Category Archives: quilt show

Fourth Show All Wrapped Up

Last weekend my sister and I worked as vendors at the quilt show for the Pioneer Quilt Guild of Rocklin, CA.  The show was held in Roseville which is about a 40 minute drive from my home.  Set up was Friday night which was slightly unusual. Since my generous sister had accumulated a zillion points with Holiday Inn, she treated us to a hotel rather than driving back and forth. It was a treat to stay in town rather than drive home after we finished setting up. Also, we were able to get there early on Saturday to put finishing touches on the booth before the show opened.

The show was great.  The guild is rather small but quite talented. You’ll be surprised to find out I didn’t take even one picture of the quilts on display.  So strange for me.  I think it was just too busy.  The show was not juried but I did go and vote for my favorite in each category.  I liked their system for displaying the quilts.  Each category was displayed together and there was a painted clothespin with the color of the pin denoting the category of quilts.  So if you saw a purple clothespin for example, that meant you were in the medium size, pieced quilts.

Saturday was busy until about 2pm and then it just dragged.  I think there were some Veteran’s Day activities in the afternoon that pulled customers/viewers away from the show. It made me nervous because usually the first day of the show has been the busiest and the second day much quieter.  Patti and I were nervously anticipating a very quiet day on Sunday.

We were pleasantly surprised because Sunday was very busy and we had so many customers.


Also, Julia spent the day with us on Sunday. She had fun talking with customers and putting bolts away after I cut fabric.


Patti, owner of Etsy shop Ferrari Handmade, had a very successful weekend. She brought only her holiday dresses and the coordinating doll dresses.  This is the perfect time of year for her shop and there were many grandmas at the show who liked and purchased the dresses for their grand daughters.  She also had a number of custom orders which she is busily sewing away on this week. The incredible technology we have these days enabled her to sell a custom dress for a grand daughter in Florida. It was really fun to watch the grandmas FaceTime with her daughter in Florida so she could show the fabric choices for the dresses.  Patti was able to get details right then by talking with the mom as she took the necessary measurements on the little girl. Gotta love technology!


Patti constructed this super cute fireplace to decorate our booth and give it a festive feel.  Julia was so funny as she tried to emulate an excited child sitting by the fire (a string of battery operated lights.)


As always we learned a few things with this show.

#1 – If you put the candy jar behind yourself because the work table is too small, one goes through candy much faster!  I suppose people are more ‘comfortable’ taking candy when it is less visible?  How funny.  So we ran out on Saturday afternoon and had to restock for Sunday’s customers!

#2.  We wrapped little holiday fat quarters with ribbon and hung them from our Christmas tree like ornaments.  However we didn’t post a sign with pricing and we didn’t sell even one!  We sold tons of fat quarters from the basket where the sign hung but not even one from the tree.  So, while it looked cute, it wasn’t an effective display.

#3.  As I had hoped, having samples made with fabric available for sale really boosts sales.  I had the small quilt made with the Shine panel as well as the Panda Garden whole cloth quilt on display.  Numerous sales resulted from this as they drew interest from the shoppers.

This is the last show I am doing for 2017.  I am looking at the shows for 2017 and deciding which to do.  My sister has a busy month booked for December.  She will be doing a weekly outdoor event up here called Victorian Christmas. Hopefully I will be able to help by working in her booth (if my head cooperates and I am not dealing with a migraine.) Whether I work in the booth or not, she will certainly be successful – especially after seeing the success of her efforts over the weekend!

The holiday season is going strong for me and i am sewing lots of cozies for both French Press coffee pots as well as Chemex pots. I have several Christmas projects I want to make/finish so I need to stay organized if I am going to get it all done.  I am sure you are feeling the same way as November marches on and the holidays begin.  Enjoy the sewing time and don’t stress over it!

Quilt Show Recap

Last weekend my sister, Patti, and I worked at the Elk Grove Quilt Show. It was a beautiful weekend and attendance was great. I loved meeting the women from the Elk Grove guild. They were really warm and friendly. There were some issues with the wi-fi and the server had to be rebooted numerous times.  The vendor chairperson never lost her smile and was a delight to deal with. They hold a quilt show every other year and one could tell they really look forward to this event. Attention was paid to each detail and the show was wonderful.

This is the third show Patti and I have done.  She brought a great selection of hand made children’s dresses, messenger bags, and Halloween Loot bags. These were well received and she sold quite a few things. (To see more of her work, check out her shop, Ferrari Handmade.)

