Monday, October 29, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side

I'm adding my Single Girl to the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  I wanted to make this quilt for quite some time before I actually started on it.  And I'm so glad I went for it! 

If you're a regular visitor, you might remember it from this post.  And if this is your first time stopping by, then welcome!  Here's a quick recap for ya.

I made this quilt for a dear friend as a wedding gift.  She had been a self-proclaimed "single girl for life"...right up until she got engaged.  I started with the dark purpley-red wine color of the bridesmaids' dresses and expanded into bright reds, orange, and one or two pinks and purples.  
The piecing was a challenge, but the quilting is where I spent most of my energy! (It's also my favorite thing about this quilt!)
Since my single girl was getting hitched, I used the quilting to transform it into a wedding ring pattern.  It wouldn't have been so bad if I had left myself enough time to pebble an entire quilt.  (But why would I make life easy for myself?)  I spent every spare second working on it and by some miracle, it was finished with a whole 24 hours to spare!
(wow - this is not a great picture...but you can kinda see the quilting?...)
This is one of my greatest achievements to date, second only to the time I single-handedly bathed two dogs and lived to tell the tale.  And in all honesty, if it had been for anyone else I may have kept it for myself, whipped up a quick whole-cloth quilt for the happy couple, and called it fair. But I really love my friend and she really loved the quilt!  Success!!

So here are the final stats:

Size: ~85"x92"
Pattern: Single Girl by Denyse Schmidt
Techniques: patience, free-motion quilting
Quilted by: me
Best Categories:  home machine quilted, bed quilt

Thanks again for stopping by and super-extra thanks to Amy for hosting the festival!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Reaching the Summit

I spent the last two weeks recovering from Sewing Summit.  If you went this year, then you know...  If you didn't get a chance to go, you should clear your 2013 calendar and start saving your pennies for next year! It was absolutely amazing!  There's only a 2 hour difference between CT and UT, and I didn't even stay up late...but I was wiped out by the time I got home. 

I will not possibly be able to convey the awesomeness of Sewing Summit in this post.  And just like any bad blogger, I took almost no pictures.  But here is my random collection of comments in bullet point format.
  • Fantastic classes.  I am of the opinion that there's always something to learn.  You might learn a new trick or technique...you might learn a fun-fact from talking to the person next to you...you might learn that you don't like something and you would like to spend the rest of your days trying to avoid said thing..but there's always something to learn.  I got pretty lucky and got into all of the classes that I wanted, including many of the coveted hands-on classes - and I loved them all!  That said, there's so much more to Sewing Summit and you don't have to be in an official class to learn something, yo!
  • The people made the weekend.  Everyone was so amazing; the staff, the instructors, the other attendees...even the Starbucks employees were extra nice.  It was fun meeting blog friends in real life.  Like Lisa! (Hey, girlfriend!!)
It was so great hanging out and getting to know each other!  And I made a lot of new blog friends while I was there!  I'm pretty sure that even if I didn't take a single class, I would have had an equally amazing experience.  In fact, next year I'll probably leave a few sessions open just to have more time to hang out and chat with people. 
  • Make a name tag with your blog name/logo on it.  I didn't because it seemed silly to wear two name tags.  But really, that's how we all recognize each other in the blog/Flickr/Instagram world.  If you don't have time to make something super-duper crafty, just print out a sticker that you can slap on your official badge...just be sure to make it big enough so people will be able to read it from a comfortable distance.  (Unless you like people putting their faces in your boobs...then by all means, use 8pt font.)
  • If you're thinking of going to SS next year, start working on your Weekender Bag now.  There were 250 people there and about 249 of them had Weekenders.  I was already dreaming of making one before the Summit - I mean, it's just an awesome bag and the perfect carry-on size - but I couldn't decide on a style.  I spent the conference stalking other bags for inspiration.  Here are 4 of them.  4 out of 249.  (And if one of these is yours, well my undying love for your bag will have to suffice in lieu of credit because with my memory, I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of remembering who these belonged to!...)
I really didn't know where to start.  Until I saw this one that Marci made...
Game over!  That's my bag!  So much awesomeness!  Polka dots...with deer....wearing glasses!  Here's a close-up for ya:
I managed to find some for myself so I'm planning to be a giant copycat and make one just like it! (Also, I'm dying over those stripes she was working on when I took the pic...coordinates for Chicopee...yum!) Anyway, I considered grabbing the bag and running as fast as my legs would carry me, but she was really sweet...it's hard to steal from a nice person, you know?...so I guess I'm going to have to make one for myself.
  • Don't pack any clothes.  Just wear the same thing every day.  Because you are going to need every square inch of your luggage for fabric and swag.  At check-in, we got swag bags.  Giant, delicious, swag bags that came loaded with tins and batting and scissors and other amazing bits of goodness (free Craftsy class!  WHAT?!?)...and then, into this bag, we dumped even more swag over the course of the weekend.  By the time I was packing to leave, it was filled with magazines, books, fabric, thread, fabric glue, more fabric, more batting, even more fabric...  Plus, the day before classes started, there was a shop hop during which I purchased copious amounts of fabric.  See?...
Plus I found some Chicopee corduroy! 
Hey, check out my new awesome photography skills that I picked up at the Summit! (FYI, this is my only trick. I will be using it non-stop.)
I'm going to make myself a skirt...just as soon as I learn how to make a skirt. 

It might not look like a TON of stuff, but it would not all fit into a large flat rate box.  Luckily for me, the Sewing Summit staff is awesome and they set up a shipping station so I didn't have to carry it all on my person...(just some of it.)  I love them.
  • My secret celebrity boyfriend, Joel Dewberry spoke during lunch on Saturday.  It was awesome.  Ella offered to take a picture of me doing something wildly inappropriate while the distinguished Mr. Dewberry carried on a respectable conversation with someone else.  But as a woman who is completely chicken mature and grown up, I decided against it.  He played it really cool too...see how he's pretending he doesn't know where I'm sitting?  
He seriously gave a great talk and answered a bunch of questions and just seemed like an all-around great guy.  Plus we got to take a peek at Notting Hill and he said we could pet it. Ok, he didn't use that word, but obviously that's what he meant.
(and this is why you can't trust pictures on the interwebs...this picture sucks! But the fabric is awesome!)
So that was the super-extra long version.  Here's the short version:  Sewing Summit was awesome. You should go.  See you there next year!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Have you heard the news?

My secret celebrity boyfriend, Joel Dewberry, is going to be the keynote speaker at Sewing Summit!  WHAT?!? 

You know who else will be teaching a class?  My secret celebrity homeboy, Quilt Dad.  WHAT?!?

You're probably getting a little nervous that I'll do something to embarrass myself...or become incarcerated....well, fear not.  I'm really good at playing it cool.  (That is a lie.)