Sunday, February 26, 2017

QuiltCon Day Three

Another super exciting day at QuiltCon in Savannah.

I was up early and caught the ferry to the convention center across the river. I arrived slightly before 8 when the floor officially opens to the vendors and since no one was at the door, I popped right in!  It's getting harder to get around without bumping into other people and chatting and as a result, I've not seen all the quilts yet, nor have I started to look at the charity quilts.  Haven't been out to scout out the vendors much either so today is going to be a busy day!

Did you notice that I haven't mentioned the weather once unlike when we were at Road to California? It hasn't been that bad. Not too hot, not too sunny, no rain.  It was a bit muggy one day, but really quite uneventful.  HOWEVER, those darn little bugs. It was confirmed to me - these littler buggers are no-see-ums and they are a menace!  I was chatting to Carol who lives down here in the winter and her and her husband discuss who gets to go out to BBQ because of the bug issue.  Personally, I'll take the cold back home. My ankles are the worst and they are a mess. I would love to be sitting in a bath of oatmeal. The back of my head feels like a cauliflower.  I'll survive!

Got to chat with a lot of people yesterday and I got to talk about this year's Best of Show and also last year's Best of Show. So that was a good thing. It's interesting to look at the quilts and try to wonder why the judges choose a particular quilt over another as a winner. Some are easy to see, others not so much and it's interesting that technique amongst the modern quilters is NOT a necessity. I think the quality is getting better but really we need to stop beating ourselves up with our work.  I was looking at some quilts that belonged to a very famous machine quilter and OK - I have nothing to worry about. Lots of little booboos on those quilts.

I had nothing official going on yesterday, but the number of people that have come up and said they enjoyed the panel on Stash Management - well there have been loads. That's always fun. I have one more demo today and I believe it will be live streamed as well so watch for that on Northcott Facebook.

I had decided a while back to take a class while I was here. There was a limited number of classes that were in the evening and I signed up for Binding by Machine. For those of you who know me, I'm NOT a good student. I was tired last night and I had had a great conversation with a woman who had taken this same class two nights previous. I was tempted not to go after chatting with her but decided to not blow off the class fee entirely so I went. A good sign was when I walked in the room and they are using the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q which is the sewing machine that I'm currently reviewing.   Yeah!!!

So the instructor started her spiel. Oh god - I'm in trouble as I knew I wasn't going to learn much in the class. I won't go into detail.  She makes bias binding and I'm OK with that, but I didn't like ANY of her methods.  Holy cow - I appreciate that people want to learn to quilt, but seriously, these modern quilters need to learn the tried and true techniques and then go modern with it. My way of making bias is so much faster than what I saw last night - it was painful to watch. I didn't say a word. She talked and demoed for the first part of the class and then there we had 1 1/2 hours to play with the samples. I had to leave. First, I was falling asleep I was so tired and second, I don't need someone to hand hold me while I attempt her method. I will go home and try modifying a couple of her things to fit my way.  Personally, my way is so much better, so much faster and I think way neater and no danger of missing any part of the binding when sewing. At least I went!

I think that is one of the reasons I'm such a bad student. I've spent hours and hours experimenting and perfecting many techiques. I'm going home to play with my samples a bit more and I need to put a demo out there on how to easily make bias binding and sew it on by machine.  But I want to play with my samples of bias and cross grain binding.   OK - lots to do when I get home.

I was going to catch up with the others as they were just getting seated for dinner about the time I got back to the hotel, but I decided that I wasn't up to dinner. I had a bowl of soup at the hotel and that was it. I went to bed but not before slathering myself in AfterBite!

It's the last day of QuiltCon today and I've got loads to do. Hopefully, I can sneak in that room 10 minutes early and get to all the quilts before the show opens.

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

QuiltCon Day Two

I think I have one of the best jobs in the entire world! How lucky to be employed in the same field as your passion. Trust me, I'm very thankful every day!

