Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AccuQuilt Testimonial by Me!

All right, I admit it... I was sort of stalking admiring the Accuquilt booth at Quilt Market when I met Carolyn and Lee. You see, I love my Accuquilt dies! I also have been following the company enough to know that in order to work for Accuquilt, you have to make a quilt. So I started asking Lee what quilts he has made. That conversation turned into this video that he uploaded today!

Watch and enjoy!

All that in one take! I am a professional. See, all the more reason I deserve my own quilting show. (Hint! Hint!) Someday I will get my butt in gear and just create my own. That goes on the list just after "acquire a Mac". A girl needs an easy way to edit!

(Speaking of editing... could I have said my blog address right????? Yikes! But anywho...)

I kind of laugh as I watch because I know what was going on in my head as Carolyn asked those questions. I was frantically trying to remember any dies at all! Chances are pretty darn slim I will ever make a Bohemian Rhapsody quilt, but it sounded good, right? I don't exaggerate how easy the Accuquilt dies are to use, however. Super simple and perfect every time!

Here are those hexagons I mentioned in the video...

I used the hexagon die for the center and strips for the "logs". I will be playing with this pattern a bit more in the next week or so. Stay tuned!

If you don't already use Accuquilt dies, I suggest you to check out their website right now. You can also follow them on Facebook  for a weekly chance to win a Go! Baby.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I <3 Tula! 

Apparently Blogger does not like the title "I <3 Tula!" so this blog does not have a title...

I loved her from “Hello”. From her fantastic glasses to her tattoos, I knew right away that Tula Pink is my kind of girl. As I sat in her schoolhouse session at market, I found myself sighing audibly as she displayed each of her quilts from her brand new book Quilts From the House of TulaPink. SO when I got the chance to meet her the next day and get a copy of said new quilting book, I jumped at the chance.

I said I loved her glasses. She said she loved my hair. I think we are besties now. :D

I love this book. I am not just saying that because I got it for free either(my attempt at a blogger disclosure)... Or because it is autographed to me.

The book starts out describing a little about how Tula works. It quickly moves in to a few techniques. Well photographed, easy tricks for half-square triangles, nesting seams, and Tula’s tubular technique make this book great for beginners and seasoned quilters alike. Simple coordinating no-sew projects even make this book great for the DIY crowd.
I especially enjoyed the glimpse into her fabric design process. Her style is so approachable; it draws you in, pats your hand and says “It’s all right. While we are here, why don’t we make a little something?”

Her quilts are different, fun and colorful.

The quilting is TO DIE FOR!!! Done by Angela Walters of Quilting is my Therapy. I can not express how amazing it is and my pictures do not do justice. 

She has these designs printed up for her for her quilt backs. I would buy these in a heartbeat. 

Her next line is called Nightshade. I personally can not wait to get this line in my hot little hands! Nightshade is her Halloween line. She, like me, loves Halloween and created a line that can be left out for longer than just the month of October. 

The girls are three sisters that Tula created stories around to inspire the line. They are adorable and my kids need quilts made out of this line immediately!  

More about Tula, including epic pix of her quilts, can be found at her site

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What Happens at Quilt Market...

Stays at quilt Market...

The theme of our booth was "Breakfast at Tiffany's" complete with a claw foot tub sofa, luggage end table and even "Cat". No Breakfast at Tiffany's booth would be complete without a enormous Martini Glass filled with candy cigarettes.  There were people who just stopped by to grab more "smokes". 

Scott of  Blue Nickel Studios and I often got requests for photos in various poses around the booth. We even indulged one new fan of the magazine by making a short video of us smoking and including an inside joke for her sister. 

Scott and I often walked around with our cig's in hand. You could always find the smokers in the crowd because they would give me the double-take with a look of nicotine deprivation in their eyes.

My new GenQ bud's feeling weary but happy.

I think my favorite moment was standing in Amy Butler's booth talking to her and the handsome David Butler when Amy blurted out "Where did you get that candy cigarette?"

"Why, at our booth of course!"  

I then got to escort the handsome David Butler through half of the show floor in search of candy cigarettes for Amy. See, I am not the only one who has a sweetie for a husband! I also got many a stare - "Who's that redhead with him?" 

Who says quilter's don't have fun?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Quilt Market And My Husband.

