Tag Archives: antique

PICTORAL REVIEW: INTERNATIONAL QUILT FESTIVAL 2015

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PICTORAL REVIEW:  INTERNATIONAL QUILT FESTIVAL 2015

My favorite time of year–International Quilt Festival!  Come along with me as I give you the whirlwind tour.  It is an annual tradition that my sister and I spend four days and three nights at the Hilton that is literally attached to the Quilt Festival by a walkway to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.  Here are views from our room:

View from our Room

View from our Room

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Nannette, and I love to fuel our excitement by viewing the entire show first from the fishbowl window on the second floor.  Several quilters taking selfies inspired us. 🙂

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Okay, now for the show…

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As you enter Preview Night, Winners Row is front and foremost.

$10,000 Best of Show

$10,000 Best of Show

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The winner of the Founders Award gets $7,500, and airfare to, and accommodations for, the International Quilt Festival!

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Peter Hayward from Spain wanted to take op art to a new level with graduated color and concentric lines.  I wish you could see this quilt in person.  Your eyes play tricks on you as the fabric appears to be in motion!

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Ben's Midnight Garden

Ben’s Midnight Garden

Ben’s Midnight Garden is traditional applique inspired by a mid-nineteenth century wool rug.

In the Valley of Xingu

In the Valley of Xingu

Reborn

Reborn

One of my personal favorites among the winners was an original design by Joanne Baeth inspired by old fishing boats in a boatyard in Oregon where she was salmon fishing.

The End of the Line

The End of the Line

This amazing quilt, “Tagged,” was dedicated to the nearly 30,000 Japanese internees who were children during the internment camps on the Pacific Coast after Pearl Harbor.

Tagged

Tagged

Of course, equally fun as viewing the quilts is shopping in the row upon rows of booths selling fabric, trims, patterns and quilts, sometimes antique.  Here are some of our favorites:

Gypsy South from Atlanta, Georgia.

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Cat, owner of Gypsy South. Very talented lady! I bought gifts for myself and others. 🙂

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There were booths playing games for prizes like thread and fabric!

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At Pineapple Fabrics you could “spin to win” fabric. My sister and I each won a miniature charm pack!

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Miss Rose Sister Violet always has exquisite items such as trims, patterns and clothing.

Miss Rose Sister Violet

Miss Rose Sister Violet

I always visit, and stock up, at Trims on Wheels presented by a lovely couple, Edie and Luc Roelens, from Hillsdale, Wyoming.

Trims on Wheels

Trims on Wheels

Quilts by the Bay had a beautiful booth as usual.

Quilts by the Bay, Friendswood, Texas

Quilts by the Bay, Friendswood, Texas

The Sampler (the-sampler.com) always has tons of luscious Kaffe Fassett fabric.

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the-Sampler.com

the-Sampler.com

I don’t know if you’ve been introduced to Adult Coloring yet (very soothing activity) but the craze is cheerfully spreading, with me on board!  Appearing in various booths, including this one:

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Here is a booth featuring authors who were autographing their books for customers:

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And now for some rapid fire eye candy quilt pictures that I just snapped every time I saw a quilt that dazzled me:

The Floral Arrangement

The Floral Arrangement

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

Close up of the tridimensional petals...

Close-up of the tridimensional petals…

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Tutti Frutti City Street

Tutti Frutti City Street

Rama Lama Ding Dong

Rama Lama Ding Dong

Sprocket to Me

Sprocket to Me

Triptych The City: Past, Present, Utopia?

Triptych
The City: Past, Present, Utopia?

Close up of the triptych. Hand embroidered, hand embellished.

Close-up of the triptych.
Hand embroidered, hand embellished.

Persian Excursion

Persian Excursion

New York Lights

New York Lights

Harvest Celebration

Harvest Celebration

Harvest Celebration close-up

Harvest Celebration close-up

Hip Hip Hooray

Hip Hip Hooray

Yes, those are tiny little pieces.  Here is the story from Bernadette Houghton, Columbia, South Carolina:

“I was going to try making a miniature quilt at a quilt camp, but ten days before I was to attend, I fell and broke my hip.  After I got out of rehab, I decided to make a full-size quilt for my bed instead of the miniature, beginning with the half-square triangles I prepared for the camp.  The quilt was completed one month after my hip was pronounced fully healed.”

