Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back from the quilt show!

My husband (bless him) and I just got back from spending a rainy Sunday afternoon at the bi-annual quilt show put on by the CT Piecemaker's Guild. I have to say, firstly, that the man really does listen. He asked about fabrics, techniques, remembered local vendors that I had visited in their brick-and-mortar stores. And he looked good doing it--there was more than one woman at the show who looked at him with a mix of surprise and approval, and a little jealousy. He was certainly in the minority this afternoon!

I didn't take very many pictures, I'm sorry to say. There were several that I loved for their layouts, their colors, or their workmanship--mind, most of what I personally liked didn't win anything. That's the thing about art--it's so subjective. What I did notice? A LOT of batik, a number of art-quilts, a surprising number of scrap and string quilts, and nearly everything was super-traditional. I have been challenged by several people to enter the next show, two years from now. Being that my style really tends to be more modern, I'm not sure what the reaction would be. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, of course. AND two years is quite a long time. With a little luck, I'll actually have another finish, period, between now and then!

Now, on to the pics I DID take...

The madman and I both liked this one--we both dig Asian-inspired work. The small patchwork is all 1" finished squares of a multitude of Asian-themed fabrics. The red borders are printed in small black kanji. I can't imagine the tedium of piecing so many tiny blocks--I admire the work tremendously, though.

Speaking of amazing:

This was titled "Pieces of My Past", and the quilter had worked for over 2 years on it. All paper-pieced hexes, by hand, and also hand quilted. 3,185 hexes in all. She said she used fabrics from her mother's hankies, her father's boxers, and her grandmother's aprons. I found it awe-inspiring, and it makes my own stack of hexes (just shy of 50, 2 nights of watching movies with the madman) pale in comparison...

My own little stack of 2" hexagons. I'm happy to have a handwork project going--makes me happier to sit and watch movies, because I feel like I'm accomplishing something.

Another quilt I admired was this one:

This is about 1/4 of a Dear Jane reproduction. It was mostly hand-done, and took the quilter a year and a half of work, finishing just before the show. The squares were so tiny, no more than 5" finished. My fingers hurt just looking at it!

I also was impressed with this one--the colors here are muddy, but in life, even in the sub-par lighting (the one I took with a flash washed it out terribly), this glowed with amber and gold. In the note, the quilter mentioned that it took her two years to find all of the colors to grade this properly.

Finally, a cute little Christmas quilt

It was done in kaleidoscope quarters, just 4 little fussy-cut squares from the outer border fabric. The effect was quite lovely.

Now, to continue the glut of pictures, on to the spoils! There were vendors all around the perimeter of the show-room, plus two smaller conference rooms full of vendor stalls. I saw three that I was familiar with, chatting with the woman who had sold me my Janome last summer and talking about the move of her store's location in the coming weeks--the new shop will be right across the street from my favorite Indian restaurant, and right down the road from our favorite sushi place. I foresee a number of date-nights taking place over that-a-way! Sorry, Mr. Madman! I also saw a shop that I thought had gone out, but in fact had moved closer to me, so in celebration, I bought two charm-packs of Cotton Blossoms, which I am amassing a small stash of.

A third vendor, which is normally nearly an hour's drive each way, had a delicious spread! Tons of jelly-rolls, FQ packs and patterns. I picked up a FQ pack of some gorgeous Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey:

I love the vintage-sheet look of some of the larger-scale prints, and can see this worked into a great spring quilt.

And finally, I couldn't pass this up:

A FQ pack of Amy Butler's Love. I initially wasn't all that interested in the line, but after working with it for Kat's month of the Beehive, I fell in love with the large-scale paisleys and retro-feel prints. For now, this will be pet and patted and eventually, it will become something. I do hope to someday finish something I've already got started... Honest!

Coming up is my 4-day weekend sew-a-thon, so I'm hoping to post a bunch of pictures of new things, like Kat and Tanya's finished blocks for the Beehive, another block of the Jelly Roll quilt-along, and more hexes!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Quilting Day!

I know, I've been MIA. My crafting time dwindled to none in the face of a number of work and family crises over the last month. I have managed to get a few things accomplished, though.

I made up a little string mini for February's STUD mini swap:

And decided that I loved string blocks so much that I tackled my overflowing blue scraps bag, and turned these:

into a growing stack of these:

No idea what I'm doing with it yet. Perhaps a twin-size quilt for the guest room bed, once we're done redoing the room. Right now, there's just a stack of them hanging around on my desk.

I'm also working on blocks for the Moose on the Porch jelly-roll quilt along.

I'm using a Soiree by Lila Tueller jelly roll I had hanging around, and originally I was going to use Kona Coal as the solid to go with it, but changed my mind--it was too stark against the bright springy colors in Soiree. So I switched to Kona Ash, and so far, I'm much happier.

This is block #2. I haven't finished block #1 yet. I don't know why either. I'm recutting the solid strips for it out of Ash, now that I've stared at it made up with Coal for a week and change.

Also, I've done my March blocks for my Coast to Coast Block Party bee, for Jennifer:

She asked for block in Hushabye, incorporating photos she had printed onto fabric. Such a neat idea!

Just wanted to give a quick update, and share some photos. I'll try to be better about blogging--I have a lot of fun things coming up in the coming weeks: more blocks for both of my bees, layout playing with my Beehive blocks from November, more blocks for the quilt-along, a 4-day weekend with nothing scheduled but sewing, a new swap, AND a quilt show to attend!! WHEW!