Friday, 5 June 2015

Quilt Market

Well . . . I'll try this again!

I had a wonderful post all typed out and hit the "publish" button and nothing happened.  I hit the "save" button and the "publish" button a few more times and still nothing.  I then hit refresh and **POOF** the entire post was gone.  So I'll try and remember all the wonderful words that I had in the first post . . .

Downtown Minneapolis was completely overtaken by wonderful quilt shop owners, designers, wholesalers and the like on May 14th to 17th.  The shuttle from my hotel was literally back and forth a million times during the day - bringing people to and from the Convention Centre.

These are the doors that you need to go through to get to the trade show floor.  They are guarded.  At exactly 9:30 a.m. each morning the line-up of people were allowed to enter . . . after it was ensured that you had your name tag on though!

Every morning at 8:00 a.m. and every evening at 6:00 p.m., I arrived at the Convention Centre to take a class . . . I love taking classes and workshops on quilting related content!  One class was a cute little snowman and bird picture made out of wool; another class was from the owner of Stitchin' Heaven (what a show she was!) who also shared a ton of information; Jodi Barrows from Square-in-a-Square fame demonstrated her wonderful methods; another workshop on writing books and patterns and on and on.  I was in Heaven!

Every year at Quilt Market, just as you enter the trade show area, there is a collection of award winning quilts on display.  LOOK AT THIS QUILT!!!  It was absolutely amazing!

The detail, the coloring, the stitching, the composition . . . everything was perfect.  I would have liked to know how long this took Laurie to make . . . it was worth every second!

This happy quilt makes me smile - wouldn't it be fun to live in a city like this?  Immediately after I snapped this photo, my camera died.  So I did not get the information on the maker or the inspiration behind the happiness of this piece.  To whomever made this quilt - GREAT JOB!!!

This brings me now to Sample Spree . . . I know some of you have heard of it before, but this was my first.  The last two times I was at Quilt Market I had a booth and was so tired from setting up the booth that I just could not drag myself to Sample Spree.  This year I went as an observer and I made sure that I saved my energy to attend this much discussed event.  The line ups started before 6:30 p.m. - the doors opened at 8:00 p.m.  You see that sign above the door that says Ballroom A?  That is where hundreds of men and women have to funnel through to get to the designers, fabric companies and other industry trade company tables/booths.  The whisper in the crowd was that you go through the doors, veer right and head for the back wall . . . that was where the Moda tables were set up.  So that is what I did!!!  I got a lovely fat quarter stack of Primitive Gatherings and Laundry Basket fabrics from the Moda booth and then some lovelies from Henry Glass, some wonderful little patterns from another booth, a batik layer cake and dessert roll from another booth and on and on.  Oh, yes, my VISA is very happy!!!

Here is the Moda booth on the Trade Show floor (not Sample Spree).  If you were a shop owner you would pull up one of those chairs there and have a Moda rep go through the upcoming offerings from their designers . . . orders could be placed and plans for the new season are made.

If you look into the distance on the left side you can see the smaller booths of some of the Moda designers.  Everyone at Market, not just the Moda crew, were giving out those wonderful buttons/pins - you know, the kind with the pin on the back and metal fronts - too cute!!  The Bunny Hill one is adorable!!

Here is another shot of the Moda tables and the designer booths in the background.  What I love about this is the quilt that is pretty much dead centre in the photo - isn't that wonderful?!?!  I love those colors and how it all links together to make an awesome quilt.  I'm not a modern quilter, but I do love some of the bright colors that exist these days.  BUT, I was mostly drawn to the booths with the more traditional, primitive colors . . . the browns, tans, reds, golds, creams . . . that's just me.

So, having said that . . . I hung out at the Primitive Gatherings booth for a bit.  Miniatures are certainly in vogue this year and the wool and smaller kits are also.  That is a good thing because I love them all!!

I hope to get another post out about some more of Market - even though it is a bit late!  I also have a post started to highlight Ricky Tims Super Seminar that was held recently.  I better get busy!!!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Exciting Month!!

I'm xxxxing off the days until I leave for Quilt Market!

There are so many classes that I've signed up for that sound fantastic and I'm so looking forward to getting rejuvenated after this long, dreary winter and all consuming "work-life".

All the new items, new classes, new designers, new, new, new . . . how could I not get motivated to get quilting again?

If you have ever been curious about Market, here is this year's pamphlet from the Quilts, Inc. website.  Plus if you follow along with some of the quilting celeb's blogs you will get all the low-down information leading up to Quilt Market and then all the reports after Market.


