Earlier this year, as part of the refocus of my business, I set up the Vine Lines Pattern Testing Agency. After speaking to some pattern designer friends, I realised there was a need to link pattern designers with pattern testers and take the pain out of the process for designers by managing the administration of that process. [Read more...]
Archives for October 2015
You'll remember a couple of weeks ago I featured Alyce Blyth of Blossom Heart Quilts in my Quiz a Quilter series. She's running a blog tour as part of the launch of her DIY Block Design e-Book and I'm very pleased to be a part of the tour today.
I love HSTs and all the ways they can be used. My first pattern, which is with testers at the moment, comprises a centre panel made up entirely of HSTs. So, I decided the block I was going to design needed to use HSTs. I also really love blocks that have a secondary pattern when repeated so I tried to incorporate that into my block.
I sat down and started sketching. I love the Sew Easy Imperial Graph Paper - it makes it easy to draw up your block to size, as well as draw it in different scales. It was using this that I was able to create the 6½" version and see what it would look like as a repeat.
Can you see how it's got a border - 1" (finished) on the 12½" sized block? If I were making a full quilt out of it, I would actually make it as a 10½" block and use 2" (finished) sashing strips.
Here's my finished block - I couldn't help fussy cutting the centre square!
You can see that it's made up of four HST units and strips. When I make my HSTs, I don't draw a line down the middle. Instead, I put a piece of washi tape at the ¼" line on my sewing machine.
You can see in the picture below how the fabric lines up.
My very favourite tool when trimming up my HST units is my Bloc_Loc Ruler. They making squaring up sooo easy! I've got a couple of different sizes as well as one for squaring up flying geese. If you're going to be making HST units a lot, I highly recommend them. I also cut my original squares slightly larger than recommended - I like to have a tiny bit more to play with. So, if a pattern asks me to start with 5" squares, I'll cut them at 5¼".
I had so much fun putting my designing brain into gear; I did some other sketches as well which I'm going to turn into a pattern.
What about you; what's your favourite type of block design? Have you been inspired by Alyce's book? I hope so!
Until next time, happy quilting. 🙂
I can't remember how I first met Sam; I've been following her on Instagram for quite some time, and this year I'm lucky enough to be part of the Aussie Blossoms Birthday Club which she runs in conjunction with Sharon (@lilabellelane). I also tested her gorgeous Breeze pattern earlier this year; I'm really looking forward to seeing more patterns from her.
Let's meet Sam.
I am so excited about today's interview. Instead of QuizAQuilter, we've got a QuizACoach profile today. Lauren Heys is the Founder and Velvet Sledgehammer at Moxxi, a Mindset Coaching business specialising in working with women to Be Courageous. I've been working with Lauren and her partner, Dan, of Outerspace Network, for a year now and I'm blessed to have met both of them. They are both warm, generous with their knowledge and all-round fabulous people.
This month is a big one for Lauren; she and Dan got engaged last week (yay - I love making wedding quilts!), it's her birthday tomorrow and she's chosen her birthday to launch her Moxxi Lady Program to the world.
I've seen the changes in the lives of women who have worked with Lauren - she's very good at what she does and I highly recommend her.
For the record - I approached Lauren to do this interview before I became and affiliate, so this interview is unsolicited but does contain affiliate links.
- Tell us a bit about you?
My name is Lauren Heys; I'm one of four kids and 62 grand kids who grew up in Tasmania and has ventured out into the big world! After being bullied at school I decided if I was going to be different I might as well be REALLY different and started investing in property and studying my butt of while working two jobs!
I graduated university and went straight into a job as a business consultant with Accenture, one of the worlds largest consulting firms. I worked internationally and within Australia and had the 'dream' life. Good job, nice house, decent car, a wardrobe full of Cue and I hated it.
I felt ungrateful and then guilty for feeling that way. I wanted to do something with meaning, not just play politics. I'd tried different organisations including CARE Australia and Ernst & Young, but that didn't seem to help.
