A brief quilty adventure: AQS Syracuse

So I haven't been blogging/podcasting because there wasn't a whole lot quilty goin' on up in these parts. I was out of town for work and because I was on my feet pretty much all day every day and doing a whole lotta extraverting during that entire 10 days, I was a slug for a day and a half when I got home. Then I had errands to run. Then I had schoolwork to catch up on. So really, the only crafty stuff that's been done since the beginning of July was a girls-day-out at the AQS show in Syracuse yesterday (Saturday).

My BFF/BQFs Katie and Lori and I were joined by one of Katie's guild friends, Niki, for a really entertaining road trip to Syracuse. I was still pretty beat from my trip but the nice thing about four people in the car is that I didn't have to do much to hold up my end of the conversation. I could just enjoy. And enjoy I did! Good friends, good times.

The show had some very nice quilts but I didn't do much in the way of picture-taking. I wanted to just relax and see pretty things. I did, however, treat myself to a few stops at the vendors.

And lookie what finally came home with me...

Woot! I got me a lightbox! This is the one I've been dreaming of since Katie bought it at last year's AQS Syracuse show. She'd loaned it to me earlier this summer and I fell in love with it even more. I'd done my research and knew how much I'd get it for online (and even in a recent Massdrop offer), so when the vendor at the show quoted me a price, I knew it was a great deal--around $50 cheaper than I'd seen it online--and no shipping!

No more taping patterns and fabric to windows for me!

I made sure I bought that first--glad they were willing to hang onto it in the vendor's booth until the end of the day--so that I'd keep my other expenditures limited. Therefore, other than the lightbox, I only picked up the following:

Another bag pattern. I need another bag pattern like a hole in the head but I sometimes can't stop myself. This one is a great design with a zipper top underneath the flap, a couple of zippered pockets (one outside, one inside), and a few pockets inside that are quite big enough to hold my behemoth iPhone 6 Plus. I ogled another bag pattern for awhile at a different booth but this one grabbed me more.

I asked the pattern designer (running her own booth) to rate the difficulty scale on a 1-10 spectrum. She said it was a 6. We'll see if I've made it to a 6 skill level yet.

 

And then some luscious hand-dyed ribbons from my favorite Akonye Kena vendor. Not only is it "fair trade" (hand-dyed from South Africa, proceeds shared with the artisans), but he's a trip--gets me laughing every time. I dropped a big bundle in his booth last year but was far more restrained this year, due to the lightbox and the fact that I still have a lot left from what I bought from him last year. 

By the way, there's a calendar on their website of what shows they'll be vending at in the future. Check it out to see if he'll be near you and keep an eye out for him. He wears a kilt. And he's a trip, as I said. I don't think you can miss him.

 

And because embroidery thread is like potato chips (can't get just one), I fell for this gorgeous variegated Valdani silk floss in one vendor's booth...

 

...and this collection of Sue Spargo's Razzle in another. Plus a couple of spools of more neutral colors that always come in handy. It was a good price on that collection--$10 for the five of them. Had to hold myself back from buying several more collections. "Lightbox," I kept reminding myself.

 

I picked up these little dainties at the Tsukiniko inks booth--not even letting myself look at the inks as I've got some in the basement I haven't touched in way too long. But these are fun to imagine painted/dyed and used in my crazy quilt blocks.

 

And finally, we all know how I feel about pudgy birds. And I'm a big fan of cardinals, too. How could this guy NOT come home with me?

I'm not a huge fan of this kind of project but it would be nice to have him around as a winter decoration...sitting next to my other pudgy birds on my bookshelves.

So--not a huge haul in quantity but I'm so glad to finally have that lightbox. Woot!

I'd originally thought I might get some sewing time in today but ended up spending the whole day working on electronic stuff--getting my laptop, mobile devices, and PC all set up for getting back into school, and setting up one of the components of my dissertation software better (and actually reading the user manual!).  I'd never taken the time to do some stuff I really should've done months ago so now my laptop is much more functional, I should be able to more easily move between devices for certain things, and I hope I can more fully utilize all the cool stuff my software is supposed to allow me to do. Still working my way through some of that, but I feel better about my technological situation now.

