Monday, April 27, 2015

Paducah Edyta Immersion

I had an absolutely wonderful time in Paducah last week - a giant step up from last year!  The workshop selection was much better this time around and I was fortunate enough (make that fast enough!) to get into a lecture and two workshops with Edyta Sitar. It was a week of Edyta immersion - so inspirational! All I want to do now is work on Edyta quilts (I already have several in progress not counting the ones I started in her workshops!).  I actually finished a couple of tops prior to heading for Kentucky.  I've been working on piecing the sashing blocks for My Garden Album for the past couple of months and finally finished. I had finished the applique blocks a few years ago. This was a block of the month from Homestead Hearth.  I didn't care for the sashing or border fabrics they provided (multi-colored batiks like on Edyta's original) so I opted for a mix of batiks and reproduction fabrics from my stash and added a Jo Morton border.

I finally finished the applique on my house quilt and got the borders on just before heading to Paducah. I will have to say that appliqueing on a large project is not my idea of a good time...

So back to Paducah.... On Wednesday night I attended Edyta's "Reasons for Quilts" lecture. She is an amazing speaker and it was an incredible presentation!  She brought tons of quilts - many I had not seen before - and did such a nice job sharing the meaning behind each one.

On Thursday afternoon I participated in Edyta's spool quilt workshop.  Her preparation for class and her generosity is amazing. She provided each of us with two pieces of fabric to cut into 24 strips that we then exchanged with each other in order to ensure that everything worked well together and was good quality. Much better than taking whatever people brought from their stash!  We only completed one spool in the class which was fine - the Janome machine I was using was giving me fits so I would much rather work on them at home.

Friday I had an all-day workshop on Stars in Quilts.  It was great!  Edyta started with a lecture detailing 15 different types of stars and how to make them and use them in quilts. She reviewed her technique for piecing 8-pointed stars by machine. I plan to practice that with my Prairie Peony blocks as soon as I get a chance.

After the presentation, Edyta started us on Dresden Stars.  I had no idea we would be making these in class - I have been wanting to do that pattern forever!  Here's Edyta's version:

And here is my first nearly-complete block.  I ended up making two before class ended.

Edyta is such a thorough instructor!  She makes everything seem so easy, from choosing fabrics to sewing complicated pieces.

The other highlight of my week down south was my visit(s) to the Primitive Gatherings booth. Yes, I went more than once.  Almost every day. I couldn't help myself! Lisa gave us a sneak preview of the Summer BOW. She somehow manages to top herself every year - it is beautiful!  I can't wait for it to start.  She also had a project at the booth that completely sucked me in....little bowties.  I couldn't resist!  I bought a bunch of charm packs (the $5 pattern was free if you bought >$200 in fabric - makes perfect sense to everyone, right?!?!) and couldn't wait to get home to start.  I managed to spend a little time in the sewing room yesterday and knocked out 42 bow ties.  They are so much fun!

I was so impressed with my progress....that is, until I took a second look at the pattern and saw that is says "you will need 3,024 bow ties for the quilt". WHAT?????  That's over 18,000 pieces and this thing isn't even bed-sized! This is going to take a while....

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Quilt Shows & First Finish!

I've been on the road for work the better part of the last two weeks but managed to squeeze in a couple of quilt shows in the middle of my travels. I traveled home from Kalamazoo, MI last week via the Chicago and made a stop at the Quilt Festival on Friday. The best part of the trip was meeting up with the Chicago area quilter that is going to quilt Celtic Solstice and Grand Illusion for me. She;s hoping to have them both finished in time for me to bind them for our quilt show in June. If all goes as planned I should have five queen-sized quilts finished by early summer.  That definitely makes a dent in my UFO list!

I had not been to the Chicago show since it moved back.  I was very disappointed.  It seemed considerably smaller than in years past - a lot of the vendors I usually expect to see at a major show weren't there, and there really only seemed to be about half the number of vendors they used to have. A large portion of the quilt exhibits were repeated from Houston, too, so it didn't take me a lot of time to buzz through the show.  I was in and out in about an hour and a half.  

The version of the red and white exhibit at Chicago wasn't nearly as impressive as Houston but it was still very eye-catching.

I didn't get any other pictures at the show. Most of the quilts that caught my attention were in the "no photos" exhibits.  I am really disappointed that the Quilts Inc. folks prohibit photos.  I know that they want you to buy the books (which I always do!) but sometimes you want to get that close-up of component of the quilt that you just can't see in the book photos.

On my way home from Chicago I stopped in Bloomington, IL and visited the local guild's quilt show. They had a fabulous show!  They had a wonderful featured quilter, lots of really great quilts and a very nice selection of vendors.  I didn't take any photos since I was a bit pressed for time....had to get the rental car back before 6 pm...but I really enjoyed the show.

Now that I am back at home I finally managed to finish the binding on my Hunter's Star quilt. My daughter claimed it back when it was a pile of blocks so it's on her bed until show time. So far that's 386" of binding for the year....I'm off to a running start!