The Business End of Quilt Market

The rest of Quilt Market and Festival was about the same as the first parts: crazy busy! A few of the goings on:

More book signings and demos at the AQS booth and also at Petersen-Arne (a large quilting supplies distributor). Again, lots of excited quilt shop owners and managers took home free copies of Inchie Quilts, and placed orders for the book and the InchieSee & InchieDo Viewer Tool & Ruler Set, so don’t be surprised if you see Inchie Quilts at a local quilt shop near you very soon!

I chatted with Doug Kreinik of Kreinik Manufacturing Co. about creating some custom sampler packages of beautiful metallic textured threads for embellishment purposes. I use Kreinik threads and cords when I embellish Inchies (search for Kreinik at InchieQuilts.com to see Inchies embellished with Kreinik threads). It would be great to have some packages with a variety of different weights or textures in coordinating colors on hand for Inchies. I’ll be working with Kreinik on these sampler packages this winter, so watch for these coming soon to the DWQ Studio. Read More

Quilt Market Report: Book Signings and Dinner with Moda

After I managed to get through the Schoolhouse presentation and the vidcasting on Friday, Saturday was a bit easier. 🙂 On Saturday morning, I was scheduled for a demo and book signing at the AQS booth, and AQS very generously provided many copies of Inchie Quilts for me to sign and give away to shop owners attending Quilt Market. I visited with a number of excited shop owners and managers and introduced them to Inchie Quilts, so you can look forward to seeing Inchie Quilts and the InchieSee & InchieDo Viewer Tool & Ruler Set at a shop near you!

Book signings Quilt Market 2009

E.E. Schenck Company ticket Quilt MarketAQS had scheduled me for another lovely book signing and demo at the E.E. Schenck booth (E.E. Schenck is a large quilting supplies distributor) later in the day on Saturday, where I met another whole group of nice quilt shop owners and managers. The E.E. Schenck Company was a wonderful host, and even made these cool “tickets” for my presentation (photo at right)! What fun! Again, AQS generously provided numerous copies of Inchie Quilts to be signed and given away to Quilt Market attendees. Read More

Vidcasting with Bonnie McCaffery

Picking up where I left off in the last post, remember that on Friday morning, the first day of Quilt Market, I was feeling tired, jet lagged and nervous heading into the Inchie Quilts Schoolhouse presentation. On the way over to the convention center before my presentation, I ran into Bonnie McCaffery. I met Bonnie in 1998 in Innsbruck, Austria at the Quilt Expo. Bonnie was the Jewel Pearce Patterson Scholarship winner that year, and I was a volunteer with the Education Department at the Expo.

I wouldn’t say we’ve kept in touch over the years, but we’ve had some contact now and then. Bonnie prepared a presentation about quilting podcasts for Quilt Festival a few years ago and wrote me to ask about my Driven To Quilt podcast. We met again last year on the show floor here at Quilt Market and chatted a bit and she gave me a few tips about A/V equipment I might like to use for my classes. On Friday, she was kind enough to give me some last minute encouragement about my Schoolhouse presentation, and said she had planned to be there since she was curious about Inchie Quilts. We agreed to meet for lunch later in the day after my presentation.

Setting up for Schoolhouse was crazy as the presenters before me were running late, so I was rushed and pretty nervous about the whole thing. The presentation went well enough I suppose, but was a bit shorter than it was supposed to be. 😦 I do talk fast when I get nervous, and I thought we’d be short on time since the other folks were running late, so I didn’t show every single quilt from the book. A number of the attendees came up to visit after the drawing (AQS gave away two of my books at the end!), and enthused about the book and the quilts, and were very excited about the ideas and techniques. Even though the response seemed good, I still left feeling a bit down about it all, so I headed back to the room to rest a bit before lunch.

When I met Bonnie for lunch though, she told me that she thought the presentation was great, and not to worry about it being short. She was also very excited about Inchie Quilts, and asked if I wanted to do a vidcast with her! Bonnie films and produces free vidcasts for her website featuring art and techniques from such quilting luminaries as Paula Nadelstern, Sue Nickels, Ricky Tims, Caryl Bryer Fallert and Alex Anderson, among others.

I’m sure I had that “deer in the headlights” look about me at that moment, since I don’t like cameras much (especially video cameras!) and the last time I tried to do anything on video wasn’t easy and might even be termed a total disaster. And wow, just to be asked to do it was such an honor that it made me nervous right there! Bonnie convinced me that it would all turn out okay, that we’d just chat about Inchie Quilts casually, and her “magic editors” would make it all work! After lunch, we found a quiet sitting area between the rooms in the Hotel, and went to work.

Now how cool is it that Bonnie and I spent an hour and a half filming a vidcast about Inchie Quilts? The filming went really well. It really was just casual conversation and she made it totally easy, just like she promised. I’ve no idea when it will be shown on her website, but you can be sure that as soon as I know, you’ll know. I can’t thank Bonnie enough for the boost she gave me during lunch on Friday, and while we filmed the vidcast. I felt so much better and more confident, and able to face the coming Quilt Market weekend. So despite the jet lag, Quilt Market started out great after all, and more exciting things were yet to come!

Patches in possession of the suitcase

Patchwork Times: Suitcases, stress and sleeping

I’m a bad, bad blogger. I’d hoped to be a better communicator during my time in Houston, but so far I’ve been so busy (and thus so tired!) that despite the fact that there is much news to report and all of it pretty awesome, I can’t seem to find the time or energy to post about it! I’m sorry…and I promise you the whole story, but it’s only going to come in bits, and without as many pictures as I would like since not only am I a bad blogger, I’m a slacker with the camera as well!