So--no podcast again for awhile. I leave town next Sunday for my summer intensive class and I'll either be home Saturday or Sunday--not sure yet. I'm also not sure what my assignment schedule or fall class schedule will be yet to know what life will be like after I get back. We've gotten remarkably little information yet other than reading lists (and only a partial one for fall at that). So that means when they do drop the info for us we'll be hitting the ground running--no wind-up time allowed. I'm sorry to be breaking the Podcaster Contract but I also don't want to post scattered, boring episodes that have little to do with quilting or embroidery since that's not figuring greatly in my life these days. So I'm hoping you'll forgive me for another break in posting for awhile!

Lancaster Report--Part 3 (The Haul)

Friday, Day 3 (with some Saturday, Day 4--homeward bound) thrown in

Friday was my day to see the show and visit the vendors. It was a very nice show, although relatively small. We started when the show opened in the morning and were able to see all the quilts by about lunch time--and that wasn't rushing through. I spent quite a bit of time studying a few that particularly held my interest.

I didn't check into the online posting rules for the show, so I'm not going to risk posting any photos here. Sorry about that. To tell the truth, though, I didn't even take that many pictures. After having seen a few national shows now, I have learned that I rarely actually go back to look at my photos later. I think I took all of about five photos of quilts with details I wanted to remember for my future reference later (you know, the "Hmmm....how did they do that?" photos). Indeed, I'd even handed off my good camera to my friend who'd accidentally left hers back in the hotel, and she was snapping left and right so I knew I'd eventually see the pics anyway.

I did get to see Katie's Corgi Fairytale quilt hanging--it's always a thrill to see a name you recognize!

I really enjoyed the show--the fact that it was small actually made it more manageable for me. I love Houston but I have to break the show up into segments so I don't get over-stim. There was a partial display of the applique quilts from Cairo that I'd seen in Paducah--it was nice seeing some of those again. They're beautiful. There was a nice inclusion of art quilts alongside the traditional, and there was a modern quilt challenge (where Katie's quilt was included). So, for a smaller show, they did a good job--in my opinion, anyway--of keeping it diverse.

And then, of course, the vendors! You've already seen my purchase from ProChemical and Dye in a previous post. Here are pics of everything else that came with me.

Clarification: Most of this was purchased at the show, but we also visited Burkholder's Fabrics on the way home on Saturday based on several listener recommendations, and I included all of my purchases from both places together in the photos.

I've seen this batting sampler at every show I've been to. The first time, I thought, "Why would I want that?" (I was a pretty new quilter at the time.) The second time, I thought, "I could see where that would come in handy, but no." The third time, I thought, "I think I'd like to get that, but I'll wait and see." When I went back to the booth later, they were out. This time, the first time I saw them, I grabbed it and paid. I'm going to use it to practice machine quilting at the same time as I experience the different types of batting.

In the same vein, I'd decided I would pick up a variety of threads at this show--also to use in my FMQ practice so I could easily test them out.

I got some bobbin threads in neutrals, some pretties and variegateds, and a few that were the ends of spools from the manufacturers (think: remnants). The remnant spools were sold three to a bag for something like $5.

Next, I picked up some great fabric scraps from a Thai fabric vendor. If I recall, everything in the bag (the stuff in the pile in the picture) was cotton but the rolled fabrics are nubby silk.

Boy, that was a fun booth. I could've bought a lot more but I restrained myself.

Way back in a dark and very chilly corner was a great vendor who met my needs for small bunches of funky yarn to use as embellishments. And he had a great accent, as he was from Australia. (@ozzypip!) Again, I could've bought a lot more but restrained myself. I picked up everything in the center and right from him. He told me he'd bought that wool right off the sheep. I responded, "Wow! She's a pretty sheep then, all burgundy like that." He looked at me blankly and said, "I dyed the wool after it was off the sheep." Okay, so he didn't get my joke. I'll assume he was just tired at the end of a long week.

