Paducah – a little on the late side.

I will confess that this summer has completely gotten away from me (yes, already because I’m including spring).  No excuses, just some things that kicked up a notch.  One of the other Monkey’s and I have a long-arm/quilting business and we are making a move to create a website and to start publishing our own patterns.  To that end, we have to actually make (and quilt) those patterns.  This takes quite a bit of time and while I’m not complaining about that, I am amazed that this wonderful thing happened where my creativity cranked up a notch.   Well, not really a notch, more like a bazillion notches.  However, this isn’t a blog for that business – I just felt that I owed you an explanation for my absence.  By saying that, I would also be remiss if I didn’t also mention that another Monkey also recently started up her own long-arm business.  We are a varied group aren’t we?  We like to grow and learn and we are a bunch of goers and doers.

We made plans a while ago to go to Paducah.  We made it there and it was incredible.  There were lots of lovely shops, and the show, and the museum, and and and….and there was too much to put it all into one post.  I won’t bore you with a series of posts on Paducah either.  I will just hit the high points.

Traveling with friends.  This can either go really really well or really really poorly.  We figured that as we had all managed to do our extended retreat times together that this should not be an issue and it wasn’t.  We talked a lot in advance about meals and plans and since we are all reasonable adults, we kinda all went our own way during the days to see the things that were important to us and sometimes others of us would tag along.  I would highly recommend that if you are planning a trip with friends like that in the future, that you don’t feel like you have to spend every waking moment doing the exact same things.  Sure, you are all going to the same place and have similar interests, but you are all individuals with different needs and sometimes a quiet walk or a little more time at an exhibit can give you a little quiet time.

The Show.  The show was wonderful.  So much to see that when/if we go next time I would prefer to take more than one day there.  We did make sure to hit the vendors (and rumor had it that some vendors were selling out of things on the first day!) and I’m glad we did that, but I felt like I had to rush through the quilts being shown (that is on me not on any of my traveling companions).  Plus it was very overwhelming to see all the things and people that my head was on a swivel and it was hard to focus.  Now that I know more of what to expect it will be not as big an assault on my senses.

Shopping.  Holy cow there were a ton of places to shop.  I have some mental notes of places I really enjoyed and places I didn’t get to go, but that just gives me a better sense of what to do next time.

The little things.  Oh, the ever so important little things.  Like sampling moonshine at 10:30 in the am with your Tribe.  Yeah, we did that.  Yeah, it was worth it.  No, we didn’t get drunk.  We met and talked with some wonderful vendors and quilters and townspeople who helped us to get around.  We visited with people in shops and on trolleys and helped complete strangers pick out fabric.  We had our pictures taken because of our matching shirts (We are the ones your guild warned you about!) and posted online.  We sat in the evenings and shared purchases and techniques and wine.  We enjoyed the breeze from the lake and each other’s company.  We brought home souvenirs and fudge and memories.  I would trade it for nothing in this world.

Advice.  Sometimes you have to go and do something to really understand what others are talking about.  If you go for the first time, keep your expectations low and your mind open.  Also, make plans to go a second time to put all of your new-found knowledge to good use.





Because I have to share.

I may have mentioned that we went to Paducah.  I may have mentioned that I came home with a new project.  I’m sure you aren’t surprised.  How could I not after going to Paducah?  Well, I still have to figure out exactly what I am going to do.

Once upon a time friends and I would go to another large quilt show – IQA.  We had a wonderful time and we came to find that there were certain vendors that we could count on seeing every year. For me there was a vendor with fabrics from Japan and another was a vendor with fabrics from Africa.  Some things changed and we no longer go to the show and sometimes I miss that.

However, I did find a vendor that had some similar things that I had enjoyed at IQA (thanks to Wanda who found it first and showed what she had gotten at our nightly show and share).  Once I saw her booth, I got a bright idea…

My smallest person LOVES giraffes. He has 4 that he sleeps with and they are named after each member of our family.  Plus he has a giraffe dream lite (think of a night-light stuffed animal pillow if you aren’t familiar with them).  When I saw she had giraffe panels I knew I would be taking one home.  The trouble was finding just the right one.  I thought it would be super cool if we could find one that had a mommy and a baby.  Well, I didn’t quite find that, but I did find this and it works as a mommy and a baby.  Isn’t it cool?

As I sat pondering what to do with this lovely panel, Inez reminded me that I had some African prints that should go nicely with the panel.  It took me a little while to find all of them because for some silly reason I integrated them into my stash and I had to go hunting for them.  Here they are!  img_2563

I even found a couple more that might work as well, but I think they are more Aboriginal….


I will probably need some sort of solid or tone on tone to help with all of these wild prints, but first I’ll have to come up with some sort of idea….

Wish me luck!

Yea for UFO’s!

I really am feeling like I am getting out of this funk (finally) and I was able to get some more UFO’s completed.

Remember the Flower Of the Month series?  I was able to get TWO of them done!  And these kits were also cut generously enough that I could get the small quilt and a block out of them.  This one is August and the flower was gladioli.  I will say that I am not a fan of this one.  Some of the fabric is pretty but it is incredibly busy and hard on my eyes.  The trickiest part was the border and trying to decide if the rows of flowers should be treated as a directional fabric.  The pattern showed that all 4 should look like the two sides. I opted not to do that and I’m not totally convinced I made the correct choice, but it is complete and so it shall stand.

This one is from February and utilizes violets.  While violets are not my favorite, my mother-in-law loves them so this may find itself quilted and gifted to her for Christmas.  I think it’s the tea-cup fabric that distracts me…I’m not sure….also, there was not enough of the original background so I had to go through my stash to complete the second square.

I don’t remember if I mentioned, but at the time that these all came out there was also a companion panel.  Somehow in my overactive crafting imagination I thought that it would be a great idea to get the panel and use the second block to border around the panel for a quilt.  I am now starting to realize that these blocks are all going to be different sizes so it will be a bit of a puzzle putting them together around said panel.  I’m still game though.  At least for right now.  Of course with the latest coloring craze, I just might have to get out some fabric markers and color them but I will put that on the back burner until I can see how the blocks and the panel are going to work together.

I hope you are still making some projects on your UFO’s.  I’ve fallen off the wagon for a bit.  I don’t have air conditioning in my sewing room and that kinda discourages me from sewing during the hotter months of the year.  I’m working on it, but for now it causes me delays in sewing.  That and I got sloppy so I need to go put some things away to get back to my nice clean work surface.