Friday, April 20, 2007

Purchases at Chicago

It is so hard not to buy things at a quilt show!! I'm quite a Nester, but I've got to stop, because I don't need anything, but retail therapy is so fun!!

Here's my purchases from Chicago. In keeping with Stash Busting, it was the hardest thing I ever did, but I did not buy any fabric. My friend bought enough to make 4 quilts, so she made up for me. I did buy silk batting.

My all time favorite batting is wool. Like a good suit, it breathes with you and is light but warm. It machine quilts nicely and has a gentle loft-not too high or too low, just right. I've never tried silk batting, it's 90/10 the 10 being polyester. I'll let you know the results later, when I quilt something with using it.
So many things go into quilting a quilt, the thread can make a big difference as well. Nylon/Invisible thread cuts sharply into the fabric, when cotton is lighter and silk thread, I've learned appears to lay just right. I'm going to use up my cotton thread and start buying silk to quilt.
My next purchase is a book from Elenore Burns. Her company, Quilt In a Day, (yeah right) publishes great books

She really knows her audience and writes very nice books, easy to read and understand. If you are going to Paducah this year, don't miss her tent show at the fair grounds and she has bought a building downtown, which may or may not be good, I've never been to it. Her tent show is a lot of fun and very entertaining and informative, she gives quilting tips all through the show. Get there early, it fills up fast, but the shows repeat all during the day. They are pretty corny, but, hey, we are quilters in Kentucky and you know they kind of go together, and I like it that way, for a day is about all I can take, but, it's the spirit of the event that counts. You can never do too many chicken

Last but not least, I bought this program. It was helpful for shopping and planning to return to booths to look at things again or buy things. I also wrote the name and e-mail of a woman that asked if I'd send her a picture. I said sure and am going to send it out after I finish here.

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Been having a lot of down time...ugh!

It's been a frustrating couple of days since returning from Chicago on Sunday evening. I've eagerly sat at the computer to upload pictures and information about our trip, but have been greeted often by this:

"Hey-I'm thinking"

message from the computer, soon to be followed by your session has timed out or the server is not responding....aaarrgghh!

You know, we pay the big bucks to get on broadband for a faster response/experience on the computer and for the most part it's worked out fine, until the last week or so. At first I thought it was just blog land, but, my DH sits on his PC in another room and I can hear his words of frustration as well.

Anyway, as a quilter, time is valuable, or even if you are not a quilter, time is valuable, but, when it comes to multitasking, quilters are probably better or at least more inventive than most. That being said, here is my work/PC frustration zone. I've taped messages to myself reminding me of what I need/should be doing if blog land did not exist. On the right side of my screen, I've listed quilts that need to be finished and are in various stages of completion. The last one is a pink and brown scrap quilt that is pieced in the center and has an appliqued border. You can see parts of the appliqued border on the typing tray to the right. I like to use Elenore Burns' method, using fusible interfacing sewed to the right side of the leaves/petals. You then clip and flip the items sewn and you can iron them in place to sew around later. Next to embroidery, applique is a great way to have a hand project at the ready for any "down time" you may have.

Taped to the other side of the computer is the work list, laundry, video tapes I need to put on DVD, mow lawn, take pictures of my quilts. This is a great thing to keep me motivated and grateful that I am alive and I am a quilter, leaving a legacy of quilts for my family.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Chicago Quilt show-Fantastic!

OMG! The International Quilt Festival in Chicago was fantastic. My DH and I went for 3 days to Chicago and I will give the perfect 3 day trip for us and maybe for you too. Here's an account of our trip and my personal opinions about all our activities while there. I hope this helps any of you who plan to go anytime in the future. It will also serve as a reference for us for next year.

Thursday we left Crestwood, Ky, USA, and drove for
5 hours straight up I-65 north and landed at the hotel, Embassy Suites, right across the street from the Rosemont convention center. The drive was very nice, the only thing, have toll money ready when you arrive in Chicago. You'll need about $5.00 worth of change, if you want to really fly through the toll booths. One toll is 15 cents and they go up to $2.50. I don't know what you get for that money, because the roads were awful on the toll highways. Bring a cooler with some water, cookies, grapes and cheese and you don't need to stop for lunch.