The embroidery threads on the left were from a different vendor specializing in felted wool projects. I don't know if you can see it in this picture but the threads I bought from her are all really gorgeous variegated colors. Very subtle, but yummy.

Next up, fat quarters. I only purchased the four African fat quarters in the center--referred to in my previous blog post about my string star quilt. The fat quarters on the left were from BFF/BQF Katie who had gotten them from somewhere but they weren't to her taste, so she offered them to me if I was interested. I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but they'd make a cute donation something-or-other. The batiks on the right were also a gift that all three of us received and divided up between us.

In the "Less Interesting but Useful" category comes my collection of tools n' notions.

A few new stabilizers, another marking pencil and different colored refills, some tulle to use in upcoming projects, thread cards for future reference, and a big ol' jug of my favorite scent of Mary Ellen's Best Press: Cherry Blossom. The only LQS that carries jugs of MEBP up here only carries the unscented, which is fine, but I do love me some cherry blossom. Well timed, too, since I used the last little bit of my previous jug of MEPB pressing the hand-dyeds from Frieda's class.

Oh--speaking of Frieda's class--I found a picture of a couple more fabrics I dyed there that I'd forgotten to include. I did two fat quarters "pot luck" style. IOW, I took some of the leftover dye from a couple of the gradations and dumped it on fabric in a baggie. They're not great on their own, but will make good backgrounds for practicing machine quilting.

Yep, I did get a couple of books. One is on Shibori techniques for hand-dyeing, something I'll be playing with this spring. The other is one that Katie found for me at Burkholders. You all complain about me spending your money--Katie is great at spending mine! Sue Spargo's stitching book is pricey, but fantastic. I'll be talking about it in my next podcast episode as I'm already using it.

Finally, this wasn't at all quilt related but it was something I couldn't resist. I've become a scarf/shawl person. They're great for travelers; when you spend so much of your time on planes and in conference rooms you never know whether you're going to be brutally hot or freezing cold. The secret is dressing in layers and having shawls that you can wrap up in or stuff in your purse. I have a bunch of shawls that I travel with, and I couldn't resist adding this gorgeous one to my collection.

I can't wear most wool, but this one was goat's wool and not at all itchy. I'm in serious love. (And, for once, in this vendor's booth I was able to spend Katie's money as I talked her into buying a different beautiful wrap that she'll be able to wear to the office.)

Friday evening

Friday night, Lori and I attended Ami Simm's "Worst Quilt in the World with a Gong Show Twist" presentation. It was an absolute hoot, and I ended up taking photos for Ami on her iPhone because I was the only one who'd admit to knowing how to use one after she stood there for a few seconds waiting for a volunteer! (Here's hoping the pictures came out!)

It was a great show, as we'd expected. Ami is a hoot. Have I said that before?



Saturday, Heading Home

We'd originally planned to go home on Sunday but by Friday night, the three of us decided we'd done everything we'd wanted to do at the show. None of us had signed up for anything on Saturday. So we decided to leave a day early and take our time getting home. We had breakfast at the Tomato Pie Cafe in Lititz, recommended to us by a Lancaster Visitor's Bureau volunteer at the show. And she did not steer us wrong! It was fantastic! I had a "flipper" (which is their name for an omelette) with goat cheese and roasted beets. A-freaking-mazing. We ate breakfast at 9a and didn't need to stop for lunch until 3!

Lititz is a lovely little town--definitely a place we'd visit again.

But then, there's Burkholders. Despite my GPS lady completely losing us in the countryside, we found our way there and I had the joy of my second meet-up of the week!

Great to meet Torie (@torieQWQ) and Nicole (@1c4quilting)! And Nicole's daughter who was our photographer and shall remain nameless for safety reasons, but was absolutely lovely and I had a good time with her too.

And then we were home again home again, jiggity jig.

I enjoyed Lancaster and will most definitely be going back again in the future!



Lancaster Report--Part 2

And there was night, and there was dawn, and so begins...