So let’s go backward in time just a bit, and I’ll tell you a bit about how the Journey to Fall Quilt Market 2009 began. I started packing pretty early in hopes to be all organized and not running around like a crazy woman on Wednesday night before my travel day on Thursday, which meant that the suitcases were out on Monday. You can see what Patches thought of that! Read More

Inchie Quilts at Houston Quilt Market and Festival!

InchieSee & InchieDo Viewer Tool & Ruler Set

Will you be at Quilt Market or Festival in Houston? I’d love to meet you! I’ll be signing books, doing some Inchie demos, showing Inchie Quilts and just having FUN! And I just might have some yummy German chocolate stashed in my suitcase too! I’m just sayin’! Read More

Keep It or Bin It: Lickety Grip, WonderFil Rayon, and the Clover Embroidery Threader

I’m finally getting around to sharing some of my experiences with some new products I picked up at the quilt shows last October. Up on the Keep It or Bin It review block today are a few products that I’ve been using and testing since then. Did they make the grade? Let’s see:

Lickety GRIP

Lickety Grip: One of the challenges when free motion machine quilting is getting (and keeping) a firm grip on the quilt. I used to use gloves with gripper dots on them, but had to take them off every time I needed to start or end a line of quilting, because I couldn’t manipulate the thread and everything else with the bulky gloves on. Then I started using a very tacky (not tacky, as in “without good taste”, but tacky as in sticky-ish) lotion, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, a tip I picked up from Diane Gaudynski.

We all like to try new things once in a while though, and I thought maybe this Lickety Grip stuff might turn out to be even better than the lotion trick. Lickety Grip says it provides “Better Grip For Better Control,” and maybe it does, but the first problem is that it comes in a little box and you rub your fingertips across the top of it, instead of squeezing it out into your hand. I can see that after using it for a while, it will be hard for me to get the remaining product out of the box because of my nails (yes, I realize that this is a personal problem, but I’m probably not the only person to have it). The other problem: it claims to have no perfumes, but the stuff smells like exceedingly strong soap (and not in a good way, really) when it’s on your hands, despite being virtually odorless in the box. Eeeewww. In actual usage tests, I found it to be a poor replacement for the Neutrogena lotion. Verdict: Bin It.

WonderFil Rayon Thread

WonderFil Rayon thread: I use rayon thread an awful lot these days, so I thought I’d see if there was something better out there than Sulky (that comes on spools that are not ginormous). Not that Sulky is bad, not at all, but you never know when you might run across something better. I bought two assortments of ten colors each of this WonderFil thread at the Quilt Market Sample Stampede. I think I’m sorry I’m stuck with this much of it now.

From beginning to end, it’s totally frustrating. I couldn’t easily remove the plastic wrappers without sticking very sharp embroidery scissors under the wrapper to cut it, and catching the thread on the spool in the process. When I did finally get the wrapper snipped and started to peel it off, it only partly came off, and then I had to repeat the process with the embroidery scissors to remove the rest. When I put the spool on the machine to use it, instead of a hole getting poked in the paper label on the end of the spool, the entire end of the spool fell off in my hand. After using the thread, I tried to anchor the thread at the end of the spool, but the thread anchoring system on these spools is completely worthless. The thread broke more often than not while I was trying to get it to go under the little knobs, and when I could get it to go under the knobs at all without breaking, it wouldn’t stay.

Rayon thread being the slippery stuff that it is, what I’ll shortly have is a giant mess because none of the thread ends are anchored on the spools when not in use. Qualilty-wise, the thread itself is fine and comparable to Sulky so that’s not an issue, but it’s just such a pain to use because of the way it’s packaged that I know I’ll have to be desperate for a color match that I can’t get with 300 spools of Sulky to bother even looking toward the WonderFil. The WonderFil spools are just total junk IMO. Verdict: Bin It. Not worth the trouble.

Clover Embroidery Threader

Clover Embroidery Threader: I knew I would love this threader, and I hunted high and low through two quilt shows to get it. I was right, and it is a gem. The packaging says it all and doesn’t lie: “Unique design”, “Flat tip for easy threading”, and “Smooth threading even with thick threads”. I’ve been using quite a bit of embroidery floss and thicker specialty fibers lately for embellishments, and a regular needle threader just doesn’t cut it. Rather than just a slender (and easily breakable) wire threader, this threader is a folded piece of thin metal which slides through the needle eye vertically.

The instructions in the package are well written and worth saving as there is a needle chart showing different types and sizes of recommended needles as well as tips and tricks in case of difficulties with certain needles or threads. The threader itself is well made and the cover attaches firmly. It’s cool to look at with it’s elegant design in limey green, and even has a hole on the end to attach it to a cord or chatelaine to keep it handy. Verdict: Keep It. Definitely.

Note: In all honesty, “Bin It” is probably not an entirely accurate representation of what will happen to these failure products. I generally don’t throw anything away, and you never know when you might need some sticky stuff in a box for some odd job or other (though it’s too light to be a paper weight), and maybe I can think of something creative to do with the tangled mess of rayon thread that won’t stay on the spools. They probably should go in the bin, but I’m way too much of a pack rat for that!

Have you tried any of these products? Have a different view or experience? Share it!