Before I go any further with the Quilt Market related posts, I want to tell you a little story. 

A few days before I was supposed to leave for Kansas City, I started to get concerned. I have been out of work since January and money is starting to get really tight. I started to question my sanity in going to Quilt Market. How could I go to Kansas City when I would have to pay for a hotel? That is a few hundred dollars that could go to paying the mortgage or at the least buy a week of groceries for my kiddos. 

On Tuesday night I got a note from my friend Jake. Here is a little snippet, it read:

In the meantime, know that you've already had a huge part in what we're doing...You stuck when we started all over. You tweet us and cheer us and it's hard to really make clear how much that helps what we're doing, and what I do. So THANK YOU for all that you've done! Friends are wonderful! Send me a headshot of you and I'll send you back a pic of you in the booth and then you'll know that you really were there. Love and hugs, Jake PS: There's always Houston!

As I read those words, I burst into tears. Jake made me feel like it would all be okay. She made me feel like I had a small part of Generation Q making it to print and though it would be a while longer before we would finally meet in person, I felt like it would be okay.

The next morning my husband woke me up and simply whispered "Go." 

When I protested "I am trying to be a grown up... I want to do the responsible thing." 

He argued, "Honey, do I have to remind you that you wanted to go to network and find a job?"

I countered, "I found a freelance job. Do I have to remind you that I wont see a paycheck for another month?"

"Yeah, but you don't want that job. You love quilting. Go. Hand out resumes and find work doing something you love. There. I have said my piece."

It took a post on Facebook and a big push from my friends to make me decide to take the leap and get on the plane. Everyone should have the support that I have - I am so incredibly lucky! Thank you to all my friends who gave me the little extra push.

I landed in Kansas and soon got a call from Jake telling me that they had found a place for me to stay. I didn't have to pay for a hotel after all. It turned out that I barely spent any money while on my trip. I made connections. I found companies that would share products with me so I could review them on my blog. I found new friends that I can't live without. And my feet have not touched the ground since Friday when I was invited to join the staff at Generation Q magazine! 

All this never would have happened if my husband did not support me in this trip. He pushed me out of the nest so I could fly. He stayed home to take care of my "three little birds". Not only did he not complain, he called me to let me know that he was glad I had gone on the trip so he could remember how much I do every day.

Pretty incredible, right?...I know. 

I have a bit of a favor to ask all of you. Can you help me show my husband the love that he showed me these past few days? 

This is Jay. He loves to run. He is running the Chicago Marathon this fall and raising money for the American Cancer Society. Can you help me support his cause? Go to his DetermiNation Page and donate any amount you can. You can donate $1 or donate more. If you can't afford anything at all, that's okay. Perhaps you can tweet this link or post it on Facebook. That way we can support him in what he loves  just like he has supported me. Maybe together we can get him to his goal of $3000, what do you say?

Then let me know. Leave me a comment letting me know what you did so that I can say Thank You!!! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spring Quilt Market 2012

I had just arrived at Market and I was saying "I AM SO EXCITED!!!" wherever I went. Unfortunately, I was completely by myself at this point... so perhaps some of the more jaded in the crowd were shaking their heads, but I did not care! This was my first Quilt Market and nobody was going to rain on my parade, not even the ladies on my shuttle from the airport who had been to QM for 20+ years and were tired before they even got there. 

I was literally walking down the hallway, practically getting whiplash...
"Oh look! There's Pepper Cory!" 
"Oh, I just passed Eleanor Burns." (For the record, I did not see her strip anything...)
"Oh, hai! Itz Pat Sloan" (not sure why I slipped into my Lolcat voice for that one...)
"JANE SASSAMAN IS SITTING IN FRONT OF ME!!!!" - I think I did whisper yell that one, but if she heard me, she didn't let on...

For me, Spring Market was to help my friend Jake Finch launch the brand new magazine Generation Q, make some new friends and do a little networking. My three days in Kansas City exceeded all of my hopes for a successful market. I made some GREAT new buddies (even found a new surrogate mom), made some great connections and even got a new job - more on that later... ;)

So the next few weeks will be filled with images from Quilt Market, sneak peeks of what will be coming to stores soon and some book reviews of books that you will want to run out and buy immediately! I will be getting books from C&T, Stash and F+W Media to review in the future! So excited - I finally have a new source to feed MY BOOK ADDICTION!!! Mwah ha ha! 

