April Update

I have not written lately and have a thousand reasons why! Seems that my goals for the year have partly been put on hold. My choices of priorities have gotten in the way of some of my goals. My choices though.

I have been spending time redoing my raised bed area by the sewing cottage. (Her name is Ruby Jane’s Cottage). The entire previous area where the cottage now sits used to be by garden area. Since gardening is also in my blood, I have been developing that area.

I decided to start my garden seeds again this year. First time in about five years.

I have started getting weekly fruits and veggies to improve my eating habits. I get them from Bountiful Baskets, a huge amount for next to nothing.

This has started me dehydrating fruits again! Apples, bananas, and pineapples are at the top of my list right now.

With Ruby Jane finally getting finished, I needed to take some time to move into her space with all of my sewing items.

My girls are never far away!

I have been working on the yard to get it ready for spring and summer. I need to have it ready so when I decide to travel, everything is taken care of and I can go without worry.

I needed to go to LA this March. My daughter had surgery and I flew down to help her and her husband as much as I could.

She is doing much better finally and I am so thankful! It is very difficult when your child is in pain and you cannot take it away.

I have been teaching at Cindy’s Quilt Shop so that is one of my goals I am obtaining. I hope to continue to teach as I enjoy it tremendously.

I will end this post with the last quilt I completed.

Hopefully my photos will continue to get better. At least this one does not have the tips of my shoes. Take care and love each other. To love is one of those blessings available to each of us.

Sue

New Year – New Goals

It is always great to have a fresh start!  A new year is a perfect time is look at what needs to be better in the months to come.  It is a perfect time to think about changes personally and professionally.

I have gradually started going through my attic and am clearing out space.  Items I no longer want to keep, I am listing on Facebook and have started a travel fund for this year.  Goal # 1 – Travel more!  See more sites!  Go places I love. Go places I have never been before.

Goal # 2 – Work smarter, not harder!  I need more playtime with my friends and family, as well as me time.  I want to enjoy each day, smiling and laughing.  That being said, I plan on setting aside time for my own projects.  I love quilting for others, but I have projects of my own that I hope to begin, work on, and hopefully complete.

Goal #3 – I hope to have a vendor booth at a few shows this year.  I am not sure which places I will be yet, I am working on that the next couple of weeks.  I will keep you updated as I know more.

This quilt is called Cabin at the Lake.  It is a block of the month class I will be teaching at Cindy’s Quilt Shop, in Caldwell, Idaho, this year.

This quilt is called Atlantis.  It is also a block of the month class I will be teaching at Cindy’s Quilt Shop in Caldwell, Idaho.

Goal #4 – Teach again!  It has been a few years since I was actively teaching quilting classes. I am diving in, starting in February, to teach two block of the month classes, one advanced quilting class and a series of strip mystery quilts.  I will be teaching these classes at Cindy’s Quilt Shop in Caldwell, Idaho.  If you are interested in any of these classes, go to Cindy’s website to get more information on the classes, as well as sign up.  I hope I get to connect with old friends and new ones in these classes.

Goal #5 – Photos and Videos

I have tried to take photos of all the quilts I have made and all the quilts I have worked on for clients.  Most photos have been taken on the floor in my living room.  Many photos show the tips of my shoes at the bottom of the photo.  Some photos have been better than others, none have been the best.  I have been doing some studying on ways to improve photos of quilts.  I hope that the photos I take in the future will be better than they have been.

i am also looking at doing some YouTube videos this year as well.  I think this is related to my desire to teach more now.  I have been a teacher all my life and I am really missing it now, so stay tuned!

So here is the last photo of the tips of my shoes that I hope to share with you.  I took this after a long day that had started very, very early.  I am not a morning person and this photo clearly shows this.  I spent the entire day with two different shoes.  (Ha, ha, ha! Ya gotta laugh at yourself sometimes!)

Listened to a great music duo tonight (Blaze and Kelly).  They were so GOOD!  Great crowd – hey helped me move into this new year with fabulous music!  Enjoy this new year, enjoy the music, and definitely remember to be grateful for the blessings you have!

sue

Merry Christmas

I am not sure where this last year has gone, but it flew by too quickly!  Seems as though the years get shorter and shorter as each one passes.  For me, it means I need to spend more time each day paying attention to the greatness in my life.

I am so blessed to have the friends and family that I do!  Not many can say how loved they feel by those around them!  I definitely feel loved!

When my daughter was married, she and her now husband picked out fabric to be made into cloth napkins for the dinner at their wedding. After the wedding, I gathered the napkins, washed them, and used them to make a wedding quilt for her and her husband.  The backing of the quilt was made of fabric squares their guests signed and decorated.  Quotes, hopes and wishes for the couple were also added to the squares. This was the “guestbook” at their wedding.  It took me far longer to make their quilt than I wanted, but I was able to finally hand deliver it to them.