And I got to participate in something that I have wanted to do for a long time. Well either be a witness to or participate in. That's a flash mob!  Yep - us Canadians did a flash mob yesterday. Initially it was to be a photo shoot right at 1:00 PM.  I had a demo at 1:15 so not a lot of time in between. As some of the Canadians were milling about, someone took charge and said - let's head to the staircase for the photo. As we got ourselves on the steps, I stood by the front so I could make a quick exit. Someone had been commandeered to take photos and I gave them my cell phone. In the mist of the photo someone in the group started to sing Oh Canada. Now you know how us meek and mild Canadians sing Oh Canada. We sing into our chests, we fumble for the words. NO - we did our National Anthem proud. We sang loud and proud.  There is a video clip of the last bit and I'll try to share that with you.  It was an awe inspiring moment and I'm so glad I was part of that.

I got to the convention center early in the morning for a photo op with Katherine Jones, the winner of the Best in Show. She is such a wonderful lady, so forthcoming with her methods for making the quilt.  A true winner and I'm so excited for her. I do have pictures of that also and will try to post. Too many pictures and not enough time to post everything!

Once that was done, I was able to wander around and look at the quilts. There were a few more people on the floor at this time, than last year, but no worries. It was still very much like a private tour. I got through one side of the quilts and looked at Angela Walters' display of quilting, the small quilts, the group quilts, the applique quilts. Some very interesting techniques, some very interesting styles and I'm so inspired to go home and sew. But there just isn't a lot of time to work on my own stuff. And let's not forget that The Task Master will be waiting for me when I get home.

If any of you watched the video with the video on Facebook with my Improv presentation - you'll see The Task Master.  Well, not exactly. I brought the book cover, NOT the book. Too afraid of losing it and besides, who wants to bring HER along with me on a fun trip!

Yes I did a presentation yesterday on Free form piecing or improv.  It was live streamed on Facebook so that was a new one for me. And then the video stays so you can share?  Well, I'm not up on all the technology so lucky that someone in our group is able to do that!

Improv is something that is so much fun and yet people are so afraid of doing it.  OK - so let's book some classes at guilds back home - we're going to do improv!!

Yesterday was a much quieter day than the previous days. But we knew that and it's possible that today might be a bit busier as it looks like people came for two days and then a new contingent of people are coming for the last two days. I love these shows as last night in the hotel lobby, we ran into two people that I've met over the last couple of years and they had just arrived.

Just in case you think it's all fun and games, it's not!  Remember those little bugs I told you about as we waited for the ferry???  I HAD to get some AfterBite last night. I'm in agony from the MANY, I won't say hundreds, but the MANY bites that I got. It's insane. I have two anklets of red bites, bites in my hair, around my neck and a few other places and I'm itchy like crazy!  We stopped at the Five and Dime after our dinner last night and yep - they had AfterBite.  While it's helping, I'm still itching like mad.

I bought some papers for hexagons yesterdays and so in the afternoon when it was a bit quiet, I made a couple of hexagons. Then we got talking to people and well, I think I only made five. But I hope to start sewing them together later today. I'm using GLUE.  So much faster. Each to their own on that one. I think I've figured out what "kit" of papers that I'm going to get tomorrow.

I did manage to get out a bit and chat to some people. I got to thank the APQS people in person for the quick response that I got when my long arm was in desperate need of a fix.  Met a couple of designer friends and met a couple of new ones. I haven't really walked the floor much. This morning I'm off early again to get two hours before the show to browse the quilts, look at the booths and where I want to go back.

I've gotten a LOT of comments on my tote bag that I'm carrying around. The one that is on AllPeopleQuilt.   They were searching for it on the ferry yesterday and then trying to share the link.  That was a nice moment.

Well I got to get out of here!

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, February 24, 2017

Quilt Con Day One

It's Day One of Quilt Con 2017.

It's pretty important to have a good breakfast before these events.  You're not sure what kind of food you're gong to get and at what price.  I bring a muffin with me which is usually my lunch along with some snacks we have in the booth.  Some people don't have breakfast and they must be nearly famished by the time dinner rolls around.

