I had great plans of posting every day while I was at Birds of a Feather. Ha! Silly me!
Not only did I not post, I didn't even take photos. I just found the camera when I was unpacking this morning. It was an incredibly busy few days but also a great deal of fun and I couldn't have done it without my friend, Anne. She volunteered to come help mind the booth while I was in classes and I sure needed the help.
I got the booth set up Wednesday with the help of the friends who were visiting us. They had to fly out of Dulles that evening so it worked out perfectly. The even kicked off mid-day Thursday and I stayed consistently on the move from that point forward. We didn't even leave the hotel to go out to dinner. I taught 2 classes each morning on Friday and Saturday so Anne kept the booth and then we spelled each other the rest of the time. I have to say, it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be and it was great to see people respond to the fabric and get some instant feedback.
I also had great booth neighbors. On one side was Karen Miller with Red Bird Quilt Co. and on the other was David Gilleland with Vector Quilts. Karen is an applique artist and David designs foundation pieced designs. They were great neighbors. In fact, all of the vendors were really nice and watched out for each other if someone needed a break or snack.
The vendors were so nice that I had to buy a few things!
The new Septaliner and Circleliner Extensions from Sue Heinz. You are going to see a lot of these as I work on the brown Spirograph quilt in the coming weeks (months).
What's this?!? A GARMENT pattern?
Yes, Anne and I are going to have a tunic sewing day and I picked this pattern and batik rayon from Sew Batik. It will be a great summer top if it fits well.
Finally Anne won a GREAT gift basket that included the electric Go! Cutter and a ton of other great prizes. Included was this Swirly Girls pattern that I've decided to make using one of my Color Wheel Fat Quarter Packs.
Hmmm, it didn't seem like a lot of stuff until I had to account for it! But it wasn't too bad. I sold more than I bought so that's the important fact from the weekend. I also got to meet some blog/Facebook followers and that was a real highlight!
Now it's time to get things back to normal so that maybe I can do something fun tomorrow.
The only person doing any sewing around here is Laura. She's making some extra large hot pads for her friends who have moved into a new home. She's suing Insul-Brite between 2 layers of batting so they can sit hot dishes on them.
I was supposed to be getting the rest of my booth inventory ready yesterday but Chris, Ian and I went clay shooting instead and then last night Laura and I met another friend for drinks.
Today they are off doing other things so I'll behave and do my work.
One of the "work" things is to pack up some hand work project to do in the booth when things are slow or in my room at night. I'll take my applique project to work on at night but I need something smaller for the booth time. I think my shibori stitching exercises will be perfect and it doesn't take up much space. Space is becoming a serious consideration. I've got 3 people and a lot of stuff to pack in my small car!
My carrot for being serious about work today is that if I get done I'm going to allow myself to get the Maine quilt out and work on it. I'm motivated to get the Maine quilt top done because I REALLY want to start cutting the Antelope Canyon quilt. I'm not going to let myself start cutting AC until Maine is done. That's my goal for the weekend...until Sunday when I'll be totally focused on football for the last time until August.
Time for panic!
My friends from England are here and I want to spend every minute with them. But I also have just 14 days until I leave for Birds of a Feather. I'm teaching 4 classes and, for the first time ever, selling fabric in a booth. This is my staging area and it's not even half full! I'm not sure how much creativity I'll be able to accomplish in the mean time so don't be alarmed if there's a day I miss posting.
I've got 3 of 4 class materials ready and need to get the 4th done by Sunday.
Sunday I'm not doing anything except watching Super Bowl hype and the game.
Next week is totally dedicated to preparing everything for the shop. I'm about 40% done so far....I think!
In the middle of that Laura and I will be starting a new baby quilt for her and maybe I'll sew on the Maine quilt for my relaxing time the next 14 days.
I love making my fabric postcards every year simply because I know how much fun they are to receive. Here are 4 handmade cards that I've received this year.
This first one of from Carol, a member of Country School Quilters. She fussy cut the cardinal and stitched it to a snowy background.
This one is from Estelle. She printed the tree using a thermofax screen from Stegart on Etsy. The raw edge of the fabric is perfect for garland!
This beauty is from Mary Anne. That's all hand stitching. She's one of those "crazy" quilters. Well, at least, she claims to be crazy.
This one isn't stitched, instead it's beautifully painted with watercolors by Linda.
I just remembered that I have 2 other handmade stamped cards that I forgot to photograph. Thanks to Deb and Gabriella for those!
Meanwhile, while I was quilting the purple quilt I had an idea for a postcard for next Christmas! I just freemotion stitched this on the longarm to the side of the purple quilt on the excess batting and backing. I really like how this turned out and it has the added benefit of using LOTS of this variegated thread. I will try to make lots of these throughout the year this year.
Marcy and I were so excited to finish the veterans quilts Tuesday and I brought them upstairs right away to trim and photograph them.
I didn't bother to inspect them because I never have weird tension problems on my Innova. But I've also never used Superior Lava thread. I should have done a little testing before hand. We had a number of thread breaks/shredding while we were quilting but that's not what these areas are. These are like thread burps and I couldn't leave them that way.
I decided to fix them on my regular sewing machine and not tempt the longarm again. As long as someone isn't closely inspecting the stitching I don't think these repairs will stand out at all.
