Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Day With Quilters

Yesterday I spent the day with The Newtown Quilters Guild in Pennsylvania and a great group of quilters. Some came from as far away as Cape May. The day began with my Mini Mosaics workshop with practically a full house.

The participants are given a choice of 5 different patterns. A break for lunch revealed the most popular choice.

Great progress was made.

At night, my presentation was Turning Travel Into Treasures. I shared my quilts and folding fiber books that have been inspired by my travels throughout the years. I shared some crazy stories about trips to Mexico, Israel and Barcelona.

And then Show & Tell:

Thanks ladies for a great day.

 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The New Approach To Foundation Quilts

As soon as I arrived home from The Curvalicious Tour, I got to work on my monthly assignment as an Island Batik Ambassador. I couldn't wait to sit at my sewing machine and do a couple of quick paper pieced projects, of course with Island Batik fabrics. Paper piecing has come a long way. I have always found it a great method to achieve those perfect points. I feel though that there has been a reinvention and explosion. The available patterns are not just stars and mariners compasses, but such a fun variety including vignettes, animals, winding geese and words.

Of course I had to try my "Philly Love" quilt pattern in batiks. I love the bright colors. You can find the pattern on Craftsy by clicking HERE.

I have always wanted to try this sewing machine pattern by Quiet Play. As with Philly Love, it's a downloadable pattern. I like instant gratification. You can check out all of her patterns HERE.

 

I have 2 tips I'd like to share. The first is when joining 2 sections of a paper pieced pattern together, I use wonder clips instead of straight pins to hold the pieces together. There is no distortion with the wonder clips and I've found I can be more precise.

The other tip is for machine stitching a binding. After stitching the binding to the back of the quilt, press it open and then fold it to the front of the quilt. Then, I take full advantage of the use of a stiletto. I use it for both pulling the binding into place and keeping it in place as I stitch, especially at the corners.

 

 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Behind the Scenes of the Curvalicious Tour

I just returned home from 3 weeks on the road where I was a vendor at 3 major quilt shows. I never envisioned myself as a traveling salesperson, but that all changed when I gave birth to Curvalicious. This year is going to be the year of the QuiLt Show. There will be 7 in all. I thought it might be interesting to share a sneak peak about life behind my demos.

After spending 6 weeks in Key West, we loaded up the car and headed to Savannah.

We always keep our fingers crossed that everything will fit. This year we purchased this cargo carrier that holds 3 good sized bins. We needed every single square inch of space.

We drove to Savannah where we had rented a house through VRBO. Why a house? Her name is Bailey. She can't be left alone in a hotel room all day because she would bark and the hotel management does not appreciate that. But it is nice to have a house with a kitchen and living room and yard. So in each location we had a house.

The day before the show is set up day. We always enter via the loading dock. Everyone is trying to get their stuff out of their vehicle and onto the show floor at the same time. I was doing the same thing and neglected to take a photo. This is my early morning entry. We have always been lucky and our booth is usually convenient to the door.

I try to be organized when I load out and load in, in theory. Like I said, I try. It would help when I set up from show to show. The three shows we did were Quiltcon in Savannah, GA then the AQS show in Daytona, FL and then the Original Sewing &Quilt Expo in Atlanta, GA. And yes, if you're thinking about the trip in your head, we headed North from Key West to Savannah and then south to Daytona and then North again to Atlanta. It was a lot of hours on the road.

We are given name badges wherever we are that allows us access to the show.

I can relax a bit when my booth is finally set up.

It's amazing how the show floor looks when all the booths are set up.

Some of the shows have more quilts than others.

I spend most of the day demoing.

Behind my demo table is the place I stash my food and drink.

I try to get to the convention center an hour before the show opens. That gives me a chance to tidy and replenish my booth and to walk around. It's really the only time I have to shop or see the quilts.

At the end of the show, it's time to pack up and drive to the next show!