I will be sharing more exciting news later... but for now I will leave you with a picture of the oh so handsome David Butler sitting in the Generation Q booth...
Sitting with David are (from left to right): My gracious host Stephanie, my new surrogate mom Bev, David Butler with "cat" and the very popular Princess Lisa.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quilt Market or Bust!

So after much hemming and hawing about whether it was prudent, I am headed to Kansas City tomorrow morning to go to Spring Quilt Market!

I am lucky enough to be hanging with the folks at Generation Q Magazine this weekend and helping them launch their new baby!

I am so excited I can't stand it! I am finally going to meet my online buddy Jake Finch. We have been quilting buds for a few years now and I couldn't be happier for her. I can not wait to see the first issue and drool all over the glossy pages! If you will be at Market, stop by booth 841 to meet the crew! 

This trip is a bit of a lesson for me. I have thought I wasn't going to go so I didn't do any of the prepping I had planned on... you know like make a new purse and complete the quilt for Riley Blake that I am working on, yada, yada, yada! All that stuff that I never would have had time to do this past week but just would have added so much stress to my life, you know? So instead, I am just packing the basics, bringing a camera to document the madness and packing an extra bag to bring home some goodies! I also have a stack of brand new business cards and some resumes... just in case. After all Quilt Market is where Alex Anderson was found to host Simply Quilts and if an opportunity presents itself, I am jumping! 

I promise to take lots of photos and post them here to show you some of the goodies that will be headed to stores this year. I am so excited to meet some of my favorite quilting celebrities, I just can't stand it!!! 

Stay tuned... 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Old friends are like quilts

Boy do I have a bunch of catch up to play! I have had such a busy Spring so far and I am not sure it will slow down any time soon! So this week, I am hoping to make the time to fill you in on several cool things I have seen, read and done!

This past weekend, my husband and I went to New Jersey for my hubby's high school reunion. He went to a very small private school and he seemed out of sorts. I wasn't quite sure if he was upset at the turnout or if he was upset that he lost one of his good friends last November. They were honored Tom by planting a tree in his name on the school property. Perhaps both were unsettling. However, we were able to make the whole weekend absolutely perfect on Sunday. We stayed with some great friends of ours and had a little reunion of our own. They were kind enough to have a barbecue for us and invited my husbands old buds. We used to rent a house for a week every summer - I say "we" because I was there for many of those vacations. I cannot express how nice a day we had. I left feeling so loved and having laughed so hard! We didn't want to leave.

Now what does this have to do with quilting? Well, our friends that we were staying with have two quilts that I made them and much to my amazement they use one and display the other. Not sure why this surprises me... I guess sometimes I see the work I have done in the past and I think "I was so proud of that?!?" Well, to know that something I made has a place of honor in their home... well, I am touched.

This Double Wedding Ring I made as a gift for their wedding. I machine pieced the "melons" and hand quilted the top.

I am not quite sure why the design was square-ish... see there I go again pointing out the flaws! Well, actually it wasn't a "flaw" anyway. I purchased the pattern through Keepsake Quilting and that was the way it was made. It came with templates made out of templar - perhaps it was squared a bit to make it different? Not sure. Anyway, I was quite pleased with my hand quilting on this one. My stitches are pretty tiny and pretty consistent. I wish I had quilted it more.

The next quilt is a T-shirt quilt they commissioned me to make.

I should have staged the photo better... sorry. Maybe next year I will work on my photography skills! Anyway, I loved seeing that they sleep under this one! It is the biggest quilt I have ever made. I can never make a quilt simply, so the t-shirts were not all the same size. I also learned a lesson with this one! Cheap fabric is cheap fabric! I ran out of the batik I was using for sashing and when I mentioned running to the store, my husband said "So you are telling me that in ALL the fabric you have in your stash... you don't have any navy blue???" So I used a navy blue fabric that I purchased at a certain chain store. It rippled and buckled and looked horrible!  I had to un-sew the whole darn thing, buy new fabric and start over. It just goes to show that you get what you pay for!

Now, I guess I have to get to work on a quilt for my bed because I have been getting the whole "Why do they get to sleep under one of your quilts and I don't" things from my hubby...

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