Monday, August 31, 2009

Figgy Tree

With all that's been going on these past months, I kind of fell off the wagon of reporting what I was using or busting from stash and what I was buying. Well, for a while I was doing neither. But, I have been hitting it hard, finishing up quilts for my show, getting samples made. So, I've been busting quite a bit of stash and have been keeping track of it. It kind of is like a habit, use fabric, write it down in my little black book. hahaha I don't know if it's too late to jump back into that Stash busting line up, but here's what I have done YTD:

Used YTD: 273.25 yards

Bought YTD: 153.25 yards

Net total: 120 yards busted!

Not bad, considering I fell off the wagon early on this year with Kaffe stuff! Here is the latest that just rocked my boat and begged me to buy it. I loved this pattern (edit. note: the pattern is a free download on the Hancocks of Paducah website and just a hint: if you like the fabric, it's about $30 cheaper to get the kit vs. buying the fabric individually--too bad I found out AFTER I did it!! LOL) the minute I saw it and thought about trying to use my Christmas fabric--and I have crappy Christmas fabric, ya know? So, I bought some and it has made me happy ever since. It didn't stay in the stash very 2 days? I cut it out right away and sewed it up, so in it went to the count and then right out again. I probably could have just omitted it totally but I like to see how much I really buy a year, keeps me honest!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quilt Show in the Woods

What a beautiful day we ended up having for my quilt show! It rained HARD until about 4:30-5:00 AM and then stopped. It wasn't supposed to rain anymore after that, but it didn't look too great. About 8 AM, we started hanging quilts. Well, let me tell you, it may not have rained, but we had some WIND! What took us 30 minutes last year to hang, took 1 1/2 hours! The labels that were clipped on, kept falling off. The clothespins were just not enough to keep the quilts on the lines, the bulldog clamps I had were too big and didn't grasp the rope. We had a devil of a time! :) But we got it done in time for a 10 AM show. The clouds eventually led way to sun, but the wind just kept on coming. Made for an interesting day. But it was SO beautiful to see all the different quilts, blowing in the wind. 118 in all! We had baby quilts, hand quilted ones, 1st quilts, T-shirt quilts, in all different sizes. They were quilts from students, quilt buddies of mine and mine. I even had a vendor who has an on-line quilt shop come and set up shop, Theresa from Country Colors. And of course, my Open House for my Studio, which kicked off the fall season. All in all, a great day. AND I met a lot more of my neighbors (well, if you can call it that--in the country a neighbor might live 4 miles away! LOL).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

quilting fun with granddaughter

With my bi-annual quilt show coming up, my 8 year old granddaughter wanted to have her own quilt in it again. She picked out her fabric on Saturday, then on Sunday came over to start sewing. I cut it out for her and then gave her the design wall to play with the fabric. She only worked for about an hour before bedtime, but got up raring to go on Monday. She sewed them together, I pressed for her. Then I loaded it on the long arm and away she went! It's funny, the platform I let her stand on to reach the handles, was almost too tall for her! She had to bend over a bit to see what she was doing. And yet, not quite tall enough without it to reach the back of the quilting area or to see what she was doing. But she managed and got it all done. She got a little more nervous when I reminded her that we had to stitch the binding on the back by hand. (I sewed it onto the front for her). She remembers poking herself a lot! So, being the softie that I am, I told her I would sew the binding for her. But she had to do the next one. All during the day, she kept mentioning that she really needed her own sewing machine and work area, like mine. AND she wanted a sewing machine mat with pockets with HER name on it, like mine. So, she worked hard on her quilt, so we could 'play' a bit. I made the mat for her and in the meantime, she created a little quilt for her doll. She even quilted it herself on the sewing machine. I love it! She found things to add to her pockets, making sure she had all the essentials like I had close by my machine. (Yes, she was pretty sure she needed reading/sewing glasses like mine too!)I love how she reminds me so much of my younger years, always wanting to create things. Scrounging around for materials to create. I didn't have access to fabric then (my mom didn't sew and I lived too many states away from both my grandmas), but created other things. What a blessing to have a new generation eager to learn and pass on our love of creating beautiful things!

Monday, August 17, 2009

samples and more samples

I was a busy little bee in SC, AFTER the grandkids left, working on new samples for my upcoming fall class schedule. I realized I needed to get back into a little more basic quilts for the newer quilters and let them develop some confidence in their quilting skills before forging ahead. I showed the Fall Rail Fence, then here is another one that used Christmas fabric. I hope I can make some kits up in I have a LOT of Christmas fabric that would be good to be OUT of MY closet and into someone else's! haha

This is not a beginner's quilt with all the Half Square Triangles, but one that that has been on my list to do for quite some time. I love the color combination and you are starting to see it a lot more. The 40-50's retro kitchen colors. I had seen one done similar and decided to just do it. Do you see the homespun in the close up? I was purging a closet of clothes from, gosh, 10-15 years ago. Remember the homespun jumper days? I loved them and made them in all colors. Actually, in reality I think it was when I had started gaining weight and it was a great cover up! LOL Anyway, I decided to put a little piece of my past into this quilt.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sewing on samples

