Thursday, October 30, 2014

Back from Quilt Market!

I am sorry for my absence of late... but alas that magical time that comes bi-yearly for so many of us quilters... that time when blogs slow down and everyone is working on "secret projects" they can't and are too darned busy to talk about... has come and gone.  Yes, Quilt Market Houston 2014 is officially over and I am just now getting back into the swing of normal life.  This year I busied myself helping the lovely Leah Duncan piece and quilt an original quilt pattern for her booth which will be a free pattern eventually, so if you love this gorgeous design and these amazing fabrics as much as I do please follow Leah on Instagram  or check her Website for more info. 

I also got to do a School House to promote my book on Friday.  It was lots of fun to meet quilt shop owners and other quilters who were interested in learning more about my book.  I gave a 30 (ish) minute talk about my book, my thoughts on quilting and how best to go about learning it, and why this book will work excellent for classes in quilt shops because most of these small project patterns are quick and easy to put together, perfect for practicing quilting on, and can be turned into a useable item before the class session is over.   Here is a shot of me behind the podium giving my School House talk. 

On Saturday I got to shoot a promotional video for youtube and my book, I don't have a link for that yet, but I will share it once it is ready.  Then on Sunday I got to do 2 book signings, which were both lots of fun.  I really enjoyed getting to talk to people one on one and met so many wonderful people.  It was such a good time. 

I will share more of my Quilt Market Adventures in the next few days including some of the neat things I saw as well as old friends I reunited with and new ones I met!  I am also giving away some of the free patterns I got in my gift bag on my Facebook page so if you aren't already following me there please do.  I shared some of these pictures early with my Instagram followers, so if you want to see what's happening first be sure to follow me there too.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Chat with Grandma week 2 Quilting Gloves... love them or hate them?

Well, hate is a strong word, but my relationship with my quilting gloves lasted about 5 minutes before I yanked them off my sweating hands in frustration.  Let me give you a little back story though... I live in Palm Springs California.  It is SUPER hot here 2/3rds of the year- with outdoor temps maxing out in the 120s but typically over 110 during the summer it rarely gets below 85 in the house no matter how hard my poor air conditioner works.  So adding any extra layers, especially to body parts that aren't used to being clothed, like hands- can be tough in the desert.  I never much liked the feeling of gloves on my hands to begin with either, they always felt restricting to me- so I chalk it up to heat and being a weirdo, but I don't like quilting with quilting gloves.  When I was in the editing process of my book Free Motion Quilting for Beginners (and those who think they can't) with Martingale Publishing, my dear sweet copy editor emailed me to ask, Well if you don't quilt with the gloves, then what do you recommend, surely you must use some sort of quilting aid to help you move your quilt?!"  I think my response shocked her- and maybe some of you too- but here is the 100% honest truth- NOTHING.  I don't wear gloves, I don't use rubber hand grips, I don't use the quilting halo- or any hoop - occasionally I will remember to put on my supreme slider... occasionally.  I use my own two hands lying flat on the surface of the quilt, the weight of them alone, without added pressure, but with full surface contact, works just fine for me.  I am a self professed quilting minimalist though, and MOST other free motion quilters do wear quilting gloves- including my Grandma!  She is back this week to tell us what she thinks about quilting gloves.  I am glad she has a different perspective so if any of you are thinking of trying them to help you quilt you can get a well rounded view from both of us as to the pros and cons of using them.  (if you don't live in a place with temps nearing Hades itself then you probably don't have too many cons)  Here is what Grandma had to say...

My gloves are my feed dogs when I FMQ. They help me achieve stitch length and style and I always wear them. I am a bit of a control freak and I feel I have that control when I wear them. I admit that they can be a nuisance some times, especially when I am trying to quilt a more complex pattern where I may have to start and stop. In those situations having to take them on and off is bothersome, but yet it is in those more intricate patterns where they are the most help for me to get the look I want. There are many different gloves that can be purchased and I have no special preference as long as they have the rubber fingertips that let you grip the fabric. When I am doing meandering or some kind of all over pattern on a bed sized quilt the gloves really help me to keep control of all that fabric. I quilt on a mid arm machine so I have a bit more throat and table space than the domestic machine and the gloves are also helpful in grabbing and keeping control of all that fabric you deal with.

Like everything else we do when we quilt, there is no right or wrong. For me it is always trial and error. Try it and if it doesn’t work for you then don’t, but if you don’t try you will never know. Most of all enjoy the process, and if gloves don’t work for you let the dog chew on them. Happy quilting. 

I would love to hear what you all think of quilting gloves so please stop by my facebook page to join the conversation!  If more of us weigh in then anyone thinking of trying them will get even more info... and that would be a beautiful thing.   Happy Friday everyone from Grandma Pat and I!

Quilting without gloves... at Road 2 CA 2013

Quilting without gloves in the BERNINA booth at Quilt Market 2013

Quilting without gloves on the cover of my new book!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Angela!

When I think about my upcoming book Angela Walters immediately comes to my mind.  After all, if I weren't helping her at Quilt Market last year I never would have met the nice folks at Martingale and started down this path as an author.  I sure have a ton of gratitude for my sweet friend, and today is her birthday!  I figured in honor of that I would share some pictures of projects I have made for some of her fabric booths in the past year.  Many of the ideas from these projects translated to projects in the book, so in a way it's a little teaser!  You will see I have a real love of making small projects, especially the quilted kind, and that is what my book is filled with- beyond the instruction for Free Motion Quilting there are lots of small project patterns which are all quilted, and perfect for practicing on.  Hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I enjoyed making them, and if you get a chance stop by Angela's blog and say hello- and maybe wish her Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Exciting Mail!!

Monday morning started out just like every other Monday, but my whole day got made after my guy made a trek out to the mail box.  He was smiling very sweetly when he came back through the front door and whipped a package out from behind his back.  He said- it's from your publisher, could it be your advance copy?  Needless to say I wasn't expecting it so soon and was totally surprised to find that indeed it was my advance copy!  I now have a copy of my book all bound and fancy just like you all will get to see it- it makes it all feel that much more real.  I am so excited to share more of it with you in the coming weeks.  Unfortunately Grandma won't be able to join us for a Friday chat this week as Grandpa isn't feeling well and she is busy tending to him, but hopefully next week she will be back to share more with us.