Sunday, February 28, 2016

Who is your hero? (heroine?)

The vendor mall and the exhibits at QUILTCON opened to the public at 10 AM everyday for four days.  However, the vendors could get into the vendor mall and one of the exhibit halls at 8 AM.  Guess where I was every day at 8 AM?  Yep - I was there at 8 or slightly after 8 every day and I learned a lot. I was able to take pictures of what the competitor's booths looked like, I got to really enjoy the quilts with no one around.  I got to see patterns or ideas that I would like to make. And when the other vendors started to trickle in around 9, it was a great opportunity for networking.  NO wasting time for me!!!

There is ONE RULE OF THUMB when attending a show and that is you NEVER NEVER NEVER step into a booth (that you don't work at) unless you are invited or the show is open to the public.  It's just show protocol!

So I was wandering around the floor and saw this most adorable quilt. I even snapped a picture and posted it on Facebook!   I wanted to make it, but because there was no one in the booth and there was no sign on it - I had no way of knowing how to get the pattern if such a thing even existed.

On the last day of the show, a lady walked into our booth. She had a paper in her hand and was asking some questions to one of the other staff members in our booth. When she was finished, she put the paper in her purse and started to walk out.  My eagle eyes spotted what was on that paper and I went over to her and asked her about the paper.  She was a bit taken aback as I "demanded" that she take the paper out of her purse so I could see it.  I mean - how cheeky can you be?   OK - so I was a quilter on a mission - all is forgiven!

The paper had a picture of this particular quilt that I had seen and wanted to make. The paper was a picture of the quilt, the requirements and where to DOWNLOAD the pattern for free!!!!   You see - if the designer had sold the pattern - there would be legal action so fast, the poor designer's head would be spinning.  But I know of this designer and she is a very smart and astute person when it comes to copyright and the value of what we do!

The poor lady in our booth!  I thanked her profusely and off I was to get my OWN copy of that piece of paper even though she offered to give me hers - or was that just my imagination?

Now I'm not always the best at getting things done.  That's an understatement.  I buy trendy patterns or fabric and never make the project that it was intended to be made into.  Gosh - I still have Harry Potter fabric, no I still have a HUGE basket of millennium fabric that I haven't made a thing from.

I couldn't stop thinking about this quilt.  So I cut fabric at work - I used the beautiful Toscana line of fabric from Northcott.

Here is my palette.

Palette for my secret project

Oh and let's not forget that I decided that one of these quilts wasn't enough - NOPE - I had to make TWO of them.  One is a gift (god forbid that I try to sell it or the lawyers will be down my neck!) and the other is for my Northcott trunk show.

I had a little help along the way to make sure those seams were straight.

Energy drink to keep sewing

At last the cutting was done.
Cutting is done!!!!!

Wait - how many of you scrolled to the bottom of the post to see the quilts????   BAD!!!!

And at last the FINAL seam of the SECOND quilt.

Final seam of the second quilt

Are you ready??????    Here they are!!!!!

The final quilts!!!!!

Now aren't they adorable???    The pattern is called "The Droid is not for Sale".  The designer is Sam Hunter.

I have a copy of Sam's book and am trying to get something else made with words, but there are so many ideas swirling in my head - literally hundreds of quilts that are begging to be made. OK - maybe not hundreds, but lots.

And if you get a chance - read this article that Sam wrote - I think it is brilliant and you should think twice about your work.

I'm disappointed that I didn't get to meet Sam at QUILTCON, but no worry - I'll try to hook up with her in Savannah in 2017!  Or somewhere.

This was such a fun project to do and easy.  Some fiddly parts like BB8's body and Rey's head, but seriously - it was super fun and I MUST make a note to work on more current stuff.

 They aren't super big - 42" by 52".   EASY PEASY!!!!

And you know how it is - one thing leads to another.  By working on this project, I came up with a super idea that I need to expand so I can have a quilt to enter into QUILTCON 2017.  Don't worry - it has NOTHING to do with StarWars.  

Oh speaking of Star Wars - I guess you see why this pattern is offered for free.  And that's why NO ONE should ever be selling this.  If Disney found out you profited from one of their images - OUCH!

I would like to thank Sam Hunter for creating this pattern and I especially love her reason.  Read her blog post (the one with the pattern download).  It's really awesome.

Sam - so sorry I missed you at QUILTCON, but thank you from the bottom of my heart - I had loads of fun with this.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, February 27, 2016

My name is Elaine and I'm a fabraholic!

I think that title says it all!  I was bad before, but now that I work at Northcott - well it's really bad!

This is all about a recent Saturday at Sew Sisters where I was teaching a class.  OK - it was a couple of weeks ago, but that's OK. 

Judy always has interesting fabrics in the store and a lot of them are VERY good prices. I always muddle through all the bins but obviously my eyes were shut on this particular day. 