My daughter and her boyfriend are meeting us down in Minneapolis, so I'm really looking forward to relaxing with them and hubby AFTER all my Quilt Market gallivanting each day :0))

I go back to work for one day when I get back from Minneapolis and then head off to the Peace Gardens for the Ricky Tims Super Seminar.  I've signed up to work with Alex Anderson's husband in between presentations and it sounds like he is an awesome guy to work with - so exciting meeting all these new people.

There is still time to register - just visit the link above.

May, 2015 is shaping up to be absolutely awesome - I'm so looking forward to this!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Ricky Tims

Some of you will remember that I posted about this event last year and it is getting closer and closer . . .

 . . . and the deadline is fast approaching.  March 28th is the end of early bird registration - after that the registration fee is $224.00.

The Ricky Tims organization has got this all planned out and it will be an amazing opportunity for both Canadian and U.S. residents in this corner of the world to participate in this world class event.  Everything from dorm rooms, the meal menu and hotel listing in the area, can be found on the Ricky Tims website.  Well, I guess maybe some of it you find out after you register, but let's just say that everything is in a really nice neat package for registrants.

AND, if you have never been to the International Peace Gardens before - you are in for a treat!!!  This location is AMAZING!!!  The gardens, the buildings, the views, the conservatory - it is worth a trip all by itself, but then add in Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson - it's just going to be a wonderful experience - I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

If anyone has any questions about attending please let me know and I will try and find the answers for you.

So in honour of having Ricky coming to see me (I know - just a little selfish on my part!), I ordered up the Lady of Shalott kit a few months ago and I have been working diligently (off and on) to get this project put together.

Let me just say that the video tutorials and the pattern instructions were wonderful.  What was lacking was my time . . . this seemed to take me FOREVER to get put together to the point of having all of the pieces ready.


The other morning, before work, I got everything all laid out on the floor to see how it looked now that the appliqué was done.  Looked pretty good I thought, and Tia even showed up to inspect each element of the design to make sure that everything was where it should be.

Unfortunately, so it turns out, I must have had something amiss somewhere . . . some of the pieces were not quite to her liking and some rearranging needed to be done . . .

. . .  actually, quite a bit of rearranging.

This is a Tia Maria Biles original.

Whiskey also showed up for a quick review of Tia's work and then they started chasing each other up and down the hallway.  Nothing like messing with a quilt first thing in the morning to get the humour going.

I don't think Ricky Tims would be too impressed with the new layout . . .

Quilt Studio

Yes . . . I am still working on my studio . . .

This is what it looked like from the outside last Fall and it still looks pretty much the same except that Hydro service has now been brought in and the grass isn't green just yet.  The porch interior wall will have painted vertical pine boards, the screens will eventually be installed, the posts will be built out and we are still researching what type of brick/stone type of application to use for the exterior.  And then some landscaping . . . rocks, flowers, shrubs . . . who knows!

This was the view out of one of the windows a few weeks ago - the snow is now gone and the window trim has been installed.  Hubby even got the window treatments installed on Friday!

I have always loved yellow, so that is the color that I went with to brighten my space.  White would have been too stark; cream sometimes just looks like dirty white and if you get any shadows it just doesn't look that great; and I was scared that any other color might make the space look smaller than it is.  I love my yellow walls . . . it is going to be such a happy place to create in!

There is still the one baseboard that needs to be put on once the door frame is all built out and trimmed.  There are tons of plug ins and the lighting is fantastic - I should never be lacking in either of these two departments.

The flooring is amazing - I love the tone and the feel of it, and with the in-floor heating it is especially wonderful.  I will really appreciate that come next winter - it is so cozy!

Hubby is going to make custom cabinets for the space once he retires but that will not be for a couple of years yet, so I will be bringing bits and pieces of furniture from my current space to use.  I have only brought out a small table, a clock and a few wrought iron decorative pieces so far - just to make it "look" like I'm moving in.

With work issues right now and Quilt Market and Ricky Tims in May, I don't think that I will get organized any time soon.  Maybe I can take some time off in June to get things rolling . . . so very sad . . . after waiting so long, I have to put things off, and off, and off . . .

I am really looking forward to Quilt Market and Ricky - so May cannot come soon enough!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Upcoming Events . . .

Well once again it has been quite some time since I have updated my blog.  Oh my . . . how busy can one’s life get!!  Between some other commitments and that wonderful “career” that I have – things just kept piling up and the poor blog was one of many things that have had to suffer.

Then when I did get around to posting, my Windows Live Writer decided that it didn't like my password any more so I spent two weeks trying to figure that out - it's still not resolved!  So I copied everything I typed over there into the blogger posting . . . sure hope this proves more friendly than it used to be.  Although it couldn't be any worse than the Live Writer right about now!

Here are a few events that have either just recently passed (thanks to Live Writer!), or are still up and coming in the next month or two.

