Friday, October 20, 2017

Durchess Heritage Quilt Show

It was great to be invited by Sew and Vac in Poughkeepsie NY to demonstrate Westalee Ruler work in their booth at this quilt show. Met some great people who had heard of ruler work but not seen it demonstrated, so I was busy all day sewing and schmoozing — doesn’t get better than that!

My friend Teri Lucas was the featured artist at this show and she arranged a space for me to hang one of my quilts in the non-judged, non-competitive part of the show. It’s always fun to see a quilt hanging in a show and they always look a lot nicer to me than folded up and stuffed into a suitcase like they usually are!

I told Teri had no idea what to name the quilt, so she did it for me; here’s a picture of the card that explains the quilt’s story. Teri and I have had a running joke since we met several years ago in Knoxville when we were both teaching for an AQS show there. She calls me The Queen and I call her My Dear Princess; if you have met Teri, you know she has an infectious sense of humor and it was great to be able to hang out with her after show hours. Teri lives in the Bronx, so she didn’t have too far to drive to the show.

This was the 18th Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show; it is presented by the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show Committee in cooperation with the First Dutchess Quilters Guild and the Dutchess Community College Foundation. Along with Teri, I was excited to see Debby Brown (of Handiquilter fame and cutie patterns, for two), who told me that First Dutchess is her home guild.


So I took a picture of Debby’s phone so I wouldn’t get lost on the way to dinner and met both Teri and Debby, along with a couple of other really nice ladies for a lot of laughter and some good food.

Somewhere under all that lettuce is buried a bison burger, which was excellent, along with really crispy yummy sweet potato fries. It’s kind of disappointing to me that the only way I like this healthy vegetable is prepared in the worst possible way!

When I got up the next morning, it was to find that my five year streak of driving rental cars in rain or snow remained unbroken! If you are having a drought in your area, just book me to teach, tell me to rent a car and your problems are over, at least for one day!

These quilts weren’t in the show, but the vendor selling beautiful solid fabrics had no problem with my taking the pictures. I really liked the quilting on both of these.

After the show was over and the booth broken down, all of the goodies out of the booth were brought to the Sew and Vac, Inc. store in Poughkeepsie.  There are two locations; the Albany store carries Husqvarna Viking machines and the Poughkeepsie store carries those as well as Babylock and Janome machines.  Since I am a spokesperson for Mettler thread, I was also happy to see a goodly amount of Mettler in the pretty new fixtures!

Sew and Vac carries both garment and quilt fabrics with a lot of fun projects displayed on the walls. Of course, I LOVED the coffee cups hanging at the top of the wall and I think the office caddy — it definitely caught my eye, being orange and all — would be a really attractive and useful thing to have.

My eyes were riveted to the perfect points in the mariner’s compass quilt. Love looking at them, but have never had the nerve to make one.

Along the very top of the wall is a display of old to new Viking sewing machines. There were quite a few there — an impressive collection!

I had an hour and a half drive from Poughkeepsie back to the Albany airport and a little extra time to make that drive, so I had breakfast at the Cracker Barrel across the street from my hotel in Fishkill NY. I think I love Cracker Barrel as much for the eclectic shopping experience as the really good breakfasts. Had to take a picture of this cute sign!

Quick trip home, one day to get everything turned around and ready to take on the road to MN!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Catching Up

When I updated my iPad and iPhone to ios11 a few things happened, one of which I lost the ability to add photos to my blog posts. I type the post, pull up the photo, click done and — POOF — I’m kicked right out of the program. And what is a quilting blog without photos?

So now I am typing my blogs to my fabulous and most capable assistant Monica for her to publish. I would love to be able to do this all-by-myself-like-a-grownup again, so if any of you are on ios11 and are publishing your blog using your iPad and iPhone successfully, please leave a comment so that I can go there NOW!

Last blog post was October 2, which not so coincidentally was when I updated. So, since then...

I’m still working on my Blocks of the Day; here are the ones I finished between October 3rd and 6th, when I flew out to the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show, in Poughkeepsie NY.

I’ve also still been working on the Matrix blocks as my leaders/enders quilt; this is going to take a good long time, which is just fine.

Another thing I did during that week was to piece together the Minions quilt, which was my Block of the Day for all of 12 days. Then I decided that I didn’t like the border fabric that I had ordered, the larger minion print that is in the yellow blocks. With this darker sashing fabric, I decided I would rather have the larger minion print in the orange blocks. I thought that would be especially good because the navy sashing fabric has orange dots in it.

During that time frame, I was also packing for my Poughkeepsie trip. I left on the 7th, worked the show on the 7th and 8th and then flew home on the 9th. Unpacked, did laundry and repacked on the 10th and flew out on the 11th for Fargo ND to teach at Red Pine Quilt Shop in Detroit Lakes MN the 12th-14th, flying home again on the 15th. Now I’m home for a week before I head out to TX for another week.

I do have to show you some things from the Dutchess Heritage show and Red Pines visit, I’ll do two more posts and then I’ll get to start almost up to date!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Got Some New Quilt Mags In

New magazines into the Batt Lair today -- the two Quiltcon issues and Modern Patchwork were purchased directly from an email sale sent by the publisher. I found Curated Quilts on one of the blogs I read (I probably get 50 of them in my daily Bloglovin feed). It was more expensive, but the photography is beautiful and it is printed on high quality paper. This is Issue 01 and I ordered just the single issue to see if I liked it before subscribing. Only glanced through it, but as a surface impression, probably will.
Realized that I hadn't included the finished top and back photos of the Paper Pinwheels quilt, so above is the top...
...and here's the back. They are a little bit larger than the floor space, but you can get a pretty good idea of how they are going to look. Used the leftovers pretty effectively; have just a few small squares of the comic fabric left, none of the main low volume backing and, after making the turquoise grunge binding, put 47" of that back on the shelf for another day.
Keeping on with the dailies -- here are this morning's two Circuit blocks and the one Matrix block pieced through the current step. That makes two of them, although we don't expect leader/enders to be speedy, do we?

