Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Farewell Salt Lake City

I think it's about time I got home from Salt Lake City and concentrated more on what is happening now. So this is my last blog post about market. The whole experience was great, I met lots of wonderful people and renewed some fabulous acquaintances, and generally had a blast. There will be some wonderful new stock in the store in the next few weeks - from some great new designers.

Kathy McGee from Hemma designs - fabulous bag and storage patterns

Kathy Schmitz of Kathy Schmitz designs - wonderful blackwork and embroidery patterns

Norma and Joyce of Geoff's Mom pattern co. - great new designers 

Traci Marvell of Bigfork Bay Cotton Co - absolutely stunning animal and other applique patterns

Belinda with the world's smallest ice cream. Didn't find it till the last day. What a shame. Ice cream is my favourite food. Check out her  blog for more great photos of Salt Lake City and some fun stories.

Just had to add this because it is wonderful. From Sue Spargo's booth

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Baby Quilt

I didn't feel much like working this weekend, so I have done some sewing instead. One of the patterns I got in Salt Lake City was called Sweet Tweet - from Quilt Story (Heather and Megan). It is for a pretty little baby quilt, very soft and pastel. So I decided it would be a good and quick project. Don't know anyone pregnant at the moment but I'm sure it will find a good home sometime. Anyway, I'm not very good at pastel and pretty, so I brightened it up a bit. 

The original pattern

I scaled mine down a bit, and because I didn't read the pattern properly mine is all reversed. I used fusible web applique which wasn't the method mentioned, though they did say the pieces weren't reversed, so I guess I should have read the instructions.

My version of Sweet Tweet by Quilt Story

My only problem came with the borders. I decided to be lazy and use a precut pack - Rainbows - supposedly 2.5" strips. Which turned out to not be 2.5" strips, they were all wider than that. And it put my borders all out. I didn't even think to measure them. I assumed that it said 2.5" strips so that is what they would be. This was the first time I have used a precut pack of strips - I guess I'll just have to check in future. Though I think if it says 2.5" it really should be that size.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Rabbits Haven

Today is all about Arlene Neely and the fabulous Rabbits Haven - this is her pattern company and I was lucky enough to meet her and her sisters at Salt Lake City. There are 4 wonderful women in this family.
Arlene is in the middle in white with me next to her.

The first time I saw these designs was about 2 and a half years ago at Houston and I new I had to have them in my store, and I would really like to do one for my granddaughter. Arlene's designs are all pretty and girly with gorgeous stitchery on some - all of rabbits. I had picked one to do for Sophia (my granddaughter) that is very complex, and now she likes dinosaurs and lizards and isn't very girly at all. I will wait a couple of years before I start the quilt and hope she likes girly stuff more by then.

Rabbits Haven booth at Salt Lake City.

The Rabbits Haven pattern company is based in Canada and they put out new patterns every year, most of them have some gorgeous embroidery, but some are easier and just simple piecing. Arlene also has done fabric ranges, so people can get the same fabrics as the original quilts if they like.

An example of Arlene's embroidery.

While I was at the booth, Arlene showed me how to transfer designs onto fabric her way. I am going to try it, and then I will let you all know about how it works. She uses graphite paper and a stylus. I have bought them but still need to find time to try it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Quilted Fish

Today is dedicated to Amanda Herring, the fun and fabulous designer from The Quilted Fish. I did her class at Schoolhouse series at Spring Market and she is wonderful. Then I went to the booth to be even more amused. Her patterns are fun and bright - like she is. I particularly liked her Shower cap pattern - it has a shower curtain in it as well.


And of course her booth was equally fabulous. I forgot to check and see if she won a prize but I thought she should. All the girls working with her were great fun as well. 

The fabulous booth

They even let me sit in her armchair to have a picture taken with her. But I couldn't bring myself to wear one of her fun Top Hats. They are really cute, but I'm not a hat person. I think I will just have to make them as pincushions (the alternative version). 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pioneer Hospital - Quilt Museum

Another Salt Lake City story today. We went on a bus trip organised by the Quilt market people, most of it was to Quilt stores (or course). But one thing that I found really interesting, as I was a nurse for over 30 years, was the Pioneer Hospital, that is now a Quilting Museum. Upstairs are some fabulous antique quilts, we had a talk by a lady who has made several vintage quilts from pieces she has purchased or remade old quilts that weren't worth saving as they were. But downstairs was a little museum of old hospital stuff - like a wheelchair, and old instruments, and old hospital beds.

 What an amazing contraption

 Can you imagine beds like this in a modern hospital. 

The museum / hospital was in a place called (I think) Heritage Park, and it was where the original settlers first came into the valley. I would really have liked to spend more time there, looking at the quilts, and the hospital collections. Maybe next time I go to Salt Lake City.

The view up the valley to the pass.

