Someone once said…

Someone Once Said:

“If you don’t have time to do it the right way now, when will you have time to redo and get it right?”

That brings to mind every day life. I’m horrible about trying to finish something up quickly to just “get it done”. Or wait till the last minute, then I’m under so much stress I can’t focus. I had written this sentence:

“If you don’t have time to do it right way now, when will you have time to redo and get it right?”

in my notes and recently came across it. I tried to think how can I begin simplifying my life in order for me to not have to redo. One of my biggest most taxing tasks is quilting. I am a designer, author, online personality, longarm quilter….who seems to always be behind the 8 ball, always trying to catch up. Something has to give! When you are under pressures to finish this or finish that, mistakes happen…deadlines linger over my head and the stress does get to me. I make mistakes.

How can I prevent this from happening? Learn to say NO, Stop procrastinating, Focus on the task at hand and see it through to the end…my list can go on and on…I’m only human. I will start by figuring out an easy routine. Routine makes all the difference in my little world.

So, how does a quilter simplify, and get a routine? I need to make a plan. I have been trying to plan but my plan kept failing. Why? I have too many tasks, wearing too many hats. I made my first change: I have help! I needed someone to come and help me. Her name is Cheri. She came over yesterday and helped me. I had a great time with her yesterday and we finished a huge task that was looming over me.

Also, that little word, NO. I did not use it yesterday when a new friend called me crying asking for help. Longarm quilting help. Her quilt is due to a catalog. I’m happy to help her. Now here is what is happening. If I’m helping someone, this puts me behind schedule. She offered to piece my newest pattern!! And guess what? That is a good thing, she is a great piecer and she is keeping me company as I work on her quilt. I am on schedule for the most part.

Back to that saying at the top of the page. Doing things the right way, now. As a quilter, and most of you who read my blog you are too, I want to find ways to piece my quilt faster. This leads me into discussing the right way and wrong way of things. I have an issue with piecing certain units, lets say a half square triangles, the correct way. Yes, there are numerous ways to achieve the correct way and there are some famous teachers pushing the “easier” way….I’m not a fan of this at all. Trying to stay on topic here. It is worth my time and I feel yours too, to piece your units the right way. YES! Don’t put the bias of the half square triangles on the outside. Especially if you are new to quilting. Here is what happens: Your half square triangles become wonky. As a longarm quilter, I see the wonky-ness! If you are watching a 5 to 10 minute tutorial on how to piece a block that includes half square triangles and at the end of piecing that block, that instructor needs to then tell you how to make that block lay flat and how to make the block the correct size.

Back to the saying:

“If you don’t have time to do it right way now, when will you have time to redo and get it right?”

As soon as I get my new routine down, I plan on doing tutorials on proper techniques. I hope you plan on following me and telling your friends! The new year is bringing a “Change in the Air”, great things are going to happen!

Sorry for the long blog post today, I hope you have a terrific day! Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally…this quilt is very purple! LOL Maybe a little too purple, I will have an alternate background color for you 🙂

pattern coming soon

Its not about the Destination…

Recently someone said that,

“Its not about the Destination, its about the Journey”

This is so true! Earlier in the year I was asked to be a part of a national quilt show, teach my skills. I was thrilled! I was also asked to be their guest speaker at their other event. Now mind you, this all came about in several emails, with mistakes, misquoted dates…it was quite comical. Mistakes on the person that was inviting me. It is all good, I totally understand about getting dates confused, too much happening in our lives. I agreed to do both shows. Next, I was pushed for class proposals. I knew in the back of my mind that my life was about to become very hectic and maybe I should back out of this before contracts came through. I did not back out, stuck with it. My fault, should have listened to my gut….you know that little voice in the back of your head…it is usually your mom! LOL

My time was being tasked or taken by a totally different job. Yes, still in the quilt world, but with a different company. A major publishing company in the craft industry. I was told by the producer, (yes, I’m filming for this publishing company) that once they got all their ducks in a row that I should not have anything else going on.

She was right! I got busy! Busy! Busy! and I’m still Busy!

I went to the previous mentioned event ready to teach and lecture. Brought quilt samples, handouts, freebies all sorts of supplies….3 large suitcases full of “stuff”. I drove alone for about 8 hours to make it to the event. I arrived exhausted. I should mention that I told numerous individuals that I had a gut feeling about attending this show that something was not right…something…and I was right. The owner of the show canceled one of my classes. That part is fine. Except I prepared for it. I never received an email saying the class was canceled. NEVER. I went through all my emails from her, ALL of my emails. Next I learned, and this was yesterday, that she has chosen another guest speaker for their 2018 event that was supposed to be me. Live and Learn. I’m certain she changed her mind because I did not make her event a top priority. I had and still do have a huge task ahead of me with the publishing company. I made a decision to go with them and I’m sticking to it.

