Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Perfect Quilty Road Trip...

Wanting to make rapid progress on this redwork quilt after spending what seemed a lifetime completing the embroidery, I needed a red print for a narrow inner border. That mission coincided with an invitation from The Old Sewing Machine Man to join them on a visit to Cinnamon's Quilt Shoppe in Jacksonville, FL. Johnny Johnston will be teaching his class on the Featherweight machine at the shop, and he and wife Debra wanted to time the drive. Naturally there were quilters who were willing to "help" by riding along. So 6 of us spent a fun day, and I found the fabric I needed. This quilt WILL get done. Inner and outer borders to go, and then quilting.

The shop is delightful. It's been established for about two years, and in that time has developed into a large, well-stocked resource for quilters. There are rooms off of rooms, and each one is filled, like this one, with bolts of fabrics in a variety of styles and colors, patterns, and notions. Lots of samples help inspire shoppers, and the classroom is large and well-lit.

Shop worker Janice was busy and happy cutting fabric, and I had to take photo of these lively new arrivals. I found the Christmas print shown below to use in  Missouri Star- a block I'll make for our guild's opportunity quilt. It has just a bit of gold sparkle in it. The pattern is Prairie Moon's tutorial from My Favorite Block Quilt-Along. Of course I bought several more fabrics, and a handy needle threader. Fabrics and quilting gadgets are just too hard to resist! We followed up the shop stop with lunch at The Metro, which we all wanted to visit having seen it on "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives". I always say I'd have loved having Guy Fieri in my class when I taught 7th grade. He's such a live-wire now I can only imagine him in Middle School. We enjoyed the food, and the entire day! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Little Mindless Creating...

It's not as though I didn't have enough projects underway. And it's not as if I don't have enough quilt books already. But after paging through, and then giving Bethan Ash's "Vibrant Quilt Collage" as a Christmas gift, I knew I needed to order a copy as a gift for myself! What I like about the book is that it's loaded with page after page of inspiring and innovative collage quilts. Plus it has instructions for fusing, free-cutting, and layering fabric shapes to create spontaneous quilt compositions. And lastly, directions to add stitching for a final layer of texture and embellishment. This piece resulted from "Exercise 1: Using Simple Shapes." Yup- they're simple all right. And they made for a fun afternoon of flexing the creative muscles. Rummaging through my thread collection to see what I might like to use was enjoyable.  The stitching is just soothing. There's just something about the hum of a sewing machine that puts me in "the zone." So I look forward to trying more of the exercises in this book. What to do with the small pieces I finish? I think they'll make useful small bags like the Snap Bags quilting friend Robbie makes. She even sent a link for an instructional video, so when I'm ready to use them, they'll have a home.