Thursday, 21 May 2015

African scallops

How much fun can you have with tinfoil?? A whole load it seems! I loved Jo Averys scallop pattern as soon as it appeared in Love patchwork and quilting mag. I had been saving this African shweshwe fabric for years not really knowing what to do with it. I think it suits scallops quite well.



Monday, 18 May 2015

I don't speak solids

Two quilts have confirmed recently that solids take me too far out of my comfort zone. Don't get me wrong, I love both of these but they felt like a chore putting them through the sewing machine. I think it's just because I find solids too flat. Me I like colour LOTS of colour, pattern? The more the merrier.

First up is colour me happy, a pattern by Judith Dahmen from Love Quiting and Patchwork magazine. I really loved the finished quilt when I saw it in the magazine. I printed out all the foundations and when I found myself with my baby sewing machine for company while the big one was in the spa I knew this was the perfect pattern to do.


I also had a whole bunch of solids left from the simply solids stash builder so it was a no brainer.

I love it and the effect but for my personal taste it's all a bit too flat in the solids. Would love to try this with some really wild Kaffe fabrics though!


Next up is the Arcadia avenue quilt along from sassafras lane. Love the effect, really love the block but again can't help thinking I should have chosen something less ..... Solid :-)



But I'm grateful to these two quilts for helping me realise that my heart lies with loads of colour and pattern!



Sunday, 17 May 2015

Paducah the unofficial events

I want to remember everything which happened so am trying to find a way to write it down so I remember it. I did find I put Paducah into two categories the official APQS events and the unofficial events. Both of which I loved but we're very different.

First up is quilt bingo!!!

Quilt bingo I hear you ask? Well the lovely Mickey Depre held this event at the paper pieces shop, irene and I had no idea what to expect. We all got a bingo sheet which instead of numbers had words or phrases on it. Things like - lone star, hugs and kisses, block names or quilt names. Mickey then talk us through a huge selection of quilts from her life and at the end of each quilt we got a word or phrase to mark off on our bingo sheet.





After the last quilt one lucky person shouted bingo! She won a copy of Mickeys latest book. We all got a prize though as we were told to feel under our chairs and we all got a $5 gift voucher for the paper pieces shop. Needless to say we all went and spent waaaaay more than 5 dollars! Great marketing!


Next up was a talk at the McCracken public library







How sooper awesome would it be to have quilts hanging in your library? I've been trying to persuade my boss ...
The talk was another which made me see quilts and quilting tradition in America in a different way. It gave me a better appreciation of why quilt history is so important.
The talk was by Bobbi Smith Bryant who spoke movingly of how finding quilts in the family helped her with her genealogy research. Very often the only mention of a woman's maiden name would be on the back of a quilt she had made.
Saving the best till last .... We saw an event advertised on the Paducah visitors website. It said it was and exhibition of quilts relating to the slave era. There was a talk on the Friday morning, a breakfast talk. Righty ho me and Irene were well up for that.
We arrived bright and early as we weren't sure how long it would take us to get there. We were just sitting outside the Hotel Metropolitan which is where the exhibition was being held.
A lovely lady came out and ushered us inside, since we got there so early we deserved a pre talk tour she said! This turned out to be Dr Nancy the curator of the exhibition. What an amazing group of ladies! They get no official funding but they do amazing work ensuring the history of enslaved African Americans is not forgotten, in particular the work of the women. There were many moving contemporary quilts highlighting the use of women as commodities, wet nurses. I didn't get many pictures we were too busy talking and chatting. More women came along and we just had a fabulous time talking quilts and quilt history.
This quilt was a highlight for me though, I love 30s fabrics, this is original feedback fabric, Dr Nancy asked us if there was anything startling about it. We looked and looked, asked about the pattern, 'overall Sam' did that have a significance? Nope not it. Then I spotted it ...
Look closely, the figure on the fabric is 'mammy' ... Blimey. Dr Nancy said that even given ample time most Americans don't notice that, it's so ingrained as an iconic image. It's quite shocking to see now but at the time this wouldn't have raised an eyebrow.

