Sunday, April 27, 2008

To Market, To Market...

Well, I've made my plans...I bought my plane ticket, registered and have a place to stay. I'm going to Quilt Market next month. This is my first time. I'm not really sure what to expect, other than being overwhelmed by it all. I know that will happen. I have a list of the booths so I know most of who will be there. I'll have to go through it and make a plan. If I don't, I'll probably wander aimlessly for both days. I won't have a booth for this show. My plan is to scope it out so I know what to expect in the fall. I want to have booth in Houston. I'm not worried about working a booth at the show. I have done enough of those. In another life, I worked the motorcycle show circuit, selling shirts. I'm more concerned about what to bring to a show like this. Since I won't have a booth, I also want to take advantage and make as many connections as I can. That's the hard part. So, alot of planning up front is the only way.

I finished my Floral Delight quilt. I used the Benartex Flower Show II fabric. Boy do those flowers stand out. Here are the focus fabrics I used. I fussy cut the flowers and centered them on a snowball block. Sorry, you will have to wait for a picture of the quilt. I sent it off to Benartex for use at market. (Whoo hoo!)
I'd better get busy planning!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Missing Pieces

My baby quilt for Maggie, the Yorkshire Terrier is almost finished. It would be finished except for one minor issue. I seem to have lost a block. How can that be? I have 11 of one and 12 of the other. I should have 12 of each. I know I cut out 12. I don't have any stray pieces left. It has just disappeared. One block, gone. I know I'll find it, but I am also sure that will be AFTER I remake it. Isn't that just the way it goes.

I've been working hard on another donation quilt as well. My niece and nephew's school has a raffle every year to raise money. It helps keep the tuition down. After a little "pretty please with sugar on top" I agreed to make on of the quilts. Their mother is making a few others for them. I have pictures of the children in one of the classrooms ready to be printed onto the fabric paper. I am going to use them in the center of a snowball block. Here is the alternate block. I am hoping it will have more color when I put the pictures in. I'm still deciding on how to include the names. I think I will type them under the picture and then print it out. I have to have the quilt in Cleveland by next weekend. I don't think I'll have the time to embroider them.

We're headed out to clean up the yard today. There are still quite a few winter leftovers to get picked up, branches and stuff. I need to start figuring out my vegetable garden. You know, how big to make it. How many tomato plants I need (and that is NEED you know). Now about those tomato plants. Here's the story. There are two adults in our house, no children. They are all grown and on their own. We eat our fair share of tomato sauce. My husband is Italian, spaghetti and gnocchi are served frequently. So every year I think we need lots of tomatoes. I was looking at a packet of heirloom tomatoes a few weeks ago. They were so beautiful, I thought they would be perfect. There were nine plants in the packet. WHAT was I thinking, NINE plants. I'll have tomatoes for years to come in the freezer, especially if I follow the directions and give each plant the room it needs to grow (I've been known to crowd them in the past, like 6 plants in about 4 square feet.). I'll be giving tomatoes to the neighbors. Of course Diane Next Door will like that. She comes over and takes what she needs anyway. There are always too many tomatoes, but this will be ridiculous. But, once you have the plants, you have to plant them. You can't let them die. I'm planning all this and in our climate, I can't even plant them for another 5-6 weeks.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I never laughed so hard...

I laughed so hard my cheeks are still sore. Mark Lipinski was in town today. If you have ever seen him speak, you understand what I mean. If you have not seen him speak, you should find out where he will be next. We heard the story of his quilting life today. He even showed us his very first quilt, as well as many others that he has done. They were, of course, spectacular. His stories were even better though. I loved his story about teaching in Lancaster, Pa. (the heart of amish country). He explained how his classes became rated R. He took us through the quilts that have been in magazines and explained how he sees quilts all around him. I drove 100 miles to see him today and would do it again tomorrow! Oh, how I wished I had brought my memory card for my camera. I had my camera. Alas, my memory card was at home in my computer (heavy sigh).

I think I mentioned my dear friend Jan has a new little puppy. I started a little baby quilt for Maggie. I think these 5" blocks are the smallest I have pieced so far. When looking at some of the miniature quilts at the show today, I was thinking of these blocks. They sure feel miniature to me. I did get a little help from the boys on this one. I think Boo knew who it was for.

