Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is it still September?

Whew! Just barely. So, I still have time to sneak in my September mini needlepoint teapot. Please notice the sad little bouquet of pencils. I would have sharpened them, but I'm already doing several things at once and running out of time.

New Amy Butler reinforcements arrived last week. I finished all of my wonky log cabin blocks (25 in all) and am currently working on adding the white sashing.

I also received some lovely Heather Bailey Fresh Cut.

Yesterday morning I went to the NW Quilting Expo in Portland. I have never gone to this particular event before and was really looking forward to it. However, I have to say that all-in-all; it was a bit of a disappointment for me. Maybe it was my mood – I don’t know – and it may have been what many others wanted or needed, but there was very little that truly inspired me in the way of color, fabric, or design. As far as technical skill – there was some fabulous and very impressive quilting and piecing, but I just didn’t get my usual “fix.” I think I was looking for traditional quilts with a modern twist (ala Material Obsession), simple, clean, and modern quilts (ala Fresh Modern Quilts Flickr group), or bold use of color (ala Kaffe Fassett Collective). Even in looking over the fabrics and patterns available from the vendors, I just felt like I was seeing the same things I have been seeing for the past decade or more. I would say that many of the vendors catered to a country or primitive style, but I also saw 30’s reproductions and civil war reproductions. And batiks everywhere. I mean, EVERYWHERE. Nothing is wrong with any of these, but I wanted more variety. There were only about 3 vendors carrying any KF fabrics, and I didn’t see any fabrics from designers like Anna Maria Horner, Jennifer Paganelli, Amy Butler, Tanya Whelan, Sandi Henderson, Tina Givens, Heather Bailey, Heather Ross, etc. So, apparently, this particular show and it's vendors didn’t cater specifically to me and my tastes or introduce anything that would convince me to try a new look or style. If only they would have consulted me (tongue in cheek). That said, there were some standouts (in my book) for various reasons.

I loved the colors in this one and the fact that it is very Gee's Bend-like:

Lovely appliqué:

This quilt looked like a painting or photograph. Amazing!

Inspired by Jane Sassaman:

This one was made from fabrics from Guatemala.

I like the blocks on this one:

I thought this was an interesting pattern, and reminds me of one I have tagged to do in the Fall/Winter 2009 Quilt Sample magazine: Out-of-the-box Argyle.

I have started working my way through block one of the Material Obsession/Sue Ross BOM. I haven’t done very much curved piecing, and not for a long time. I almost quit before I got started – in fact, I have almost quit several times. Curved piecing – you want me to do what??? But, with pins galore and careful machine sewing, so far so good. Breathe.

And Dear Readers, I can’t believe how many of you seemed to take Samantha’s side and only see her playfulness and cuteness. I can see I will get no sympathy from any of you. But if you send me your address, there are days when I just might pack her up and send her off to sleep on your fabric, play with your strips, and plop herself down in the middle of your cutting mat.

With wishes, true and kind (even for sweet Sammy) -- Joan


  1. Oh sammy, she is so adorable! I know what you mean about those local quilt shows. I decided to skip the show in Madison this year because I got the exact same uninspired feeling you mentioned. But I do love that quilt of the door, which looks very much like a photo.

    Your curvy project looks great so far! Don't give up - I bet it's going to be fabulous. I also love your new fabric choices. You can do so much with those. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks for sharing those lovely quilts from the show. Actually I felt the same when I came away from the recent show I went to with regards to fabrics. Where was all the designer fabrics tht I'd recently fallen for? Saw some lovely quilts but nothing fresh and modern. Seems to be lots of 'art' quilts out there.
    I'm sure those curves will be worth all that hard work!

  3. Hi, I worked the show as a volunteer. I understand what you mean by a lot of the vendors didn't have the latest designs. There were some cool quilts though and there was some insperation for me. Since i am a reader i love the book club group that make quilts influenced by the books. So many ideas.

  4. Wow, what a mega-post! Thanks for sharing those beautiful quilts!

  5. Hi Joan! I'm sorry the show was a bit of a disappointment. I, too am feeling a bit of disappointment at some shows. Some of the fabrics just seem "beat to death". But, Fall Market should be good! Heather Bailey, Tanya Whelan, and Sandi Henderson are all debuting new lines. So, maybe soon my friend, maybe soon! And if Heather Ross doesn't release a new line soon, I think I'm goin' scream! I've blown through my Far Far Away.

  6. I have felt the same way about the expo for the last two years. Its like the shops grab what isn't selling off of their shelves and bring it to expo...or maybe they are catering to an older fashioned crowd of quilting? I echoed the same complaints about wanting more "Material Obsession" type quilts displayed to my aunt yesterday. There needs to be a shift in how these shows are run. I think a lot of it has to do with the fear of submitting a quilt. For so long it has been about the elite and who can do the best job, but what it really needs to be about is sharing and seeing something new. Might be time to talk to those in charge and seek out the young and young-at-heart in the the quilting world to shake things up a bit next year. :)

  7. Joan...gorgeous fabrics to play with! I'm waiting anxiously for your finished wonky quilt. The curved piecing amazes and intimidates me too! I love the colors you've picked out though. The quilt of the door...fabulous and I'm so glad you shared that with us. So much inspiration in one blog! You're in my thoughts through the day...hoping you're well, the kitty behaving and lots of thread and fabric to keep you happy!


  8. I had a cat that looked just like Sammy growing up.

    Love that solid Improv Quilt! That must have been a lot of fun going to.

  9. Don't give up, the BOM is going to be gorgeous. I tend to gravitate towards curves. Every time I say never again and then I see another wonderful pattern and I'm hooked again.

  10. Never say never! here i am doing an applique quilt I said I would never do...
    I Love love love that striped star quilt. Someone did something similar here in NYC at the cityquilter show this past weekend, and it was so simple but it was gorgeous overall. AND i forgot to take a picture of it.. oh well.

  11. What a great post...thanks for sharing some gorgeous pics from the show. I think it gets hard as your personal tastes develop & the shows can become less inspirational...maybe it means our indivdual style is really developing!
    my cat is my sewing companion too...has to be close! You are doing well with the MO block....I pieced Block 1 by are impressive doing it by machine. Block 3 should be heading our way soon!

  12. Hi Joan, I must say I had a similar feeling about a show I went to recently, I was disappointed with the fabric choices there. I guess we get a little spoilt with the wonderful array we can find online these days too! I too love the quilt with the door, beautiful. Your sue ross bom is looking great, I was worried too, I had never done any curved piecing, but now that I have done it, I'm thinking of doing a whole quilt out of this gorgeous block...I will warn you now, this block is addictive!! xo

  13. Hi Joan,
    I love your new fabrics and I must say...I dont think I would enjoy a show unless all those designers you mentioned were represented.
    That Sammy is so kitties are always trying to sneak into my workroom! They would do the same thing!

  14. Your post made me smile, even while coughing!!! I love 30's and civil war reproductions, but they are worn out in my book. I love the freshcut!!!!! It makes me want to ditch my current project, and pull out my quilt and finish it. But it would be nice to have the Thanksgiving table quilt for Thanksgiving!!!!LOL!!!

    Many blessings to you,