At some of the shows I get to reconnect with friends, like Calista of Winderfil Specialty Threads

Or connect with Instagram friends, like Ali @mumbird, who was my swap partner at Quiltcon.

The less glamorous moments are:

Prepping for my class in the hotel

Walking Bailey in the dark

And the haute cuisine!

The highlights are meeting so many wonderful quilters, seeing amazing quilts like this one by Lenore Crawford,

getting to take Bailey to a workshop with me for the All Star Quilters Guild of Jacksonville,

seeing a beautiful ocean sunrise

And filling out the sales tax form, NOT !

At the end of it all, it was time to head home.

Three weeks on the road was a wonderful and exhausting experience. Curvalicious had an amazing reception that lifted my spirits and kept me going with a smile on my face and an ache in my feet.

Until next time in Paducah!

 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Quiltcon East

Quiltcon East is halfway through and it has been quite an exciting event. We're in Savannah at the International Trade and Convention Center, Booth #443. It's located on Hutchinson Island right across the river from Savannah and can only be accessed by ferry or bridge.

It is a quilt show put on by The Modern Quilt Guild (MQG). I have so much I can say and share about this show, but I will try and limit myself. This is, I think, the 5 th major show where I have been a vendor and I can't even count the number of shows that I have attended. This show makes me feel the excitement that I felt at my first quilt show. Quilters have traveled to Savannah from all over the country and even from outside Europe and Canada to share in the Modern Quilt movement. There are lots of younger quilters and everyone is eager to learn and buy and meet the quilting rock stars.

I have been surprised by the huge presence of the major fabric manufacturers. They have huge booths with hands on activities touting their latest fabrics. I view it as an attempt to build name recognition and to build loyalty.

There are classes starting at 8:30 in the morning and into the evening. Their website could not handle the volume of quilters wanting to take classes and it crashed within hours of opening class registration. It took them several days before it was up and running again.

This is the tote that was given to the volunteers and quilters taking classes. I tried to snag a couple as a vendor, but was told they were only for volunteers and students, but they were for sale.

It's adorable and I was planning on picking up a few for some of my quilting buddies and me. Before the show opened on Day 2, I went to buy them and was told they sold out in the first 3 hours of the show. Bummer.

And the quilts. I know many quilters think Modern, shmodern! What's the fuss? These quilts are not traditional quilts. There is a completely different aesthetic. They are modern, from the design to the quilting. There's a lot of straight line quilting as well as a lot of solid colored fabric. The viewpoint of these quilters is much different than mine. They really think outside of the traditional box. They are not ho hum in any sense and there were so many that made me stop and give pause. There are too many to share, but I'll pick a few. I can't even say they are my favorites, because there were sooooo many that impressed me. (Please forgive me for not giving credit to the quilter. It was just too much. ) To see all of the winners, click HERE.

Best in Show - "Bling" by Katherine Jones of Australia

 

There were halls filled with quilts from MQG chapters all over the world. These were group quilts that were to represent their home town/city with certain guidelines and will return home for a charitable purpose. It's so hard to describe the uniqueness of these quilts.

 

This skyline, from the D.C. MQG, depicts our nation's capitol.

Florida sunshine and beach.

The next quilts from 3 MQG chapters are such an excellent depiction of how modern quilters take a traditional block like the churn dash and turn it on its ear.

 

 

 

 

Check out this van

 

With the photo of Jenny Doan on the back.

And there was a touching tribute to The Orlando MQG and their spearheading of the hundreds of heart quilts made for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. This chapter collected blocks and then quilts from all over the world. They were overwhelmed with quilters generosity and kindness and gave quilts to not only the victims families but to first responders, and the nightclub workers and many others who were directly touched by this tragedy.

And my humble booth

It's been a great show in so many ways. I met lots of Instagram friends and made lots of new Curvalicious friends. I'm sorry it will head back to the west coast next year, but I may have to go to a Pasadena. In 2019 Nashville here I come.