Thursday, May 21, 2009

Check it out!

I stopped in the quilt store today. I know, no surprise there. The new issue of Quilter's Home is out. Guess who's Watermelon Buffet quilt is in this issue. The new issue is not online yet, but I'm sure it will be shortly. My quilt shop always seems to get their magazines before anyone else. I think they have a special connection.

I ordered the fabric for my bags for the bike. I can't wait until it arrives. I have a little planning to do in the meantime. I have a few measurements to take of the bike, and see how I am going to work around the tail pipe. Heat and fabric don't usually do well together. I wonder if I can get purple bungee cords. I'll need grommets, velcro, webbing for the straps, and at least 1 zipper. Time to search the internet for sources.

My Latest Challenge

I'm giving myself a challenge project, stepping outside my comfort zone a little. First, a little background. I have been riding motorcycles for about 20 years (Yes, I started riding before I could walk, haha.) One of the things I learned over the years it that it is very helpful to have a place to put all your stuff. Riding motorcycles requires stuff. You have several different pairs of gloves in case the weather changes, hot weather gloves, cold weather gloves, waterproof gloves. I always carry a sweatshirt in case the temperature drops. Honey gave me a heated jacket liner for Christmas. I have to bring that. A rain suit is a good idea if you have the room. There always seems to be lots of stuff before you even begin to bring anything along or (heaven forbid) purchase something like fabric along the way.

My current bike is a 2005 Kawasaki Z750s. It is a great little bike. Fast when I want to be fast. It looks fast all the time, so I must be fast. Blue is a good color. Other drivers seems to see me coming. Always a good trait in a motorcycle. It is comfortable to sit on for long periods of time. Great for those 14 hour trips to Florida, or 10 hours to Tennessee. My bike has one major downfall. There are no bags. No place to put all that stuff. I have a bungee thing to tie things down on the back seat. That works for the larger items. It does not work so well for fabric. I have looked at every motorcycle bag that is out there. There are some that are very nice. They tend to be very black. Maybe black and red and black and yellow, but always black.

So, now to my challenge. I am going to make a duffle bag out of very pretty, girly fabric that I can attach to the back of my bike so I look like a girl (a fast girl) going down the highway. I want bungee thingys on the bottom to fasten around the back seat, but I want to be able to put them away so I can carry my pretty bag in to where ever I'm going. So. Follow along with me on this new adventure. I'm picking out the fabric now. I like the green ginkgo by Kona Bay, but I would have to paint my bike green or get a new one. I know, I know I have said lime green is a neutral. I think I'll try to stay in the blue/purple family this time. Maybe I'll use the Ginkgo to make a bag for Honey's green Goldwing. Like he needs more room to put things. Ha! I love the Lavish Florals by Kona Bay. I think maybe the Lavish Florals April in violet. The challenge is not so much the making of the duffle bag. I have done that before. The challenge will be the outfitting it for the motorcycle. Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it's coming along as I work on it. I wonder if I should make a rain cover for it also. Hmmm..

Monday, May 18, 2009

Market Days

For those of you that are not familiar, Quilt Market is a vendor show where the Quilt Shop Owners attend to learn new techniques and products to bring back and share with their customers. I had a booth to share my new designs with the shops. The spring show travels around the country. The fall show is always in Houston. This spring we were in Pittsburgh, Pa. For me, Pittsburgh is a two hour drive.

We arrived on Thursday to set up our booth. It took us several loops around the convention center to find a place to park. The garage was full. After much grumbling, we realized it had worked out better than being in the garage. We were parked right by the elevator. We unloaded the car and got everything up and looking great in a few short hours. We even met some of our booth neighbors.

Friday morning we arrived at the convention center early. I wasn't sure how long it would take to drive in. The show opened at 9:30, we arrived around 8:30. It gave us a chance to walk around and see some of the other booths and make notes about where I needed to get back to. There are classes offered all weekend and the shop owners will come down tot he convention floor in between. On Friday, they typically walk the floor and decide where to spend their time and who they need to get back to. They shop for all the wonderful things they bring back to you, Fabric, patterns, rulers, templates...everything.

