Relief, finally

These past 2 weeks I’ve been overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. Deadlines were looming! How did I finally get Relief? I asked for help! Her name is Cheri. She is wonderful! She has been coming over to help me get caught up and I’m almost there.

She is going to continue helping me. ?

Two nights ago I had a small project to finish.  I had to prepare a mug rug pattern that would be available for free.  A mug rug is about 6 to 7 inches by 9 inches. Very simple project. That’s what you think! After I spent 2 hours to make the mug rug, I then had to write the pattern. Except, I was too tired.

I go to bed that night thinking, ok I just have to write a 1 page pattern and it’s done…..well this gal could not get her stuff together in the morning. I just could not think. I spent 3 hours trying to write, take pictures, make step outs…. (step outs are the extra pieces to demonstrate how the piece goes together).  Cheri arrived while I was eating breakfast. I think my whole issue was I was hungry! The next 2 1/2 hours were spent preparing the pattern for my website. Cropping pictures, writing the steps, preparing the lighting for Facebook live with Annie’s Publishing (Annie’s Craft Store).

All of that took 6 hours!! 6 hours, so that I could do a less than 20 minute live appearance and a free pattern for the public.

Using pretty embroidery thread for my applique and quilting stitching makes this little Mug Rug shine

Pattern is only FREE for a short time.

Did you have any idea it took that much time? Cheri and I got lunch after the “live” video was completed and back to work in the next project! We stopped at 6pm, I still have 20 seams to sew and my newest pattern goes on my website.


Happy quilting Everyone! I feel fantastic! Finally!

Nancy McNally



A Change in the air…again?

Life is full of changes, you get used to the steady flow of things then an opportunity comes along, or an event that can send life into a whirlwind. I have had an amazing opportunity land in my lap. It is actually something I have wanted for a long time. Now I feel like I might have to say No to it. Why? Well you have to decide if the timing is right.

For the last 4 years I have been on the road. A traveling teacher, vending at the shows, teaching at shows, guilds, filming for 2 companies…. It is a lot of work! Work I think most don’t understand or want. You show up with a smiling face to greet the public. When you make a mistake, no matter how kind and forgiving you are to others, it does NOT matter. You are now dirt…along with other names they call you.

I’ve recently made some mistakes in my pattern writing. It is my fault. I have so much going on, it is getting difficult. I’m suppose to enjoy this journey. Women can get down right mean and nasty when someone makes a mistake. They vent to their friends, blast you on social media. Or accidentally send you a message that was meant for someone else that said not so nice things about you…. that hurts…What is that saying, “ye who is sinless can cast the first stone”….They are ready to tear you down, even when you apologize. Quilters: for crying out loud, it is only fabric! It is not nerve endings, relax!! and learn to be nice and respectful!!

Back to traveling:

What was my goal with all of the traveling? Well, I had stayed home and raised all of my children, and home educated them too. So not only was I their mom but I was also their teacher. I wore two hats…and well as we all know, most moms wear multiple hats! That role ended a few years ago, of course I’m still their mom, those babies grew up! All 5 of them! How dare they!

I decided a few years ago that I wanted to do something else other than stay home, the kids were grown. I was a retired home school mom.  It was time for me to do something. I wanted to be around people and see something else other than the 4 walls of my home. The quilt teaching opportunities started coming in. Teaching at local shops, presenting my trunk show, teaching at guilds and then the traveling started. I taught often down in South Carolina. I was also invited to teach at a national quilt show. I was in Heaven! Then came the videos. I was approached by Annie’s Publishing Company, they interviewed me and I got the job. I have NEVER filmed anything before in my life!! Oh did I learn a lot!

Come to present day. I had a lot of time “off” from the teaching circuit this year by choice. I had so much going on here at home I needed to back off. Plus! I got sick last year and did not recover quickly at all…bronchitis. Having bronchitis was my wake up call! I don’t like being sick and I was on the couch for 2 weeks doing nothing. So I chose that 2017 was going to be my year to stay home more.

Well I was home more, kind of…it turned out I still had lots to do. I was invited to teach at several events. I accepted all was good. Then an opportunity came out of the blue, this new opportunity is still a secret. The only thing I can tell you, I’m swamped with work, so swamped I’m not sleeping. Oh, did I mention I work 2 days at a quilt shop?

Let’s talk about filming.

There are some people that don’t have a clue the work load involved.

Quilting videos: Design, piece the work 3x, write the script, go through the script numerous times checking for errors, the flow, make sure you have all your step outs completed. Check lighting, check the filming area, look for anything that should not be there…move it. Work under HOT lights while having a hot flash. Basically, you don’t decide one day you are going to video tape and just do it. You have a lot of prep work!

Recently I designed a quilt that took two weeks just to design the quilt.

Each unit/block needs to be made 3 times.

You have to have a finished product.

Next you have to have each block individually pieced, pressed and ready for camera.

After that, you need cut all the fabric for step outs. Step outs are the pieces that need to sewn together for each block. Some step outs are different portions of the block in a different stage.

Think about how long it can take you to choose the colors (fabric) for your new quilt pattern you just purchased…just how long does it take you to decide on all the fabric? Now take that one more step, how long would it take you if you were choosing the fabrics for this quilt to be published in a magazine? Or say video taped to go on to a publisher’s website…that you get paid for? So this has to be good and it has to be done right. We are talking weeks and into months of work on my part!

Remember this: It is not about the Destination, it is about the Journey

I have enjoyed this journey so far. What is my Destination? I still don’t know. I do know I don’t want to stay home every day and see the same 4 walls, I need to be with people. But I can tell you I would like to stay home long enough to clean my house!

Today while teaching I had two very special moments. These two students made me realize that what I am doing at the shop, Teaching them how to piece a quilt (their first quilt) is where I am supposed to be. One student, when she saw her quilt blocks on the design wall, was adorable!! She put her hands in her pockets and started swaying back and forth! How adorable! She said she loved it! Another student, she was so excited about her first quilt, up on the design wall, that she turned around and said to me, “oh Nancy I love it!” and hugged me! I got teary eyed 🙂 They both made my day!

I have another opportunity at my feet. I can turn the other one down and keep this one. This one keeps me close to home. I will continue working at the shop, but I will be there a lot! Teaching longarm quilting 🙂 Is this what I want to do or is it what I need to do?

Yes, I am struggling. If I decide to accept this last opportunity that I spoke of, I will shut down my business. I can’t do both. I just can’t. I can’t stay on this path and live a healthy life. All of the stress is getting to me. I want to be happy 🙂  I will keep my Facebook group “Sew Anyways with Nancy McNally”. I won’t have the time to design or piece any quilts for me or the public for that matter.

I have to keep in mind, what is my Destination? And I have to ENJOY the Journey. I’m not enjoying the journey right now, it is not fun. I love quilting, I really do. Something has to give or change. I have to stop stressing over everything, say NO to things, stop stressing….lol…stop grinding my teeth, holding my mouth so tight….


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

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!