One of the ladies was walking around with this in her hand - 

Octopus fabric that I coveted!!!!
Well she had already purchased it by the time I saw it. I was having a day when I was accumulating SMALL prints.  Not sure why - but I'm loving stuff with cute little prints on them.I missed this one and it was the ONLY piece and nothing on the bolt.  It was about a yard/meter cut and the lady who purchased it didn't even offer to share.  Oh well - get over it - not like I need more fabric!

However I did manage to snag other small prints - look at these cute Christmas prints.  They are tiny and very cute.  I bought an extra FQ of the reindeer - now to find come up with an idea of what to make with them.

Cute TEENY TINY Christmas prints

And a whole range of other teeny tiny things

Then the class was over and I had paid up and I stopped by the FQ table for some reason and OH MY GOD - look what I found!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    A FQ of the octopus fabric.   YES - it was in my bag before you could say SOLD.  Don't worry - I did pay for it!!!!

More little prints

Now I have said this on several occasions that I do NOT need any more backing fabric, BUT I saw these prints and since they fit the theme for something I have in the back of my head - well - I couldn't resist them.

Quilt backings

And a light background fabric with words on it!  I know - I must find something to use all these types in.

Wordy fabric

And - more bike fabric.  I just can't help myself.

Bike fabric

God help us if we ever have to move. 

That's not the worst of it.  I was at work yesterday and cut fabric for TWO more quilts - not sharing those with you - yet. Same quilt - two different fabrics.  Designing a number of quilts that will be used for my presentation at Quilt Market, but can't cut fabric since it doesn't even exist yet! And I brought home a gaggle of panels to do some experimenting with.  I know - it is sad - very sad!!!!!   But I'm happy as a clam!   I must get myself back on my schedule and back to following my book!  I'll be meeting with HER later tonight. 

I made EXCELLENT progress on those two quilt tops that I started the other day.  There are a total of 11 blocks in the quilt - I know - very weird setting!  I'm on number 7.  Making TWO of each for two seperate quilt tops.  The pattern is free so you will all be able to make it.  The top MUST be done by tonight.  That is my goal.  I do have a busy day, but should be able to get it done later this afternoon. 

Then I meet up with THE BOSS and back on track with work and customer stuff.  It's nice to just have a break and do something for fun!

On that note - I'm out of here. 

Have an awesome day!!


Friday, February 26, 2016

QUILTCON aftermath!

I had time yesterday to sort my QUILTCON pictures, but only as far as those that I need for a meeting today.  The others, I haven't had a chance to edit yet, but let's hope for the weekend.

I thought you would be interested in a few links to QUILTCON interviews and videos that are pretty interesting.

The first three are from the LA Times. Nice to see some good press.

Story Number One - May 31, 2014

Story Number Two - January 23, 2016

Story Number Three - February 20, 2016

That last story brings up a good argument. The same way that women back in the war time used their quilts to support local causes, modern quilters are also using their quilts to make statements. Now I want to do a quilt for a "cause", but I have no idea what I'm adamant about!  I just know that I like the quilts with words on them.

Oh yes - have a look at this next link.  Since we were the top sponsor, we are FIRST.  And can you believe how short I look in that picture!!!!

Link to us in our booth

I am way behind in getting my update about QUILTCON on my blog.  Here is another excellent link and some great photos of the quilts.

And within the blog post above, there is a link that leads to a woman who was running around with a video camera.  Here is the link directly to her web site.   She has several videos about QUILTCON and I'm in one of them at the awards ceremony. Can you spot me????  Not hard to miss since I'm on stage!

Here is another editorial by Jennifer Moore.   I love her!!!

Well that is enough about QUILTCON, except for my thing on quilting.  You will be SHOCKED when you see what I have to post.

I almost managed to get the second block of my new project done - yes TWO of them as I'm making two quilts at once.  There were a LOT of fiddly pieces in this block and I think it is the worse one so that's awesome!

We're already fast into the planning stage for Spring Quilt Market which takes place in Salt Lake City in May. Oh my goodness - I have a Schoolhouse presentation to prepare and I'm super excited about it. I have so many ideas going through my head that I woke up very very early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Then I needed to find a book for one of my projects.  I searched my entire library TWICE and for those that know me - that library is HUGE.  I didn't find the book I wanted - it is an old book, but I did find five other books that I will be needing this weekend so that search is done!!!!

Serioulsy - I love my job.  I think every day I love it more. Surrounded by all the fabrics, the designing, the contacts in the industry and the fact that we are ordering fabric for Spring Quilt Market and you get asked "how many/much of each panel/fabric would you like for your presentation?"   Now that is hard to beat!!!!

The ideas are coming so fast and furious, I may need TWO or THREE sewers to keep up with it all.   Just kidding - I'm just going to have to work smarter. Because OH YES - I can do it all in my LifeTime.  God - I'm so dillusional!!!!  I must have fallen and hit my head.