I talked to so many shops in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. There were quite a few Canadians there as well. We talked about quilts and teaching classes and what cool new things we saw. It didn't take long for my head to start spinning. I made many new friends and have many new ideas. While 3 days of standing and talking and walking and standing and talking and walking can wear you out. The excitement and flow of ideas is amazing. I will bring you some of the cool new toys I found as I go through all of the things that followed me home.

Make sure you check out also. Michele has a great site with loads of information to share. I was lucky enough to have a booth across from her.

I picked up this pattern while at Market. It's by Purse-O-Nalities of Palm Harbor. I used Kona Bay fabric and am thrilled with the results. The front of the bag is pleated and it's huge! I did change the handles slightly. The directions were easy to follow. I did make a cutting mistake right off the bat. It was my own fault for not reading the directions thoroughly. The pattern fort he back comes in 3 pieces because it won't fit on one piece of paper. Silly me, I put two of the three pieces together. It was easily fixed. I cut other pieces out of the bad cut. Now I'm looking for something to put in the bottom. I could use cardboard, but I'll look around a little first.

It's all so exciting!

I know you are all curious about my weekend in Pittsburgh at Quilt Market. I'll get to that in a little bit. I have to pull together all the information from the weekend and right now it is all still spinning around my brain.

First I wanted to let you in on my great big secret. There is a new source of sewing information. Please check out This will be bi-monthly to start and switching to monthly as soon as a few things are worked out. The Sewing Gazette is a newsletter that you can read online or print out if you like. It will bring sewers like us great information about happenings in the industry, very cool new tools, little recipes you can serve to your friends when they come over to sew, and much much more. Please sign up for the mailing list. The first issue will be out shortly and boy is it full of some great things. There is information on Bamboo as a fiber and new marking tools.

Check it all out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Counting Down..

Today is Tuesday. I'm leaving bright and early Thursday morning. The boxes are piling up in the dining room. The car gets packed tomorrow. I'm off to Quilt Market in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Fortunately, it's only a 2 hour drive. I have so many things I want to see this trip to Market. I promise to bring back all the new, very cool things that I find. Here are the new designs I am taking.

Lily Pads Table runner

Marmalade Throw

Palumbo's Puzzle Throw

Ravishing Rayven Throw (This was designed for my Great Niece, Rayven Rose)
Stop by and see me if you are going to Market.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Where have I been?

I have been heads down getting ready for Quilt Market. For those that don't know, Quilt Market is a show for the shop owners to attend to see what is new in the world of quilts and bring those things back to their shops. I have about a week left and am so happy to have only bindings left to finish. YEAH! I'll have pictures of the quilts for you then. Quilt Market is in Pittsburgh this year, only a 2 hour drive for me. I'm going down on Thursday to set up and the show runs Friday-Sunday. I'm so excited. Most of the local shops are going, so I will see many, many people that I know this time. The thought of it all almost makes my head spin.

My Simplicity jacket is coming along, very slowly. I have quilted some of the pieces, but am still working on it. I had thought about quilting the fabric on my longarm, but thought I might be more likely to use the scraps if they were not quilted. Not that I ever do. I keep thinking I need to make several scrap quilts to use up those little pieces. Right now they go into an already overstuffed box. I wonder how many quilts I would have to make to put a dent in that pile. Would I then have room for more new fabric? Hmmm...

I took a little motorcycle marketing trip last weekend up Route 5. I stopped at several shops along the way. It was a beautiful day to be out, 75 and sunny. Route 5 runs along Lake Erie. It was a little cool in some spots right along the lake. I did spend some time on Route 20 on the way home and it was much warmer and Route 20 is less than half a mile from Route 5. Crazy! My plan (excuse) was to stop in the shops and give them my flyer for quilt market. I think the Motorcycle Marketing Trip should become a regular activity.