Longarm Templates for Sale

Hi all!  This has been a super busy time for me for about the last 6 months.  I’ve got so many different things going that my head is spinning.  One thing I have not formally unveiled on my blog yet are the new Longarm Templates that I designed.  I’ve been working on them since January, trying out different prototypes until I found some that I thought would work.  They were finally done towards the end of May, so that I would have them in time to sell in my booth during the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival in June.  I’ve just been too busy to share them with you yet.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve had 6 surgeries on my left eye and 2 on my right.  I am legally blind in my left eye, but I don’t see that as a problem.  I think I’ve actually been given a gift along with it.  For whatever reason, I know see textures more clearly when I am quilting, which is weird, because my depth perception is messed up.  My left eye runs 20/400 without glasses; it is like looking being under water in a pool and trying to look at things out of the water.  I also have a retinal pucker, so things get a little wavy.

Anyhow, one of the problems I have run in to when quilting was when I was using my Longarm Templates made of Plexiglas or a similar material.  I have LED lights on my Longarm and they shine off the shiny Plexiglas, creating a glare that hits my eyes like the glare of the sun on a windshield… blinding me in both eyes and causing me to make mistakes.  I looked for non-glare templates but had no luck.  I wondered why someone hadn’t thought of them yet.  Maybe it’s just a problem I have; I don’t know.  But, I do know I wanted to solve that problem, if not for others then at least for me.

I use the Plexiglas below for laying on top of quilt tops and drawing out designs.  Can you see the lights shining on the shiny surface?   That’s the glare I am talking about.

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Now look at it with the frosted templates I designed.  See where the glare is? Not on the frosted templates and not on fabric from quilt tops.

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Here’s a shot of a “regular” shiny ruler and the frosted ruler/template on a pair of slacks with a seam.  See the difference in the glare?

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My concern was that we may not be able to see the lines on the template of a frosted ruler, so the company I hired to manufacture these rulers (Midwest Engravers) and I tried out several mock-up prototypes before I settled on one.  For stitching around applique and using a template as a “push” the selection was an easy one.  I wanted it to be usable for both right-handers as well as left-handers, so it is frosted on both sides.  It doesn’t need any lines, so the only engraving is the name and my website.  I named it “van Go” because it is shaped like an ear and helps the hopping foot “go”.   The “ear lobe” opening is a little large; on purpose but still experimenting to see how others react to it.  I don’t know about you, but I have a problem with running my hopping foot over the edge of an opening that is just right for the hopping foot when I’m not moving it.  That causes a chip and scares the bajeebus out of me when it happens.   For hand placement, my thumb goes into the indention on the ear and my other fingers hang on to the big part of the ear.

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For Stitch in the Ditch and straight edge stitching, we first looked at frosting on both sides, but if you look at the picture above, you will see that it is not easy to see etching.  So, then we tried frosting on one side and experimented with etching.  As you can see in the pictures below, it is not as clear as shiny Plexiglas, but you still can see the lines, marked 1/4″ and 1/2″ away from all edges plus 45 degree lines from all corners.  This one is called Eye-c, because now I can see better without the glare and it looks kind of icy… and the “c” stands for Cowtown.

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So, if you, too, have a problem with glare on the rulers or if you are in need of a ruler or template to help you quilt better, would you please give one or both of these a try?  They are easy on the eyes and help prevent eye fatigue.  Ask me how I know.  😉

You can find both rulers here.

Happy Anniversary Jaftex!

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Welcome to Jaftex Blog Hop, Day 12!  I am sure by now you have read about how Jaftex got started and evolved, so I won’t bore you with that.  I don’t know about you, but I am really enjoying seeing all these projects that everyone has made with their fabrics.  There are 3 different kinds of fabric bundles, yet the variety of projects made is astounding!

I am honored to be the guest blogger for today!  I was given Fusion Illusion by Blank Quilting.   You, too, can win this colorful bundle of 20 fat quarters later in this post. So, stick with me!