While I was in SC recently, I always pay a visit to my good friend, Pat who owns Quilter's Cottage in Garden City, SC. She was the former owner of Island Threads and decided that she really missed being in the quilt store business, even though she has a thriving long arm quilting business. I've made samples before for her and when I paid a visit to her, she mentioned that she really needed a quick sample made. So I carved out some time for her and made this cute little baby quilt.close ups of the monkeys...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Announcing a new addition to the family

I'm sorry to say that 'Zoe', as my HQ16 was affectionally known, has been adopted by another quilter who promised to treat her well. Normally when adding more to the family, you just find love and room for the next one. But unfortunately, when your new addition takes up to 18 feet, you must get rid of one. she is, our newest addition to our family....Chloe..........the newest longarm in the market, by Handiquilter..the Fusion. And baby, is she a nice one! And behaves SO nicely. I'm in love already. She arrived at the end of May and I only got to do one quilt on her before I had to leave for my trips, so I've been making up time since I've been home. I actually got 5 quilt tops quilted in the last couple of weeks. I had grandiose ideas of doing one every day. Well, that sounds good, if you had nothing else in your life to do! LOL I even got the bindings sewn on and hand stitched down. I'm working on the last one. (edit. note: I wrote this in July, but didn't have pictures, so didn't post it. It's now August and I'm FINALLY back home and have gotten one more quilt done. But next week.....will be the week to crank them out!)

I vowed I didn't need a bigger machine, but when I saw them in Paducah with a lot of new features, I thought I'd just to ahead and take the plunge. The only thing was that I had to put her in my classroom (that really does have a lot of space). So had to do some rearranging of cupboards and tables, but it all works. And I'm glad to say that I did not make a mistake.

The good thing is that it loads just like the old one, so all the people who rented Zoe, will be able to transition well to Chloe. And they are going to love her....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I love the night life...

NYC at night--what a hustling, bustling place! We went to see 9 to 5 on Broadway, Allison Janney from West Wing was one of the leads and did a great job, it was really good. I'm glad we saw it as the last show is Sept. 6. I was afraid my dress wasn't 'dressy' enough, but I seemed to be one of the more dressed up people there! I was a little surprised. I figured that most would be dressed to the 'nines', but that must have gone by the wayside as well. Remember when people used to dress nice to travel by air? Those days are gone too, you wouldn't believe how many people (usually the younger ones) that had pj's on! Oh well, off subject..

I did find the City Quilter, a quilt shop in Manhattan and about a 20 minute walk from my hotel, fairly close to the garment district. Go figure! And it was constantly turning over people, lots of foreigners from the sounds of them. It was a little bit weird though to have to be 'buzzed' into the store. I'm sure for their protection. It was more contemporary, urban store but not a lot of Kaffe or Amy Butler type of fabric. More retro stuff and Japenese fabrics. Lots of embellishments, wool and silk ribbon, buttons. It's always fun to check out the quilt shops in different parts of the country to get a feel for what is popular in that region. The best thing was that they had a nice selection of NY fabric. I spent a lot of time debating what to get. The first was scenes from NYC and I thought I'd make a tote bag or something. The second one I got was Hoffman Batik, made exclusively for them. So you can't get it anywhere else ( I suppose you could call them and order it) and it was the Statue of Liberty. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but it will come to me.

On Sunday night, we went to a comedy club--BIG mistake. We should have realized when we entered and had to head to the basement, it seemed a big 'rough'. I realize that adult people like a little more adult humor, but most of them had profanity that just did not add anything to their monologue. In fact, they would not have been funny had they left it out. The last comedian we saw sang songs about how fun it is to beat up women, picked on the mentally handicapped people and the last song was about Chris Reeves. We finally got up and walked out. He said early on it was just joking..that he really doesn't beat up women or rape puppies, so don't email him. They are just jokes. I guess I don't get his style jokes and in fact, don't think any of those issues were something to joke about. Kind of a bummer on our last night there. But it was fun to see all the crowds of people at midnight. The place was mobbed. I guess someone forgot to tell everyone their was a recession going on. In fact, most of this summer has been like that. There are more people at the beaches than ever. I can't believe they all were international travelers before and are now staying closer to home .I was happy to see the throngs of people though.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

getaway to NYC

How do you say no when hubby asks you to have an impromptu getaway to NYC for a long weekend? You don't! Although I had just gotten home from being gone for 3 weeks, was home a day and then went on a 3 day retreat with my quilting buddies, the next day we were on the road to NY! It's been 20 years since I've been to NYC and even then we missed a lot. So, we're acting like typical tourists, even doing the double decker tour bus! I never thought I'd see him on one, but he agreed! We did the night tour at night and had some awesome views of Times Square and the Manhattan skyline, but my camera doesn't take the best pictures at night. We did get a young teenager to get one of us.

Today we'll hit the Empire State Building, Central Park, Canal St. and hopefully the quilt shop that is around here. Tonight we go see 9 to 5 on Broadway, which should be good. I'll give a report. :)