Saturday, October 28, 2017

Patches & Scraps, Midland TX

This is either my third or fourth visit to Patches & Scraps; owner Lisa Graham and I were trying to figure it out the other day and didn’t come up with an answer. The store has been open for four years and I came to them for the first time shortly after their opening and almost every year since. Every year they have even more merchandise and since pushing the walls of the building out is impractical, the aisles just get narrower!

This is the view to the left of the front door....

...and this is the view to the right! Lots of fabric and thoughtfully arranged groupings of notions make this a really fun store to shop. Lisa has six daughters and a son and all of the daughters work in the business, five of them in the store. So since there is Mom and five daughters all fabric shopping at Market and with the vendors who call on the store, you can imaging that there is a LOT of fabric being bought!

Nice Judy Niemeyer and other larger format patterns display right in front of the door along with some shopping totes to fill up — easy to do here!

I said “Smile” to Grace and Tara, two of Lisa’s daughters — Grace looked directly at me and smiled; Tara said “oh, no” and looked the other way.

This quilt is right outside the classroom door and I love it! It’s got that whole modern vibe going on. It takes over 5 yards of background fabric and we had a lively discussion at dinner last night about how many bolts a store had to buy of good backgrounds like this one. A 15 yard bolt may only be enough for 2 or 3 customers, so Lisa and April (store manager daughter) have found that they can go through a 4 bolt order very quickly. It was a very interesting insight about inventory management and the things a store has to think about when placing orders.

One of the most fun things about traveling is learning from the shop owners!

For the first two days, I taught my Fluff & Stuff machine quilting class; my last class here before I fly to Houston for Quilt Market is a feathers class using the Westalee rulers. I’m also going to demonstrate circles on quilts in a Baptist fan design and a few other of the template sets so that students can see some of the variety available.

Even though it’s just short demonstrations, I get to sew — and any day we get to sew is a good day, right?

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Week at Home

It’s nice to have some time at home between teaching trips — to catch up on email that I saved but didn’t read, unpack, do some laundry, repack....

This time I was home almost a week, so I got a little bit of sewing done. Here are two of the reverse Circuit blocks...

...and two more (maybe 10 to go?) as well as a Matrix Block in what I think is Step 3.

It’s finally getting cool enough that I’m seriously thinking about quilting the tops that I pieced over the summer. This is the Weekend Candy quilt from the Sleep Tight collection by Cotton + Steel. Pinned it up with wool batting and got all the straight stitching done with Mettler’s Transfil monofilament in the top of the machine and 40 wt Mettler silk finish 100% cotton thread in a medium grey in the bobbin. I chose the heavier 40 wt. thread for the bobbin because I’m going to do the free motion quilting with an even thicker 28 wt thread in the top of the Q-20 sit down longarm machine.

I was doing some blog hopping the other day and found this picture — drawstring candy bags are all well and good, but I really liked the elegant spooky tree and the purple diamond background. Funny how I get drawn into the little detail things and totally ignore the main point of the post! All in what the eye is looking for, I guess!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Clemtine Charity Quilt Quilt Along

When it comes to charitable causes, quilters probably have among the biggest hearts! We make quilts for others less fortunate and contribute fabric and notions to people who want to make their own. 

Here is another way to contribute that Fat Quarter Shop has been doing for a couple of years now.
The Clementine Quilt Along benefits the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help advance cures and means of prevention for catastrophic pediatric diseases. Fat Quarter Shop is partnering with Moda Fabrics to match up to $20,000 of donations for this awesome cause. And, on top of that, they will auction the Clementine Quilt Along quilt at the end of the program, and 100% of the auction proceeds will go to the St. Jude campaign.

Read more about the program HERE.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Red Pines Quilt Shop, Detroit Lakes MN

This is the second time I’ve taught for Nate and Joy Fetting of Red Pines Quilt Shop in Detroit Lakes MN. Last year, I came in September and the fall colors were just starting to pop; this year, I was there from October 11–15 and caught them just about at peak. This picture was one that I took from the car on the way from the Fargo ND airport to Detroit Lakes. We don’t have a lot of fall changes in the Southern California high desert, so it’s always a treat to go somewhere and enjoy the seasons!

