Friday, May 20, 2011

The real MQS post!

Pin It I have to apologize to all of you for only just recently replying to all of your comments and emails from last week.  During my trip, I only opened the lid on my computer twice!  I know there are some of you I still haven't replied to.  If you don't get a reply, please know that your comments and feedback are immensely appreciated, regardless!

Now, I fully intended to blog about my trip, DURING my trip.  It just didn't end up that way.  I was constantly going here and there and everywhere, and it just didn't happen.  I also intended to take hundreds of pictures, as I usually do, but the truth is that I was barely even in the exhibit hall. 

This will be long, since I'm trying to squeeze everything into one post.  Hopefully it'll be worth the read for you?!

I got into KC around 9:30 (?) Saturday night and was immediately greeted in the driveway by my gracious host, Sheryl and her husband Clif.  What an awesome couple.  I just love them!  We shared some wine, chatted about quilty and non-quilty things, and then went to bed.

Sunday, Sheryl and I headed to Lawrence around noon so that I could see Sarah's Frabrics downtown.  I'd heard so much about this place, but had never been there.  Let me just tell you, everything I heard about it was spot on!  They have every type and brand of fabric under the sun, from every designer you could ever imagine.  Unfortunately, they did not have the one thing I was looking for!

This is just a small portion of their "Wall of Kaffe", which is the only part of the store that is completely organized!

After Sarah's we headed to another quilt shop, Stitch On, which is conveniently located right across the street.  I met and spoke with the owner and her daughter (family owned and operated, AWESOME!) and bought a panel for a baby quilt I plan to cut apart and sew back together for my Etsy shop.  Very nice people. 

We had lunch, walked around all of the different shops, and I was so excited when I saw this, that I had to take a picture:

If you don't know what that is, I cry for you!
On our way out of town, we drove through the KU campus, because I'd never been there.  It's a gorgeous campus, and I even saw the real Lilac Lane, which is how my friend, Melissa got her trademark name!  After getting back to Lenexa, we headed to Popeye's Chicken.  None of you will ever understand how cool Popeye's Chicken can be.  ;)

Monday was an early day, as I was volunteering as a Teacher's Angel for Sherry Rogers-Harrison's Intro to Ink-Lique class at 8am, which meant I had to be there by 7:30.  It was an EXCELLENT class and I even got to take part and paint my own sample.  Meeting Sherry was awesome, as she's a pretty awesome lady!

And I just have to tell you this part...  The first time I went to MQS, in 2009, I had only been quilting for a few months and had no idea what I was getting myself into.  At every show, they give a Viewer's Choice award, where everyone at the show gets to vote for their favorite quilt.  To this day, this is one of my favorite quilts I've ever seen, I voted for it, and in her class I got to touch it!! (That's me on the left)

After class I was supposed to volunteer to help with judging, but they said they didn't need me, so Sheryl and I had a yummy lunch at Dean and Deluca.  Then I was on my own as Sheryl was volunteering into the night.

Tuesday was another early morning.  We got up and drove to Nebraska to go to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln.  We stopped for something to drink at a Wendy's somewhere in BFE, Iowa.  You'd think they'd never seen a chick with pink hair and holes in her face the way people stared.  =\  When we got into Lincoln, we searched for a place to eat and holy cow, I saw an Amigo's!!!!  Keep in mind that I left Nebraska over ten years ago, and I rarely make it back.  I probably hadn't eaten at an Amigo's in twelve years or so.  I am in no way saying that it is good food.  But it brought back memories!  Then off the the museum we went!

I took 73 photos of the Whitework Corded Quilting exhibit.  I will only share a couple, of one of my favorite quilts.  The full view is a picture of the quilt against a light box so that you can really see the cording.  The close up is even better.  The white areas of the quilt are where the light is shining through the fabric.  The brownish spots are all the areas of the cord.  That's a LOT of cording, people!

Wednesday I had class, and then the exhibit hall opened where we got to see all of the quilts hanging.  I ran into Claudia Pfeil, an adorable lady from Germany that comes to the states every year for MQS.  I would too, if I won the awards that she does!  We took some pictures with her quilt (which won the Best of Show award, I might add)...

