Need a little trimming

Hi Everyone! You know, I have no problem admitting I don’t sew perfect! How about you? Do you sew perfect? Are you friends with your seam ripper? Close friends? LOL I know I am! I decided that in order to be “not so close” friends with my seam ripper, that I needed to improve my skills or figure out some way to stop ripping stitches. I was ripping stitches even when I pinned the units together. Hmmm…well let’s look at our mistakes in a different light. Let’s trim our units.

First: Always measure twice! Then cut!

Second: Pin your units together.

You know, even though you lined those two units so perfectly there can still be slippage. Yep! How and why does that happen!? It is frustrating, isn’t it! Sew, you’ve lined up your units, pinned them and you sew…press and dang it, when you are ready to sew the next unit on…things are not lining up just like you want.  What the heck happened? Honestly, sometimes the units will miss-align when you pull the pin out. Or they miss align when you release the units because you can’t get your fingers in there under your presser foot to continue holding things secure..those darn feed dogs and needle! LOL

Well, before you go to line up your next unit go to your cutting mat and measure! Your unit just might need a little timing. It is well worth it! You know, when you join those units up and they are off just a “hair”! Trim your units before you sew the next piece.

See the little tiny slivers of fabric? I trimmed those from these units and let me tell you I was happy I did!

 

Now my double triangle units are ready to join to the next unit.

Which are the tan/cream colored triangles above.

Have you figured out what block I am making yet? NO, Yes? Maybe? LOL

Here ya go!

Does it not look like it is hovering?

Because I took the time to trim along the way, my block came out perfect in the end!

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

1-Lost or Stolen?

You know, I’ve been told there is a story behind every quilt. When I present my trunk show, I sometimes have a little story to tell behind the making of the quilt or an event. This is the first quilt in my series of “there is a story behind every quilt” except, it is not a happy story now. This quilt was either Lost or Stolen. Here is how the quilt came about, it’s creation.

 

My first thread painting quilt came about because I thought I wanted to design fabric, I just had no clue how to go about doing that. So I started with a drawing. Colored it in. Studied what I drew for a while, pinned the drawing to my design wall and well it is still hanging there. This was back in late 2014. Yep, that long ago. Here it is 2018.

After looking at the drawing for a few weeks, I decided to put some fabric on my longarm machine and let’s see if I can transfer that drawing to fabric. Pinned the backing on, placed batting on top of backing. Grabbed the top fabric and drew the basic design onto the fabric with my marking tool: the Ultimate Marking Tool by Hancy, Full Line Stencil. ( The Ultimate Marking Tool, coming soon to my store)

Next was to decide colors and wind all the bobbins…hmmm I have lots of less than full bobbins….sooo, let’s just use these. After all, this project is not for anyone but me. I don’t care what the back looks like. This is a fun project and a new technique that I must give a try. So, Off I go!

Click on the link above or right here to see how the project developed. Hopefully the pictures are in order still.

I loved the whole process of creating this project!

I was teaching at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium back in 2015. What a great week that was! Being in the NC mountains! As I was sitting eating lunch with Susan Brubaker Knapp, she announced she was looking for new talent to appear on her PBS tv show Quilting Arts. She told me to submit my project ideas, something new, something fresh and different. So I did. My projects were accepted and I was going to be on the show!  Here is that wonderful day!

See the quilt in the background? The black one hanging up

On the set of Quilting Arts with Susan Brubaker Knapp

I am so proud to show it off, except its gone! Yes, it is gone. I don’t know how it happened, other than it was either stolen or  it was left behind at one of my stops during a recent trip…. You see, I was traveling from Michigan to North Carolina then on to South Carolina. It was a bone chilling bitter freezing cold day when two of my sons and I left Michigan to head to the Carolinas. We made 4 stops along our 13 hour drive. Ohio-1, West Virginia-2, North Carolina 2…lol ok that is 5, but the 5th one was our final destination. None of the stops did I check my truck bed, none. It was so cold outside, all I wanted to do was get back into the truck to get warm!

