I’ve been back almost a week now from Quilt Market in Minneapolis and it’s taken this long for me to sort of catch up and be able to write a bit here. Pam and I had a great trip there – it’s overwhelming the number of beautiful quilts, garments and fabulous creations that we saw. It just made us want to get back and start sewing – but of course we returned to catch up on things at work! I came back to a full week of teaching so I’m just now starting to look at all the great products that we saw there so that we can place our orders and get some of this new stock into the stores and onto our on-line catalogue.
When we first arrived at the show, we stopped at the Jenny Haskins booth for a moment to say hello to Simon Haskins and all our friends there, and then headed off to the first aisle of the show to start our rounds. At the very first booth, I met up with an old friend of mine, Linda McGehee of Ghee’s. Linda is famous for her beautifully embellished handbags and handbag patterns, and she’s now doing lots of work with zippers! We loved looking at her zipper creations – jewellery, embellished clothes, even embellished shoes and flip-flops! Here’s a photo of Pam with Linda, as well as some of her zipper creations. We loved the rhinestone zippers and each had to buy a rhinestone zipper lanyard, just like the one that Linda is wearing in the photo. Watch for some of these fancy zippers to show up on our web site and in the stores soon.
We also spent some time in Anna Maria Horner’s booth, admiring her great styles in quilting, wearables and accessories. Here I am with one of her quilts, and here are some of her other styles as well. We’ll soon have all of Anna Maria’s patterns too.
See the next entry for the rest of this blog – I have too many photos for one entry!
Continued from Part 1:
The rest of the weekend now seems like a blur. We found lots of great patterns, some tools and rulers that are wonderful, lots of creative embellishment products, and some fabulous fabric lines. I’m really excited about Jenny Haskins new “When Dreams Flower” fabric line coming sometime this summer from Windham fabrics. Their booth looked fabulous with so many beautiful samples made up in this and other new fabric lines. We’ll be posting this fabric on our website this coming week to take pre-orders for both fabrics and kits. Order soon so that you’ll be guaranteed early delivery as they are already talking about having to do a second printing of the fabric since it has been so popular.
Another new product that was launched at Quilt Market is Electric Quilt 7. This is the newest version of this popular quilt design software and it has some great features. You can create instant blocks using seven Serendipity options such as Kaleidoscope Block and Fancy Star Block, import your own fabric scans or use one of the hundreds of built-in current fabrics in the program, turn everyday photos into quilt art images, create your own fabric designs, print patterns fabric yardages, photos, and lots, lots more. I have just received my own copy of this exciting program so I’m going to install it after I finish writing this blog – either later today or tomorrow. I’ll let you know what I think soon.
My writing has been interrupted a couple of times here today. It’s my daughter’s birthday and she just brought home a beautiful new puppy yesterday so she has been “Skyping” me from North Bay to keep me posted on what’s happening. My son got a second dog from the animal shelter last weekend so we are now up to 5 grand-dogs! Not quite the grandchildren I’ve been hoping for, but we love them all the same. Here are a couple of photos of my beautiful grand-dogs. Two here in Langley, two in London Ontario, and one in North Bay Ontario. What a spread out family we have.
So here are our five Grand-dogs: Puppy Weimaraner – as yet un-named of North Bay, Bear (the new adoptee) and big sister Koda of Langley, and Buddy and Abigail of London. I best go now. Time to make dinner and catch up here at home. Next time, I’ll include a sewing tip for you! Talk to you soon, Judi
This is going to be a busy and exciting week. Wednesday. Pam (our store manager) and I are off to Minneapolis for Quilt Market. Quilt Market is THE trade show for quilting and sewing stores to attend and it happens twice each year, spring and fall. The fall show is held every year in Houston, but the spring show moves around every year from the east coast of the US through central US to the west coast. This year, it’s being held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Thursday through Sunday, so we’ll be winging our way across the continent. We’re sure to find all kinds of exciting new notions, fabrics, books, and anything else that relates to sewing, embroidery and quilting. Depending on my internet connection, I’m going to try and keep you updated throughout our trip so keep your eyes both here on the blog, and also on our facebook page so that you can be among the first to hear about the newest, exciting products.
I’ve added a few new technological goodies to my toy chest this week – I was given an ebook reader for Mother’s Day, and I just bought myself a brand new “mini” netbook computer so that I can easily update both my blog and our facebook page while I’m on the road. I’m having lots of fun with both of them, but now I’ve decided that I have to design and make myself carry cases for each of them. Once I get going on this project, I’ll post some photos of the progress so that you can see what I come up with. I can tell you that since I chose a beautiful blue mini computer, I’ve chosen fabrics to colour coordinate. I’m excited about the design that I’m mulling around in my head for the case for my ebook reader. It’s going to make the controls on the reader easy to access, and also have room for a notepad and pen so that I can make notes whenever my heart desires as I read.
This week I’m definitely suffering from the “not enough time” syndrome. I’m anxious to have more progress on my Jenny Haskins “Moulin Rouge” quilt – I’m just starting block 6; I’m still partway through working on my Asian PJ’s that I wrote about last week; I want to finish designing and making my carry cases for my newest toys; in-between I finished off a small wallhanging that we will be sewing in our Diamond Club at the store this month, and with the weather finally becoming summer-like, I’m anxious to get my garden into shape. So much to do. . . so little time.
