Coming home soon!!!

I can’t wait to be home tomorrow morning after taking the red eye home tonight from CA…I want you all to know I will be posting 4, yes 4 Magic of Christmas blocks when I get home…

While in CA one on the classes I teach is a Sit & Sew… where you come and you can work on any project you want…you learn a lot of different things in these sessions.

Sylvia was a first time attendee… she was working on her first Magic of Christmas block…I purposely left her alone while I helped the others with their projects…I also wanted to see what her results were without me interfering ….I did notice she did not starch her fabrics to begin with…so after we ate lunch I went over to check out her block…it was pretty wonky… but I said no worries…we are going to do another… we starched her two fabrics and hung them outside to dry in the CA heat…in a matter of no time we could start cutting the stiff fabrics….now I was also pretty tough on Sylvia with her 1/4″ seam…and we ripped several units  until she was hitting the guide perfect every time…her results shown here between the two blocks are night and day…  I hope she didn’t think I was too hard on her…but I thought this would also be a great opportunity for a post… I really want quilters to be successful and love to quilt… and when your blocks turn out it IS so much more enjoyable and not so frustrating…Sylvia was such a good sport and I’m hoping her smile means she is pleased and will come back to Stitchers Gathering Sit & Sew with me next time!!!

Leave Sylvia some encouraging relies please!!!

I have two Sit & Sew sessions in CA that meet about every other month or so… in WI we meet about 4 times a year, but will soon be adding more dates in 2017 as I will be traveling less ….I promise to post dates in 2017 as soon as we do the calendar for next year.

Look for blocks 14-17 Friday or Saturday!

All for now from sunny southern CA!


57 responses to “Coming home soon!!!”

  1. Beth T. Avatar
    Beth T.

    Hooray for Sylvia! I think we’ve all been there, whether it is learning a new technique and seeing an immediate improvement or looking back at our earlier work and noting how far we’ve come as quitters. Now when she is at home, quilting by herself, she’ll find her blocks coming out closer to exception and everything will feel more natural. I hope she is proud of herself for sticking in there. When we are kids, we learn new things all of the time and we get used to that uncomfortable feeling of being told we need to try again. As adults, it doesn’t happen as often. When we hang in there, the results can be splendid–as shown in that second block!

  2. Linda B Avatar
    Linda B

    Your block looks great! I have not started mine yet, I am a little nervous, as I do not know in what order or how to match up the triangles to sew so they match up! My blocks will look like your (Sylvia’s) first one! I am researching, but if anyone has any tips (Lisa!) I will take them!

  3. Nancy Avatar

    Wow! What a difference the starch made! You should be very proud of your accomplishment! And I have learned something too!!

  4. Barbara F. Avatar
    Barbara F.

    YEA Sylvia! You were so fortunate to have such a great teacher! As a new quilter I was frustrated and wondered why my blocks looked so “stressed” compared to other people’s work. Over the years I’ve learned many handy tricks and techniques through classes and sit & sews with experienced quilters and now my blocks look as good as theirs do. Practice really does make perfect! :o)

  5. Linda Frihart Avatar
    Linda Frihart

    Sylvia, love your perfect blocks. I need a lesson in starching from Lisa. Really don’t mind taking extra steps to make something come out close to or perfect, just need to witness results like yours. Living way south of WI and way east of CA means I won’t get to meet you in class. Your winning smile could be an ad for Lisa and the girls.

  6. laura Avatar

    Sylvia, many of my blocks look just the same way. Would love to have Lisa over my shoulder helping me. Many points are clipped too. Each block I aim to do better and some I am successful. Your new block looks fabulous.
    Thanks Lisa for showing us this post and for keeping us stitching, even though I don’t have luck with mine being perfect not have I figured out where 15/16″ is on our rulers. 😝

    1. Marci Avatar

      Hi, Laura! I’ve been through these very things, too! My first blocks were only 6 inches instead of the 6 1/2 we’re supposed to aim for! I corrected some errors I was making and now I get 6 1/2 every time. Whew! As for the 15/16ths, I aim between the 7/8ths inch mark and the whole inch mark. 7/8ths would be 14/16ths and the whole inch mark would be 16/16ths, so if you line up your ruler right between those two marks you’ll be at the 15/16ths mark. 🙂 Hope that helps! It took me a few tries to figure that out, too!