Even though this event wasn't in Manitoba, but in neighboring Saskatchewan, I just wanted to mention that these gatherings of artistic minds are wonderful to see.  This particular show ended last weekend and I know by all the reports that it was certainly something to see.

I was contacted many, many months ago about submitting some of my quilt designs so that they could be considered in this event and I was tickled pink to send all kinds of design files for consideration.

My “Down on the Farm” quilt was chosen as part of the exhibit in Saskatoon and it is joined by many other awesome pieces of quilted, embroidered, rug hooking and other fiber art pieces.  What a thrilling opportunity this was and what an undertaking for everyone involved.  Great job!

And then in April is the Crocus Conference in Winnipeg – this is  the second one that myself and Sheila will attend and teach at under our As The Crow Flies Quilting Workshops umbrella.

No. 5 above shows a snippet of our little project – it’s a mystery, so that is all you get to see!  So I’ll be off to Winnipeg in April for this one day workshop . . . it was super fun two years ago (they only do this every second year), and I know we won’t be disappoint this year either.  It is wonderful to meet all the ladies in the Winnipeg area and all of the Manitoba artists and teachers as well.

And then even more exciting (for me at least!), is that I have my registration in and my hotel booked for . . .

It's been a long nine(?) years since I've been able to get to Market and it only rolls around to Minneapolis about every four years.  So I am making the commitment to get there this year and learn a few things in preparation for retirement - in 3-4 years (so hubby says!).  I'd like it to be much, much, much sooner and the inspiration and creativity of quilt market may just throw me over the edge sooner than later.

This show is in mid-May . . . actual days before Ricky Tims comes to the International Peace Garden.  I'll have more about Ricky in the next post - I promise!

Thank you for visiting my unattended blog while I was away and it is certainly my plan to not be gone for as long this time.  I do have a couple more events that are coming up and I’ll be back to update you soon.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Little Quilt and Studio Progress

I’ve been busy stitching away here in my little basement . . . it’s hot outside and it’s nice and cool down here – wonderful little spot to create . . . for now.

I still need to do some embroidery on this little piece – up in the upper left corner it’s going to say “Memories are stitched with . . .” and then of course the “love” still needs to be appliquéd down.  Binding is a nice striped blue and I think will really finish the piece.  This was all made with scraps from a Drunkard’s path quilt I made a few years ago – very vintage and old-fashioned prints, but so cheerful :0))


Progress is being made on our little building project -


the roof and shingles are all on now and we’re expecting another load of building supplies tomorrow.


I am so excited about the screened in porch area – the mosquitoes have been exceptionally bad in all areas of Manitoba this year, and, in my opinion, have been increasing in numbers over the past ten years.


We’re still ironing out exactly how the porch is going to look – skinny posts, wider posts, etc., etc.  I’m sure I’ll be happy as long as it has screens in it!!!  The porch will be facing West (towards my garden) and even in the late afternoon there is only dappled sunlight that is hitting on it – the trees create a canopy of sorts and make this a wonderful cool spot to sit and relax.


This is the view towards the back of the house from the porch – I’ll still be able to see anyone coming towards the studio and know if there are any problems at the house.  We will have to find some stepping stones or something to create a walkway between the two buildings – the grass isn’t going to stand up too much longer!


I’ve already told my husband that my space isn’t big enough and that I need to confiscate his workshop . . . doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon from the response I got.

Once that interior wall goes up (where the eight foot rafters are), my new space will be about 16’x18’ – double what I currently have, but . . . more space is always good!

I’m busy pouring over cabinet designs trying to create storage that will make the best use of the space without overwhelming it – cutting table with extensions and mounted on wheels so that it can be moved around plus storage underneath; lots of bookcases and storage along that back wall where the ladder is; large ironing surface with a flip-up extension and drawers; and the list goes on.  All of these will be custom built by my husband eventually – may be a couple of years before that happens so I will be making do with my mish-mash of what I currently use for a while.

I did opt to give up the six feet for the front porch so that I could spread out into that space  in the summer months and enjoy good weather.  I mulled over that decision for months, but eventually decided that a screened in space would be worth giving up studio space for.  Sure hope that was the right decision!!

I will still have my little space in the basement of the house to store some of the larger quilting items that I don’t use all of the time.  Who knows, maybe I’ll win the lottery some year and my Gammill long-arm can go down there :0))

Ricky Tims’ Super Quilting Seminar update:  Things are moving forward – his administration has made contact with the various quilt shops/guilds/groups in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota.  They will be receiving information on the seminar so that they can pass on the information to all of their customers and members, so that no one will be left out.  Registration will likely open up sometime around the first part of September – it’s so hard to wait when all we want to do is get our name registered and on the list!!!

May, 2015 seems like such a long wait . . .

Patience is a virtue I’ve been told!