Day 2 (Thursday)

Mad Quilt Scientist in her element!

Mad Quilt Scientist in her element!

On the second full day of Quilt Week, Lori and I were both in Frieda Anderson's dye class for the whole day. (Lori has some pictures on her camera--when I get them, I'll post them here.)

Since I'm familiar with Frieda's dye method (I own her book), I wasn't really expecting to learn anything new. I was looking forward to spending the day playing in dye, and I was looking forward to doing it with one of my BFF/BQFs. We were to be paired up in the class, so Lori and I got to work together. Lori has done a little dyeing but not as much as me, so when Frieda suggested that one person of each pair would be the "clean person" and the other the "dirty person" in the morning, and then switch roles in the afternoon, I offered to Lori that she could be Dirty Girl all day. That actually worked quite well for us because we were able to get into quite the effective rhythm once we both got the hang of our roles. And yes, I was thinking ahead. Now I get to call her Dirty Girl next time we're in a guild meeting. FTW.

The only slight hitch was that there was a mistake in the supply list. The list had said to bring one bucket and one dishpan to share per pair; Frieda had actually wanted us to each bring one, so we'd have two per pair. That created a little bit of an issue with keeping our work stations clean because we ended up having a very small container to use as our rinse pan, and a small bowl for smooshing the fabric around in the dye before putting it in its final transport container.

The other small hitch was that Frieda had adjusted her plans for the class and rather than doing two gradations, with a total of 24 fabrics, she decided we'd do four gradations, 48 fabrics total. I had enough fabric with me to do that if I split them into smaller pieces, but Frieda had shipped extra fabric for the class so I bought some off her to be able to do 48 fat quarters rather than having to do some fat-eighths. The only reason it became a hitch was that I'd brought 24 containers with seals for transporting the fabrics home. Fortunately, I'd also thrown a couple of boxes of Zip-locs in the car in case we didn't have enough space for me to use the containers. Lori and I both had all our fabrics in the baggies at the end, which meant two large garbage bags filled with wet fabric in baggies. It could've been a recipe for disaster but it mostly worked out okay.

We labeled all the fabrics 1-12 for each gradation, but as I've talked about in previous hand-dyeing posts in this blog, black sharpie tends to disappear when you're dyeing dark colors. When I washed my fabrics at home, I lost several of the markings. Therefore, in this "Reveal" photo, I made my best guess at where some of the fabrics belong in the gradation. Ultimately it doesn't matter since I'll be breaking up the fabrics to use them anyway. I may do the gradations again sometime at home when I can control the results better, and label them more permanently for my records.

Meanwhile, aren't they pretty?

The first one on the left is"cool" yellow, red, and blue; the second set is that same set of colors diluted for pastels. The third set is a "warm" yellow, red, and blue; the fourth set is those warm colors mixed with black.

No, I didn't really learn anything new in the class, other than confirming for myself that I hate using baggies in dyeing. Give me a nice, hard-sided sealable container any day. But I really enjoyed Frieda Anderson. She's very laid back and funny, a great teacher (there were lots of dyeing newbies in the room and she did very well with them), and had lots of extra supplies for those of us, ahem, who may have had to grab a garbage bag out of the hotel on the way to class to use as a table covering only to find out it wasn't waterproof and was letting dye through onto the table underneath. In any case, I'd look forward to taking a class with her again.

And I just had to do her the favor of buying serious yardage of PFD fabric off her at the end of class, just so she wouldn't have to ship as much home. I'm such a kind person, really. Goodness of my heart n' all that.

By the way...all those raveled threads you have to yank off the edge of the fabric after it's been through the laundry?

Yummy!

Even if you just stash it in a jar and call it "decor," you're going to enjoy it. But oh, the things I can do with a wad of pretty thread!

So now, perhaps, you can understand why I hit a particular vendor at Lancaster before I even got to Lancaster...

(Some of these are simply replacing colors I'm nearly out of, some are new. Plus I bought samplers of acid dyes to use on wool, and a marbeling kit. Play Day!)

