Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hexie Heaven

I have a little bit of temptation to share with you today!  I have been toiling away with a project that I plan to have ready for a series of classes that will start in the fall.  This was something that I loved immediately when I say it at Houston Quilt Market last October.  It is an 8 month series called This Goes With That designed by Sue Daley of Patchwork With Busy Fingers, an Australian company that focuses on English paper piecing.  I will be leading the class and passing on tips to make the 16 block variations in Sue's project. Below are pictures of some of my blocks as I was auditioning setting, border and binding fabrics yesterday.

As you can see, I am making this up in 2 different styles, because even though I love the traditional reproduction fabrics in the first 2 pictures, my heart also goes out to the more contemporary bright blocks.  Since I couldn't decide, I am making both!  I do have some fabric "starter kits" that include many of the fabrics shown here, but there also are some bits and pieces picked from my own stash mixed in.  And I will highly recommend that each person do the same to make the blocks uniquely yours.  Don't worry about all those little points sticking out, those won't be showing in the finished product.  This is also a project that can be as large or as small as you choose, depending on how many multiples of the blocks you want to make.  There isn't a formal quilt pattern from Sue but I will be bringing you ideas for ways to use your blocks each month.  And did I mention that all of the blocks are made by hand?  Oh yes!  There will be no hum of machines when this group gathers!  And no hauling around those machines, which makes this the perfect take-along project.  If this is something that you have questions about or need more information, you can check with me at the store and watch for our fall class listing due out in early September.  I already know of a few who are jumping on the EPP (English paper piecing) bandwagon, and each time I show these at work I get more interested folks.  I promise to share more pictures as things start coming together--

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Epilogue, Spring Market 2012

Can you believe these beautiful chocolates?  I selected 4 from the display case to bring to my sweetie back home (and maybe with the hope that he will share!).

We found Cosentino's Market just 2 blocks from our hotel, and wished we could bring it home with us.  Right in the middle of downtown, a wonderful grocery store and mega deli serving just about anything you can think of!  We actually ate one dinner and one breakfast here.

We loaded up Laurel's deluxe minivan nearly to the roof and said farewell to the Downtown Radisson Hotel.  What normally would be an 8 hour trip took us about 12 due to necessary stops at a few quilt shops along the way!

One destination that we did not want to miss was in Liberty, MO, at the Corbin Mill.   We were very happy to find an abundance of wool and even some beads, yarn, and cross stitch supplies.  Debbie and Patti could not keep their hands off the shelf after shelf of wonderful hand-dyed wool, and so 2 more big bags were crammed into the van.  Available soon on a shelf near you!

Although we were only about 400 miles south of our homes, it was obvious that the growing season was way ahead in MO.  These little bachelor buttons were growing between the Corbin Mill parking lot and railroad tracks, making a beautiful memory of our trip.

Eventually, we made it all the way north to White Bear Lake.  Sharing stories, snacks and laughs makes the miles pass more quickly.  And knitting a few more rows on my scarf, which we are all loving!

I have the feeling that I might be gifted a few more scrap skeins of sock yarn soon!  And I know there are more of these scarves in my future!
To top off the trip, we got back to the store to find the new door installed between the quilt shop and sew center, making the world a better place for all of us!  And this morning Debbie has been back at the store, meeting with a fabric rep to BUY MORE FABRIC!  Yup, she's like the energizer bunny when it comes to finding just the right stuff for our customers.  Can't wait to see what she picked out this time!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Winding Down

 The booths are coming down and everyone has been packing up their samples and displays.  As for the BP gals, we are staying over one more night and making the drive home tomorrow.  Then it will be the big unloading and logging in all the goodies that we are bringing to the store!  It takes a few days to get it all sorted out, but do plan to stop in the store in the near future to look at the new things.  Here's a few more ideas to entice you--

Bareroots has little owls and sewing notions on candlemats, and I love the embroidered quilt blocks.  It was so nice to have a chance to chat with Barri because she lives near my son out in CA, so getting a hug from her is the next best thing to a hug from Dan!

You would not believe this fabulous new iron and ironing board from Laurastar!  This might be the answer to all of my pressing needs.  We plan to have one in the shop soon.  It's made in Switzerland, so should get along just fine with the Berninas!

This fabric is called Washi and we ordered it from Timeless Treasures.  

This is Anne from Olive Ann patterns.  We loved her patterns for little girl and doll dresses.  Sorry, Ian, she doesn't have any grandsons yet so no new outfits for you! :(

Yes!  We ordered wool felt!  Some bolts and some pieces, numerous colors, perfect for your applique.

We met Birgitte and her husband when we went to order fabric from Moda.  She is a new designer from Germany, her company name is Zen Chic and her line called Juggling Summer was our favorite.  She told us that she is relatively new to fabric design, after spending years working as an accountant.  

This is Morton from Stof Fabrics, a German company.  The sample quilt in the background lured us in and Morton forced us to order the fabric!

So now we are going to unwind, find a good dinner and toast our successful trip!  We are also toasting the 15th anniversary of Bear Patch plus Patti's birthday!

More Quilt Market

Sara Beth helped Debbie choose the Camilla collection by Anna Griffin fabrics to make the quilt below--

quilt design by Metropolitan Quilt

This & That patterns has a wonderful booth display of so many great quilts and little projects.  Many of them include an embroidery portion, like the pumpkins below.

