Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What I bought . . . .

Hey, thanks for all the great notes, I'm happy to be back and missed you too!

So in addition to all the lovely quilts to drool over, there are also a few vendors to stroll through at the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, Ky.  The AQS's definition of a few is around 210 vendors, add in the Rotary Antique Quilt Show, Hancock's of Paducah, and the Eleanor Burns Tent, and that makes for a whole lot of shopping going on.  All year long I collect change in a snowman cookie jar, this year when I cashed in my change I had accumulated $175, even!  A nice neat sum.  I spent it all.

My first stop was Hancock's of Paducah.  

I had my Snowman Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings for Moda fat quarter bundle and cute pattern selected but I needed a few more of the background pieces.  I don't know if you've noticed, but the bundle is heavy on the darks, light on the lights, but that was easy to remedy.  I picked up some more background fabric and my backing.

I also picked up one yard of this, it's by Dear Stella.

I have no current purpose for this print but I thought it would make a great outer border on a small quilt or a nice inner border on a larger quilt. ( I now wish I had bought 2 or maybe even 3 yards of this!)

I picked up 2 yards of this,  it's also by Dear Stella.  I must  not hang around the right blogs, I don't read or see folks sewing with Dear Stella.  She's new to me, but I love her.

I thought this would be a cute border for the next house quilt I piece, not that I have a pattern or project in mind, but I love houses and know there will be a house project in my future.

In the last two weeks two different quilters have asked me about my backing fabric for Hallowe'en 1904.  I found it last week at Hancock's.  This is Hallographix II by Jason Yenter for In The Beginning fabrics.  I had never heard of Hallographix I let alone II, or Jason Yenter or In The Beginning fabrics, but I think this print has a primitive feel to it that goes nicely with Hallowe'en 1904.  

Plus it was on sale for $5 per yard!

I picked up this bundle of dot fabric by Robert Kaufman from a vendor at the show.  I thought it was very cleverly packaged.  There are 20 fat quarters in this bundle, here are the darks, 

and here are the lights, folded in between the darks.

These fat quarters will be separated and stored in my happy fabric bin.

I blogged about a beautiful Rob Peter to Pay Paul project using Chateau Rouge here.  Siena used a Go Cutter die on that quilt.  I loved the look of Siena's quilt so I picked up the die at the Go Cutter booth.  I don't talk about my Go Cutter much because I feel like I'm one of the few bloggers who paid for a cutter, everyone else I know got theirs for free from AccuQuilt.  So I like to leave the promoting to the folks who are getting paid to promote that product.  But if I'm working on a project that uses strips, (and what project doesn't) I'm using my Go Cutter, I'm just not mentioning it.  It really is a great product.  It's easy to use, does accurate cutting and is fast.  If you've been waffling on getting one, don't wait any longer, you'll love it.

Anyway, I had a 25% off coupon from Go Cutter and I used it on this die.  Look for a Rob Peter to Pay Paul project in my future. I  may or may not mention that I used the Go Cutter Die on that project, depends on my mood that day!

And finally, I bought a new Olfa 12 inch rotating cutting mat.  I buy one every year. I know these mats are supposed to be self healing, but I use this mat so often I don't give it time to heal, so every year I get a new one at the Olfa Booth at the show.  The reason I always get it at the Olfa Booth is because they run a special, the mat is only $29.  It usually runs around $40 at shops.  I appreciate the savings, especially since I need a new mat every year, but it makes me wonder what the vendors think of Olfa  setting up a booth and undercutting the prices.  You sure don't see Moda setting up a booth and selling fabric for $5 a yard!  Oh well I'll take it if they are offering it.

The new mat is on the left, the old mat is on the right.  The mat is on a turntable that spins, so you move the mat not the block when you're cutting.  I love it and cut all my quilt pieces and parts on this mat.

I thought about passing this mat along to someone who's never tried a rotating mat, but I don't think it's worth the postage it would cost to send it, this one is going in the trash.

