It was quite the prolific month, April was. In addition to what I had already completed (amazing myself), I was able to finish up my wool applique banner for May, and monogram a half dozen dinner napkins.
Last Friday I got over my fear of machine embroidery (any excuse for an afternoon off work). And I took a class at my dearly beloved Bernina dealer who closed his doors forever yesterday.
So, I'm tooling around with one color and loving it. My thread breaks, I deal with it. I'm sizing, I'm positioning.
Heck, I'm even changing thread color. I left that class all 'I don't understand what my problem was....this was SO EASY! What took me 2 years to embrace this concept?'
And then I came home after working all day at the quilt show to embroider the quick half dozen napkins, and it took FIVE HOURS!. Software gave me fits, I uploaded a patch, which seemed to screw things up even worse so I had to delete the programs and reload them, and while it works, it's not quite the same sequence of commands I learned in class (unless all that weed I smoked in high school really did wipe out my short term memory and I just don't remember what we did in class).
The girl who thought she had EVERY type of stabilizer known to man, did not have a medium weight tear-away, other than one that was sticky back, so I wound up using a teeny, tiny hoop with this sticky crap and gummed up my needle to the point that my thread was breaking getting caught up in the glue on the needle (that is if the CHEAP crap thread I bought in Houston 3 years ago wasn't first breaking through the tension disks). Whatever. 6 napkins, done! And now thread and stabilizer are on my shopping list in my iPhone.
Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot attend a quilt show without heartily supporting the vendors at said show. While I haven't finished the last Sashiko kits I purchased from this vendor in years past, she had indigo Sashiko this year so I couldn't resist picking up some handwork.
And I thought the woven Japanese fabric with the parasols all over would be perfect backing for any little Sashiko pillows I might whip up.
And how could I resist the half yard cuts of Japanese Hanamomen fabric....not technically indigo, but the look without the bleed and fade. I love, love, love (hoard, hoard, hoard) real Japanese fabric. And now that I've decided to use up the South African indigo fabric I was collecting/hoarding, I need to start over with something comparable.
There's nothing I like better than a blue and white quilt (other than a red and white quilt).
Oh, and they were selling little sets of 4x6 screen printed quilt blocks from old postcards. I just couldn't resist the 1907 Scary Santas set. Not sure what I'll do with them yet, but I'm sure I'll think of something. (wink wink)
Our Guild's quilt show was this weekend. Yep, the one I busted my butt finishing quilts for. As I suspected, the Bloomin' Challenge quilt gained no recognition (and never in a million years did I expect that it would). Criminally, neither did the beautiful applique and beaded quilt I saw prior to finishing mine....you remember, the one that made me want to just chuck everything I had done into the dustbin. While the winners of this challenge were nice little quilts, they weren't stellar...just generic little quilts...not something you could describe in a conversation the next day (unlike this beaded beauty). I've pretty much concluded that judging in this contest has somewhat of a political skew to it. When I mentioned this to a fellow guild member, they laughed and congratulated me on figuring that out so quickly (my second challenge). Do you think she was being sarcastic?
Like I said, my challenge quilt was a learning experience....I learned to do piping, foundation piecing, string, piano keys, pouncing, thread painting, and most importantly 'how to recognize when one is wasting their time'. Shoot me next year if I so much as mention participating in this again :)
I spent the rest of the weekend at the show feeling sorry for myself not winning any of the very nice raffle baskets, filled to the brim with tasty quilting treats, that were raffled off every hour. The basket of all baskets is the second to the last basket raffled on the last day...it is the coveted VENDOR'S BASKET. This is where all the vendors at the show pony up merchandise to stuff a basket with. It's also the basket where people drop in an entire strip of 30 tickets, instead of just one or two.
Now there are some ladies in this guild that are simply blessed. These are the ladies that win a door prize at every meeting....the ones that win one raffle basket the first day, THREE raffle baskets the second day.....(it's legit, I worked the booth for a few hours each day--I want to take these women to the 7-11 and have them buy lottery tickets for me). Their name is drawn and everyone GROANS! Usually it's one of these ladies that wins the vendor basket.
Well this year, I dropped 20 tickets into that drawing, and sat on the edge of my seat while the name was drawn. And.....it wasn't me. BUT it was the lady I was working the Silent Auction with....the outgoing Guild President who hadn't won anything, so it was nice. And it was also nice to be sitting so close to someone lucky.
So we shut down the auction and I ran in the back to grab a drink and a bathroom break before we had to start on show teardown. While I'm in the bathroom I can hear them announce the name of the person who won the Featherweight sewing machine (we give one away each year). I never put my name in that drawing because I can't stand the Grandma's Attic smell of that machine and the mildewy case it's been stored in for more than half a century. Cute as they are, I do not want my studio smelling like Grandpa and Grandma Yeskulsky's house.
I'm washing my hands and I can hear a commotion outside in the hospitality area and someone says my name. I walk out of the bathroom and say 'watch what you say about Susan', and someone shrieks 'OMG, you won the Raffle Quilt!!! Get out there, hurry.'
Like most guilds, our guild makes a bed size quilt each year. The members take home block kits and complete blocks and a couple members put it together and send it off to another member who does the long arm quilting on it. The quilt then begins travelling in the fall to other Guilds and shows in the area and raffle tickets are sold. It's called an 'Opportunity Quilt'. A percentage of the proceeds go to charity (most guilds are nonprofit), the rest goes to programs and the materials to create the quilt for the next year. When the quilt is done, every member is given 2 packs of tickets that they are expected to sell (as a minimum). When I get mine, I just write a check for the cost of the tickets, put my name on the back of the stubs (because the seller of the winning ticket gets a prize), and turn the tickets and my check in....usually on the same night they handed me the tickets.
It's sort of unusual that a Guild member would win the quilt, seeing that thousands of tickets are sold all over (last year's winner lived in South Carolina...I guess the winning ticket was sold at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show down in Hampton), so everyone was very excited that I won (well, not I, but I being a Guild member).
So here is my prize. It is called Symphony in Blues and it's a king size quilt. It has been beautifully machine quilted, and it's quite heavy. Not exactly sure where it's going yet, but right now, it's piled into a chair in the family room where I can ooh and ah over the quilting on it, and hope that one day my luck will extend to having my very own long arm.
So, I was lucky to win the quilt on Sunday (and let's not forget, that I also sold the winning ticket...double bonus!). And I was lucky to find something I desperately needed yesterday that was out of stock locally, but that I picked up elsewhere today. And I was lucky to get something from Bernina today that no one thought would come in. (more on that in another post--this one is already long enough). So now I'm wondering how much the PowerBall drawing is tomorrow. Ya think???????
Okay, there's a Mystery Quilt calling my name and it's only 8:40....off to work!