A Quilt With a Purpose… I Think

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This quilt was made for a reason.  I just don’t really know what it is.  The quilt isn’t finished, but you can read about it here.

 

 

 

Published by Caron Mosey at Michigan Quilts! 2010

Ipod Disaster Remedy

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ipod

Have you ever had your computer crash, and lost your iTunes in the process?  My hubby’s died last November.  We had to take it to the computer doctor (to whom we will never go back) who proceeded to wipe it clean of everything, and oh, forgot to save his iTunes library. 

Today, we finally restored his iTunes to his computer, half a year later.  The songs were on his iPod, so he could still listen to them (all 28 days worth), but he couldn’t add any new music to it. Should you ever have this problem, I strongly recommend using iGadget software, which you can download from the Internet.  It was SO easy to use!!!

I finished the August calendar block today, and I love it!  It just might be my favorite so far!  You’ll see it in a few days… I’m working on the directions.

Hope you had a great weekend! 

It’s almost time to ASK!

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Be thinking of some questions you have about quilting!  On the 10th of every month, Michigan Quilts! will post a Question and Answer session featuring questions YOU have about quilting.  Your hostess, Caron (that would be me) will try to answer the best she can, but will hand off to other experts if need be.  So between now and July 10th, send your questions to Caron by emailing her at:

Caron Mosey at gmail dot com

Take out the spaces and put the symbols where they go in the email address

Questions

Two Different Styles of Quilt Teachers: Which Do You Like Best?

Ask yourself this question:

Why do people take quilt classes?

Is it because they…

A) Like to learn new techniques to help them become better quilters

or

B) Have a desire to be around quilty people and be entertained?

Before I begin, let me get this out in the open so that it is already discussed and we can put it past us.  I firmly believe that it is possible to want to do both.  And I believe that a good teacher… a really good teacher… is capable of teaching new techniques effectively in an entertaining manner.    There.  That’s done.

yelbar Now, really, think about it.  If you go to any quilt class you will see people from both sides of this discussion.   You will see A) people who really are serious about learning a new technique and want to incorporate that learning into their quilting, and B) people who really don’t care what they learn as long as they are entertained by joking, laughing, giggly, goofy quilt instructors. 

teacher-image1 Are you a quilt instructor?  If so, it’s important that you understand that within your classroom, wherever that may be, you WILL have people attending who seriously are there to learn.  They have paid good money that they may have saved a long, long time, and they are serious about their financial commitment.  They will have a notebook with them to take copious notes.  They may sit as close to you as they possibly can, so as not to miss a single word you say.  They will have their camera at hand to take photos of you demonstrating techniques.  They’re probably not as likely to take cute photos of classmates or hand their camera to someone else to get their picture taken with you.  Their goal is knowledge, and you better give it to them.  Lots of it!

Also in your class, you will have students who really believe you are a teacher-image3 comedian.  That’s what they want when they come.  They love quilters and anything quilty.  They want to talk fabric, four-patch quilts, and whatever “flavor of the month” pattern is circulating around the Internet and LQS (Local Quilt Shop).  They expect jokes.  They expect silliness.  They are counting on you to be on your best performance in the classroom.  They have a bag of sewing supplies, but their goal really is a good, funny, social atmosphere for their day/evening/week away.  And you better give it to them. Lots of it. 

expertI’m going to sneak one other person into the mix, just because.    Just because, while you will have both the serious learners and the giggly girls in your group, you are almost always guaranteed one person in the room who knows more than you.  That person will keep you hopping.  S/he will explain to everyone other techniques that might (in his or her opinion) work better than the one you are demonstrating.  S/he will talk about different types of fabrics, where to buy them cheaper, what the other teachers’ philosophies are, and yank your conversation out from under your chin before you can even say “whole cloth trapunto quilt.” 

If you’re a quilt instructor, spend some time before your next class planning for these two-plus-one more scenarios.  A good teacher always prepares well in advance, not just for the lesson itself, but for possible behavioral issues that may arise.  Behavior problems aren’t exclusive to children.  Adults are just children with more practice. 

Too much preparation is a very good thing.

Caron Mosey, Ed.S.

Caron is a former K-12 classroom teacher, elementary principal and university instructor.  She has taught quilting nation-wide, including several years at the AQS shows in Paducah.  

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Published by Caron Mosey at Michigan Quilts! Copyright 2010

Make the most of your time

Do you have problems being productive?

I’m amazed when I surf through blogs and see the amount of projects some people are able to accomplish.  Here are some suggestions to boost your productivity and squeeze more into your day.

  • Get up earlier and start working.  Author Nikki Arana http://www.nikkiarana.com/ and I emailed back and forth a few years ago, and I learned that she is up before the birds, sitting in front of her computer writing.  By the time her husband and family are up, she’s put in 3-4 hours of undisturbed work time.  This doesn’t work for everyone, but you can see the dedication shelist has for her writing. 
  • Keep a list of your projects.  I keep my list on iGoogle.com,  but you can keep yours anywhere that works for you.  I find that by really limiting my list, I stay more focused.  I will not let myself add a new project to the list until something that is already on the list is completed and crossed off.  This really seems to work for me.
  • Bear's Paw Prepare ahead.  During the last year of my mother’s life, I spent a lot of time by her side.  I had prepared ziplock bags ahead of time.  Each bag had precut pieces for one scrappy Bear’s Paw quilt block.  I made sure I always had a bag with me, and DSC03599
  • inside the bag I would tuck a smaller ziplock bag with a few pins, needle, thread, thimble and  scissors.  Whenever I visited mom, at home, in the hospital or later in her hospice room, I could sit and sew while we talked.  Whenever I’d finish a block, she wanted to touch it, look at it, and rub it on her cheek.   That is a special quilt for me now that mom is gone.
  • Establish goals for yourself.  I wanted to force myself to try new things and be more productive, so last fall I decided to do the Block-of-the-month calendar.  That decision has forced me to produce something new every month for one year. While it’s been stressful at times, it has also helped me complete something every 30 days. 
  • Don’t watch television without something to do on your lap.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a sewing or knitting project or a laptop computer… if you’re going to sit in front of the T.V., multi-task!
  • Keep your main sewing area neat and tidy.  Do as I say, not as I do.  If mine were neater, I would get more done.  Trust me. 