 

 

Here are a couple of the closeups of the custom quilting:

 

 

Here are are a couple close up pictures of the back of the quilt:

 

My darling daughter is snuggled under the quilt:

 

 

I was also finally able to finish a t-shirt quilt for my son.  These are from t-shirts he gave me several years ago.  (Don’t want to rush through projects!)

I am looking at new directions for 2018.  It is time for a bit of a change for me and my business.  I have been looking at a variety of ideas and am not certain which ones I will adopt this coming year, as yet.  I know I need to change some things so I stay fresh, excited, motivated, and creative during this next year.

I am still going to be longarm quilting for clients, as I really enjoy this part of my business.  I also know that it is important for me to have a short turn around for my clients as well.  I hope each of you contact me in the next few weeks to secure a time in the calendar for this next year.  I will still fit you in when possible.  Please let me know if you would like a spot for the month of February.

May you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Always count your many blessings!

 

sue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude For Blessings

I love waking early enough to see the light of the day starting with such beauty.  Gratitude for the ability to see and recognize this beauty. 

 

 

It has been leaf season in my world. I have really enjoyed being outside working, breathing fresh air and playing catch with my sweet girl, Aspen, while filling bag after bag of leaves.

First week for leaf collection.

 

 

Second week of collection. Gratitude I have such great shade trees that provide shade and beauty to my yard. More gratitude that I am able to spend great time outside working in my yard. And Aspen loves playing with the leaf scoops and frisbee.

 

 

Finally finished quilting my daughter Kelli and son (in law) Tim’s wedding quilt. Did not want to mail it to them so hand delivered it. Gratitude to be able to see them, spend time with them, and feel loved with my family.

 

 

The back of the quilt has the signed wishes, hopes, and advice for the their marriage and love for each other. Took me longer to make than I had anticipated, but am ecstatic with the look and feel of such a quilt to wrap them up in huge love from their friends and family.

 

Leaving to to take the quilt to them was a bit stressful as I had to be at the airport at 4am.  Once I arrived, having a sign to locate who they were was so helpful!  (They have such a great sense of humor).  I have huge gratitude for the wonderful children I have!

So, I have a day or two before I finish the next client quilt and start on the next project.  Am hoping to change the website a bit so that I can list some items in a shopping area for you (pantographs, pincushions, patterns, etc.).  Hope it will go smoothly.  I am not the best when it comes to technology.  I would rather be Quilting!

My schedule for longarm Quilting is filling for next year.  If you would like something quilted in January, I have one spot available.  Call me and let me know if you would like it.  It is for January 15, 2018……can you believe we are finishing this year already?

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving holiday.  I know that everyone says they are thankful for this or that at this time of year, but I try to be thankful for every day I have.  Some days are better than others, for sure.

In order for me to be thankful, I must recognize ALL the blessings that surround me each day!

sue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Fall

I have had such a busy fall. I have been working on outside projects, trying to get ready for winter. Seems like I have been blessed with good weather to get a lot accomplished.

I have a small orchard (actually had) on the side of my house. I have taken out all but one apple tree. I have removed the raspberry and blueberry bushes. I also had a raised bed that was my herb garden that I removed as well. It is so shaded now as the neighbor’s oak tree has grown more and more each year.

I also moved all my gardening items from a small shed and sold the shed. I removed rocks and smoothed out the ground, so the orchard is cleaned up and ready for winter.

I cleaned and stained the deck, fixed outside lights, fixed screens, strung speaker wires and mounted speakers on the deck.

I moved my greenhouse and redid the front landscaping so I could plant garlic, iris, and tulip bulbs. I pulled all my tomato plants from the pots in the front.

I split and stacked 3 1/2 cords of wood. Thank goodness I had help as it was a huge job this year for me. I am ready for nice, warm heat in the wood stove this winter.

I have started the leaf raking but both of my huge trees still are holding bags of leaves waiting to fall. I will probably be raking through November.

A sewing cottage has also been under construction. It is taking forever. I certainly hope it is finished before the snow flies. I will share pictures of the sewing cottage next post.

At the same time of getting all these projects completed, I have been doing quite a few projects for clients.

This great embroidered quilt was very fun to quilt. I enjoyed being able to enhance it with several patterns. I always strive to enhance rather than overtake a quilt. If a client spends time and money making the quilt top, it should still be their quilt you admire. But I always enjoy the creative process of longarm quilting.

I have completed several Tshirt quilts since I last posted. It is always great to see all the different logos on Tshirts that you collected from activities you or your relatives have been involved.