My truck bed has a tonneua cover, protecting the contents in the truck bed…that is where all my trunk show quilts in their suitcases were protected. I was not the one who packed my truck bed either, I left that up to the men :). I also made the mistake of not locking my tailgate. sigh…I guess I was just not thinking about that. I was actually nervous about the drive. The weather was not good for traveling, icy and snowy road conditions. That was all that was on my mind.

When we arrived in Wake Forest, NC at my son’s apartment I grabbed my overnight bags and pillow, which were in the back seat. My sons’s suitcases were in the truck bed. They both retrieved their bags and off we walked to Steve’s apartment. I handed Steve my keys to the truck and he moved the truck from the loading zone to the parking lot. The next morning, I got up before they did, got myself ready, said good bye to them and off I went 3 more hours down the road to Rock Hill, SC. Again, did not think to check my truck bed. I was excited to be in the south where the sun was shining!

That all happened on a Friday, Dec 29, 2017 and Dec 30, 2017.

I arrived in Rock Hill at noon on Dec 30, 2017. I met with our realtor, Naomi. She and I climbed in her truck and off we went to look at land (acreage). We returned to the parking lot of her office around 5pm. I did lock my truck cab, and I honestly can’t remember if I locked the truck bed then. I ended up driving 90 more miles to go stay at my bestest ever quilting buddy’s (Dale) home that night. There I know I locked the truck bed after we got all of bags and sewing machine with supply bag out. NOT my trunk show suitcases. I left my trunk show suitcases in my truck bed. They are heavy! This was Saturday night.

I stayed at Dale’s home till Wednesday morning. The day before I had to drive to Rock Hill to meet with Jim at YLI thread. After my meeting with him, I opened my truck bed to pull some of my suitcases out and place them in the cab. I needed to wash all the salt brine off my truck! I had the dirtiest truck in the Carolinas! I remember thinking, I can’t reach those suitcases, they had slid all the way to the cab. I also thought, wow, something does not look right. How do I only have these suitcases. Something is not right. I closed up my truck bed after placing a few of the suitcases in the cab and off I went to the car wash. Drove back to Dale’s…90 miles….

Wednesday was my trunk show day with the Charlotte Quilt guild.

That was when I noticed quilts were actually missing!! As I was pulling my quilts out of the suitcases, I realized that it went faster than normal. During the presentation, I was looking for certain quilts that went along with the “lecture” and they were missing…hmmm….

I continued on with my trunk show. Totally baffled and trying to focus and continue.

Now remember, this was Wednesday. I taught a class for the guild on Thursday. Drove home on Saturday…12 hours…alone.

Saturday night went to bed totally wiped out! I woke up at 3am almost a panic! That was when I remembered which suitcase was missing and the quilts that were gone! This is the suitcase that is missing:

 

Honestly, I’m sick over this. Where did this suitcase go? and where is this beautiful quilt?

Nancy McNally

I am so Happy to announce…

Without making you read any further, I am so HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE what I have been up to!

I’ve been filming for Annie’s publishing company! So many projects to choose from.

Back in the spring (2017) I received an email from the producer Laura at Annie’s. She said Annie’s was going to be starting a new video program and was I interested. Oh you betcha!! Before I knew it we had a few conference calls scheduled, patterns were assigned, and really cool equipment arrived at my home!

This program was so exciting! I could not wait to begin….yet I was a little nervous. I would be filming alone..who is going to hit the record button??? Think about that… Doing this alone…. It all worked out and I actually prefer doing this alone. I will begin blogging about the projects that go online to let you know the latest. I will do my best to keep you updated.

This was a fun journey filming out of my home! Honestly, I procrastinated! And finally I just got in my video room, a few tweaks from the technical crew at Annie’s and I was up and running! Annie’s production team is top notch! I love working with all of them. I am so grateful and thankful they considered me to be a part of this new program.

Go check them out!!!

Annie’s Creative Studio is LIVE today just click on the “Start Your 30-Day Free Trial”

With this new program, you can join now for FREE, there is a 30 day free trial! So take advantage of it now!

More great classes are coming!

