Tuesday, March 1, 2016

QuiltCon West 2016 - A Review

QuiltCon West was in full swing in Pasadena, Ca for 4 days in February.  As expected, it was crazy busy fun!  The quilt show was wonderful.  Modern quilters rock!  And the vendors are pretty darn amazing also.

I took several classes and was pleased with each class.  My first class was Victoria Findlay Wolfe's Pies and Points class featuring her Sizzix dies.  I had not used a Sizzix die cutter before and was really surprised how quickly and accurately you can cut out your fabric.  Made sewing curves much easier due to the accuracy of the die cuts.  Here's a shot of my partially complete quilt top:

And, some eye candy for you - several of Victoria's quilts:

I also took a half-day class with Angela Walters on Saturday.  Learned quite a bit about FMQ, although the half-day format meant there was very little time to actually practice FMQ.  All in all, I felt it was a good class and was worth taking but would have been better as a full day class. 

On Sunday, I took Heather Jones' large scale piecing class.  Her attention to detail and the importance of measuring and cutting accurately was a good reminder - one of my short comings is accuracy in cutting.  You know that expression about garbage in, garbage out - well, sloppy cutting really takes a toll on the end result (as I have learned over and over!).  Big blocks mean bigger mistakes to be made:)  By Sunday I was apparently tired of taking photos as I have none from the class!  I should have a photo of the quilt top before long, as I'm busy putting it together.  I think the large scale will look really good on my bed. 

I also volunteered and went to several lectures.  I'll update you on these topics in my next blog.

I'll be talking to you soon!  

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Heading to QuiltCon - Trying to Get Ready!

Are you going to QuiltCon West in Pasadena next week?  Well actually it starts on Thursday - but I'm going to drive and will be leaving on Sunday or Monday.  The weather forecast from Reno to Pasadena is spectacular!  A dry week or 10 days - something that hasn't happened with El Nino bringing in storms every 3 or 4 days.  Thought I would drive so that I could visit with friends along the way and on the way back.  On the way back I'll be in Visalia, Ca (Central Valley) visiting friends for a few days and then head up to Carmel to visit with more friends and do a little birding before returning to Reno.

I am volunteering at QuiltCon so I will be helping with setup on Wednesday and then working in one of the classrooms on Friday.  Another reason to get there a little earlier than is required by the event itself.  

This will be my third of 3 QuiltCons!  Don't know if I will make it to Savannah next year.  I really understand when people decide not to attend because it's expensive, it's far away and it takes a lot of time away from home.  I do have to report that it's exciting, uplifting, you will learn a lot and meet or re-meet your quilting friends from all over the world.  It's so nice to meet a person face-to-face.  And the quilt show has been amazing, as well as the vendors.

It will be particularly fun to help with set-up of the show on Wednesday because I have a quilt in the show!  Not sure how that happened but I greatfully accepted their offer to put the quilt in the show and off it went.

I named it Almost Purr-fect, partially for the Cattitude fabric that I used and second because I am at best an o.k. quilter.  Without further adieu, here it is:

I hope to see many friends, both old and new, in Pasadena.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Talk to you soon,


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Making Progress on my Q1 2016 Finish-a-long

Just a quick check-in on my Q1 2016 Finish-a-long projects.  I got the binding on my black and white (and a little silver) Michael Miller glitz wedge mini quilt.  I didn't get it finished in time to enter into the Quiltcon West challenge, but still wanted to finish it.

Here it is:

I rather like this little quilt.  This is my first time attempting spiral quilting.  I think I'll consider this a prototype and try again now that I have a tiny bit of experience with spiral quilting.

And I am working on my second Q1 Finish-a-long completion  I've quilted it in one direction and now need to work on the crosshatch quilting.  Making progress!  Here it is in its unfinished but progressing state:

I did a pattern test for @prettypenny7.  Decided that I didn't need another pillow but who can't use another mini quilt?

I've got 2 more Q1 projects, both requiring quilting.  I've prepared the backing and batting for my Op Art quit in anticipation of the big quilt effort needed to complete it.  And have practiced a little FMQ for my beaded curtain quilt. 

Slowly, oh so slowly I'm making progress!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to you.

Talk again soon,

Thursday, February 4, 2016

2016 Sewing from my Stash - Lots of City Sampler Photos!

Well, in addition to the Q1 Finish-along, I joined the 2016 Sew My Stash Instagram group (#sewmystash2016).  I don't know about you, but I could sew from my stash for several years before I ran out of projects!  Maybe several years is an understatement...many, many years is probably more accurate.  

So what part of my stash did I decide to focus on you ask yourself?  I went for one of my favorite fabric designers - Tula Pink and gave myself the assignment of working through her City Sampler blocks.  All 100 of them (IG #tula100) if you want to see what others have done.  Tula numbered her blocks but did not name them.  She encourages you to name your own blocks are you make them.  I am not making the blocks in the order of the book.  I'm flipping through and then deciding on a block that appeals to me.  Having now reviewed the blocks I have made, it appears that I like to select blocks that have fewer pieces!  So that means I will have a number of 24-28 piece blocks to do at the end.  Maybe I should change my approach!