I believe I have also decided on a new iron. As I explained last time, my poor iron gave up the ghost. I was pressing the hood on one of the raincoats for the little boys at the time. I thought I had the temperature up to high for the fabric I had used. It scorched, just a little, and it smelled funny. I thought maybe I had melted the fabric a little. You know how cotton/poly can get a crusty if you scorch it. Well, I went back to press the next section (I did remember to turn down the temp). No heat. nothing, nada, zippo. Cold as can be. Well that's very strange, I thought. I didn't think I had turned it off. The light was still on.So I horsed around with it for awhile. Tipped it down, and back up, turned it upside down to make sure the holes weren't clogged. All looked well. Alas, all was not well. The poor thing was gone from this world an on to the next. After much searching, I found my husbands old sunbeam down in the basement. I know, I should be thrilled he had an iron to find. It served him well. It's a light weight steam job. It heats up quickly and no auto shut off. I still hate it. It's too light and it runs out of water very quickly. Soooo, I've been looking for a replacement. I liked my Rowenta, but thought I might like a cordless iron this time. Weel, the maytag isn't avaiable anymore and I didn't like the other options. Maybe that new Oliso...or... a steam generating model. Yup, I think I'm going to go with the Rowenta Pressure Iron and Steamer.

What else am I working on? I finished the top for the Corry YMCA donation quilt. It still needs quilting. I'll get that started tonight. I have an embroidery quilt design disk I think I am going to use for it. You've probably seen them. They are embroidery designs that look like a quilting design. You hoop the quilt section, batting, backing and all, and embroider away. It's cheating, I know. It is a donation quilt though and the designs are beautiful. They are just the right size for the blocks. Then, I'm going to put a green binding on it to finish it off. A quick label and it's ready to go. I am really hoping to get it all finished up this week so I can take it out to them next week.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

April showers bring...

dogs in raincoats? I made the little boys raincoats. What a hoot! They don't understand the hoods yet. They look so happy!

Today is the first day in a while it hasn't rained. I'm not complaining, really, it could be snowing here still. The rain does make it easy to sit and sew. I can look out the window while sitting at my machine and I think, "What a nice day to be in and to not have to go anywhere". Well, I wish I didn't have to go anywhere anyway.

My latest pattern is coming along. I have made this design 3 times now. Each time I make it, it looks completely different. I have been trying to decide what size blocks to use for the pattern. I'm thinking I'll stick with a 10" block. The quilt goes together faster and there is room for some spectacular quilting if desired. This particular version is going to the YMCA in Corry for their auction in May.

I've been working hard through my projects. Maybe a little too hard. I had to take my sewing machine in for service. Seems it got tired and decided to just stop, mid seam. Poor thing. They took good care of her at the sewing machine hospital. She got about two weeks of rest and relaxation. Now I've got her back home and she is back to her old self. My iron seems to be a little jealous though. No sooner did I bring my machine home and the iron decided it was time for a break. She didn't even give me any warning, just refused to heat up this morning. So I'm looking for a new iron. I can't decide if I should get another one of the same or if I should try something different, like a cordless one, or maybe that Oliso that can sense when you touch it. In the meantime, I'll have to use my husbands old iron that has been hanging out in the basement. I guess it won't take me very long to decide.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

So much to do...

I am feeling a little buried, at least until this weekend. I have quite a bit of quilting to do. That always makes me feel behind the eight ball. I'm never quite sure how long it will take to quilt an item. I have to finish quilting the snowflake wall hanging to take down to the shop in Meadville. I also have a auction quilt I am giving to the YMCA of Corry, Pa to finish. Better get busy on those.

JB and I had a GREAT time at the sewing show. I met her at CWRU in Cleveland after her family went to a Tuba concert. We took the littlest, W with us and the other 2 went with Da. We were not looking for anything in particular this time, except maybe a replacement rotary cutter. I had one of those with the flowers on it. Purple and lime green. You can see why it attracted me. Well, it somehow got miss-placed. I'm not sure if it fell in the trash can or is folded up in a piece of fabric under my cutting table. I did not expect to find the replacement. They have a new pattern out now. It has too much orange for me. My darling sister found one for me though on our second trip around the booths. I was talking to the embroidery machine guy and she said she just knew that had to be the one I was looking for. How could she tell?
I found some great trims as well. I think they will be used on some little girly girl puppy dog clothing. The Vogue fabric booth had quite a bit in their remnants box. They were mostly $1/yard. It's hard to beat that. We gave out a few of my pattern flyers as well and talked to some ladies about a quilt guild on the east side of Cleveland. There seems to be a need for a quilt shop and guild on the near east side. JB has to travel at least 30 miles to get to the closet shop. That's silly in a city the size of Cleveland. She is talking about having to go to Painesville or Richfield. I, on the other hand have about 6 shops within 30 miles, and Erie is much, much smaller. Go figure.