On that note - I'm off to work.  New rule - try to get ONE HOUR of sewing in per day.  Let's see how I manage.

Have a super duper awesome day!


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Technology rocks!

I know - who would have thought I would ever write that as a title!

Let's face it - I'm an impulse kind of girl!   I can't even remember why, but I came home from work on Tuesday all fired up to shop for a new cell phone. Mine was working fine, although it is slow - it's three years old. I went to the mall to the Bell store.  Hmmm - that would be $250 to do an upgrade. Plus all the accessories. That's a lot of money - not sure I want to spent that at this time.

Back home for dinner. DH says to check our rewards program from the credit card.  Nope - they only have Apple iPhones.  No offense to the Apple lovers out there, but I wouldn't be caught dead with an Apple product.  I absolutely HATE the way they are so proprietary!  (YES - I have an iPod - because it was the only thing that I could use for audio books without using my phone).   But we won't go into that today.

So can't get a phone for free.  Hmmmm why not check Best Buy to see what they have.  Got my tablet and while having dinner, I shopped for a new phone.  OH MY GOD - same phone is on sale THIS WEEK at Best Buy.  Do I really want to go out?  It's already 8 PM!!!!   YES - I want that phone.

If you haven't been to Best Buy in a while - WOW - I barely recognized the inside of the store.

Cell phone shopping at Best Buy

I had to wait a few minutes to talk to a sales person.  There weren't many in the store and they were all SUPER busy!!!!!    But it was so worth the wait. Originally I wanted to get this phone.  the Samsung Edge 6S. 
Image result for samsung edge 6 plus
Samsung Edge 6S
Now isn't that a cool phone.  However the sales person cautioned me that the fancy edge requires a bit more battery power and putting it in an Otter box - I would lose the EDGE.   But it looks so cool. 

I got a Samsung 6S instead.  The new one (7S) is coming out on March 11 - I don't need the latest one - I just need a new phone. A faster phone!   (Mine was the Galaxy 4S)

This sales person was good because the advertised price of the phone was $74.99.  He gave it to me for $24.99.  The stupid Otter box was double the cost of the phone, but he also knocked some money off that, as he did for the glass cover.   I needed a new charger for the car as my old one was toast. With the SIM card, the installation of the glass cover and all the accessories including the phone - the ENTIRE bill came to $169.00 (including tax).   Definitely can't go wrong with that. 

And the phone???   It's blazing fast!!!!   There is also this cool APP that you can install on the new phone and the old phone and the data swaps automatically.   And it worked!!!!!!!  

Transferring data from the old phone (right) to the new phone (left)

I love love love this new phone.  It is fast. It is fast. It is fast!  Can you tell how fast it is?  It is a bit slimmer than my previous phone and well - I'm so glad I upgraded.  Now if I could only remember why I had a bee in my bonnet that night to upgrade.

I'm even deleted text messages because when the data transferred, I saw that there were over 4000 text messages.  Who on a regular basis deletes text messages??? I never think about it. Now I'm trying to delete messages, add those contacts to my contact list and saving any pictures that I wanted to keep from the messages.  I've also learned how to create albums and moving my pictures into albums for easy reference. And you thought I couldn't learn something new!   I do have to get the settings properly set so any pictures I take go on the memory card, NOT the phone, although I do have 32 GB of storage on the phone.

Now that I have a blazing fast camera phone - guess what - I can actually be ready to take pictures.  Guess what I saw this morning?

I'm out with the girls and I see tracks in the snow. I thought it was dogs, but NO people prints.  AHA - there are two tracks and that would be our friends the coyotes!

Coyote tracks

Little Sammy knew they were close by because she wasn't happy and next thing you know - BAM - there they were.  My first thought - do I have my phone?  Yes - it was in my pocket so I whipped it out and got pictures!

Coyote right on the trail

The other one was in the bush and very hard to see because of it's colouring.  I wasn't going closer than this.

And then the darn thing proceeded to lie down in the middle of the path. This was in the direction we wanted to go.  We turned around and walked on the street this morning!

Coyote lying down on the path

Wow - and then Lexi and Little Sammy asked me to take pictures of them so I did. I'll share those with you another day!

Now I have an extra charger for my phone as the old phone and the new phone use the same charger so that is great.  Now I can leave one at work - just in case. Got to set up all the e-mail accounts in the new phone and bring in all the pictures from the old phone that didn't get transferred over - not sure why.  But that card should probably be just downloaded into my photo hard drive.  That is something that I really really need to work on.  

