Quilting with Machines 2010, Part II: The Vendors

October 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm 1 comment

This will be a much shorter post than the recent monster about classes, although I wish that were because I hadn’t bought much.  While I still managed to get away without buying any fabric, the unique nature of this show meant that I had the opportunity to purchase things I don’t usually get exposed to.  I actually hadn’t expected to buy too much, as the vendors were very much skewed to the longarm demographic:  several booths selling actual longarm machines, several more specializing in pantographs, quilting templates, and software for computer-guided machines.  I expected to buy some thread from Superior Threads, of course, but not much more than that.  HOWEVER:

Stencils.  I’ve mentioned before my weakness for quilting stencils, and there was a good selection from companies I don’t normally encounter at traditional quilt shows, such as Patsy ThompsonStenSource, who makes DeLoa Jones‘ stencils; and a company I’d never heard of before, The Calico Kitten, that had some really interesting designs by Linda Mae Diny.

Pantographs.  As a domestic sewing machine quilter, I had written these off as a longarm-only (or at least frame-quilter-only) item.  But hanging in the show was a simple Minkee crib quilt that had been quilted in an all-over design using a slightly darker thread:

 

Minkee

Detail, "Frogs, Lizards, and Minkee, too" by Marla Work

 

I loved it.  What a simple baby gift!  Here was a charming, cuddly quilt that could be dragged around, soiled in every way imaginable, and repeatedly put through the wash with no worries or second thoughts.  Then I went to Cheryl Barnes‘ class, and as she is the founder of Golden Threads, she couldn’t exactly not talk about uses for their flagship product.  I personally have had a love/hate relationship with Golden Threads paper; I love that it allows a design to show up on any fabric without marking, and I hate hate HATE removing it!  But Cheryl gave some intriguing tips for accomplishing that step with less pain (use a pencil eraser, a shop vac, a lint roller, or one of those Scotch Fur Fighter things) that makes me willing to approach it with less dread and loathing.  It occurred to me that the Golden Threads paper would allow me to overlay a traced pantograph design onto an impossible-to-mark fabric like Minkee so I could then follow the lines with my machine, accomplishing the same result with just the additional step of transferring the design to the paper.

Dragons GaloreWith this idea already lodged in my brain, I then happened upon the booth for MeadowLyon Designs, who make not only pantographs, but a line they call Pictograms, which are non-repeating 11-inch x 12-foot designs.  That means you can make a 36″ x 44″ quilt by stacking four 3-foot x 11-inch sections of the design and never having it repeat.  As soon as I saw their Dragons Galore design, I was sold!  I’ve bought a piece of green variegated Minkee since then, and will hopefully have more news on that project soon.  I also visited a neighboring booth, Munnich Design, and bought a simpler (and cheaper!) pantograph design of ladybugs to be able to use on baby gifts for less nerdy, I mean, dragon-focused, families than ours.

Adaptable Quilting DesignsSue Patten’s new book. “Adaptable Quilting Designs,” which she signed at the Golden Threads booth, contains a lot of the designs she showed in her “Stunning Sashings” class, but with variations.  Not only do I want to support Sue as a professional quilter by buying her book, but the book itself is a beautiful thing and has very clear directions on how to stitch the designs.

mini rayRenae’s Amazing Rays. My biggest purchase, both monetarily and physically, was from Renae Haddadin.  I had taken her “Amazing Ways to Use Circles and Rays” class last year, and while I was fascinated by the process, the tools were very expensive:  $60 for the mini-ray ruler, $30 for the instructional DVD, $50/set for the arc rulers.  Much as I wanted to try the techniques, I didn’t want to make that kind of investment.  So I took a year and thought about it.  I’d had a good idea for the quilting design on “Taupe Winding Ways,” to use Renae’s style of spirograph-type designs to highlight some of the circles in the overall quilt top.  Even though I haven’t finished the quilt top, I decided to buy the mini-ray ruler so that I’ll have it when I need it without having to mail-order it.  It’s a very unwieldy piece of equipment; it was even awkward to carry it around for an hour or two until I could take it back to the room, and I had to be very careful with packing it into the car to avoid breaking it.  But it is a very well-designed ruler, and I look forward to playing with it.  I also bought the DVD, so I’d have the full complement of instructions as well, rather than having to rely solely on my class notes from last year.  I was able to forgo the arc rulers, though, because I don’t need the heavy 1/4″ thick acrylic arcs that longarm quilters use to guide the hopping foot; I just need an arc I can trace onto fabric or Golden Threads paper.  Quilter’s Rule sells a set of nested circle templates that are available in 1/8″ thickness for half the price of the 1/4″ set, but I’m going to try to use some of the circle rotary cutting templates I already have, such as the Circle A Round cutting ruler, before making additional purchases.

Threads QwMThreads. Of course, I did buy some thread from Superior.  In addition to the prewound bobbins that saved the day for me in Patsy Thompson’s class, I also bought a cone of Highlights, a cone of Metallics, a spool of NiteLite, and the cone of New Brytes that I’ve been looking for for months, to use when I quilt “Taupe Winding Ways.”  They haven’t been bringing the New Brytes cones to the shows lately, and I hadn’t wanted to pay for shipping.  But Bob Purcell offered to have it shipped to the show booth with the rest of the restock order when I asked him about it at the Wednesday night preview, and it was at the booth by Friday morning with a little personalized note for me from the warehouse included in the bag!  Once again, the quality of their products is exceeded only by their customer service.

Next post:  the quilts!

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Entry filed under: Quilt Shows, Travel, WIPs. Tags: , .

Quilting with Machines 2010, Part I: The Classes Quilting with Machines, Part III: The Quilts

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Triumph Over Tension Headaches! « Sarah Loves Fabric  |  October 5, 2011 at 9:31 am

    […] had started a version of this project last fall before Ronan was born, shortly after blogging about it here, but the mottled dye pattern on the Gelato Minkee was too distracting. I bought the solid Minkee in […]

    Reply

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