We had fun decorating the booth with pumpkins, gourds, and fall colors.

Even though it is early, we had one small corner with Christmas fabrics, both yardage and fat quarters. As we did at the Grass Valley show, on day 2 – Sunday – we moved around some bolts that were not attracting attention on Saturday. In doing so, we had a number of sales from those bolts. It is a constant learning curve which Patti and I are really enjoying.

This guild is small but mighty, I believe they told me they have 75 members. They are one very talented group. So many quilts caught my eye. Let me show you a few of them.

 

I am a country girl and was smitten with this rooster.

The use of floral prints and fabric painting made for a really unique quilt with the creation of this snowman. (Or snow-woman?)

The photo does not do this quilt justice. Titled African Safari, it won Best of Show and it was well deserved. The applique was fantastic and the hand stitched detail work was spot on. I loved it.

This was probably my favorite of all. The quilter used gorgeous florals to create a vintage seamstress’ dress form. The use of individually cut flowers to create the shape was genius. She also hid little items in the collage which added a fun element.

I love the title too. 🙂

Yesterday I spent the day reorganizing fabric and putting everything away. It was a great show and I turned over a lot of fabric which is great because you know what that means…..  I get to buy more!

Today will be clean-the-house-day.  It is in a sorry state, for sure. Hoping for a sewing day tomorrow. I have some pieces ready to cut and organize for the backing of the jersey quilt I am making for my nephew. I want to get that done and make an appointment at the long arm shop for next week. I can’t wait to practice with the long arm again.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. We are having incredible fall weather this week (but next week it is heating back up.) Oh well, I will take it while it is here! In case you missed it, I posted my blog hop post for Island Batik yesterday. There is a great giveaway of 26 fat quarters! Check it out here. There is still time to enter.

 

Mid-week Update

What a crazy month September has been. Horrible weather is affecting so many – hurricanes, flooding, fires – too much rain in many places and such a shortage in others. I hope you haven’t been adversely affected by all of this.  But for those who have, I am sorry for what you are enduring.  We haven’t had as much wildfire activity nearby as we usually due in late summer.  Today it is substantially cooler than it has been and I am so thankful.  Maybe fall weather is coming to our part of the state.

I wanted to share a few things with you.  The first is to show you a mini I won from a giveaway held at Quilting Jetgirl. Yvonne celebrated her birthday earlier this month with an incredibly generous giveaway where she gave a box of fabric from her stash, a gift certificate to Hawthorne Threads, and two pieces she had made. I was so lucky to win this mini, called Sidekick Sampler.

I just love it. The background is deep purple which was challenging to photograph for some reason.  The star is made with light blue and lavender fabrics. It is just exquisite.   Yvonne has a well deserved reputation for precision piece work and lovely quilting. This mini displays both.

Quilting this with an all over motif of stars was the perfect choice for this piece. I was thrilled to receive it and quickly added it to the wall over my sewing machine.

What a generous way to celebrate a birthday by giving such awesome gifts to others.  Don’t you love Yvonne’s labels? Thank you Yvonne!:-)

I have done a bit of sewing this week, though not as much as I would like.  Last week I took a quilt top to the local long arm shop that rents time on their machines.  I hadn’t been there for just about a year and it took a while to remember everything. The woman that works there was so patiently helpful as I tried load the quilt – there are so many details involved in that process and I definitely needed a refresher.  Once I got going though, the quilting went quite well.  I am excited to share this quilt and if you come back on Monday you’ll see it.  I made it for the Back to School blog hop that is ongoing with the Island Batik Ambassadors and my day to post is the 18th. Luckily I got it done and spent the past two nights stitching the binding to the back side. Be sure to check out the post on Monday as I have a wonderful giveaway  to go along with this blog hop.

Much of my time this week is being spent preparing for another quilt show. I will be a vendor at the Elk Grove Quilt Guild’s show this weekend. I am looking forward to it and the Vendor Chairwoman for the show has been a delight to work with. This show is just over an hour from my house so it is pretty convenient. My sister (Ferrari Handmade) is working it with me and I am so looking forward to spending the weekend with her. If you are local to the area and plan to attend the show, please be sure to come by and say hi.

Finally, I drew names for the two winners of the Shine fabric panel and border scraps. Lucky winners, Roxie and Tami, should have their fabric in hand by now.  I asked readers for recipes or foods they love to make when autumn rolls around.

