Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quilt Fever 2009

It's Quilt Season in Florida...January through the middle of May. So many shows, so few weekends to see them all!
This weekend Cherry-Cherry & I went to Orlando to see Quilt Fever, the biennial show hosted by the Cabin Fever Quilters Guild.

You can really catch Quilt Fever here!
Held at the Central Florida fairgrounds, this show had loads of great work, with about 300 quilts in all. Special exhibits included the Hoffman Challenge and Quilt Pink (for the Komen Foundation), plus an outrageous collection of decorated bras for the Way To Women's Wellness foundation.
All this filled one large hall at the fairgrounds, with 26 vendors arranged all around the walls (very distracting to quilt viewing, but much fun!). In the center was a good demo area, with some welcomed seating and educational opportunities.
One thing I especially like about this show, which has grown so well over the years, is that they do a fine job of showing what their guild is all about. Besides the usually raffle quilt, silent auction and other fund-raising projects, they have good exhibits of all the charities they help, and also a display of quilts just to represent the various classes and activities they had in the past year.
This is not a judged show. In the program is a Viewers Choice sheet, so attendees may mark their favorite quilt in each catagory. All the awards are given by this ballot.
If you'd like to find out more about quilt shows around the state of Florida, check them out on the SSQA website.
Next weekend I'll be in Panama City at the Quilter's Paradise Retreat...and at last, I will be able to show you not only the Mystery Quilt, but also the other wonderful quilt that has been inspired by it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguaral Speech Recognizes Quilters!

On this historic day, we stand proudly together as Americans, and as world citizens.
And especially as quilters...for we have been mentioned in the very historical Inaugaral Address of Barak Obama!
Yes, it was with tears in my eyes that I heard these words: "For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness."
I was on my way to a friend's house to baste a quilt. And though we most likely voted differently in the election, indeed, it is our patchwork heitage that holds us together.
Love of fabric (as love of country) is more powerful than personal political views.
Log Cabin Quilt (76" square, silks and other dress fabrics, c.1880--90)
In honor of all presidents, not to mention my own patchwork heritage, here is a Log Cabin Quilt made by Rosann Todd Peters (b.1827 — d.1900) and Nettie Peters Kleesattel (b.1860—d. 1946). Only a few of the silk logs have "shattered", as is often the case with quilts of this vintage.
One of my projects for this year is to get all my family quilts photographed and labled properly.
OK, it's been one of my projects for a couple years now! But I'm getting closer...
If you'd like to read the entire Inauguaral Address you can see it here.
And remember to quilt proudly! Yes, you can!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

In the studio

As so often happens, I am working away on a Mystery Quilt and won't be able to show it to you for a couple weeks yet.
Then I realized I have another one coming up in April!
I wish I could show them right away, because I really like each one.
The one I'm doing for the "Quilters In Paradise" retreat in Panama City (hosted by Quilting By The Bay) is in the final sewing for one set of demo blocks, and the finished top is ready to be basted & quilted.
The one for Space Coast Quilters (Titusville, FL) is designed and chompin' at the bit to go into writing & beta testing! (If you're in the area, go see their show Feb. 20 & 21!).

So there's a lot going on in the studio...but not much I can show you!
Except for this:

Oh! It's sooooo cute!

Many of us know how "helpful" a cat can be in the studio.
When my son was little, he said cats are actually very helpful...because they are sitting on whatever it is you are looking for! So insightful.
This little kitty has a secret. Just pull her tail...

Is that cute, or what? Thanks to my sister (who really knows how to choose a gift) and a place called Ten Thousand Villages, that sells wonderful items from all over the world. It's another fine organization that helps support people (mostly women) by selling their craftwork.

Would this keep you awake at night?

Who likes a gift card? I sure do! One I got was from Hancock's Fabrics (though not "of Paducah"). So I went online shopping and got about 5 yards of this happy -looking yellow. It will make a cheery backing for one of the zillion tops I need to quilt.

I guess they wanted to be sure you wouldn't forget what this is for!

And I did finally get that new ironing board cover! (already it does not look this clean!)
What a hoot, looking at the selections offered at the other local Big Box store. The colors were current (that spa blue & chocolate brown in stripes) but what really got me were the ratings.
You could choose from two different "strengths": one for monthly ironing and one for weekly!
Obviously not marketed with the quilter in mind!
It seems a bit wimpy (I cannot image what the "monthly" one would be like!), but it was easy to put on, and so far, so good.

What's new in your sewing room?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Florida Quilt Shops: Lemon Street Studio

Road trip!
Today we went to Lemon Street Studio in Palatka, FL.
A shop does not have to be big to have great fabric! Lemon Street offers many bolts of batiks and some of the latest Moda and other fabric lines.
As soon as you walk in the door you see this nice arrangement!
Don't you love the drapery rods & clip rings for quilt hangers? A great idea for quick-change displays.
I may even use this idea for my office. I want to hang a quilt over the closet door, which never gets used much as it it full-to-the-gills with my son's stuff in storage.
They even had quilts on display in the window of the empty store next door...another great idea for any street in any town!
Now what color thread did you need...? These bins would have been loaded, but the day before a lady had been in there for over an hour going through the whole batch, as they were only $1on sale!
The owner's husband was on duty while she's out of commision for awhile, and he was so friendly and helpful. He suggested we go just down the block to the City Diner and be sure to order the Coconut Cream Pie.
Say no more! The waitress told us it was the best, as the other pies on the menu were "store bought"! Then the shop owner's husband popped in to be sure we had ordered the pie!
I am telling you, that pie was just as good as all the fuss about it.
No was gone too soon!
Oh, yes, I still bought a bit of fabric:
Mr. Polka Dot infiltrates the batiks!
There was such a good sale, I should have bought more.
But you know, sometimes I really can control myself! I did buy some basting spray though, as I have a lot of quilting coming up, and that is definitely a good thing to get when everything is 20% off!
Do click on the link for Lemon Street Studio....their website is like a visit to the shop.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quilter makes Blog of Note!

