Saturday, May 30, 2015

Quilt Market - Part 2

I kept seeing women wandering around Market in these very cool long ruffly skirts and finally one of them came close enough to my booth for me to begin to waylay (i.e., grab!) her and then realize it was Sheila McKay, who I always see at fall Market in Houston.  She and her daughter are regular patrons of the Brother drop-in sewing room, a fun room with lots of Brother sewing machines that people can come in and use.

I have a couple of maxi skirts made from this ruffle fabric that my friend Rhonda Lopez of Nuttall's Fabric Centers in Salt Lake has made for me, but the ruffles on my skirts run vertically rather than being seamed interestingly like this.  I also like the short pencil skirt version; individual patterns are available, each with a single skirt style, as well as the combo pattern with all of them.  These are available in two versions: women's and children's sizes.  So I ran over to the booth -- pretty much literally, it was way across the convention center floor -- looked at all the patterns and bought the one with all the styles.

Ran into a bunch of Generation Q Magazine folks: Jake Finch, publisher;  Melissa Maher, editor in chief; Tracey Mooney, who takes care of people who write for the magazine.  I've advertised with the magazine starting with the very first issue; Melissa reminded me that I had a deadline coming up to advertise my new DVD that will be out really, really soon!  Yikes!

YAY!  A Haunted House laser cut fabric kit from Westfield Laser Designs!  I loved this when I saw it at VDTA and they were so nice to bring me one here at Spring Market!  Thank you!!!

Shannon Fabrics makes these really cuddly soft fabrics that quilters are loving to put on the back of their quilts, particularly for babies and children.  This is a fun great big tote bag to cart around lot of things, including the Supreme Slider that you will probably want to buy for your sewing machine to help you quilt these fabrics.

I have more goodies to share from Quilt Market, so check back soon!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Guest Post by the Fabulous and Beautiful Debby Brown!!!!!!!

YAY!!! A guest post by Debby Brown!!!!!!!!!!

Here we go...

Confession:  I started out in quilting as a longarm quilter because I couldn’t quilt on my home machine.  Are you disappointed in me? 

I tried quilting on my home machine, really I did, but it just didn’t work for me.  My teacher told me to quilt as fast as I could and not to stop, but then my hands moved faster than my brain and I ended up with stitching that looked like the path of a drunken beetle.  I just knew I was never meant to stitch on my home machine so I gave up on home machines and bought a longarm quilting machine.

I bought my first longarm quilting machine before there were any local longarm machine quilting classes, regional longarm machine quilting shows, or YouTube videos.  Yes, this was back in the days of AOL dial-up.  “You’ve got mail!”  I was on my own.  I taught myself to use that machine and mastered one stitching pattern in the first year.  After that I learned a second pattern.  Six months after that I learned a third.  I was on fire!  After several years, I gained enough confidence and competence to start teaching longarm machine quilting classes.  I guarantee that I learned as much from those classes as my students did. 

I learned that everyone quilts differently.  Some students find it easier to quilt quickly and others have more control when they stitch slowly.  Some students are comfortable quilting large motifs while others have more success working with tiny designs.  Some students feather right away (I’m jealous of them!) and others struggle with that design.

What I really learned is that quilting isn’t a “there is only one right way to do this” skill.  There are as many ways to machine quilt as there are machine quilters and not one of them is wrong! 

After years and years of longarm quilting, I tried once again to quilt on a home machine and discovered that I could actually do it… but not if I quilted as fast as I could and never stopped.  I quilt more slowly than that and stop frequently, but I can quilt on a home machine!

When I filmed this Craftsy class, I wanted to pass along the tips and techniques that I learned over years of trying, failing, and eventually succeeding.  I hope this class gives you the confidence to try quilting and learn that you, too, can quilt on a home machine! 

