Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Trip update #1: Getting there

Pin It I had this grand idea pre-trip that the drive to New Orleans was going to be filled with fun and laughter and stops at every quilt shop off the interstate on the way there.  While there was plenty of fun and laughter, there was only one quilt shop stop.  As it turns out, a lot of shops that still advertise online?  Yeah.  They're closed down.

It's important for me to mention that usually when I go into a quilt shop where no one knows me I get treated similar to the way V was treated on Rodeo Drive.  You know, before she met the rich dude and got the fancy makeover. Nobody offers to help me even when I'm obviously looking for something, although there can be three employees of the shop standing right there doing nothing.  Usually, they just pretend I'm not there.  I'm sooooo not even exaggerating.  But anyway.

 I did manage to find a quilt shop to stop at in Antlers, Oklahoma.  I suppose I shouldn't say "in" Antlers, as it was waaaaay off the beaten path in backwoods.  I'm talking Deliverance.  I was almost afraid.  You drive down a long dirt road, surrounded by woods and dilapidated trailor homes and suddenly you notice the trees with little yellow signs nailed to them with arrows pointing ahead.  This is the sign to Betsy's Quilt Shop.  I had to call her to get directions because my GPS was literally taking me in circles which ended up costing a total of $9.00 in tolls.  That's how backwoods this place is.

When you walk into Betsy's, you really have no idea what you're looking at.  Everything is everywhere, but in a very orderly fashion - if that makes any sense.  There are fat quarters neatly arranged right in front of the front door, there is a wall of yarn beyond that, then some trims and notions.  Down a few steps is all of the fabric.  Tons of fabric.  Over 5,000 bolts of fabric!  You have to dig around and look down every row through every bolt but I can guarantee you that ANYONE would find something they like at Betsy's.  She carries everything from camo (you know, the real kind) to Kaffe!  She has a lot of really old fabrics.  Like, really old.  But she has a lot of really nice and new fabrics too.  

The prices of those fabrics?  They ranged anywhere from $3-10/yard.  And it was kind of backwards.  All of her popular designer fabric was on the lower end.  I got a TON of yardage of the few pieces that I chose.  I have no idea what I'll do with them, but I had to buy a lot.  I will likely never go back there!  I also got a Quilter's Fabric Calculator for liiiiiiike, $25!!!  They retail for around $80 but Betsy was closing hers out for some silly reason.  They're fabulous.  I already have one but with how things get lost - at that price - I had to get another.  I got some new needles to try out boutis trapunto. Then I made my way over to the barn which houses two very old Gammills (one Optimum with no stitch regulator and one Optimum Plus with regulator, they were proud to say), backing fabrics and Minkees, some specialty fabrics and random things here and there.  

 I ended up finding some furry fabric that I liked, in super soft colors.  I have no idea what I'll do with that, either.  I bought a few yards each of three colors.  One of the other customers in the barn asked me where I was going to school!  She didn't believe me when I told her that I'm nearly 31.  That made my day!  I don't know if I really look young, or if it was that I started jumping up and down and clapping my hands once my fabric was cut.  Don't care.  It made my day! Then back inside to pay the bill for all of my treasures.  

Except once I paid my bill and started walking out the door, I saw several baskets of bright colors and my heart raced.  Organza.  Pre-cut, 25 yard spools of organza.  I have never seen organza on a roll before.  I guess I haven't lived enough!

So my opinion of Betsy's?  Well.  The entire staff was super nice.  They were as helpful as they could be, asked a lot of questions and seemed genuinely interested in their customers.  You're a little taken aback walking into the place (if you even make it to the front door without turning around) but I can guarantee  you that you'll have a good time.  Everything that I bought (seriously, that is a ton of yardage) came up to just a little over $150.  

Betsy herself came out to talk as I was paying for my purchases, and even graciously agreed to have her picture taken.

Needless to say, if you're ever anywhere near Antlers, Oklahoma, I highly suggest stopping by Betsy's.  Of course call ahead to get directions (go all the way through town and once you come to a fork in the road stay to the right.  After three more miles, turn left and 1/4 mile down the road Betsy's is on the right - see?  Why do I remember THAT but not what day it is? =]) and plan to lose at least an hour in the place.  I believe I was there for two.

And she will even ship you anything that you want!  At that seriously discounted price!  If only she had a website...  though I'm not sure they'd get internet out there.  :O)

More trip stuff soon!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go

Pin It ... but I'm not leaving on a jet plane!

Wow have the last couple of weeks been stressful.  I've been working a minimum of 16 hours per day (usually closer to 18) for a couple of weeks, and suffering from fatigue-induced vertigo.  Which was actually kind of cool!

I'm leaving for New Orleans soon and had a whole lot of stuff to get done before skipping town.  I got most of it done, but not all.  I decided rather than kill myself trying, I'd let my customer accept the fact that it isn't the end of the world if she has to wait another week or two for her quilt.

I can't show all of what I've been doing, but here are little snippets:
I'm pretty sure I showed this one in my last blog but since it's the same quilt, I'm showing it again!

Triple stitch straight line at a 45 degree angle in alternating directions across basically the entire surface of an 84x84 quilt.  Yikes!

And last but not least, whatever didn't have the trapunto or triple stitch got not pebbles, but what my friend calls "sand".

...so I'm thinking I'll get a massage while I'm in New Orleans!

If you've commented on my last couple of blogs and haven't gotten a personal response from me, it's not because I haven't wanted to reply or because I don't care.  It's because I haven't had a chance to! So since I have a long trip ahead of me, I'm going to take the opportunity to send out some long overdue emails.  Promise!

Oh!  And I have some super neat news to share soon too.  I'm just trying to hold out on all of it until it gets closer.  =]

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm still doing stuff and other stuff and more stuff

Pin It
So!  I started writing a blog over a week ago.  As it turns out, you shouldn't let those blog drafts sit around for too long and then go trying to edit them.  Blogger won't do it.  I've spent at least an hour trying to bring that one back to life and it just ain't happening.  So!
I've been doing stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  I've been doing a little of this:

And some of this:

And a little of this:
And some of this:
And a little bit of that:
And it started out like this:

I've also been doing some of this:

NOW, I'm doing this!

Ahhhh, trimming trapunto.  That brings back memories!  I have never done trapunto on anyone's quilt but my own.  On my own, I ended up with a massacre of cuts throughout the entire top.  And on my own it was fine because I could adjust my background quilting, and quilt like hell over any holes.  This is not the case!  So I'm being super duper careful.
"Trimming the Trapunto" also has a new meaning to me, thanks to thoughts of euphemisms, inside jokes and such. 

Next up is this:

Now, just for fun, I found a bunch of pictures on my SD card from when I was quilting Sarah's Sedona Star.  You can see that I ripped out the border quilting because it ended up being hideous.  :)
I decided to go from this:

To this:
And ultimately, this:

Now I need to get back to teaching and quilting and marking and piecing and trimming and designing and... not sleeping.  :)