Just a quick message here to celebrate Blogger's "Blog of Note" today...a Quilting Blogger! I was so excited to see her "button" (like mine on the side bar) as the page was forming on my computer screen.
Enjoy a bit of life in Australia, and a very beautiful Red Square Dance quilt!

I love the way we are connected by the Internet.

Here's a picture for CherryCherry, so she will continue to read my blog (LOL):

Mom made a quilt for my son with a variety of different sized Bear Paw blocks. They were just made in random sizes, so her challenge was to put them together to complete a top. These must have been the extras.

These blocks came to me at Christmas, from my sister-in-law. She had received them from my mother, who hoped she would "do something with them" and start to quilt.
Not everyone has to be a quilter, and I am glad to have Mom's blocks so now I can "do something" with them!

Even if...for awhile...they are another UFO!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Irons: a hot issue

Everyone seems to be cleaning up their sewing rooms.
I'm no different, but to save time & space, just look at my posts from a year ago!Things are a little bit better, but you'll get the general idea. ...well, for heavens sake, this is a place to work in, it is not the formal parlor!
If you are making a mess, at least you are making something!

Cleaning up leads to finding items (besides dust bunnies...or in the case of my room, buffalos!).
I found my beautiful old iron!

Actually, I bought this iron a few years ago!
There is nothing like classic designs. And that cord is in perfect shape!
This is the Sunbeam Ironmaster, featuring the "Wash & Wear Guide" A-B-C-D settings (so it is not extremely old). Do you remember any of these fabrics:
A Dynel--Acetate
B Nylon-- Acrilan
Orlon-- Creslan
C Rayon--Verel
D Kodel--Arnel

That's exactly how they are listed on the iron. Is that a US/ Britain sort of listing?
It also has settings for WOOL, COT and LIN.
This must have been the last model made before everything went to light-weight and steam...which is the very reason for having an iron like this one. The new ones have steam vents and don't make a good flat contact with things like fusible webs and photo transfer papers.
They also don't get hot enough for some processes.
Perma-press changed the world!
On the right, the Rowena Powerglide 2, with steam control! It also is one of the few irons that will NOT shut itself off after 30 seconds...I like it to stay on!
Is your ironing board cover as grungy as mine?
To protect the sensitive viewer, I cropped this picture so the worst cannot be seen.
I am adding a new cover to my shopping know, it's the same one you may be making, which mostly includes the sizes of plastic storage boxes you need!
And while you're in which-ever Big Box store, you should pick up a tube of Iron- Off (a Dritz product) if you don't have one already.
I need to get mine out, as I can see my newer iron needs some sole plate work! Iron-Off is the best stuff for cleaning up all the gunk from fusible web overload and other pressing errors. It only takes dab to work wonders.
Let me know what you find while you're cleaning up this New Year!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hello 2009! BGPC at the Quilt House

Leaving one old year behind...starting into a fresh new one...such a wonderful feeling of beginning all over again!
Except for those UFOs!
Let's just think of them as the gift that keeps on giving. Or a way to save time and money? How about just the continuing story of our lives!

A UFO Raises Its Ugly Head
You may remember the Bizzaro Quilt from last year. It was made from units constructed during a quilting contest.
The BGPC was invited to The Quilt House to learn how to load and quilt stand-up style, and what better item to learn on than that top?

Duke, the King of the Quilt House, welcomes you and stands guard at the same time!

The Quilt House is home to a Handi Quilter frame with a Brother Novelle machine. A good friend & guild member L.P. had it set up by her loving husband, and it brought her many hours of joy.
When L.P. passed away last year, the Quilt House was inherited by her daughter, also known as Duke's Mama.
So the quilting continues, with fond memories. But generally I'd have to tell you, what happens at the Quilt House stays at the Quilt House!

While some quilts benefit from artistic quilting, others just benefit from being finished and used!

Some of the things we learned today:
1. It's better to have a friend help you load and roll the quilt onto the frame.
2. A sewing slave would really come in handy!
3. The speed setting is a very personal matter.
4. It is not hard to move the machine, but the longarms we've tried actually feel lighter.
5. Each person's quilting style is as different as is hard to try copying what someone else has done.

6. This quilt will end up warming an orphan in Ethiopia, so as long as the quilting holds it together, the pattern (or gracefulness thereof) is not the primary concern.

Sock it to 'em....Penguin style!

When the BGPC gets together, the main concern is having fun and being comfortable. We are not trying to impress anyone with our fashion chic...probably a good thing!
What is required is pie, and we are not so fussy about that either. Anything will do if there is not a real pie, even the peach cobbler at Aunt B's, where everything is fried, except the salad.

It's not fancy, but it's good! And stays with you for the rest of the day...

Happy New Year to everyone...I hope you had a good start to 2009, which was our real goal today: setting the tone for the next twelve months!
And for you dog lovers, here's one last look at "himself":

Duke says the BGPC is welcome back to The Quilt House any time...especially if we bring food!