  7. Janet O. Avatar

    What an opportunity to have such a master teacher for a private lesson! Dramatic improvement in one “easy” lesson!! : ) Way to go, Sylvia!!

  8. Jakey Avatar

    Hi Lisa and Sylvia, Congratulations on your patience and perserveriance to create such a beautiful block!! I can totally relate to your trials Sylvia! I have been quilting for at least 25yrs and have had many blocks look like your first one. I’ve painfully squared up and been upset that my points disappeared, and I wish I could say that never happens now, LoL. Lisa is a Wonderful teacher, and her tip with the starch is a great tool as you have discovered. I hope you enjoy many more years of quilting Sylvia! Your block is lovely! Thanks for always inspiring us Lisa!! Hugs, Jakey

  9. Christine Gibbons Avatar
    Christine Gibbons

    Lisa, I would be thrilled to have someone show me how to improve my stitching. How you handled the situation was perfect. I like to learn different techniques and then choose what works best for me. I am sure many others feel the same. From the looks of the photo, she is thrilled with her results.

  10. Camille Avatar

    Sylvia, you and Lisa are helping us all to learn better techniques! I am not a starch user but seeing your results encourages me to try Lisa’s technique. I try to improve my quilting skills as I travel along my stitching journey. Thank you for sharing your blocks and results with all of us.

  11. Jeannie Avatar

    Great job Sylvia. I am amazed at the difference. Good lesson for me. Safe travels Lisa

  12. lori luke Avatar
    lori luke

    Lisa. I think you are a AWESOME teacher and what you did to help Sylvia are perfect..We sometime only learn by doing. I know I am 1 of those people myself…Sylvia, never give up. You will look back and thank Lisa at some point..Quilting is great and the more you do the better you will get…Starch has also become 1 of my best friends too! Enjoy and keep up the great work!

    1. Carol Nevenhoven Avatar

      Good job, Sylvia and Lisa! What a great memory you’ve made together … thanks for sharing with us!

  13. George and Teddy Madden Avatar
    George and Teddy Madden

    Where do you teach when you are in California? >

  14. nettiecrain Avatar

    Great beginning to your “journey in quilting”! In addition to perfecting your perfect “scant” 1/4 inch seam allowance, be careful with your pressing also as this can distort your blocks. Just lift the iron up and down gently. Good luck, you are doing great!

  15. Ginger Jackson Avatar
    Ginger Jackson

    Good job, Sylvia! You could not have nd a better teacher. I learned so much from Lisa in doing wool appliqué!

  16. Maridee Hargis Avatar
    Maridee Hargis

    Quilting is so much more enjoyable when you’re able to hit that “sweet spot” easily. I teach a lot of beginning quilters and it often takes blocks like these to make believers out of them. Good job sticking with it.

  17. Mary Andra Holmes Avatar

    Congratulations to Sylvia! Because of Lisa I’ve been using starch and I now consider myself a pretty good piecer. I’ve struggled for more years then I can remember with inaccurate measurements in finished blocks. I’m even using starch on some of my fabric before I needle turn applique’. I’m looking forward to seeing your blocks come together. Please post pictures. Thanking you for sharing your story with us..

  18. Jackie Avatar

    I wish I had known about starching fabric when I began quilting. You’ve done a great job!

  19. Claire Avatar

    Way to go, Sylvia! Those small blocks can be very tricky. I love the red fabric you have used. Gorgeous!

    1. Susan Bresnahan Avatar
      Susan Bresnahan

      Great job Sylvia!

  20. Carol Trankle Avatar
    Carol Trankle

    Keep up your good work, Sylvia…..each block is a new day……! I did all my first blocks by hand cuz I didn’t have a sewing machine and was NEVER going to learn quilting cuz I hated ripping out…. well that was three sewing machines and at least 17 yrs ago….I learn something new w each quilt I make…!