And as quick as a wink of an eye - I started not one, but TWO quilts this morning.  They are the same quilt - just making it twice.  When you see it - you are going to want one as well.  It is so adorable.   I cut fabric from it yesterday at work and it's going to be one more to add to the trunk show. One of them is for the office.   Wait until you see it!!!!!!     I still have to get my magazine quilt cut and sewn as I have one week to get that done.  And I cut fabric for not ONE, but TWO of those. Two different fabrics - then I can choose the one I like best.  The beauty of working for a fabric company!!!!!

On that note - I better get my butt in gear and get to work.  Loads of stuff to do today. 

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   (ack - sorry for that - I just love punctuation!)


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Farm Girl Vintage

Good morning - nothing like an awesome spin class to get the day started even if the weather is crappy outside!  The traffic and the roads were decent. Of course, I cheated and took the toll highway all the way in.  On bad weather days, I don't mess with the other highways.

 I must have been fast asleep when I drove this morning because I almost got on the highway instead of continuing on the overpass to get to the gym and then instead of exiting one stop early to stop for breakfast at TIm's, I kept going on the highway and had to circle back. I was away for one week and my routine is messed up!

I have much more to tell you about QUILTCON, but the pictures need to be edited. 

Here is the show n tell from our most recent Farm Girl Vintage class.  It's such a fun project and we are all over the map on this one.   I am assigning blocks, but everyone is going to make their own quilt so that will be interesting. 

Image result for farm girl vintage
Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt

Here are all the blocks that were shown this past class.  They look awesome. 

Farm Girl Vintage blocks

Let's have a closer look at them. I won't remember everyone's names, but let's see how I do!

Liz is going to make 12-inch blocks

Vjera has a fruit theme on the left. (4 more names - can't remember whose is whose!)
It was a good exercise to see some of the blocks made in 12 inches and some in 6 inches.   And why not mix and match some of the blocks?

Linda (top left)  and Beth  (big blocks)  (two more names - not sure whose is whose!)

I'd like to single out one person because they made three blocks. While this is not normally an exceptional deal - these are LINDA's blocks.  Linda has had a bit of a dry spell and so nice to see her back at the sewing machine.   Her goal for this class is to completely finish ONE BLOCK - quilted and bound!!!!!   I don't care which one - but ONE - that's all I ask Linda!!!!

Linda's blocks
Notice that she even fussy cut some of the pieces. It wouldn't be Linda if she didn't try to up the ante with the homework!!!!

Then we had other non-Farm Girl Vintage show n tell.

Genny with her paper pieced top - it's beautifully put together

Liz and her Misty Pines - DONE!!!!!
It really is a gorgeous quilt!  I must get to work on mine.  Oh yes - in another lifetime!   NO - I need that Misty Pines done as I'm putting together a trunk show of quilts that I made/designed with Northcott fabrics.  I hope to have it ready by the end of this year.  Hmmmmm - I have ONE quilt.  I had better start sewing - FAST!!!!

And since we are on the Farm theme - Liz brought in some FARM fabrics that she didn't want.  And it appeared that despite the fact that we are working on a FARM themed (sort of) quilt, there weren't too many takers for the fabric.  I do have an idea of what to do with some of it.  I must get something designed with that and the rest gets donated!!!!

Farm themed (well mostly chickens) fabric

And if that isn't enough farm stuff for you, look what Susan saved for me.   I'm not going to remember the name of the beer that this came from, but Bob was going to throw the caps away and Susan rushed to save them for me.  I LOVE them. I think they came from Beau's Brewing but I can't verify that at the moment. It might be the Lug-Head.

Tractor beer caps

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The long way home.................

It's all over, but getting back home.  All in all - it was a very uneventful trip home.  Got up, finished packing and managed to cram all my goodies into my small suitcase. We had a car pick us up at the hotel and we were off into the morning LA traffic.  It actually wasn't that bad and took just over one hour to get from Pasdena to the airport. The worse part of the traffic was right as we passed downtown LA (on the highway).

Traffic around the airport was CRAZY!!!!   I dont know how people can do it all the time. Anyway - never one to miss an opportunity, I had to sit up front with the driver.  I wanted to see everything and what better way to chat and find out stuff. This guy had been driving for 27 years - picks up loads of celebrities and company executives.  Even drove Lady Gaga once!

LAX - can you see the sign????

Made it through all the lines and had a bit of time to spend in the Air Canada lounge.  Not a bad lounge and got a chance to have a few nibbles.  So much nicer than being in the regular louge. Thanks to DH for those passes!

Then onto the plane - ah - we are sitting almost at the front in the new (well fairly new 787-9).  I've been on this plane before and I LOVE it. Although on this plane - they have the most amazing entertainment system.  I had never seen this before - oh crap - probably got the planes mixed up.  Where is Bob the retired pilot when you need some information. Maybe the -9 means a newer version?

The maps are incredible and are REAL!!!!   You could see the terrain and all the towns were identified.  It was fascinating!  I know - it doesn't take much to entertain me.

