Friday, November 11, 2011

Necessity Is Still The Mother of Invention!

I love my Avante, whom I've lovingly named "Harvey."  (I'm sure you've all seen the 1950's movie with Jimmy Stewart and the six foot, three and a half inch white rabbit--if not, here's a description of the classic movie.)

Harvey is pretty well behaved and quilts anything I throw at him, but he's picky about his thread.  He likes it on a cone rather than a spool.  Not having too much extra time to get the proper spool pin in place, I had to improvise.  Thankfully, our household doesn't lack for craft supplies, specifically, chenille stems (formally referred to as "pipe cleaners" when smoking a pipe was more socially acceptable).

Please, HandiQuilter, don't hold this against me!!
My innovation isn't going to be a permanent solution, but in a pinch, works perfectly!  Would love for you to share your unconventional, but effective, solutions to machine quilting issues!  Please post a comment so I can learn from your experience!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Quilt Market Adventure

Flew home yesterday from Houston after enjoying Quilt Market--my very first time!  Not sure if  "overload" is the right word to describe how I feel, but it's a start. 

Perhaps I should start from the beginning--a friend of mine, Simona Brickers, is planning to open a quilt shop in Princeton and needed a bit of technical advice on what a quilter would like to see.  Thankfully, my schedule wasn't too full and my Paul encouraged me to go.

Houston Airport art--very pretty!
Houston at night


 The first day of our adventure took us 110 miles away from Houston on a tour of Texas landmarks, quilt stores and a quilt museum or two.

Am thankful for the people willing to do this job, since I certainly wouldn't do it!

Painted church--just gorgeous!
Then we were off and running to the newly opened Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange!  Need to go back to see the Grandmother's Flower Garden in full bloom.
There's Simona with the handbag everyone wanted!

Here's the mural on the outside of the building.  You can see the frames where the flower garden in the shape of a quilt block is going to live.        

Our next stop was Winedale.....
Another worthwhile exhibit!
We also went to four quilt stores, but I was too busy buying fabric to take any pictures.  Imagine lots of fabric, fantastic customer service and snacks greeting you at each shop....sort of like quilter's heaven....

The next day we woke up bright and early to go to Schoolhouse (mini workshops talking about new products, techniques or business strategies). 

Here's a picture of a ruler demonstration with Cheryl Phillips of Phillips Fiber Art:

Another great workshop was on social media, but I may be a bit biased.  Monica Lee-Henell (my sister-in-law!!) helped us to learn about blogging, Facebook, websites and various ways of interacting with others on-line.
Monica Lee showing off one of her two new fabric lines, "The Neighborhood."  Take a peek at Cardigan Girls here .
Later that night there was an event called, "Sample Spree," but I feel that is something of a misnomer.  This Jersey Girl was no match for many of these quilters when it came to taking advantage of a sale--using brute force if necessary.  If you smiled and made small talk, they were less likely to draw blood in pursuit of a bargain.

Here's a picture of about a fifth of one of the lines to get in.....

And once inside.....
A sea of humanity!
The next couple of days were spent checking out all the new quilting products coming out this year.  Was told that if you walked up and down every aisle, you would have covered forty miles.  Don't doubt it for a minute!

Not sure how many of you know it, but there are super heroes that quilt and I have a picture to prove it!

The Man of Steel reveals his secret identity as a cutting-edge quilter!
Going to Quilt Market was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed every minute I spent in Texas, but there is no place like home!  Am so excited to find all the new products in the quilt stores and move my quilting to another level!