  21. Frances McGuinn Avatar
    Frances McGuinn

    Great job Sylvia!

  22. Carol Avatar

    Wow, Sylvia! What a difference between the two blocks…individualized instruction with Lisa as your tutor…priceless. Your Christmas quilt will be glorious!

  23. Linda Woods Avatar
    Linda Woods

    We all learn differently, you block turned out great! Practice makes perfect!!

  24. Lynda Avatar

    Sylvia, you learned from the best, to make a mistake and have Lisa show you why is an opportunity we would all like to have. You are one lucky lady. I have just started using starch and boy does it make a difference!

  25. Carolyn Sands Avatar
    Carolyn Sands

    Way to go, Sylvia! You’ll be so much happier with your results in the future.

  26. Dede Avatar

    Looks fantastic! Things really do work better when the piecing is right on.

  27. Marci Avatar

    Welcome, welcome, Sylvia to the Magic of Christmas experience! I, too, am brand new to quilting. Oh, my, my first blocks (the first FIVE!) were so wonky that I’ve now cut new material and resewn them all with fabulous results. Patterns like Flying Geese and Half-Square Triangles that used to really cause me problems are now like old friends! I see them in Lisa’s new block patterns and smile because I know EXACTLY what to do! You are going to love this new skill as much as I do, I’m sure. Congratulations, Sylvia, on a truly beautiful block. 🙂

  28. Carol Avatar

    WAY TO GO Sylvia!! We have all been there but we all learn from our mistakes and from each other

  29. Leanne Avatar

    Sylvia your block looks beautiful❣️ Lucky you to have Lisa help you with your block. I hope you are enjoying this stitch along as much as I am 🙂 Happy Holidays🎄

  30. Gloria Galiana Avatar
    Gloria Galiana

    Great job Sylvia! It’s amazing how a few extra steps can make such a difference. The end result will be beautiful.

  31. vickiec54 Avatar

    I need someone like you to make me fix some of my wonkies!

  32. Rita Nichols Avatar
    Rita Nichols

    I love Sylvia’s choice of fabrics, it’s going to be sooooo pretty. Those beautiful accurate blocks will fit together so nice in the final quilt and will look so polished. She will be so proud of herself!

  33. mary h Avatar

    Great! It’s so much more fun when you get clean results!

  34. Jacque Avatar

    Way to go Sylvia. Welcome to the all consuming world of creating.

  35. Paula Philpot Avatar
    Paula Philpot

    You had a very good teacher. Perfect seam, perfect block!

  36. Ann Avatar

    How awesome for Sylvia! The block looks wonderful.

    I am just learning to quilt (still getting the piecing down) and saw Lisa’s youtube video with FQS. I am making a quilt well beyond my skill level but doing very well because I starched using Sta-Flo (50/50). I don’t know what to do once the top is pieced. Do I wash it? Will all the starch come out when I do? Do I prewash the backing and binding fabric before quilting? I have read many articles on starching, but have not seen anything on what to do after the piecing is finished. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  37. Texas Quilting Avatar

    Sylvia, your smile says it all! And as an added bonus, now you can share with others the techniques you learned and pass the knowledge even farther! Lisa, I stopped by your booth in Houston a couple of times to say “hey!” but you were one very busy woman! Sorry I missed you – you had a beautiful booth!

  38. Sonz Avatar

    It is a great reminder! and a great job well done – definitely some learning happened! congrats on a square well done!!

  39. kathyreeves Avatar

    Sylvia, I just recently experienced the miracle of starch myself, isn’t it amazing? Your block looks wonderful, and I hope you enjoyed your quilting adventures for many years to come!

  40. Laura Avatar

    Way to go Silvia. Every point on your second block is perfect. You did a beautiful job and will enjoy your quilt a lot more when it is done with perfection.

  41. Ann Avatar

    I apologize if this ends up being a double post, but I do not see the comment and question I asked earlier.

    I think Sylvia’s smile is awesome and says it all. Her happy smile makes me happy.