And here is a close-up just to give you perspective:

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Pennsylvanian Star of Bethlehem

Pennsylvanian Star of Bethlehem

Tropical Punch

Tropical Punch

Crazy Elegance

Crazy Elegance

Parrotise

Parrotise

I didn’t get the name of the next quilt, but in the close-up you’ll notice hidden kitties…there were several.

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At the Window

At the Window

A Coastal Town

A Coastal Town

The Orange (near Rome)

The Orange (near Rome)

Savanna by Yoshiko Miyamoto

Savanna by Yoshiko Miyamoto

If They Were in P.E.I. Original Precision Applique

If They Were in P.E.I.
Original Precision Applique

Judy Technique: Photograph printed on fabric, thread-painted, free-motion quilted.

Judy
Technique: Photograph printed on fabric, thread-painted, free-motion quilted.

Laughing Now

Who’s Laughing Now

Polka Dodo

Polka Dodo

Sunflower Serenade

Sunflower Serenade

Flowers and Stars

Flowers and Stars

In addition to quilts, some displays featured costumes:

Celebration in the Night Garden

Celebration in the Night Garden

Three more fashions:

Fashion Flashback

Fashion Flashback

And some displays featured dolls:

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This is a display of food made of fabric:

High Tea at Rosings Estate

Sunday Night Means Breakfast for Dinner

High Tea at Rosings Estate

High Tea at Rosings Estate

And then there were dioramas:

Feed the Birds

Feed the Birds

Dioramas from a display called “In the Yarn Barn.” Animal lovers across the country knitted or stitched creatures to “live” within this fun exhibit.  Each animal is quilted, knitted, crocheted, or stitched.

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Of course, there are a variety of classes offered at Quilt Festival, some lasting a whole day and some hour-long lectures.  This year, my sister and I chose a lecture by Kaffe Fassett featuring a color theme with comments and slides of his glorious quilts.  His latest book depicts quilts presented at the show this year called Ancestral Gifts.  The collection displayed the actual antique quilts that inspired him, side by side with his interpretation–a modern colorful quilt!  P.S. He’s also back to creating knitting designs!

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett

I also attended a lecture by Cheryl Kuczek, titled “Master Designer Handbag Making Techniques.”  One of the featured bags was Xine Basket Bag for which I purchased the pattern.  IMG_0765

Cheryl Kuczek

Cheryl Kuczek

As usual, I peeked into other classrooms to snap a few pics for an idea of what else was cookin’.  So inspiring!

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The Craftsy Studio was there:

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Stitch Studio

Did I mention that Quilt Festival usually falls during Halloween?  I captured a few characters that showed up:

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Now look closely at the next picture and you’ll notice that the gentleman on the left has a plunger through his head, and the lady to the right is sporting scissors through the head! 🙂  Yep–a howling good time at Quilt Festival on Oct. 31!

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And what, may you ask, will become of the educational four days of fun?  Behold the patterns and kits I purchased and plan to execute!

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I loved the real life sample of this five layers of petals pillow offered in the Material Girl booth.  Can’t wait to make it in my own colors and fabrics!

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I chose this Mini Messenger pattern (with kit) to learn to make a bag with a twist lock. 🙂

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Two other bag patterns I now own are made from wool, a clutch and a larger bag.  Purchased from Heart to Hand.  Awesome booth with excellent samples of their patterns.

Clutch with built in coin purse pocket. Appliqued boiled wool detailing.

Clutch with built in coin purse pocket. Appliqued boiled wool detailing.  Title:  Nest Egg

Larger bag featuring a cheesecloth white rose!

Larger bag featuring a cheesecloth white rose!

Not only is the Miss Rose Sister Violet booth  beautiful, they now offer patterns of the following bags that are right up my alley!