The ROTATINIG map on the plane

And this was another screen shot which showed the airspeed and altitude.  If you see those little images at the bottom of the screen - they represent the windows in the front of the plane (I think!)

Airspeed and altitude

OK - I NEED to go to the Grand Canyon.  It was on the opposite side of the plane from me and I've been in that area before but no time to explore.  The terrain is absolutely stunning - very desolate.   A good place to explore.  Maybe when we go to Salt Lake???  Brian was mentioning that last time, the Grand Canyon wasn't open yet.  Got to check that out.  So cool - we fly right over Las Vegas and you could identify all the hotels.  Like I said - it doesn't take much to amuse me.

I read my book for most of the way home, but couldn't really get into it until I was ready for bed!  I kept looking out the window on the plane! Of course - had some trouble getting to sleep because of the time change, but not much and I love this MILD temperature!

The girls came to the airport to greet me and Little Sammy was very happy to sit on my lap all the way home.  Miss Lexi was a little more aloof and quite happy to sit in the back of the car.

So nice to be home again, but now it's off to work to see what craziness awaits today.   There is a lot of follow-up from the show and a few e-mails to answer. Thankfully, I don't get a lot  and let's not forget the projects that are due within a very short period of time.  Must get some prep work done on those.

On that note - I'm off to work.

Have an awesome day!


Monday, February 22, 2016

QUILTCON - Day four

Last day of QUILTCON.    As much fun as it is to be at these quilt shows, you do get to the point where you want it to be over!  And the last day is tear down day which is always so exciting - NOT!

The traffic was a lot slower than the previous days, but that was to be expected.  Met more people and a lot of people stopped by to say good-bye. Many people come to QUILTCON for the entire four days of the show.  Anne (Linda's niece) stopped by near the end of the day and we had a chat.  Oh, that Linda is in big trouble when I get back!

I spent a good part of the time handing out our Chip Pack Challenge.  I said my spiel so many times - well I'm sure I said it in my sleep a lot!  Our challenge is to take FIVE  5-inch squares. Add some Northcott ColorWorks neutrals and make a modern quilt that is 30 inches square.
Chip Pack Challenges - some samples

We had some samples made to show people how NON-THREATENING this challenge really is.  I also made one - the one that got bound on the way down, but I never took a picture of it.  It's now packed and on the way home. I'll post a picture later this week when it arrives at the warehouse.

It really is a lot of fun.  We had MANY of the purple five-inch squares to give away - still have a few left. So let me know if you want to participate - the deadline is May 1 to send a photo.   You won't be competing with the ones above - they were just for show.  But if you are new to modern quilting, it's a great exercise to give it a whirl. My biggest problem was choosing a design - so many of them came into my head. I just picked one and then it evolved as I was sewing it together.

There were a few things that I wanted to buy and by the time I got back to the booths - oopsy - all sold out. Which is probably a good thing since I don't really need anything.  Credit card stayed in the wallet and just used US dollars from my US account so it didn't hurt too badly,

Are you aware of who Violet Craft is? She has started designing this amazing series of animals.  They are paper pieced.

Giraffe by Violet Craft
I have loved her patterns since I first became aware of them.  Now I'm committed to making the lion for a gift - I think I mentioned that the other day.  Well I wanted to buy the giraffe pattern and I went to the Michael Miller booth - oh yes - I had no shame in going to anyone's booth and asking for samples, getting information or whatever. Shoot - they were sold out, but there was another booth that was selling the patterns - a quilt shop.  I went over and they said the last giraffe they had was in the hands of a customer who was currently deciding whether to buy it or not.  ACK!!!   Don't let her take it and she put it back and one of the girls in the booth - said, "GRAB IT!"  And I did. So I was able to get this one and there is the elephant which will be out in a few weeks.

The patterns were all for sale on her website yesterday and hopefully, you saw my note on Facebook about that.  They are downloadable .pdfs.  I downloaded the lion several months ago and it worked out just fine.

Anyway - it was another fun day - I did manage to snag a few goodies, but nothing earth shattering.

Then tear down.  There were five of us and we had everything down and packed in the crate in 2 1/2 hours.  We were hoping for two, but that's just the way it worked out.  It's never a fun job, but you just have to make the best of it.

We went out for a casual dinner last night which was just fine by me.  Not a prolonged affair - hey I love my co-workers, but when you've been with them all day - I kind of like my personal space.

Vanessa (The Crafty Gemini) and me!

Vanessa came to dinner with us as she was doing some demos for us this weekend. If you don't know who she is - check out her website.  She has quite the following.

Then it was back to the hotel room where I couldn't find my credit card.  I had not used it so I was a bit ticked.  I emptied my little pouch (you can see it in the picture above and I LOVE this pouch). - No credit card.  Then I felt the pouch and I could feel it, but couldn't see it.  It had slipped inside - phew!