And some pictures with my quilt...

And then began the harassment.  I was told I needed to go to the awards ceremony because I was going to win something.  But Sheryl and I had been looking forward to going to Cirque du Soleil for months!  After two and a half hours of contemplating, and my friend and Gammill rep saying, "The ribbon will always be there, Cirque is only tonight", I decided to go with my gut and go to the show.

Karen McTavish was supposed to go with us, but she opted for the awards ceremony instead.  She missed an excellent show (no pictures allowed)!!!  But Sheryl was the lovely person that she always is, and gave the extra ticket to our server at dinner, at Gordon Biersch (excellent lobster mac n cheese, by the way). After the show, running through downtown KC in the rain, I found out that I had won a second place ribbon!

Here is the quilt that won first place:

And my friend, Karen Marchetti got a Judge's Award!!

Thursday I had class again.  A wholecloth design class with Karen McTavish.  I spent most of my time helping the other students, and only got the center medallion of my own quilt finished.  After class, I went to dinner at J Gilberts, which was also excellent!  The server even gave us a free dessert!  (She got a big tip!)

Friday, more class.  Saturday, our Flash Mob of Quilts (it was windy and cold!) and then back to the convention center to meet my friend, Barb.  Then I had to wait around to pick up my quilt, which they lost.  Yes.  They lost my quilt.  I was the first there to pick up and the last to leave, nearly in tears!  Back home Sunday, with several pit stops along the way to enjoy it a little more.

It was a stupendous and exhausting trip!
I have to thank Sheryl again, for letting me take over her guest room for a week, and for being my backbone through this entire process.  All of my other friends who offered encouragement and support, I thank you as well.  I never thought it would happen, people said it couldn't happen, and it totally did.  So there!  NEENER!!!  =] 

There's a lot more to be said, but I think I've said enough!  To anyone that made it to the show, I hope you thoroughly enjoyed yourself.  I know I did!

(I hope I didn't bore you all into a coma!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Just a Quick Update, because this totally happened.

Pin It


Friday, May 6, 2011

All kinds of exciting junk all over the place!

Pin It For anyone that doesn't know, I am attending Machine Quilters Showcase next week (leaving tomorrow!).  It is a yearly convention and quilt show put on by the International Machine Quilters Association.  THIS SHOW is why I've been so insane for the last few months.  I have never done a show quilt for competition before, and this is it.  This is my first competition that I'm in.

But I'll get to all of that later.  Right now, I have an announcement!  My friend Sheryl, in the KC area is going to be my gracious host for the week.  She's come up with all sorts of fun stuff for us to do (again, I'll get to that in a minute).  If you are local to the KC area, know people that will be in town for the show, etc. please pass this along!

Sheryl has planned a Flash Mob of Quilts for Saturday, May 14th.  What is a Flash Mob of Quilts?  Well, here.  Let me copy and paste her email for you!
Join us in creating the largest patchwork of quilts EVER!

Objective:  Cover the north lawn of the Cleveland Chiropractic College with quilts to celebrate the IMQA being in town. 

Saturday, May 14th, 9 a.m to 11 a.m. (weather permitting)

Show up at 10850 Lowell Avenue, Overland Park, KS beginning at 9 a.m.

Bring as many quilts as you can (and don't mind if they are on the grass)

Layout the quilts on the north hillside facing I-435 to make one hugh patchwork of quilts.

Photos taken at 10:45

Pick up your quilts and head to the IMQA Show

Questions?  Contact me at

Spread the word!  

Thank you to the college for allowing us this opportunity.

So there you have it!  I will be taking SEVERAL of my quilts with me for this event.  I'm also taking quilts for other people that want to be a part of it, but won't be there themselves.  If you can think of anyone that might want to take part, please pass this info along.  If you're local TO ME and would like to participate, just bring me your quilts and I'll load them up with mine.  It should be pretty cool!  I know the the KC area MQG members will be participating, let's see how far we can spread the word.

As far as the rest of the week, I have a pretty action-packed schedule during the show.  I turn 30 (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!) in two weeks, so the week of the show is what I'm calling my birthday week.  Just a little in advance!