Roxie said:

I love candy roaster squash pie. It is like pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie. I know it is fall when I put this in the oven and smell the great aroma!

Tami commented:

This is so cute! That “Just shine” panel would be fun for a little wall quilt to hang by my desk at school, or even a floor cushion for the reading area. Its really a darling print! Our favorite fall tradition is soup on Sunday. We usually manage to come up with a different soup every weekend until Thanksgiving! my girls pick recipes and we try them out. Starting with cheeseburger soup tomorrow! Good luck at the show next weekend!

I have not heard of candy roaster squash pie but if it is anything like pumpkin pie, it sounds great to me.  Soup on Sundays sounds like a wonderful tradition to have when the cooler weather comes.  Hope Tami and Roxie enjoy the fabric.

See you all back here on Monday to celebrate some gorgeous Island Batik fabrics.

Quilt Exhibit Recap

Last week I posted a little catch up on the fair, Julia’s pig Ella, and the purse I made for her.  In the comments, Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl, reminded me I hadn’t said anything about the quilts I entered in the local fair.  I had originally planned to enter three quilts and that is what I technically signed up for.  As I got the quilts out to add the hanging sleeves, I noticed that I had machine stitched the binding to the Positively Floating plus quilt. In all honesty, I can’t remember why I machine stitched that one. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to stitch the binding down? Usually I kind of enjoy that last bit of stitching on a project.  At any rate, it didn’t make sense to enter that quilt because I was fairly sure the judge wouldn’t appreciate a machine stitched binding. Additionally, I had procrastinated on making the sleeves, it was the night before I had to bring them over to the fairgrounds, and I was running short on time. So I didn’t enter the plus quilt.

I did enter the relief quilted THREAD project and the Sweet Tweets baby quilt. I got a second place ribbon on the Sweet Tweets baby quilt.

Third place, the quilt below mine was 2nd place.

I received a third place ribbon on the THREAD project. Now before we all get excited, I will tell you the rest.  I am nothing, if not honest, right?  This is a very small show – all contained within one room and may 150 entries at most (including all garments, stitchery, knitting and quilts)  In the baby quilt category, there were two entries.  In the mini quilts of this size, there were three.  As my sister Patti wisely told me, the glass is half full – you got a 2nd and a 3rd place.  But my logical side says, meh, I got last out of three and 2nd out of two.  Either way, I am happy. I think I got over my fear of having someone look at my project and pick it apart (no pun intended!)  It was interesting to read the comments.  Here is a bit of what the judge wrote:

On the baby quilt:  She liked the fabric selection and the fussy cut blocks. She found the quilting design appropriate and noted my stitches were not all the same length. Binding was well done but quilt does not lie flat.

On the relief quilt:  Thread play noted and appreciated. Starts and stops should not be visible, addition of quilted thread spools noted and appreciated. Binding needs improvement.

So – it was an interesting experience.  I am not a terribly competitive person so usually, I don’t feel compelled to think of the judge’s perspective as I make projects.  I suppose if I decide to enter things again, I need to pay more attention to the details.

Yesterday I was having fun making a few bandana bibs for my little grand baby.  My son, his wife and the baby got to California yesterday after a few flight delays and weather issues. They are spending time in the Bay Area, about 150 miles from here and will come up here Wednesday.  The baby will be working on teething soon which means all of that drooling that comes with it. I thought bandana bibs might be nice for this. The first one is made with a Cotton & Steel print, Panda Bebe, a white flannel backing and a tiny velcro closure. After I made it, I decided it might be a tad bit on the small side.

I took the template and cut it to be a couple of inches longer. The second bib was made with a cute flannel scrap I had and a pink lining.  I suspect this one is long enough. They were fun to make and such a quick project. The template I used was from Grey House Harbor, a DIY website with lots of tutorials. It will be fun to see if these fit baby girl when she gets here.

Finally, today Needle and Foot is the sponsor of this week’s podcast at While She Naps. The host and author at this site, Abby Glassenberg, is someone I have long admired. So much so, I wrote a review of her newsletter and podcast a while back. When the opportunity came about to sponsor a podcast, I was more than happy to do so.  Abby’s strength lies in the breadth of subjects she covers both in her blog, newsletter and podcast. I hope you will click through and listen to today’s interview with Jamie Chalmers, otherwise known as Mr. X Stitch. His site boldly claims to be the world’s best contemporary needle crafts and embroidery site. You may have noticed that embroidery and cross stitch, among other styles of needle crafts, are trending these days.  Jamie’s hugely popular site features “Cute ThingsArty Things, and Rude Things as well as all other sorts of stitchy goodness“. I am looking forward to hearing the podcast today and getting to know more about Chalmers. As added incentive, Needle and Foot will be offering a discount to Abby’s and Jamie’s fans – you’ll need to go over and listen to find out the details though!