Margaret is probably not going to thank me for this picture!  She was showing us Free Spirit and Westminster fabrics here, we really liked the illustrations spread out on the table here so some of those will find a home on the BP shelves.  Margaret is a local rep for those companies, so we also work with the fabric reps when they come into the store and show us what's new.
Pictured below is Jerry and his harem!  Jerry is another of our local fabric reps and such a good guy to work with.  You can see that his customers really love him!

At the Abbey Lane booth we heard all about her newest book, Just 4 Fun.  There are 4 fun quilts and even instructions for a wreath to match!  She has a good style that uses colors in an easy-to-master setting.

Madison Cottage Design was a new company name to us and we saw a couple of patterns that we purchased.  Her patterns all have food names!  She is from Idaho, and if you are on the mailing list for Keepsake Quilting, her Rhubarb Pie quilt is on the cover of the newest catalog.

JayBird Quilts is a big part of the "modern quilt movement", and even though we are far from young we find some common ground with her style and design sense.

Indygo Junction's designer, Amy Barickman, had a lot of new things to show us in their booth.  Some really cute garments and bag ideas with an emphasis on re-using clothing and textiles in new ways.

This small quilt was a feast for my eyes because it gives me an idea of what all those little hexagon blocks will become when I get enough stitched up.  This is a preview of a class I am going to do at the store starting in the fall.  Get your needle and thread ready!   Patchwork with Busy Fingers is a great source for English paper piecing designs and applique.
The inspiration comes from this Aussie designer, Sue Daley.  Debbie and I also went to a class that she taught and we learned how to make those curved clamshell pieces in the little quilt behind her.  A couple of the blocks in This Goes With That are shown below--

Saturday, May 19, 2012

International Quilt Market Day 2

We continue with our visit to Kansas City for the Spring Quilt Market--
We met Sandy (of Totes by Sandy) and bought some of her patterns.  She is from Colorado.

This was my favorite, I think it was called the Shirley Purse.

Castilleja Cotton came to our attention when Emily made a little wallhanging last spring called Bunny Flip Flop.  We stopped in their booth and found a couple more things that we will be bringing back to the store.  Thinking of Sue for the bargello tablerunner.

New patterns from Sandy Gervais for Door Decor-- watch for them as a monthly series in the future.

Sandy was busy totaling up Debbies's tally!  Sandy is the creative genius behind Pieces From My Heart and designs many fun fabrics for Moda.  Plus, she's a grad of the famous Jackson High School class of '72 with my husband!

This stop at Starry Pines might have been the highlight of my day!  I talked with designer Connie Huddleston about the wool applique crazy quilt in the background of this picture, and I decided to take it on as a block-of-the-month club for the store!  My fingers are itchin' for some wool stitchin'!

Here's another find for all of you embroiderers!  Pictured above is Pretty Princess of Pretty P and Mama B.  What a cute gal!  And cute designs!

Jon and Jerry of CleoAndMe were minding the store while the womenfolk were away--and managed to sell us a few patterns!  More hand embroidery, of course!

That's only a partial recap of our Saturday, it was a productive and fun time for us and so many nice people in the convention center.  Can't wait to get home and unpack all of our goodies.  A lot of the time, especially when we have the convenience of driving, we are able to purchase and take home the patterns that we want.  A few have to be sent to us in the next few weeks.  A lot of the fabric that we order is due for delivery anytime from now to Christmas.  It is a challenge to stay focused on what we can imagine that our customers will like and what we can reasonably expect to use for store samples and classes.  It is so easy to imagine that every fun quilt or design is something that we can either make ourselves or involve other teachers/employees to make for the store.  Kind of like that old saying "the eyes are bigger than the stomach" and we all know how that ends!  In this case, the eyes might be bigger than the time available to do it all!

International Quilt Market continued

Shopping for Bear Patch is a tough job, but somebody has to do it!  More pictures of our findings for our great customers--
Laurel and Debbie with Marilyn Forman, the genius behind great patterns from Quilt Moments.  Another fabulous MN designer, that quilt in the background will be popping up at the shop sometime soon if Laurel can just get a few minutes at her machine!  Watch for it on a future class list.

Rick Rasmussen is a super sales rep for Norhtcott Fabric.  He tempted us with many lovely choices, and we couldn't resist this darling childrens' line Robotex.  Looks like another quilt for my #1 grandson!

Laurel with Gudrun E. of GE Designs.  This one's for you, Anne!

Here I am with 2 lovely ladies from Whistlepig Creek, some of our favorite bag ladies!  They assist Sue so she can come up with more great designs.  That black and white one in the background is also made up in colors and was my personal favorite.

Bari J. designed a gorgeous line of fabric called Lilly Belle for Art Gallery Fabrics and it was too good to pass up.  Plus she was so welcoming and great to talk to about ideas for her fabric.

This is Fabiana, the Art Gallery Fabrics rep that helped us choose coordinates to go with the Lilly Belle fabrics.  She was so fun to work with because we could tell she really was excited about her work.  Don't you love it when you meet people like that?

We wrapped up the day with a stop at Buttermilk Basin to talk with Stacy West.  This one's for you, Kristina!  Another fabulous MN designer, I don't understand how she continues to produce more great ideas that make me want to gather up my wool and stitch.  Many of the samples displayed in her booth bear the mark of Kristina, a ghost stitcher for Stacy to get everything done.  And I have to admit my own little special interest in Stacy's patterns because she lets me do some quilting for her!

That sums up most of what we did on Day One, except for the pictures in Debbie's camera that we can't download yet.  More fun to come!