Most of the vendors have kits and I understand why.  Trying to cut yardage with the folks that crowd those booths is tough and a kit is an easy sell, everything you need to make a beautiful quilt is just waiting for you to pick it up.  There are some fat quarters to be had and lots of patterns, but the majority of the booths are selling kits.  Right now I have around 6 kits waiting to be made, that's enough for me, so while I did see some tempting projects in several booths, I passed them up.  I tend to swap out most of the fabric in a kit anyway.  You can only take pictures in booths when you buy the kit, I understand that too, I hope you're able to find some other blogs where they took pictures of some of the wonderful quilts on display in the vendor booths, it's like attending a quilt show in a quilt show.

Tomorrow I'll be revealing my Month Five Blogger Girl Blocks.  I made the blocks before my trip last week, they are my favorites so far, I hope you can stop back by.

Monday, April 29, 2013

What I saw . . .

It feels great to be home after being at the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, Ky from last Monday to Friday.  A full week of nothing but quilty fun.  I've decided to break down my week of fun posts into three categories, what I saw, what I learned, and what I bought.  Today's post is what I saw.  I saw so many beautiful quilts it would take a month to share them all so I narrowed it down to my favorite 10 quilts at the show, get ready to be inspired.

This is the Best of Show winner, Fiesta Mexico by Renae Haddadin and Karen Kay Buckley, from Sandy, Utah.

Here's a view of the back.

This quilt is an original applique design by Karen, inspired by Mexican pottery. Renae did the quilting on a longarm machine. 

For more detailed pictures and information regarding this quilt, click here to go to Karen's blog, Karen Kay Buckley.

This quilt is the AQS Best Hand Workmanship winner, The Charm of Small Pink Roses. 

It was pieced and hand appliquéd by Keiko Minami from Kawanishi-shi, Japan.

Here's a view of the back.

My pictures don't do any of these quilts justice, but particularly this rose quilt, it was amazing.

This is Poca a Poca by Inabe-gun from Mie, Japan

My favorite aspect of this quilt, besides the fact that it is red and white,  are those adorable little snails lining the border.

This is Sweet Memories by Dominique Ehrmann from Quebec, Canada.  This quilt is a personal design depicting Dominique's 25 years as a baker and chocolatier.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but this quilt is three dimensional, the leaves and center section of this quilt stand out from the background.

This is Complex Irish Chain by Beth Nufer of Brookings, Oregon.  The Irish Chain was designed on graph paper integrating the color wheel.  

It was longarm quilted by Joann Hoffman.

Here's a link to Beth's blog, Beth Nufer Award Winning Quilts, click here.

This is Sunshine by Pam McIntyre, from Gainseville, Florida.

This may be my favorite quilt at the show, the combination of pattern, color and quilting are perfect. It came in second in the small wallhanging division.

In addition to the quilts juried into the show, there were also quilts on display by book authors.  This quilt was made by Sumiko Minei who authored the book Double Wedding Ring Quilts.  

Here's a nice closeup view.

Here's the book information.

This is Skip Hop Polka Dots by Estuko Matsuda from Northville, MI.

This hand quilted top was made for for Estuko's granddaughter, to inspire her to sing and dance.

This is Tulip Fire by Susan Stewart of Pittsburg, Kansas.

 It won the Bernina of America Best MachineWorkmanship award.

And finally, this is The Secret Life of Dancing Tulips by Jeanne Brenner and Maureen O-Doogan of Monticello, Florida.

There were over 400 quilts on display at the show from 44 states and 8 other countries.  

I find that the quilts that I prefer at each year's show reflect the phase I'm currently going through as a quilters, right now that would be bright colors and flowers, did you notice?

Next up, what I learned!

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Monday!

Hello, thanks for stopping by!  

Do you know what this sewing  machine cover means?  

That's right, I'm not home, no sewing going on in my sewing studio this week.  I'm on my way to Paducah Kentucky to attend the AQS Show.  It will be a busy week of taking classes, meeting up with friends, and checking out all the latest gadgets and fabric first hand.  I don't get out and about fellow quilters and quilter accouterments very often so I intend to enjoy every minute of it.

I didn't submit any quilts to be accepted into this year's show but can hardly wait to see all the other quilts that were.

I normally don't tell the world when I'm not home, but in this case, the house isn't empty, the menfolk will be taking care of the cooking and cleaning while I'm gone.  

Beware, Cooper's always on the lookout for quilt thieves!