How do you stay productive?  Share your ideas with us by leaving a comment below.

 

Published by Caron Mosey at Michigan Quilts! 2010

A little of this, a little of that

Karen Ann Buckley has a beautiful post on her blog that includes photographs from her trip to Charlevoix, Michigan.  She even has a photo taken on the channel of the condo my parents used to own.  I love the Charlevoix area… and all of northern Michigan.  If it weren’t for the tons of snow in the winter, you could easily persuade me to move up there.  Thanks for the pictures, Karen!  DSC03585

Would you believe I have never taken a quilt class before?  Oh, I’ve taught lots of classes, but never TAKEN one.  I had an opportunity to take a class with quilt portrait specialist Aniko Feher on Monday, and I loved it!    She taught us the basic methods of shading, positioning, shading with watercolor pencils and so much more.  I learned a lot and brought my little sample class projecthome to finish it.  I’m going to do a second portrait using my mother’s photo, and I’m excited about that.  Thanks for the class, Aniko!

Don’t forget about the giveaway at Michigan Quilts! 

The drawing in July 4th, so you have a few weeks left to enter.

Medallion Quilts: Lots of Links

Quilts 015 I have always loved medallion quilts, but until the last year, never attempted one.  Until “Wedding Medallion in Blue.”  There is a good description of medallion quilts on Womenfolk.com that provides lots of details.

Quilts 024 I have a lot of respect for the makers of medallions.  As described on Womenfolk, “Although the centers of many medallion quilts were exquisite, just as fascinating are the numerous styles seen in the multiple borders on these quilts.”  While I loved doing the design and appliqué on the center of the quilt (the focal point), it was the borders that took the longest to make.  Each border had to be measured precisely, and the blocks designed to wrap the corners perfectly.  One little goof in the math and you’re done!

I should mention the center portion where the appliqué is.  I wanted something feathery, yet didn’t know exactly what.  Then one day at work I was looking for a piece of clipart for something I was writing and came across these feathers.  In clipart form, they measured about 1.5 inches long.  But with a copy machine you can blow them up to any size.   I enlarged them a little, then adjusted the pattern the way I wanted it.  When I had the design I liked, I then blew them up even larger.  Voila!  Patterns for the appliqué’ were made, and the stitching began.  I love how they turned out!

Moral of the story:  Microsoft can be a designer’s best friend.

Here are some links to other medallion quilts:

Mariner’s Medallion

Antique English Medallion

Washington Medallion Quilt

Flower Basket Medallion Quilt

American Eagle Medallion Quilt

Hedgehog’s Medallion

Have you made a medallion quilt?   Share a link to a picture of it.  We’d all like to see more!

Wedding Medallion in Blue

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“Wedding Medallion in Blue”

60 inches square

Hand applique’, machine pieced, hand quilted 2009-2010 by Caron Mosey as a gift for the wedding shower for Margaret Carson and Loren Mosey.  Shower held at Domino Farms, Ann Arbor, MI, June 12, 2010.  Note:  Shower entertainment included belly dancers and lessons for the ladies in the bridal party!  Lots of fun!

Setting Up Your Own Quilting Business

BlueLily

Have you given any thought to setting up your own quilting business?

Whether you are thinking about setting up a small business for a machine quilting service, a business featuring your own quilting designs for sale, or a shop that sells quilting fabric and notions for sale online, there are so many different factors to consider that it can make your head spin.

There is no short supply, either, of home-based quilting businesses.  All you have to do is open any of the many quilting magazines and look at the back section of advertising to see the vast array of business owners trying to make a living in the quilt world.  And, with each business goes thousands of hours and even more dollars invested.  Before you invest any money, invest your time doing the research.

When I think of a quilting business,  I think fabric.  Fabric is the life-blood of the quilter.  Without fabric, where are we?  There are so many online fabric shops – yet the one that I always seem to turn to is eQuilter.com. eQuilter DSC03305has grown from a small business to now having a 15,000 sq ft warehouse full of fabric.  15,000 square feet!  That’s huge! To get some idea of the workings behind the scene, visit their About page and do some reading.

DSC01989Are you thinking about selling quilting patterns?  Whenever I think about looking for quilting designs, I go to Quilter’s Cache. Quilter’s Cache is a great, free site with hundreds of patterns for quilt blocks that are free.  There are also patterns you can purchase, and it is the advertising and sale of patterns that helps her make money from Marcia’s site.  Because the site is a gift of love, Marcia has set up a donation button to help fund the free patterns.

Any home-based quilting business will require:

  • initial financial stash
  • advertising and promotion – good photos are critical, as is someone to design your marketing for you
  • a good website designed by someone who knows what they’re doing
  • product – what are you going to sell?
  • labor – who will do the work?  If you pay others, you need more money.  If you do it yourself, you need more time!
  • Space – will you work in your basement, dining room, attic, spare bedroom or do you need to buy or rent real estate?
  • 48 hour days

The main thing you need to be successful in any quilting business is time for research.  Do your due diligence.  Here are three sites to get you started: