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.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Roof Top Quilt is finished!

I am pleased to report that I finished my Roof Top quilt after letting it sit unfinished for quite some time.  Here she is:

I love the way this quilt has such a three dimensional look to it - very visual.  The original quilt is in Gee's Bend The Architecture of the Quilt book.  A typical Roof Top quilt would only have 9 blocks.  Each of the blocks would have been much bigger.  I decided to make more blocks and make them smaller so that I could keep the strip piecing straighter.  I have "issues" with long strip piecing - can't seem to keep it straight!  So, I went for shorter strips that were easier for me to handle.  

I also finished my part of my friend Jaye's Round Robin quilt top.  I was quite late in getting my portion done.  My move put me way behind - first completing the move and then second getting my sewing room set up.  Anyway, it is done and returned to her.  I can't wait to see what the next round looks like!

I also am happy to report that we have finally gotten some rain here in Reno.  And lots of snow in the mountains!  Plus an amazing wind storm that knocked fences down all over the neighborhood.  I was lucky to avoid any fence loss, but big winds seem to be a winter regularity.  More rain coming our way, which is good news for all of us living in the rain shadow of the Sierras.

Aaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Something to Write About!

Happy New Year a little bit late.  Seems to be the theme of this blog.
There are so many days when I think about blogging, but I don't feel that I have made progress, so I don't really have anything to show.  Then, I start to forget about blogging and I immerse myself in IG and Facebook.  I admire the consistent bloggers who seem to have a new finish every few days.  I am amazed at the talented women (and men) who are so creative and productive!

Since I am blogging and you are presumably reading this blog, you have likely figured out that I do have something to show... and you would be correct.  So here we go!

First, I did finish the quilting on the Gee's Bend quilt however I have not yet added the binding and finished the project.  It's staring at me as I sit here and write.  Soon, very soon!

Second, I finished my Modern Crazy Quilt (I call her Mod CrZY).  I first organized my scraps (what a job!) and then used my scraps to make "made fabric" ala Victoria Findley Wolf.  Everything in this top is from my stash:

 Then I reorganized my sewing room, put up shelving and tried to deal with the distinct lack of useful lighting in this room:

 Then I went back to the Mod CrZY top to move it along:

 I used a medium dark grey and then added improv geese for a border.  It must be squared up and then quilted, but I am done with the craziness for now!  In the future I will never again make improv wandering geese - total nightmare to finish and I ran out of grey and had to piece the last bit of border.  But, I managed to complete the top solely from my stash and that was my goal when I started.  It would have been so much easier to buy more grey to properly finish this top, but...not part of the rules of play. I think I have 2 or 3 very small pieces of grey remaining that are now in my scrap boxes to be used some other time.  

Next, I turned my attention to a Round Robin piece that I needed to work on for my friend Jaye.  I brought the piece with me (one round done by another contributor plus the center done by Jaye) when I moved from the Bay Area.  I located everything when I organized my sewing room (phew - I was beginning to wonder where I had put Jaye's materials and then magically they appeared as I emptied one of the many boxes of fabric!).

This is what it looked like when I received it:

I then squared it up, narrowed the outside "block" rows, added a small strip of the confetti dot fabric on those sides and added pinwheels to top and bottom.  I wanted to elongate the top, which was very square and introduce another shape:

As I'm looking at this photo, I'm thinking maybe pinwheels along the two sides which would act as a frame for the center design as though it were the medallion center and would, in my mind, call for this to be a big quilt?  Previously, I was thinking that the next round should be something different - more geese?  improv trees?  elongated log cabins?  I've sent the photos to Jaye for her thoughts.  

I have to say I really like this top. The fabric is happy and uplifting to work with.  The interesting thing about a Round Robin is that you have to stretch yourself to come up with a vision in light of the work that people before you have done.  

More to come with this top and the completion of other projects sitting and staring at me as I write...

Aaaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.