 

Reno Show Recap & Summer Break

Last weekend was the Truckee Meadows Quilt Guild annual show in Reno, Nevada. Needle & Foot was a vendor there – this was the second show I have done.  The first one was our local guild’s show in May. As with most things, I did a few things different this time and learned a bit more with the Reno experience.

Before we  go into all of that, I want to talk a bit about my ‘silent’ partner.  It was about February of last year when I got the idea to vend at the Grass Valley quilt show in May.  But I was really hesitant to commit and to pay the $200 booth fee.  I have mentioned now and then that I have difficulties with migraines. But if I were to be honest, I would describe my migraine issue with stronger language – I have a chronic illness and it really wreaks havoc with my daily life. I get about two or three migraines each week. This has been on-going since 2009. For whatever reason my body shifted (probably something to do with peri-menopause and then menopause) and the migraines kicked in with force.  (I am not explaining all of this to gather your sympathies, more to show why I make some of the decisions I do.)

People with chronic migraine have a really difficult time committing to anything with a defined date or time. I rarely know how my week will go,wait –  not rarely, scratch that.  I never know how it will go.  So it makes it hard for me to join committees, or volunteer groups, promise to take Julia somewhere, etc.  I cancel out of many, many commitments. All. The. Time.  When I wanted to try a quilt show, I knew I had to have back-up. I couldn’t take the chance on doing this without someone else there to run the booth if I got sick.

My five sisters – at a surprise party for Cathy (the one in the red t-shirt

Knowing this, I called Patti and asked her if she would work the show with me (or without me, as the case may be.) She immediately agreed. I mean without hesitation, without knowing exactly where it was, how long it lasted, or what it entailed. That is how she is. That is how all of my sisters are. Having her work it with me gave me the confidence to go ahead with it. We did the Grass Valley show and it was great fun.

Because of the success of the first show, we signed up for a few more. Now we were planning as a team. Patti is an incredible seamstress.  She has made two quilts – her first one was queen size as a gift and the other was for her daughter, Laura. But for the most part, she sews garments. She decided to make a few things and bring them to the show in Reno to gauge reactions to her work and the pricing.  In the space of about six weeks, Patti planned fabric and color, pattern and detail work, to make a selection of girl’s dresses and little coordinating messenger bags.

I was thrilled with her plan because it added a whole new dimension to the booth. As you know, many quilters do not enjoy garment sewing. However almost all quilters do recognize highly skilled workmanship. I knew these dresses would be appreciated and valued by the quilters shopping at the show.  More importantly, it meant Patti and I had something to work on together. Patti lives about 150 miles from me but we called and texted constantly as she developed her plan and made these gorgeous dresses.

OK – let’s talk about the show. It was a great experience. The show was smaller than the first show we did and was a non-juried show. This made for lower attendance. However, the people that were there were so friendly. They shopped our booth and made purchases – enough so I would say it was worth our time. The venue wasn’t without issues though. You can probably tell from the photos, the lighting was just awful. (These photos have been edited, lightened and brightened.) It felt like the power was out in our corner. Everything was so dark! That was quite a problem. We were carrying bolts into the light to see true colors whenever a customer was trying to make a decision. It added a layer of frustration for each of the vendors. Also, there wasn’t any wifi available. In this day of using technology for everything, lack of wifi is pretty ridiculous. We had to use cell service for our phones, had to use our phones as hot-spots for the iPads, and we were constantly charging devices to keep things going. (Because of these two issues, I will probably pass on this show next year, unless changes are made.)

We tried a few new things with this show. We arranged the bolts in more of a thematic groupings and tried to make the colors flow better (hard to illustrate with the lousy light) . I think this made the booth flow much better. I ordered black tablecloths which added uniformity to the look too.  I folded the fat quarters in a different way so the pattern of the fabric was displayed better and I grouped them by colorways in the basket.  It was interesting to see the difference in our sales. We sold a lot of fat quarters and lots of the little kits and notions we brought; at the last show we hardly sold any of those items. The yardage we sold was also interesting. For one thing,many of the guild members were collecting floral prints for a class that was scheduled for October. They wanted large scale prints for fussy cutting. Luckily I had a selection of Art Gallery fabrics (Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland’s prints) that worked for this and those sold well.