See her AMAZING Craftsy Class HERE

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Quilt Market - Part 1

I always look forward to Quilt Market and getting to work with my friends at Mettler is one of the best parts!  Here's my badge on a Mettler lanyard (Mettler donates those every Market so everybody got one) -- my badge has a cool skull pin from Cheryl Sloboda -- have you seen her sewing skull T-shirts?  Very cool, and since one of the major distributors is carrying her things now, perhaps you'll see them at a quilt store near you!

Next to my badge is my BadAss Quilters lanyard and pin -- nice and red and sassy!  Feel so evil when I wear it!  Ummm....not really evil, maybe just a little bit more daring -- like maybe I can put that fun skull with roses fabric into a quilt!

One of the things I love about Quilt Market is seeing all kinds of new stuff -- here are the goodies I either bought or was given while I was there.....

 I was first introduced to Bosal fusible woven interfacing by Cindy Needham, one of the most amazing quilters I know.  Cindy uses it to stabilize Radiance, a beautiful 50% silk 50% cotton fabric from Robert Kaufman.  I've been to Cindy's retreats where she has had smaller pieces of this available, so I was happy to find it in larger cuts.  I bought four packages of white and one of black.

Quilter's Dream Pink batting is an 80% cotton/20% poly blend.  It has a really nice feel to it.  They were giving out fat quarters, so I'll quilt up a sample piece and see how I like it.  I have loved everything else I have ever used from Quilter's Dream, so I'm sure I'll like this, too!

This cool needle minder bat was a gift from Linda McGehee, owner of Ghee's, an online notion, pattern and sewing store.  Linda travels a lot, teaching her purses, vests and other garments -- and always finds cool bat stuff for me!  Love that -- thank you, Linda!  And if you are looking for new things to make, fancy sparkly zippers or other fun things, go to and check out all the goodies!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Stitch Fix #13

Always happy to come home from a biz trip and see all the goodies waiting for me!  Some of my very favorite colors were in this Fix, so couldn't wait to try everything on!

I've been pinning lots of maxi skirts to my Stitch Fix board on Pinterest, so it was very good to find one in my Fix. Love the print and the colors; length is perfect even with flats. And the sweater is probably my favorite shade of blue.

Here's the skirt with the other top alternative. This will work well for warmer weather; it has buttons  on the sleeves to make them shorter. Another pretty color!

Back to the maxi theme and this is the prettiest shade of navy blue! I would wear it uncovered for going out and have a few ideas about what to wear over it when I teach.  

I have had this silk jacket for years and didn't have anything I wanted to wear it with -- this combo is perfect!

Nicely detailed black silk top; it looked really good with these comfy INC pants from Macy's.

Shoulder detailing on the black top....

So I loved everything! Thank you, Elysa! 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Two Words: Quilt Market

Quilt Market is so cool!  Seeing all the new things that are going to be in quilt shops all over the country is exciting -- I've already seen things I want to make!

These are new fabric collections from EBI Fabrics -- once I felt them I wanted to take them all with me.  They are purchasable in several precuts as well as off the bolt.  Their booth is real close to the Mettler thread booth where I am working, so I can just stroll over and fondle the fabric! 

And here is the beautiful Christy.  Thanks for a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fluff & Stuff at Nuttall's!

These are my very enthusiastic students from the second session of Fluff & Stuff at Nuttall's Sewing Center in Riverton, Utah!  It rain, rain, rained all week but we had a fabulous time together inside!

Plus, a big THANK YOU to Mettler from these beautiful ladies for the wonderful goodies!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Northwest Sewing Center, Austin TX

Two years ago, I taught my two day Fluff & Stuff class at Northwest Sewing Center.  When I arrived, I was very sick with an acute bronchitis attack; nothing contagious, but I was coughing a lot and generally pretty miserable.  One of my students, Marion, hopped out during break, went to Whole Foods and bought me a bottle of homeopathic Lung Support.  Helped immensely in my recovery and my doctor said that it probably was the main reason I didn't have any scarring from all of that coughing!

So when I arrived at Northwest to do my lecture tonight, I was very excited to see the person who literally saved my life -- Marion!