So I started studying what made us happy, what the 'successful' life people were doing and it kept coming down to one thing - having a bigger purpose.
- You have a real passion for empowering women and working with them to “Be Courageous” and become Life Ninjas; when did you realise that was your life purpose?
I went to Timor Leste with CARE Australia as a project manager for an IT roll-out (which I was grossly under-prepared for) and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the most humble, beautiful, courageous people who loved with their whole hearts in the midst of the worst situations. One man invited me to dinner and when we sat down to eat he let me know that the food was from his extended family as one of his children had passed away that week.
What a shock. What a reality check. What an opportunity to embrace the learnings.
So I came back to Australia and went back to work with a mission. To understand why we hold ourselves back. Why we let the little things stop us. Why we don't value ourselves... when those who had so little could live and give with such grace.
I became particularly interested in why women do not go after what they want. Being surrounded by exceptional women most of my life I was continually surprised by how little any of them believed in themselves... and then I was done. In love. Never to look back again.
- Tell us about Moxxi – where did the name come from – what does it represent?
Moxxi is a community of courageous women who pull their elbows in to support one another while going after their dreams to be more and give more to those around them.
The word Moxxi means to be courageous or have courage, and we spell it with a XX which is the female chromosome, so the word itself means women with courage.
We work with women to figure out exactly what they want, what's holding them back, how to break through that to take the right action in the right order and finally build a mindset to hyper-drive their success.
- You’ve just released an e-book. Tell us about that? Who is it aimed at? What will people gain from working through it?
The eBook is called Permission Granted To Fearlessly Create The Life You Want. It's written for women who want more out of life but just aren't quite sure how to go about it. Women who are sick of the rah rah and want solid strategies and science that works! Women who are willing to work on themselves and get results. Women who are courageous! The eBook is all about how to set the foundations for your success, how to figure out exactly what you want, what the main things are that are holding you back and finally, how to train your brain to be your biggest supporter rather than a pain in the proverbial!
- What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through your journey as a business owner?
Your business is a direct reflection of you. If you are growing and putting yourself out there your business will reflect that. The limitations that we put on ourselves are the reasons we don't succeed and that's a tough pill to swallow!
- If someone would like to find out more about becoming a Moxxi Lady, what’s the first step?
High five themselves for being amazing! I like to have a chat with the ladies interested in joining our community so they should fill out a strategy form here to have a conversation about what's going to work best for them!
- What’s next for Lauren and for Moxxi? Where do you see yourself in two/five/ten years’ time (whichever you feel like answering)?
Moxxi is on a rapid growth trajectory, which is very exciting! We are about to release the Moxxi Lady Online program internationally. We will be running this one at least annually and are building networks to ensure it has massive impact. Empowering just one woman can change a community, so image what will happen when there are hundreds of thousands of women who know what they want and back themselves!!!
Moxxi is a powerful community. Moxxi Ladies know what it takes to succeed.
In the next five years we will be running massive conferences for all the women who have taken part in Moxxi and having a wider global reach!
- Where can we find you?
You can book a complimentary strategy session with me here:
You can find my current video series here.
You can also find me here:
I hope you've enjoyed meeting Lauren; until next time - Happy Quilting 🙂
Today's QuizAQuilter guest is by request from Cassie Madge. I'm so pleased that Sari agreed to be interviewed - I've loved getting to know a new-to-me quilter - her designs are full of rainbowy, geometric goodness. She's a bit brilliant - she's only been quilting for a bit over a year!
- Tell us a bit about you?
There's so much I could say here because I really have become a horse of many colors! I initially started out as a commercial pilot and flew for an engineering firm based in Indianapolis, IN flying all over the midwest and southeastern United States. Since then I've added Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor to the list, as well as wife, Air Force spouse, dog momma and quilter/maker.
- When did you start quilting?
