Houston Quilt Market Report

I’m back from Quilt Market in Houston, and what a wild ride it was! Kimberly and I had a great time traveling and rooming together, with much laughter and fun, even during the rotten flight over. The flight on Lufthansa was just plain painful, and not nearly as nice or comfortable as the one to Des Moines on Northwest. The only thing that made the flight to Houston even sort of okay was this:

Lufthansa freebies

Lufthansa serves either Cognac or Bailey’s Irish Cream after the main meal during the flight, and it truly was the only good part aside from good company!

meerkatThe best part: watching Kimberly perk up like a curious meerkat when the cart with the Bailey’s came into view! 😉 She’s just so funny! The main meal on the flight was some weird pasta thing that was barely even passable as “food” in my book, and my thought was “This is really not very good, is it?”, but Kimberly, being the “glass is half full” person that she is, says “Boy, we’re really going to enjoy dinner tonight!” 😀 We kept each other laughing.

I can’t begin to tell you about all of the new things I saw (and in some cases, bought!), but I’ll try to touch on some of the “new and notable” highlights, things I thought were just plain cool and other fun happenings.

Everything in the quilting world is “foody” right now. Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, and new Sweet Rolls (like Jelly Rolls but with 1 1/2″ strips) and Turnovers (5″ x 5″ stacks of fabric like charm packs, cut diagonally into a turnover shape) from Moda. It’s not just Moda with the food thing either; the other manufacturers are on that bandwagon too, I just can’t remember the names of all the other foody things I saw. I visited the Moda Bake Shop, and ordered charm packs for the DreamWeaver’s Quilts Studio (eeek! I actually ordered stuff for my online shop, which was a little scary!). The Moda rep gave me the most adorable little box with two teeny tiny “Sweet Roll” fabric rolls, each about 2″ across. I think they’re just too cute to use!

Mini Sweet Rolls from Moda

I played cards with Ricky Tims and won the deck, including his autograph:

Ricky Tims Playing Cards

Hmmm. Maybe pictures of my quilts will be on a pack of playing cards one day, but I’m not sure I want my face on the Joker cards. As for other celebs, I did see the winner of Season One of Project Runway, Jay McCarroll (though because I don’t watch TV at all, I’m clueless and I didn’t even know who he was until I read Kimberly’s blog just now. I do remember seeing his hair at the show though! ;)), but I missed seeing Marie Osmond at the show by two minutes. C’est la Vie!

And one other notable celeb sighting: Kimberly invited me to accompany her to the Robert Kaufman reception on Saturday evening (which was very nice) where I met Mark Lipinski, who is just as real in person as he is in the pages of Quilter’s Home magazine. Of course I couldn’t come up with a witty response (or any response at all for that matter) when he said “I know your name! Why do I know your name??” I can’t imagine why Mark Lipinski thinks he knows who I am. Not a clue. Who knows? Maybe I’m an “It Girl” and I don’t even know it.

I bought lots of embellishments; beads, fibers, hand dyed floss, threads, micro beads. You name it, it was there at Quilt Market, and I sampled heavily for both the book and the DWQ Studio. I viewed new fabrics from Hoffman, RJR and Robert Kaufman Fabrics, with an eye toward including some of the newest fabrics in my book, and let me tell you, the newest fabric lines are awesome! The batiks in particular from Hoffman and Robert Kaufman are really wonderful! I also met the folks who should probably be held responsible for my bead addiction, Edward and Ruthmarie Hofmann, creators of Hofmann Originals Bead Mixes. I brought home some of the newest additions to their Bead Soup Starter lineup, and a few totally new, limited edition mixes called Soup du Jour. See, more of that foody stuff, yummy!

Here are some of the other goodies I brought back with me:

Houston goodies

Notable faves: Hot Ribbon Art fusible ribbon (bottom center), Valdani 3-strand hand-dyed floss (top left), Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0 software (bottom left), Diva Cord Maker (top center), Yazzi organizer tote (top right).

I picked up so much stuff, including a small mountain of literature from many different companies, that it almost didn’t all fit in the suitcases to get it home. I’ll get to play with some of it while I work on my book, but a lot of what I was after at Quilt Market was for the DWQ Studio, and I have to put that on the back burner for a month or two. In fact, I have to put everything on the back burner for a month or two, and work on nothing but the book, so I can get the manuscript done asap. I hope to have it done and to the publisher by mid-January at the latest, so if things are a bit quiet here until then, that’s why. I’m just going to have to ask forgiveness ahead of time for being too busy to write much here! Exciting times ahead!

New! Gallery of Inchies

I’ve made a gallery to feature all the Inchies made for Elemental Changes. I’ll be adding photos to the Gallery as I finish the Inchies; I have 144 Inchies done of the 510 needed for Elemental Changes.

The Gallery is powered by a lovely piece of open source software called Highslide, made even easier to use by the Highslide JS Plugin for WordPress. I discovered Highslide through Kristin’s blog.

Enjoy the Inchie Gallery! More to follow…

Monday’s Melange #2

Monday's Melange

I’m back in my Bookmarks folder today to bring you another Melange on this happy Monday. I think I’ll spend some more time in the quilting section:

Embroidery Font Shop—This is a great source for pre-digitized fonts for all your embroidery projects. I have a few fonts available in my Bernina software, but when I need more, I know where to go. Great pictures, a fast loading site and delivery by download makes purchasing easy!