I am booked through the end of December with quilting and Tshirt quilts. If you are interested in securing a spot on my calendar between January and June, send me an email at CrystalVisionQuilting@q.com and I will place you on my calendar. An example would be you would like a spot in April, so email me that is the time you would like. I would place you on the calendar then, remind you two weeks before your time, and try to complete your quilt in a two week turn around time. This has worked well for clients this last year so would like to do this again for 2018.

Wow, can you believe 2017 is rapidly approaching the end? It is definitely flying by!

Until next time, enjoy your family! Be thankful for your friends! Quilt as much as possible and always

Count your blessings!

Sue

Beginning of August – Upcoming Classes

Time marches on and I am beginning to see it even more in the birthdays of my children.  Hard to believe that these darling children have their own lives and are wonderful inside and out.  I only hope that time begins to slow just a bit.  I want to cherish each day and truly be grateful for the time I have with them.  It is hard that they are living in different places, so I am not able to be there for their birthdays but thank goodness for Facetime on my IPad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am so fortunate that my family has always been supportive with my love of All Things Quilting!  Quilt shops, quilt shows, projects completed, projects in process, looking at fabric, choosing fabric: I am supported with my quilting!  How wonderful to share what I do and feel the support!

 

Quilts and quilting is an art and craft that has definitely changed over the last couple of decades.  Moving from an era of hand quilting to an era of machine quilting was not anticipated by most of us, I would guess. Even the world of machine quilting has changed in the last few years.  Regardless of the changes, the basic joy of what quilts and quilting bring to each of us has not changed.

 

As the years pass, my scrap collection has also grown by leaps and bounds.  I have looked at many ways of trying to contain this collection from using baskets, bins, tubs, etc.  I used to dig through the tub looking for the size and colors I needed and it seemed to take forever.  In fact, it took far longer than I wanted to spend, but I felt that I needed to use the scraps first, before I make a trip to the quilt store.

The problem of dealing with scraps needed a solution.  I began to research ways that many quilters organize their scraps.  There must be as many ways as there are quilters! (Ha, ha!).  So . . . . . . . I believe that the scraps must have certain rules to be functioning the best way for their use.

One:  The scrap fabric must be easily accessible.

Two:  It must be organized in a fashion that would be used most often.

Three:  Standard sizes make it easier to use for a variety of projects.

Four:  It does take time to get a handle on your scraps.

One:  I decided that the standby rubbermaid containers would work the best for me.  They come in different sizes, I can see what is inside, I can easily stack them, and I can easily label them.

Two:  I thought about color coordinating the scraps.  I make many scrap quilts and projects and decided that I did not need to color coordinate the scraps.  I can sort through the sizes and pull the colors I needed fairly easily.

Three:  Cutting my scraps into some standard sizes makes it easier to a) find the size in the color I need, b) organize them in containers based on size, c) have many scraps of the same size used in a variety of projects.  I rarely use scraps smaller than 2 1/2″.  I would rather use strips for projects needing that size.  My cut sizes are 3″, 4″, 5″, 6″, 8″, 10″ for squares,  and 2 1/2″, 3 1/2″ strips, and I do not cut everything into smaller pieces.  Sometimes, I keep larger pieces depending on the size.

Four:  I devoted time every day in my sewing room (about 20 minutes) to work on my scrap system.  As I began to cut the pieces and organize them in my bins, I found that the stacks took up far less room than the bunched up scraps.

I will always have scrap fabric, but I do not feel quite so overwhelmed with it. I am also able to use quite a bit of it in my current projects.  I still go to the quilt shop though!

Classes:  I am going to be teaching some classes at Cindy’s Quilt Shop in Caldwell, Idaho this fall.  Keep your eyes open for them.

Cabin by the Lake will be a twelve month BOM using scraps for most of the quilt.

Mystery Stash Buster Strip Quilt Series will be a five month, five quilt series using 2 1/2″ strips.

Advanced Quilting is a class that builds on beginning quilting.

I will post more about these classes as I get them ready to schedule this fall.

 

I do have a couple of longarm quilting spots in September, October, and the first part of November.  Let me know if you would like one of these spots.  (I fill up fast).

Remember to count your blessings!

Sue

 

 

 

End of Graduation Season

The tshirt graduation season is coming to a close.  It
was a very long season this year and I was productive with all the Quilts I completed since January.  Previous posts show some of the Quilts completed.

Each of of them were very different but all were based on a grid system with each block being the same size.  Some blocks contained more than one logo.  This is the last of them!

Whew!  Now I should have time for everything else piling up.  Seems that this time of year is so busy!  I am always saying that I will not fall behind, however, I am on the same swift river as years before.

 

 

Speaking of rivers, we are having an issue with flooding this year.  I needed to get a breath of fresh air so we took a drive up to a small town called Pine, Idaho.