We will be going to Sarah's of Lawrence, a quilt shop that I've been dying to go to but have never made it.  We will be going to the International Quilt Study and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska to see the French whitework exhibit (something else I've been dying to see).  We might make it to the Orchid Cave.  We purchased our tickets months ago for Cirque du Soleil!  And that's just all of the stuff outside of the show!

At the show I'll be taking classes, volunteering to help the judges judge the quilts, selling tickets for special events, and SHOPPING! 

Since the deadline has passed for shipment of the quilts that will be in the show, I have decided to share a few pictures of my finished (completely) quilt, with all of the crystals all over it.  I'd recommend clicking the pictures to make them larger so that you can see the detail and how much stitching went into this quilt (about 8,000 yards of thread, just in the quilting).


Is it okay for me to quietly admit that my excitement JUST turned into nervousness?  Like, just now?  Like, right ^^^ up there?

Oh well.  It's birthday week!  No sad faces!!!  =]

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The one with its own post

Pin It I love every quilt that comes my way.  Well, probably 99% of them.  I can find the beauty in just about any quilt top, and I can see it not only for what it is, but what it could be.

A lot of quilts are gorgeous on their own.  Some need a little extra help.

This quilt I'm going to show you definitely falls into the former category.

This quilt is in no way my "style".  It's very dainty, very elegant, just downright pretty.  Not that "pretty" isn't my style.  You'll understand when you see it.

When my (new) customer brought it to me, I fell in love with it.  It's not secret that red is one of my favorite colors, and it was just so PRETTY!  I'm not a fan of toile at all, but what she did with toile, wow.  I couldn't wait to quilt it.

She wanted feathers.  Lots of pretty feathers.  Anywhere there was toile, she wanted feathers.  And in the red setting triangles.  No problemo!  I told her that I would be stitching in the ditch in everything.  This scared her.  For those of you that don't know (and she didn't know), I am the stitch in the ditch QUEEN.  It's the very first thing I learned to do on the longarm machine, and I have never had a complaint about my stitching popping out of the ditch (though it does happen sometimes).  Angled and curved stitch in the ditch are more difficult to do, because the longarm wants to just go in straight lines, whether they're vertical or horizontal.  It doesn't discriminate.  It just wants to go straight.  I wasn't scared of this quilt.  I promise!

What I didn't realize when she dropped it off was how much fullness I was going to have to fight with.  There was a lot of it!  Quilts that are put together on point will always have issues.  I don't care how excellent of a piecer you are.  On-point quilts are just that way.  All of that bias edge sometimes runs amok and you don't even realize it.  No fear.  I still was not worried.  Here is what the quilt looked like to begin with.

It doesn't look so bad draped over the counter, does it?  It's when you get it basted square across the machine that you realize WOOOOAAAAH!

Still.  Not worried.  The first thing I did was all of the stitching in the ditch.  Then I had to decide what I wanted to do in each of the pieced blocks.  We had discussed me choosing a single motif and repeating it in each of the blocks.  I changed my mind on that.  I have the entire set of Ronda's Rulers and not only was I dying to try them out (I've had them for 6 months or better), but I thought this quilt was just perfect for some curved cross hatching.

I did all (most) of the quilting, front and back, in a gorgeous, shiny rayon thread.  YES!  You can use rayon on a longarm machine!  In the on-point square in the center of each block, I did quarter inch curved cross hatching.  In each outer triangle within the block, I did half inch curved cross hatching.  And I LOVE it.

The next step was the feathers.  That took an entire day.  When I finished the feathers, I was supposed to be finished with the quilt.  But I decided to kick it up a notch.  She is showing this quilt at a state quilting organization meeting, and teaching her technique on half square triangles.  That, combined with the fact that she really wanted the feathers to stand out, made me decide to do a small stipple fill in every single open area of the toile.  Between the feathers, around the feathers, in the unquilted sections of the blocks, etc.  So it took me another day and a half, but it was worth it!

I took gobs and gobs of pictures of this quilt.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any of the full front before she came to pick it up.  But here is the finished product.

What do you think?  I ADORE IT!  I was so sad to see it go out the door.  But she promised that when she's done showing it (three shows) I can have it back to hang behind my quilting machine.  YAY!