For lots of reasons, I would call the show a success. It wasn’t hugely profitable but Patti and I gained exposure, learned another thing or two about booth set-up and tear down, sold fabric and dresses, and most of all, had a great time together. The next show isn’t until mid-September. It is about 50 miles from home so a bit more convenient than the Reno show. (Even though we did stay overnight in Reno for two nights, we had the luxury of staying in my in-law’s second home. They generously gave us access to the house which was sooo much nicer than staying in a hotel – and, of course, more economical too.)

Patti has decided to go for it and she will be opening an Etsy shop with her handmade items. As this progresses, I will keep you posted – I think her work is nothing short of amazing and these dresses will be fun gifts at holiday time or for birthday gifts.

It is August now and that means school starts in two weeks for Julia. With the end of summer approaching, I want to take a bit of time off and focus on family.  Today I am taking Julia and her BFF to the mall and out for lunch. Fair is next week which means we will be super busy with Julia and her 4-H project, Ella. I will turn in my quilts for exhibit later today too. There is lots going on!

Grammy’s sweet girl is coming soon!!!t

As if that isn’t enough, my son and his wife and this little chunk are coming for five days at the end of the month. As I thought about all I have going on and how busy things have been, I decided to take a vacation from blogging and social media.  I really want the break and look forward to shifting my focus to home and family for a few weeks.  While I am away from the blog and my social media platforms, I will still be shipping orders. If you need anything in particular, you can always email me via the Etsy shop or at my email address. I am happy to help you. But I won’t be looking at Facebook or Instagram for a couple of weeks. It is important (to me anyway) to get away from all of the chatter that is social media. As much as I love the on-line community, it can be quite a distraction from daily life and eats away at my time in the sewing room too. Hopefully this makes sense to you. Enjoy this last bit of summer — I look forward to catching up with everyone the first week of September!!  When I return I will share the book selection for the Autumn round of Fabric & Fiction. I also have a few other fun things planned. I’ll be back soon!!  🙂

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My First Quilt Show Vendor Experience

Well I now have one quilt show under my belt. I signed up (for the first time) to be a vendor at our local guild’s quilt show. This show happens the first weekend of May each year. It is a pretty good size show with maybe 250 quilts to look at and about 1100 visitors coming through over the course of the show. I was a bit nervous as I had absolutely no idea what to expect.  Overall, I would classify my experience as a huge success!

We set up my 10′ x 10′ booth on Friday afternoon.  My sister, Patti, came up for the weekend to help me. It was such a  treat to work with her and just be able to hang out with her over the long weekend. She came up Thursday morning and we spent the afternoon doing a bit of a dry run in my garage. We laid out the tables, hung the banner, and selected a few smaller props that I had gathered to see what we could fit. On Thursday night, with the help of my wonderful husband (a packing genius who can fit so very much into small, tight spaces), we got everything packed up in our two cars. Ray has a truck which would have fit everything but I really don’t like driving it so we decided to use our two smaller cars.

Hard at work!

Friday morning found us wrapping up a few details and drinking way too much coffee before heading out to pick up Julia from school.  As luck would have it, she had an early dismissal. Having the three of us to unload cars and set up the booth was great. If I had done it myself it would have been a lot more work. Strength in numbers, right?

Thanks for all of the help Patti!!

The show ran from 10 am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. It took a harrowing 45 minutes for the first sale to occur. I was sure we should just pack up and go home (maybe I was being  a bit overly anxious?)

Oh no! Where is everybody??

Once that sale happened, it all just started to flow. We had steady customers up through the last hour. Hurray!!  By the end of Saturday afternoon we were ready to go home and have a glass of wine. We reviewed the day and thought of a few things to change for Sunday.

One thing I noted was we were selling so much yardage and very few precuts. The precuts were too low, out of the line of vision for our customers. Additionally, the FQ’s and FQ bundles were packed too tightly so it wasn’t enjoyable to look through them.