Sunday Rose Shoulder Bag and The Weekender Travel Bag

Sunday Rose Shoulder Bag and The Weekender Travel Bag

One more bag pattern caught my eye at one of my favorite booths, Abbey Lane.  Here is the Maxwell Bag:

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For some reason, I have the urge to sew an item of clothing and bought three yards of batik to make a jacket.  And now I also own the kits to make the following:

Faux Fur Infinity Scarves

Faux Fur Infinity Scarves

And…

Faux Fur Cape

Faux Fur Wrap

So…tremendously inspired by blogging this review, I am ready to work on my projects!  Until next time…Love, Anny

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Trips = Happy Blood Pressure

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Hmm, just noticed that my last two posts have been mostly travel related.  When I started this blog I imagined most all my posts would be about purses/bags or at least sewing.  But travel is a big part of my life, especially since retirement.  I once told my doctor that one of the ways I’ve managed to keep my blood pressure in check is to always have a trip in the works.  As long as I know that eventually I can escape and be forced to unwind for a bit, I’m happy.  And usually, to some degree, that travel includes some fabric or embellishment shopping. 🙂 Sometimes, the whole trip is about sewing, such as the International Quilt Festival coming up this month!  Very excited about that and will report back.  But in the meantime, here are a few projects completed recently.

Last fall, I found a pattern on-line for fabric pumpkins.  Since fall fabric is plentiful in my stash, I was excited, but as with a lot of projects, I ran out of time and it was beyond fall before I knew it!  But, this year, I started early and here they are.  This pattern is called Patchwork Pumpkins by Kim Kruzieh at RetroMama.Etsy.com.  You can download this pattern which has clear instructions, pattern pieces to cut out, and pictures.  The stem and leaves are made from felt.  The leaves have some handwork stitching, which you probably could leaf (lol) off, but I found very relaxing.  In case you’re not familiar with or have forgotten some of the embroidery  stitches, they are illustrated as well.  All in all, a very fun project–maybe for a gift!

FABRIC PUMPKINS

FABRIC PUMPKINS

You may recall my problem with purse frames.  I haven’t practiced like I intended, but here is one that’s always a sure-fire hit with me.  It’s an arched metal frame with a kiss-lock closure and an added chain that can be removed or tucked inside.  The purse is simply sewn with a sleeve at the top.  Then you unscrew one side of the frame bottom, slip the sleeve on, and there’s your purse!  No messy glue or stitching!  You can order it on-line from Mica’s Room.  I embellished it with an antique brooch, designed by yours truly, from Victorian lace and a vintage button.  Binge watching Project Runway while I sewed, of course, called for fabric from MOOD!  These are silky pin-dot velvets, inside and out.  I named this purse Victoria.

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Cowgirls and Lace, one of my favorite places to gather fabric, is near my granddaughter’s house, so Gracie and her mom accompanied me to their Semi-Annual Sale.  I think Gracie scored even more than I did!  She had store personnel joining in her hunt for sample treasures.  She designs sets for her LPS videos.  It was like, “Oh, Gracie, this would make good wallpaper!” or “How about this fabric for a rug?”  They even gifted her with a sample book!  That’s my girl!

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As a matter of fact, my most recent bag is almost completely fashioned from items from Cowgirls and Lace.  Finding two very beautiful and unique tassels, plus gorgeous fabric, inspired the bag I titled Serengeti.  The fabric is from American Folk and Fabric’s antique collection called Kings Muir.  If you look closely, you will see that one of the tassels is an elephant.  And the other is just plain elegant!  The lining is a sage green silk Dupioni with three pockets from the exterior fabric.  In some bags, this one included, I now add a swivel hook to the pocket to attach keys.  The hook is attached to the pocket with a piece of leather from one of the sample collections I found recently at Cowgirls and Lace.  I bought about six rings of leather samples, assuming I could put them to good use since each sample is 5″ x 5″ and they were only a few dollars per set!

