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Road Trip to Sisters

For years I’d heard about the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show over in Central Oregon, but it wasn’t until my first visit a couple years ago that I realized just how amazing it really is.

Sisters is a tiny town near Bend, a place you’d drive through without a second glance most weekends. But the second weekend of July? There’s no way ! They even close off the streets for hundreds of quilts and thousands of quilters. (I’ve hear it tops 12,000!)

Stitchin' Post in Sisters, Oregon

Each summer for 39 years, Jean and Valori Wells have been the driving forces behind this celebration of quilting. And their shop, The Stitchin’ Post, is at the bustling center of it all. This wall, in fact, is where it all started back in 1975 when Jean hung up some of her students’ quilts and the idea just took off. Now quilters from all over the world come to Sisters for the show. Pretty amazing, indeed.

My first stop was the shop in hopes of seeing Valori again. I’d worked with her a bit at Robert Kaufman and love her Quill collection (along with the upcoming Ashton Road). Alas, I didn’t see her, but I did see a new-to-me Quill quilt design that I fell in love with. It shows off the huge design so well, don’t you think?

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In addition to her lovely bold prints, Valori has a great collection of blenders that are rolling out over the year called Blueprint Basics. Each week she focuses on one fabric from the collection and then mixes it up with other fabrics, yarns, etc. to focus on her Color of the Week. While I was there, Cinnamon was the focus and I absolutely adored what she did with it in this display at the front of the storm. I hate knitting and I still wanted to pet those yarns!

Caramel: Val's Color of the Week

The whole shop is full of color and texture and you really can’t help but be inspired by it all.  I particularly love the Journey quilt on the far left below and the star quilt on the far right (anyone know what it’s called?)

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After roaming through the crowds at the store, I headed down the street to admire the quilts. There are literally thousands of quilts and I wish I could show them all to you, but we’ll both have be satisfied with sharing a handful of my favorites…

Nel’s Wordplay was made by Irelle Beatie from Santa Barbara, CA and was just a fun way to showcase some quilting lexicon. I love crossword puzzles, so there’s something extra interesting to me about this. Plus who can resist red/white/black combos?!

Nel's Wordplay Quilt

I love traditional quilt patterns, so it’s kind of a n0-brainer that I’d love how Linda Marlow of Lyle, WA hand-sewed and hand-quilted her Grandma’s Flower Garden (76″ x 84″). According to the tag, she bought “a few blocks in a box and a lot of hexagons cut out” at an estate sale and decided to finish it up. So sweet! If there’s a heaven, some quilter is happy to see it finally finished.

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Since I’ve been working on my great grandma’s quilt for so long, I’m always a bit curious to see other’s hand-quilting. I feel better about mine not being perfect either because this was a beauty. All.those.hexies!
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Jane Adams of nearby Bend, Oregon used the Log Jam method to put together this wonky log cabin quilt she called Working It Out (81″ x 81″). This one really grabbed my attention for the bright colors and slightly wonky nature. It’s something I’d love to do, but for some reason I’m still scared of putting together in such a free form method. It’s like the one part of my that is a perfectionist, but really, I need to get over that and just make one. I love the results so very much.

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I also ran into a couple quilting stars at the HandiQuilter booth. Angela Walters gave Heather Braunlin-Jones some stern advice (but only for the pictures!). I adore these two ladies–both have been so supportive these last couple years, with shoulders to lean on and always up for a chat about life, motherhood, and working in the industry. #fangirl
Angela Walters and Heather Braunlin Jones

Then they let me have a turn! I wasn’t a natural by any stretch, but it was an awful lot of fun to give it a try. I even managed to write my name (with an enormous cross on that T!) IMG_8506

And then ran into my recent co-workers, too. Kyle, Ken and Elisabeth were all up from Los Angeles, visiting with the beautiful Valori Wells. Robert Kaufman was sponsoring the children’s booth, their first time at Sisters, so that was pretty exciting. And really nice to see people I enjoyed during my time in LA. Kyle and Ken were so super kind to me during all my sick time there and I will be forever grateful for them.

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The quilts continue around town, but this is one of favorites. So Old West looking!

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Friends from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild had their own exhibit and it included some beauties. This geometric quilt called Balls and Bowls (40″ x 46″) was made by none other than the talented and uber-kind Rachel Kerley of 2nd Ave Studios. I love all the neutrals and crazy variation of  quilting designs. The woman knows what she’s doing in ways I can only dream about.

