Monday, March 10, 2014

Dallas Quilt Show

The Dallas Quilt Show was this past weekend.  We went on Friday with friends and returned on Saturday.  We never seem to see it all in one day. This year's theme was modern quilts. I am not a real fan of modern quilts, but there were some very pretty quilts there. They had over 400 quilts and garments entered in the judge to show, 150 vendors, and numerous beautiful special exhibits on display.

I have to admit I was not overly enthused at the show this year. It seemed to be smaller and had less fabric dealers. There were a lot of vendors that were selling crystals, buttons, beads and jewelry. There was a book vendor and several notions venders and of course your usual sewing machine vendors.  But all in all only about 10 booths had fabric.

I was very cautious with my money and only bought a few things. I had taken one of my Martelli cutters with me because it was broken. For a nominal fee they let me upgrade to the newer more ergonomic one and then I bought blades for the 45 and 60 mm cutters. I also bought a charm pack from Northcott called Artisan Spirit Shimmer. it has beautiful rich colors with the glitter to them that is a like glitter on the fabric it's made into it. There were 63 different pieces of fabric in it for $15.

Then on Saturday I bought a couple of big ticket items. Several years ago I had bought a white cutting mat to go on top of my craft table.  I was very disappointed in the quality of the product because no matter what cutter I used with brand-new blades they skipped and you had to cut repeatedly to get a clean cut and by then it wasn't a clean cut. So this year there was a company selling cutting mats that are made out of recycled PVC. They are white and very flexible and starting so once again I'm trying a new cutting mat although it won't be here until they can ship it.  The company was called "Cut it Out! Quilting Supplies" and it's located in my hometown of Plano, Texas. My husband bought me an anniversary birthday gift of a Silhouette Cameo. This is a fancy cutting tool that you can cut fabric with and it works off of your PC.  I've loaded the software and played with it a little but have not cut anything yet.

Now onto the quilts that's what most of us care about. I'm going to start out with the under 17 category.

 This one was sweet. I am sure his family was very proud.

 this one didn't say how old the girl was. I like the colors and the simple design. She did a very good job

 while we were there the young lady that made this quilt was there with her whole family and was posing for pictures .She looked to be about 12 or 13 . She did a marvelous job.

There were many other kids quilts but these three just jumped out at me.  

The next quilt was a non-judged quilt. I have large oak trees in my front yard so this one struck a chord with what I could do with those acorns.
I did not get a picture of the placard that went with this one it was called tree runner. The acron are hung little wires that were hung on the quilt

This was a very interesting quilt. the quilting was really fascinating on it. Several of us debated about the little squiggles. We were calling them fortune cookies, macaroni, and worms.

 this is a very simple pieced quilt  but it was the quilting that made the whole piece come together..

 I took a picture of the snake's head.. His body wound all the way down the length of the quilt.

This was one of the dragonflies.  They were very subtle.

I did not get the placard on this one either looking at the program I think it is Modern Grandma. I saw another one very similar to this but in miniature and that's the one I would like to do. The quilting on this one is uneven straight lines through the quilt.  Some were a quarter-inch apart and up to an inch apart, maybe an inch and a half. Very simple  but elegant.

That's about half of the pictures that I took. To prevent overload I will save the rest for Wednesday.

Monday, March 3, 2014

February, short, sweet and cold

2014 NewFO Challenge 

I did not accomplish much this month in the sewing room.  We had many cold and icy days and the power companies were asking that we conserve power so that we would not have rolling brown outs or black outs.  So no sewing machine, iron and extra lights! I did comply.

The first full weekend I went to my first retreat!
The Quilt Mercantile in Celeste, TX offers a Free motion quilting retreat.  Four of us went together and I has a wonderful time. The teacher was Jackie Brown (no relation) .  View her work here! I enjoyed the food and the friendship.   I went in as an advanced beginner and came out with a good knowledge.  The beginners started out on a skill builder panel.  I finished that before lunch on Saturday.  I ventured out to more advanced things.  I traced a pattern on cotton sateen and worked through that very quickly.  So I did a second piece.  I would get to a point and ask what can I do to it now and Jackie would challenge me to do  more.

This is the first piece I did.  We were told to bring a 16 inch square of fabric, backing and batting.  So that is what I did.  Then when we got there  we are told to cut the backing and batting at 18 inches. Oh, well.  This piece should have had a rope border but my block was not big enough so I learned how to do rays! The center hatching was part of the design.

This is the second piece.  I traced the flowers and went around them.  Then I added the circle frame. 
Next I did the cross hatch on the outside of the frame.  What now?  It is only Saturday afternoon.Jackie suggested that I add the squiggles in half the hatch boxes.  OK, that did not take long.  So I changed thread color and did squiggles in the other half!. It is now after dinner and I have hours to go.   Learn how to make pebbles.  I practiced on scrap for an hour and went to work.  I finished my pebbles around noon on Sunday.  By then, we were all exhausted and were ready to go even though we could have stayed till 3. 

Next on my list for the month were Block of the month.  

I finished block one from January on the Texas Treasures!  

Then I started and finished Block 2.

Next I did my Third Thursday Block from Old Craft Store in Carrollton, TX.
(I could not fine it on the Old Craft Stores site)

This is an eight month BOM and we are on block 5.  I am making a smaller version with out the outer star.

Next I went to my kit bin and pulled out two small projects.

Seasonal Silhouettes. This is a BOM, but I did not join.  I found this kit at the Plano Quilt show. 
It came with the background fabric and laser cut applique that already had fuseable on the back.  I did not have the book or any layout guide except for the tine picture on the package.  Thanks heavens for Google!  I found an image I could print for a suggested guide.   I created it on an applique press sheet and transferred it to the backing. I started stitching it down and noticed the flower points were coming up.  I ironed it again.  When I started stitching this time, the leaves were loose.  Back to the ironing board.   I did not know what I did wrong, but the whole mess fell off!   I grabbed the fabric glue stick.   That was not happening either.  The glue would not stick.  So as a last resort, I used double sided washable tape.   I find it hard to believe that I did any thing wrong but something happened.  If all laser cut appliques are going to be like this, I will not be buying any more.   The back ground fabric looked like cracked paint  so I used those lines to quilt.  In the borders, I quilted tiny boots. 

The second project was fall and wool.  I do like working with wool some times but did
not have any.  I was telling a friend that I would have to get some and she said that she would give me hers. She had all the right colors!  This was a combination of hand embroidery and machine work. 

The rest of the month I spent helping friends in their sewing rooms. 

I spent 5 days helping one friend clearing out sheds.  She moved 7 years ago and a lot of things were misplaced or not unpacked. My husband helped with the heavy lifting.  We totally emptied one shed and opened every box.  There were 30 boxes of fabric and probably that many more of other things. The second day we continued that.  On the third day, we started clearing her garage so she could get her car in before the next ice storm.  The next two days were spent in a second shed.   We moved 50 boxes to her patio for her to go through.  There are at least another 75 or more in the shed.  The 50 we moved had fabric, patterns, and notions.  She has unpacked all of the boxes and has sorted the fabric by color so we can pack it in to plastic see through boxed for storage.   It  will probably be a week before she is ready to put things away. 

Empty shelves waiting for plastic tubs of fabric.

I spent 2 days helping another friend folding fabric and organizing her sewing room.  needless to say, I will be helping these two ladies more this month.