Monday, October 31, 2011

Quilt Market Profile: Retro Clean

I have seen my fair share of dirty old quilts.  Sometimes it is endearing, but sometimes you just want to bleach them until they sparkle.  Sadly within the historic quilt world (world might be an overstatement), it is frowned upon to clean up your old quilts.  But, if you dare to be different, try Retro Clean.

Look!  Dirty quilt on the left and clean quilt on the right. 

Yo Yo blocks on their booth table.

Quilt Market Profile: Carolyn Friedlander

We met Carolyn Friedlander at the Modern Quilt Guild meet up on Saturday night.  We chit chatted all night and then visited her booth the next day.  Carolyn's patterns, stamps, quilts, and overall "look" was a welcome breath of fresh air.  Check her out here in the coming weeks!

Simply lovely.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Quilt Market: Day Two

Whoa.  Its like amazing.  There are so many quilts.  And other amazing things like thread, batting, rulers, tools, sparkles, cutters, mats, and celebrities.  The pictures can speak for themselves...

Everybody loves the embroidery hoop/fabric combo...well executed at Westminster Fabrics.

Embroidery hoops with awesome little embroidered animals at Penguin & Fish.

Cameo circles at Riley Blake Designs.

The always popular Amy Butler.

Carrie Bloomston's awesome finger puppets!

Grey is the new white at Birch Fabrics.

Nice, simple booth for Michael Miller  solids.

Michael Miller Fabrics also had this sweet ride.  Note, the sign said it was for sale.  Perhaps we should head back to Nebraska in a Husker red MG coupe?

Classy cowboy prints at Riley Blake Designs

Kaffe Fassett's booth.  Kaffe was recently seen in the flesh at the IQSCM in Lincoln...I am still searching for him in Houston...

Again, grey, grey, grey...this time at Kona.

Day of the Dead, a fitting theme for the Halloween season, at the winning booth, Alexander Henry.

Seems like the right price at Gammill.  HAHAHA.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Houston Quilt Market: Day One

Despite sleep deprivation, arriving at Quilt Market was pretty amazing.  We got to the convention center at about nine.  Our nifty credentials worked like a charm.  We wandered around, probably seeing only a fraction of the booths for a few hours before we crashed.

Looking pretty good after no sleep...At the Accuquilt station visiting our favorite vendor, Mary Ourecky.

Bohn needles, what I used to use when I hand pieced.

Snazzy scissors

Organic fabric at Daisy Janie.

Chair covers...

Really cute fabric from Cinderberry Stitches

Pretty colors

An homage to the Bernette, who had to stay in Nebraska...

Details from the car...

Me, impersonating a truck driver.  Note, flannel shirt, huge smile due to the endless entertainment of the road, and the blur of the passing scenery...

Dallas.  We made a wrong turn and learned how not to take pictures at night.

Donna and Madeleine dreaming of fried pie.
Driving for 13.5 hours from 1:30 PM to 3:00 AM is really great.  We made it without any accidents, speeding tickets, or truck stop drama.  Highlights included two gas stops, getting lost in Dallas, and a Fried Pie store (unfortunately it was closed).  At 3:00 AM, we arrived at our destination.  No, not the hostel, but a Wal Mart parking lot.  We chalked it up to our own little Occupy movement and hunkered down for the night.  Despite reports that Houston would be very warm, we were almost icicles when we awoke at 7:00.  We spent a little time freshening up in Wal Mart, so that we would look as amazing as these people.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hitting the Road

I should be out the door already, but in mere moments, I will be on my way to Houston for Quilt Market/Festival.  This event will likely blow my mind.
Pile of stuff to bring along.  Mostly clothes, Halloween costumes, and cans of soup.  Classy lady here.
Check out my traveling companions', Madeleine and Donna, as they note our adventures!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Knitting: Poncho

The second it starts to get cold outside, I want to knit, I need to knit.  Additionally, my house is cold, and I need to stay warm.  I had some extra wool/silk blend yarn waiting around, and I decided to knit a poncho.  I am pretty much against all ponchos, but I am looking at this as a somewhat classier Snuggie (why did I capitalize that word?).  The difference is, I will probably wear this bad boy all over town, embracing my inner couch potato.
Multiple layers of frump.  But so cozy! 