Even though I was tired, I didn't sleep well.  There was a TV in the next room that went late in the night and I think I was just too tired to settle down.  Couldn't even get interested in my book which is unusual.

I took a ton of pictures yesterday morning so you are going to see numerous pictures of what I saw, but I need to edit them and will do that when I get home.

Today just have to pack up the suitcase, have breakfast and then off to the airport. We don't get in until quite late tonight - well - just after dinner - it's not that late and then back to work tomorrow. How exciting!  But now I have another project that needs to be done for another magazine and there is going to be no rest for me!

On that note - I'm out of here.

Have a super day!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

QUILTCON - Day Three

Another exciting day at QUILTCON.  The attendance at this show is a first for me.  Usually, the attendance on the first day is the highest and then each day gets progressively slower.  Not QUILTCON.  The first day was busy, second day not so much and the third day (Saturday) was crazy.  I'm guessing today will be quite slow. That is what the masses told me - and that is what happened.

Had breakfast with Katie again - so nice to discuss the show with quilters, not my co-workers.  They don't discuss quilt things since they are not quilters - which is why I skipped dinner with them and went out with Keri from Keri Designs.   She's had a fabulous career and I've met her before at Quilt Market and we got to know each other a little better last night over dinner. Now that I see her Hawaiin patterns, I'm certain that I have one or two of them in my pattern stash!

Back to the show early to check out the quilts in the hall where the vendors are located.  I arrived at 8 AM and since no one else is around, I was able to spend some very leisurely time checking out the quilts. There are so many incredible quilts that it's hard to pick a favourite. But I know which one is my favourite and will post it tomorrow.  I need more pictures of it.
Quilt by Debbie Grifka

Since orange is my color, it was hard not to take a picture of that one.

Quilts by Rebecca Burnett and Jeannie Jenkins

Both of these designers are from the Toronto MQG.   Nice to see their quilts side by side.

Once we got a bit of a lull, I managed to zip over to the other hall and saw most of the rest of the quilts.  I'm a bit quilted out at the moment, but will zip back over today to see the rest of them.

I definitely saw trends.   The drunkards path block was used a LOT.  I did take pictures with my big camera and will try to post some of those when I'm back.  Don't want to be posting quilts without credit so will try to capture that information today.  Oh yes - I can do that this morning.  The other trend that I saw was the quilting.  STRAIGHT lines or matchstick quilting is EVERYWHERE.

And I was over the moon again today as people stopped to take pictures of my quilt.  Now don't get me wrong, they are also taking pictures of the other quilts in our booth, but I've had a lot of feedback about that quilt and everyone LOVES it.  They love the design, they love the color and it is bright and happy!  Can't wait to get it back home and in my office!

I also had many people come up to me (including industry professionals) and say how much they enjoyed me on the panel discussion.  That is pretty exciting and well - that is just the confidence booster needed for my next step.  I've got a series of videos to host and now I'm pysched to move ahead with them the moment we are back.  The prep work is going to be huge, but it can be done!

I did buy a pattern yesterday - it's so very cute.  Called My Cozy Village by Felicia T. Brenoe.

My Cozy Village by Felicia T. Brenoe

I think I might buy some of those neutral backgrounds today and perhaps that giraffe pattern if I can remember. With a warehouse and a stash room both full of fabric, I don't really need to bring anything home.  But I do want to try something with those "busy" neutrals.

I was a tad ticked off yesterday.  I had purchased a data plan for while I was away so I could post pictures and things during the day. I got a text message early in the morning saying that I had reached 80% and then shortly thereafter another one to say that I was maxed out. What?????    I checked the data useage and it appears that the QUILTCON app went crazy and literally sucked up all that data. The funny thing - I wasn't even using the app!!!!   It also killed the battery on my phone - well just for the day until I could charge it again.  I immediately deleted the app - before the battery died.  Then I find out that they have had free WI-FI in the hall all the time.  Yes there is signage, but there is ONE sign and it's not by the entrance door!  Oh well - live and learn!

My biggest task when I get home is to tidy up this blog.  Got to be more professional looking (according to my child!).  And I agree - I have some changes to do.  I wish I could just wake up one day and it would all be done - that is not my strength - as you know me and technology!

And I have to say that it was nice to get to bed early last night.  It's not that I'm tired, but my feet and legs are tired and so nice to just chill out.  As I was coming back from dinner with Keri, the others were waiting in the lobby just going out.  Oh yes - I was jumping up and down with joy!  I guess I'm too old to be a party animal anymore.  No - just damn practical!!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here to get pictures (and credits) of the trends!

Have an awesome day!


Saturday, February 20, 2016


Another amazing day at QUILTCON 2016.