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Violet Craft showed off her new Brambleberry Ridge collection (with Michael Miller Fabrics) in this graphic quilt she calls Flying Falcons (50″ x 56″). It looks a bit washed out, but really that’s just the sun doing its thing. And in the back, that’s Cherri Langley’s Converging Corners quilt (the Film in the Fridge tutorial is here). There were a few versions of this quilt pattern around and I think I want to do it sometime because it it pretty cool. 
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I really love the bright colors in this, even though it really isn’t my thing personally.  Joni Reading of Boulder, Colorado did a beautiful job blending values and colors in her Garden Path (90″ x 90″), so it’s not really surprising that it sold. I must say that I was pretty impressed with the $950 price tag, too.  (Put that on my bucket list, too: Sell a quilt for almost a thousand dollars.)

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It was a beautiful day and after strolling and ogling and chatting, I headed back through the absolutely stunning scenery of Oregon. I’ve so missed all this green.

the road to Sisters, Oregon

I’m happy to be home, among quilters, designers, family, friends and this stunning natural beauty.

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Let’s Sew!

sewcialIf you live in the Portland/Vancouver area, I hope you can join me tomorrow night, June 7th, to sew-sew-sew for the orphans in Vietnam. I will be bringing along patterns for bucket hats for adults and toddlers, the lovely Popover Sundress (that’s the dresses they’re sporting so sweetly in the pic above), and some generic shorts.

Thomas Knauer kindly donated twenty (!) pounds of fabric and we’ll be cutting into that. Modern Domestic has offered the space, machine and tools. All I need from you is a little time and a spool of neutral (grey, cream) thread.

Sew Em Be Charity Sew-cial 
Modern Domestic – 1408 NE Alberta St. 
June 7    5-8 p.m.

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Quilting in Public Day is coming up

So June 15 is Quilting in Public Day in the EU, but apparently the celebration hasn’t really crossed the pond yet. I’m thinking we need to bring it on over this year and I hope you’ll join me and take your quilt somewhere out in public to work on.

quilting at the airport

I got an early start, working on my great-grandma’s quilt while my friend shot photos in outgoing airplanes (including this big ol’ 777) at Portland International. There’s something truly lovely about sitting outside to stitch.

Quilt in Public Day 
June 15, 2013
#quiltinpublic 

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Quilt Market Crazies

Quilt Market was this past weekend and in case you’ve never heard of it (and I hadn’t until a couple years ago!),  let me briefly explain: Twice yearly, the quilting industry gathers for a three-plus day convention to offer up a look at the new patterns, tools and fabrics. It’s for the trade, so it’s mostly suppliers setting up booths and shop owners roaming the expansive floor. They put in orders for most of the fabrics they’ll be along with a slew of patterns, gadgets, notions and tools. Let’s just say it is an incredibly vast array of quilting (and some apparel/craft sewing) stuff.

I went there as the editor of WebCents and to find out what’s coming down the pike so I can promote it to the trade association.  Of course, I had to make new clothes for it, including this Simplicity 1652 dress. It’s the second one I made, so I promise to write up a review soon including how I tweaked it the second time around.20130519-095907.jpg

But check it out… it’s not a black or grey dress. That baby is PUMPKIN. I still can’t believe I’m wearing it (and in fact, I washed it and am wearing it again as I type). I am just not a pumpkin kind of girl, but Andi at work suggested it and I figured why the hell not?! I got some of the new Modern Solids from In The Beginning Fabrics after seeing them on the Pink Chalk Fabrics newsletter. I can happily report that it’s lovely fabric to work with, even for apparel. Kudos.