While I was at the show, I spoke to her a few times. Things were great! I loved being there, absolutely had a blast! I love teaching. I realized I’m not a very famous teacher. My goal is not to be famous! I just love sharing what I love doing…and well getting paid for it, is a bonus. I just want to be me, and enjoy this journey. So…my destination is not the important part, it is the journey. Some would set their destination to be “famous”. Maybe they would run over the people that tried to stop them. I’m not like that. I want to enjoy the journey to reach my destination. What is my Destination? I honestly don’t know. I guess I will know when I arrive 🙂

Image result for images of a sign "Journey" or "Destination"

Happy Quilting everyone!

Remember: Life is a journey and you need to enjoy it! Don’t harbor or hold ill feelings against anyone, move on!

Nancy McNally

A change in the air…..thank you

This is a big THANK YOU to those of you that left me messages, sent me emails, commented on Facebook…This may sound a little odd, but you know what? God is putting all kinds of great and wonderful people in my life. HE is surrounding me with positive people. HE knows exactly what I need. Thank you everyone for your inspiring words, words of encouragement and support!

No decision has been made. I’m waiting and thinking 🙂 oh yes, and praying.

Now! I’m off to Quilter’s Showcase at Birch Run! Stop by and see us !

If not, Have a wonderful day!

I just had to show you these bowls! I love pretty bowls! it is my daughter’s fault, she got me hooked on them!

I love the insides of these bowls! So cheerful!
I tried to get a close up detail on the raised design of the bowl, it is cross hatching 🙂

      

And this is what I do with my pretty bowls 🙂

 

There is a change in the air….

Yes, there is a change in the air. Things are changing for me in my “world of quilting”. I have some opportunities that are knocking at my door. Which one do I take? Or do I stay on the same path? How will it affect the people around me? Is this the time to make a change? Is this what I want?

 I already have several classes with Annie’s and I love working with them! Do I stay or do I go on my own? 

I have already made my change with another decision….
There is a hint in this picture of one possible change

I look back and think about all that I have accomplished in this world of quilting. When I speak to my Pastor about all that I’ve done and how I stumbled into being a designer, author, online personality, longarm teacher, piecing teacher, teaching at large shows, presenting my trunk show at guilds, teaching workshops for guilds, being on 2 PBS tv shows…how in the world did all this happen…? My Pastor tells me I did it all backwards, lol I had no idea there was a list to check off, I just ran with it! I’ve made changes along the way, trying this and that to see if I liked it. What do I like best? What do I like the least?

I’ve always wanted a sewing machine manufacturer to sponsor me. I don’t have a reason, just wanted that. I thought that was the way I should go. Well, that never happened. Ok, what do I do next? Or do I have to do anything? Can I just keep going and doing what I have been doing? Sure, why not?

Except: everyone tells me to find the 1 thing that you are good at and make that your focus.

Oh my, the word FOCUS. Do you have any idea how difficult that is for me?

This past summer I began working at a local quilt shop. I LOVE IT there! I thought I wanted to own a shop, but guess what? Working at the shop has full filled that dream! I no longer want to own a shop. Too much work! LOL You know what I’ve learned from this experience:  Shop owner(s) don’t get to create!! There is no time for piecing or designing 🙁 That also means that the shop is busy!

So, I’m going to end this blog post today just to say, yes, there is a change in the air. Summer is changing to Autumn and I have some thinking to do….

 Its not officially Autumn yet and look how this tree has already changed colors.

My thought path…can you follow it? Me neither…lol

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

A Day with Syd

Every once in a while, and hopefully more often, I need a day with friends. You know, get out of the house and have fun. Walk away from the day to day routine or two get away from your routine and just relax. And I did! I had a day with Syd! Sydney is one of the most joyful friends I have! I love her to pieces! She has an infectious giggle and the biggest caring heart in anyone I have ever met! So this blog post is about her.

Cupcakes with Sydney, what a great treat to hang out with my Sydney!

Sydney and I have traveled together, worked at quilt shows, shopped at quilt shops, taken classes together, attending guild meetings together, we are members of a sit and sew group called the Pro-quiltinators, and much more! Even though she only lives 7 minutes from me and we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, we are still best buddies!