SERENGETI

SERENGETI

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To create Fields of Gold, a fabulous and fun gypsy bag, I chose a golden brown embroidered floral fabric for the exterior and a silky red interior.  A textured leopard print handle was added, along with teardrop tassels, thickly braided fringe, and a flower centered with a piece of upcycled jewelry.  This bag truly has it all!

FIELDS OF GOLD

FIELDS OF GOLD

Oh, and my good neighbor, Jeff, stopped by to bring me a beautiful rose and gold brocade fabric from his generous upholsterer friend!  I’m sure you’ll be seeing that in the future, maybe as an elegant clutch!  So many patterns, so much fabric, so little time!  I love it all!!

Happy Sewing To You!

Anny

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

WILD CHILD

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Artwalk Galveston was awesome!  Purses were sold and I was privileged to meet the clients who purchase and enjoy my wares!  Since the show I’ve been loosey goosey on sewing.  Both Gracie and Madison visited independently and Gracie made some colorful clothes for her treasured pet collection.  Madison and I took a class in Burlap Flower Making and created all these and more:

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I could attach these to headbands, purses, picture frames, etc.  Speaking of picture frames, I also managed a frame transformation in a furniture restoration class using Amy Howard paint.  I plan to take the follow-up class where you actually bring a small piece of furniture and transform it.  (You know I salvage from the alley when appropriate.) 🙂

Picture frame Before

Picture frame BEFORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture frame AFTER

Picture frame AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madison and I also visited thrift shops.  I wish I had taken a before/after pic of the t-shirt that Maddie upcycled!  So cool!  We both bought place mats to turn into clutches.  Hers worked really well.  Here is an exterior and interior shot.   She sewed the interior with several pockets and partitions with velcro closures.

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My place mat purse was made from straw and was so stiff it will be used as a file folder. 🙂  Besides researching purse patterns and fabrics, I upholstered a chair and accomplished some mending.  Not my favorite thing!  But thinking ahead to fall, I have sewn one bag that I call Wild Child.  The exterior is a soft yet sturdy floral velveteen that has a sixties vibe, with an interior of aqua moire.

WILD CHILD

WILD CHILD

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On the travel front, I managed to visit my favorite city in the world one more time–NYC!  If you’re a fan of Tim Gunn’s Project Runway, you’ll appreciate the following:

SWATCH--Mood Fabrics Mascot!

Still pinned from Project Runway!!!

Still pinned from Project Runway!!!

Shades of Project Runway

Shades of Project Runway

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SWATCH–Mascot of Mood Fabrics

Other than a visit to Mood Fabrics, I tried to incorporate new adventures.  Tender Buttons is a little shop on the Upper East Side that is top to bottom just buttons, and I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Two tours of New York City that I would highly recommend:

1) If you are a fan of Law and Order (and who isn’t), please take the Law and Order Walking Tour of Manhattan.  It is led by a real, retired NYPD detective who has written a book of true crime stories and a guide to true crime sites.  OH!!  And while he was showing us Central Booking, a town car pulls up and two detectives lead a real handcuffed suspect into the door where every arrested person must enter–from petty thieves to terrorists!  Trust me–you will enjoy this tour!

Central Booking

Central Booking

2) If you love awesome food (and who doesn’t) you’ll be so glad you booked the NOLITA/NOHO Food and Culture Tour through Foods of New York tours.  We were led to the most scrumptious food sites imaginable and given samples at each one!

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As you can tell, this tour started with dessert and ended with dessert–my kind of tour! 🙂  Both of these tours incorporated history through real life stories to keep it even more interesting.

I’ve been a little behind on blogging for the following reasons:

Oh, let’s face it–I’ve just been having fun!  More to come, with reports on Colorado, Italy, and the fabric I might find there!

Ciao!

Anny

 

 

 

Dramamine, anyone?