I am so sorry for their flooding difficulties.  Past forest fire issues and now flooding,I hope this tragic situation passes quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The list is long as I move on to the next few projects.  I have been organizing my fabric, cutting and sorting scraps, going through the holding bay (garage area where I have stored my quilting supplies), moved fabric to a storage facility so that the holding bay will be cleaned and everything is in order for the building of the Sewing Cottage.

Of course, I am still quilting so should have some photos available soon on the progress of my projects and of the building of the Sewing Cottage.

My next few writings will be about my thoughts of scrap fabric, scrap Quilts, and organizing those scraps.  Hopefully I will be able to shed some light on this as we all deal with unless we just throw leftover fabric in the garbage bin ( wow, what a terrible image)!

Anyway, glad to have shared a bit with you today and hope to stay in touch.

Remember to to count your blessings!

Sue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quilting Studio Organization

Every year at this time, I get the urge to organize my studio. Spending countless hours on that black hole known as “Pinterest”, I get very motivated, but I am no closer to being organized than if I did nothing. Staying off Pinterest might help. The pictures of these fabulous studios must be of staged, non-working spaces. I do not see how a creative soul can work in a totally organized, labeled, sorted, space with all the fabric in neat stacks that are color coordinated.

All I have to do is walk into my studio and the “tornado winds” hit with full force. My cleaned desk is suddenly piled high. I have several boxes of items to put away. There is not a neat stack of fabric in sight. I have a couple of cups and my lunch dishes precariously balanced on a stack of patterns and books, and it all happens spontaneously.

On the heavy workdays, fabric is everywhere. Unfortunately, my studio containing my longarm named “Crystal Rose” is not the same room as my sewing room. Double the tornados, double the mess seems to be a daily mantra.

I am able to find everything I need right away, I just do not have a beautiful, lovely staged studio and sewing room. They are work areas and I work in them almost daily. I do not have fabric on the floor, but it is in boxes and bins and disheveled stacks.

I wanted to “organize my scraps” during the month of April. To whom was I kidding? Regular yardage needs attention first. However, I read a couple of articles and a couple of books on methods of organizing your scrap fabric. Sounds great for someone who has lots of free time, no yard work, no garden, no garage, no housework, no dogs or cats, and definitely no quilting business!

We are planning on building a Sewing Cottage in the next couple of months so maybe there is hope. I hope to be able to at least post this beautiful space with everything in its place, color coordinated fabric, and darling decorations on the walls (might happen once when I first move into the Sewing Cottage). After that, it becomes a working space once again.

Speaking of working: here are a couple of tshirt Quilts made for clients.

Gus’ tshirt quilt

Wendy’s tshirt quilt

Ryan’s tshirt quilt

I have three additional tshirt Quilts I am currently working on and hope to get them posted this week for you to see. As I said, my studio and sewing room are working areas!

I was also given Levi’s and a BSU bean bag to make a quilt for a client. Thought I would share that as well:

Memory quilt

Well, it is late and I have a busy day tomorrow. I promise myself that I will not look at any Pinterest studio/sewing rooms tomorrow. I do not need that pie in the sky stuff to distract me from reality.

Imagine and creativity happens! Be kind to each other.

Sue

A New Year

Life always seems to flit here and there.  Sometimes it moves at a regular pace so I am able to get things completed    in a reasonable amount of time.  I am thankful for those times. I feel that I can breathe and enjoy special moments.

Then there are those times when I blink and life has jetted past me, leaving me in the dust and well behind schedule.  I do not relish those times.  I am still thankful I am here and able to look for blessings, but I do not like feeling behind.

This year, 2017, I am going to try to be more focused on my time around Quilting.  I will be scheduling Quilting jobs a bit differently and hopefully more efficiently than I have in the past.  So……….

It is time to book your longarm project for the year.  Choose a month you would like to have your top to me and I will put you in that spot.  I will call you to remind you that you need to have your top to me at the first of your month.

I had some clients do this last year and it worked out very well.  One client chose every other month to have a quilt quilted.  It gave her a deadline for completing pieces and it helped me schedule her Quilts.

Call me and let me know when you would like to be on the schedule!  Don’t forget that I will do binding for you as well.  That way you get a completed quilt!

I am sharing sharing a couple of projects to hopefully brighten your day.

Remember to hug your loved ones!

 

Sue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Year

img_4172 img_4173     It has definitely been a busy year. I had intended on posting more, updating my photo gallery, and printing new patterns this year. Alas, I have not had time.

Keep posted as I hope to meet one or more of those goals.

 

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Remember, life is meant to be lived to the fullest. Be positive, loving and giving!

 

See you soon!

sue