I'll be back to blogging next week!  I'll also be sharing my trip escapades on Instagram, look for Thelma Cupcake or Thelma CupcakesNDaisies if you want to follow along.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Make a few stems, make a few blocks, that's the routine I'm following these days.

These blocks are a little fussy, several seams to line up, points to match up and not cut off, so they're going slow.  But I'm enjoying the process and really feel like I've accomplished something each time I put another lily block on my design wall. 

I'm not missing those basket handles at all!

I've also decided to stop whining about those stem blocks.  I got a note from Hilda at Every Stitch saying she was getting ready to start the Carolina Lily pattern from Quilt Mania.

Hilda's looking forward to doing the stems for this project by hand!  Sure puts those little stumpy stems I'm working on into perspective!  Hilda, that's going to be a treasure when it's done.

Is there anyone out there not drowning in rain?  There's a rumor that we're in for some sun this weekend, I'm sure hoping so!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hat Trick

It was hard picking out my fabric for Hat Trick.  I wasn't using a family of fabric, just selecting fat quarters from my happy bin.  I decided to go with a yellow, green, turquoise, and pink theme.  I was wanting to come up with a combination that screamed spring.

I decided to change up the placement of the background fabric for the center 9 Patches 

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 103
The pattern is Hat Trick by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.
It finished at 26" x 32"
It has approximately 237 pieces.

It only took me a couple of afternoons to finish this project, start to finish. There's still plenty of time to join Sinta and Sherri for the Another Year of Schnibbles sew-along.  

Click here for more details

Click here for the pattern.

Here's a little sneak peak of what my kitchen table will look like next Easter.

As dreary as it still is at my house this spring, I should leave Hat Trick on the table, even though it's not quilted.  It's the only touch of spring color in my neck of the woods.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Weekend's Work . . .

I worked on a few stem blocks over the weekend, they are sloooooow going.

I've got a ways to go before these blocks look like these blocks.

And it's going to take even longer because starting today I'm going to put Carolina on the back burner and get going on this month's Schnibbles project, Hat Trick.  Sometimes, in prior month's Schnibbles sew-alongs, I would wait too long, not giving myself enough time to finish my project (or even start it) and miss out on the fun and the parade.   That's not going to happen this month.

I'm thinking it should go pretty fast, twenty 9 patches, some setting blocks, a pieced border, but only on two ends, and I'm done.

It  may take longer to pick out my fabric for Hat Trick than to actually piece Hat Trick.    I'm not going with any family of fabric, I'm going to pick my fabric from my happy Summer fabric bin.  I was originally thinking of going scrappy greens and pinks, but I don't have enough pink. 

Whatever I decide it's going to be bright, light, and springy, something to set on my table this time next year.

How are you doing on your Hat Trick?  Don't make the same mistake I've made and wait too long and miss out on the fun.  For more information on Sinta and Sherri's Another Year of Schnibbles sew-along click here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Let's Talk Stems . . .

So if you've been following along from the beginning of my Carolina project, you know I've not been over the top excited about the stems for my blooms.  But they've got to be done so I decided to work on  a few every day while I finish piecing my blooms.

3 blooms - 3 stems, no big deal really.

So the directions in the pattern said to use this template to place the stems in the correct place.

Getting the stems in just the right place is important, see how the left and right stems need to line up with that seam and base on the flower?  If the stems aren't in the right place that doesn't happen.  I don't know about you, but it would drive me crazy to have stems going everywhere but where they should be.

So I made this overlay out of pattern ease to attach my stems to the block.

I made the overlay by tracing the lines using the template in the pattern.

See those red arrows on the left and right stems? That is the all important edge.  My stems need to line up perfectly with that line, it would be great if the stem fit right in that canal perfectly on both sides, but it doesn't matter if the stem is over or below the bottom side, it just needs to meet that top line perfectly.

So I take my fabric and press a line down the middle, so I know where the center is.

Then I place the overlay on top of the fabric, lining up that center line on the overlay with the pressed line on the fabric, and line up the bottom of the overlay with the bottom of the fabric.

Then I put the side stems where they need to be,

then the middle stem.

Once the stems are pressed into place I  machine appliqué them on.

I'm using this bias strip guide for pressing the fabric and attaching Clover fusible bias tape to the back.

Two done, only 23 more to go!