Sunset from my room at The Lodge at Detroit Lakes — definitely a room with a view! Every room at the lodge has a lake view and the common area has a beautiful fireplace. There was an Octoberfest celebration on one of the nights and we were presented with German food, beer and a very accomplished accordion player. I really didn’t know if I would like accordion music or not, but this guy had a really good repertoire of songs and was very personable. It was a fun night!

This is Nate and Joy on our first night at dinner....

We just ordered some appetizers and shared. The plate in the middle of the table is waffle cut sweet potato fries with a topping of corn, black beans, beef and a bunch of other things. It was sort of a nacho type topping without the tortilla chips. Really good!

I commented to Joy that the quilts on the wall were different from last year; she said “They’d better be!” Red Pines is a big shop with a lot of fabric — 150 colors of Mona’s Basic Grey Grunge? And there’s grunge polka dots now? I liked the shots of color in the grey and white background fabrics in the quilt above.

I had been looking at this pattern from Jaybird Quilts for a couple of weeks and Joy had it in the shop, either to purchase separately or in a kit with the fabrics shown in the photo above.

I bought the kit and then took a closeup because I really liked the quilting and don’t want to forget what it looked like.

And of course there had to be rain!

On the drive back to Fargo on Sunday morning, I asked Nate to stop at a church that I had seen on the initial drive Thursday afternoon. It was such a pretty setting — the church building itself and all of the threes around it.

Another one of the trees on the church property.

I thoroughly enjoyed my few days with Nate, Joy and the students as well as the staff of the Lodge at Detroit Lakes who did their best to spoil me. We’re already mulling over ideas for what I might teach next fall. This year, just like last, we did my two day machine quilting class and Ruler Play on a Domestic Machine. We’re thinking of more advanced classes for next year. There’s always great new things to learn!

Speaking of which, this week I’ll be in Midland TX and then going on to Houston for Quilt Market. Lots of new things for me to learn so that I can teach them to others. I’ll be in the Amann-Mettler booth with all the beautiful, colorful threads; if you’re going to be at Market, stop by! I’ll be doing demonstrations with Mettler’s 28 weight cotton thread and using the Westalee rulers — I’d love to see you! 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Durchess Heritage Quilt Show

It was great to be invited by Sew and Vac in Poughkeepsie NY to demonstrate Westalee Ruler work in their booth at this quilt show. Met some great people who had heard of ruler work but not seen it demonstrated, so I was busy all day sewing and schmoozing — doesn’t get better than that!

My friend Teri Lucas was the featured artist at this show and she arranged a space for me to hang one of my quilts in the non-judged, non-competitive part of the show. It’s always fun to see a quilt hanging in a show and they always look a lot nicer to me than folded up and stuffed into a suitcase like they usually are!

I told Teri had no idea what to name the quilt, so she did it for me; here’s a picture of the card that explains the quilt’s story. Teri and I have had a running joke since we met several years ago in Knoxville when we were both teaching for an AQS show there. She calls me The Queen and I call her My Dear Princess; if you have met Teri, you know she has an infectious sense of humor and it was great to be able to hang out with her after show hours. Teri lives in the Bronx, so she didn’t have too far to drive to the show.

This was the 18th Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show; it is presented by the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show Committee in cooperation with the First Dutchess Quilters Guild and the Dutchess Community College Foundation. Along with Teri, I was excited to see Debby Brown (of Handiquilter fame and cutie patterns, for two), who told me that First Dutchess is her home guild.


So I took a picture of Debby’s phone so I wouldn’t get lost on the way to dinner and met both Teri and Debby, along with a couple of other really nice ladies for a lot of laughter and some good food.

Somewhere under all that lettuce is buried a bison burger, which was excellent, along with really crispy yummy sweet potato fries. It’s kind of disappointing to me that the only way I like this healthy vegetable is prepared in the worst possible way!

When I got up the next morning, it was to find that my five year streak of driving rental cars in rain or snow remained unbroken! If you are having a drought in your area, just book me to teach, tell me to rent a car and your problems are over, at least for one day!

These quilts weren’t in the show, but the vendor selling beautiful solid fabrics had no problem with my taking the pictures. I really liked the quilting on both of these.