On one of our “get away from the world days” we visited a quilt shop in the near by town, Rochester Hills. Let’s just say that when you visit this particular quilt shop, you have to walk next door to the Cupcake bakery!! Oh my! I love their cupcake flavors!!! I had a wonderful day with my Sydney! She and I caught up on life, giggled a lot, touched fabric (possibly, maybe even purchased some….) I need another day like that Syd!!

Here is my challenge for you: If you have not called a friend lately to tell them how much you enjoy their company, then do so today! Or as soon as you can! Enjoy life, take a break and go have a cup of coffee, tea whatever you wish and maybe have a cupcake with that friend too!

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

 

Cheating? Hmmmm…opinions please

I remember when longarm machines came into the world of quilting, oh man what an uproar! The “founders” of this new way to quilt our quilts faster than by hand quilting or quilting on your home domestic machine, they had to fight for the rights for their work to get recognized!! What an uphill battle that was! They deserve praises for their hard work!! Kudos to Linda Taylor, Marcia Stevens and Pam Clarke for paving the way for us.

Yesterday I was working at the shop. About an hour before closing a very nice cheerful lady came in and was chatting. I was sitting at a machine sewing a shop sample and behind me I had the longarm running. Yes, I had the computer/robotics running on the longarm…I was multi-tasking. The lady said her good byes and as she turned she saw the longarm. She bursted out, and I mean bursted out, “That’s cheating!!” I about jumped out of my skin she startled me so bad. I said, ” what are you talking about?” And she pointed to the longarm as it was stitching its way across the quilt. She needed to tell me that she has to manually freehand all her quilts and that (pointing to the longarm) was cheating. I did everything I could to NOT come back at her. ( I scratched over the price of the serger in the picture, I don’t want to advertise that.) This was the quilt I was working on at the shop. Yes, that is my log cabin pattern 
But here is the question for you: Is using computer robotics cheating in the world of longarm quilting?

Using the ProStitcher at the shop on my Wavy Log Cabin Quilt

Yes, the pattern is available here: http://nancymcnallyquilts.com/product/gentle-wave-log-cabin/

I’ve made 2 different colorways with this quilt, Can’t wait to get my fall one finished! It is purples, burgandies, golden yellows, greens, blues…just scrumptious.

Back to my question: Is it cheating to use a computer robotics system to have your quilts finished? Well, I posted this very question on my Facebook group (Sew Anyways with Nancy McNally) and here are some of the responses. Feel free to leave your own comment below. I received 119 comments and they are still commenting. Here are some of them:

Sandy: Why that was rude! Not cheating it’s multi-tasking. She probably can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, lol. Whatever gets the job done! Beautiful Log Cabin. Blue is right up there with purple as my favorites!

Kriss:  Love your Log Cabin Quilt! ? No, computerized Quilting is not cheating! Quilt shows have a category for this technique ??

Jill: Free hand and computers are two different skills. I have found learning each has been difficult. Personally I want both skills. I try QBOT on one quilt then freehand on the next. Computer has been more of a struggle. Not cheating

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

 

Quilting on the road

Recently we, my family and I, took a road to South Carolina. The trip began in Michigan and we landed in my home town, Rock Hill. Yes, I’m southern born and bred, lol. For the trip, since it is a 12+ drive, by the way, navigation says the trip should take less than 11 hours…lol…not with me! Needless to say the trip was long! Sew, how do I pass the time on such a long journey? I “Quilt on the Road”.

This is how I pass the time away during a road trip when I am NOT driving

I love English Paper Piecing when I have to sit….And this, as you can see in the picture, is how I prepare my Hexi’s. I don’t use glue, because when you are a passenger in a moving truck, the ride can sometimes not be so smooth. It is easier for me to use the paperclips to hold my fabric in place. Don’t tell my husband I stole all the paper clips from his office desk drawer! What do you do to pass the time away when you are on a long road trip?

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Nancy

Supporting your Local Quilt Shop

https://www.facebook.com/nancy.mcnally
On my Facebook page, I posted a blog from CT Publishing about supporting your local quilt shop. I truly believe in this! I do realize that some don’t live close to a quilt shop and that there are also quilt shops closing right and left! And yes, I also shop online like you probably do. So, let me explain why I do both:
First, I always go to my local shop first! Always! I am fortunate enough to live in an area where we have numerous shops to support  For those of you that do not live near a shop, I totally understand why you shop online, makes perfect sense.
When you shop at your local shop you form relationships with the staff, you support jobs (the staff), you receive personal attention, classes to help you learn new techniques, classes to help you keep your machine (s) up and running, you get to TOUCH THE FABRIC

New pattern coming soon, don’t you just love to touch fabric!

