Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Madcow Creationz -- Do You Know What That Stands For?

I didn't either... 

When I was teaching in Oklahoma City a few months ago, I stayed with my friends Mary and Phil Newton.  Phil is the brand manager for Amann-Mettler Group, the company that makes the wonderful Mettler threads that I use all the time, so he came into my class and did a presentation on the Mettler Me app for the iPhone.  This is a very cool app that you can download for free from the App Store!  It helps you keep track of your thread inventory, tells you where you can buy more and you can even take a picture of your fabric or quilt and try out different threads to see what color(s) will be best.  It’s such a cool app!  And Free!

Mary’s sister Martha Sheriff was with us for dinner most evenings and she brought me a surprise – a small fabric and vinyl bag with snaps at the top that is just perfect for hauling around things like spools of thread, seam ripper, Batt Snips, etc. – all those little things that seem to get lost when I travel.

My gift bag was full of chocolate – hooray!

Martha’s company is called Madcow Creationz and has a cute logo with a cow pic and the website address on it that’s sewn into each bag that she makes.  She asked me at dinner one night. “Do you know what Madcow stands for?”  Had to admit that I was clueless and she explained that she was part of a group of women who regularly get together with their daughters to make things on the weekends when everyone had a bit more free time.  So it stands for “Mothers And Daughters Crafting on Weekends”!  Is that the coolest thing?

You can see all their stuff on the website.   Martha also has bag patterns available on the Craftsy website that you can order if you’d like to make your own.  They're not up on her website yet, but she also has about 40 colors of snaps to coordinate with any fabric you’re thinking about making a bag from -- I love the red snaps and the foodie fabric that mine is made of!   The snaps are $4 for a set of 12 in one color.  Email her at to place an order.  Plus Martha gave us a special promo...  if you mention "Batt Scooters" in the email, you'll get free shipping!    

I’m leaving on another teaching trip pretty quick, so I’m going to go load it up!  And I won’t forget the chocolate!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Flying Geese Two Ways

I'm still working on the Main Street pattern that I started at Cindy Needham's retreat in March. I had some time when I was in Salt Lake City to do a little sewing with my friend Josephine Keasler, so I worked on the (what seemed like) kazillion flying geese for Block B. The pattern directions used 2-1/2" squares and 2-1/2" X 4-1/2" rectangles to construct the flying geese.

Everybody is probably already familiar with this method: Draw the lines corner to corner on the squares, place a square on each end of the rectangle, stitch on the line, trim and press.

Unless you love to work with itty bitty pieces, chances are those extra little triangles that were just cut off are going to end up in the trash. Yes, you could sew them together and press them into miniature half square triangles, but will you really? I know I won't, so into the wastebasket they go.

My friend Dawna Harrison, owner of Bolts in the Bathtub, my fabulous local quilt shop in Lancaster CA, showed me a better way to cut and sew these so that I get many more flying geese from the same amount of fabric without wasting those bits.

The ruler I'm using for this is the Companion Ruler to the EZ Angle, but there are a lot of rulers out there with these same angles. You cut out one triangle and then rotate the ruler to match up with the cut side of the strip and cut the next one. You keep rotating the ruler back and forth until you have cut all of your triangles from the strip.

Now it is time to cut out the white pieces that would have been 2-1/2" squares. For this, I'm using the Easy Angle. I'm doing the same thing -- cutting a piece and rotating the ruler. To save some cutting time, I usually stack two or three strips together while I'm doing this step.

Then sew it up and I have my flying geese!

Okay, now let's look at the math:

Using the rectangle and squares method, I can cut 9 rectangles and 16 squares from each strip. That's enough for 8 flying geese with a rectangle left over, so I would just cut more white strips to make more squares.

Using Dawna's method, I can cut 14-15 of the larger triangles from each strip (mathematically, based on a 42" strip I thought I would get 14, but I got 15 out of the strips I was using from a Moda jelly roll) and 24-26 (I got 26) of the side pieces, enough to make at least 12 flying geese and, in my case, 13.

So lots more flying geese from the same amount of fabric -- enough to either make a really cool pieced backing for my quilt, add another border or use for another quilt. Just from cutting a different way!

Thanks, Dawna!!

And yet another way to do flying geese (and my absolute favorite way)  is with a little help from a laser!   There's also this way to do them which is pretty much the same, but just without help from the laser.

Any way you do it, flying geese are fun and beautiful. 

Happy stitching!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Free Motion Quilting Retreat

I'm so excited to teach at the Free Motion Quilting Retreat next month!!

New products, new techniques, and new friends!  Are you coming?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mermaid Hair!

Hair day seems to take forever -- it really does take all day! So I just bring a good book and enjoy the talented and creative people who enjoy working on someone who will let them do anything they want.

First, I go to Krista, who sews in some extensions to give my hair more fullness:

Then to Tina, who adds the color and does the cut.

The mermaid hair comment came from an adorable 10 year old, who said "Nana, you have mermaid hair! I liked it better when you had unicorn hair."

I said, "Unicorn hair???"

Lauren answered, "You know! When it was pink and yellow and sparkly?"

Ummm....maybe next month?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Craftsy's Biggest Sale of the Year!

Craftsy is having the best sale EVER this weekend. 

All classes (YES... EVERY SINGLE CLASS) on sale at 50% off. 

If you've ever wanted to take a Craftsy class, now is the time!!!!!!

Get the sale price through my affiliate link HERE!

Happy shopping!!!!!!

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