You will want to save your calories for the Pappadeaux restaurant that evening. . Great seafood awaits about 15 minutes from the hotel. On Thursdays, bring your appetite, because it's all you can eat lobster. Get there early or be prepared to wait a while, but, we feel it's worth it. Anyway, to get to the restaurant, you leave the hotel parking lot and turn left and stay on River Road until you see Algonquin, the road becomes a 2 lane road before you will turn left on Algonquin. Follow this until you see a bright blue roof on your right-you are almost to Golf Road. The Meijer is directly across the street from Pappadeaux. The restaurant is not cheap, our bill for the two of us was $80.00, but, if you like great seafood and deserts, this is a place to try. I like the sweet potato/pecan pie, warmed up with a scoop of ice cream. My husband's favorite dish is the Ponchatrain, I like the Orleans trout verses salmon...your choice...

Go home to the hotel and get a good night's sleep for the show tomorrow, or you can walk on over and maybe buy your ticket and go on in and see some of the show before it officially opens on Friday. My friend did this and enjoyed it. I personally like waiting and experiencing it all day on Friday.

Embassy Suites was not prepared for the the flock of quilters this year. I don't remember so many being there last year. All I know is the breakfast lines were the longest I've seen. The worst was the elevators-2 were down on Thursday. Walking up 6 flights of stairs is not fun. You might want to try the Sofitel hotel next door, both are very close. The Double Tree is a short walk down the street.

Friday-THE SHOW!! Hours: 10:00 to 7:00. Cost $10.00 for a one day ticket.

My favorite thing about this show is that all the quilts are together and all the vendors are together, separate, almost right down the middle of the building. You don't have to walk for blocks to view quilts! I understand that venues sometimes grow and are forced to expand, but, the real beauty of this show is the whole show is in one building, classes, quilts and vendors. If you can purchase your ticket on the internet, instead of waiting in the long line for tickets, I'd suggest doing that, so you can walk right in.

Anyway, the mass of quilters hits right at the opening at 10:00. You will be trying to view quilts through many layers of people if you go to the quilts first. I'm planning on walking directly to the vendors side of the building, to the right and start my show there next year, because everyone wants to see the quilts at the start. So maybe I'll miss the crush if I go the opposite end...probably not...lots of retail therapy going on there and there'll be just as many going the other direction with

I took lots of pictures of the quilts,
but large portions of this show were clearly marked-no pictures please and I respect that and did not take those pictures. The whole Huskvarna quilt show was off limits for pictures. As a person that has entered quilts in a show, I also appreciate the policing of the quilts.

Here's a picture of the president of the event, Karry Bresenhan reminding people not to touch the quilts, I'm glad she did that. If everyone was allowed to touch the quilts they'd be ruined.

It's my opinion that the quilting done on a quilt is winning the shows.
I think the ladies that buy those expensive quilt machines and quilt them, or pay someone to quilt them are being rewarded with prizes. I don't begrudge them. Sooner or later the level of quilting will reach a point such that all attention will go back to the design and then we will see some really fantastic quilts, not that we don't already. Painting and quilting-Oh My! In this day of the big quilt shows, it's not enough just to stitch some fabric together. What time these people have to work on their projects I can only drool over. Lucky them!

Anyway, look around for 2 or 3 hours and go out to lunch at Gino's East Pizza, practically across the street from Pappadeaux. All you need to do is continue on to the light past t
he blue roof of Pappadeaux and turn left on Golf. Some of the best deep dish pizza in Chicago waits on your left about a half block down-in front of the Meijer.

After you fill up on incredible pizza, go back to the show for a couple more hours. Take a break in your room, then go back and finish up the show. You really can see a lot in one day. You will be amazed at the lack of people looking at the quilts after 5:00. I suppose the buses are leaving for dinner and their return trips home. Or, most people are making their final purchases.

There's no lack of quilting inspiration and stimulation at this show. I got my picture taken with one of the reigning superstars of the quilt world, Alex Anderson. We both like the same clothes! I miss her on TV, but will look forward to seeing her and Ricki Timms at work together on the internet at the Quilt Show.


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