50 ways to keep a quilter happy while on vacation 30, 29, 28, 27 by Elaine Theriault July 28, 2015 written by Elaine Theriault July 28, 2015 549 How’s your summer? I’ve been having a pretty exciting summer so far, lots of side trips, visits to quilt shops and the summer isn’t over yet. Today, I have three more ideas to add to the 50 ways to keep a quilter happy while on vacation 30, 29, 28, 27, the fourth one being another trip to an exciting quilt shop! Let’s go! Number 30: Read a quilt themed novel There are MANY quilt themed novels. Some are historic based, others are novels with quilts woven into the story line, while other stories have plots that specifically focus on quilts and their makers. Most are fast easy reads which is perfect for easy summer reading. Search your library catalog for quilt themed novels. Or search on-line for “quilt novels” and several lists will pop up. Some of these books are trilogies or series – if you’re like me, I like to start at the beginning of the series as I like to see the characters evolve. Quilt themed novels Number 29: Design a quilt based on a piece of clothing We’ve all been there. You’re waiting in line somewhere or just hanging out and suddenly you spot a piece of clothing someone’s wearing that inspires an awesome quilt. Or maybe the color or the design of the garment is a good inspiration for your next quilt. Since it probably isn’t practical to ask them for their shirt and it wouldn’t be a good idea to take a swatch, the next best thing is to snap a picture. I try to be discreet about the picture taking – all depends on the situation. While I would probably never wear a pair of pants like these, I love the bold graphic designs. Now how could I take that bold zig zag and incorporate it into a quilt design? Bold graphic fabric – Zigzag pants make a good source of inspiration for a quilting design Number 28: Practice free motion quilting designs I cannot stress this enough – If you want to become a good machine quilter especially with free motion designs, you must practice. And yes – practice is boring. Why not pack a clip board with scrap paper and a nice smooth rolling Sharpie and while you’re in the car, watching your children at soccer or some other summer event – practice – practice – practice! Often, the biggest issue is WHAT to draw or doodle. Take something that you have trouble with, let’s say stippling, which is a meandering line that doesn’t have points and doesn’t cross over itself. Many people can’t figure out how to get into and out of the corners. This is a perfect exercise to try on paper. If you work yourself into a corner, no worries. It’s just paper – no stitches to rip out. I like to take pictures of other people’s quilting or look at photos in magazines. Then I use those as guides to practice the design on paper. Once I find a design that works for me, then I’ll go to the sewing machine to give it a whirl. Clipboard and a Sharpie – a great way to practice free motion quilting Number 27: Visit a quilt store You can never visit too many quilt stores. I have to confess that on my way home from PEI, I took my own advice to heart and planned my trip home based on the location of various quilt stores. Let’s just say that the GPS came in very handy. Never got lost once! This next store is called Rather-B-Quilting and is located in Houlton, Maine. Love these quilt blocks made from metal. Awesome wall art for indoors or outdoors Great displays, lots of pre-cuts There you have it – some more great ideas to pass the time this summer. Enjoy and I’ll be back later this week with some more exciting tips to add to 50 ways to keep a quilter happy while on vacation, including keeping your family happy and busy this summer. Ciao! See all the articles in our “50 ways to keep a quilter happy while on vacation…” series! Print this page or save as a PDF practicing free motion quiltingpre cutsquilt themed novelsquilting design inspirationquilting fabricquilting storezig zag pattern FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinRedditWhatsappTelegramEmail Elaine Theriault Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com. When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com. previous post How to use the Bloc-Loc ruler next post 4 ways to use leftover half-square triangles YOU MAY ALSO LIKE... Stitch regulation on the PFAFF powerquilter 1600 Don’t miss it! Courtepointe Québec celebrates its quilting... 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