On that note, I better stop writing. I’m going to have to get my suitcase packed.
It’s early Sunday morning – Mother’s Day. I hope that if you’re a mother, you’ll be pampered and spoiled today. My family – at least those who live close by, will be coming over shortly for a brunch that I am NOT cooking, and my plans are to have some quality sewing and gardening time today. Time spent doing just what I want to do!
My newest sewing project is a pair of Indygo Junction’s Asian Pyjamas. I collected the fabrics for these PJ’s some time ago, and they’ve been one of those projects sitting, “ageing” in my sewing room waiting for just the right time to get started. I chose some beautiful coordinated Asian prints from the Mandarin Dynasty collection by Hoffman in shades of goldy-tans and rose-corals with splashes of blues and greens. There are dragons and chrysanthemums in the print and I’m looking forward to finishing them off. Here are 3 of the fabrics I’m using. I’m still working on my Jenny Haskins “Moulin Rouge” embroidered quilts – I’m on block 4 now. The nice thing about that is that with all 110,000 stitches of embroidery in each of 8 blocks, I’ve got lots of time to work on my PJ’s while the embroidery machine is stitching away.
Here’s one of my favourite spring time pasta recipes – and one that my family has always enjoyed. If you cook for someone who doesn’t like to eat their vegetables, this is a delicious way to disguise them!
Broccoli Pesto Linguine
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/4 cup fresh basil
5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Drain the broccoli and immerse in the ice cold water. This will keep the broccoli’s bright green colour.
- Drain again, and transfer the broccoli to the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
- Add all the other ingredients except the olive oil and pulse 6-8 times, until the mixture forms a chunky paste. Do not puree!
- Pulse again, drizzling in a few teaspoons of olive oil at a time. You may need additional olive oil to get the consistency you want.
Toss the pesto with linguine noodles cooked al dente and serve. If desired, top with grilled chicken breasts and add a tossed salad for a complete meal.
This past week I’ve been busy teaching both embroidery classes and software classes – four in all! Sometimes I don’t know what I’m thinking when these things are scheduled – I’ll go for a few weeks without any teaching on my schedule, then all of a sudden I find that I’m busy teaching all week. These were classes that I love to teach though, so that makes it all worthwhile. I really enjoy the machine embroidery aspect of sewing and quilting these days, and I get quite excited about everything I can do in my 4D embroidery software so it’s fun to share this with others. I had a group who were just learning the introduction to embroidery software in one class and it was great to see them start to understand how to keep track of their embroidery design collection and some of the things it’s possible to do with it. My more advanced class all have embroidery machines with the new jumbo “Majestic Hoops” that will stitch out an embroidery design up to almost 14” square so they were learning how to create and manipulate designs for these hoops. My Hoopsisters “Embroid-a-Block” class is getting close to being finished their 10 month Block of the Month Quilt-as-you-Go class and their embroidered and quilted creations are looking fabulous. It was a tiring but rewarding week for me in the classroom.
As I passed through the warehouse this week, I couldn’t help but notice a new shipment of fabrics that have just arrived. It seems everyone has loved the new garment knit lines we added a little while ago and we’ve just received lots of new colours in these lines – just in time for spring and summer. I haven’t had a chance to see everything that arrived yet as it hasn’t made it to the sales floor – it’s still being checked in, but I saw some great colours in the bottomweight Ponte di Roma knit that is so good for pants and skirts. We’ve now got a beautiful ivory, a camel and a warm taupe colour that will be great for the coming season, as well as a gorgeous teal, and more of the ever-popular black, brown and charcoal. In the lighter, top-weight knits I saw some lavender and green, and I know that there were more great colours as well. They should all be checked in and in the stores this coming week, and we’ll try to get all the new colours up in the on-line store this week as well. Garment sewing seems to be coming back into fashion again and these knits are easy to sew and really comfortable to wear. I love the t-shirts I have made, and I think I’ll be making some more with these new colours. Here are a few of the Kwik-Sew patterns that we carry that I’ll be using with these knits.
Keith has another tip for you this week to help keep your sewing machine in tip-top shape. This is for those of you who have front loading bobbins with a removeable bobbin case in your machines like the one pictured here. Be careful when you’re inserting the bobbin in the case, it’s easy for your fingers to slip occasionally and have the bobbin case drop to the floor. With enough impact, and sometimes it doesn’t seem like much of an impact at all, the bobbin case can be knocked out of round, even minutely so that it’s hard to see with the naked eye. In this case, your machine may not stitch properly and the bobbin will hang up. This can be one of those frustrating times where it looks like there isn’t anything wrong, yet nothing will work! The only way to fix this is to replace the bobbin case. It’s also a good idea to keep second bobbin case on hand so that if you want to work with an unusually heavy weight thread in your bobbin, you have a bobbin case on hand that you feel free to adjust the tension on. Try not to ever adjust the tension on your m ain bobbin case as it can be hard to get it back to the perfect tension for normal sewing. With a second case, you don’t have to worry about this. If you mark the second one with a drop of nail polish, you’ll always know which one you can adjust freely and which one to leave alone!
Talk to you again soon,