Anyway, the first agenda item yesterday was the awards ceremony.   All I can say is WOW.  the quilts are stunning. And even better news, TWO of my friends won prizes.  I'm not going to get the categories straight, but Marilyn won first place for piecing for her quilt - I'll get the name and post a picture on Facebook.  It's an amazing amount of work and I'm thrilled for her. Jeanie also won a prize - second place, but I can't remember that category.  So I belong to TWO modern guilds and one member from each won a prize. Another member has a quilt in the Quiltcon magazine and well, I'm sure there are loads of other quilts that I will recognize the maker of - I'm going over to the convention center early to start my "private" tour of the floor.

BUT the most amazing quilt of all was The Best in Show.  This quilt is spectacular and the pictures don't do justice to it.  I got to present the award to the winner. It was super exciting and we're back early this morning for a photo op!  She is all the way from Australia. Her 98" square quilt represents a Princess cut diamond and it really and truly looks like a diamond!

Then the show started at 10 AM and we were busy in our booth the entire day. It was crazy.  Patti had a demo right at the beginning of the day and we wondered if the attendance would be good.  Nope - she had a packed audience for her demo so that was good. I have a demo today so hopefully, there will be as many people show up!

I sat on a lecture panel yesterday.  I got to do one last year and it was so much fun.  I was super excited to be able to do that again this year.  The theme for this year was Stash Management.  Oh my god.  We had to share photos of our stash and talk about how we manage our stash.  I think a slight bit of tidying went on before some of those photos were taken. There is NO way that I could function in those too neat, too pretty stash rooms. I think the audience appreciated our comments and we all certainly got a lot of laughs and that's what it's all about. My photos which I will post when I get home were raw photos!

After I got back to the booth, it was much quieter, but we still had a steady stream of people until almost the end. I had ONE last public speaking task yesterday and that was to say a few words for the launch party of Fresh Quilts. This is a PBS show about Modern Quilting and we sponsored Season One.

Next up, we went out for dinner.  Marilyn, Nancy, Peggy and I. Oh let's not forget Karen. Who is Karen?  Well, you have to understand Nancy. She will pick up stray puppies, stray women - whatever!  We're standing at the ferry dock waiting for the ferry that we just missed. That meant a20-minutee wait with the no-see-ums driving us crazy. I have bites EVERYWHERE.  We started to chat to the women beside us and next thing you know, Karen is coming with us for dinner. We had a super good time.

It's a long story, but Peggy was staying in a hotel, but ended up staying with a local quilter and it was through her contact that we got a recommendation for a restaurant for dinner.  We went to Savannah Seafood which was amazing. I had the Low Country Boil, which was filled with beef sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes and loads and loads of shrimp.  It came to the table all sealed in a large plastic bag. Yikes!!  But it was good, it was spicey and it was super messy to eat.   A perfect dinner.

During the dinner conversation, the subject of tattos came up. Around the table - do you have a tattoo? Well I couldn't lie.  Karen said that I looked like someone who would have a tattoo.  Seriously????   I asked why and she said look at the shoes that I was wearing (my $16 red Target sneakers!) compared to what the rest of them had on.  Wow - Karen knows her people!!!!  It was pretty funny!

Then back to the hotel a bit earlier than the previous night which was good as I was tired. I got all the stuff sorted out for today and off to bed.

I expect today and each successive day will get a littler quieter as usually happens with any consumer show. I might even get some hand sewing done!  I'm dying to start  making hexies with some scrap fabric that ended up in our booth.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a su

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quilt Con - set up day!

Ah - my favorite day of any quilt show.  The setup day.  Of course, I'm kidding here! It's always a long day. But we get to meet up with friends and well, it's not all that bad.

There is a beautiful breakfast buffet at the hotel and we got to sit by the window. We can see the Convention Center across the river. Yes - we have to take a small foot ferry across or we could drive. I've done both - the ferry is fun, but you have to know the schedule or wait - maximum is 20 minutes.

