A Tribute

The following quote I saw today describes perfectly my experience with creating the Curve Master Presser Foot.  Although said by someone much smarter than I, who changed the world in a huge way more than the Curve Master ever will, I said to myself upon reading this, “That’s what I’ve been explaining to anyone who asks how I came up with the Curve Master!”

“To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that.”

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”

“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

And the last paragraph, about people in our industry ending up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem rang true as well, even though the speaker was referring to a different industry than quilting.  Those who do not expose themselves to new ideas or worse, those who reject new ideas remind me of a cartoon I saw years ago.  Two monkey parents, watching little Junior stand up and walk on his hind legs, saying to him, “No, no!  On all fours like Mom and Dad!”

So to whom do we attribute the above quote and why is it resounding with me just today?  Steve Jobs, Apple Computer.  (Wired, 1996)

As a person who lived before the first television and who was terrible at arithmetic and math, I have always dragged my feet where new technology was concerned.  Got my first PC when in graduate school in 1988, probably a 286 with dot matrix printer and a book about DOS, and limped along doing my papers on it.  When the garage mechanic who built my first PC said I might want to add more power to be ready when Windows arrived, I replied that I didn’t think I’d go that way, that I could work enough with DOS!  Of course from there I proceeded to 386, onward and upward, to the brink of Windows Vista when I said, “I’ve had enough of Windows!  I’m going to try a Mac.”

I bought my first MacBook (a black one) in 2007 and the world opened up.  Suddenly I could make photographs do what I wanted; I could find files; I could make movies and post them; I could create a blog.  I can assure you with 100% confidence that none of those would have happened without a Mac in my lap and on my desk.  Yes, I added a desktop, another laptop because I liked the design of the unibody aluminum, five ipods, two ipads, and I’m standing in line for whatever comes next!  No matter what city in the world I am in, one of the most fun alive places to visit is the local Apple Store!  In other words, Steve Jobs changed my world and although he will never see this, I still want to acknowledge that.

And not that I have the hubris to compare the Curve Master to a Mac, still the experience he describes relative to creativity is what I espouse in all the classes I teach:  “don’t just look, really “see.”  Don’t just accept the linear solution!”

Why am I suddenly thinking the old way of doing curves is a bit like working with Microsoft Vista?

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More Quilts of Valor

As many of you know, I demonstrate the Curve Master at many quilt shows using the Drunkard’s Path basic unit to show off how easy it is to sew curves.  Many of my finished sample pieces are sent on to the wonderful volunteers at Quilts of Valor and they in turn make them up into useful, beautiful quilts.  Here are some photos of the most recent ones.  Please consider how you can contribute to this wonderful organization.  Check online for Quilts of Valor Foundation.

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Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, England 2011

Here are a few photos of winners at this year’s show.  Despite concerns over riots in London, Birmingham, and Manchester and environs, the show was a rousing success.  Attendance was high, spirits were too.  Unfortuately, the artists’ names were not posted with their quilts and I do not have a program to obtain them.  I would certainly give credit for their efforts.

Best of Show, Art Quilt, called Octopussy.

Wall Quilt Winner called Hot Africa

Group Quilt – Meerkat Quilt Show

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Do You Remember?

Do you remember that awful day when you learned you are not supposed to eat or drink the ketsup directly from the cup containers?  The day you learned ketsup really is not a vegetable??  Are we still agile enough to get our lower lip out that far?


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TNNA Report

What fun I had this past weekend.  I attended The National Needle Arts Association summer market in Columbus, Ohio.  Outside my regular milieu, I felt overwhelmed, exhilarated, excited and challenged.  A few vendors were familiar from my quilt show circuit, but mostly I was anonymous.  My road to quilting was circuitous:  I knew from about age 6 that I was meant to be a quilter but took various detours through embroidery, crewel embroidery, counted cross stitch, needlepoint (in which I would stitch quilt block patterns!) and knitting.  The most astonishing change in the 35 years since I last did needlepoint has occurred.  From initially thinking I had no interest in even looking at the canvases to having to be dragged out of the show under protest at closing time, I could not stop looking at the canvases and threads.

One designer in particular, Lani from Studio City, CA captivated me.  If I could, I would have purchased every one of her canvases.  Here are just a few for your enjoyment.

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The Curve Master Sews Straight, Too!

Here is a quilt made by Ann Stickney in Shoreline, Washington using an old favorite, Yellow Brick Road pattern.  She says, “Nary a curve in sight but my Curvemaster presser foot kept me on the straight and narrow!”

It’s gorgeous, Annie!  Thanks for sharing.

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Countdown to Curve Master Online Class Kickoff – 6/1/2011

Here is the latest on our online class which our class moderator, Judy Hall of Australia,  just sent out.  I like to think of this as “Curve Master Boot Camp.”  Health and physical fitness “boot camps” are very popular here in the USA, for making us fit, strong and competent.  That is what my vision of the  Curve Master online class is.  You will be fit, strong and competent in using the Curve Master and sewing curves as a result of this class.

Judy and I will be providing a once-a-month lesson in PDF form which you can complete at your convenience, wherever you choose.  There will be a Yahoo group for all enrollees to share ideas, questions, answers, encouragement and successes.  We will include short videos as an enhancement as appropriate.