    I just started using starch and have read a few articles on it in addition to watching Lisa’s FQS youtube video, but have not read / found anything on after you finish the quilt top. Do you wash the quilt top before quilting? I don’t think you do but want to double check. Do you prewash the backing and binding material? And, does starch wash out completely? Does the fact I am using Sta Flo (50/50 with water) instead of spray starch make a difference to anything?

  42. Pat Oster Avatar
    Pat Oster

    Great work, Sylvia. You had a wonderful teacher and your second block shows that you followed her advice. Congrats to student and teacher!

  43. Jennifer Whitney Avatar
    Jennifer Whitney

    Great job Sylvia, the seam ripper is our friend…..

  44. Sally Parrish Avatar
    Sally Parrish

    Great work, Sylvia you had a great teacher.

  45. Claudia Avatar

    Wow! What a difference. You did super Sylvia!!!

  46. katleen1 Avatar

    Way to go, Sylvia!!! You did a fabulous job. Great looking block.

  47. Bailie Alberta Avatar
    Bailie Alberta

    Sylvia, you are so lucky to have had Lisa help you learn the really important pointers ! As a former quilting teacher i always felt that my students wanted to learn the right way to do a project. It always pleased me when took the time to be accurate. It almost isn’t worth doing if it doesn’t look good or – the worse it doesn’t fitcwhen you join the blocks. Your star looks great – the one after Lisa showed you some wonderful hints to your future success. It can be frustrating- but we all- even Lisa – have to rip out if we want the block -or- quilt to fit together and be beautiful. You’ll have years of fun.

  48. Karen Nicholson Avatar
    Karen Nicholson

    Way to go, my friend.

    1. Sylvia Castillo Corbin Avatar
      Sylvia Castillo Corbin

      Karen, just joined Lisa’s Blog.  Glad to know your into this crazy precision quilting too.

  49. Mary Avatar

    Thanks, Sylvia. Your blocks could go viral as they exhibit what teachers have tried to drill into our heads over and over. Until we see the blocks side by side or try to put several of the first type together we think we’re sewing the correct way. You have helped us so much!

  50. Susan Edwards Avatar
    Susan Edwards

    Sylvia- how lucky you were to have a lesson from Lisa! Makes me wish I lived closer to CA or WI, but alas, I am in GA!

  51. Sylvia Corbin Avatar
    Sylvia Corbin

    Wow thanks Lisa and ALL you quilters. This is Sylvia.
    I really love getting tips and encouragement.
    It may surprise you but I have been quilting for over 12 years. I had actually considered myself a pretty good quilter until I went to Lisa’s Sit and Sew, and got “schooled.”
    Not only did Lisa suggest, no demand, that I soak the fabric and let it dry before ironing. She also told us about using a spray paint gun to get the starch can flowing more starch. I will soon invest in one.

    Lisa stressed having perfect quarter inch seams, not scant quarter inch. I was used to scant quarter inch because I would trim at the end of each square. Lisa says “no” that takes too much time “sew quarter inch seams”
    The other issue I was having was my Janome sewing machine that I only use when traveling to a workshop. It is my go to machine since it is lightweight. But no longer. We discovered that the foot was moving side to side especially when sewing over a seem. It was very difficult to hold a quarter inch seam consistently. I had not realize this until that day. I sew on a Bernina at home. Lisa suggested I sell my Janome. Which I have since looked into and have found a basic Bernina machine that I will soon purchase for workshops and travel.
    Sew thanks Lisa, I Love the tricks, and getting “schooled” . I’ll be back!

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      Sylvia…I really do stitch a scant 1/4″ seam…but your machine that day was stitching a really scant seam, and that is why you didn’t have any seam allowance left at the edges of your block….this is why I wanted you to up against that guide…all machines are different and adjustments need to be made with each and every machine…so this is a lesson to all that when you switch between machines that you sometime have to alter your ways to get the results needed….
      Thanks for your reply!!! We loved hearing from you…

  52. Sandy Avatar

    Sylvia how lucky you are to get some great tips from a great teacher! Starch dies make a big difference! Guess I should be doing that.

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