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.

 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Do Something Good

 

Here's my sweet little Bailey. She doesn't think she's a dog, probably because of the way that I spoil her. She is the best companion and is always by my side, especially here in Key West. There are very few places that I can't take her. There are no dogs allowed in the Post Office, and thanks to many of you I have had to make a lot of trips there. She's not allowed in the grocery store, but I don't go there very often. That's my husband's domain. And she's not allowed in the Dollar Store. I was asked to leave when I went shopping there. Most other places, dogs are welcome including most restaurants with outdoor seating. At Home Depot, the sales people walk around with dog biscuits in their aprons.

But there are lots of dogs and cats that aren't as lucky as Bailey and are living in shelters. As quilters, it's wonderful that we can use our talents and heart to create items to help others. My quilt guild, Calico Cutters, as well as many others make quilts for Veterans and donate children's quilts to local women's shelters. It's so satisfying to help others doing something that we love.

As an Island Batik Ambassador, a February project was to create Kennel Quilts, or pet mats, for animal shelters in conjunction with The Quilt Pattern Magazine and Petfinder. They measure 12" x18".

This is a project that has been sponsored by lots of our favorite companies including Aurifil, Bernina, Benartex as well as Island Batik. Some local shelters would be happy to have the small quilts or they can be sent to Petfinders or specific places in need.

I chose to make simple Kennel quilts to show off the beautiful Island Batik fabric. They don't take long to make and there are guidelines and free patterns on The Quilt Pattern Magazine website. There's even tips for the most economical way to ship them. I sent mine to the SPCA in Louisiana, as they were listed as a special needs. If you want to join in, click on this link for directions. I know I plan on making more as soon as I finish the quilt show circuit and return to PA.

As I finish these Kennel quilts, I am getting ready to leave Key West. It has been a very productive 2 months with wonderful weather and lots of visits by family and friends. The time has flown by. We are heading North and will be itinerant vendors for 3 weeks. We've loaded up the car and there's just enough room for clothes, quilts and fabric!

Our first stop is Quiltcon in Savannah.

Will you be there? Stop by my booth #443 to see my newest Curvalicious quilt, Funkytown and get a free keychain and tattoo!

And to see the debut of my Mini Mosic Kits.

For my monthly newsletter video, I'll be sharing my favorite quilts from Quiltcon. I am amazed by how these quilters think outside of the box. If you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet, here's the link: http://eepurl.com/bx1BbH

After Quiltcon, I'll be visiting All Star Quilters Guild in Jacksonville, Daytona Beach for the AQS Quilt Show and then on to Atlanta where I will be vending and teaching 3 classes at the Original Sewing and Quilt Show. My Mini Mosaic class is already full!

If you are visiting any of the shows, stop by and say hi. It should be quite an adventure for Don, zbaikey and me. I'm hoping that Winter will be gone by the time we arrive home.

 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Galentine's Day




Have you heard of Galentine's Day?  I hadn't, but my DIL informed me that it was a fictional holiday made up on the TV show Parks & Rec to celebrate our love for our girlfriends.  The official fictional date is February 13th, the day before Valentine's Day.  

As an Island Batik Ambassador, my first assignment was to create something to celebrate this holiday.  I decided to use their Sweet Nectar line and  create these fun postcards to mail to my friends.  I love the combination of pink and orange.  It's a wonderful alternative to pink and red for this alternative holiday.  

These postcards can be sent through the US POstal Service.  Usually they hand stamp them and add a bit of extra postage.  To facilitate this, I print a postcard form that I formatted onto plain fabric.

Then I stitch this backing along with a piece of card stock onto the back of my mini quilt.  I use a zig zag stitch.


It's a great way to let your friends/family know that you're thinking of them with a fun little quilt.

So wishing all of my girlfriends,a Happy Galentine's Day.  You are very special to me and your support and love mean the world to me!






Funkytown

I have been working on this quilt for a few months. I call it "Funkytown". It's a Curvalicious design. It's so different than any other quilt I have created using Curvalicious. It's bight and whimsical and it makes me smile. The print fabrics are from an upcoming line of fabric by Tula Pink, called Tabby Road. If you look closely you can see catfood cans and cats in the prints. I'm not a big cat lover, but the colors and the graphic qualities of this line really caught my eye. It pairs so well with the solids. I bought a far quarter stack at Quilt Market. The fabric will be available soon and I've seen that some shops on line are taking pre-orders.

I finished the top before I left for Key West and sent it off to Till We Quilt Again, aka Helen Ernst, to be quilted. She did an amazing job.

When she mailed it back to me, I realized that the fabric I brought with me for binding wasn't going to work.I ended up ordering a Tula Pink fabric from a different line, called Chipper, for the binding. Everything takes longer to arrive here. We call it the end of the road and it truly is the end of Rte 1 that starts in Maine and goes all the way down the East Coast.

I finished binding it right after my son and DIL arrived. Since Key West is as colorful and exciting as my quilt, my partners in crime and I decided to have fun and photograph it at lots of locations. So enjoy some views of Key West and Funkytown.


Funkytown will be in my booth at Quiltcon that starts Feb 23rd, in Savannah, Booth #443. Please stop by and visit this well traveled quilt.

A pattern will be available soon. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know.

 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I Hit The Jackpot!

I was so happy when I was chosen to be an Island Batik Ambassador. I wasn't exactly sure what that meant, but I knew I would get some Island Batik fabric to make a few projects. But I had no idea what that really meant. Leave it to me to jump in with both feet!


Our packages do not come directly to our place. Instead they are delivered to our management company. The fellow that brought it over for me wanted to know what was in the package because it was so heavy!

Words cannot express how I felt when I opened the box and started going thought it. I was flabbergasted. This was the most exciting package I have ever received. It was filled with batiks in every color and every size.

I have to say these 10" squares are my favorites. The fabric line is called Sweet Nectar and they are definitely sweet. It's going to be hard to open this amazing arrangement and actually cut it up.

And thread! I had no idea that Aurifil thread was part of the deal. And a few spools of Superior's Fantastico too. The Fantastico is a variegated 40 wt polyester. I can't wait to try it for blanket stitching my Curvalicious appliqu├ęs.

There is even fabric I can't show you because it won't be available in shops until the Fall! But let me tell you that if you know anyone that likes to cook, you'll want some. This fabric is perfect for my DIL who loves to be in the kitchen and even has chickens that lay eggs.

As an IsLand Batik Ambassador, we have a monthly list of projects to make and share. So you'll be seeing what I do with all these batiks along with a bunch of other Ambassadors. Here's a peak at my first "assignement" with these gorgeous batiks.

This whole experience reminds me of the saying "Will work for fabric". Obviously, I will.

Stay tuned for this exciting experience.