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I know you’ve seen this fabric before on other blogs during this blog hop, but I used it on applique.  When I opened that box of fat quarter fabric bundles, I saw a rainbow of colors and thought I should make something to take advantage of that.  But… in the back of my mind I had a quilt design in mind that I’ve been meaning to draw up for nearly 2 years now.  This would be the perfect excuse to get those ideas down on fabric.

In 2013, my friend, Joan, and I went to the International Quilt Festival in Houston for the first time.  When you’re in Houston for Market or the Festival, you make friends with everyone.  We are all excited to be there and we have a lot in common.  Joan and I went down for breakfast at our hotel and saw ladies dressed up in Halloween attire – you could tell they were going to the quilt festival just from what they wore and how they looked.  Quilters will dress up together in the kookiest clothing!  We sat near this one couple of ladies who were cousins from a southern state.  They were dressed alike and looked like they were having a great time.  Each morning at the hotel bistro we would sit and chat with the other ladies going to Festival, but mostly we chatted with these 2 cousins.  I could kick myself for not remembering their names.  I guess I could call them Jill and Jane.

When you first get to Festival, you are full of energy but as each day passes, all the excitement and walking wear you down.  You shop. You eat.  You look at quilts. You eat.  You take classes.  You eat.  You rest.  And, you eat some more.  The extra weight of the goodies you buy and the pounds you put on from eating “help” you to move slower and slower.  So, by the last day, you have had your fill of fun and are dragging.

The last morning that Jill and Jane were there, it was a joy to see them, but they looked exhausted.  Their SUV was packed, and I mean packed, with the loot from only 2 days of shopping.  Jill said if there was an inch of space anywhere, she would find it so they could shop some more.  Jane said she had to stop or she wouldn’t have enough money to get back home.  It was a site to see!

After they headed for home, I laughed, thinking of a comic of them in my mind.  So, I sketched out a couple of pictures of them, thinking they would make a great quilt some day.  Quilters love to buy fabric and go to quilt shows and hang out with one another, so I figured quilters would also appreciate this “quilt story.”  The question was how to put them together into a story…  This is what I finally ended up with.  The name of this combo is…  “Went & Spent”.

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I put the bright colors in the “First Day” quilt and dark colors in the “Last Day” quilt.

Jill is on the left and Jane is on the right in both quilts.  There are lots of hidden symbols in these quilts.  For one thing, in the “before” quilt (“Went”), Jane is wearing “rose colored” glasses.  She also is carrying a green “cash” bag while Jill is carrying a “Shop ’til You Drop” bag.  And, they are standing on Cloud #9.

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In the “after” quilt (“Spent”), Jill and Jane both look haggard.  Jane’s glasses are now blue, to represent the blue feeling she has with leaving but also to hide those bags under her eyes.  😉  Both of them have frazzled hair.

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And, you can see that, although they’ve packed the SUV pretty well, they still have some room.

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So, here goes… for a chance to win the colorful bundle of 20 fat quarters above, please answer in the comments below  whether or not you have or have not been to International Quilt Festival at any time of the year.  If you have been, please tell me your favorite part.  If you haven’t been, please tell me if you’ve been to another quilt show and what you liked best about it.  On October 1st, I will pull a name/number out of a hat and will announce the winner of the Fusion Illusion fat quarter bundle shown above, so check back here then to see if it was you!  I will pay for shipping to U.S. residents.  If you are from another country and willing to pay the cost of shipping, then you are more than welcome to participate.

Also, please check out the “big” giveaways here: 85th Anniversary Giveaway 

Many thanks to Janome, Aurifil, and Schmetz for their contributions to the giveaway!

Don’t forget to stop over at Liz’ and Beth’s site at Lizzie B Cre8ive tomorrow for Day 13 of the blog hop.  I love their fun style and think you, too, will love whatever they make with their fabric bundle!

Good luck everyone!