Walking through a Quilt Show

I went to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza last week in Philadelphia .  I lined up early with all the other’s that were getting off buses. (I drove, I got a whole hour in the car by myself..each way!)   There is so much excitement in the wonderment of what new treasures you can create by the items on the other side of the door.

It’s funny, once I got my brochure, it was like mapping out a scavenger hunt.  Where are the booths I want to hit up first?  Do I want to go look at the quilts on display?  OR Do I want to look for some new books? OR do I want to touch all those fun fabrics that keep calling my name? OR do I want to go test drive a machine I am dying to get.  Wait, back up.  Where’s the booth with my test drive…it’s not here but I saw it on the promotional stuff online.  BUMBER!  Well that just made my visit less expensive!  Say “thank you” hubby!

So I started with the books and picked up two that I was dying to get.  The first was Quilting Modern with quilts by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen.  It did not disappoint.  It instantly gave me ideas with some stash I had back home.  So excited to be able to put some existing fabric to work.

 quilting modern book

 The other book I picked up was by Angela Walters

Angela Walters Book

 I loved how this book took each individual shape and gave ideas on how to approach it .  I cannot wait to play on my machine!  She has done a great job of looking at an overwhelming canvas and breaking it down into smaller sections.

After the books, I went through the quilts on display.  They had a lot of traditional quilts with some interesting interpretations.  They did not have a Modern Quilt section but they did have a section called, “Innovative Category”.  The quilts all displayed a story about how the artist came to create their quilt.  I love that about quilts.  There is always a story!

The last purchase I made was for some Oakshott Fabric.  There seemed to be a mess of bloggers writing about the beauty of this cotton fabric…it shines!  Until I saw it in person, I did not understand.  Oh the possibilities!

2-14 more more oakshott 001

I got this from Pinwheels booth.  I am thinking of using the purple as a background and doing something fun with the pink and the green.  Should be a great contrast.

My time is up and now I need to take all these great ideas back home and make them happen.  The best part now…the drive home with my thoughts and aspirations.  All big aspirations, reality…usually a bit smaller.  At least with a Quilt Show it gives you a place to let your imagination fly.



My Happy Place

What place would you go to right now?

If I could fall from the sky, I would hope to fall in a fabric shop surrounded by colorful, cheerful materials all around me.  The rows of color just make my head swim with possibilities.  It’s like Pinterest, “LIVE”.  I love patterned fabric and to see all the creative designs that people have come up with, but I always seem to find my way back to the solids.

A fabric shop is to a quilter, as a blank canvas is to a painter. 

Everyone has their own quilt making process.  Some show up at the shop with a pattern in hand.  They buy all the required fabric amounts, sometimes even the identical fabric from the pattern. They love the feeling that, “I’m going to make THIS.”  I have been that person and it is a great feeling of accomplishment, trust me!  It is also wonderful feeling when you have someone in mind for a particular quilt.  It makes the care you put into making the quilt even more special.

 I love to play a game with myself while I’m browsing the shop.  I watch people and wonder, who are they making this quilt for?  Do they just want the feeling of accomplishment?  Do they have a plan?  Or are they like me and just love the feeling a fabric shop gives me…the ability to imagine!

For me, my life is like anyone else’s.  It is full of time schedules, rules to follow, making sure others are following rules, helping others, keeping everyone in line and out the door at the appropriate time, etc.

In a fabric shop, I allow myself to be the one that needs help and to ask questions and to learn from this spontaneous collection of people that know a heck of a lot more about quilting than I do.

It’s also the one place I just let myself and my mind wander.  I go in and browse, wander through the aisles and see what catches my eye.  I touch, stare,and imagine what I could make!  There is something bizarre about touching all this fabric.  Something manages to just send a jolt to your brain.  This is the fabric for me, this is the fabric that starts my next quilt.  It is usually a print with some type of moxie of color and design that matches my personality of the day.  This becomes my backing, “4 yards please.”  From here I wander over to the solids (yes, the solids, me and my solids)  I find the colors that strike me the most.  I’m a sucker for any bright pink and Kona Snow.  I picked one that was called “wasabi” once.  I just had to incorporate it because of it’s name.  Now the question of how much fabric?  How little? I don’t know, just some?  For me, I like a problem to solve.

How to solve the problem?

When I get home, I decide by staring.  I just imagine.  What will it be?  Stripes? Half square triangles? A dose of a Wonky Block I want to try?  I don’t know until I start to cut into it. I just trust my instincts and go!

All because I landed in a Fabric Shop…Imagine



Burkholders Fabric Shop

Burkholders Fabric Shop

Why Am I Blogging?

When I tell someone that I got into Quilting about a year ago…their face says it all!

Say what???

I am not gray haired (although my hair colorist could probably prove that theory wrong), I do not have grandchildren (my own kids are still young), I don’t go to church on a regular basis (sorry, not hangin out in the church basement quilting), I don’t spend my day making homemade baked goods for my kids (I pick them up at the grocery store, baked), I like a good glass of wine ( and that does not make me a bad person), and …  what other stereotypes can I think of….hmm.

I am a 40 something woman who works out, has a great husband with kids and a dog.  I spend my weekends and after-school driving my kids to every sports practice, tournament, game, art class, volunteer opportunity, tutoring, oh and I get dinner on the table each night!  Hubby helps too!  Today’s quilter is not necessarily the stereotypical grandmother we still envision in our head.

I live in Lancaster PA where we have many Amish and Mennonite ladies that do some AMAZING traditional quilting.  It is truly an art.  My town also hosts the AQS (American Quilters Society) Convention every year.  A few year’s back I stumbled in for the first time.  I believe in being a tourist in my own town and this time, it proved to be a game changer for me.  I was floored by the artwork that these people could create using fabric.  My grandmother taught me to sew but never in my wildest dreams had I seen THIS type of sewing before.

But here was the hook for me.  As I walked around, I am 5’8″, blond and in my 40s. I pretty much stuck out like a soar thumb.   I posted on my Facebook page “I’m feeling young and tall today.”  After talking to some of the vendors, I found out that the average age attending was about 63. Well my head went crazy.  So if the average is 63 what is happening to this Art of Quilting?  Is it a dying breed?  Who is learning and carrying on the traditions of this aging art?

About a year later and a bit of snooping around (oh how I love the internet) I found the MQG Modern Quilt Guild.  For as old as traditional quilting is, modern quilting is new.  It is taking all the respected traditions of quilting and allowing you to freshen them up with your own interpretation.  It is bright colors, wonky squares, traditional blocks just made with fresh fabrics instead of old clothe shirts.  It is respecting the traditions but allowing the creator to put their own spin on an old block design.

So, why am I blogging?  I would like to be able to show others this amazing creative world I have found.  The Quilting Bee has come out of the Basement and found its home on the Internet.  Blogging has created a world for Quilters to connect from across the country and many continents.  Someday I would be intrigue to document how Blogging has changed the Quilting community from a quiet little local community thing to this vast, no walls, community of wonderful helpful people.

But for now, I’m going to get back to quilting




Deb in Baltimore Harbor with Napa