Thankfully the dock is not far from the hotel as let's just say that the waiter had to chase us down because no one signed the bill for breakfast.  Oops!!!  That was pretty funny, but everyone here is so friendly and so helpful.  And we had joked with this particular waiter so everything was good.

We walked into the convention center and the quilts were hung.  I ran into Peggy from one of my guilds back home and Peggy had been on the hanging committee and she said that was a very interesting experience.  Everything is well planned, well organized and it was a piece of cake to hang the show.  So if anyone is ever planning on coming to a show, why not volunteer - you get to see each and every quilt up close and personal and there are ZERO people around to get in the way.

Our crate was waiting for us, but we were missing a few other things that were stuck in transit.  Normally the first thing you put down is the floor, but we didn't have our floor yet so we did everything else and then when the floor came, much later in the day, we just whipped those pieces under the legs of our structure and it worked like a charm.  You just get creative when life throws you a curve!!!

Everyone seemed so relaxed yesterday.  While we thought we took a long time to set up, everyone was casually setting up as well.  Our "competitors" were also just lounging the day away and it seemed to take forever for everyone to get set up.

I'll be posting pictures on Facebook throughout the day since we have Wi-Fi at the convention center and it seems to be very stable.

Despite an invitation to visit with some of the other Canadians here, I was tired so some of our team went out for dinner.  What restaurant to choose?  We walked along the waterfront and then we picked a tavern.  Who do we find inside???  Linda from back home.  She was with a group of friends and we just said hello and onto an amazing dinner.  The jerk shrimp were to die for!

While sitting at the window which overlooked the river, we saw numerous small boats go by. A big old paddleboat and then OH MY - what is that?????   A MASSIVE container ship. It was dark and we couldn't really get pictures, but I hope we see one in the daytime.  I'm not talking some little boat here - this was a full blown container ship laden high with containers.  What a sight to see down the middle of the river!!!

The Savannah Candy Factory was just below the tavern so of course, we had to stop.  There was candy of every conceivable kind and shape in that shop. Some of us got ice cream. We seemed to spend a lot of time there and the number of videos, snap chats and pictures - well I guess the staff is used to that by now.

Strolling back to the hotel, we stopped in at the Five and Dime.  Nothing cost a nickel or a dime in the store, but it literally had everything in this shop.  Lots of kitschy souvenirs, shirts, clothes, you name it - it was in this shop. We finally made it back to the hotel and one more stop in the bar where I had water.  My body won't survive these shows with all the food and drink!  Mind you, we didn't really have lunch!

I'm all organized for today.  It's the first day of the show and the first thing bright and early at 8 AM is the awards ceremony.  I get to represent Northcott as the sponsor of the Best in Show.  What quilt won?????   I'll post that later.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Greetings from Savannah

We arrived!  It was a long day as I had to go to work to get some last minute things done. Then home to get some even more last minute things done. BUT I'm happy and I actually sat around for about 1/2 hour as I waited for my ride.

There was NO ONE at the airport.  However, that doesn't mean that there aren't a few stories to tell.  I head into the NEXUS line for security. I open up my boarding pass on my phone. The guy at the door can't scan it. No worries - go on in he says. So I do. ZERO line at the security machine - well not counting the one man in front of me. The check point guy says I'm showing him my connecting flight boarding pass, NOT the first leg of the trip. At least someone was on the ball.

My stuff goes through (including the rotary cutter that I threw in).  GASP!!!!  I put in a small one just in case. I was prepared to ditch the blade and keep the handle, having to replace just the blade if need be.  NOPE - that sailed through no problem. However, I was asked, "what's in that little box?"  AH - that's a sewing kit with scissors (regulation length blade) but it was my two Roxanne's heavy thimbles that had them guessing. Then I was shocked to hear that juice boxes can't go through the line. DUH!  I know that, but I don't have juice boxes in my backpack.  "Yes - you do!"  I'm madly thinking - ah - I have bundles and bundles of small cards that are part of our giveaway.  Yep - those looked like juice boxes on the scanner!!!!!