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The Madison Visit–We began with sewing and ended with sewing but mucho entertainment in between!  Our first mission was to purchase fabric for the cute McCall’s vintage romper pattern we recently ordered.  Madison chose a lovely red stripe seersucker.  Luckily, we borrowed a tape measure and discovered that the size was wrong.  But, after visiting two stores we located an almost identical pattern (also McCall’s) and promptly had it cut out and ready to roll!  We woke up to crashing thunder and lightning the following morning which, as you know, is perfect for sewing up a storm. 🙂  That sewing room had never seen so much cutting and stitching!  Maddie is a very quick learner, cutting and sewing with minimal guidance from Granny, and soon delighted with her new summery creation.  Encouraged by this awesome success, she proceeded to sew with me throughout the evening, fashioning matching hair accessories, belts, and bracelets!  Here is the new outfit…

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On Sunday we visited with Nannette and Laura, then back to Galveston for evening sewing.  This time Madison was itching to try her hand at stitching a bag pattern (with a zipper!) for small travel items.  She selected a laminated chevron fabric from my laminated scraps bin and again, with minimal guidance, created a lovely bag.  With even less guidance, she produced yet a second bag for pencils etc. to coordinate with her backpack.  As I sewed my latest bag, she continued at the Bernina, trying her hand at fabric flowers.  Yay!  A beautiful turquoise polka dot laminate rose was generated, along with a fabulous shabby chic satiny silver peony.

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No, we didn’t spend four days just sewing. 🙂  We experienced the Duck Tour, visited Moody Gardens Aquarium and The Texas Seaport Museum, learned to Segway along the Seawall, took a carriage ride in the historic district, and rode the Ferris Wheel (Galaxy Wheel) and Log Ride (Pirate’s Plunge) at the new Pleasure Pier over the water.  Wow!  I am a little lacking in sleep but happy as a clam that we had such fun together!  Except for the sewing, Grandpa was a great sport at escorting us and being the bank. 🙂  We dined at our favorite places and sampled some new ones.  If you’re in Galveston, we highly recommend the following:  Mosquito Cafe, Farley Girls Cafe, Hey Mikey!’s Ice Cream, Mario’s, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Olympia Grill (umm, the blue lump crab cakes are divine), and Galvez Bar and Grille (try the bacon wrapped shrimp.)  We also sneaked in a little shopping here and there at Tina’s on the Strand, Colonel Bubbies, Flea by the Sea (Maddie picked up a cute nautical bag), and Modern Vintage on Post Office Street, where I snapped up a beautifully embroidered silk pillow and an antique bird feeder for Grandpa’s wildlife preserve on the Hill Country property!

I mentioned we also ended our visit with sewing.  Last night I helped Madison start some embroidery and she took to it like a duck to water, stitching a tea towel with a pear design–a foray into hand stitching.

You must be thinking, “But I thought Madison just arrived Thursday evening?”  Yes, she did, and sadly bid us farewell today.  But anyone who has traveled with me knows that I do like to pack in the fun until you drop.  Grandpa told Madison the story of our honeymoon and how I planned a fantastic agenda but forgot to include little things like travel time and sleep.  On the fifth day, he fell asleep in his plate at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco!  I stayed up that night reading magazines and viewed more action out the window of our downtown hotel.  When I traveled with the teachers, they learned a little secret–I get sleepy if I’m taking Dramamine.  Now they threaten to sprinkle it in my food! 🙂  Well, Warren Zevon had a song in the 70’s called, “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.”  Anyone remember that?  Somehow it resonates with me…

Just need to restore a tiny bit of shut-eye to prepare for our upcoming trip to L.A., followed by a Gracie visit!  Hmm, Dramamine anyone? Zzzzzz

Lotus Blossom

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After struggling with the rhinestone zipper, I did finally surrender and opted for a regular zipper on the latest bag, Lotus Blossom.  BUT, I salvaged the sweet little rhinestone zipper pull and added it to the regular zipper.  Turned out to be a serendipitous moment since the shape of the rhinestone pull echoed the shape of the Lotus Blossom bag!  IMG_2131IMG_2133

Sometimes you just wonder if all that ripping is worth it, but with the addition of a bamboo handle and a stylish removable flower pin, I’m really pleased with the results.  And as usual– live and learn!