Monday, May 23, 2011

what can be done with a quilting disaster

My friend Fiona came to visit recently, and was helping me to make some quilt samples from the free patterns that I will have in my store (SewArmadillo) soon. But she must have been having a moment when she was doing this one. None of the points matched and we really didn't like it when the blocks were made and laid out. 

blocks laid out - not happy 

So I figured the fabrics were too good to waste, so I drew circles on each block, cut them out and appliqued them onto a fairly ordinary background fabric, and made a fabulous quilt. Unfortunately the pic isn't great, but I really like the quilt. Now I just have to decide whether to put a border on it or not. It is only 48" square at the moment so a border is looking good. But I was so happy with getting it past the 'throw out' stage that I had to share.

blocks remade and sewn together - very happy

The pattern and the modifications will be available on the website in the next couple of weeks.

As well as this I also finished a pretty little pink quilt, made from scraps, no pattern but instructions may be available if anyone wants them. Just ask. It now has to be to Belinda, to live in her house for a while. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

shopping in Salt Lake City

Belinda and  I were lucky while we were in Salt Lake that Helen Stubbings and Tracy Browning took us shopping. We had a couple of free days, and they had a car. Tracy was very brave driving in America - never got onto the wrong side of the road, but did get somewhat lost a couple of times - much better than I would have done though. We went to Park City, which has a fabulous outlet mall as well as several great quilt shops. We all did quite a bit of shopping, in fact Belinda and I both bought exactly the same 2 pairs of shoes. I think I will put funky laces in mine.

Fabulous blue Moose at the entrance to the Outlet Mall area

Showing off for the camera - Tracy, Helen, Belinda

Back at the hotel - this is just Belinda's shopping, and we were in a VW bug with not a lot of boot space.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Finally some sewing

I've been really busy since I got home, and today I decided I needed to do some sewing. While we were in Salt Lake City we met Robin and Tina from Bird Brain designs. They are both lovely, and do wonderful redwork and other gorgeous patterns. While I was trying to update their stock, I found a fun needlepunch pattern called Southwest Horses, and since I don't do needlepunch ( have all the gear, but never got around to doing anything with it ), I decided to enlarge the design and do it in applique. The original is 5" x 7" and I blew it up on the scanner and made it 9" x 12.5". I did raw edge applique around the horses and stars. Haven't decided what to do with it yet, but I'm very happy with the block.

Applique version of Southwest Horses by Bird Brain

I may put it into a bag, or perhaps a pillow wrap. I saw those on the Bigfork Bay Cotton Company booth, and will tell you more about them in another post. If anyone has any suggestions about a finished product using this block I would be interested.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hexagons for everyone

One of the classes I did while I was away was with Mary Anne Ciccotelli - fabulous folded hexagons. More fun for hexmaniacs. It was a great class and easy. She has a range of patterns available, (these will be on my website sewarmadillo in the next week or so) for bags and quilts and stuff and was a real pleasure to meet. She is from New York and great fun. I think I may have to actually make something from her technique, no papers involved - how easy. We all ended up with cute little pins to wear, just add a fabulous button and some hairy yarn. 

Me and Mary-Anne

Fun hexagons

Another fabulous fun thing was a trip to Ogden - home of Shepherd's Bush. One of my favourite cross stitch labels, and only about an hour from Salt Lake City. The public transport was so clean and so easy. Ogden is just a little town - we didn't get to look around much, as we were so enthralled by the store and all their wonderful stuff. Belinda and I both had to support the economy of the town by buying stuff (lots of it ) to bring home. Now I just have to start cross stitching again. A lot of this will be added to my store inventory in the next few weeks.

Inside Shepherd's Bush store

Shepherd's Bush storefront

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More from Salt Lake City

I've just had a look at Belinda's blog, and she suggested I put some more normal photos on mine. Here are a couple of pics from the class with Carmen Geddes. It was all about bindings, piping and borders. And very good - there were a few things that I think I will have to try, especially the piping thing. I have never done it before because I always thought it would be too hard, but Carmen made it easy. Maybe my next quilt will have some piping on it. She also showed us how to do scallop and wavy borders - a big change for me from my normal quick and very easy quilts.
Belinda Betts

Piping on a quilt

Different edging treatments

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Home from Salt Lake City

Well, we finally made it home. No hassle travel both ways, but very long. And now I have about 3 months worth of stuff to post about. It was a great trip, met some fun people, and did lots of shopping, and laughing, and sightseeing.
Aren't the mountains gorgeous 

So I guess I'll just start at the beginning. Salt Lake City is very pretty, it is spring there, and lots of flowers everywhere - mainly tulips but the color is wonderful. And the city is surrounded by huge mountains along the East and West - some still had snow on them. The city itself is very clean, with wide streets and friendly people. And a great public transport system. 

 We stayed at South Jordan to start with, for the Machine Quilting show, where Belinda won a very well deserved prize for her quilt. The hotel was a lot of fun, the desk staff (especially Bob ) were great, and they had cookies - Yum. 

Bob the cookie man

Got home about lunch time yesterday and started unpacking and trying to sort stuff. By 8 o'clock I couldn't do any more, so had to go to bed, and slept for 10 hours. Today I am trying to finish unpacking and get back to being human after the long trip home.