On Sunday morning we moved a few things around. I took the FQ bundles and stacked them on top of the bolts I had cut them from. This way if a shopper was admiring a bolt of something or other, the bundle was right there. It worked out wonderfully and Sunday we sold both yardage and a lot of FQ bundles. I also moved a few of the collections around to see if I would get better attention to some of the bolts that we had not seen any action on Saturday. This was also successful.

While at the show I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly the vendors were with each other. They encouraged me and answered any questions I had once they knew I was a newbie at this. I shouldn’t have been surprised since we are all part of this quilting community, which we all know to be incredibly kind. I had thought since we were (in some ways) competing with each other, it might not be this way.

Also, three different quilt guilds invited me to have a booth at their shows! It had been my hope that I would make some connections and it certainly happened. I have a show scheduled for September, another for November, and the third is next year. This means I have some time to work out any kinks from this show, making the next experience smoother.

As far as selling fabric, I was pleased to see how receptive my customers were to the lines I am carrying. I had a great deal of positive feedback. There were no other vendors carrying Andover or Art Gallery fabric. I live in a traditional area and normally one sees lots of repro and novelty fabric at this show. There was also a booth featuring brightly colored Timeless Treasure paired up with black and white bolts. The most popular fabric in my booth was the Maker Maker linen/cotton blend line and the Gossamer line by Sharon Holland. I completely sold out of a few bolts which was delightful. Also, the newest line I have, Dreamer, by Carrie Bloomston (Andover fabric) was very popular.

I had fun posting progress pictures on Instagram. All of you were so encouraging to me along the way. Now I have a significant amount of tidying up to do in my shop as this week gets back to normal.

I will be posting an update soon on the Sew Along that will commence at the end of June. I want some feedback on the pattern choice.  Also, at the very end of May, I will have the fourth installment of my Meet the Designer series for you (and there might just be a giveaway involved in this one!) Enough for now, I have lots of boring housework to do after ignoring it all of last week. I keep telling myself if I get the chores done today, I can sew tomorrow. That seems fair, doesn’t it?

Getting Ready

I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend preparing for a quilt show coming up this weekend. I decided to attend the show as a vendor and several months ago, I bought a booth for the vendor area. I got the smallest size booth they have and will give it a go.  My wonderful sister is coming to help me – this way if it is busy I will have help and if it is slow, she will commiserate with me.  Win-win for me!  She has great ideas and is very talented as a decorator so she has been a huge help as I collect what I need for the booth.

I used some green Ta Dot fabric (Michael Miller) and a piece of Crescent Bloom by Anna Maria Horner to make two work aprons for Patti and I to wear.   (Both of these fabrics are still available in my shop, though there is very little left.) The aprons were really a quick project and I just sort of made them up as I went. Check out the measuring tape twill that I used for the waist and the apron strings.  So cute! (Have to say the apron looks a whole lot cuter on my model than on me!!  🙂  )

Using the same fabrics, I made a bunting to hang across the front of one of the tables. Love these colors and they coordinate well with my logo.

Because this is my first time, I am trying not to spend tons of money. I did have to get a few things though. I am going for a bright, colorful look which will hopefully invite those shoppers to come and browse. You probably remember the banner I posted a few weeks ago.  My husband made me a frame with PVC pipe yesterday to hang it from.   People will definitely see that banner!

Pricing, oh my gosh — all the pricing that needed to be done. I have a small assortment of stitchery kits and a few projects for kids to make. Summer is coming and I thought it might be fun for some of the women to work on simpler projects with their grandchildren or children, as the case may be.  I made up a sample of this little pincushion kit. Isn’t it sweet? The kit includes everything needed so I think a young person could be quite successful making this. I have also marked a large assortment of fat quarter bundles and had to put pricing on the bolts (something I don’t normally do since it is just me down here in my little shop.)

Fat quarters! I have cut all sorts of fat quarters. This is a gamble because I have no idea how many will sell. I hesitate to cut too many because than my fabric is chopped up. But I have a good size collection. I think I would rather run out than bring home a billion fat quarters. If you are a local reader, I hope you will come by and say hi on Saturday or Sunday at the quilt show.  Members of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild will enjoy a 15% discount this weekend. Hurray for being in the guild!

Finally, let’s all congratulate Sally! Her name was pulled as the winner of the giveaway of a copy of No Scrap Left Behind. Sally, I have sent you an email.  Please respond in the next day or two. If I don’t hear from you, I will pull another name on Wednesday. Thanks so much for all of the comments and ideas on scrap storage. So many of us do keep scraps but there were a handful of honest quilters out there who don’t choose to keep them. It’s all good!  Those that don’t want them seem to give them to their guild members or other quilty friends. Sounds like a good idea to me! There are still more bloggers sharing their projects on the blog hop this week. Keep checking them out and maybe you will still add a copy of the book to your library!