None of us had anything on the schedule for Thursday night so we hung out at the pool and actually got a decently-early bedtime. Friday was the first time I was actually going to see the show, so I was jazzed. Stay posted for another update...

Lancaster Report--Part 1

I had so much fun at the AQS Quiltweek in Lancaster that to try to report in on everything in a single blog would be ridiculous. So I'm going to piecemeal it and do several blog posts. For the most part, they'll go through the week chronologically but I may throw some thematic stuff in there as well. So, let's get started with...

Setting the Scene

First off, here's a pic of my BFF/BQFs Lori and Katie standing with me in front of the AQS Quiltweek admission booth. This pic was actually taken later in the week, but it'll help you picture who I'm talking about in all these posts.

We stayed at the Best Western Eden Resort, which is about 10 minutes away from the Lancaster County Convention Center where the show is held. It was a great place. The beds were extremely comfortable and it's been recently renovated so everything was brand-spanking new. The indoor pool was just gorgeous, although strangely it was a mix of salt water and chlorinated water, which I haven't encountered in an indoor pool in the northeast before. The only downside was that with three in the room, I'd requested a rollaway bed. Their definition of rollaway bed is "air mattress." We rotated who got to sleep on it each night.

Day 1 (Wednesday)

I spent the first day in a full-day class with Ami Simms making a String Star quilt. I mostly took it because I really enjoy Ami's sense of humor and thought it would be fun to take a class with her. The project was incidental. Still n' all, I had fun making the project and I surprised myself by being one of maybe two or three people who actually got all the blocks made for the center. I was en fuego! None of us got it completely put together. She didn't really expect us to, it seems; the purpose of the class was to show us the technique and let us get a running head start.

String Star with African fabrics

String Star with African fabrics

I talked about the African fabrics I used in a previous blog post. I wasn't sure I was going to love my background fabric--I was a little worried it would end up looking too busy. I'm glad to say that I'm thrilled. It works beautifully. I couldn't be happier!

I still need to piece all the blocks together. Then I'll be adding a narrow border of more background fabric to float the star a little bit.

Detail of background

Detail of background

For the outside border, at the moment anyway, I plan to do what Ami Simms did on hers: more strip sets of the African fabrics all around the outside, with mitered corners. She'd warned that it takes more strips than you think it will so even though I have a lot left of each fat quarter I've already used for the blocks, I ended up picking up four more African fat quarters--likely from the same vendor I bought all the rest from years before--to give me some wiggle room. I'm going to strip them all up and sew them together to see how much border I might be able to get out of them. If I'm short, I'll add some batiks or hand-dyes. If I'm long, I'll throw the leftover into the backing or something. I just really want to use up all my African fat quarters.

I also made two new buddies during class--woo for new buddies! Ellen and Deb were a hoot to share tables with. Ellen was sitting alone at the table behind me but happened to be placed underneath one of the only actual lights in the room. (It was obnoxiously dark in there!) She kept inviting me to "Come to the light! Come to the light!" So I turned around and put my cutting mat on the empty end of her table behind my sewing space. We were sewing on Bernina machines--don't recall the model number. It took me a few minutes to get used to it but we were doing very basic sewing so it wasn't too bad. The Bernina woman (Mary Alice) was very nice and even figured out how to override some settings on my machine so it would behave more like I'm used to my Janome behaving. After that, I was flying!

And yes, Ami Simms was a great teacher. I picked up some tips for ironing fabric before cutting that will be useful. She had brought examples of string stars she's made to show us what works well and what maybe could be done differently--I really appreciated her showing us something she wasn't as happy with so we could discuss possibilities for backgrounds and such. She also did the lion's share of our pressing for us--at first, so she could check to make sure people weren't getting off track anywhere. Later, I think, just to allow us to be able to keep moving as quickly as possible. She was entertaining but educational at the same time. I'd take a class with her again anytime!

