Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Recap of Quilt Market Portland OR

May 24 - 27 brought Quilts Inc to Portland OR for their spring Market.  It is a trade show for all kinds of businesses involved in the quilting industry.  The cross section of booths cover every kind of business, from Moda fabrics to American Patchwork and Quilting (Meredith Publications) to independent pattern designers to brand name fabric designers.

I attended as a longarm quilter and budding pattern designer.  Since Portland was close to home, (driving distance), I wanted to attend and get a peek into 'the other side' of the business.
 First up was this amazing antique quilt that welcomed all the first time attendee's at a coffee meet and greet.
The vendor booths were packed with color and design, but there was a very small exhibit of quilts on display.  This one was delightful, who can pass by a red and white quilt?!

Especially when it was hand quilted.

Designer details.
With all the amazing free form quilts being shown all over social media and at all types of quilt shows, this one was a stunner.  It also was the cover quilt for the Market program.
Details of above quilt.

This piece glowed, it drew you in, and captured my attention for a few minutes.

Details of above quilt

Are you following Maria Shell?  Have you got her book? Her work is pretty amazing.

Details on Maria's piece.
American Patchwork and Quilting staff editors were all working out on the floor so I got a few minutes in their booth when it was quiet.   I have a pattern coming out in an upcoming issue, so stay tuned for those details.
The ladies that I have worked with have been wonderful and they make my work look so good. I'm grateful to have my quilts included with so many other wonderful patterns.  Meeting them all in person was top on my list, so I was pleased to check that off.

As seen in the Paper Pieces booth.
Some fabulous machine quilting on this one!

Color, color and more color.  Here are a few  shots of various booths.  Since I was not there buying/writing orders from fabric companies, I stayed on the outside, but managed a few good photos.
Victoria created this piece below with Cotton Supreme solids by RJR Fabrics
It was quilted by Shelly Pagliai

The next few pictures are from Anna Maria Horner's section.

What a beautiful lady, and a fabulous booth.

Look at that fabric, those big flowers are fantastic. 
Exciting things coming from her in the next year!

Tula was in the house.  I took but a minute of her time and she was as nice as can be!

My friend Tonya from Stash Lab Quilts had her first booth.  It was an array of color and wow, can she create with strips.  Check out her patterns and new book here. 
She has a great post with photos from market as well.

Buttermilk Basin had an amazing booth.  She has so many patterns and samples, it was delightful no matter where you turned around.

I loved Northcott's backdrop!  This sums up what I took away from market. Imagine what you can do, then give it a try.  The only things you will fail at are the ones you don't try.  It's just fabric, and we all know where we can get more.  Try something new each month, it doesn't have to be king size, it can be a mini.  

EE Schenck Co  is a large wholesale warehouse in Portland, OR.  They through a big party for market goers on Saturday night.  It was really great, very busy and long lines.  Thank goodness I preordered, and since I was going to market, and driving, I did a bit of stocking up.  Three rolls of batting, and a box of odds and ends.  Longarm quilting supplies and maybe a bit of fabric for a new quilt or two. 

After walking the aisles of market for a few days, it was time to pack up my car and head home. Portland is a city full bridges, and I couldn't resist this last shot.

I arrived at market with a mental check list and was excited to leave with everything crossed off.  Some were "to do" items, and others were ideas floating around in my brain.  I cleaned out some clutter in my head, and came home recharged and energized.  Now to carve out the time to put some ideas into action. 

What new things are you going to try in June?

Keep stitching,

Friday, May 25, 2018

Humble Quilts Doll Swap 2018

It was time for the annual Humble Quilt Doll Swap and as usual, it did not disappoint. However, I didn't get a photo of the finished quilt that I shipped off. I do have the "work in progress" shots though.
First up is the quilt I received. I had been sewing for a few days with my stitching buddy, Jan Horn. I came home and a package was on the counter that came from Jan Horn. How silly, what would she be sending me? Then I looked at the address, and squealed. It was my swap piece from a different Jan Horn! Isn't this delightful?

When Lori sent out the swap buddy list, I was so excited.  I was going to have the opportunity to send a doll quilt to someone who sent one to me a few years ago.  I quickly when through my studio, looking at all the labels on my stack of past swap pieces.  However, I could not find one from Sue.
Oh well, I got my books out and started to look for inspiration.

First up was getting out this wonderful book and flipping the pages, looking for inspiration.

I came across this piece and thought the center would make a delightful little crib quilt.

I got busy and did a fabric pull, and promptly put everything into a bag.  I had to wait a few weeks before I had the time to get working on this swap.

When the time came to finally get to this task, I pulled out more bins from under my longarm.  One can never had enough choices when it comes to scrappy reproduction work!

And then the whole plan went out the window.

This mess of fabric got piled up on my cutting table....

and then I found this picture in the same book.  Be still my beating heart!