The class is appropriate for anyone who has the prerequisite knowledge of how to use a sewing machine for basic straight seam sewing, and how to safely use rotary cutting equipment and acrylic rulers.  Other than a Curve Master Presser Foot, Bent tip tweezers, and Seam Roller, and the one-time class fee for the 6-month series, no purchases are required.  We will be focusing on various techniques.  We will be using various Just Curves and other designers’ tools, but whether you use them or choose others which you may already have, is fine.

Join us and be victorious over curves!

Hi Everyone,

Some time ago you gave me an Expression of Interest in our NEW Online Course for using the Curve Master Presser Foot.  I have been mentioning this constantly in recent Newsletters but then realized some of you may not receive those regularly, hence this email.

If you would like to join us for this Six Month’s Course you may book online using the following link or you may phone through your credit card details.

If you prefer to pay via Direct Deposit, then those details are:  ANZ Wagga Branch BSB 012 823, Account # 9006 77906 in the name of Punch with Judy.  I would need confirmation when processed and if you could put your name and Curve Master Online as the notation it would be appreciated.


Cost is $80.00 (includes GST) for the full 6 lessons.

Full Details are on the above link as well, giving the lesson plan and explanation about how an Online Class works.

We have lots of ideas, projects and specials for you that I’m sure will be an absolute eye-opening and very well worth every cent of the class.  We ourselves are very excited about what we have planned for you so I certainly hope you are able to join us.  Things like Paper Piecing Arcs, Border Options, Pieced Dresden Plate with No Applique, Inserting Circles into Holes, Circles & Overlapping Circles, Swoopy Curves, Tight Curves, Wavy Curves, Giant Dahlia, Embellishments, Setting in Sleeves, Princess Seams, Inserting a Hat Crown or a Purse Bottom – plus the inevitable Drunkard’s Path, Double Wedding Ring and other favourite quilting blocks.  Makes your mouth water and your fingers itch to get sewing?

We already have over 40 students paid with another 40 in the wings, including yourself.

Requirements list and introduction is ready to email you now upon receipt of your confirmation.  Lesson 1 is only 7 days away.

Happy Quilting,


Judy Hall

Managing Director

Punch with Judy “Your Creative Sewing Specialist”

P.O. Box 62  THE ROCK  (near Wagga)  N.S.W.  AUSTRALIA.  2655

Email:  judy@punchwithjudy.com.au

Website:  www.punchwithjudy.com.au

Blog:  http://punchwithjudy.blogspot.com
Phone:  02 6920 2238    Fax:  02 6920 2021

International Phone:  61 2 6920 2238    International Fax:  61 2 6920 2021

Email me to join our Mailing List for Newsletters re new products & specials.

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Flood Gates Go Up! Paducah is Topsy-Turvy

Beautiful Paducah, KY, on the  south bank of the Ohio River is home to the American Quilters’ Society show scheduled to begin tomorrow night with a Preview.  But today official word came down that the river is expected to crest and flood due to the overwhelming rains this region has experienced and still more predicted.  All along the flood wall workers began feverishly erecting the flood gates, closing the few openings in the wall.

So what’s the bad news?  The Paducah Expo Center and Convention Center are located between the river and the flood walls!

That means all the vendors and quilt displays were scrambled, beginning last night, with the following results:

Vendors who were in the Expo Center, and the Best of Show quilts are moving to the Pavilion (or “Bubble Building.”) This is the building right next door to the Expo Center and Convention Center, and it lies safely behind the flood wall.

The vendors who were scheduled to be in the Pavilion are now moved to the “old” Office Max store front, out toward the Mall.

The vendors who were scheduled to be in the Convention Center are now moved to the “old” Circuit City store front, also out toward the Mall.

Buses will run a circuit from the Pavilion to the other venues.  Quilts will also be on display in these revised venues.

The Good News: This change of venue means we can “take the high ground” on our drive to the show and avoid the flood waters in the low lying areas along our previous route, if the show were still in the original venue.  More good news:  The Preview held on Tuesday night has been cancelled for all venues except the Pavilion Building.  This means I get to attend a preview, as a viewer!

Just Curves – Home of the Curve Master Presser Foot will move to the old Circuit City building and we plan to be open for business!

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The Garden is In!


Laser levels were employed to lay out 3-foot planting rows interrupted by 2-foot walkways between each.

This was followed in short order with the planting of corn, pole beans, bush beans, peas, kale, lettuce, spinach, asparagus, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, brussell sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, radishes, carrots, beets, dill, cilantro, and basil.  “Now, who will help me with all this?” said the Little Red Hen.

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The Oak Ridge Boys in Concert

It’s not all Quilt Show after Quilt Show.  Following the lovely dinner at Jennie’s, I treated myself to a seat in the main floor orchestra section for the Oak Ridge Boy’s concert at the Lancaster Music Theater on Lincoln Highway.  What a beautiful theater!  Wide aisles with plenty of leg room to stretch out and enjoy the plush padded seats.  And a concession stand of treats which you could take into the auditorium/theater to enjoy during the performance.  Amazing.

The other amazing thing?  How old all the rest of the audience was!  Not to mention how old the Oak Ridge Boys are!  When did this happen??!!!  I told a young neighbor girl, about age 20, about the concert and she said, “Who?”

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