Design inspiration, friendships with other quilters, new gadgets to help make quilting passion easier…and did I say you get to touch the fabric??? LOL
I do realize that sometimes you have to support the online businesses. And I am not saying to not support them. They need to make a living too. Just don’t forget about your local shop owner who shares the same passion as you do, and goes above and beyond to make you feel comfortable in the shop.
Do I own a shop? Nope. Would I like to own one? Yes! At this time in my life, it is not going to happen…will it happen? I don’t know. I presently work at a shop and see just how much the shop owners, Mary and Sara, put their entire lives into making their shop a success. I’ve never seen behind the scenes of what it is to own and operate a shop. It takes so much of your life and time. In the coming blogs I plan on interviewing several shop owners and getting the “lo down” on owning a shop. Stay tuned!
And you know what? How about if I ask my audience: do you have any questions for the shop owners? Put them in the Comment box below.
Thank you everyone!
Happy Quilting!
Ps ….the little quilt block you see in the picture, that pattern will be coming soon. Stay tuned. I have a unique way of construction. You might just like my shortcut!

Folding Fabric the Origami way!

Origami Hexagon Tutorial YouTube play

One night at guild meeting, we had what is called Four Corners. Four Corners works like this: the board members of the guild ask 4 of its members to demonstrate a skill they love to fellow members. The night of the meeting, the room is divided up into 4 presentation sections. The presenters all go to their assigned corner of the room to set up for the demo. Next, the room full of quilters, then are chosen which corner of the room to begin. The demonstrators are given 15 minutes to demonstrate their skill. Once the time is up, that group of quilters that are viewing, go to the next section or corner to watch the next demo. Everyone gets a chance to view the demonstrations. It is so much fun! This particular night, I saw a member demonstrate Origami Hexagons with fabric. She had a different tool to use to create her Hexagons. I ordered the tool, then realized I had an Accuquilt die to do the same thing for me. So here is my demo! Enjoy!!

Mystery Quilt-a-Long 2017

Have you ever wanted to play along, I mean “Quilt-a-Long”, with your quilting buddies, your bestest ever Quilting sisters? Well I am hosting a Mystery Quilt-a-Long! Call, text, message, email your

friends to let them know! Pick a date on the calendar, bring your favorite quilting snacks, your favorite quilting juice, the laughter, friendship and have a blast! It’s always a great time when you can get together with your friends and create. So Schedule a quilting day and join in on the fun! This will be my first Mystery Quilt-a-Long!

Here are the details about the Mystery quilt-a-long:
I will post the steps here on my blog and on my Facebook group: Sew Anyways with Nancy McNally

(On my Facebook group, we are going to have discussions (I will answer questions on my FB group), share pictures and have lots of fun seeing everyone’s color combinations! Hey, you just might get inspired to create another quilt using a color scheme inspired from the group. So come on and join in. The group is a private group, so you are protected)

-Clues will be released weekly
-The entire pattern will be revealed by the end of August
-The pattern will only be available for 3 months
First Release Date: July 31, 2017 (It’s a Monday) There’s plenty of time for you to jump in! No WHINING ALLOWED!
You CANNOT, REPEAT CANNOT, SHARE THIS PATTERN. Yes, it is free for a short time

email: nancymcnallyquilts@gmail.com

Mystery Blocks:

There are 3 different blocks in the quilt to create the design. Weeks 1 – 3I will reveal the next block.

On Week 4 I will show you how to lay the blocks out into the quilt.

Week 4 I will demonstrate a few techniques in piecing all the blocks into the body of the quilt and attaching the borders.

Throughout the Mystery, I will also offer as many tips as possible.
And yes, somedays you might have to pull out the seam ripper and repair a mistake.

OR! You can use your seam ripper as shown in the picture below with your chain piecing your units in the quilt. Here is what I do:

I chain piece however many units needed, then with my seam ripper secured in a spool of thread, I place 1 unit in my left hand, 1 unit in my right hand with the little thread that connects (the chain) the two units together placing the chain section of connecting thread right on to the seam ripper! Cut that thread and move on to the next…repeat till finished!

No you don’t need any buttons for this project, I just thought my jar of buttons was a cute little prop for the pictureand its hiding one of the blocks for the Mystery!

Sew Anyways, Join us for our first Mystery Quilt-a-long! It’s going to be “Sew Much Fun”! Till then! Happy Quilting

Nancy McNally