Author Archives: Lora Kennedy

Shows, Stable Piecing Miniatures & Batting Special

 

Spring blog picHey all, it looks like the snow is staring to melt, and spring is just around the corner!I With the spring season comes the excitement of our new show season, in fact our next show will be in Evansville, IN next weekend. After that is Queeny Park in Ballwin, MO the third weekend of March. April however will be our busiest month with shows in Decatur, IL and Paducah, KY. Check our show schedule to see when we will be coming your way!

quilt museum post

Interesting places: we have a quilt museum to tell you about in Lincoln, Nebraska! Called the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, it is located at the University of Nebraska on Lincoln campus. It was started in 1997 with a donation of 950 quilts from ONE couple. If you happen to be traveling through this area it might be something worth seeing and telling your fellow quilt enthusiasts about!

Stable Piecing: We have several new ideas for you using Stable Piecing. The miniatures are coming along nicely, and as always, the pattern is the most time consuming part of the design process. Our testing process takes a while, so as to ensure the very best of our efforts so you can have a beautiful piece to create at home at your leisure. We find that this process is well worth it in the end, as our goal is to give you the best possible product. Coming soon to you: Stable Piecing Miniatures!

batting for post

Batting SPECIAL: We will have a batting special available for pre-order through our website for deliver at Paducah, KY this year. That means you can order batting through our site to receive the special and it will be delivered to the show for you to pick up! (We will be in the Pavillion at the same booth we were at last year). Watch our website for this up and coming special: Just think of all the shipping savings that will be!

Thanks for coming by, and until next time keep up the good work!

Lora

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The Forgotten Shop Hop is back again for its second year! Eight shops will be participating this year, but never fear: you will have nine blocks available, and we are making two blocks for you! All the blocks are baskets of some sort, each one has it’s own unique characteristics. You will be able to embellish them with your own style, therefore making your quilt a “one of a kind” treasure.

 

FQ&E's 2014 Shop Hop Quilt Entry

FQ&E’s 2014 Shop Hop Quilt

All the blocks finish at 12″ and they are all made to be set on point. Mom and I have had a blast designing the finishing kit we are going to use; the ideas are endless! The difficulty was choosing just one.

The hop has a scavenger hunt for you to participate in this year, and each shop is giving a $25 gift certificate of its own!  Prizes will be given for just visiting the shops, and a different prize for participating in the scavenger hunt. Have your passport stamped at each shop to make sure you get your name in the running for all the prizes. Passports can be purchased ahead of time or at the first shop you visit.

ShopHop banner

All the shops will be open at the same time to make your trip planning much easier. Pick up your flyer at any of the participating shops to get all the details. We are looking forward to seeing you all again this year!

-Lora

happy-thanksgiving

Home for the Holidays!

30% OFF

The holiday season is coming, as well as our November sale on our in-stock garments such as:  coats, polos, hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts, etc. – at 30% off while supplies last! (This does not include letter coats or hats). As always we will be open during normal hours the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

thanksgiving turkey

We have just completed our show circuit for this year, the last one we attended was in Bloomington, Indiana. We had a great time! However the weather was brisk, making it just chilly enough to make you appreciate the hot chocolate. Since our last show, we now get to stay home and plan for Thanksgiving. I am still blessed to be able to have all my kids home at the same time and point during the long Thanksgiving weekend.

snowflakes

As we begin to welcome the holiday seasons, I find it is mid-November and I have icicles hanging from my truck. There is a nice blanket of snow covering the grass, a dusting on the roads, and icy spots on the sidewalks. The leaves have all blown away and my last rose bush has succumbed to the freezing weather. I still have a few mums in protected areas around my house that have blooms that don’t look frost bitten yet, that won’t last much longer though.

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Mom is still coming up with more Stable Piecing designs!  She is developing the foundations and writing the first draft of the pattern, while I am working on testing these new designs. The first release of the new year will be a collection of miniatures. My daughter is piecing these and writing the first draft of the pattern, the initial release will be 2″ & 3″ blocks. I have seen a couple of the blocks and they are going to be awesome!

May I ask for your help?  Feel free to give feed back and let me know how you would use these miniatures – Christmas ornaments, cornerstones, borders, garment embellishments, etc.?

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hope to see you soon,

Lora

You Can’t Learn Any Younger

One of the comments I hear most often is “I can’t learn that. It is to complicated.” When I was a kid I can remember saying that to my Dad. His response was always, “You can’t learn any younger.” So, in other words, get busy and learn it if you want to.

The things that I have learned and can teach someone else in the quilting realm I had to take the time to learn first. I suffer from a syndrome that plagues most people. I just want to know something, I don’t want to take the time to learn. Well, that just doesn’t happen. You have to want to learn something, then take the time to learn it. That means taking a class, reading, practicing and having the tenacity to stay with it long enough to learn it. Finding someone who can help you when you get stuck is another powerful way to acquire a new skill. Pretty soon it is easy.

Just think of all the things you have learned in your life: cooking, cleaning, gardening, canning, baking, driving, raising kids, etc. How many of these things did you just know how to do? None. You learned them by doing, failing, watching someone else, usually a parent, and continuing to try until you succeeded. You may not remember the learning process, but if you reflect on your life I think you will find that you had to take the time to learn all of the skills you now possess.

I’m sure you have many more skills to learn in the rest of your life. Maybe one of them will be dealing with textiles of some sort. If there is any way we can help just let us know. We always learn something from those we teach as well. We are all students and teachers at the same time, we just have to slow down enough to recognize just what we are and what we have.