Meet-Up Number 1

Left to right: Julie, Judy, me, Jill, Sarah

Left to right: Julie, Judy, me, Jill, Sarah

After class was out, I had the joy of meeting up with four listeners. Woot for meet-ups and woot for listeners! Judy and I had actually met earlier in a vendor booth when she recognized my voice. (Not surprisingly, it was the ProChem Dye booth. Go figure.) Wednesday afternoon, I met up with Julie, Judy, Jill, and Sarah. Say that three times fast...

I coveted Judy's cardigan and will be checking out the Land's End website soon.

Sarah swears she's going to be using the fabric she just won in my recent giveaway almost immediately!

Julie gave me a lovely gift. It's a little pouch with that snappy-open kind of top that just makes you want to squeeze it and say " 'Salright" like the Parkay containers in those old commercials from my childhood. (And I might just have done that several times. Maybe.) I've had it in my purse ever since, waiting for me to figure out the perfect use for it. Thanks so much, Julie!

Evening Event: Author's Roundtable

Wednesday evening, Lori and I went to the Author's Roundtable which featured eight AQS authors demonstrating a technique or talking about the topic of their latest book. I'm definitely going to be trying out the fun, fast block technique that Billie Lauder demonstrated--it's perfect for a quick baby or wheelchair quilt, especially. I bought some Sulky foundation papers based on the Sulky person's demonstration (more about purchases later). And I enjoyed Edyta Sitar's presentation though I didn't end up purchasing any of her stuff. But I could see myself taking a class from her someday. She's charming. I really enjoyed all the authors' presentations, actually. Not a slow moment.

If you get a chance to do something like that at a show, take it. It's a great way to be introduced to what's new and happening, as well as get short snippets of a variety of potential teachers. I have Mom to thank for keying me into that. The first time I went to Houston was with Mom and she recommended I do whatever roundtables or round robins that I could to be exposed to as many techniques/methods/teachers as possible in a short period of time. I could then see what sparked my interest for following up later. And she was right! I've done it at most shows I've been to and have never been sorry.

After the author's roundtable, we all got back to our hotel room, did the requisite Show n' Tell of what we'd done during the day, and giggled until we couldn't stay awake any more. A true girls' night.

Stay tuned for Day 2...

Photo Album from Paducah

And a wonderful time was had by all. For detail, listen to Episode 123 In Which I Went to Paducah, posted on May 1, 2013. As I mentioned in my podcast, we're not allowed to post pictures of the quilts/quilt show (or vendor booths) on social networking or blog sites, so sorry about that. Still, I have a few pictures that will give you a feel for the event.

(For those subscribing by email or reading this through a feed-reader, I hope I've been able to fix the problem with pictures not coming through. I'll be checking that after it posts. If not, just visit it on the web; I subscribe to my own feed so I'll see what happens and, if necessary, I'll keep poking away at the problem!)

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The drive down (all 14 hours of it) was lovely--beautiful weather. Then, most of the rest of the time it was fairly rainy, except for one very nice day during which we wandered down to the riverfront and I snapped this picture. Nice scenery!

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The shindig officially opened the first morning with a local high school marching band. It was a hoot. I suspect that Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson were somehow involved; a few women began marching behind the band carrying quilts and I recall something on The Quilt Show website (or was it in Quilt Life Magazine?) inviting attendees to bring pictures for a "flash mob" picture with Ricky and Alex. Katie and I were standing too far away to see what was going on once the band entered the building, but we could hear them. Great marching band--especially the drumline.

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After whatever-it-was-that-went-on-in-there, they came back out to the parking lot and played for a bit. The Fancy Dress Majorette must have been freezing--it was under 50 degrees that morning, I think, so I'm hoping she had some long underwear on under there. She was cute, though, so there is that.

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Later that first morning, I attended a lecture on The Tentmakers of Cairo, with Jenny Bowker of Australia. It was a special exhibit at the show--truly wonderful, by the way. And Jenny was a fun speaker to listen to--great stories.

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Two of the tentmakers were working in the exhibit so you could watch how they do it. They're amazingly fast. No, the applique isn't quilt-show-judging-perfect, but you don't care because the finished products are incredibly beautiful. (You can see a snippet of a few of the "tent screens" behind the men.)

