Sunday, September 8, 2013

Garden of Color ... In Madison, WI

I'm sitting at the airport waiting to head back home and see my Prince Charming and Little Prince, so I thought I'd post about my weekend activities.

I had a great, but VERY busy weekend. On Wednesday, I flew in to Wisconsin to help my mom at the Quilt Expo in Madison, WI, where an estimated 17,000 are quilters and crafts (and some husbands) in attendance and I can tell you, it was fun both as a vendor AND as a attendee (Mom let me go shop a little each day when things slowed down.) There were more than 175 vendors in attendance as well as 126 informational lectures, 24 stage presentations, 30 sit & sew workshops, and 12 hands-on workshops. I wish I could have attended some of those!

On the work front, I was lucky and mom had me working the demo table all weekend, so I got to fuse art quilts all weekend, specifically floral ones, my favorite.

The first one I made was for me! It was called Country Charm, by Happy Stash Quilts, though mine was a little less country and a little more rock-n-roll.

Instead of the country colors on a light colored background,I decided to do mine in jewel-tones with a black background. Mom really like the color combinations so I guess I chose well. Usually I am really hesitant and ask her a lot about color choices or give her a palette and she helps choose the fabrics. So, I'm a little proud I guess. I totally get how nerve-racking it is for newer quilters or those new to fusible to choose colors, and why so many ask for fabric kits. Why mess with a good thing ... But I did and it turned out great.

After finishing mine, mom asked me to make the one for her sample. We make a lot of sample so that we have them on display and she can change them out according to the area that we are going. She also teaches a variety of classes and brings anywhere from 60-100 quilts, so she is always making more. She added a new class recently where she shows different changes to a pattern that can make it unique. You don't always have to follow directions ... Unless you're a child and your mom is giving them!

So I let her use some of the ones I make as a teaching tool, because really, I haven't even got my son's school pictures from last year up, so I'm a little behind on hanging my wall-hangings as well. 

Ok, so I did Mom's Country Charm as well, at least the tops. We have to put them on background fabric when we get home and have more work space. I still need to decide what I want to do for borders on mine ... Hmm ...

Here is a photo of both, side-by-side. Mine is on the right, Mom's in on the left. (Hmm, not such a good view of mine. Oh, well.)

Since I finished two quilt tops on Day 1, on Day 2 I started working on McKenna Ryan's Bella Garden, a sample for my mom. It is a nine-block pattern when put together creates a large "collage art quilt" as I like to call them. I have loved McKenna's work for years, but never did one because I was a bit intimidated and also, it's been years since I demonstrated at a show- like 10 years!
Usually, I did the sales and cashier part of shows since I wasn't too comfortable answering off-the-cuff questions that come with the demo part of it. I know the facts (the marketing side of me), but never really did the quilts, so I could've really talk about technique or experiences. Yesterday, someone called me " an expert on fusible and I turned looking for my mother! I guess I answered her questions sufficiently!

Wow! This post is getting long ... Ok, so back to McKenna's Bella Garden. I did Block 1 {Garden Party} and half of Block 2 {A Vine Buzz} on Day 2 of the show. So easy, so fun ... But mainly so beautiful. The flowers are so much in the realm of what I love, being a girly-girl and all. I like the animals of Bigfork Bay Cotton Company, but the florals win my heart!! Here is Block 1. We have to put it on background fabric, but Mom will do that when they are all put together.

Here is Block 2. I loved putting the grape clusters together and the intertwining tree truck was awesome. I was so happy that McKenna chose to intertwine them rather than piece them, it is so realistic. 

I started fusing Block 3 {Lily's Pad} to fabric, but we didn't get it cut or start fusing together. Maybe I'll get to work on that one later, but either way, I'll try to post photos of all of the ones we worked on when they are finished. 

Happy quilting, (or whatever craft you are doing today!)

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