So, as of last Sunday, I had completed 45 blocks!  They are 6.5" (6" when set) and have many, many little pieces (not my strong suit for sure).  I have a pretty good stash of Tula fabric from over the years and like the way the blocks are coming together.  

Here are the first 15 blocks I made with the respective page from Tula's book:

And here are the second set of 15 blocks I made (#16-30):

And here are the third set of blocks I most recently completed (#31-45):

 A few rogue blocks are in this and earlier groups - I opted out of lots of little pieces in some of the blocks if I thought I could get a similar effect without so many little pieces!

Just in case you are wondering about Boo, here's a quick photo of him after a romp in the snow:

Talk with you soon!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Q1 2016 Finishalong Mosaic

I made a mosaic of my four Q1 Finishalong projects and wanted to show it to you:

They look so do-able in this mosaic.  Wish me luck in getting them finished!

Talk with you soon!

Q1 2016 Finish-a-long and Resuming my Blogging!

Well, it has certainly been along time since I have written a blog entry.  I spend alot of time on Instagram and just seemed to lose my blog writing mojo.  It's alot easier to snap a picture and write a few words than regularly write on my blog.

So I'm going to take the start of 2016 as a chance to resume my blogging.  So much as been going on in my quilting life, I have much to report.  Today, however, I will focus on my Finishalong commitments for the first quarter.

I have 4 projects in mind for the Q1.  

First, finish the binding on the Flying Wedge quilt I made recently:

 I've been making a number of wedge quilts - really like the process.  

Second, complete my Op Art quilt (backing, quilting and binding):

 I know - don't look at it too long or you could become hypnotized, or ill!

Third, I am going to finish quilt and bind this miniquilt.  I pattern tested for Pretty Penny 7 (Michelle).  The pattern is called Turning Corners.  I didn't need another pillow, so I'm going for a mini quilt!

  And Fourth, I am going to finish my Beaded Curtains quilt (backing, quilting and binding).  You may be noticing a black and white theme - yep, I've been having fun in black and white:

Many of you who know me, know that I usually quilt by checkbook - I'm trying to expand my skill set and do some of my own quilting.  Can't say I'm very good yet, but I'm working on my straight line quilting.  We'll see if I improve over the next year.

O.K.  That's it for this blog entry.  

Talk with you soon!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

QuiltCon 2015 - a quick review

I can't believe how quickly QuiltCon 2015 flew by!  Many people brought pins to exchange.  I decided to join in and found it was a great way to meet people.  There were people at QuiltCon from all over the world, including 2 women from India.  I think they also said that every state was represented.  In any case, there were a lot of people at this second QuiltCon.

I had a very difficult time with registration, so I only had 1 full day class and 1 half day class (the half day class was cancelled) - so then I was down to 1 class and lectures and demos.  But, the class with Weeks Ringle was excellent.  I had a number of lectures that were quite good and went to several demos also.  The free time I had allowed me to wander the vendor area as well as look at the quilts several times.  There were some amazing quilts in the show.

I took some time to test drive long arm machines.  I tried out Juki, APQS, Gammill, Handi Quilter and Innova.  Quite a variety of prices and options.  My LQS is selling the new Bernina long arm, so I didn't try it out on the vendor floor.  Looking at price point and options, right now, Handi Quilter is my top pick.  Thanks to Leona for working me through the various long arms so that I understood what they did and didn't do. 

Here are a couple of mosaics and photos of my QuitCon experience. 

 (#1 hundreds and hundreds of spools of thread, #2 Elizabeth Hartman's demo, #3 a photo with Weeks after her class on Thursday)

 (These 4 quilts are some of my favorites at the show.)
(Speaks for itself!)
Of course Austin is a great food town, so many yummie meals were had:

Four of us shared a condo that was across from the convention center.  Great location, great group of roomies, and a very comfortable space for sleeping and coffee in the morning.  Ashley is from San Francisco, Jenny is from Bend, Oregon and Leona is from Pleasant Hill.  Hope to see them again, possibly in Pasadena in 2016!

I left Austin as the big winter storm was about to hit.  Made it to Las Vegas for my next leg onto Reno, where yet another storm was about to hit.  Both cities got snow, sleet, etc (as did most of Texas) and I know that many people were delayed.  My flight was late but we took off and bounced pretty badly for the first 15 minutes - then magically, we were out of the storm and the rest of the flight was fairly smooth.  But those first 15 minutes were really unpleasant!  I'm an anxious flyer at best.  I'd prefer to be teleported to my destination and avoid flying all together!

Aaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.  

P.S.  It's snowing on the valley floor here in Reno even though its 37 degrees!  Big beautiful flakes with nothing sticking on the sidewalks or roads.  We have had very little rain or snow this winter.  It was 60 degrees on Thursday and about 55 on Friday.  Hopefully there's alot of snow accumulating in the mountains - snow pack was at 19% of normal a few weeks ago.