Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Stitch Fix #9

The latest offering from Stitch Fix was waiting for me when I got home from Phoenix. I had half a day to unpack, do laundry, repack and leave for TX. Somewhere in there I found time to try on my Fix and decide what I wanted to keep.

For those of you who haven't seen my prior posts on this, Stitch Fix is a service that selects clothing based on the profile I filled out (pretty detailed and asks for sizes you usually wear, not measurements). I selected the time interval at which I wanted my Fixes to ship and just sat back and waited for goodies to come in the mail.

There is a Stitch Fix button on the sidebar of this blog if you want to learn more about the service. This post is not sponsored in any way by Stitch Fix, but I would get a credit if you decided to try it.

So this is what I got and what I kept -- we'll see if you agree with me!

I like that you get a card with suggestions for how to wear each item. I agreed with Erin, this could definitely be a spring/summer top to wear with white pants. I tried it on with the White House Black Market black jeans I was already wearing that morning.

I'm not normally that fond of a Henley neckline but thought this one was flattering and loved the colors.

Verdict: Kept

This top didn't seem as fitted as the picture on the card would indicate; it looked like it would be too large. But when I tried it on, I liked it. And that's my favorite shade of blue.

Verdict: Kept

This was my favorite item in the box. The cutouts and the buttons on the back are adorable styling details -- it was sort of hard to get a picture of my back, but there you have it!

Verdict: Kept

I felt like a barn in this -- Erin suggested it over leggings for travel, but there was something about the combo of the horizontal stripes and the dolman sleeves that wasn't very flattering on my body. Occasionally I'll look at other people's posts about Stitch Fix and a lot of bloggers seemed to like this top, but not me.

Verdict -- Returned

Sort of like the style of this dress; it is very formfitting, so I definitely couldn't work in it, plus as I moved around it sort of crept up and got shorter and shorter. And the print wasn't flattering.

Verdict: Returned

So I kept three out of five -- do you agree with my choices?

-- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Palmdale CA

Sunday, March 1, 2015


On Saturday, I was teaching Beyond the Basics at Mulqueen Sewing Center in Mesa AZ.

This is what we were working on -- feathers and all the good stuff to set them off. People have said that the classes that I have taken from Cindy Needham have definitely influenced my work and that is absolutely true -- I try to take at least one a year, learn more and "teach it forward". Cindy is one of the very best quilters and teachers I know and if you get a chance to take a workshop from her, jump on it! She's that good!

Other teachers and publications have definitely had an impact on the way I quilt now -- Machine Quilting Unlimited is one of my favorite magazines and I always pick up new tips from each issue, often either from an article on background fills (my current obsession) or because of a quilt they have featured where I have fallen in love with the quilting details.

You've seen Lynda in the blog before with some of her spectacular feather work. This time she stopped in to share her two newest pieces -- her feathers are gorgeous and she has come up with all kinds of background fills to enhance them.

Another masterpiece! The feathers are beautifully executed and I love the flow of the textures across the neutral fabrics. Wow! Please keep bringing your quilts to share, Lynda -- I should be back to Mulqueen in the fall!

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Location:Mesa AZ

Mulqueen Sewing Center, Mesa AZ

I taught my Fluff & Stuff class as well as Beyond the Basics at Mulqueen this past week. When you first walk in, you see all the beautiful quilts hung all over the store; this is the machine area and a lot of these quilts were done completely with machine embroidery.

This is also one of the stores that I can, without exaggeration, describe as "thread heaven"! They have aisles and aisles of nothing but just about every brand of thread imaginable.

Here is one of two aisles of embroidery collections.

I bought this collection and ordered some seasonal wall hanging embroidery design collections, also by The Stitch Connection.

We had this magazine in the classroom and were all looking at it. I thought that the combination of the simple piecing with the elaborate quilting was striking and there were several quilts like that inside. Love, love, love!!

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Purchase Made at the Suggestion of My Trainer

Got home last night from AZ and leave tomorrow for a two week trip to TX: Midland, San Antonio, Houston and Arlington (Dallas area). I'm still clomping around in the boot; it'll be five weeks tomorrow since I dropped the (damn) weight on my foot and Dr. Taylor told me it would be 8-12 weeks until I could wear a real shoe on that foot again. It's cold and rainy here, so I was happy to be able to get a slipper on this morning.

Meanwhile, this was one of the things that had arrived in the mail this past week -- a purchase suggested by my trainer, Shelly Joseph! How appropriate, right?

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Location:Palmdale CA

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cutest Thing?

I took a bunch of pictures yesterday of the thread heaven section of Mulqueen Sewing Center in Mesa AZ, but somehow they haven't yet migrated from my iPhone to the iPad. I'm sure there is some magic set of circumstances that explains why some photos are on the iPad immediately, some take a while and others never make the journey unless I do it manually, but I have yet to make the connection.

I did find this cool pic, though:

My assistant, Monica, is very much into healthy eating -- I could SO see her making this snack for her kiddies!

Finished up Fluff & Stuff yesterday here at Mulqueen and today I'm teaching Beyond the Basics, a fun design class teaching a lot of background fills and thread weight info. Then home tonight and off to TX for a two-week trip starting Monday -- glad to be on the road again!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Mesa AZ

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fluff & Stuff -- Sewing Machines Plus, San Marcos CA

I was especially excited to be asked to teach at Sewing Machines Plus because my goddaughter Destiny lives and works within a couple of miles of the store so I knew I'd get to see her. Once I got down to details with Deb Donovan, the store event coordinator, I realized that she was ahead of me on every single step, so teaching here was a joy!

Everybody working on the quilts they brought!