Little Squares Quilt

I am almost done piecing this beast.  I am loving the colors.  They match my dirty carpet, beige walls, and poorly trained pup very well.  


My weaving odyssey continues.  The last lovely image of my shadow weaves I posted was deceptive in that it was a tiny sample.  Now I am making it bigger.  I also incorporated a log cabin block at the bottom edge of this soon to be scarf.  Must incorporate quilting into every aspect of my life...
Only like 50 more inches to weave...

I cheated.

It wasn't even on sale.
I bought some fabric on a recent trip to Kansas City/St. Louis.  How am I ever going to come home from Quilt Market/Quilt Fesitval in Houston empty handed?

Tractor Museum

I should be doing homework, so I am blogging.  I should blog about crafts, but I am going to write about the tractor museum, more specifically the Lester F. Larsen Tractor Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I am a museum person.  I like to go to them.  Sometimes museums make something that isn't cool seem cooler.  Tractors are inherently cool, but they are transported to an other-worldly place at the Lester F. Larsen Tractor Museum.

I have been twice.  I usually go with male friends thinking they'll love it.  While they seem to, I love it too.  Highlights include: tractors, barb wire collection, helpful docents, AND the smell of gasoline.

Oops, I didn't see this centaur at the museum...
But I did see this one!  I have officially adopted Centaur as the new name for my car, it seems to fit the prius perfectly, part man, part animal...

If ever I end up on a farm, I would like to drive around in this tractor.

Sadly the Centaur's line's are not as classic as the McCormick-Farmall.

Apparently some tractors don't have tires.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stray Dogs

I am sucker for dogs.  They are so cute.  Maybe and Also are the cutest, but others are nice too.  I instinctively chase stray dogs, and I usually catch them.  This summer I had one successful catch and one major fail.  The success was a white boxer who wandered into my yard.  I corralled the guy and tracked down his owners through the vet's office on his rabies tag.  The fail was a giant german shepard.  It was a Sunday, animal control is closed, so you have to keep the dog.  That wasn't an option given the dominant personality of certain dogs who shall remain nameless, maybe.  So, I had to release him...

Today was Sunday.  Not a good day to catch dogs.  And I am in Kansas City, in a dog-free hotel.  And I found two lost dogs.

The first one was running around near a busy intersection.  So I drove over a median, no curbs, don't worry to follow him.  He was really skittish and fast.  There were four cars chasing him.  Probably not the best tactic.  But he ended up running home.  So, it was kind of an anti-climatic dog chase.

A mere four hours later, I was in a less than desirable neighborhood, somewhat lost when I saw a mangy dog wandering in an empty lot.  I screeched to a halt and coaxed him over to me.  He had a collar on, but it only had a rabies tag, no owner information.  So, I was just hanging out with him trying to make a plan when a drunk-ass hobo approached.  I tried to give him the dog, but he didn't want him.  I flagged down to police officers who said they couldn't help.  Thanks.  Luckily a few kids walked by who recognized the dog and knew where it lived.  So, I drove him home.

Maybe dog rescuer is my calling...


I am ever so slightly obsessed with celebrity gossip.  Over the years, I have had a few exciting real life celebrity sightings.  Sandra Bullock in Soho...Michael Kors at the movies, watching Atonement in the same theater as me!!!  My pal Kylie spots D-list celebrities really well, like Jacinda Barret and Cillian Murphy on the same day in London! (post-Inception, Cillian Murphy might be above the D-list)

The quilting world also has celebrity superstars...and I saw one!  It wasn't a random spotting, rather a meeting scheduled for school, thus it was easier to snap photos.  Terry Hancock Mangat, art quilter extraordinaire, was kind enough to share stories of her life with us as well a few of her new quilts.

Terrie Hancock Mangat with Fireworks quilt

Terrie Hancock Mangat, up close

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I have two pairs of jeans that fit perfectly.  As of yesterday, they both had holes.  One pair has been mid-fix since last March when I realized there was a giant hole in the crotch.  The other pair was mangled after getting caught on the edge of my fence.  I have other jeans, but they are a) ugly and b) probably dirty.  So, this morning I had to do some mending/iron on patching. 

