Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

I went to the Quilters Guild of Dallas annual show about ten days ago.  I went with a group of friends from the DMQG.  We picked up Melanie who had come over from Fort Worth on the TRE line and headed off to Mama's Daughters Diner for breakfast....I had eggs over easy, biscuits and gravy and grits....YUM!  I mean really, YUM!!!  It was so good, but I didn't get hungry again until 3:00 that afternoon!  We saw lots of goodies at the show and I picked up a few fat quarters and another market basket.  I have three of these baskets now and I really adore them.  They are so versatile and I am always finding a another use for them.  I like that by buying them, I am helping a woman in Ghana be self sufficient and independent.  I saw some quilts that really got my creative ideas flowing.  They were not my color choices, but I loved the design or sometimes the concept of a design.
I love the graphic feel of this quilt.  

And this one is just stunning!  All those triangles!
But, the most exciting thing that happened for me at the show was I got one of these!  And it arrived at my house today.  O.M.G.
I have been researching this little baby for months now.  I absolutely love my Bernina (Stella) and her BSR, but her "throat space" always leaves me frustrated.  So, I started looking at options.  I knew I did not want a long arm machine.  I don't have the space for one and I have spent the last ten years doing free-motion on my domestic machine.  What that means is that I have totally trained my brain to move the quilt in order to draw quilting designs on it.  I don't think my brain could make a switch at this stage to moving the machine over the quilt to create the designs.  Plus,  I really like sitting down to do my quilting.  So, I read and read and watched videos and joined Yahoo groups and after all of that research, I had not seen any negative reviews of this little baby.  Handi Quilter had a great "show special" going on, so I pulled the trigger.  I took G back to the show with me on Sunday and he liked her almost as much as I did.  (I cannot tell you how lucky and blessed I feel to have a husband that supports me so fully in my craft!)  Here she is in all her glory sitting in my studio.
Truth be told, I love quilting the quilts more than any other part of the process.  I enjoy the other steps, selecting the fabric, selecting a design, cutting (maybe not so much) and piecing.  But, I adore the actual quilting process.  It is soothing and relaxing to me.  I feel I am truly creating something at that stage.  I got her all set up in the sewing studio and played a little while this evening, but I can't wait to actually get started quilting something!  

Happy, Happy, Happy over here at the Kitto home.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Workshop in Progress - 3/9

I went on retreat a couple of weeks ago with seven of my closest friends.  And it was....amazing, awesome, productive, refreshing, renewing and so much more.  I grew up as a bit of a tomboy and as a result had always had very few women friends.  As a kid and young adult, I related to more traditionally male interests than female.  I don't care a lot about makeup, fashion, jewelry, things like that.  I love cars, power tools, sports.  But somehow, over the last few years (coinciding with my quilting interest....)I began to develop friendships with women.  Amazing women, caring women, funny (okay hilarious) women.  And it's a wonderful thing.  The four days I spent with these seven women were just what I needed.  I laughed until I was crying several times over the long weekend.  And I got a lot of sewing done.  A lot!  We stayed at a very cute little place we have gone to several times now.  It's called The 1890's House and it's very close to DFW, making it a perfect getaway.  Everything you might need is very close by, but yet you feel as if you are way out in the country.

I spent most of the weekend working on my Mariners Compass Quilt.  Its a Kaffe Fasset quilt from his book Museum Quilts.  The quilt went from this stage to this:
It's already huge and I still need to put one more border on it.  All in all, I think I got a lot done in four days.  I posted about this quilt a few weeks ago on the Workshop in Progress and was debating whether or not to try and quilt it myself.  Well, I'm about 99% sure that I am going to quilt it here on my Bernina.  I have put so much work into this, that I just want to see it through to the end and I want it to be all my work.  I have some ideas in my head about a pattern to quilt it with, but am very undecided on that aspect of it right now.  Thoughts?  It's pretty busy, so I think the quilting will be secondary and won't really need anything very elaborate.