Went LEFT instead of Right…

What am I thinking?! I went Left instead of Right! LOL Do you have any idea as to what I am referring to? NO, ok I will tell you. About a month ago I rearranged my sewing studio to accommodate my business. I sew out of my home, but I just felt like I was on top of myself. So….I moved my sewing machines, tables, bookshelves, books to a separate room. I thought this would help me focus a little better. The truth of the matter, my room was too cluttered…decluttering needed to happen. Not moving things around.

So, how does turning left have anything to do with this? Keep reading

I coaxed my sons into coming over to help move my things into the other room. They were glad to help! HA! I coaxed them over by promising dinner to them! LOL Seriously, my sons always help their mom out, always. As my son John and I were moving the last few things I realized how much I did not want this to happen! I lost my pretty window view to the outside world. I had sat sewing in the same spot for YEARS! And now my view was gone. He saw it in my face and knew he had to help. I went ahead with my plan to sew in the other room, the new room.

Hang in there, I’m getting to the turning Left part. Keep reading

I gave it about a month and that was it. I could not take it anymore. I have to admit though, it was nice saying I have a longarm room, a sewing room and a video room. As of today, I have a sewing room and a video room and I am a much happier quilter. I uncluttered bookshelves that held magazines, books and gobs of paper!! GONE! I vacuumed, dusted (including the walls) and moved almost everything back the way it was! So, now when I walk down the stairs to my basement, I turn LEFT instead of turning Right!  Turning Left was how things were for years. Turning to the right, just felt unnatural for me. I feel like my life is back to normal. This is one change I did not like and I am happy I have my sewing studio cleaner and back to where it should be.

      

Life is good for this quilter:)

Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally

Life is an adventure!

Over Thanksgiving week, my family and I went on a little adventure. Our destination was to end up in Rock Hill, SC (my home town). My son, Chris, and I went on a little detour on our way to the Carolinas, an adventure. Yes, Life is an Adventure!

We took 2 cars for this trip. I started out riding with my husband and sons Chris and John rode in the second car. We met up in Cincinnati, Ohio to have lunch with my brother Brian and his wife Joann. Lunch was terrific! I love seeing my extended family!

Chris in Uncle Brian’s Corvette, lol

After lunch Chris and I hopped in my truck and drove to Nashville, TN. This is kind of the sad part our adventure, at least I thought it was. Kind of still is, but I am getting used to the change.

You see, we drove to Nashville to give my 3 birds to a wonderful friend (who loves birds as much as I do), her name is Sherrie. As Chris and I got closer to her home I kind of got sad. Do you blame me? I have had my Lily for 15 years (as I write this it still brings tears to my eyes) and Henry & Gracey for 10 years. You are probably asking why did you do this? Because I travel too much now and I can’t give the birds the attention they needed. I no longer played with them. I was just too busy. I felt it best for them. Lily loves to snuggle. She needed someone to snuggle with her. Henry just wants you to talk to him and give him food! Gracie is the same.

Sherrie’s husband greeted us at the door and I knew right then everything was going to be perfect! I had forgotten they had 2 birds of their own. Chris and I brought the birds inside, set up their cages, put fresh food and water in their feed cups. I took Lily out of her cage and she immediately went for Sherrie’s hair! That is a good thing!! Sherrie and Lily and best buds already! I’m so happy I made this decision. It took me over a year to commit to giving my birds away. It was the right decision.

Birds

They invited us to stay for dinner and we accepted. I enjoyed every minute with Sherrie and her husband. My birds are doing great. Chris and I left for our hotel room shortly after dinner and conversation. We were pretty tired from out 8+ hour drive. We got checked into our hotel room and off to sleep we went.

Now, you have to site see when you are in Nashville!! And we did! We ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Gave the waitress a BIG tip when we learned she had to work on Thanksgiving Day. It was our way of saying thank you. After breakfast we headed straight for downtown Nashville. Oh my goodness I loved it and Chris and I want to go back. We decided we must go see the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Here are some pictures I took….

Nashville

  Country Music Hal of Fame

Country Music Hall of Fame

 Country Music Hall of Fame…look at the rifle on the trunk hood and on the side

 

We left the Country Music Hall of Fame heading towards Rock Hill, SC. We arrived around 10:30pm. It was great day of traveling…Chris and I counted cows…ask me about that game if you are interested.