On Thursday I got a sneak peak at booths while they were setting up. I could smell the sod they were laying down in Heather Bailey‘s booth an aisle before I saw it and when I did I was awed. [Forgive the blurry pics.]HeatherBaileybooth.jpgAnd Moda/United Notions had a stunning curtain of stitched die-cut leaves around their booths. I saw it and vowed to make window curtains for myself like this until I remembered that I’d have to cut them all out by hand. Yeah, nice idea but it’s not gonna happen. 20130517-073729.jpgI ran into Luke Haynes and he filled me in on his amazing light-up jacket. I’m not gonna spill the beans, but you’re going to love it when he shares this one with the world. He’s so creative, it blows my mind.20130519-095927.jpg I loved all the embroidery patterns, especially the over-sized ones. Heather did the huge yarn embroidery and Penguin & Fish had these awesome pillows. How freakin’ cute is that hedgehog? Need it, right? Yes, I do. She’s got a book coming out and while I doubt I’ll get to do much for-fun hand-stitching this year, I’m gonna buy it. It’s too lovely to pass up. 20130519-095952.jpgRashida Coleman-Hale had this awesome kid kimono in her booth. Gorgeous, eh? It’s using her new Koi line with Cloud9 Fabrics and I cannot wait to get some for myself and add it to my stack of Rashida fabrics. 20130519-100017.jpgThen there was THE selvage dress–unbelievable and gorgeous. Jodi of Ric Rac was awesome and still happy to talk about this dress that has been all over the blogosphere and now in Portland. :) 20130519-100036.jpgThere was, of course, the after-parties and I made it to a couple. The PMQG and Modern Domestic joined forces and a fantabulous time was had by all. ModDom recently added another space onto the shop, which means more party space and more classroom space, too.

It was a fun conglomeration of folks from around the industry: folks from Threadbias and Craftsy, book publishers, quilt designers, fabric designers, longarm quilters, sewists, bloggers and teachers. 20130519-100109.jpgThere was so much more to see and do and I’ll be sure to throw some more in here and there for you, but I have to save the good fabric pics for work (sorry!).

So after four harried days of prep, dinners, Schoolhouses and Market, I’m done. My feed ache. My back is a mess and I’m overwhelmed by the number of people I met, hugged, exchanged cards with and chatted up. The introvert in me is ready to be back in control any time now.

Have you been to Market before? Worked it? I’d love to hear your take on it. 

 

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The Tank Team

Have I told you how much I enjoy teaching people how to sew? It’s a surprise even to me! I mean, I knew I liked teaching after leading the EFL classes in Vietnam and it’s blatantly obvious that I love sewing, but putting the two together has been a slow merger. Silly, I know.

20130428-180228.jpgThis was most of my class from last Sunday when we made the Wiksten tank. It’s an easy top with some interesting construction. I added a few things to make the finished product a bit better, in my opinion, including stay-stitching, basting the hemline and doing the bias neckline totally different. And I must say, it all worked pretty well. We ran short of time and with another class behind us, we had to clean up before anyone had gotten to the point of top-stitching. A bit of a disappointment, for sure.

But Modern Domestic has added the class back to the schedule, tacking on another half-hour so we can make sure it gets done this time. Join me June 8th, will you?

P.S. Less than three weeks until Quilt Market!!!!!!!

 

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Happy Birthday, Threadbias

Threadbias Online Sewing Community I’m proud to say I’ve been on Threadbis since the beginning. I’m not even sure how I stumbled onto it early last spring, but I did. It’s been inspiring watching the site grow and develop, adding more sewists and quilters every day.

They were super great in helping me spread the word about last fall’s sewing drive.

And now they have the design tool to give everyone access to a quilt program. Did you know you can subscribe for only $15/month?

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What I Did For LQS Day

Our FabShop team did a small shop hop yesterday, visiting quilt shops in Vancouver, Washington to see just what was going on out there to celebrate.

Our first stop was Just for Fun! Quilting (2700 NE Andresen Rd) where I got to see some long-arm quilting happen, both computerized and freehand. She has a great selection of batiks, but the best thing about this shop was the number of notions and tools she carried. They also have a wide variety of classes, including some simple apparel, as well as quilting.

We got Cindy to hold up the banner Crissy, Melissa and I helped create:

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Then we headed to Fiddlesticks Quilt Shop (2701 N.E. 114th Ave, Suite 1) where I had a gift certificate to use. I found the lovely fabric at the top first, then went around scooping up other fabrics. I ended up not having enough left for more than a 1/2 yard of that first one, so I may have to return after payday. :)

I was super excited to find the Farmer’s Wife book as I’ve been wanting to tackle that or the Dear Jane quilt for a while. Not sure I’ll use those fabrics for it, but you never know. Oh! Except for the Hometown fabric (from Sweetwater) at the bottom of the stack. That I’m using for a bag, probably another mail sack with the text (Etchings from 3 Sisters) as the lining.

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Then it was off to The Quilter (808 SE Chkalov Dr) which had more quilt patterns than I knew even existed. I did get my hands on the new blogger book

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