I wanted to get to the convention center early so down early for breakfast where because of my colorful tote bag - I was asked if I was a quilter?  Yep - so I had breakfast with Katie from Austin who was here to take classes.  Then another quilter sat down at the next table and that was Jeni Baker  who apparently has a famous rabbit named George because yet another quilter sat down and recognized her and mentioned the rabbit.  I haven't had a chance to check out Jeni's website - but here is the link if you want to. AHA - now I know who she is.  I see she just published a book - The Half Square Triangle which has intrigued me but I've not actually looked at it.  Now I will.
The Half Square Triangle by Jeni Baker

There you go - met someone new.  Everyone is super friendly around here.  That's quilters for you!!!

Then I was off to the convention center and arrived before 8 AM.   I wanted to finish getting pictures of those charity challenges but the room was being used for YOGA!!!

Had the entire place to myself

I decided to tackle the show floor and get pictures of ideas from other booths.  And since I was the only person on the floor for at least a half hour or was that close to one hour? - I got clear shots of everything that I wanted.   I haven't even looked at the quilts yet and apparently the quilts that are beside us are about 1/3 of the quilts on display.   So yes - I will be back early again this morning to have a look.  

While all the quilts are beautiful, some of them are so clever and I think that is the beauty of the modern quilt for me.  I love the clever ones. Some are so minimalistic that I think "why bother?", but that is the beauty of modern. Everything goes!!!!

I have also managed to meet more of the designers who made quilts for our booth and it is such fun to hear the stories behind why they made them and why they quilted them the way they did.  I love it!

Yesterday was also an exciting day because it was PANEL discussion day.  I was lucky enough to sit on one of the panels.  The topic was Getting and Staying Creative. Keeping the Mojo Burning. The panel moderator was Anne Sullivan and you need to check out her QDAD on her website.  I'm in love with that project.   My panel mates were Jennifer Sampou who is a sweetheart and I remember one of her jungle prints from years ago.  Check out her blog (that link above) and you can download the handout that Jennifer and I collaborated on. The third panelist was Anna Maria Horner .

I could have felt intimidated by these ladies - all of them have a significance presence in the fabric world - fabric designers, successful business owners.  Wow! But you know what - I know my stuff and I have to say that I think I represented my ideas and my thoughts extremely well.  I had many many people come to the booth or stop me during the day to say that they liked what I had to say.  Well, that just made my day!. After the presentation, I chatted to a couple of ladies who had traveled from New Zealand or were they from Australia?  I can't remember and then I chatted with the owner of one of the quilt shops in Amsterdam! And I've been to her store. Birdblocks Patchwork and Quilt shop.   

And as if that wasn't enough, I spotted Alex Anderson early in the day, or was that the day before?
Alex Anderson

And I had a chat with Jenny Doan from Missouri Star.

Jenny Doan - Missouri Star

 Missouri Star designs some of the die cuts for Sizzix.  I spotted a die in the booth that might convince me to use a die cut machine.  Want to know what it is????    Check out this link.   That would be the HEXAGON!!!!    Apparently Sizzix is the same company that makes those big die cut machines for schools.   I won't pay the price for one just for the hexagon template, but I could use my Brother Scan n Cut that I already have.  Ah - one day when I have time!!!!

Vanessa Williams (The Crafty Gemini) is doing our demos for us and I help her get set up and take down since it is easier with two people. 

The show got really quiet in the afternoon but that was OK - lots of time to strategize about next year. I have to say that when I did a walkabout in the morning - looking for things to spend my money on - I didn't find a whole lot. I could buy patterns, but really - what is the point.  I just make my own up and YES  - another day of comments and lots of picture taking of my green quilt.   I did buy one thing and it cost me $5 plus tax.  Something to do with hexagons which I probably didn't need to spend, but the shop owner spent a lot of time telling me about it - I felt obligated to buy it.  It will be most useful and I would likely have forgotten all her hints anyway.   Now I have it.  A new class!!!!   As if I have time to teach!   Don't get me wrong - there is lots of fabric and lots of stuff - I might break down and buy something today!

We went out for dinner again - this time Italian.  I was just happy with a nice bowl of soup.  I find the evenings are chilly and I just want to stay warm and  rested.  Actually I came back to my room after the show and tried to not fall asleep and then I got a phone call - they were waiting in the lobby for me.   ACK!!!!   But I'm well rested today and today is supposed to be busy since it is Saturday.  

Here are the sample quilts of our Chip Pack Challenge. The designers were given 5 - five-inch squares and some background.  They all look fabulous!!!!

Chip Pack Challenge samples.

I had best get myself organized for the day.  

Have a great day!!!


Friday, February 19, 2016


What an incredible day!!!!!!    Met so many fabulous people, saw lots of stuff - the booth was packed - well let me slow down and tell you all about it.

I had breakfast by myself as I wanted to get to the convention center early to finish putting up two quilts that had been received late.  I met up with Heather at the convention center and got her quilt from her and I had a good sleep under Kelly's.   While I was out wandering because technically we weren't supposed to be there before 8 - I was checking out the quilts that were part of a Charity Challenge.   The quilts are stunning and there were lots of them.

