Vending at quilt show is always a learning experience. Each guild (or group of quilters) varies in it's taste from each items sell better to which sample quilt gets all the attention… I know there are a lot of variables that play into that, especially placement or location. This time it was a little different. I forgot a number of my samples. With a different combination of samples hanging, it's probably not an accurate to compare to other shows. Just the same, the sample that got all the attention, was a still life scene done in a class with Esterita Austin. The sample hung at the end of my stand, which was back in a corner, above the basket with patterns and Esterita's video. At least, it's placement drew people into the booth. I also hand a group of four women who really liked the asymmetrical long sleeve shirts. They took a group of them to the restroom to try on. Ladies in the restroom noticed the shirts, and came back to see me. Thanks for the advertising! It was a nice show and group of people!
It has been a busy spring and summer for me. My studio has been neglected and has collected a lot of dust. With a vending gig, and week long class fast approaching, it was time to get busy. I needed to dust off the studio and focus. Focusing has been a chore this summer. I wanted to spend time outside and with my kids, and family. Going down to the studio has seemed like a chore.
Last week, I started to approach my studio, a few hours at a time. Putting things away, finishing things and getting started on the "to do" list. First and foremost on the list, prepping for the vending gig. I got out the fabric, some regular cotton, some radiance and threw in some new cotton sateen. Mixed up some dyes. The largest holes in my inventory were the multi-colored pieces and the ombre's. At least those are fun to do. A friend was cleaning out her studio and gave my a bunch of dyes, supplies and fabric she didn't like. I had fun over dyeing some of her fabrics.
I also finished my 2nd quilt on the long arm…whoop, whoop. I ironed the backing fabric for the 3rd quilt…just need to remember how to load it now. I made a bunch a motif blocks for my upcoming class with Nancy Crow. I probably should make more. I really like 2 of them and can see using a 3rd one. Just wondering if making more is the best use of my time and limited motivation.
I did spend a full day in the studio yesterday, ironing the dyed fabric and getting ready to start a new piece (for a possible exhibit). It felt good. I just need to remember that accomplishing things, and getting to check off something from the "to do" list, always makes me feel good!
What is a leader/ender? Have you ever sewn through a scrap before you sew on your actual pieces so that the fabric doesn't get pulled down into the feed dogs and get bunchy? Then you have used a leader/ender. This are particularly helpful when chain piecing, and you have finished one row/section and you don't have any more to sew until you iron or cut more. You sew through a piece of material, get your next row/section ready and your ready to go again. Well, that piece of material ended one row and started the next, so it was a leader/ender! Now, instead of sewing through a scrap piece of material that you are just going to throw away, why not keep a stash of scraps squares or triangles next to your machine to use as leader/enders. I have made several quilts this way. The quilt in the picture above in one of those quilts. I kept a stack of 2" squares next to my machine. Anytime I needed a leader/ender I would grab two squares that I thought looked good together and sewed (sewn, if you prefer) them together. When I was done with the section of blocks, I would cut of my scrap squares and set them aside. When I had a huge stack of 2' scrap squares sewn together, I then started grabbing two of them to use as leader/enders making them into four patches. Then the four patches were sewn to a larger block (3"), again as leader/enders. Once I had the double four patches sewn together (all as leader/enders while sewing other projects together) it became a projects of it's own. I arranged the the double four patch blocks on my design wall. When I was happy with the layout, I started sewing the blocks together and started another leader/ender project…this time sewing ½ triangle squares together. See picture below. While I would love to take credit for this wonder idea, it belongs to Bonnie Hunter. She has a book filled with leader/ender ideas and projects. This is such a clever idea, thank you Bonnie! Every busy quilter can benefit from including this idea into their sewing life…
I love using leader/ enders when I am chain piecing. It was an idea from Bonnie Hunter. Instead of using a scrap piece of material in between chains, use two small blocks. You can work on two project projects at once! I keep a pile of 2" scrap squares next to my machine for this reason...Happy piecing!
West MI Quilt Guild
National Quilting Association
American Quilter's Society
Surface Design Association
International Machine Quilter's Association, Inc
Modern Quilt Guild
Some of TEACHERS I HAVE LEARNED FROM: