Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Look Inside Handiquilter

If you ever had the chance to peek inside a factory to see how they make the magic happen, where would it be? Now, I know what you're thinking...

I had an opportunity almost like that. Except it wasn't a chocolate factory, it was Handi Quilter! My golden ticket came in the form of an invitation from some very welcoming members of the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild. Did you know they meet at Handi Quilter headquarters?
What's more, it a veritable gallery in there!
Handi Quilter Ambassador Luke Haynes was the current featured artist, but certainly not the only quilter with work lining the walls.
Tickling the Ivories, Quilting the Blues, & Quilting Between the Lines
Every office, every wall, and every hall was adorned with spectacularly quilted works of art. 
Honestly, in my vision of utopia, this is as it should be.
Every employee had their own favorite.
And really, how could you go wrong? They were all incredible!
Zen Garden by Margaret Solomon Gunn

I'll show you some of the wondrous creations so long as you don't make me pick a singular favorite.
Sea Glass by Margaret Solomon Gunn
Closer, you say?
Sea Glass by Margaret Solomon Gunn
These blues really speak to me. And the quilting? Yes!
Nine Blocks by Marie Eldredge
I loved Handiquilter Studio Educator Marie Eldridge's pieces. They had such intricate quilting, I could just stare, and stare...
Big Dot Garden by Marie Eldridge
And I did! Then, I pulled out the camera to save a few shots for posterity.
Straight Curves by Marie Eldridge
Then I contemplated how much fawning over Marie could tolerate before being totally creeped out.
Outer Limits by Marie Eldridge
Because she was there, and super cool!
As was, Angela Walters, who made me get in the picture too, so it would be less stalker-y. So here's my picture-with-a-famous-person-so-I-look-cool-too photo. Except, I am ridiculous, and there's no disputing it. But I digress...
Finally, I wallowed in a little self-pity I don't live in Salt Lake, and I can't make it to SLMQG meetings. But not for long, because there was too much to see!
Quilts of Valor by Jodi Robinson
Both of my two brothers are mechanical engineers. I also have genetic predisposition that makes me want to take stuff apart to see how it works. Seeing this made me giddy!
Just look at all those bins of teeny, tiny parts.
I was like...

It was like a robot army of long-arms. (Perhaps I should watch fewer sci-fi movies.)
There was place for the machines to work out before they get shipped off.
Speaking of shipping, they have that under wrap--bubble wrap, to be exact.
Dang! They lost another intern. Alright, not really. This fella is their mascot.
I'm partial to another skeleton though, Frank by Cathy Wiggins. I remember her fantastic leather work at Houston Quilt Festival.
There's a fantastic classroom for long-armers attending HQU retreats.
Those preferring sit-down machines aren't left out either. Did you know Handiquilter is making domestic machines now too? So tempting...
I think they need an ambassador for this new, HQ Stitch line, and I've got just the person in mind. I'll give you a hint: she's ridiculous.
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Monday, July 25, 2016

Quilting Mod Challenge #1

I'm throwing down the gauntlet! In other words, I'm issuing you a challenge. Here's the low-down.
Update: My fabric allotment has been claimed. If you'd still like to participate, see #7.
1. I will mail you FREE fabric! You'll receive twelve fat eights of Art Gallery Fabrics Round Elements. In return, I'm asking you to create a finished work including at least some of the fabric and link up from Oct. 1-7. There will be prizes (TBA)!
2. Tag your progress on social media with @quiltingmod and #QMChallenge.
2.  You will need to have a blog so you can create a post to link in October.
3. You must follow the Quilting Mod blog via e-mail, Feedly, or Bloglovin' so you don't miss challenge announcements.
4. You can create whatever finished project you'd like: bag, table runner, apron, dress, quilt, etc.
5. You are free to add additional fabrics of your choice. They do not need to be within the collection.
6. Due to shipping costs, I'm reluctantly restricting the fabric to U.S. postal address only. 
7. I have a limited amount of fabric and shipping budget available, so I may not be able to send all interested parties fabric. You may still participate in the linky and be eligible for prizes, but will need to provide you own fabric.
8. If you are interested, please leave a comment below expressing your interest. If you are a no-reply blogger, include your e-mail so I can contact you for mailing information. By doing so, you agree that you will make an item with the fabric and link up during the first week in October. You will be asked to reimburse me for fabric and shipping if you neglect to make something by the link up party.
I hope you'll join the fun!
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mid Year Review

It's time to check in on the goals I made back in December. Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl certainly has a knack for keeping me organized and focused.

My Quilty Aspirations for 2016:

1. Decrease my UFOs.

My success on this one depends on how you look at it. I'm pretty sure I've started more things than I've finished the last six months, but I did finish some things I had already started. I'm going to be generous and count this one as accomplished. After all, I did make lots of pretty things. So what if only two of them came out of the UFO pile?2. Prepare a course offering. 

I did follow through on this aspiration, with several classes on the calendar. I now aim to increase enrollment.

3. Give back. 

I am excited about some opportunities I have found to accomplish this aim including the creation of a fundraising sew-lebrity album quilt, and meeting with a group of ladies to create quilts for the Albuquerque Homeless Student Project.