Dr Nancy and her friend exhorted us to document our quilts, even if it is just for ourselves meantime, whatever you craft is important she said, tell your story for it deserves to be heard.

So I will keep on doing that, even if it is just for me, this is my story.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Paducah, the official festival

The official festival was amazing ... Just incredible. Four main areas of vendors plus several official 'outposts' such as the national quilt museum, exhibition at the Rotary center, shops such as Quilt in a Day, Calico Country and Hancocks.


I have to say that although quilt in a day and calico country were OK, don't get me wrong I would love to have either as my LQS but they were blown into a cocked hat by Hancocks of Paducah.


Doesn't look that much from outside but inside .... Well I didn't get too many pictures that's because I was too busy wandering up and down the aisles with my trolley.


Yes my shopping trolley .... Blooming heck!! How many fabric stores do you need an actual shopping trolley for!!

You can see a glimpse of the aisles of fabric in the picture above.

Now the fabric may have been heavily slanted to the more 'traditional' style, but there was cotton and steel, and Kaffe ( I have never ever figured out if he is modern or not, don't care either!) I found loads of Anna Griffin, I love her designs

There was a lot of batiks, a lot. I love batiks, there I've said it! Moving swiftly on they also had fab bargains on rotary blades, needles, I went round with my trolley four times in that one visit, and yes of course I went back again! With fabric at 5-10 dollars a yard! I'm not stoopid :-).

It was also a nice respite getting on the bus to go to these places, meeting other quilters. We also made good use of the liquor store just next to Hancocks :-)


The quilts were amazing too. Very very traditional (which is no bad thing) lots of appliqué, Baltimore quilts. Some stunning work.





I attended very few official festival events. Mainly because the classes all seemed to need you to bring your sewing machine. I found out there that there were sewing machines for those who couldn't bring their own. Hey ho, lesson learned!

I attended two things, Ricky Timms live at the Carson. I knew about Ricky and his beautiful quilts, but still wasn't sure what this evening event would be like.

It was mainly an evening of him telling stories, and playing the piano, both of which he did very well and it was entertaining but I think I would have liked a bit more about the quilts.

He did show quite a few though, forgive the very blurry pictures!



The other official event I attended was an "All star review" it was 10 quilters who gave what I would class as lightening talks (10 mins) on a technique, pattern etc. Very good and very entertaining, I bought two patterns from Maggie Bell on the back of her talk and went and spent a small fortune with Jodie Barrows in her civil war pattern booth. This is what I loved about the all star review, listening to the quilters speak inspired me to look at their patterns and fabrics in a whole new way. Civil war fabric has never been on my hit list, I always thought it too dull and muddy. I've now got a LOAD of it and am sooper excited to get cracking :-)


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Paducah the start

Well, that was a trip and a half! I don't really know where to start, so perhaps the beginning would be best!

We will skip over horrific delays, horrible first hotels etc. we arrived in Nashville and spent a few days sightseeing, doing Grand Ole Oprey. I saw this on the bus tour in Nashville. Just before we had margaritas and coconut shrimp in margaritaville.

One of the highlights was a visit to a plantation house which as luck would have it had several beautiful original quilts in it. We weren't allowed to photograph inside though.

We then took the greyhound bus to Paducah. I don't think anything could have prepared me for how much Paducah is taken over by quilt week.




The one sign I didn't manage to get? "Express lube welcomes quilters" priceless!

I was totally unprepared for how well organised the whole thing would be. Buses were sponsored by shops and hotels, everyone in Paducah welcomes quilters, it truly feels like the whole city is quiltsville.

The festival,itself was in several different venues, but outside the main convention center were the food vendors ..... Oh my god, corn dogs, Philly cheese steaks sandwiches, BBQ ...





Elvis truly did the best corn dogs.

I'm writing this so I can remember an amazing trip so I think I will split this up into several posts so it makes more sense to me.