Thursday, April 21, 2011

MQX East

I was able to attend the Machine Quilter's Expo (MQX) on Saturday at the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC).  The show has been around for a while but it used to be held up in New Hampshire in one of the hotels.  This was its 2nd year at the RICC, a much better location in my opinion.  

The talent in this show is unbelievable.  Of course some of the quilting makes me want to throw my machine out the window and wonder why I ever thought I could do this as I will NEVER get to that level but I do enjoy marveling at the quilts and their quilted designs.  

Quilted designs are my weakest point.  There are some quilts that I know exactly what I want but most of the time I scratch my head and wonder what it calls for.  There are some of my tops that just ache for custom quilting but I have no idea what to do and I don't always have the budget to pay someone else to do it for me.  I always hope that studying designs on other quilts will give me ideas but the ones that come to mind usually involve the one about throwing my machine out the window.  

I took lots of pictures and I remembered to charge my battery this time and I even brought an extra memory card.  The bad thing?  Both of my memory cards hardly have any memory!  I deleted a bunch of photos I didn't need any more but that night I went to Big Lots and bought another memory card with tons of memory!

I love stars and mariner compass styled quilts
Close up of the quilting.  I would never look at this quilt and think this is what it needs but it's perfect!

See what I mean about wanting to throw my machine out the window???

Look at the quilting in the basket even!  How wonderful is that?

It's a little blurry but the alphabet is quilted into the border
LOVE this quilt.  I wish I could have gotten a better picture but the area was crowded so it was impossible to move around without getting in someone's way and vice versa.

Outer border of the sheep quilt.  I love how the alphabet was carried into the border with beads and buttons.

This is a panel that was quilted by a 12 yo.  She did a better job than I could ever think about doing.
Hmmm, where's that machine?
We came upon this quilt and I had to take a double look.  This is the quilt that I'm currently working on from last year's BOM at one of my local quilt stores (see March's entries).  My friend, who also participated in the BOM with me thought I was crazy.  It took a while for me to convince her that this is indeed the same quilt.  Gee, I think I'll quilt mine exactly the same way.

This wouldn't take long - I should have it done by Sunday night, right?

The quilts that really intimidated me were the ones that were quilted on a tabletop machine and not a longarm. Yes, I know it takes practice and years of it but even with years of practice I doubt very much I could ever get to this level.  Honestly, I looked like a Martian as I left the show because I was green with envy!

Stay tuned for more pictures!  


Friday, April 15, 2011


Every Monday night I get together with friends.  The group itself has been together for quite some time.  I don't know the exact number of years but I believe it's been at least 12 years.  Some of the faces have changed as people come and go but the group has remained the same in its premise.

I was lucky enough to have an invitation extended to me over two years ago.  I had been laid off from work and feeling kind of low when one of my guild members called and asked if I'd like to join her group.  I knew some of the members from the guild and from one of the local quilt stores but there were a few people that I didn't know.  I was nervous as first because I'm actually quite shy around people I don't know and rather quiet.  I'm sure those of you that know me in person are shocked to know this about me as I'm quite talkative and quite fresh after I get to know you.  

Mr & Mrs Rabbit guard the wine
The night starts at 7:00 with a bottle of red and a bottle of white. Dessert is served at 8:00 and the night pretty much ends at 9:00.  I'm always nervous when everyone comes over to my house because I get so caught up in the conversation that I'm afraid I won't remember to serve dessert until it's time to leave!  Some nights it's a full house, other nights it could just be three of us.  However it goes, it's very low key and no pressure.  

It's usually a mad dash before everyone gets there with me running around making sure the machine is off the table and all the projects are shoved upstairs, the ironing board is stored away along with the iron.  I won't even go into the amount of dusting I do the day before and the yelling I have to do to get the rooms vacuumed and looking partway decent.  It's certainly one way of getting the house clean!

My youngest daughter likes to call it the Sisterhood of the Traveling Needle and Thread.  She's not far off.  Each week is held at a different person's house and we all bring our hand work.  One person might be working on a knitting project while another traces for an applique project while someone else might be going through magazines and a fourth person works on a binding.  We have a great time talking and laughing.   

I've never really cared for applique.  Back when I first started most of it was Baltimore Album style.  Although I appreciate the symmetry of the blocks and the workmanship of each block, it has never been my style.  Having said that, I love the new styles that have come out since then.  The Halloween Baltimore Album blocks, Christmas, Star Spangled, etc.  Love them all!  Because these ladies are so talented with their applique, I've picked their brains for techniques and watched how they make their points and the various ways they've chosen to applique.  Although I'm not anywhere near the levels these ladies are I do feel that my technique has improved.

This past Monday night only three of us were able to gather at my house.  I had some of my Easter decorations on the table that I've kept over the years.  Needless to say we had some fun with them.  
I thought it was supposed to be a race between the tortoise and the hare

It was hard getting this picture without getting a flash in the mirror

Tomorrow I'll be at MQX (Machine Quilter's Expo) in Providence, RI.  This will be my third time going.  As much as I love quilting, shows like this make me want to go home and throw my machine out the window and wonder why I ever started in the first place!  These quilters are so talented, I can only dream about having a quarter of the talent of these artists.  I will take as many pictures as I can and share some of my favorites with you.  I will be sure to charge my battery and bring a back up tomorrow so I don't miss out on anything!