Monday, March 4, 2019

A visit to Quiltcon

I spent the morning and part of the afternoon with a group of quilters. We're all long arm quilters and it's fun to get together to discuss what we've done, what we'd like to do, as well as share tips and tricks. It's a great way to spend part of a day.

Four of us had gone to Quiltcon and so we had a wee discussion on Quiltcon and what we thought of it. You have to keep in mind that even though I went to Quiltcon with 7 friends, most of them had never been to a big show before and most of them were done at noon on the second day. I think they were more along for the road trip as opposed to the quilt show. But that's OK.

The four of us had been to several Quiltcon shows. It was very interesting that all of us had the same thoughts and feelings about the show and the direction that it's taking. Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike the show, but it sure had a different vibe than I've seen in the past. This past show was my third Quiltcon.

Well, here are a few comments and they are not negatives - just observations. I noticed that the sponsor for the Best in Show was Vera Bradley. Remember that I live in a vacuum. I had no idea who Vera Bradley was. Oh yes - they sell bags. Quilted bags - but they sell finished goods. How is that possible that a company that makes (and where and under what conditions are those mass produced bags made?) and sells ready-made bags be a sponsor for a quilt show?

I'm pretty certain I know why no fabric company sponsored that supposedly prestigious award. I know - if I don't tell you, you're going to be mad at me. Well - it's all about visibility. The sponsor coughs up $5K US as the prize money (plus more money for the privilege of being the sponsor for Best of Show). There's a small notice on the story card that hangs with the quilt that mentions who the sponsor is. No - if I were a fabric company (or any other company) and I was going to cough up more than $5K US - I want my name in BIG BOLD letters hanging above the quilt so that everyone who looks at that quilt sees my name. Many people do NOT read those cards. There has to be more sponsor visibility for that Best in Show.

Many fabric companies were not in attendance at the show like they have been in the past. Why is that? Well - it costs a fortune for them to be in attendance. Not only the personnel (travel expenses), the booth costs, the drayage (getting your stuff from the loading dock at the convention center to your booth - NO - you can't do that yourself - the union workers do that), and the giveaways. There's a HUGE online presence for companies these days and everyone knows them. So they would rather spend their dollars on other shows or other marketing avenues.

I don't think there were any fabric/pattern designers at Quiltcon. Victoria Findlay Wolfe was there, but she was there with her store, not just as a designer. Other designers were around, but NOT with a booth. Since their booths in the past have been paid for by their fabric company, they did not have a booth.

There were shops - many, many quilt shops. One of the reasons, I go to these shows is to see the quilts, but I also go to network. I didn't find this show conducive to networking. The designers/fabric companies were just not there.

Anyway enough about Quiltcon. Oh wait - I have two things to show you that I bought at Quiltcon. I'm finally somewhat under control and trying to get things done.

I did buy fabric at Quiltcon. BUT only two fat quarters. I'm teaching a year long project and I had some of this collection that I was able to get at a local store, but I wanted a wee bit more variety in the colors. I saw these two which I knew I didn't have. I've already cut into both of them so that purchase was allowed.

Two fat quarters for an ongoing project
 I also bought two magazines. We're not able to get this magazine via subscription in Canada. It's costly to bring it across the border so when I see it, I buy it. There are currently 6 issues. I'm missing 3 and 4. If anyone has them and doesn't want them??????   I know - I have a thing with printed material. The more the better - that comes from my mother. 

Two magazines purchased at Quiltcon
And my dear daughter M has the same disease. She was recently in Portland, Oregon and they have a huge bookstore there. I saw when she left that she had a huge bag of books. Hey, kiddo - you got to store those books and move those books and don't forget there's a huge pile of books here that belong to you!!!!!

But seriously, there's nothing more exciting than going into a bookstore, especially a used book store and looking for stuff. I now have stuff on the list for DH - books that he can't find anywhere else. I love it!

This is the quilt book that I found in Nashville. I love these kind of books - the ones with historical quilts in them. YES - I need to sit down and spend more time reading them. I will! Oh god - I can't believe I just said that! I need to make it a priority. 

Book of historical Kentucky quilts found in Nashville

I finished the audiobook yesterday. A real thriller and the ending was a wee bit of a surprise to say the least. The thing with audiobooks (especially James Patterson), they sometimes add some mood music and sound effects and it's very creepy. But at one point when a gun went off near the end of the book - I almost had a heart attack. I was calmly sewing away in my room upstairs - it's dark outside and well - that noise scared me to death!!!

Now to find the next audiobook on the list that I can read. Oops - already found the next one. And I have to say it was easy as pie to have the audiobook read over the car audio system when I was on the highway yesterday. I'm really, really liking my tracking system for books. Now to finish off that list of books on my "to be found" list and put it on my phone.

I'm a Virgo and I love lists. But I went for years being very disorganized - it seems that when M was born, my brain went to mush for a while. Now I'm back with a vengeance. I'm actually looking forward to Wednesday which is clean up day at the house!

It's now March and that means in a couple of weeks that the UFO group will be meeting again. I'm NOT giving up my hard earned $10 so I've got to get my homework for the month completed. Yesterday, I quilted the backgrounds for the two blocks that are due this month. The applique pieces for one of them were already cut, but the other wasn't even traced. Now both blocks are ready for the final stage - the applique stitches.

