The Lily Pad: The Journal of White Lotus Quilting

Meet the Staff

Posted in Sheltie staff,White Lotus Quilting studio by whitelotusquilting on October 17, 2008
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White Lotus Quilting staff meeting

White Lotus Quilting staff meeting

Humor for the day, of the pet kind :)

Posted in Not Quilting Related (NQR),Sheltie staff by whitelotusquilting on October 17, 2008
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Here’s a great link to daily humor if you’re a cat lover: LOL cats

Here’s another great link for more humor if you’re a dog lover: LOL dogs

Intelligent Compu-quilting?

Posted in news by whitelotusquilting on October 17, 2008
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One of the things I noticed at Innovations this year was proportionally more quilts with computerized stitching on them over last year’s show. I’m not sure how I feel about this. While I’m happy for the computer owners — they’re always writing about how much time and effort the computerized stitching saves them — I also wonder what that means to the state of the art of quilting.

Quilting began like fried rice and pizza — leftovers that were reused primarily within the family. Quilters were used to making do with whatever scraps were to hand, and could make a quilt from workclothes and flour sacks, sitting down at night, fitting in the hand-piecing with the mending. So at its roots it is a folk art, and what I mean by ‘folk’ is that it is accessible to anyone who wants to pick up a needle and thread and start sewing.

Hand vs. machine piecing as well as hand vs. machine quilting have been issues long hotly debated in the quilting world. In reality, each technique has its value and its niche. Still, there is something lost when we are too eager to mechanize something which at its inception was about personal expression.

I was really excited about the idea of embroidery machines when they first became popular and in our house we bought a combination sewing and embroidery machine I thought I would use a lot. One of the things I discovered was that it was a fun creative outlet to pick colors and watch the machine sew — but also that I didn’t like being reduced to the machine’s technician, only there to push the buttons, thread each color, hoop and unhoop, snip all the floats, etc. The most rewarding part for me is actually the stitching itself, and by watching the machine sew, I was robbing myself of some of the satisfaction.

That said, there are some great uses for embroidery. I love embroidering words to work into art quilts, like a fabric collage. Glow-in-the-dark thread makes a special statement in any quilt, especially one that will be used on a bed. But I don’t enjoy sitting in front of the computer and futzing with the designs. So I stick to the simple stuff.

I suspect that if I ever had the money together for a computer quilting system, I’d probably stick to the simple stuff, too. But I admire the people who creatively use the most complicated designs and produce real show-stopping quilts. Sewing machines are, after all, power tools for women, and it’s up to us to decide what machines to use in which circumstances to produce the results we’re after.

SewBatik Fabrics coming soon

Posted in news,White Lotus Quilting studio by whitelotusquilting on October 13, 2008
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I went to Innovations 2008 yesterday, at the Tacoma Convention Center. Innovations is a machine quilting trade show and exposition, and the only show of its kind on the West Coast. While there are plenty of classes for the education-minded, there’s also lots of great vendors. I usually only get there on Saturday, and check out the wares.

I brought home a big pile of thread from Superior (So-Fine and King Tut, yum!), pantograph patterns from the Pattern Man and Cindy Roth, and a few odds and ends, including a Megan Best ruler, and a wonderful leaf quilting pattern book by Kim Stotsenberg. Also I signed up for SewBatik’s Longarm Associate program, which means that in about three weeks I’ll have some terrific samples on hand for my customers to choose from when ordering from SewBatik.

SewBatik makes the largest collection of 108″ wide batik fabrics that I’ve seen anywhere, and I love the way they’ve coordinated their 45″ wide batiks to go with them. Plus there’s flannel batiks, silk batiks, color graduated batiks, pattern graduated batiks… you get the picture. They have great kits — I’ve seen them all made up — and are small, personable company. Their fabrics are available through longarm machine quilters and online, but not in fabric stores.

I’m excited about having that much choice when it comes to quilt backings. Don’t get me wrong — I love pieced quilt backings, too — but when you don’t have a lot of time it’s great to be able to cut one huge piece to use for the back.

Welcome to White Lotus Quilting’s new blog

Posted in news by whitelotusquilting on October 10, 2008

I’m in the midst of upgrading my website and uploading lots of quilt pictures onto Flickr.  I’ve been in the custom machine quilting business for two years and took great photos of quilts during my first year — but the past year was just too busy to get photos in, so they’re only sporadic.

Still, if you want a great sampling of some of the work I’ve done so far, check out the pictures that have been uploaded so far on Flickr: