Tag Archive | sewing

AQS Quilt Show Charlotte, NC 2014 ~

I’ve been chalking up a lot of “new” things in my quilting world this summer especially.  New patterns, new quilt designs.  This past weekend I went to my first AQS Quilt Show, a national quilt show, in Charlotte, NC.  Despite the 13 hour drive each way, the 3 days spent in between the drives was very nice.  We stayed with family.

We went to the show on Saturday and stayed for about 3-4 hours, meandering through the exhibits and the vendors.  Being the last day of the show, it was not very busy, so there was plenty of room without getting bumped or having to wait.  Being held at the Charlotte Convention Center, it was H-U-G-E.  It was sort of a disadvantage for me, personally, as I have difficulty walking (even though I was using a rolling walker with a seat thingy).  I do think we (my hubby came with) got to see every display.

 

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The photos in the slideshow are some of the favorites that both my husband I and took photos of.  There were many, many more on display.  At first it was overwhelming, then we settled in to a routine of going slowly, sitting for a few minutes, visiting the drinking fountains often, and continuing on.  We looked at ALL of the displays before ever going near the vendors!

The displays were gorgeous, as you can see by some of our photos.  One disappointment for me was there were considerably fewer actual bed size quilts than wall hangings.  There were approximately 50 quilts, but over 200+ wall hangings of varying sizes.  The groups of displays were spaced out so far for the quantity of quilts/walls hangings that were entered.  It seemed like the warehouse-size room in the basement of the Convention Center was way too big for so “few” displays… but then again, when we were there, there were much fewer people.

There were a LOT of vendors.  The entire center of the area was drowning in vendors.  It was fun to see all the things that I don’t ordinarily see in magazines or quilt shops.  Having very little money to shop with was a problem, but my husband did purchase a nice pair of Dresden Plate silver earrings for me, after knowing what I’d recently gone through to make a Dresden Plate of my own.  That made it that more special.  I had anticipated the vendors possibly dropping some of their prices, since it was the last hours of the last day of the Charlotte show.  That was not to be.  Indeed, I did not find any “deals” or price chops at any of the vendors.

By the way, remember that purple Dresden Plate quilted pillow I made for my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday?  She loved it.  After opening the bag it came in and enjoying it momentarily, she put it back in the bag and went to put it in her purse ~ which is where she puts everything that she especially loves and wants to keep close to her.  (Mom has dementia, and did not realize the pillow would most likely not FIT into her purse.  But that’s okay)

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So, that’s the story behind my first adventure to a national quilt show.  Thanks for stopping by and checking out my photos.  Hope you enjoyed your visit.

God bless ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

Quilting ~ How Much is Too Much?

Have I mentioned that my mother-in-law, now retired, is/was a professional (exceptional) quilter?  She taught me everything I know, even though we live an entire state away from where she lives in Pennsylvania.  During our visits to PA, I have always been envious of her ample “stash” of quilting things.  Her sewing room contained everything any quilter could ever want or need.  I think she was a secret quilt “hoarder”!

Now that she’s retired, she has no need for any of those gadgets, fabrics, tables, sergers, sewing machines and batting.  I, apparently, was in line to inherit all (or most) of these wonderful items.  My sister-in-law is also a sewer, but not a quilter, but she had use for several of the items to be given away.  

So Al and I took our pickup truck to PA over this past weekend in an effort to “clean up/clean out” Mom’s sewing room.  What a task!  I did most of the organizing and packing things to be put on our truck.  The room, about 12 x 12′, was completely inundated with STUFF!  There was a small path through which we could walk to get into the middle of the room.  That’s where I put my office chair, in the middle of the room, so I could go around the room working on a little at a time, tossing some stuff and packing others.  After 5 hours of working, I was done, and had everything organized and ready to go on the truck.  My poor husband had the task of carting everything from the sewing room down two flights of stairs and out to the driveway… we should’ve had a hand cart, but didn’t.  I don’t think even he thought it was going to be so much!  In the end, we did fill the entire bed of the pickup, AND we didn’t get any of the bins of fabric and batting from the entire closet filled floor to ceiling!  That’s for another day and a bigger truck.

After we got home, Al unloaded the truck into our livingroom and I began to take an inventory of what I have and ponder about where I’m going to put it all!  My sewing room is smaller than hers, and my closet half the size.  What was I thinking?!  Where on earth am I going to put approximately 150 spools of thread?!  I brought home two more sewing machines:  a Bernina 1530 (workhorse, worth its weight in gold) and a Singer Featherweight (antique, gorgeous!), as well as a Baby Lock Serger that I have no clue how to use and may well never learn.  Bins of fabric, baskets of batting, needles, several green quilter’s cutting mats of varying sizes, rulers of different sizes and shapes, a light box, a large box of older Quilter’s magazines and books that never go out of style, rick rack, knick knacks, rotary cutters … the list goes on.  The supplies are way more than I could ever hope to consume in the balance of my lifetime.  Is it too much?

