Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vacation from Hawaii

Yep, that isn't a misprint.  As you may have been able to tell, I'm on vacation.  At least until tomorrow.  I left home on July 4, so I'm ready to be back home.  I think it is funny that when you live in Hawaii, your idea of a great vacation seems rather dull to others.  I have been in SW Michigan, at my parents'; in Indiana to see my daughter and sister and neice and new brother-in-law, and step-neice; and down to Alabama to visit with a good quilting/army friend.

My parents picked me up at Chicago's O'Hare after an overnight (sort of) flight.  It was only 12:30 AM my time, so it was a really short night.  I had a bit of a nap and then we went to the beach:
No, it isn't the ocean, it is Lake Michigan.   What I really couldn't get enough of here were the lush greens and the gorgeous flowers, especially the hydrangeas.  They were just splendid.

I took more photos of them, but I think this is a good sample.  Of course, it isn't SW Michigan without lighthouses.
This is the St. Joseph Lighthouse, where my parents live.
"Big Red" in Holland, Michigan
And South Haven at sunset.

I did go to Shipshewana, twice.  I saved room for the pie the first time, boy was it good, best of all, I think I figured out how to recreate it!  I did some fun fabric shopping, of course, and then my mom directed me upstairs to a neat shop with Americana decorations, and treen (for which I have a weakness.)  I was going to be "good" and walk away, but the shop owner told me the treen was 20% off.  So I caved in.  It wasn't difficult.  Then I was looking at a patriotic sampler, and he came by and said that stuff was 30% off.  So now I have shipped a total of 7 packages home!  It isn't all Shipshewana purchases, though.  I also made it to JoAnn Fabrics 5 different times.  (To three different stores)  I feel like one of those people who live in remote areas and only get into "civilization" once or twice a year and have to shop for the whole time until the next visit.  Oh, wait..  LOL

Anyway, it has been such a great visit, and best of all, it ate up nearly a month of waiting time until my husband is back from Afghanistan.  I'm planning on going home and diving into all my new projects and hopefully, the rest of the time will fly by.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Making a List and Checking it Twice

No, I'm not Santa, nor am I working on a Christmas List.  (I think I already have most of that figured out.)  Nope, this is much more important!  Today I'm going to Shipshewana!  It is an Amish town here in Indiana and is full of quilting shops!  I have been making a list for several months now, in anticipation of this day.  Not only is the shopping exciting, but also the eating.  The Blue Gate restaurant has homemade chicken and noodles which I have to have every time I go.  They also have the most incredible pies.  The past few times I have gone, I've been too full for their Raspberry Cream Pie, but today I'm determined to have some, even if I have to skimp on the rest.
I will try to remember to take some photos and give a full report tomorrow.  My one consolation is that if I forget anything or regret any unmade purchases, I know I will be going back again on Monday.  I'm meeting Linda from  The Quilted Pineapple to give her my Omigosh quilt.  She is going to work her magic on it with her gorgeous quilting!  I'm also excited to meet a fellow blogger.

One more word about blogs, I've added a link to one entitled Nature's Images.   It is my Mom's brand new photography blog and she is sharing some of her awesome photos and the stories behind the pictures.  It will be wonderful eye-candy for those who like birds, sunsets, flowers, butterflies, lighthouses, etc.


Monday, July 18, 2011

School of Threadology

Wow!  I'm way behind in blogging again, as usual!  So much has been happening, though.  I'm really impressed with the blogs I read where the authors blog through moving and vacations! 

The last week of June/first of July I had the outstanding opportunity to attend Quilt Hawaii, held at the Marriott on Waikiki.  There was a quilt show, vendors, and classes.  There was no doubt which class I wanted to attend--Superior Thread's School of Threadology, taught by Bob and Mother Superior (Heather) themselves as well as their good friend, Annie from http://www.byannie.com/.  I loved Annie because she lived in Alaska for years (she and her husband homesteaded--if you know anything about Alaska, you know that was no small feat!) AND, she sews on a Bernina 1080 just like me and neither of us would trade it for anything!

Bob began our three day seminar by discussing thread--debunking common myths, demostrating thread types, talking about twist, etc. 
Here we are, comparing two kinds of thread.  He just unwound big spools through the whole classroom!  After learning lots of fascinating information, we went to lunch and came back and got this:
It is a spool of just about every kind of thread they have.  Then we discussed the threads and next they had us do a great excercise with our machine's tension.  Finally, we got to play.  We each took a flower and did some thread painting.
I'm not sure if you can see the embellishing I did on the center flower.  Here is a back view:
This was so much fun.  It is the sort of "play" I want to do more of, but at home I'm intimidated by fabric selection or something.  So here, it was great.  Grap a block sandwich and go!

The morning of Day two was spent making a purse using Texture Magic.  Have any of you used it?  I hadn't, but I will be in the future.  It is really cool stuff.  It looks like a lightweight fabric and you stitch it to your "fashion fabric" (any type, quilting, home dec., heirloom, etc) and then steam it and it shrinks, drawing up the fashion fabric, creating fabulous texture.  Here is my purse:
The pink bottom is textured.  Annie designed the patterns and had samples of nearly all the patterns.  This one is a good representation:
You can see the center part is textured.  I need to comment here on Annie's work.  All the samples were exquisitely done.  I have never seen such incredible workmanship.  The insides were gorgeous, too.  There wasn't a crooked seam, pleat, fray, even a seam showing.  Linings were neatly done, etc.  It is a wonderful example to me and I think to a lot of us out there that you can take your time and get some excellent results.

After lunch on day two, we had a class on Superior Thread's fusible thread.  I hadn't worked with it before and it was quite amazing, too.  Again, I will be using it in the future!  I haven't mentioned that they brought the "thread bar," containers full of lots more of their wonderful thread for us to use in our projects.  Our project featuring the fusible thread was this little needle case:
All of the projects were so much fun becasue they were easily finished in class.  There is no pile of unfinished items at my house right now, just a collection of fun things, already done!

The third day, we played with more thread and Annie's Soft and Stable, making another fun little project, a notebook cover.
We had more thread info from Bob and then the workshop concluded with a trunk show featuring some of the most amazing quilting I've ever seen.  It was the kind of trunk show that leaves you absoluely "gob-smacked" and overwhelmed with quilting!  Here is a picture with Heather, Mother Superior, and just one of their gorgeous quilts.
Those black triangles?  And the black outer borders?  All that gold design is QUILTED!  Wow!

It was such a fun time and great learning and playing.  I can heartily recommend it to any of you.  If you get a chance to become a fellow "Certified Threadologist" I hope you will.