Happy quilting everyone! Remember, Life is an adventure! You never know where it is going to take you.

Nancy McNally

Projects in Progess?

What project(s) do you have in progress? I know I have several. I always have several projects in progress, always! This one in particular is way out of my comfort zone when it comes to colors. Mary, owner of Decorative Stitch, asked me to piece the quilt a while back for the shop. Things got busy and my focus was needed on a different project. Sew! Now I am back to piecing this one.

 

Latte Mosaic
See the circle? Not the blue one, the one formed by the fabric

This quilt is made from browns, grays, creams and variations of each color as in hue. If you look close you will see the circle and how it forms. I circled the fabric circle in blue. This quilt is still in progress.

At first I did not think I would enjoy piecing it because of the colors. But! I am! It is the illusion of the circle that forms from triangles that makes me love this quilt. When you see in person the colors are very warm and soft. You may think the triangles are from 60° ruler, nope. It is a different angle, I love it!

What projects do you have in progress?

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

Sifting through

This past weekend I decided it was time to go through my bookshelves and get rid of quilt books that I no longer use or never used! I also went through papers I was keeping. Papers that were printed images of other quilts, machine quilting ideas, little free projects…just sifting through it all! Well! I had over 60 books I decided to part with.

Books!
and more books!
even more books!

Part with I did! I posted on my Facebook group “Sew Anyways with Nancy McNally” that I needed to get rid of these books. Was I selling them? NOPE! I was giving them away, FREE!

Yesterday, 7 quilting friends from my Facebook group arrived! I had such a great time talking with them and watching them gather up their new goodies! They all left with an arm or bag full of books/magazines! WOO-HOO! As of today, I have 20 books left!

Just in case you are wondering, yes, I still have 1 shelf of books that I had to keep 🙂

So, what do I go through now to declutter? Hmmm fabric? Oh I don’t know about that one!

What could you get rid of? Can you attack, get rid of and organize before the New Year begins? Go for it!!

And you know what? It did not take me long at all. I made the decision and attacked! You know what? I have another book shelf that is not organized at all! Shame on me for not keeping it neat and organized. I’m going to have to attack that shelf.

I have 2 small bookshelves that I have decided I am only going to be able to keep. The two taller ones have to be emptied and taken out of my room. I don’t need them. Having the taller ones allows me to be messy! So no more of that!

Time to get to work!

Happy Quilting everyone,

Nancy McNally

 

New Sewing Studio

About a month ago I blogged about “A Change in the Air”

http://nancymcnallyquilts.com/september-2017/there-is-a-change-in-the-air/

actually, it was over a month ago, that’s ok 🙂 you can read about in the link above. There is still more change coming, little steps. My first step was to separate my longarm from my piecing sewing machines. I have a new sewing room. It is much smaller, than the room I was in, but I had to separate. I had to separate the two areas of sewing because I am easily distracted! I was unable to bring my wall (shelves) of fabric into my new sewing room. And you know what? That is a good thing! Because now I focus on what I am currently working on.

As I was moving my sewing machines, tables for my machines, cutting table, rulers, threads, iron board I realized I can’t move any of my fabric into this room…uh oh!! The walls looked bare and the room suddenly became cold and uninviting. This actually saddened me. My son John was helping move things into my new room and he saw what was happening to his mom. All of a sudden mom got really sad. I kid you not! I was sad. I almost cried. You may think that is silly, but as a creative person, I can’t handle having the feeling of closed in or isolation. It takes over, the closed in feeling, and creativity is gone. For 10 years I sewed in the same room. I had a beautiful view out of my window and from my sliding glass door. I wanted to put everything back where it was RIGHT THEN!  So why did I do it?! I’m still wondering if this was the best decision.

I can’t tell the entire reason yet, I’m just hoping that this decision was the right one. I need to focus. Somehow! Focusing is difficult for me. I get bored very easily and distracted easily….and menopause does NOT help! LOL As I sit her typing at 7:25am a hot flash takes over! When are these hot flashes going to end!

Focus!