Lora

My batting isn’t big enough!!

Have your ever figured and then cut your batting to what you thought was the right size only to be surprised at the last roll of the quilt that the batting is a couple of inches too short?  It happens more often than you think.  The only way to fix this is to add a piece of batting.  There are a few things that you need to watch when adding this new piece so that the join isn’t visible.

Image curtesy of CowTown Quilts.

First, cut a piece the size you need, giving yourself a little wiggle room.  That means you need it a couple of inches bigger all the way around.  Now the next thing to consider is how to incorporate it in the quilt top.  Ask yourself a series of questions.

1.  How close is the join to the edge of the quilt?

Answer:  If your joining point is very close to the edge, you will need to cut the quilted batting back away from the edge so the join is several inches from the edge.  You will want to look at your border quilting design to decide where the best place for a join is.

2.  Will the joined edges of the two pieces of batting have quilting crossing this join the entire length?

Answer:  If the quilting design will criss cross the join, like a feather or stipple, you will just need to butt the edges of the two pieces of batting together.  Use quilt basting spray to assure the edges stay where you want them.  Make very sure that they do not overlap or have gaps between the edges.  The overlapped places will have bumps because the batting in those places will be twice as thick as the rest of the quilt.  The places where the batting doesn’t meet will have thin places because there isn’t any batting there.  You will be able to see these places quite easily.

3.  How do I get the batting edges to stay where I want them until they can be quilted?

Answer:  Use quilt basting spray if the design is dense enough to hold the batting in place.  If the quilting design just won’t accomplish this task, then you will have to whip the edges together.  Do not pull this seam tight as this will create bumps in the batting.  If the seam is too loose there will be gaps in the batting.

4.  What thread do I use for this seam?

Answer:  Use your regular piecing thread to match the batting.  It doesn’t have to be a perfect match, just don’t use a thread color that will show through your top or backing fabric.  I usually use white, off white or black, depending on the color of the batting.

Hope this will get you back on tract again to finish those UFO’s that find themselves plagued with this problem.  Please feel free to bring your quilt in if you need some help with this.

Lora

Summer At The Shop

Lunchtime finds me eating leftovers and checking emails and writing a quick note just to keep in touch.  Our summer is on track to be a busy one.  I have a show in Edmond, Oklahoma on the last weekend in July.  The rest of the summer is earmarked for cleaning, reorganizing, taking stock of UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects) and finishing as many as possible.  (Maybe I can squeeze a short vacation in there somewhere.)  I have always said that having lots of projects in process allows me to have a working demonstration of anything, ready at a moments notice.  Well, even that thought has to have boundaries.  My girls don’t want to inherit that many UFO’s.

We have already done quite a bit of reorganizing in the front hallway of the shop. Extra seating, an antique machine and quilt, and old-fashioned rug looms inspire your creativity as soon as you walk in the door! We have also pulled out some oldie-but-goodie samples and have hung them from the tall ceiling in the show room. Check out the pictures below or come on in to see for yourself!

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I also have my first grandbaby coming in September! I am having fun pulling remnants from my stash to make things.  I need to quit pulling things and start making or all I will have accomplished is moving my stuff from one place to another, just sorted differently.

September is going to see an MQX quilt show in Springfield, IL.  This show was held there quite a number of years ago.  Now it’s back.  It will start on Sept 24 with classes.  The vendor mall opens on the 25th and goes through the 27th.  I will be there with Stable Piecing and Legacy batting, and I am helping in the Nolting booth.  If you are looking for a longarm quilting machine this is THE place to see it all.  Nolting is the easiest machine to use and lets your creativity emerge and bloom.

Until next time,

Lora

Spring is coming-You may have to go to Texas to find it.

We are very excited to be going to Dallas, Texas, in a couple of weeks for the Dallas Quilt Celebration 2014.  It is March 7-9.  First thing, it should be warm there.  Maybe we can bring Spring back with us.  I don’t remember ever being in Dallas, so this is going to be a very fun trip.  We have the 12″ Mariner’s Compass block ready to go.  I even have a complete sample made.  Now, by complete, I mean the top is pieced.  The quilting will have to come later.  Will try to remember my camera and have some pictures to share with you when we get back.

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Snow Storms and Quilt Shows

Both of these items are occupying my mind today.  We are in the middle of one of the most severe snow storms we have had in the last 20 years or so, and I am preparing to leave in less than 48 hours for a quilt show in Oklahoma City.  It is a good thing we have some extra time built into the schedule as we may not be on the road as soon as I had hoped.  In the meantime the snow is a wonderful reminder of just how lucky we all are to have a warm house and electric power to be able to keep using our toys, such as my sewing machine and computer.

I have been sewing and baking all day.  It happens to be my husband’s birthday.  He is enjoying homemade bread and apple pie.

My sewing has seen a bed runner top completed.  Now to find a piece of batting and really complete the project.  This runner will be on display in Oklahoma City.

This show will be at Cox Pavilion on the Oklahoma State Fair Grounds.  It is open 10a – 5p Thursday – Saturday, January 9-11.


We also have a couple of new Stable Piecing blocks coming out in February. They’ll be available to order online as well as over the phone. Two variations and sizes of the Mariner’s Compass that have been in the works for quite a while now! The one on the left is the 18in Mariner’s Compass with 11 different colors. Isn’t it just gorgeous! The one on the right is the 12in Mariner’s Compass with 4 different colors. Both were pieced by Virginia Schewe.

MarinersCompass18In MarinersCompass12In

Stay warm and see you soon!
Lora