I doubt I will post again this week. I still have quite a bit to do in preparation for the show. Hopefully, I will be back to tell you of a successful experience after the show!

Linking these finishes up to my favorite linky parties. Check out the tab Link Ups at the top of the page.

 

Weekend Quilt Show Report

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to a small quilt show in the town of Georgetown, about an hour drive from home. The Georgetown quilt guild is small with about 30 members. They put on a quilt show each year, which is no easy feat with a small group!  Last year the show was cancelled at the last minute because it was very smokey in the area, due to a wildfire. Their show is held in the park which makes for a really nice morning.

This year the show featured  Lynn Wilder,  of Sew’n Wild Oaks.  She is a talented pattern designer and teacher that lives in Northern California. She has a book out on ways to simplify quilt math and was doing short demos throughout the day.

This year’s opportunity quilt for the guild was made with Wilder’s Toyland pattern. It was an adorable holiday quilt to raffle off. Funds from their annual raffle go to the Volunteer Fire Department, a wonderful cause. There were a number of quilts that guild members had made using this pattern and it was fun to see each quilter’s interpretation and color choice.

toyland

The show is not juried but visitors do vote for their favorites. Here are two of mine. This sunflower is a mini but I loved it. I took a close shot to save for inspiration.

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I am a huge fan of barn quilts and this interpretation caught my eye.

imageEach block was embroidered and the stitches were lovely. Very precise. Love the way she used the FMQ in the background to show clouds or to define the ground.

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What would a quilt show be without a fun table full of fabric to rummage through? I did my fair share, you know, to support their volunteer fire department.

There was a fun assortment of Christmas fabric that I plan to use to make more reusable gift bags. I have done this for the past two years and love getting away from so much paper at the holidays.img_7500

These two prints are just pretty. Especially the green and brown fabric on the left.

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I found a book on the symbolism of quilts used during the Underground Railroad era. I picked that up as well and read most of it yesterday. I love learning about the meanings behind the blocks. There are a lot of patterns and instructions for making a sampler quilt with the blocks in the book and while I am not sure if that will happen, reading about the history is very interesting.

This week I need to set all of this aside to work on product for my Etsy shop. I did a bit of sewing yesterday but today I plan to devote the afternoon to it. Julia has a group of girls coming over this afternoon to work on a project and this is a great way to stay out of their way. Have a great week everyone!  Linking to day with Main Crush Monday and Sunday Stash (albeit one day late!!) Links above under the Link Ups tab!

 

May is for Makers

 

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The idea of supporting all of the Indie Designers is being (understandably) touted heavily among quilting blogs this week. It started with a post by Lindsey Rhodes which has everyone thinking about the balance of expecting/wanting everything for free via the internet and supporting the amazing people that spend so much time working on patterns and are trying to eek out a bit of finanacial return on their efforts. I am as guilty as the next maker for using the free ideas (which are endlessly abundant) and passing on actually buying patterns. It isn’t a question of fairness or honesty. I am not using ideas that are not published for other’s use. However, I have a huge appreciation for the work that goes into the published patterns. Especially after writing my first tutorials — those take such a long time. But a pattern for a quilt is a much more difficult undertaking.

In celebration of May Makers, and as a show of my gratitude for all of the knowledge I have gained for not a penny,  I will purchase a couple of patterns for my upcoming projects. I have my amazing Dear Stella fabric sitting there waiting for me to decide what to do with it. I plan to shop the patterns and find the perfect one for that gorgeous stack of pretty. I hope this might inspire one or two readers to go out and shop the talented makers that are out there. Craftsy has lovely, well-written patterns for sale and most all of your favorite quilters have a shop linking from their blog. Show them some love.

In other news, my fabric purchasing self-control was severely put to the test yesterday!  I worked at the “Country Store” during our local quilt show. If you are unfamiliar, the Country Store is a place where guild members can offer up items they no long want and sell them with some of the proceeds going to the guild and some to the seller. Oh my goodness, the deals that were available!! It was so tempting to buy fabric. I was working the checkout line and was drooling over the fabric that people were buying. Fat quarters for $1.00, or less! Kits that were purchased and never made, items that were completed and no longer wanted, yardage and notions galore. So much temptataion. I do NOT need fabric right now. You know that as well as I do! I kept my drooling to myself and used all of my willpower to come home having spent only $2.50. 🙂

I bought one purple batik fat quarter for all of 50 cents. My purple stash is depleted after making my scrappy projects for the month of March. One fat quarter doesn’t restore the scrap bin, but I don’t have any purple projects in the making right now so it’s fine.

