Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quilt Market = Candy Store

If you have never been to Quilt Market, just imagine acres and acres of beautiful booths filled with more fabric than you can imagine, incredibly constructed quilts and creativity abounding until your head starts to spin. That's what Spring Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon was like. So I hopped on over to Bunny Hill Designs and met up with my friend Anne Sutton, who is the head bunny! Here is Anne's booth which was absolutely adorable - and she won for best single booth!! Congratulations Anne - you are the greatest.
Then I rolled on over to see Brenda at Acorn Quilt and Gift Company. Brenda is a kind and generous and such an artist. And now she's designing fabric for Henry Glass. Now I was off to visit the Daiwabo booth. If you have ever wondered who is the face behind those yummy Japanese taupes - it's my friend, Maria. And please look close - Maria is sporting new glasses!

What quilt market would be complete without making new friends too. Look what's blooming at Bloom Creek. Here's Vicki who is a wonderful designer. These quilts were absolutely much so that I had to order the patterns and all the fabrics to make them with. I'll put them on my website as soon as they arrive!

Lastly I just had to take a picture of Alexander Henry's booth. They have some wonderful fabrics, but mostly I wanted you to see their banner "WonderShop". It looked like a fabric fairy land.....if only my picture could do it justice.

I walked for almost 9 hours a day for the first 3 days of the show and then 7 hours the final day. I could never describe all I saw, but at least here is a little glimpse for you to enjoy. Mary Jane

Monday, May 12, 2008

2 Days and Counting!

Only 2 more days and it's off to Oregon! Now all I have to do is get over my pneumonia. Yes, the lousy cold and sore throat ended up to be pneumonia. What I have left is the cough, cough, cough problem. Sounds so contagious, but it isn't really. So hopefully when I get on the plane Wed. AM the cough will be gone and my fellow passengers won't think I'm giving them germs. Speaking of Wed. AM - I have to get up at 2 AM - AARGH!! Since my normal bedtime is midnight that's not much sleep. I'll probably be dopey on the plane but hopefully when I arrive in Portland I'll be refreshed because I don't know my way around the city and their public transportation.
Check back sometime next week and see if I've gotten my photos posted. I have the camera out so hopefully I won't forget to pack it. Mary Jane

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One Week & Portland, Oregon Here I Come

I can't believe it is only one week until I arrive in Portland, Oregon for Spring Quilt Market! I've had a lousy cold, sore throat and laryngitis since Saturday so I'm hoping I'll be all better for the trip (and the BIG buying that I do at Market). Market is so much fun, but it also is work because you are spending tons of money and hope that what you buy is what your customers will want. Because as much as we shop owners love quilting, fabric, patterns, etc. we wouldn't be in business very long (unless we were independently wealthy) without someone buying our products. So anyone out there in cyberspace that has a your comments! I would love to hear what you are looking for.
In the meantime, they should be pretty much finished with the hardwood floor in the big room is coming out really nice! But what a mess to clean on the porch, all the "Junk" from 3 closets scattered everywhere and what I really want to do is lay down on the couch (which is on the porch) and get over my germs. Last night I tried to make dinner working around our leather chair right in the middle of the kitchen. It wouldn't fit on the porch so it ended up in the kitchen. I made a quiche and it was very interesting rolling out my pie crust in such a small area, but it came out really good. So tonight there is no cooking because we have leftovers! I really love leftovers....So have a nice day. Mary Jane

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tomorrow is a New Adventure

I am looking forward to tomorrow when the workmen arrive and start on the hardwood floors! I have never been a fan of wall to wall carpeting so out it goes. I won't say I'm looking forward to the work still ahead tonight...getting the couch, dining room table, etc. out of the room. I moved all of the small things about a week ago, but couldn't quite figure out how to move the big things by myself.
Then next week it is off to Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon! I always get so excited about market because there are so many wonderful things to see. Aisle after aisle of the latest in fabrics, patterns, etc. I usually spend my first day walking every aisle and making notes. No orders until I've seen it all. It is a very long day and my feet attest to that by dinner time! The really special part of this spring's market is where I'm staying. About 10 years ago I was delayed in the airport in San Francisco and met a wonderful woman in the coffee shop. She lives in Portland and has asked me to stay with her. I am really looking forward to it. It is funny how spending a short period of time with someone could result in such a great friendship. We have kept in contact over the years and have a wonderful bond. So Mary, I'll see you next week!
In the meantime, I'll try and post again before I leave. And I'll try and take some pictures that I can share with you after I return. I'm sure you'd like to see what's new too. Mary Jane

Friday, May 2, 2008

May Has Arrived - So Spring Must Be Here!

There is something about May - even here in New Hampshire, the snow is gone, we start to get a glimpse of green, and flowers emerge from their long winter's hibernation. Now I won't say I'm an avid gardener (too much quilting to do), but I really appreciate the colors of spring. There is nothing more beautiful than a beech tree in the spring when the leaves show the most amazing green color. Who would think that spring leaves could have such variations in colors? But each type of tree has it's own spring color, just as they have their own fall color. It is almost like a beautiful living quilt when I look outside. Then factor in the wonderful sunsets, all of the color variations and my visual stimulation is on overload.
Do you ever wonderful how some color combinations work and some don't? Do you ever plan a quilt thinking it will be the most beautiful quilt ever, only to be disappointed with the finished project? Maybe we have to take a lesson from Mother Nature and incorporate a more varied color palette into our quilts. I know myself that I really get into the "matchy" thing and occasionally it appears a little dull. Some quiltmakers think you need to throw in a "zinger" to avoid this. But if you are like me, it is hard to work outside of your comfort zone. Have you ever taken a class from Mary Ellen Hopkins? She has you put your hand into a paper bag and whatever you take out is what you have to use - right then, right now! No putting it aside until that color works into your plan. So maybe the lesson today is to get out some of your assorted pre-cut strips, that I'm sure most of you have on hand, and throw them into a bag, and then start pulling them out and sewing. Throw caution to the won't kill you and maybe you'll find out that sometimes too much thinking takes away from the fun. The only trick I've found with "random" selection is the smaller the width of the strip the less the fabric matters. One of my favorite log cabin quilts was made with some of the ugliest fabrics I had on hand, but I cut them into 1-1/4" strips. When you have a 3/4" finished strip you only see color - you didn't see the Santa faces on the blue fabric, etc. Of course, it takes quite a bit of time to make something large with 1-1/4" strips, but at least it is something that divides perfectly into 2-1/2" jelly roll strips. Have a great week-end and let your creativity shine! Mary Jane