Monday, November 4, 2013

International Quilt Festival Fun

Hi Everyone!
Guess where I was this past weekend!  If you guessed Houston and the International Quilt Festival, well, you guessed right!  What an amazing event!  The quilts were unbelievably beautiful and I was in awe at the level of artistry that was displayed.  Everything from traditional hand-pieced, hand-quilted beauties to thread painted works of art to modern-art deco was hanging in the George Brown Convention Center.  I could have spent days and days and days enjoying the beauty and craftsmanship that went into each and everyone of them. 
Now, you're probably wondering, "Where are the pictures?" and I'm sorry to say, I only took about three pictures.  Why?  I was so enthralled with what I was seeing that it completely slipped my mind!  I started out well enough... 
As we entered there was a photo-op spot so my hubby took this...
I gotta say, I have THE best husband!  Not only did he drive the 3.5 hours to Houston and endure an ENTIRE day of looking at quilts, but he also let me shop without complaint!  Here he is posing under the banner:
Now, once I finished oohing and awing over all the quilts, I got down to some serious shopping.  It was amazing to have all those vendors and shops in one location.  In lots of ways it was sensory overload.  The vendors were set up in long rows and every major quilty brand was there.. Aurifil, Hobbs, Gammill, Accuquilt, Red Crinoline Quilts, Handiquilter, Olfa, Bernina, Pfaff, Mary Flannigan Woolens! and the list goes on and on!  Lots of quilt shops were there too! Some of them I have seen in my summer travels...Back Door Quilts, Stitchin' Heaven'... and some are my favorite online shopping shops (Primitve Gatherings).  Needless to say, I did not leave empty handed.
I did go with an idea of what I did and didn't need.  For example, I do not need any more wool.  I love wool and almost every vendor was selling wool.  I nearly lost my mind when I saw Mary Flannigan Woolens. But, I managed to control myself and feel and admire her wonderful wool but not buy any! 
However, I did need some civil war shirtings for a scrappy project that I've been saving civil war scraps for.  Civil War reproduction fabrics are getting harder and harder to find and even harder is finding the shirting in white or near-white colors.  Lots of creams and tans out there but white?  Forget it.  I also have been looking for the Sulky 12 wt thread that I like to use for embroidery and and Aurifil Lana Thread for wool applique.  I  was also desperate for Aurifil Mako 50 wt which is my favorite thread to use for piecing.  Mako is easy to find but, darn!  It has gotten so expensive! Some places were selling it for $12 a spool!  I did find one vendor with reasonable prices- $9 a spool.  But they had the big cone for $40 so I went with that. Unfortunately, they are wholesalers which means I should have bought two :-P  I also needed new snips for loose threads and hand work. My Famore's are my favorite because they have a little hook at the tip which makes un-sewing a little easier.  Imagine my joy when I found the Famore booth! (I bought two of my favorite snips only to find out I can send them to Famore for sharpening.)   Looky, looky, here.   SCORE!
I found a few patterns I couldn't live without
and after spending an evening with Bonnie Hunter on QuiltCam I had to pick up her book "Ring Around the Hexies"
But my greatest find at the Festival is my 1914 "Singer For The Girls".
Not only does it still have it's clamp, it also has the original box, instructions, key AND needles!  I love the selling points on the box...
"As the twig is bent the trees inclined"  Fabulous!
I started collecting these about a year ago, this is my fifth one (although truth be told I already had this version although not as complete!)  Here are the other four that I have:
The third from the left is my "double".  Aren't they cute?  My research tells me that there are 22 different models.  I hope I one day find them all.
I also got to meet some quilter celebrities...
This is me with Alex Anderson!
And Pat Sloan!
Eleanor Burns of "Quilt in a Day" fame was there too, but she was surrounded by a ton of people and I couldn't even get close enough to take her pic :-/
I had so much fun!
I've gotten some quilting done too.. 
This is called "A Quilt for Abraham" which is designed by Roxie & Joe Wood of ThimbleCreek Quilts.  I was able to use my Accuquilt Studio to cut out the million-billion little pieces that this quilt required.  It made the sewing so easy as every piece was so accurately cut.  I love the colors.  All I have left to do is the sashing and it will be ready for Gammill Bea.
Well, I better get busy.  I need to finish a bunch of projects before Bonnie Hunter divulges the first clue of her new mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice. .  This is my first opportunity to start one of her mystery quilts and I am so excited!  If your interested, you can click the link on the left to read all about it.
Until we meet again, stitch on!