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I bought this stack or 2013/14 American Quilter magazines for $2.00 I LOVE quilting magazines but the budget only goes so far. These will be read cover to cover – numerous times each! I think American Quilter has very good articles on the artistic  side of modern quilting. Plus there are tutorials on FMQ from my favorite, Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt. In keeping with my recycling philosophy, I will pass these along to a quilty friend or two when I am done with them.

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It was hard to pass up all of the bargains yesterday but just because it is ‘only a few dollars’ or ‘nearly free’ doesn’t mean I need to add it to the collections of fabric which overflow from my closet. It becomes almost overwhelming!

Time to go search for the perfect pattern to use when I start my Dear Stella project!

Linking to Main Crush Monday and Sunday Stash. Links to both are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Downieville Quilt Show Weekend

This weekend I had the pleasure of working at the quilt show up in Downieville. I recently joined their quilt guild, Mountain Star Quilters, so that I could meet some of the women in town and get to know more quilters. One cannot possibly have enough quilting friends! The MSQ guild holds a quilt show every other year. On the alternate year, the guild hosts a quilt retreat in Downieville. It was at this retreat last fall that I found the little house we bought and have been renovating. (You can read about that experience here and here.)

This quilt show is such a nice event. MSQ is a small guild located in a charming small town. There are about 25 active guild members. This year’s show held over 100 quilts which is impressive considering the size of the group. In addition to local quilter’s showing their pieces, we also had the treat of hanging a traveling collection of challenge quilts from a 2014 Hoffman challenge. This is the second show we have had where we shared a traveling collection. I think it is really wonderful to have access to collections like this in such a rural area. It is a long ways (maybe 2 hours?) to the nearest large city so it isn’t easy to attend the larger shows that might feature quilting from artists such as these.  Here are two of my favorites from this collection.

This one, titled Big Top, held my attention for such a long time. The quilting on it is spectacular.

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Some of it must have been done with an embroidery machine but other parts were thread sketched. The precision of her stitching is fantastic.

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Titled, Free Floating, this piece features appliqued jellyfish that sparkle. The quilter used great thread choices and placed tulle over the top of this piece. It exudes a peaceful feeling. I especially love that the coral extends into the border.  Just lovely.

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Looking at the quilts, I was surprised that my favorites were really the simplest quilts. This blue and white quilt with clean, crisp lines is gorgeous.

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The quilt below won Best of Show in its size category (visitors voted for their favorites since this was not a juried show.)

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The quilter appliqued small. roughly circular pieces of floral fabric and then hand stitched embellishments and outlines to define them into flowers. The entire background is hand quilted with random stitches which provided a great texture. The background thread was lightly variegated for a fantastic effect.

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I kept coming back to this piece to look at all of the hand work. I can’t really imagine doing something this intense. It was gorgeous and the viewers kept returning to it as well. There was a short story posted alongside of the quilt explaining the the quilter made this while sitting with her father who was very ill. He helped to pick out the floral fabrics and shapes with her. I am sure this quilt holds a great deal of emotion for her.

The show was a lot of fun and I met so many appreciative people, wandering the show and oohing and ahhing over all of the work put into the quilts. One thing that really impressed me was when I went back to the show at the end of the day to help tear it down. As I said, this guild is quite small. I was truly surprised to see how many people came to help at the end. There must have been at least 25 people (including many guild members’ husbands) there to take everything down and sort the quilts for return to the owners. It took about 30 minutes to do. Amazing.

While we were up there, Ray and I took a hike. It was a gorgeous fall day. While walking along the river, Ray spotted this Blue Heron standing oh-so-quietly off to the side. He was gorgeous.

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We watched him for a long while and then I asked Ray to make some noise so he would fly off. It was spectacular to see his wingspan. The picture below doesn’t do him justice, but I am sharing it anyway.  🙂

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Wishing everyone a wonderful week with some creativity mixed in!

Linking to Connie at Freemotion by the River and Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts. Both sites have links above, click on Link Ups.