schoolhouse

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So, I went to the International Quilt Market in Houston this weekend, which is a trade show for quilting industry professionals.  My main goal was to support my friend, Lily Gonzales-Creed, who debuted two new collections for Windham Fabrics ( I will get to that in another post!). YAY FOR LILY!! Anyways, the show floor didn’t open until Saturday, but Friday was full of classes from 10a-6p called Schoolhouse and it felt a bit like college all over again.  You get a paper schedule and each page lists all the classes that are happening every thirty minutes and what room they are in. Some are more popular than others, so people sneak out the back of classes early to get in line for the next one.  Some of the classes give away free swag, like the class I took with Angela Yosten and Aurifil Thread, some have door prizes, and others just have really cool speakers.  In between classes, there were a million people running around trying to get to their next class & you had to look out for rolling luggage smacking you in the leg. CRAZINESS.

I only took five classes because I got there around 12:30p. While I was in the hallway perusing the schedule, two of my friends from the Austin Modern Quilt Guild walked by, Kim Place and Angela Milliman.  They were actually headed to the same class I was, so I just joined in.  It was about a product called Triangles on a Roll which is a foundation paper for accurate HSTs, QSTs, Flying Geese, etc. I don’t have any photos because I spaced out and forgot I had my camera! Hello!  But it was an interesting presentation & I do want to try it out. I’ll let y’all know if it’s helpful or not.

When it was over, Angela and Kim headed to a class about Hexies, and I went to a machine embroidery class with Sharon Schamber and Cristy Fincher. It was all about Sharon’s new Pickle Dish pattern and a new invention that I think was called “Hoopty de Doo” (? Sorry, I didn’t get a handout!) which stops fabric distortion during embroidery.

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I’m a massive fan of Sharon Schamber because she does things the right way.  Yes, some of it’s fussy, some of it is tedious, but you cannot argue with her results.  Everything she does is perfection!  I’ve been watching her classes for years, her Piecelique transformed how I make quilts, blah blah blah, let me worship at her feet! lol I mean, just look at this quilt:

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I could have just sat there and stared at it forever.  Amazing.

The next class I went to was a presentation by Angela Yosten about her new book, Sew Modern Baby, and line of thread with Aurifil. She had some cute stuff, but I really don’t remember much except the room was packed and it felt very claustrophobic in there.  It was the only class where I ran out the back door before it was over just so I could breathe! Whew.

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After that was a class with David Butler who was presenting his newest fabric collection, Vagabond.

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It’s beautiful.  It has the most vibrant color out of all his collections so far & since I have all of his other fabrics, I should have just thrown my money at him right now.

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My one good story from this class is that I noticed one of my fellow classmates was Stuart from The Great British Sewing Bee. It’s a show from the BBC that I was addicted to earlier in the year.  I watched every episode on Youtube as soon as they were available.  Anyways, he was talking to David and I didn’t see who he was until he was just about to walk away.  I think he was kinda freaking out in that OMG-I-JUST-MET-THE-MOST-AWESOME-CELEBRITY-&-I’M-SHAKING-&-CRYING way about meeting David, so he was hauling ass towards the door.  I yelled his name to make him come back and take a photo, but he didn’t hear me.  David grabbed the microphone and called for him, but it was already turned off.  I missed my moment!  I mean, how sweet would it be to know I took a photo of that summit of awesome?  Oh well, I totally flaked.  Sad face.

After that, it was time to check into my hotel room at the Hilton-Americas & eat something since it was about 3pm by this point and I hadn’t eaten all day.  Registration went poorly because I told the lady my name & she said, “Yes, you’re staying for three nights, correct?” Umm, no.  Then she asked me what rate I paid for my room.  HELLO! Why don’t you know that?? So, I had to pull my phone out and find the email with my room rate and all the amenities I paid for.  So, she finally straightened everything out.  She said, “Oh, there’s another Rebecca Roach here.” Whatever. (I did get two emails about ten minutes later from the Hilton that confirmed I checked in as “Eileen Roche”, which is totally not Rebecca Roach.) And when I handed over my credit card, I had to tell her that I already paid for everything in advance, which caused more confusion to spread across her face. But I’m pretty sure I saved myself from hundreds more dollars being charged to my name.  I wasn’t about to give Eileen a free hotel stay, knowhumsayin… After that, I dragged my bag up to the room and grabbed a bite to eat in the lobby cafe.  When I finished, it was about time for the Anna Maria Horner class to start, so I headed over that way for my final session of the day. Okay. What do ya say? Ha. I could be a rapper.

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I love this photo from when she was setting up her displays.  Such a multitasker… “Why yes, I can field questions from all sorts of people while holding up this quilt and directing my assistant on how to set up the table and remaining poised as a beauty queen…”

She talked about her new fabric collection called Dowry and the inspiration behind it, as well as her new True Colors basics collection, and all her latest sewing & needlework patterns.  

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She wore the most AMAZING shoes, too.  They were skyhigh & I don’t think I have a photo of them, but wow.  Kudos to her, because I wore boots with a medium heel & almost died from all the walking. 