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If you're interested in more information about the tentmakers, I l linked the Facebook page above, but google "Tentmakers of Cairo" to see various other sites that include photos, videos, and so forth. Really wonderful stuff!

I don't have any pictures from the Lorraine Torrance lecture that Katie and I attended--but it was also a great lecture!

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Friday evening, Katie and I went to "Behind the Seams with Libby Lehman and Alex Anderson." Entertaining. Unfortunately, as Libby explained in class the next day, that's when she first started experiencing some difficulties that were probably the harbringer of the aneurysm she suffered this week. It's a little more difficult to look at these pictures now. (Libby is on the left, Alex on the right.)

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Speaking of that class, Here's Neicey--the woman who had originally registered for "Sheer Ribbon Illusions" with Libby Lehman but later ended up not being able to attend, so she sold me her seat. Thank you so much, Neicey! (And it was fun meeting you--hope we get to meet again sometime!)

I got to be Neicey at the class. I felt like I was walking in very fun shoes.

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And here's Libby during class on Saturday. She explained that she was feeling under the weather and was wearing a heat therapy patch on her neck during class. It's a testament to her professionalism and skill, however, that she was still a great teacher, making us immediately at ease and having fun in the class. Thank you, Libby. I'm praying for you! (As of this writing, no further information has been posted on The Quilt Show blog.)

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Here's my class project. She suggested that my highlighting was a little heavy-handed (she said it more nicely than that, of course); I studied her samples more carefully and close-up after doing this and saw that she really only lightly highlights hers. Fun technique, though. (And no, I don't plan on finishing this sample--it was just for the purpose of the class. It's a technique I may play with in future quilts, though. I did get to keep the pretty, pretty thread!)

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A highlight of the week was our visit to The National Quilt Museum. Incredible. They had their permanent exhibition (which gets rotated, of course, through the quilts they have in their collection) in the center, as well as a special exhibit of miniature quilts. On the left side was a special exhibit of quilts using the Jacob's Ladder block. Some were antique quilts with the standard, recognizable block; the rest were contemporary quilts that played with the block in a variety of ways. It turned into sort of a game to see if you could figure out where the block was. Very cool. On the other side was a special exhibit featuring two very different contemporary quilt artists: Emiko Toda Loeb and Regina Alexandra. I can't even begin to explain these exhibits, so check out the link here.

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Another highlight of the week was a meet-up with listener Angela and her mom! Woot! Mom took this picture so you don't get to meet her, but say hi to Angela!

And now for the shopping.

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Books. Mostly on dying and other surface design treatments, but one is a pattern book that I'm using for a baby quilt. (Not for the one you think, Dianne.)

I also got the book/DVD on the Tentmakers of Cairo exhibit, as well as the DVD of pictures from the quilt show itself.

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Next, fabric. These are for the baby quilt previously mentioned. I got these on the remnant tables at Hancock's of Paducah--$5.98 a yard. I need a lot of fabrics, but not a lot of each fabric, so I'll likely have enough left over to make other things as well. (I'm not posting pictures of other fabric for another baby quilt due to not wanting to give anything away to certain readers of my blog. So there, nyah.)

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And, of course, Pro-Chemical and Dye...

...stay posted in days to come for more pictures resulting from this pile of fun.

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And Tsukineko inks, stencils, and other toys for surface design. Had problems deciding what to play with first after I got home! (Haven't even dug into this bunch yet...but plan to this weekend, if the weekend doesn't get away from me.)

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Did you notice this guy wheedling his way into several of my pictures? He's not my purchase--he was Katie's. He's an antique...wait for it...tape measure. Yep--he's got a tape measure coming out of his hindquarters. He's adorable, but you've got to know that I gave her no end of ribbing for having a cat with a tape measure coming out of its butt.

And with that image  embedded in your mind, we now leave Paducah and return home--weary, broke, and inspired. Let the games begin!