From the front they are completely invisible. There were 18 spots over the 2 quilts and it only took about an hour to fix them. I feel much better about turning them over today.
Let's take a moment to appreciate a truly rare sight....a clean sewing table!
Maybe it's about time that I get back to playing around with these blocks again.
I don't have anything particularly interesting to share today but I am making progress on several things. I hope to get one of my own charity quilts loaded and basted today and ready to start quilting tomorrow evening. I have my sewing things packed and ready to go for the CSQ sewing day tomorrow and Saturday.
Yesterday was dyeing day and I dyed a lot of new shibori pieces for the shop. I also finally dyed these stitched shibori samples that I stitched on out vacation in August. As soon as I publish this post I'll be sitting down in the basement for an hour or so to pick out all of the stitching.
I also got this mandala washed and blocked. It will be ready for binding soon. It looks a lit better without the Cryola markings all over it but it's still pink. I'm glad I got this one out of my system so I'll be ready to do another that's more in my color palette. I learned a lot doing this quilt....certainly more than I could have learned in a class. So even though it's pink, it was well worth the time and effort.
I'm off to my shibori sweat shop.
I realize that my immune system is total crap as evidenced by my dozens of allergies. But I used to be able to weather colds pretty well. Last year I had one that lasted over 4 weeks and this current one is starting it's 3rd week. From what I hear, my experience is not unique. Instead of flu shots maybe we all need cold shots. Poor Chris has it now but a 2-week-long cold for me is usually 3 days for him.
One of my problems is that I'm really limited in the meds I can take so I usually just have to ride it out. Plus I always get laryngitis and that can last for weeks. Today I feel much better which is good because I'm having lunch with some former work friends that I haven't seen is a while. They will just have to do all of the talking!
I seriously spent most of last week napping, coughing and watching TV. I did try to work on my ornament some but ran out of that gold braid. In over 130 kits that's only happened twice. I called and they immediately sent me replacement braid. Unfortunately I bought this kit a few years ago so they've since replaced the braid and the new stuff is too yellow. When I go out for lunch today I'll be stopping by Hobby Lobby to find something else that I can substitute. I think it only needs to be narrow and gold because no one really looks at these very close.I really, really want to get this finished and call an end to my ornament phase.
I've also started working on my Christmas postcards. I didn't make a ton of progress but at least I've made some!
My goal today it to just get myself reorganized and see how I've left things. I need to catch up on dyeing orders and get my sewing room reorganized. Since I can't talk to anyone maybe I won't get too distracted!
Here I was worried that I'd have nothing to share this week and my best friend comes through for me.
I am feeling better but, according to my doctor, this is a 14 day virus. My energy is coming back but the normal cold symptoms hang on ....and on...and on. Plus I have the laryngitis that I always get with these colds. Anne asked me to help her with the binding on her quilt so she came over yesterday and I whispered instructions so she could finish this very cute quilt.
She made this for her husband for his 50th birthday. Anne works pretty much non-stop so I'm very happy for her that she was able to get this finished before his birthday this weekend. She made the whole thing from stash fabric too. He will love it because it's purple and soft and snuggly!
She took it to Virginia Longarm quilting and they had a perfect quilting design with words of love all over.
Even some Xs and Os to go with the blocks. Perfect!
If you follow me on Facebook you have probably figured out that I generally do my blog posts ahead of time. I like to be a few days ahead just in case something happens.
Like last week. I believe that the flu has arrived in Virginia because I was sick all week and it wasn't a normal cold. But, then, with my immune system, who knows.
Normally last week I would have been working on the things that I would be posting abut this week.
But I didn't do much of anything last week. I did start and work on the 3rd (and last!) of my ornament kits. I only got this far because I ran out of one of the ribbons and you really can't work on these ornaments out of order. I expect that the new ribbon will arrive to day or tomorrow and I could get this last one wrapped up this week.
I do hope I can finish up some postcards that I started over a week ago so that will be something. But if I skip a day this week, don't worry. One I get some additional meds today I should recover pretty quickly.
I have 2 friends locally that are new Innova quilters. One purchased a machine and one rents time at Virginia Longarm. Both have taken classes of mine and have asked for additional help or private lessons. I don't give private lessons but I have come up with an ingenious way to help them while mostly helping myself.
It involves veteran's quilts!
Last week Tina came over to practice some ruler stitch-in-the-ditch and today Marcy is coming over to practice free-motion. I load and baste the quilts and then they quilt them for me. They get a little lesson and practice time and I get some veterans quilts done. Since I have 16 waiting to be quilted this is a huge help for me right now.
I've got these 2 quilts loaded and the thread picked out. Marcy will be ready to get started as soon as she arrives. There will be no dilly-dallying. Well, maybe a little dilly-dally will be OK....and then we must get to work.
If I work on my wall while she is quilting I can be close by but not looking over her shoulder.
Or I can be a few feet away loading more bottles on the kiln. Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to try to get a lot of my stockpile of bottles slumped in case any of you want bottles for Christmas (or other) gifts.
Looks like this poor bottle moved as it heated. I had it perfectly centered on the mold but it rolled a little left and now it's a reject. Maybe I'll donate it to the Country School trash-to-treasure sale next week.
After all of the excitement and fun today we will get to end the day buying a new HVAC system. Oh joy!
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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