Anyways, this was pretty much my day last Friday.  I’ll try to post more later this week. Goodnight! -r

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to market i go

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I’m in Houston at the International Quilt Market this weekend! I will try to take some sweet ass photos for y’all. Yay!

acacia in space

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Workin’ on a little postcard quilt for the Quilt Festival.

workin’

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I sewed something! It’s not my DWR quilt, but it’s a start. One of my coworkers commissioned me to make a quilt to take to her friend’s baby shower. She wanted a design that would last a long time- beyond the world of cutesy baby prints- and one that wouldn’t cost too much. I remember seeing a stacked zigzag quilt on Flickr a while back & I thought it would be a good fit. It took exactly one week to strip piece it and quilt straight lines. Anyways, I’m pretty pleased & I’m glad I can still wrestle five feet of quilt through my machine! & oh, it had the prettiest blue flannel in the back! I wish I had taken a better photo…
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In other news, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to pep me up! I really appreciate all the kind words that have been flowing my way. Warm fuzzies for everyone! This month, I’ve written four more pages of my book (To clarify- It’s not a quilt book! I’ve been writing a novel for the past two years), talked to a fabric store owner about teaching a modern quilting workshop in the Fall, designed a tshirt, designed two (!) collections of fabric prints (but they still aren’t done), and drafted my DWR Challenge quilt. It’s come a long way since my napkin sketch. And there’s now a praying mantis involved…
So, I’m going to go back to work now, but I wanted to let y’all know I’m feeling on the up & up! Woot! Have a good day! r

the start…

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I got distracted a bit, so I’m behind! This is my napkin sketch of the start of my double wedding ring. I’m playing with shape, scale, and asymmetry. And dessert…

on depression

It’s been a long break since I’ve written here and I have a confession to make- Except for a few charity blocks and darning some holes in my Steven’s pockets, I haven’t sewn anything. Since March, it would seem. I’m notorious for getting depressed in January, but I usually manage to pull myself out of it by the end of February.

I remember back in my senior year of high school, I didn’t go to the first two and a half weeks of the Spring semester because I just couldn’t make myself. I sat in the backyard whittling. YES! Whittling. (When I was a little kid, my favorite TV shows were This Old House and The Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill.) Anyways, I commandeered a fixed blade knife from Dad’s shop and carved all sorts of crap from the limbs of a big tree in the front yard. And then one day, I woke up and everything seemed all right again. I went to school like normal.

What I took away from this experience is that the greatest tool I have at my disposal to get away from depression and sadness is my creativity. Putting my two hands to work on something-ANYTHING- has pulled me out of the depths more times than I like to admit. And I’ve found that my brightest, most cheerful works happen when I’m feeling as low as possible. My hands create what my heart cannot. Here it is, almost August, and I’m still feeling my January sad. I think the difference this time is that I have had no desire to quilt. Or draw. Or dance. Or write. All of these things I love and all of them are a passion, but they haven’t helped me, as of yet.

So, I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to force myself to sew. Maybe if I can get my hands going, it’ll jumpstart everything else? What am I going to sew? Let me back up and say that there are two quilters who truly inspire me- Debbie Kakalia (may she rest in peace) and her Hawaiian works of art who first showed me quilts don’t have to be all squares and triangles and calico. And Kathy Doughty, whose fearless love of color and bold compositions taught me that it’s okay to make quilts that look decidedly different from everyone else. I’ve decided whatever I make is going to be in the spirit of both these quilters. And one morning, while sitting in bed and pondering my predicament, I saw a blurb about the NYC Modern Quilt Guild’s Double Wedding Ring challenge. Something clicked inside me and I felt inspiration that I haven’t felt in a long time. So, I plan to drag my stubborn self all the way through this project kicking and screaming!

This week is going to be spent drafting a pattern and I’ll check in here to show y’all what I’m doing. After that, I’ll get to sewing. FINALLY. Maybe posting to this blog will help hold me accountable…

Anyway, I know this post has been a little too heavy to hear, but it’s the only way I could think of to start back up again. Thank you for your patience and sticking with me! r

meow

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I had to make one 6.5″ block for a secret project. Tonka was not amused.

moore love

moore love

Click on the pic to learn about a quilty way you can help victims of the May 20th tornado in Moore, OK. My family lives about three miles north of the tornado’s path, so they are okay. But I’ve got several friends who have lost everything. 😦

**now closed** giveaway day!!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK TIME TO PLAY!!! I had SOOOO much fun reading through all the comments this week!  It was endless entertainment! Love it.  So, to decide who won, I read each comment aloud during my dinner outing at the Cracker Barrel and we all discussed their awesome-itude and laughed and ate too many dumplins. In the end, we have a winner and it’s Leanne from My Year of Crafting Dangerously!  Here’s her comment:

I caught my breath when I saw this on the SMS giveaway. The Heather Ross Mendocino fabric line is almost an urban legend in New Zealand, with many whispers concerning its existence, but very few have actually seen it. I wonder if it would gain traction if I pieced it together and started a petition for it to become our new national flag, because you know, sewing is our national past-time, up there with being extras on The Hobbit. And these fabrics really would be my preciousss. Thanks for the chance to win them.
This woman wants to start a grassroots political movement with my fabric strips, people!! And she was a hobbit!!! Good lord, I can’t give her this fabric fast enough.  Congratulations, Leanne!! I’ve emailed you for your shipping info already.  Have a wonderful weekend!
What's taters, precious?

What’s taters, precious?

Sew,Mama,Sew! has a Giveaway Day twice a year and I thought I’d share something very close to my heart….

Mendocino

These are nine 3″xWOF strips of Mendocino by Heather Ross for Free Spirit Fabrics.  They are in the blush colorway and are just about the loveliest things in the world….  To win this giveaway, post a comment and tell me how you would use this fabric!  Whichever answer tickles my fancy is the winnah!  I’ll leave this post open  until May 10 at 5 p.m. PST and international readers are welcome!  I’ll ship wherever.  Anyways, hope there’s someone out there who’s jonesin’ for some Heather Ross! Happy Monday! r

pretties

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