Some of the Charity challenge quilts
Some were made by guilds, some were made by individual members.  The one in the middle above was made by the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild.  And let me say that I'm joining up when I get home.  This whole modern quilt movement is exciting - not that regular quilters aren't exciting - but I want to be part of these challenges and such.  I'm currently an individual member and I left my darn pin at home.  Never even thought to bring it. No worries.

I didn't get pictures of all the challenges so will get back early today to check that out.

Then I was in the booth getting stuff ready and Vanessa - Crafty Gemini stopped by.  She is helping out in our booth - doing our demos and we got to chatting and well - only one of the quilts got hung up. Then it was off to the awards ceremony.

A lot more relaxed than the ones at Festival.   The winning quilts were not present - but they were presented in a slide presentation format.  And I got to represent Northcott for awarding the Best in Show.  Pretty exciting and YES - I asked to say a few words while most sponsors did not!  Never give up an opportunity to get noticed!!!!!   Here is a link to the winners.

One of the members (Rebecca Burneett) of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild won a prize.  Second place in Best use of negative space.
Best Use of Negative space - 2nd place winner - Rebecca Burnett

Yeah to Rebecca - she was one of the designers that created a quilt for our booth.  I'll try to find that picture.
Rebecca Burnett quilt for Northcott

After the awards - back to the booth to finish setting up. And then the doors opened and wow - it was crazy all day.  We barely had time to zip to the bathroom, get food or whatever.  Well - that was the rest of them - I did manage to sneak out and check out some booths, talk to some vendors - it's all about smoozing.

Oh - -and I had people come looking for ME!!!!!!    Yes - there was Linda V's neice - Anne if I remember correctly!!!   Thanks Linda - I have a couple of stories to verify with you now!!!!!

I've met some pretty cool industry people and must absolutely be making some deals with them when I get back.  Oh boy - I came home after the event and wrote out a huge list of things to look at, take care of when I get back home.  There is so much I want to do - I have no idea where to start and where to find the time!!!!

If you didn't see the picture from Facebook - here is my quilt that I made for our booth. 

My quilt for the Northoctt booth

Sorry - I don't have any easy ability to crop the photos.  And all these pictures were pulled off my Facebook.  I have my big camera with me and have taken loads of pictures and today - will have the freedom to take more which I can edit when I get home. 

Anyway - this is the quilt that I made with one of Northcotts NEW wild panels.

Northcott ColorWorks Concepts  - Mod Squad panel

I cut that panel apart and added that lime.  You cannot believe the reaction to that quilt.  Let's just say I'm having  a private love fest at the show about it.  Not to say that the other quilts aren't nice either - but you know - this is an ego thing!!!!   

We made four kits of the quilt and have one to give away each day.  The lady who won yesterday was pretty happy and we are giving away many of those panels each day.  The pattern will go on the web site as a free download in March (that is MY time line), but that fabric will be released to stores in March. People are shocked when I show them that it was made from a panel and yes - there is a bit of waste when cutting - not much, but now I need to come up with something to do with the waste. And I have ONE more quilt to make from a different panel that I've wanted to do, but no time. OK - I need a full time sewer!!!!!   Nope - I like to do my own stuff because that is how I learn. 

Let's see - what else??????  Oh yes - it is fun to see our competitor's new lines coming out.  There is one that is absolutely adorable.  Well I'm mostly interested in one of her patterns which I shall endeavour to get my hands on before we leave.  

Oh yes - and here is the other cool thing that I made for the show. 

My cool cube pillows

I made five of them, but Rich kept walking around with one so it wasn't available to be in the picture. YES - there will be a free download pattern for those as well as we've had many people stop to take pictures and want to know how to make them.    I'll get a better picture today. 

I helped Vanessa get set up for her demo and like I said - I had a chance to check out the competition - and yes - I tell them who I am - where I work and chat them up.  Well some of them.  I did sneak into Moda's booth to get samples!!!!   

Then we got back to the hotel, had a drink and then off to a fancy steak restaurant.  Way too fancy for my taste and I had a bowl of soup for dinner.  Hey - it's late at night - I'm NOT eating a ton of heavy food, never hungry much at these things anyway and well - I just don't eat steak.  And I'm not hungry this morning either - saved money!   I've got ten pounds to lose and not going to happen by having steak late at night.  OK - so I shouldn't have had two beer either!  

On that note - it's time to get ready for the day.  As you can tell - I'm pretty excited - oh yes - our challenge is being extremely well received and the little packages are flying out of the booth and our spin to win.  I'll take pictures and post those tomorrow. 

Here are a couple more pictures that I took of quilts in our booth. 

Quilt by Valerie Miller 
Quilt by Swan Sheridan

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!