Here we are, standing in front of a couple of my quilts.

She deserves a HUGE hug, don't you think??


Then my roving bat eye saw a card embroidered by Joanne, who gets to work and play here -- and she gave it to me!  It is so darn cute!!

Isn't this adorable? With my company name (Batts in the Attic) I can be in a Halloween frame of mind all the time!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Make It Great Sale!

Shop Craftsy’s  Make It Great Sale  through my special link!
You'll receive up to $20 off on all classes of any skill level, so you can find just the right fit for you!
A Craftsy Class would make a wonderful Mother's Day Gift!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Whirlwind of Fun

I've been in New Jersey for meetings the last couple of days and one of the awesome people I reconnected with is Angela Wolf. You may know Angela from "It's Sew Easy" or even from her reality TV series featuring her stellar competition fishing abilities!

I've worked with Angela as a guest on "It's Sew Easy" and she's a fellow Craftsy instructor, so it was great to catch up with her!

I also got to meet Paducah winner Mary Olsen, whose quilts just knocked me out!

I was also excited to meet Anna Aldmon, who does beautifully detailed appliqué in the hoop on an embroidery machine. I was pleased to hear that she is digitizing some of the late Pat Campbell's appliqué designs so they will still be available.

It's been a whirlwind two weeks -- Denton TX, Melbourne FL, Kennesaw GA and Newark NJ. Today I go home for a week and then it's off again for another two weeks of adventures!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Rock Paper Scissors

As you know if you've been reading this very long or following me on Facebook, I travel A LOT!!  My husband says that nobody enjoys hurtling through the skies in aluminum tubes as much as I do and he may be of the big perks is getting to see new shops and meet new people.

When I fly, I like to read.  It's perfect downtime -- no phones, no internet, just quiet for a few hours.  So when I was flying from Atlanta to Newark on Sunday, the latest issue of Generation Q Magazine was in my hands.  I was completely engrossed in the story about a shop in Montclair NJ called Rock Paper Scissors.  As I'm reading about Beth's journey from finance person to quilt shop owner, I'm thinking -- Hmmmm....she and I are a lot alike....I think we could be friends.....

This progresses to "OMG, I'm flying to New Jersey right this minute!  I have a free day tomorrow!  How far is Rock Paper Scissors from my hotel?"  So as soon as I land, I plug the info into my phone and see that it is a mere 33 miles and that the store is open on Monday -- SCORE!!!

I Uber'd over to the store and it was so totally worth the trip -- Beth was just as delightful as I had hoped and she and I had even more things in common.  She also has knowledgeable friendly staff with wide ranging interests.  That's important because this store has so many things going for it.

First there is all the quilt and garment fabric -- yes, this store sells both and has people to help with both.  I admit that I am totally ignorant on the garment side of sewing, but everybody in the store was wearing things that they had made and they were really cute!

But that only addresses the "scissors" part of this shop -- here is the "paper"...lots of supplies for scrapbooking and other paper arts.

Stamping, anyone??

And what about the "rock"?  Lots of beads and other jewelry making supplies and a mirror to try things on....

Classes to learn how to make your own!

More class samples!  I love making jewelry -- I like to string beads into necklaces, bracelets and earrings.  It's as close to instant creative gratification as you can get  --and if I don't love what I made, I can cut the wires and stick the beads back in my glittery stash!

It seemed like everywhere I looked, there were supplies for another creative opportunity -- here, hand embroidery....

Class schedule on a magnetic board so everyone knows what's going on...

...and a closeup of the blocks and the hand embroidery area.

I'm so happy that this shop was close enough for a visit!  If you'd like to go there, too, Rock Paper Scissors is located at 15 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair NJ (phone: 973-337-6759).  You will have so much fun browsing and visiting with owner Beth Rowan and her awesome staff!  (And Kourtney has the most contagious giggle, beautiful handmade clothes and a totally retro, fun vibe -- thanks for helping me pick fabric, Kourtney!)

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