Quilters have better control when the machines are placed so that the quilts run into each other in the middle of the table rather than falling off on the floor. Deb had really good foresight in how to place tables - I didn't have to move one thing when I got to the store, so I could just jump right in!

I call this table placement "When Quilts Collide" -- sounds like some sort of B movie....

Lots of markers and notions available; the store brought in everything on my list. There was even a stock of InvisaFil, a 100 weight polyester thread that works really well instead of monofilament for machines that hate it. Sewing Machines Plus carries a wide variety of threads including Mettler cottons, some types from Superior and Floriani embroidery thread.

Picture of me at the Dream Machine during class....

Destiny and I had dinner at her favorite sushi restaurant right across the street from the store; here we're having dessert and coffee at Starbucks. She has her after work hair style -- a ponytail -- and of course I had to give it a tug! Love that girl!

Sewing Machines Plus is located at 713 Center Street in San Marcos, a small city located in north San Diego county in sunny CA; they carry just about every brand of sewing machine there is and a lot of notions, threads, rulers and just about every goodie a quilter would want except fabric. They also service every brand of machine, so if yours is ready for its annual spa day, this is an excellent place to take it.

Today I fly out to Phoenix to teach at Mulqueen Sewing Center in Mesa!

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day 2 of Fluff & Stuff -- Authorized Vac & Sew

On the second day, everyone worked on their free motion skills. Loved all the bright fabrics that people were practicing on! In the morning, we worked with the stencils I brought and in the afternoon we did freehand free motion.

Some people practiced on their sandwiches for a bit and then hopped right back onto the quilts they had straight stitched the day before. She was getting better and better with every rep of this pattern and the quilt is going to be really pretty!

And here's Jason, our still lonely tech guy! Looks like he found at least one person to chat with, though.....

To recap -- Other than at dealer events at sewing machine conventions, I had never taught such a big class. Have to say that with the efforts of the Authorized staff, Janome educator Mary Carollo and Janome District Manager Nancy Auch (who I have known for probably 20 years and was delighted to run into again in her new job -- best of luck Nancy!!!), the event was definitely a success! Everybody was happy and several machines found new homes with delighted owners!

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Location:Fresno CA

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fluff & Stuff Event -- Authorized Vac & Sew

We had 50 excited students and several staff members (including one tech guy, who got to sit around all day because nobody needed him -- woo hoo!!!) at the Elks Lodge in Fresno yesterday morning for the Fluff & Stuff event. Veronica Hitter and her staff did a super job getting my quilts displayed all over the classroom as well as setting up and merchandising tables of notions, needles, thread and other things that people could (and did) purchase.

Here is Veronica with one of our students...lovely smiles!

Janome educator Mary Corollo (hope I spelled that right; if I didn't, I'll come back and fix it...) giving a demonstration on the machine. Veronica's daughter Jessica is holding the mike and running the camera. She was our all around go to person whenever we needed help -- super smart AND beautiful!

Many of the students had not sewn on these machines before, but all of the staff knows the machines thoroughly and were able to answer any and all questions that came up.

There was a big screen front and center in the classroom so that everyone could see whatever Mary or I were demonstrating -- for a group this big, that was ideal.

Fluff & Stuff day 2 is free motion all day. I've got stencils for marked free motion in the morning and we'll do freehand free motion in the afternoon. There are a lot of beginners in this class; I just love it when they realize they can stitch sideways!

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Location:Fresno CA

Friday, February 20, 2015

Authorized Vac & Sew, Fresno CA

While my East Coast friends are freezing, I am fortunate enough to be working in the warmest part of the country this week! I drove to Fresno yesterday and did a lecture and trunk show for Authorized Vac & Sew.  I have taught here before, so it was great to see a mix of known and new faces!


I wandered around the store and looked at fabric and notions....

...and lots of thread! Love love love thread!

My Fluff & Stuff class will be held off-site because there are 50 people in it and it takes a really big room to hold 50 sewing machines with room for everybody to work.

The lecture was held in the classroom -- love the sign over the door!

I'm off to teach 50 students how to quilt big quilts on their home machines -- this will be so much fun!!!

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Last Pics from Las Vegas

When I was in Las Vegas for VDTA, I got to have dinner with my good friends, Carol Tarras and David Hooke of LiTen Up Technology. They'd come down from Chicago to promote their Q-Bot automated quilting system. We went to Caesar's Palace to Gordon Ramsey's restaurant -- way yum! That's David -- those of you who have purchased my videos or seen my YouTube tutorials have already seen his work -- he's my camera guy!

Along with David's wife Shelley, they also own 3 Crazy Ladies (it used to be Shelley, Carol and another lady, hence the 3). They design patterns and make laser cut quilt kits that they sell online and at shows through that company. Carol brought me this perfect lap-size quilt with all of the 2-1/2" strips in all my fave colors already cut for me. Now just have to wait for my sewing foot to heal!

My friend Dawna Harrison (who owns Bolts in the Bathtub in Lancaster CA along with her sister Fay) brought me home after VDTA, but first we had to do some shopping. Right across from the mall is this most interesting Frank Gehry building. Would have been a better picture if I could have waved the bus out of the way, but isn't this cool?

Then Thursday I went out to lunch with Trina, who is about to become my exercise partner again! She had an injury last year and is finally down to one crutch and can drive now, so this lunch out was a big event! I think she just decided to go out to lunch because she was sick of the Panda Express lunch I brought her every time I visited! She was more than ready for something different!

So we're going to start working out together with Shelly tomorrow morning -- yay!!!

Next up: Do you know what a photobomb is? I didn't....

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