A little over a year ago. We had been at our new base for about a year, and it was a year of sadness and depression due to how horrible it was there. I decided to tap into my creative side and just crochet more and doodle and start sewing again. Who knew that would lead me to the Albuquerque Quilt Show while visiting my parents one weekend and then start the "big bang theory" of my quilting life. Bang. I tried a longarm machine and wasn't too shabby at it on first attempt. And so the story unfold from there. Here I am!
- Tells us about your first quilt?
I actually made a block rag quilt years ago for a boyfriend. But then we broke up...so who knows where that quilt is. Probably lit on fire. And I guess I technically made a "quilt" in the first grade where I painted on large blocks of fabric and stitched them together with "puffy stuff" in between it. Gosh, I wish I still had that monstrosity! I would bring tears to your eyes to see it! My first "real" quilt would be my "United States of AmeriKona" quilt I made last fall. I cut out each state of the U.S. to scale (except Alaska...that would've taken a LOT more fabric!) and did appliqué for them all. Then I loaded it onto my brand new HQ18 and FMQd different patterns into each state. I love it and am so proud of it for my first "real" project and first time ever FMQing an actual piece.
- What’s your favourite part of the quilt-making process?
I love the freedom I'm able to attain using math and angles and symmetry and asymmetry! While I enjoy the whole process -yes, even the binding!- I think I most enjoy coming up with concepts then drawing them into paper reality knowing that my measurements will actually bring forth textile reality. I hope that makes sense! (Basically, I'm just a nerd who likes to color and likes to do math!)
- Tell us about your passion for FMQ – when did that start?
FMQ was a happy byproduct of my boredom with straight lines and constant repetition. I went to the ABQ Quilt Show with my mom; played around with a few demo longarm machines; realized I was actually surprisingly decent; bought one; started quilting! "The big bang theory" for me. ;o) I've always doodled in notebooks. It's funny to look through some of my randomly-saved (hoarder much?!) notebooks from middle school through college and to see the doodles in the margins. I never once thought those would become something for me and a future career path! So I've created the hashtag #sketchbookquilting for my own FMQ because that's how I quilt best - like my sketchbook doodles.
- Tell us about your latest quilt – Luminaria – where did the inspiration come from? When will the pattern release be happening?
In my head, Luminaria needed to be made from solids. I had not yet named it Luminaria, but only had a concept of a spectrum radiating out from the center of this design. As I made it, it appeared to me as fractal light and light rays glowing from the center medallion point. --Side step here...I lived in Puerto Rico as a child and have a lot of hispanic influence in the things I do and like today.-- So the quilt reminded me the glow of the luminary lights we'd see at Christmas/la Navidad. And that's where "luminaria" came from.
The pattern is being written NOW, in fact. It's my first time ever writing a pattern, so I'm navigating through my own obsession to details and perfection to make it something I'm happy with sharing with everyone. Bear with me...I promise to be as expeditious as I am able!
- What project are you currently working on?
There is never just one project for me. Maybe I'm slightly lacking in the attention span department! haha! Right now I'm currently working on two more items for Lecien Fabrics for their Quilt Market booth, as well as putting the final touches on my first coloring booklet! I've chosen 38 of my doodles and am printing them into booklets for coloring fun. Kids...adults...whomever! I'm excited because I really do love to doodle and draw and also color!
- What’s next for you – where do you see yourself in two/five/ten years’ time (whichever you feel like answering)?
Hmmm....well, I'd really like to say that within 10 years' time, the Mr and I will be living in Colorado. We both have discussed that as being our end destination - his job, the mountains, pine trees, skiing, altitude...plus some of my greatest friends are out that way! As for the next few years...we'll remain here in the countryside just outside of Washington, D.C. while the Mr finishes out his military commitment. I've got a LOT of design ideas already on paper and swimming in my head, so I'll be working on converting those into reality.
- Where can we find you?
I am a HUGE advocate of Instagram! I'm often there: @sariditty
I also have a FB page: www.facebook.com/designsbysari
And my web site is in the works!! www.sariditty.com