When I arrived last night, I thought "oh shoot" I forgot my toothpaste. But after searching through the luggage this morning, I did bring toothpaste.  A BIG tube - 130 ml. That went through no problem and I NEVER put any of my stuff in a Ziploc bag. EVER.  Mind you I don't carry much stuff with me - just a small carry on and my backpack. I travel very LIGHT!!!

And my fingers were so dry, they wouldn't register on the NEXUS machine so the guy had to get me some hand sanitizer.  Then we used too much.  And I had started off in the non-Nexus line as there were ZERO people in this area.  I got straightened out and through everything in mere minutes!!!

Met up with my colleagues who were already there.  Bought a sandwich and a small bottle of water for almost $20.   That's outrageous!!!!

The flights were pretty uneventful although we did have a bit of turbulence just before getting into Savannah.  We were at the back of the plane and you can see the clouds moving over those long, delicate-looking wings.  I don't like that part!!!!

Our other colleague had arrived earlier and was waiting to pick us up.  Let's just say there was a small detail with the hotel we were staying at and thankfully that was fixed before we left. But all my packages were now sent to the wrong hotel.  I was worried that they wouldn't be waiting for me.  However, the good news is that all 7 packages had arrived!!!!!  Although we did have to wait a LONG LONG time for them to retrieve the packages.

We're at the Marriott and the front desk man was very happy to greet us even though it was after midnight at this point.

I won't go into a lot of detail, but have you ever noticed that hotel bathrooms are NOT happy places.  Why do that have that giant mirror over the sink which, well, I'm not going to say more than that!!!!

It's time to head out for breakfast. Grab the ferry across the river and start setting up the booth.

Oh - I should say the silliness starts. Ran into Cheryl Arkinson at the airport.  A nice lady and told her how much we appreciated her allowing all the groups to use her slab block pattern for those blocks for the CQA quilting bee.  It's going to be a name-dropping kind of place!!!!   I don't care - I have no shame.
Have a super, super day!!!!


We're at QUILTCON!!!!!!    Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Seeing red?

I had a super fun day with the sewing group yesterday.  It was so great to be back (even for just one day) despite the fact that I had a ton of stuff to do so I didn't get to chat a whole lot. Besides, I'm used to working heads down by myself so it was almost overwhelming a bit!

I got HALF of the backing done for my One Block wonder quilt.  Then I realized I was going to run out of time, so I put it aside. It was the hardest half so that is good to have that out of the way. It will have to wait until I get back to finish.  I also got the binding done.

I got a whole pile of flying geese done for a pieced border for another quilt. I needed that border on for 9 AM this morning and I'm happy to say that I'm right on target with that.

Then I needed a sample for our booth. Something small (thankfully) and I whipped that up last night and bound it this morning. Is it my best work?  No - but it's all improv stuff and well, there's so much to learn from improv.  I'll show it later and give you the blow by blow on what went well and what didn't.

I see I have a couple of pictures in my photo editor that I haven't shown yet so here they are.

Radiant Light
 The top is together, but the pattern still needs a bit of work. Yikes - there are a LOT of seams in this one.

And I got the next two patterns for The Canadian Sampler at Sew Sisters.

Next two blocks

Here's an interesting thought. I spoke to Judy the other day about popping in to get some red fabric to start making these blocks.  Nope she says, red is very hard to find this year. OK, so I checked at Hobby Horse and there were NO suitable reds either. Lots of reds with designs in them, reds that are orange/red but NO deep rich monochromatic reds. And I don't have any in my stash either!

So what's going on?  Because it's Canada's Sesquicentennial, has everyone been buying up the reds?

Well red fabric is now on my shopping list. It's so much better to go to a quilt show with SOMETHING on the list. It helps to avoid buying willy nilly!

On that note, I'm out of here.   I've a few things to get done before my plane leaves tonight at 6 PM.

Have a super day!!!


Monday, February 20, 2017

Motivational Monday MIRACLE!