I’m very excited about tomorrow.  At an Urban Market I plan to shop for antique/vintage linens which will be incorporated into hobo chic type bags, along with a little fringe, beads and doodads to create that carefree gypsy feel.  And, the best part is that the sponsors of the antique market are allowing pets, and the very rescue club from which we acquired our Golden, Buddy, will be there with even more Goldens to love on!

Another fortuitous event occurred today when I met a friend of a friend who has a shop on Etsy called Hands of Blessing.  Crochet is her forte and if you visit Etsy, you should check out her treasures and patterns.  I’ve been thinking of opening a shop on Etsy and with her encouragement I decided to get started.  I can see I have some work to do such as more photography and researching postal rates, but I feel like I’m already on my way!  Stay tuned!

2012 Houston International Quilt Festival

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Oh, YEAH!  A three night stay at the Hilton connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center is JUST RIGHT for enjoying the largest quilt festival of all!  My sister, Nannette, and I had plenty of oohing and ahhing to do as we perused the twenty aisles (we’re talking over nine football fields of shopping and quilts!)  We ate at the Hilton and the Geo. R. Brown, which meant our cars never left the garage.  First night is Preview from 7:00 to 10:00 and then the next two days we spent all day (10:00 -7:00) at the show.  This is a seamstress and quilter’s dream come true.  We watched demos of new products and Nannette bought the battery operated ripper (which I now regret not buying every time I rip.)  One of our favorite demos was the foot and body massagers.  While your feet are on the foot massager, the salesperson uses the shoulder and back massager on you!  Ahh, heaven indeed!  By late afternoon each day, we were definitely ready for a mini-massage to get us through until after show and dinner time back at the hotel.  A little massage and a latte from the snack bar and we’re good to go again! 🙂

Nannette’s son’s fiance’s grandmother (did you follow that?) had a quilt and a wall hanging in the show!  Very exciting and we took a pic of her  with her lovely and entertaining quilt which you’ll see below.  The quilts seem to be more and more amazing each year and there are a number of charitable organizations affiliated with the showings.  From modern style (you could swear that some of the art quilts are photographs) to old style (the French Guild quilts were all antique repros and were pieced and quilted by hand), the assortment of techniques and designs was phenomenal and prize money this year totaled $94,250!

Speaking of antique quilts, let’s talk shopping!  I bought my very first antique quilt (top only) which is a daisy chain done in the 1930’s.  See pic below.  It is hand pieced and one could spend hours just studying the variety and placement of fabrics used.  Another first for me, I saw a demo, tried it myself, and purchased a lace painting kit.  I plan to artistically decorate small romantic antique looking bags with these new paints and lace trims.  Another purchase included several handles for my bags including some that are new to me so it will be fun experimenting.  And so as not to completely exit from the garment game, I purchased fabric and pattern for a winter vest that has an embossed paisley design on soft green fur.  I also found laminated fabric designs which work perfectly for the Anny Bag.  Of course there was a gathering of trims–ribbons, buttons, charms, feathers, lace, appliques, fringe, etc.

Nannette and I both made our first purchase the new Kaffe Fassett autobiography, Dreaming in Color.  We already own every book our guru has ever written.  When you open one of his books, you can spend hours leisurely pouring over the exquisite array of quilts he offers.  But the very best event to happen to Nannette and I occurred just before we started our Wednesday night Preview.  We exited the Hilton and were waiting at the traffic light when we turned around and noticed Kaffe, himself, behind us!!  We must have seemed like groupies as we tried to talk (stammering) to this international quilt celebrity, who, I might add, is very easy on the eyes–actually his are piercing blue.  Since we went directly to the display where he autographed our books,  we decided to concentrate on keeping our distance the rest of the night lest he deem us stalkers!  🙂

With dreams of next year’s festival, I bid you a fond farewell.

Why do I do this to myself?!

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Why do I do this to myself?!

