Wednesday, May 25, 2016

This Little Shop Owner Went to Market

I spent most of last week in Salt Lake City at Quilt Market. It was my first time going to Market. It was fun, exciting, educational, and exhausting.

We left Tuesday morning because we drove to Salt Lake City.

I went with fellow shop owner, Kathy, of Kathy's Fabric Trunk fame. Kathy has been so helpful to me with getting my shop going and letting me teach at her shop all of last year. We drove in her beautiful blue Mustang. Better have both hands on the wheel when you floor it to pass!

The first two days we were there we took classes and went to the School House sessions. Market didn't open until Friday. 

There were lots of vendors! Kathy and I did our Moda appointment together. Our tastes are so different that we rarely are drawn to the same fabric line. It's nice to know what the other one bought. This way if a customer is looking for something specific I don't have I can know if Kathy has it, and vice versa. Here we are with our fabulous Moda rep., Sonja.

Sonja is in costume to match Moda's camping themed booth.

I met several friends and "quilt celebrities." I met the two ladies running The Splendid Sampler quilt along, Pat and Jane.

Me with Pat Sloan
Me with Jane Davidson
I sought out the Sew Kind of Wonderful ladies. I've been following Jenny's blog for years. It was so nice to meet in person! 

Me with Jenny
And then I got to meet Alex Anderson. She is so nice! Alex was seated next to the Floriani rep. Kathy was working with. By this point on Saturday I was so tired. I just wanted to sit. Alex didn't have an appointment at the time and let me sit with her. We just chatted about quilting, sewing and such.

Me with Alex Anderson
I arrived home Sunday evening loaded down with information, pamphlets, brochures and goodies.

I haven't even had a chance to sort through it all yet! After being gone for a week I have a lot of catching up to do.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Splendid Sampler Progress

Over the last couple of weeks I have found time to make several more Splendid Sampler blocks.

Here they are, in no particular order:

This one should have embroidery that says, "Measure Twice, Cut Once ..." I haven't figured out how to trace the words onto the dark background I chose

This one took a while to make. It is paper pieced. It was a fun challenge!

I put my shop logo on this one instead of the embroidery. I can't take credit for the idea. I saw someone else had done this in the Splendid Sampler Facebook group.

Here are all sixteen of the blocks I've completed thus far.

These are really fun to make. Most of them are not time consuming to make. There are exceptions to that rule though, as noted above. I'm not committing to make all 100 of the blocks. I'll only make as many as I can and as many as I want.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Goose On The Loose :: Block Four

I made two versions of this block. The first one is "controlled scrappy."

The second one is "chaotic scrappy" and my personal favorite of the two versions.

Here is what you need for the "controlled scrappy" version:

(4) 5.5" squares of scrap fabric for the geese part of the unit, two dark and two light/medium
(16) 3" squares of background fabric for the sky part of the unit, eight light and eight dark
(8) 1.5" by 6.5" rectangles of background fabric, four light and four dark

For this version I used my Wing Clipper to make the flying geese units. See the Block Two post for details about using the Wing Clipper. You will get four flying geese units from each 5.5" scrap square. You only need three of them for this block but save the fourth unit for a later block!

Lay out your three flying geese units plus two 1.5" by 6.5" rectangles as shown in the photo below.

Sew your geese together.

Then add the rectangles to either side.

This unit should measure 6.5" by 6.5" at this point. You need to repeat the above steps three more times to make four of these 6.5" by 6.5" units.

Lay out your units and sew them together as shown below.

I took a picture of the back of my block so you can see how I pressed my seams.

My ultimate plan is to set the blocks with sashing so you don't need to worry too much about pressing. You can press your seams in whatever way makes sense to you.

For my "chaotic scrappy" version I used the Flip, Flip, Finish technique. For a refresher on this method click here and then scroll down to the Flip, Flip, Finish section. To make your block with this method you will need:

(9) 4.5" by 2.5" rectangles of scrap for the geese part of the unit
(18) 2.5" squares of background fabric for the sky part of the unit
(8) 1.5" by 6.5" rectangles of background fabric

Make your flying geese units with the Flip, Flip, Finish method. Once your flying geese units are made you assemble the block just like the "controlled scrappy" version.