I had the most fun auditioning prints and colors for each block.  I felt like I was a bit indulgent with my selections, but since I couldn't find the swap piece Sue had sent me, I just went for it.

After making several blocks, I chose the four I wanted to put into this doll quilt.  We had a size restriction, so four blocks and a narrow sashing would fit the bill.

Here were a few other blocks that will be included in my own piece.  I usually love my swap piece so much that I end up making one for myself. This time it's been no different.  I just haven't had the time to get mine together.

After machine stitching in the ditch, I wanted to add some hand quilting.  I got out the hera marker and eyeballed two lines in each rectangle.

Just a bit of hand stitching really added to this finished piece.

I made the shipping deadline by one day.  Good grief, talk about a last minute swapper.  The best part was when Sue emailed me telling me that the package arrived.  She then wrote, "I wonder if Lori knew you sent me a swap piece two years ago?"  No wonder I couldn't find a swap piece with Sue's name on it, I sent it to her!  So now two of my pieces reside in New Zealand.  I just might have to go visit them one day!

Sorry I do not have a finished shot of this, but Lori is doing a Link Up post over at Humble Quilts
I'm sure you will see lots of darling pieces over there. Do you do swaps?  There are so many and I've had great success with them.  Show me some swap pieces you've done!

Keep stitching,

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Traveling EPP Stars

My EPP (english paper piecing) project had been completed.  Sleeve and all!  I thought I'd share the details here.   Maybe I will inspire someone to pull out an old project they pushed to the side, or take on a brand new piece. 
I'm often asked "how do you get so much done?" and that always seems to catch me off guard.  I guess when quilting is your job, and I follow along so many fantastic designers, piecers, appliquers, and longarm quilters, I can sometimes feel like I never get anything done.  That is why there is a statement that says, "Comparison is the Thief of JOY"

But enough of that.  Here are some of my tricks and tips on getting things finished.  Make sure you always have those hand work projects ready to go at a moments notice.  This piece traveled from WA to AZ to HI to NY to ON Canada and back to WA.  It also when to doctors appointments, the Friday night Street Legal Drags (yup, my guy is a car guy), and trips into town 20 minutes away.  I think you get my point.  It's very portable and easy to poke away at. The whole piece is hand stitched, from the basting to the piecing.

Here are my pieces in a hotel in downtown Buffalo, NY

When I finally had the stars all together with the setting fabric, I could put my rows together. Staying organized is very easy now with our smart phones.  A few quick pictures and you have captured your layout.

Once I had the center together, I could finalize the colors for the outside edges.  Plus I wanted to use the 1/2 diamonds for the side pieces and they were on order.

Close up finished edges.

Corner edges still with paper in behind them.  I am a thread baster when it comes to EPP.  I've tried fighting working with glue sticks, and for the record, the glue stick won.  So I continue to baste with hand quilting thread.  It does require a bit of time to pull out the threads, but I am pleased with my results so I stick to my method of choice.  Chocolate and vanilla, right?

Once I removed all the papers and got to the outside edges, I finished the process at the ironing board.   As I removed the papers, I gave the outside edge a quick spray of sizing and pressed with a hot iron.  Remember, I said pressed, not ironed.  You really want to make sure it's an up and down motion, not back and forth.  The edges are bias and I wanted to take care to keep a straight edge. 

I did one side at a time.  After it was pressed, I took it to my machine and did a line of stay stitching about an 1/8" from the raw edge.  This does two things.  It stabilized the bias edges, and keeps the seams from popping apart.

Once it was ready to quilt, I decided to quilt it with the KISS method.  Keep it Simple  Straight lines using a beige/cream So Fine thread did the trick. I also kept the binding narrow, and this is a single fold that started at 1 1/4"


Back and binding.  I used a wonderful Barbara Brackman print that I've been hoarding saving.

Another question I'm regularly asked, "How do I get my string fabric for my quilts?"   Easy, I save the trimmings.

See the thread line below?  Cut off the edge where there's stitching from the quilting process and pull the batting off.

And throw it into your strip basket.  That's one of many ways I accumulate various sized strips for later use.

Here are the details of the finished project.
13 rows
7 full stars
6 full 2 1/2 stars
49 stars + 36 stars (510 diamonds) + 12 1/2 stars (24 diamonds + 24 1/2 diamonds)
280 full background diamonds
14 1/2 BG diamonds
16 1/2 diamond triangles
814 diamonds
38 1/2 diamonds
14 triangles
866 total pieces
26.5 x 44.5 finished
Hobbs 80/20 batting
Straight line stitching
single fold binding cut at 1 1/4"

And yes, I've started another portable project.  This next one is 1" hexi's, 7 per block, 1" equilateral triangles as setting pieces, 12 per block, and 3" equilateral triangles as the joining piece for each block.  I estimate I might have that top finished by Dec of 2019.  I'll enjoy the journey!

Keep stitching,