Finish the task on hand…write the blog…but look at what I am working on today 🙂

There is a plan behind all of this. Again, little steps at a time. If this room does not work out for me, then plan B will be put into motion…what is plan B? I Don’t know! LOL I will figure it out with my husband, family, Cheri My and my great friends!

Today’s agenda:

1-Finish piecing the blocks from yesterday

2-Purge through books and magazines! Get rid of what you no longer use

3-Longarm!! I have some ideas and I have got to stitch them out!

Here are some pictures of how things look now…a little progress, still needs more work. I have to sew while I organize and set up both rooms. Eventually it will all be done.

Clearing the room
setting up sewing table
My new view, that was the window I had a beautiful view from, now it is down the hallway 🙁
Its coming together
Cutting table and wall of rulers
Present day…its a creative mess!

Time to get back to work!

I hope you are having a wonderful day!

It is Friday!

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

The Aftermath

For the past 30 days I have had 3 events where I was either teaching or presenting my trunk show. Which means I was traveling, out of state, in and across the state. There is a lot of prep work that is involved, but what about after I arrive back home? The Aftermath…this is what happens. Instead of everything being taken back to my sewing room/office, everything lands in my dining room. I can’t figure out why that happens, but it does every time! And you know what? I don’t like seeing my dining room a mess! Yet, I can walk right by it! LOL Go figure! Here are some pictures of what it all looks like:

I align the floor with the bins to begin my inventory of the products that were not sold.

Chairs work great in holding layer cakes! Do you know how heavy fabric is?

Fabrics and patterns oh my!

I use all flat surfaces to spread out on.

My personal set of longarm rulers, another handy purchase from Harbor Freight: The case! It looks so official, lol

See the large open cabinet space behind all these suitcases? This is where I will put all of my quilts from my trunk show. And you know what? When I was preparing for my trunk show, I realized I had left two quilts at Decorative Stitch 🙁 I teach classes there. If you counted the number of suitcases, you should see 5

And yes, that is my truck. My husband calls it the Quilt mobile! I thought the picture was very appropriate. I took the picture in Bay City. Cheri Terry was with me. I had never been in the thumb area of Michigan. I want to go back so I can see more.

On a slightly different note, I am going to try to clean a little bit of my mess up. I’m not suppose to though. I’m supposed to be resting…I have a kidney infection that came from that ever famous wonderful infection that women get (men too, but mostly women).  I never had any signs or symptoms till this past weekend when I ended up on the couch for 3 days with a fever, man was I in pain! I thought I had the flu! I’m actually happy I don’t have the flu. I am on antibiotics and will feel better really soon! Time to go lay on the couch and rest a bit.

Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally

 

 

Do you ever shop at Harbor Freight?

Well I do!

Yes, I shop at Harbor Freight! And look what I bought! Actually my husband decided that I needed this cabinet. We have been rearranging my sewing room and he knew I needed something to put my threads and other longarm supplies in. So, one day he called me and said he had an idea for my thread storage. When he came home he showed me the Harbor Freight sale flyer and said I think this would work for you. I told him it would be great! Except, I could not afford it. He bought it for me, I think he loves me.

 

My new cabinet from Harbor Freight

And Guess what?! I filled it! I have just a few items left to put into 1 drawer. My tools such as screwdriver and a few other small items.

Look how full it is!!

So here is what I have in my longarm cabinet drawers. On top I keep the bobbin winder, notebook, holder for thin templates, a row of foam that holds the bobbins I’m currently using, and scissors.

Top of cabinet

 

bottom draw, cottons
pretties!! Polyesters from YLI, Glide and Superior
Variegated threads from YLI, Superior
Silks, metallics from YLI, Fil-Tec and Wonderfil
More threads the long skinny cones are from Madeira . They are actually polyester, they look like cotton

 And I filled my cabinet! The longarm rulers you see in this picture are for sale. I do NOT have them on my website yet. If you are interested, you can send me a message. I have 2 straight edge rulers, 3 circles, 2 curve cross hatching rulers and my Humpty Bumpty. I will have them on my site soon with prices and descriptions. Of course I will offer tutorials too.

I wonder what other goodies I can find at Harbor Freight?! Do you have any you would like to share? Let me know in the comment box below, Thank you!

Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally