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!