Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Second Sew Sampler Box

The May Sew Sampler box was waiting for me when I got home from my Springfield/St. Louis/Tulsa trip last Wednesday. Opened it Friday and today I'm looking at everything and deciding how to use it.

What I like the very best about the Sew Sampler box is that it always contains a project -- this one is this cute flying geese quilt. The pattern, print fabrics and ruler are in the kit; all I have to shop for is the background fabric to make this 48"x60" quilt. I know, shopping for fabric is such a chore....

And there are always a few notions -- since I do my straight stitch quilting with a ruler, I most likely will not use the Tiger Tape for its intended purpose. But I can see keeping it on hand to mark places on fabric or rulers and I really like that it's reusable.

My little "wooden iron" that I used to press seams right at the machine seems to have vanished into thin air (or the great abyss that my sewing rooms have become!) so this Roll & Press tool should come in handy.

And I really liked the pink carry case. It's not big enough for my 60mm rotary cutter, but it's the perfect size for all the markers I cart around to use and explain in my quilting classes.

There was also a card with the instructions for the second block in a basket block series. I'll give that to my friend Dawna because she loves basket quilts and I'm pretty indifferent to them.

I love this box even more than the first one!!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Catching Up with Quilt Market Photos

If you haven't heard already, this picture will probably clue you in that Quilt Market was in St. Louis last week. Michelle is my partner in crime in the Mettler threads booth; in fact, she's the primary person at these events and I'm the tagalong. She knows everything about the cabinets, pricing and all the nitty gritty that dealers need to know to place orders; I help by explaining thread usages, weights and other facts to help them make their choices.

I also get to sew in the booth -- thank you, Cristen Jones of Quilt Sampler in Springfield MO and Tulsa OK -- for loaning me a Brother machine! Oh, and your car to haul it and myself all around both those states! I taught Ruler Play classes in both store locations on this trip, Springfield first, then Quilt Market, then Tulsa.

Even got to see the Mississippi River from my room on the 8th floor of the hotel!

As usual, I focused on the quilting rather than all the fabrics and notions and was happy to see some beautiful samples in the booths:

The Patrick Lose booth was so colorful with all the bright solids; I especially liked the quilting on the chevron quilt in the top photo on the right hand side. Interesting motifs scattered about and a lot of ribbon candy quilting in the stripes.

This was intriguing in the way that the space was divided up with the straight line quilting before the fill stitching was added. Very striking!

Totally straight line quilting; interesting how the quilting was deliberately done off-center in each block.

This was a fun surprise! I had already taken a picture of the quilt and then leaned in to read about it and found that my friend Sam Hunter of Hunter Design Studio had made it! I think if I were to do this circle quilting, I would use the Circles on Quilts rulers that I have from Westalee Designs. It's one of the templates I teach in my Ruler Play 2 class and gives me the best circles I've ever stitched.

I thought the quilting was spectacular on this modern quilt -- lots of negative space as a canvas and Cathy did a great creative job on it. She and I have taught at a couple of conferences at the same time before, but I've never met her -- love love love her work!

This quilt from In the Beginning caught my eye also, an interesting piecing design that drew me in to analyze the construction.

Another example of show quality quilting with a lot of tiny fills.

This cute applique quilt was made by Leonie West, designer of the Westalee rulers. She did her ruler work on the background fabric with applique fabric on top, then trimmed and fused. Is this so adorable or what? I think she told me she'd made it for her granddaughter -- what a great gift for a child's wall!

St. Louis was fun and inspiring and, of course, there were always good meals with friends, good wine to share and great quilts to check out!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Quilt Sampler, Springfield MO

Teaching two days of ruler work at the Quilt Sampler has been a lot of fun! Several of the students have embellished their samples....

...or come up with something totally different than the sample I did, adding to the various ways you can use them. I always learn something cool -- the hardest thing about the design above is that we were all trying to figure out how she did it!

Had over 20 people in class, so great energy! I got to do all my demonstrations on the Bernina Q-20, a machine I dearly love (it's that dual stitch regulator thing that got me hooked).

I taught at both Quilt Sampler stores (there's also one in Tulsa OK where I'll be teaching next week after Quilt Market) about four years ago and I got to work with Shannon. She's the cute blonde in the turquoise shirt. Shannon will be teaching the Quilt as You Go 8 month quilt project here in Springfield as a followup series to the Ruler Play class I taught yesterday. She's witty and snarky and just fun to be around!

So look at this wall -- can you tell what I bought???

A couple of interesting things about the Quilt Sampler -- one, they were one of the featured stores in Quilt Sampler Magazine last year; two: Cristen Jones, the owner, is a beekeeper and that is why that quilt on the right was the featured quilt from this store in the magazine. Take a good look -- it's a great quilt!

Tomorrow morning I head out for a three hour drive to St. Louis for Quilt Market where I'll work in the Mettler thread booth with my friend Michelle Urbach. If you're going to Market, please stop by the booth and say Hi!

P.S. -- When you looked on the wall, did you guess that I bought the glow in the dark skeleton panel? Oh, yeah! They were 50% off, so I bought two!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Bake Something Delicious!

We promote quilting classes on Craftsy quite often.  Their classes are amazing and we love quilting so it's a logical match.  But did you know that Craftsy offers classes on LOTS of other hobbies??

And they're having a big sale this weekend!!  ALL classes are under $20!!

Click HERE to get the sale price on any class through our affiliate link.

What will you make this weekend??

Friday, April 28, 2017

Ann's Fabrics, Canton MA

Three times a year for the past three years, Amann-Mettler Group has conducted a drawing for stores who carry the Mettler line of thread to enter a drawing to have me come to their store and do a two day class for their customers. We make a big deal of this! Mettler sends in free thread and door prizes, dealers provide lunch, lots of space and customers who want to learn how to machine quilt. It's a ton of fun for all of us!

Ann's Fabrics was drawn at Quilt Market in Houston last year and so -- here I am! It's a great shop, I'm just loving the customers and 3 BabyLock machines found new homes today. So we're all happy!

Now to the good stuff:

There's a lot of wall space in the classroom with some great quilts. The one above was probably my favorite....

...and I love the way it was kitted! I said something to the manager (or as Andy, the owner, says "the first in charge"; I think he told me he was third...) and Cheryl said that she really doesn't like ZipLocks. That made me laugh because I bought 600 yards of purple grosgrain ribbon printed with my Batts in the Attic logo for that very same reason! So Cheryl and staff of seven are always thinking of fun ways to package kits other than in a plastic bag.

For instance, their rows in the row-by-row experience are presented differently:

Above are their last two rows.

This is the way the top one with the beachy theme was presented; on the back it says, "Contents; 100% cotton fabric, 0% water" -- Andy said that one sentence was his contribution to the whole project!

And do we love the packaging for the snail trail row? How fun is that! Again the red lettering is Andy's work....

Cheryl has been in the fabric and quilting world for a long time and we know a lot of people in common, but one person that she knows well that I'm a great admirer of is not in the sewing world at all -- Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander books. I haven't watched the series, but am a huge fan of the books, practically jumping up and down waiting for a new one to be delivered to my local Barnes & Noble. It's the kind of book that I don't want to read on my Kindle; I want to hold it in my hands and savor every single word!

Ann's has three Outlander panels.

And a whole other fixture devoted to quilt making with an Outlander theme.

I liked this panel so much I had to get a bigger better picture -- the emotion on Claire's face as she is torn between Frank and Jamie. Ah, a romance story for the ages! Can't wait for the next book!

So if you need an Outlander fix (or some other fun things to work on!) and are in the Boston area, be sure to stop by Ann's Fabrics, 235 Turnpike St., Canton MA 02021 (781-828-2201).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sew Sampler from the Fat Quarter Shop

While poking around the Fat Quarter Shop's website buying Alphabitties a couple of weeks ago, I saw their box of the month called Sew Sampler. I had tried Quilty Box for about a year and was ready for something new.

So what was in the April box?

Many things!

It's Sew Sampler's one year anniversary! Don't know how I missed it for a whole year...

The folding card on the right describes everything:

Two Sweet Treats from Moda (a 42 piece 3-1/2" square addition to their precut offerings) and a cute pattern to use them using the square in a square method.

A handle that attaches to a ruler for added stability while cutting -- that makes me wonder if it could be used to hang onto some of the Westalee quilting rulers I've been using. Note to self: Give that a try!

These wrap around thread spools to prevent tangling of loose ends.

A box of fine pins that you can evidently iron right over without melting. I don't think these are quite as fine as the patchwork pins I reviewed recently, but I'll check that out.

A cute tin box to corral supplies -- it's 5"x7", so could hold portable stuff like clips and needles for binding or thread for a project -- way cuter than a ZipLock! I will warn you, however, not to pack a metal box like this in your suitcase while traveling. It can aquire a career's worth of dents in one outing!

There was also a recipe card for a basket block, first in a series by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet. I took that over to my friend Dawna's yesterday because she LOVES her some baskets! Me, not so much...

Now I can't wait to try all this good stuff! Oh, wait, are there sale coupons???

This may be my new favorite quilting box! Thank you, Linda, for introducing me to the Fat Quarter Shop!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Country Traditions Redux

Disclaimer:  The lateness of this post is not in any way reflective of the speed with which Country Traditions got this order to me.  I had the box about a week after I ordered but I've been so busy lately, it's just been sitting right near my machine waiting.  

I finally had time to open the box of yummy things I bought while teaching at Country Traditions!!!

Batik fabric and coordinating strips, a couple of jelly rolls, bat coasters (squeee!), a pattern for the heart quilt that was displayed on a bed near the front window, and a really nice note from Sarah, who helped me pull it all together. Sarah has this infectiously bubbly personality -- she was so fun to be around! One of those women I could totally get into major trouble with if I lived closer!

As I start taking things out, more is revealed:

Two books utilizing precuts -- I love precuts beyond all reason! -- and

This beautiful kit from Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero! Jeannie showed me the finished quilt in her booth at Market last year (you might know her as the designer of the Kaleidoscope quilt software).  She was so excited to show off her new "baby"! If it had been in this spectacular color way, I probably would have ordered it on the spot. But it was in pastels; pretty, but not wallet opening. I saw this at Country Traditions, though, and .....

Is it the same for you? Is it color that pushes your ultimate buying decision? Please share!

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