4. Enjoy the inspiration.

I can confidently mark this one as completed, thanks to the Thimbleweeds Quilt Show and Quilt Market.
Here are my Quilt Market posts, in case you missed them:

5. Keep an appropriate perspective. 

Mission accomplished in this area too. However, I can hardly take credit for this one. My bunch of "time-wasters", as my dad affectionately calls them given their adeptness at preventing the accomplishment of any work in their presence, make sure of their predominance with endless noise, mess, and hilarity. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Photo by Jessica Inman

6. Critically analyze my participation. 

While I tend to suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), I have made a conscientious effort to evaluate if I'm on the fast track to over-commitment before I arrive too late to take the train back home.

7. Host a linky party. 

I did host the Lessons Learned Linky for the past six months, but I am discontinuing it due to in-excessive participation. I enjoyed the linked posts, but I think the popularity of my linky wavered given the abundance of linky parties and its more narrow parameters. Thank you to everyone who joined along, and please check out my Linky Party Listing for other opportunities.

8. Track and share my progress. 

I could still use some work in this regard, as I'm flighty about pictures prior to completion. Instagram has been helpful, as it doesn't take my time away from my "in the zone" quilting frenzy.

9. Design a Quilt Along.

This one has been postponed, but not forever...

10. Make a masterpiece. 

This isn't going to happen right now, and that's okay.

How about my Not-a-Goal List?

    1. Start a long-arm business. 

    In the clear here.

    2. Sell quilts at a loss. 

    I'm doing good here to, amidst the frequent inquiry, "What do you do with all your quilts?" My plan is to donate some of the discount, mass-produced artwork I have had hanging in my house for over a decade because I am not in love with it. It is simply covering the holes I made guessing the location of the wall studs. Then, I'm hang quilts over the wall gouges. I suppose I could plaster and repaint, but I'm scared of the patching stuff since I read the small print warnings as a pregnant lady. Yep, it's  carcinogenic.

    3. Work for free. 

    This one is the sticky wicket. While it seems very straight-forward and easily-preventable, I've come this close to doing exactly what I swore not to. I hadn't accounted for what lonely territory it is on the island of Are You Kidding Me? when the populace is occupying the overcrowded mainland, Labor of Love. Sweet little quilting ladies don't even consider asking audacious things such as, "Will I be compensated in a currency accepting by my banking institution?"

    How are you doing on your goals?
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    Monday, July 18, 2016

    Quilt Market Trends

    You've been seeing my posts from Quilt Market. Or if you're a recent arrival, you are welcome to catch up on my Quilt Market posts:
    So, what's the overall picture? What new or enduring themes did I see? Here's my totally subjective analysis.
    Southwestern and Native American motifs are still going strong. I'm talking about tepees, arrows, and the like.
    My Tribe Quilt from Amy Friend's Intentional Piecing
    They're even cropping up alongside pandas, of all the expected things!
    Pandalicious by Katarina Rochelle
    Bunnies prints are breeding like, well rabbits. Examples include Wonderland Two by Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake, Hello, My Deer by Camelot Fabrics,  Violet Craft's House of Hoppington for Michael Miller, Tula Pink's Slow & Steady for Free Spirit, and Felice Regina's Luna Sol for Windham.
    Wonderland Two by Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake
    Wonderland 2 by Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake
    Hello, My Deer by Camelot Fabrics
    House of Hoppington by Violet Craft for Michael Miller
    Slow & Steady by Tula Pink for Free Spirit
    Luna Sol by Felice Regina for Windham
    A hand-printed look is also a feature of many upcoming fabric lines. This can be seen in Carloyn Freidlander's overprinted Essex line called Euclid, the hand-carved block print collection titled Marks by Valorie Wells for Robert Kaufman, Color Dash by Heather Jones for Robert Kaufman, and Cotton + Steel's Print Shop collection, Handcrafted Patchwork by Alison Glass for Andover, and, rumor-has-it, Lizzy House (You heard it here first, folks!)
    Color Dash by Heather Jones for Robert Kaufman
    Alexia Abegg's Print Shop for Cotton + Steel
    Marks by Valori Wells for Robert Kaufman
    Handcrafted Patchwork by Alison Glass for Andover

    There's always been something about "shiny" that gets quilters going. I'm excited about Opalescence, Windham's pearlescent solids. Also, I'm delighted that my Michael Miller Fairy Frost stash has aged to the point of reintroduction. What's old is truly new again.

    Speaking of reemergence, greatest hits collections are in full force. There's Tula Pink's Timeless collection, Elizabeth Hartman's Paintbox Basics pulled from her Pacific and Rhoda Ruth collections plus one print,  Lizzy House's Hit Parade and color unsaturated Whisper Palette, and Sarah Jane's remix.
    Paintbox Basics by Elizabeth Hartman
    Market had some footstep-following fantastic-ness. Mother/daughter duos include Bonnie & Camille, Anna Maria & Juliana Horner, and Sherri and Chelsi of A Quilting Life.
    Fast Friends by Juliana Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics
    Desert Bloom by Sherri and Chelsi for Moda Fabrics
    What trends do you see in quilting?
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