Sunday, May 30, 2010

Meet Susan Marth

Since I left St. Louis in 2007 I have been fortunate enough to attend Houston to assist Susan of Suzn Quilts in her booth. I must admit to my alterior motive of using business as excuse to get to see her. Being a military spouse for 20+ years has it's challenges and leaving loved ones is by far the biggest. Working hard and playing hard should go hand in hand and Market offers both. This year we added Spring Market to our list so I could selfishly see friends twice this year.
Susan displayed her book, "Best Friends", in beautiful Moda Christmas fabrics by Holly Taylor. She also unveiled her newest pattern, "Ginger Bliss"....aren't they the cutest? It always feels strange to me to be surrounded by Christmas off season but it also makes me itch to get busy doing something new and fun to have for this next season.

Her new "Celebrate" pattern is so cute and versatile as well. Can you tell I am a fan?
Being a fan goes beyond her adorably original designs though. We met via a quilt guild meeting that she was lecturing at. I asked her to lunch so I could pick her brain about the design/pattern world. Honestly if we talked business for 30-45 minutes out of the 3+ hours we spent together, that would be a lot. It was just one of those meetings where you start talking with ease and before you know it you are regretably pulling yourself away because your family will expect you to come home eventually:)

This booth reflects the comfort of my friendship with Susan. You walk in and want to sit and sew and chat for hours. We should all be so fortunate to find that in a lifetime.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Meet Celine Perkins

This is the talented Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods and I am proud to call her my friend. Here she happily stands at her booth prepared to laugh with you or teach you how to use her wonderful Perfect Piecing Seam Guide.
"Twelve Oaks"
Tradition along with beautiful salmons, browns, and blues decorated her booth at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis, MN this year.

And you will notice in the next photo a poster for PASSPORT to Minneapolis. This smart group of business owners found a way to meet as many attendees as possible because who doesn't like a good treasure hunt?? We all know that every booth contains treasure and this guaranteed that shop owners would search a bit harder for just the right treasure to take home to their shops.
Celine is a Minneapolis native and graciously invited 4 of us to stay with her during market. Work is so much nicer when there is an evening gathering of brilliant minds to look forward to at the end of the day. Good food and Great friends-mixed in with a little rum have always made me smile and on this trip I was fortunate enough to add a few more names to my heart.

This is one of the quilts from Celine's new book, "Abundance". The queen size version is in the previous photo with the poster on it. This is Celine's 3rd book and her patterns contain something for everyone.
I was fortunate enough to stay an extra evening before I flew out and I had her all to myself. She took me to a Macys for dinner where we were served a popover that is considered a tradition there. I have never had anything like it! It was fluffy and eggy and crunchy on the outside....YUMMMM! Thank you, Celine! It was an extraordinary treat getting to know you better.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May Craziness

Just as I was gearing up to vend at my local quilt show this year, strep throat reared it's ugly head and took out me and my husband. I honestly can't remember when I have felt so awful since I am the healthy one around here. Being our first year as empty nesters this was a challenge and we were pitiful, each on our own couch and covered in quilts. Whoever got up to go to the bathroom was tagged as the caretaker. The strep went straight to my voice and straight to my husband's ears. One day I squeaked at him "Well aren't we a pair? I can't talk and you can't hear." To this he replied, (can you see the punchline coming???) "Doesn't that make for a perfect marriage?" HA HA HA!
I have declared that we can't both be sick at the same time in the future!

Through it all I was able to get my work done, be reasonably prepared for my show, and speak with a very lovely Marge Simpson voice. My reward was a second place ribbon on a work I can't show yet and an Honorable Mention for another piece that was quite the challenge to figure out as it went along.
"Stingray Swirls"
This piece was computer designed, hand appliqued, machine quilted, faced and beaded.

The next 4 shots are of my booth from left to right. So above is the left wall where I realized that I do have a style in the pattern side of the house....yay! Below is the back wall featuring my logo quilt "Las Flores de Amigas". I am so proud of this quilt. This year was the second time that it was chosen to be a part of a guild raffle quilt and thankfully a member of our guild won it.

This next photo shows the right wall of my booth where lots of fun items were available. A lot of these items will soon be available on my website gift store for sale. I had brought some of my art along with handmade beads, ornaments, and hand-beaded scarves.
The backside of the right wall was open to the demo area and I didn't want to waste the space so I displayed alternate colorways of my designs there.

There were so many beautiful quilts at our show and I can't possibly put them all into one post. To start us off though, is Patti Brown's Storm at Sea. Patti is meticulous about her piecing and this quilt is no exception. Her patience to do those mariner's compass blocks deserved the ribbon even without all the other work:)
The quilt is approximately queen size and won 2nd place in the group category due the added talent of Laurie Mayo's quilting. After letting the quilt speak to her, many adorable details were added through quilting. The pic below shows these great turtles she added. There were also seahorses, starfish, and regular fish.
In our art category, Eileen Williams won the Arts Council sponsored Merit Award for Art and Innovation for the 3rd year in a row.
Here we are in front of her beautiful quilt, "Grazing in the Grass". I would love to say she is the competition to beat but there is no competition anywhere near her level of work....and sweetness:) I am so proud of her.
Lastly are the guild challenge quilts. Unfortunately only half of them are pictured below but you get the big winners in this pic. Our theme this year was Fresh Picked in NC.
I am the grapes in the upper right. The picture doesn't show it but the pear below my piece is 3D with a zipper in it so it is like a purse...too cute!
The piece below is the big winner in the challenge category by Carol Stens. The bird and all the fruit is 3D and we all know the extra work that takes.
Congratulations to all the winners at the Crystal Coast Quilt Guild show 2010. I know our judge had her work cut out for her because there were so many quilts that deserved ribbons. Our members are very talented!!