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RaNae Merrill Studio

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Leafy herbs: How to get the leaves off the stems in 2 seconds or less

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Cooking, not quilting, today. I love cilantro in Mexican and Asian food, but you know how tedious it is to sit there are pick the leaves off the stems. Same goes for parsley and basil. Well, here’s a trick I discovered by accident, but it’s so amazing now I do it on purpose. Continue reading “Leafy herbs: How to get the leaves off the stems in 2 seconds or less”

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To Quilt, or Not to Not Quilt

I’m back home in New York from my 5-week, 7000-mile road trip across the USA (though only for a couple of days: this weekend — August 17-19, 2017 — I’ll be at World Quilt Festival in New Hampshire.)  Journeys like this often become journeys of the soul as well. Sometimes we set out with a purpose in mind, other times the purpose becomes apparent to us during or after the trip. I’d like to share what came out of this journey for me in hopes that it will inspire you. And as I like to do, I’ll relate it to quilting. Continue reading “To Quilt, or Not to Not Quilt”

Quilt-on-the-Go Tip #4: A Quilting Satchel

When I first moved to NYC, I was in the middle of hand-quilting a queen size double wedding ring quilt. tI sat around waiting for years until one day I decided that the only way I was going to get it done was to go back to quilting while I commuted. I made this shoulder satchel large enough for that queen size quilt with a pocket for my hand quilting tools. Then I packed in a 14″ lap hoop, the quilt, needles, thread, thimble and small scissors, and took off. I quilted on the subway, at tango parties, in cars, everywhere I could grab a few minutes. I finished that whole quilt in 8 months, and as a side benefit, it started a lot of interesting conversations! I even met a quilter from South Africa on the subway who invited me to come and teach in Johannesburg!

Happy quilting!  ~ RaNae

Quilt-on-the-Go Tip #3: Press with a Seam Roller

Hey Quilting Friends!

I’m packing up to leave on my road trip this Monday! The van got an oil change and new rear shock absorbers on Thursday and I fixed the broken hose to the windshield squirters myself with duct tape!

While I’m packing, here’s another of my favorite tips for quilting on the go.

Tip #3 – Press with a Seam Roller
This is one of my favorite tools of ALL TIME. The barrel-shaped roller presses seam open, creases binding strips and more.  I use it more than I use my iron, and it works every bit as well. (I prefer it over finger-pressing or one of those little wooden pressing tools, because both stretch and wear the fabric.) Click on the photo to purchase one (or more). For best results, be sure to hold it with your thumb up (click here to see how).

 

 

See you on the road!

Happy quilting!  ~ RaNae

Quilt-on-the-Go Tip #2: Paper-Piece by Hand

Hey Quilting Friends!

I’m busy preparing and packing for my road trip — I’m leaving this Monday, July 10! I’m driving from NYC to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, then on to Colorado where I plan to visit a number of stores to promote Free-Motion Mastery in a Month . (Keep reading….)

Here is #2 of my favorite tips for quilting on the go.

Tip #2 – Paper Piece by Hand Continue reading “Quilt-on-the-Go Tip #2: Paper-Piece by Hand”

Quilt-on-the-Go Tip #1: Piece from your Purse

Hey Quilting Friends!

fmm30_frontcover-1After 22 years of living in NYC without a car, I’ve bought a minivan so I can visit quilt shops and quilt shows. That is how excited I am about Free-Motion Mastery in a Month — I want to share it with you in person and watch you catch the vision of how easy it is to learn to do machine quilting.

My first road trip starts in just a week and a half — July 10-12, 2017. I’m driving from NYC to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. (Isn’t that appropriate?!) More details about that below.

Are you traveling this summer as well? Over next few posts I’ll share my favorite tips for quilting on the go. 

Tip #1 – Piece from your Purse Continue reading “Quilt-on-the-Go Tip #1: Piece from your Purse”

Free-Motion Mastery is hitting the road!

IMAG1970fmm30_frontcover-1Meet my new Quilt-mobile!  Yes, after 22 years of living in NYC without a car, I bought this 2001 Honda Odyssey so I can visit quilt shops and quilt shows. That is how excited I am about Free-Motion Mastery in a Month — I want to share it with you in person and watch you catch the vision of how easy it is to learn to do machine quilting.

My first road trip starts in just a week and a half — July 10-12. I’m driving from NYC to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. (Isn’t that appropriate?!)

If you have a group of quilters or own a shop or have a favorite shop along the way (click here for a map) and would like me to stop for a demo or workshop, please email me at ranae@ranaemerrillquilts.com or click here. As I set up stops along the way, I’ll post the stores and times here, so check back to see your favorite store added to the list!

I’ll be looking for places to stay overnight along the way for the nights of July 10 and 11, so if you have a guest room, or can recommend a beautiful camp ground or a charming B&B along the way, let me know!

Summer 2017 Road Trip Visits – Demos and Workshops

Tuesday, July 11 – Stow and Akron, OH: I expect to camp at West Branch State Park near Akron Ohio on Monday night, then Tuesday morning I’ll stop in at Sew Deja Vu in Stow (probably around 10 am) and Ohio Star Quilts in Akron (probably around 11 am). I plan to be back on the road toward Paducah by noon,

July 13-15 – Paducah, KY:National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY.  A 3-day Spiral Mandalas workshop — plenty of time to really delve in, work out a gorgeous design and get a big piece of it done. This is a rare opportunity to do multi-day workshop, so don’t miss it!

Week of July 24 – Denver: I’ve been in touch with some stores around the Denver area about visits during that week so stay tuned for details.

After Denver I’ll be looping down toward Tennessee, so if you have any suggestions for stops along the way, email me.

August 8 -, Pigeon Forge, TN: Kathie Weatherford is putting together a Free-Motion Mastery workshop. Details are being finalized now. If you missed my class at A Mountain Quiltfest back in March, this is your chance! I’ll put details in my next email and on my Facebook page. Or email me using the button above and I’ll forward your info to Kathie.

I’ve received several store recommendations in the Pittsburgh area — stay tuned for more details. And send along suggestions for stops between Pigeon Forge and Pittsburgh!

I”ll be back in NYC by August 11, and then just a few days later I’m back on the road to:

August 17-19, Manchester NH: World Quilt New England.I’m back in New Hampshire in August, so for those of you who couldn’t get into my Free-Motion Mastery class at MQX, here’s another chance! I’ll also be teaching my classic Spiral Rose class and Magnificent Spiral Mandalas.

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See you on the road!

Happy quilting ~ RaNae

Gain up to 4-1/2 extra hours in every day

How often have you said “I wish I could have more time in the day?” Here’s how. Continue reading “Gain up to 4-1/2 extra hours in every day”

Harlem Grown makes a quilted “garden”

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My new friend Tori Gilbert asked me to help create a quilt project for kids at Harlem Grown, a volunteer organization that teaches children about healthy living through urban gardening. Today was the day and here’s the result!

When Tori told me we would have one hour with about 10 kids aged 6 to 10 and she wanted them to make a quilt I knew we would have to design and prepare the project well. Continue reading “Harlem Grown makes a quilted “garden””

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