hoop, and placed the bag so the top could fit under the needle and stick in place.   The cooler has thick insulation so you have to watch it to sure the embroidery stitches without a problem. 

First bag done.

I did go through a few embroidery needles as they would occasionally break during this stitching.  But, I was able to complete all of the bags. Each bag took about 45 minutes to stitch.

A Cooler for All!


While I was in embroidery-mode, I pulled out a large, plain, quilted blanket I picked up on clearance a while back.   I had wanted to personalize this for ourselves to use at the beach or wherever.  So we got that design done. My daughter helped design this one too.  We used the Brother software again to get the lettering in a circle-format.

I used a Badgemaster heavy-weight water-soluble stabilizer in the hoop for this project.  Did a basting stitch around the design first to hold the blanket to the stabilizer as well.

I'm ready for the beach!!  Now I just have to pack.  :-)

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

International Quilt Festival Chicago 2014

I was with my family for vacation in Chicago a few weeks ago.  The 2014 International Quilt Festival/Chicago was being held the same week we were in town.    I made a point to take a morning off to visit the show.

The show was huge and amazing!

I forgot to bring my real camera, so had to settle for using my cell phone.  The pics don't do the quilts justice.

Here are some of my favorite quilts on display:
Forest of Life

Gorsuch Family Quilt Circa 1840 Revisited
I aspire to do a Baltimore quilt one day. Hope it will look this good. 
First Baltimore

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul

Bless My Sweet Home

My favorite vendors too:

HandiQuilter had a huge booth. Demo of Sweet 16 in a new HQ Hideaway table.

A familiar face!  Carly Mul from my local quilt shop, WebFabrics, was at the show too!

I spent a several hours at the show, but it wasn't enough time to visit all of the exhibits.  I did enjoy the time I could spend there.  

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