Block one ready for stitching

Block two ready for stitching

I'm ready to get started on that later today. Although it's Monday, I won't be going to Monday sewing today. I have a meeting that I need to be at (thankfully online) and a massage in the early afternoon - it just didn't make sense to go. But I'll be sewing on stuff at home once those tasks are done. Plus - I have paperwork to get done.

I managed to get three more sets (of 2 blocks) done on the scrap quilt. Yeah!!!!  I've no idea why I thought they were too complicated to take to a retreat. I must have had a moment. What's amazing is that even though these blocks have been cut for years and they got wet and had to be totally laid out to dry, so far, I'm not missing one single piece! (so far!) How can that be?

Three more sets (of two) scrappy blocks

I haven't counted how many I've got sewn together, but I did have a quick glance through the stack of blocks yet to sew and I think there are about 20 more sets or was that 30 sets? Gosh - how quickly my brain dismisses a number that really isn't important.

Blocks still to be sewn

I'm just happy to be making progress. I'll be sharing more thoughts about that - hopefully in a video.

One more picture to share. Here's a happy recipient of one of the four quilts that I sent to my cousin in Vancouver. My cousin has four boys. Each one got a similar quilt. This is 6-year-old Eddie with his Mom. My cousin is into construction so I thought these quilts would be appropriate for the boys.

Eddie with his construction quilt

Since it is Motivational Monday - here's something to contemplate. Pick ONE thing in your house or your sewing space - ONE thing that you've been procrastinating getting done. TODAY is the day (or this week) that you're going to get that thing done. Have a look around. Maybe it's a block that needs to be traced for applique, maybe it's a stack of bills that need to be filed. Pick ONE thing and get it done!!!! I'll be checking on you!!!!

It's like those applique blocks above. I taught that quilt TWICE and never finished the quilt. I got to month four and then abandoned making the rest. Not very responsible of me!

A request for fabric --- I received a request for fabric to make catnip toys for goodie bags for a local (GTAA) walkathon to support cat rescues.  They are requesting BRIGHT fabrics. Pieces need to be at least 4" by 8" if you have scraps. They need about 4 meters in total. If you are local to me and have some fabric that you don't want - let me know and I'll pass along the information. I probably have some, but I don't have the time to dig through the scraps at this moment in time. The deadline for the finished goods is the end of March, so they need the fabric NOW.

Have a super day!!!



  1. Pick one thing? Hmmmmmmm I'm a Virgo. I would need a list for that.

    1. LOL!!!!!! Yep - make a list!!!! And yes - I have a hard time picking one thing. See the post today! Elaine

  2. Elizabeth AndrewsMarch 4, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    The "Corn and Beans" that I am familiar with doesn't have a single background fabric. Each square goes out to the four surrounding blocks as the background for those blocks and has their colours coming in on the four sides to be the background for the original block. As a result you have to plan the entire piece (for me a small wall hanging) at the beginning, as all the blocks run into the ones around them. It really took concentration to get everything in the correct places. This would have driven you crazy at any group sewing event. I had pieces of fabric all over my sewing room floor for weeks, each overlapping the four other fabrics around it.

    1. Elizabeth -- oh - perhaps you are correct. I'm going to post the picture you sent me. I said Corn and Beans because it was easier for others to find - my pattern is actually from Sharyn Craig from years ago. Thanks for the information. I sometimes makes things up!!! And yes - I couldn't have done a true Corn and Beans at a retreat. Thanks for sharing. Elaine

  3. Your blog has been motivating me to get my UFOs done and out the door. Some just needed a sleeve or a label!!! This weekend is a quilt retreat and I've got a list I know I'll get done. I've taken your advice and will be bringing my tablet with an audiobook and earbuds.

    1. Judith --- Oh yes - once we get ourselves a task or realize how close some of these things are? Well - what's stopping us from getting them done. A retreat is a perfect place to work on those fiddly little jobs. Listening to friends or an audiobook makes quick work of those crazy tasks. Have fun at the retreat. Elaine

  4. I have been working on Christmas gifts for family and friends. Tomorrow is a sewing day as I've been suing the Accuquilt Go! cutter for the blocks that don't need to be fussy cut and scissors for those that do need to be fussy cut. I've gotten the interfacing ironed on to the pieces that need it and I've paired up the pieces that go together. Finally, they are stacked according to thread color needed. Since I've got all that done, I choose sewing, so I can move them into my gift drawer, where they will wait for December!

    1. Torry --- HOLY!!! You are super organized right down to the thread color! I love it. Yes - getting things takes super organization and you're on the right track. Christmas gifts? WOW -- impressive that you're on top of that. Thanks for sharing. Elaine

  5. Interesting comments about Quilt Con...maybe you should pass them on to the organizers. I noticed the same things as you. regarding the fabric companies and such. I get curated quilts from Mad About Patchwork.

    1. Lisa -- I was going to pass the comments along to the organizers. Just haven't collected my thoughts yet and the more I chat to people and realize my comments are not isolated - well all the more reason to do it. It's a huge job to put on that show so the feedback has to be worded in the right way - it's just that feedback.

      Thanks for the tip about Curated Quilts - I'll check out Mad about Patchwork. Perhaps they can send it to me. Elaine