Do you make leader/ender quilts? What are your criteria? Still figuring out mine and could use help!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

National Coffee Day?

Hearing that Friday is National Coffee Day reminds me of my favorite teeshirt! There must be a Starbucks run sometime tomorrow for those of us who choose to observe this holiday!

Continuing on with the circuit blocks as my block of the day...
...then pressed the one semi-completed Matrix block from yesterday.

Today I finished the comic book border on the pinwheels quilt, got the back pieced and made the binding from the turquoise grunge fabric.
Here's part of the back -- I like piecing scraps into a quilt back; it's kind of like putting a puzzle together.
I was in the hair salon today and my friend Tina Neal, manicurist extraordinaire, showed me the wreath she made from ribbons and things she bought at the dollar store and attached to a frame from Hobby Lobby. This is so cute! Tina's already planning wreaths for Christmas, Valentine's Day and Just Cuz.

She thought I should make some, too -- I can just imagine the look on Dan's face if I come home with crafting supplies! LOL!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Looks Like a Cyclone Occurred!

That's probably a big exaggeration -- I totally cleared off the work tables so Destiny would have room for her king size quilt and she moved right in. Her Turning 20 quilt finished at 101"x113".
She bought some of the fabric from Spoonflower; these panels represent her favorite things in some of the video games she likes, so she put them in a strip for the back of the quilt and surrounded them with leftover fabric.
Destiny still has quite a bit of fabric left, so I taught her how to make pillowcases yesterday. I had some Paris themed fabric on hand for a pillowcase that I was going to make for her, put away and forgot about.
So she took a break from back building and made this very French pillowcase -- great job!
While she was doing that, I made more blocks of the day....
...and then put the turquoise inner border on the pinwheels quilt. Wasn't home much yesterday in that I drove to Pasadena to have lunch with a friend and then had an appointment with the doctor who did my foot surgery. Got the all clear to go back to nornal activity -- hooray for that!
Today's plan is to get the superheroes border on and think about what to do for the back.

Have a happy quilty day!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sew Sampler and a Giveaway!

First a catchup with what got done this weekend:

Four blocks of the day -- this is going really fast!

Look at the cute selvage on one of the prints...

And -- ta da!! -- ready for borders!
To make the weekend even better, the September Sew Sampler box came.

Even the inside of the empty box is fun!
Inside -- a charm pack and a pattern for a table runner that works with it. I cut a yard of a white print and gave these to my goddaughter Destiny. She just got a new Brother machine and needs a project to go with it.
Then there was a storage tin and a Pop Socket for my phone -- of course, Destiny put it on for me since I couldn't decide where I wanted it. I am greatful for this smart young person in my life to guide me through the techno maze.

And the giveaway!

This Matchbox Quilt kit has bright yellow and white fabric, batting and floss to make a 6" square mini quilt. It's a beautiful shade of yellow that always makes me think of kitchens and sunrooms. You could use it for a potholder, a trivet or frame it to hang on the wall.

Want it? Leave a comment about the color yellow. Love it? Hate it? Use it in your quilts? We'll pick a winner October 15!

Good luck!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Have You Tried a Meal Delivery Service?

First, let's define terms! In my culinary corner of the world, there are two types of meal delivery. One is dinner already made and ready to reheat -- thank you, Jamie! The other is delivered with recipes and just about everything you need to cook them. All you have to provide is olive oil, salt, pepper, and once in a while an egg or two.

We've used three of those services; the first one we tried was Plated because the daughter of a friend of ours works for the company and sent us a free week. I loved the concept, we enjoyed the meals and I learned to be a better cook. I've done several posts on various Plated meals.

Somewhere in the beginning, we took advantage of a discount offer and tried Hello Fresh. After two weeks, we decided we preferred Plated because the meal choices were more to our liking. At least for the weeks we participated, Hello Fresh food was simpler and more "down home". We don't have kids eating with us so usually choose dishes that are spicier and have more complex flavors.

If you're thinking about trying one of these, has done a fair and thoughtful job of comparing the most popular plans out there. It's a good read and definitely worth the time to peruse it. Just go to to get the total scoop.

Meanwhile, after a year of enjoying Plated, we've moved on to another company called Sun Basket, but that's a subject for another blog post! Last night's dinner was SO easy! Dan grilled the steaks while I tossed together organic baby kale, artichoke hearts and pitted Kalamata olives in a bit of balsamic and olive oil. Thank you, Sun Basket!

Accompanied by a really good red!

Got where I wanted to be yesterday; I had set a goal of getting the top half of the quilt together. Today I would like to get the three remaining sashings pieced, so we'll see how that goes. I don't have all day to sew because we're having dinner out with friends tonight and the restaurant is in Los Angeles, about an hour and a half drive.

We're enjoying a few days of cool fall weather, although temps are going to steadily increase next week until we're back in the 90's. But it was really nice to have the first fireplace evening last night. A glass of wine, a fire, good dinner with my hubby and a productive day of piecing -- does life get better than this?

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