Midnight in Paris

Front Pocket Close-Up

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I’m stating up front that this bag, Midnight in Paris, was one of my most joyful creative processes–even if it did take twice as long as I anticipated and was WAY more complicated.  This was to be a simple bag…   As I unfolded the beautifully textured blue floral fabric I realized the first problem.  This fabric was much too delicate to use for a bag, to the point of having a see-through background.  Now what?  I pulled some heavier midnight blue with a velvety surface.  When I layered the delicate on top, I had the look I originally pictured.  First problem solved–simply layered and basted the two fabrics for the exterior of the bag.

My next plan was to fashion the exterior pocket from a piece of antique French embroidered table runner.  Stains on this antique led to the rather unusual cut you see for the pocket.  Another pocket flaw was covered by an additional piece of richly embroidered and beaded applique that was the perfect dark blue.  Second and third problems solved.

But wouldn’t you know it, whIle searching for the applique, I discovered plenty of delicate long fringe in the perfect color.  Nope, never applied fringe before, but how hard could it be?  Well, surprisingly, that process was a success!  Fourth challenge met and it certainly added to the romantic character of Midnight in Paris!

Oh, I must tell you about the fabulous little clips I discovered from Clover Products.  In earlier blogs I had recommended using mini-clothespins or small binder clips to hold layers of fabric together.  But I saw the Clover clips advertised and decided to order at least one box to experiment with them.  Wow!  I will definitely keep using for future projects.  One side is flat, and somehow, even though they are small, they’re amazingly strong!  Highly recommend…just sayin.’

The fifth dilemma came after I had interfaced, sewn darts, and almost completed the interior lining.  I decided that the fabric chosen for the lining, while appropriate in color, was just too contemporary for the interior.  Laying it aside, I fashioned a completely new interior from a golden silky lining that enhanced that romantic feel.  Once again, I created a pocket from the antique French runner and two more from the golden fabric.  Added a magnetic snap and the interior was ready.

Oh, a simple little bag, huh?  Now I find myself adding beading all around the top!  Romance just called for beads…  Should’a called the bag, Midnight ROMANCE!  Maybe next one…

The main difficulties had been overcome?  Actually, no.  I did not have enough fabric to make the handles!  At this point, the pattern changes to “my design.”  Instead of two handles that tie at the top, I created one handle from side to side.  That sounds even easier, right?  The problem is, the main part of the bag is cut for the original design.  Now nothing matches up.  What to do?  By doubling the top ends over where the handle meets the bag and sewing it shut and trapping the handle inside, the amount of fabric now matched up but looked a tad messy.  I spied some leftover fringe.  The leftover fringe was hand-sewn around both of the bag/handle meeting points and actually appeared tassel-like. Voila!  Problem solved–again.

Long story, but all of this is to say that even the simplest bag can throw many challenges your way.  Thankfully, this is when my learning curve takes a spike and the old creative juices get flowing.   Yes, it took longer and was fraught with difficulties, but I felt very proud of my efforts.  A special bond had been forged between that bag and myself which made it difficult to part with.  I’m hoping a “true romantic” gives it a good home.

The Apron Challenge

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Anny "APRON" Bag

Back in November I was given a bag full of vintage or semi-vintage aprons by the owner of a wonderful architectural antique store in Austin called Revival.  Having seen the Anny Bag, she wondered if perhaps a bag could  be created from those aprons.  This project, which I started after the holidays,  proved to be quite the challenge!  First of all, these were random aprons and there needed to be a common thread (so to speak 🙂 )  I eventually decided  to add a fabric of coordinating color but it couldn’t be anything contemporary.  Aha!  A lightweight light blue denim from my stash.  I chose three print aprons that had similar blue shades that looked very vintage.  Alternating these for the ruffles, I allowed the edges of the denim to fray.  The band was from the same denim.  Now realizing that a purchased handle would not look right on this bag,  I came up with an idea.  I took three of the apron ties and braided them for each handle.  Then the handles were attached using vintage buttons from my grandma’s button box.  Thanks, Grandma!   Yesterday, I handed over the bag and the remaining aprons to the shop owner and she was mighty pleased.  Will it sell?  Stay tuned!