This was almost too much for me because I have a mental aversion to clothing construction.  It doesn't matter if everything goes wrong quilting, but if everything goes wrong when you are making clothes, you might end up looking like a insert all the funny things Michael Kors says on Project Runway here.

Wow, that must have taken some great ironing skills...Also, please note the hilarious application of the style name of my favorite jeans to me...

With two pairs of fixed jeans, I won't have to do laundry for ___ weeks...


All my squares are cut.  Now its time to sew...

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

All the perfect craft bloggers are not just interested in crafts, but also home decoration, cooking, and being awesome.  I am interested in home decoration, but unfortunately the graduate student budget does not allow me to realize my home decor dreams.  Additionally, I am renting a house that recently sold for $25,000.  While there's a surprising amount of potential in the 100+ year old, haunted looking, miniature Victorian farmhouse, it would require at least an equal investment to the purchase price.  Move that decimal point over five places, and you get the amount of money I have for the project...

But cooking, well I have to eat, so I can comment on that.  Many moons ago, while living in Phoenix, I was fortunate enough to live across the street from this.   La Grande Orange is an institution in the Valley of the Sun.  So much so that like everything in Phoenix they are/did build(ing) another one.  But, on weeknights they had "Dessert Happy Hour."  What an amazing concept.  I would frequently partake, and like happy hours of other sorts, usually I would over indulge.  The best dessert was always the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  Yes, they are technically breakfast, but they were so delicious, they were good anytime.

Fast forward.  Several months ago the Lincoln community was lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's added to the area.  Their fall seasonal haul of goodies included pumpkin bread mix.  So, I added chocolate chips and a ton of sugar on the muffin tops.  And, they are exactly like the La Grande Orange version...!

Here is a very dark picture of the little muffins.  I ate too many of them.

Fiber Fun Addicts

In July I joined a fiber group.  At first I thought it was called "Fiber Fanatics," but it is actually called "Fiber Funatics," which sounds a lot like "Fiber Fun Addicts."  Being in a group has forced me to finish projects on a somewhat faster time frame than usual.  It has also solidly convinced me that in at least some respects, I am a traditionalist.  I am a traditional quilter because functionality is always part of my design.  I want to use the quilts I make.  Small quilts don't keep you warm.  Embellishments are scratchy.  How do you snuggle with a wall hanging?  That said, how do you learn new things when you only make bed quilts?  I need to be a little less practical with my quilting...

Last weekend our show opened at the Bernina Sewing Studio.  Here's the photographic evidence:

Small journal projects.

The scene.  There was lots of food.


My quilt.  Its corn fields.  I spent part of the summer detasseling, and as I willed myself to not quit, I dreamed up corn quilts.  I carefully included seed corn, giant muddy expanses, and its kind of crooked to help the viewer experience the unpredictability of the corn...hehehe.

Its really just crooked because I can't sew straight.  BUT, I quilted this bad boy myself, and it is sort of flat on the wall, SCORE!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In Progress...

I spent Friday afternoon piecing away.  My machine is being kind of crazy, I think there is something wrong with the bottom tension, but I managed to finish a quilt top.  No pictures yet because it looks totally off pre-quilting.  And quilting won't happen until my walking foot gets here.

In an effort to make a huge dent in my fabric stash before hitting the road again in May, I am making a postage stamp quilt.  I can use scraps, and the seam allowances on all the little pieces will eat up tons of fabric.  Here's the fabric I am using:

One of my favorite fabric stores Pink Chalk Fabrics had a scrap bag sale a few weeks ago.  I totally loved all the fabric (except for the two pieces of holiday themed fabric, ugh) and most of this came in the surprise stash.  This also represents the last (except for backing fabric) fabric I will purchase between now and graduation...If you write it, you have to stick with it, right?

The universe is finally back in line.  Following a huge loss last week, the Huskers smashed Ohio State yesterday.  Well, not really smashed, but after losing most of the game, they ended up winning.  This amazing bus picks up my neighbors on game days.