Again, here is my finished "chaotic scrappy" version.

This is probably the one I will end up using in my quilt. I feel it fits better with the other blocks I've done so far.

You could use the Wing Clipper to make a "chaotic scrappy" version too. To do so you would need (12) 5.5" squares of scrap for the geese part of the unit, (48) 3" squares of background fabric for the sky part of the unit, and then (8) 1.5" by 6.5" rectangles of background fabric. You would only use one of the four flying geese units you will get from each 5.5" square of scrap. This will leave you with 36 flying geese units left over. I know that seems like a lot of left over units, but these can be used in some of the later blocks in the quilt along. You could also use them in the border or on the back of your quilt.

Ask any questions in the comment section below. If I can, I will respond to you personally with an answer. If you are no-reply then I will leave the answer in the comments and you will need to check back.

Monday, May 16, 2016

New Applique Thread

Some time ago on the Aurifil Facebook page there was a post inviting Aurifil dealers to try out their new 80 weight cotton thread. I jumped on that opportunity and a few weeks later received this lovely sampler pack in the mail.

The thread comes on adorable wooden spools! I was thrilled with the colors I was sent. I don't know what the other sampler packs look like (or if they are all the same) but these colors are just perfect for me.

One of the recent Splendid Sampler blocks was a Dresden Plate block. I decided that this was the perfect small project for trying out my new threads.

I was not disappointed. These threads performed beautifully. It is so thin that it seems to just melt into the fabric and mostly disappear.

For comparison I pulled out a spool of 50 weight Aurifil. It is the darker blue one. I have been using my 50 weight Aurifil for hand applique with no complaints, but this 80 weight is thinner and seemed just as strong.

It is easy to feel the difference in the thickness. I'm not sure that my photography skills are adequate to demonstrate it visually, but I took the photo below in an attempt to do so.

I don't know when these threads will be available for shops to start carrying. I plan to try to find out at Market this weekend. I hope to be able to stock them in my shop.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Checking In

I've been so busy with my new shop that I haven't had time to post here recently. I haven't done much sewing this week other than getting my next block for the Goose on the Loose quilt along done. Block four is ready to go and the instructions will be posted on schedule next Wednesday, May 18th, even though I will be out of town.

I'm excited about this trip. I'm going to Quilt Market in Salt Lake City! This will be my first time going. I'm planning to take my camera and hope I don't act like an idiot when I run into a quilt celebrity. I'll share anything blog-worthy with you as time permits when I get back.

My big shop news is that I finally have one of my two signs. The sign on the building went up Monday.

The sign at the road has been ordered and is being made. Hopefully it will be ready to be installed soon! Getting these signs has been more of an "adventure" than it should have been. I won't bore you with the mall politics about signage.

The shop is filling up nicely with fabric and goodies. You can see current shop photos on the shop website, Alamosa Quilt Company. Click the "About" tab to see the shop photos and look around at the other pages too if you have time.

Monday, May 2, 2016

All That Glitters

One of my employees, Barb, made this quilt as a class sample for one of her upcoming classes. Barb used two charm packs of our new Bee's 'n Blooms fabric plus some yardage for the sashing and borders.

The pattern is from The Big Book of Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth. I've had this book for over a year but haven't really read it until Barb starting making the above quilt. I was just looking at the quilts without reading about the slick tricks Pat teaches for how to make them. The units for these blocks are made by sewing larger half square triangles and then cutting them up to get two smaller half square triangles and two plain squares, one of each fabric!

I love stars, but when I saw how Barb was making these stars I just had to do some myself. Of course my version uses very different fabric than Barb's.

I'm using a Serenity layer cake and two junior layer cakes of Bella Solids, the cream and the dark gray. I'll add yardage for sashing and borders once I have the blocks made.