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

On the Road again…to Saginaw, Michigan

HI everyone! Last night I presented my trunk show to the Piecemakers Quilt Guild in Saginaw, Michigan. I had a blast! The guild members were wonderful! Guess who forgot to take pictures??? That would be me, the one and only!

I have all my trunk show quilts packed and ready to go!

Count them! There are 6 suitcases ready to go!

I spent the last two days pretty much preparing for this guild presentation. A lot of work goes into the prep. One thing I brought with me that I have never done before is bring fabric with me to sell. Now, I have a store front (website store) but I don’t sell fabric. I was helping a girl friend out. She, Deb, had hand surgery this past Tuesday morning and will be out of sorts for a little while. I told her I would bring some fabric to sell at my trunk show.

 This is me…I was so hot my hair had wilted! LOL Quilt is Playground of Triangles. If you want to see this quilt is in my store:

http://nancymcnallyquilts.com/product/playground-of-triangles/

 

And this is Cheri! My awesome assistant, helper! She was refolding all the quilts after each was displayed. You can find out about Cheri Terry here on her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Lighteningnlilacs/

I left the guild meeting packed and ready to hit the road home I believe around 9:30pm. It is a 75 mile drive. About mid way home, there was an accident on I-75South. The police and firemen made us all get off the interstate and well, they did not tell us which way to go! Navigation was telling me to get back on the interstate, lol…after a few wrong turns I got on the right road and made it home by around 11pm. It is always an adventure!

Before I traveled to Saginaw, I stopped off in Chesaning, Michigan. I wonder what I was doing there?

Oh!! Do you remember me talking about planning a retreat? Maybe not? Well if you are a member of my Facebook group: Sew Anyways with Nancy McNally you will probably remember that discussion. Sew Anyways, I stopped by the Creative Passions Crop & Quilt Retreat!! Oh my peas!! It is beautiful!!

Love Love Love

http://www.creativepassionsllc.com/

I could not believe how beautiful it is inside and spacious!! And Laura showed us around. I can’t wait to plan my first retreat there!

I’m going to get the ball rolling on this soon! I spoke with Laura yesterday and I’m thinking a longarm retreat and a retreat for us piecers! Woo-Hoo! If you want to participate in either retreat, keep watching for me to make announcements.

Happy Quilting everyone!

Nancy McNally

 

 

The Quarterly Divide…lol

This morning as I sit here at my laptop thinking about my next design and how to put it all together, I came across a note I had written to myself “The Quarterly Divide”. Okay, what was I thinking about when I wrote that?

Hmmm

Oh yes! I know!

Would you like to know? Of course you would 🙂

The Quarterly Divide is what I refer to when piecing the entire quilt together. I divide and conquer. I used to piece all my blocks into rows, long rows. Especially if the quilt was a king size that had maybe 12+ blocks per row. You have the task of matching & nesting all the seams from each block together, pressing whether it is to the left/right or eek gasp OPEN! What was that designer thinking when it comes to pressing open! I can hear the complaints now! I’m one of those complainers. Once you have pieced your rows the next task is connecting or sewing…aligning all of those seams together. Well, let’s try maybe an easier way.

Let’s divide the quilt body into quarters, maybe thirds and see if it is easier to piece. Maybe, just maybe it will make that task a little more enjoyable. Let me show you a couple of examples.

I will start with one of my designs:

This quilt I named Midnight Flower (new design, not publishing yet) . I colored in only 3 colors and will change later. I begin with basic colors to see what type of design I can come up with…then begin changing. Let’s start with the entire quilt, then I will break it up into quadrants.

Midnight Flower

I took Midnight Flower and divided the body of the quilt into quarters. Doing what I can to prevent as many Y seams or partial seams as possible. The long skinny points in the top left hand corner, I will probably change that block design to make it easier. Even if those two sections were paper pieced it would be easy. So, study the design, do you see how things can be changed to make them a little easier to piece. Now I will give you this, this is a difficult quilt layout to piece. It is NOT for a beginner!

Let’s do an easier quilt, My Cross Rails pattern

I chose to divide this quilt into 3rds! Made this quilt much easier to piece 🙂

Below is the top row, and the center.

Can you see how I divided the quilt into sections of 3 for the top row? You can do this also with your quilts. Handling sections that are smaller may help you in your piecing. Instead of piecing long rows of blocks together, I chose to divide the quilt into thirds. Each third consisted of 4 blocks. In the end there were only 2 long seams to deal with when sewing the body of the quilt together. Next step was to measure and add borders.

In my thought process, I will stare at a quilt and look to see if there is an easier way to piece/connect the blocks into rows. Sometimes it can’t be done, and sometimes! YES! WOO-HOO!

My Cross Rails pattern is still written as a “blog post” I have not changed it into pattern format. If you are interested in this pattern, you can purchase it from my store.

http://nancymcnallyquilts.com/product/cross-rails-mystery-quilt/

So next time you are going to begin a new quilt project, study the final layout and see if you can try the Quarterly Divide and Conquer!

Happy Quilting!

Nancy McNally

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

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!!