It's Motivational Monday again. A very exciting day. Many people are not that fond of Monday - it's the end of the weekend, it's back to work. For me, Monday has been a very exciting day for many years as that is my sewing day. Well now that I work full time, it's not technically a full sewing day, but it's all about sewing as I do get to spend a bit of time first thing in the morning with the sewing group and then off to work which is always exciting.

Today is even more exciting as I'm going to spend the entire day with the sewing group. Normally on stat holidays, the sewing group doesn't meet, but today they are and so I get to join them.

BUT even more exciting is what I have to share with you this morning. The TOP of my January project is done!!!!  Yes - it's been almost 10 years since I started this project. I've tried to resurrect it several times and got bored?  But the top is DONE!!!!   I'm super excited about that and hope to get the binding (which is cut and ready to sew together) and the bits for the backing are in my sewing bag today. As I lay awake this morning, I had a vision of how to put the bits together for the backing! Perfect!!!!

Let's have a look at how the top got finished.

First, I wanted to share this fabulous quote with you.  How true!  Let's get these things done, but perfect?  Hardly. But what a huge weight I felt lift when I got this top done!!!  That's what we're aiming for!

There was ONE last seam to be sewn in order for this section to be finished.

One last seam and now the center is together

I was short by ONE hexagon when I put it together and I used a different green. You can see it in the top left corner and also near the bottom right hand corner.  I wasn't sure that I like that green so I tried another one.

Ah - I don't think so - this is hideous and stands out way more than the one that I orginally used.

I don't think that green works!!!!

So I tried yet another green and this time, I was much happier with it. I think what bothered me was the original fabric was ONLY green and there were no blocks that were solid green in the quilt.
The new fabric has some gold in it so it blends better.

Much better
 After the auditioning process was over, it was time to replace those bits. Thankfully, they were on the edge so wasn't too big of a deal to replace.

NOW the center part is complete
 Next up was to choose the borders. I tried the new green for the border, but it doesn't look as good as it could when placed directly against the pieced bits.

Color is good, but it looks weird
 That is even more jarring when the border is placed next to the orange/yellow bits.

The border is even more jarring!
 Let's try a smaller border in yellow/oranges which of course wasn't hard to find. I literally grabbed the first or second fabric from the orange basket and it works perfectly.

This is much better!!!
 I laughed at one point when I was working because the January project is pretty bright, while the February project which is on the left is pretty dull!

February project is dull compared to the January project
 Speaking of the February project, it's also in my bag for sewing today!!!

Let's get those points trimmed off!

Off with the points!
 And put on that first border.  There are many bias edges on this quilt and over the years of mistreatment, the pieces have been stretched. Thankfully the stretching wasn't too much of a problem. But this is a good example of why we need to make sure the top and bottom borders are the same length and that the two side borders are the same length.

First border on!
Audition the green again.  Much better!!!

Much better
 Now it was an easy process to add that final border - well almost. I decided that last border should be mitered.
Mitered corner
Here is the top - completely DONE!!!!!!

Top is DONE!!!!!!
 I never noticed this before, but I always had it on the wall in this orientation. Probably because the columns were easier to put on the wall. But the final size of this quilt is 63 by 72 which is pretty close to my general lap size so guess what, it's going to be a lap quilt, NOT a wall hanging and it will look like this!!!!

Now it's a lap quilt!

I'm super happy with it. I think I may keep this one for myself after all the agony of it.  BUT here's the thing - without this group, without The Task Master, this project would have gotten shelved yet again. I could see everyone posting their January projects and some are already finished their Feburary projects. Well I had to keep slogging.  I was even tempted to put it on the long arm and quilt it yesterday, but I had a customer quilt that had to be done and I have a few things to finish off before we leave for QuiltCon so those take priority. When I get back..................   well we'll see.

Customer quilt - DONE!!!!!

So a HUGE HUGE thank you to all of you who are posting your completed projects.  It's very motivating.

On that note, I have to finish getting ready for my sewing day!!!

Have a super day!!!


And if you want to join us on Facebook and post your finished projects, check out the group.