Quilt supplies 2

Quilt supplies 1

Quilt supplies 3

 

I’ve since come to the conclusion that the question was a silly one!  I belong to a very active quilt guild in my area, and it’s always nice to share!  Varigated metallic thread anyone?

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara

My Quilting Mentor ~

I haven’t been quilting that long, according to the world of quilting.  Only about 12 years.  I don’t remember how exactly I got started, but I know it was my mother-in-law, Ethel Whalen, who got me started and encouraged me all through my journey so far.  Fourteen years ago, when I married her son, Alfred, I admired her exceptional skill and enthusiasm for quilting each time we went to visit my in-laws near Clarks Summit, PA.  She would either be starting, in the midst of, or putting the finishing touches on a full or queen size quilt. 

This blue & white quilt is one of my favorites.

This blue & white quilt is one of my favorites.

The colors and patterns she chose were always so vibrant and intricate.  I never thought I would be able to have the skill to put things together so well, let alone the patience it would take to make an entire quilt ~ which could take weeks to months.  She belonged to a local Quilt Guild and went to quilt meetings and participated in shows in which her quilts and wall hangings won awards.

An intricate wall hanging

An intricate wall hanging

So, when I finally got up the courage to give quilting a try, it was only natural that Mom lend a hand with encouragement and instruction.  She even “donated” several quilting “tools” for my benefit in getting started and I began to take an interest in quilting books and magazines for additional hints.  She always has spurred me on by reminding me that she didn’t START quilting until she was in her 60’s (she’s now in her 80’s).  She keeps a quilt “diary” album of sorts that documents through photos all of the projects she’s done over the years:  wall hangings, lap quilts, place mats, full and queen size quilts for family members and friends, as well as baby quilts for grandchildren.  That’s how I got the idea to start my own diary.

 

King size maple leaf qult

King size maple leaf qult

Our home is filled with many various quilts that Mom and made.  The photos above and below are all her projects.  One of these days soon I should offer to take her album(s) and make them digital, just to preserve the legacy longer.  In the meantime, Mom has retired from quilting in the past couple of years, as her arthritic hands just can’t accommodate all the cutting, pinning and sewing required.  But I figure I still have a few more years that I can use quilting as my creative outlet.  I’ll have to post some of my “masterpieces” on my blog some day soon. 

Christmas tree skirt

Christmas tree skirt

My Pink Quilt ~

 This is my pink quilt. 

My Pink Quilt Summer 2012

I’ve been quilting for about 11 years, having been an avid learner and coached by my mother-in-law, Ethel Whalen, who is a professional quilter and has shown her prize-winning work in Pennsylvania.  I never expect to be as good or as prolific as her, but I do enjoy the craft immensely.

 I’ve made a “few”, I guess.  I will post them randomly as I go along and get good photos of them ~ at least the ones I still have on hand.  Mostly I enjoy making quilts specifically for other people.  And I usually try to present it as a “themed” quilt, with the receiver’s likes in mind.  I’ve made an Oriental quilt for a good friend, a “Goth” quilt for my son, several baby quilts, quilts for fundraisers.  You’ll see.

 But this quilt, this pink quilt is mine.  My goal was to make something unique for myself, just something laptop size, to snuggle with in these cold Upstate New York winters when I like to watch t.v. in the familyroom.  Well, this pink quilt ended up being queen size, but snuggle-worthy just the same!  See, I wanted something that would cover all of me ~ unless those commercial “throws” you buy in the stores that are only 60″ or 72″ long.  Not good enough!

 I found a pattern in one of my quilting magazines called “Caroline’s Chain”, and I fell in love with it.  It’s warm, it’s Victorian and romantic.  I wasn’t sure, when I looked at it, that it would be to my level of quilting, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The pattern says it’s for “intermediate” quilters, but I only considered myself with “beginner” skills.  My typical pattern of choice is a simple 9-patch or something easy with squares.  Keep triangles and ellipticals away from me, please.

 I started by researching online “Caroline’s Chain” to see what fabrics were involved, and I found most of them available right on eBay.  The others were purchased from online quilt shops.  Unfortunately, I’m not one to really measure and do the mathematics involved with my creative quilt-making.  I like to just buy “a yard of this, two yards of that” and figure that ought to be enough ~ and usually it is.  That’s why I’m always surprised at what size my quilt will be when I’m done… they’re always bigger than planned.  But, I gathered all the appropriate fabrics and began my project.  I was very proud at how the quilt top turned out after diligently working on it evenings after work for about 2 months.  Next would be the backing, and I decided to use the numerous leftovers from the top in some creative way.  Granted, the back seems haphazardly put together to me, but I used up most of my Caroline’s Chain fabric.  I still had some leftovers for my quilt journal.

This is my pieced pink quilt back.

 So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I hope you enjoy checking out my quilts as much as I’ve enjoyed making them.