After the show was over and the booth broken down, all of the goodies out of the booth were brought to the Sew and Vac, Inc. store in Poughkeepsie.  There are two locations; the Albany store carries Husqvarna Viking machines and the Poughkeepsie store carries those as well as Babylock and Janome machines.  Since I am a spokesperson for Mettler thread, I was also happy to see a goodly amount of Mettler in the pretty new fixtures!

Sew and Vac carries both garment and quilt fabrics with a lot of fun projects displayed on the walls. Of course, I LOVED the coffee cups hanging at the top of the wall and I think the office caddy — it definitely caught my eye, being orange and all — would be a really attractive and useful thing to have.

My eyes were riveted to the perfect points in the mariner’s compass quilt. Love looking at them, but have never had the nerve to make one.

Along the very top of the wall is a display of old to new Viking sewing machines. There were quite a few there — an impressive collection!

I had an hour and a half drive from Poughkeepsie back to the Albany airport and a little extra time to make that drive, so I had breakfast at the Cracker Barrel across the street from my hotel in Fishkill NY. I think I love Cracker Barrel as much for the eclectic shopping experience as the really good breakfasts. Had to take a picture of this cute sign!

Quick trip home, one day to get everything turned around and ready to take on the road to MN!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Catching Up

When I updated my iPad and iPhone to ios11 a few things happened, one of which I lost the ability to add photos to my blog posts. I type the post, pull up the photo, click done and — POOF — I’m kicked right out of the program. And what is a quilting blog without photos?

So now I am typing my blogs to my fabulous and most capable assistant Monica for her to publish. I would love to be able to do this all-by-myself-like-a-grownup again, so if any of you are on ios11 and are publishing your blog using your iPad and iPhone successfully, please leave a comment so that I can go there NOW!

Last blog post was October 2, which not so coincidentally was when I updated. So, since then...

I’m still working on my Blocks of the Day; here are the ones I finished between October 3rd and 6th, when I flew out to the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show, in Poughkeepsie NY.

I’ve also still been working on the Matrix blocks as my leaders/enders quilt; this is going to take a good long time, which is just fine.

Another thing I did during that week was to piece together the Minions quilt, which was my Block of the Day for all of 12 days. Then I decided that I didn’t like the border fabric that I had ordered, the larger minion print that is in the yellow blocks. With this darker sashing fabric, I decided I would rather have the larger minion print in the orange blocks. I thought that would be especially good because the navy sashing fabric has orange dots in it.

During that time frame, I was also packing for my Poughkeepsie trip. I left on the 7th, worked the show on the 7th and 8th and then flew home on the 9th. Unpacked, did laundry and repacked on the 10th and flew out on the 11th for Fargo ND to teach at Red Pine Quilt Shop in Detroit Lakes MN the 12th-14th, flying home again on the 15th. Now I’m home for a week before I head out to TX for another week.

I do have to show you some things from the Dutchess Heritage show and Red Pines visit, I’ll do two more posts and then I’ll get to start almost up to date!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Got Some New Quilt Mags In

New magazines into the Batt Lair today -- the two Quiltcon issues and Modern Patchwork were purchased directly from an email sale sent by the publisher. I found Curated Quilts on one of the blogs I read (I probably get 50 of them in my daily Bloglovin feed). It was more expensive, but the photography is beautiful and it is printed on high quality paper. This is Issue 01 and I ordered just the single issue to see if I liked it before subscribing. Only glanced through it, but as a surface impression, probably will.
Realized that I hadn't included the finished top and back photos of the Paper Pinwheels quilt, so above is the top...
...and here's the back. They are a little bit larger than the floor space, but you can get a pretty good idea of how they are going to look. Used the leftovers pretty effectively; have just a few small squares of the comic fabric left, none of the main low volume backing and, after making the turquoise grunge binding, put 47" of that back on the shelf for another day.
Keeping on with the dailies -- here are this morning's two Circuit blocks and the one Matrix block pieced through the current step. That makes two of them, although we don't expect leader/enders to be speedy, do we?

Do you make leader/ender quilts? What are your criteria? Still figuring out mine and could use help!
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