Electric Quilt Software–I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating (especially since I keep forgetting about it myself!). If you have Electric Quilt Software already, it’s worth a monthly trip back to the site to grab the free fabrics of the month. These are palettes of fabrics that you can import into Electric Quilt to use on your quilts when you’re designing. And something new I just found: EQ6 Show, an add-on slideshow viewer for your projects! There’s also an EQ5 version of the viewer. Much more awaits at the site, including free Block of the Month Clubs, and it doesn’t seem like you even need EQ for those! Read More

Monday’s Melange

I was digging around in my browser bookmarks the other day, and thinking how badly they need to be organized. I have hundreds (maybe thousands??) of bookmarks, some of which probably date back to the beginning of my serious Internet usage more than 10 years ago. I’ve been carting these bookmarks around from computer to computer, and from browser to browser for all these years. After all, if whatever it is was important enough to bookmark once, it must be important to save it, right? Well, maybe. Yes, I’m just as much of a packrat on the computer as I am in the rest of my cluttered life. Inside my Firefox Bookmarks folder, I even have folder of Internet Explorer Bookmarks from the time of my great sickness back when I thought IE was the only browser in existence. (Psst! Get Firefox!)

I’ve decided to plow through a few of these sites weekly with the intent to cull and organize, so that hopefully when I open my bookmarks folder, it doesn’t look like this—Eeeewww:

The evil bookmarks folder, before

And guess what? I’m going to share a few with you every week as Monday’s Melange! This week, I’ll start with some (related to) quilting links, since that is my “thing,” but obviously not all of my bookmarks pertain to quilting, since I do have a life outside my studio (an unfortunate fact, sometimes!). As I’m sure that my readers have that kind of “life outside the quilting” thing going on too, I figure that there might be something of interest in the “non-quilting” bookmarks, even for quilters.

Without further ado, here is the Melange on this happy Monday:

Monday's Melange

San Francisco Stitch Company—Okay, this is not a bookmark from years ago, this is a very recent addition, like from just yesterday. Their machine embroidery designs are really beautiful and got my creativity totally spinning off the map, and the design packs are downloadable and reasonably priced, too. I found this machine embroidery design company via Irene at Sunimp. She’s made a beautiful quilt (top?) with some embroidered medallions from San Francisco Stitch Company. Love her blog, too!

Treadleart—Heh, I’m already seeing that this bookmark exercise will probably cost some $$ as I rediscover things I’d forgotten about! Treadleart is a fine example. They carry Shisha mirrors (the page includes a great explanation of the different types of mirrors), made popular in the quilting world by Ted Storm, as far as I know. Treadleart also has Tidy Totes which you can buy already made up in various fabrics, or they have the kits including the pattern and kit refills to make your own. I’ve always wanted one of these, but I’ve never run across the pattern anywhere, and maybe now I’ll just buy one ready-made. Lots of other cool stuff awaits at Treadleart, but my only complaint would be a lack of a shopping cart system for online shopping. I could put on my Web developer hat and fix that for them… Read More

Bernina 440 LOVE!

Okay, I’m officially in LOVE with this machine, from top to bottom and side to side. Oh, BTW, I just want to point out that I did NOT buy a sewing machine, no. This is a “sewing computer!” Really, it says so in the manual. Nowhere does is say “sewing machine” when referring to this “thing,” and since it has a USB port and something that looks suspiciously like a PS2 port, it’s obviously not just stuck on itself or being snobby. Maybe that’s why we already get along so well, since I’m admittedly somewhat of a confirmed techie girl. Anyway, to continue…

Bird designI’m officially in LOVE with this sewing computer. Right now, as I type this on my laptop computer, the machine sits here stitching away on a nice little bird embroidery design, and it’s the laptop computer that’s controlling the stitching. This embroidery unit that goes with the Bernina 440 works hand in hand with the Bernina Embroidery Software EditorLite on the laptop. I opened the embroidery file (which I just purchased online this morning!), changed the thread colors in the design to match what I had on hand here and wanted to use, and told the software to write to the sewing computer. Another program called the PC to EC (Personal Computer to Embroidery Computer) opens up automatically, and makes the link to the embroidery unit which is hooked to the Bernina 440.

At this point, you can move the design in the hoop, zoom in or out, Read More

Getting ready for Diane Gaudynski!

I’ve made my plans and reservations to go to A New Tradition in Quilting workshop with Diane Gaudynski at the Museum in Paducah in the beginning of March. Three whole days of quilting with my quilting idol! Woohoo! Not to mention a whole week in the States with my buddy Dawn since she’s taking the class as well! I decided yesterday that it was probably time to really start looking at the supply list and order some things, as well as piece the sample quilt that we’ll be using in class.

EQ6 shot of small quiltI did finally load EQ6 after the holidays, and I used it to redraft a pattern that I found in a quilt calendar. Diane said this pieced wall quilt needed to have a 12″ light colored square in the middle, so I made this block 24″ total, then added 3″ borders. The pic you see here is an exported .jpg file from EQ6, and the export feature is much improved in this version. I used to have to take a snapshot of the quilt, paste it into a graphics editor and save it in the size I wanted. With EQ6, I can just do an export, and the program will ask what format to export to (.bmp, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png are the choices) and then I can tell it how big I want the picture, and what resolution. Sooo much better!

The pic of the quilt was easy, the piecing was painful. My own fault, obviously, since the thing has these diagonal seams that have to match up. It’s done though, Read More