Last Post about QwM 2011: Vendors

October 28, 2011 at 6:13 am Leave a comment

Some final cleanup

Some final cleanup! (This was a broken shredder, imprudently left in the hall prior to disposal)

I was very well-behaved at the vendor mall for QwM:  I did not buy a single piece of fabric! Not one!

(And no, I wasn’t sick.)

Part of it was the realization that I am so over full-priced fabric. First of all, I don’t need anything. I could quilt for literal years without needing to buy any fabric. I can possibly justify buying some larger pieces for borders and backs as needed, but over all, a fabric has to be pretty darn special for me to feel comfortable paying full price for it– especially now that full price is $10.85 or more per yard! The cotton price increase I had posted about last year has definitely arrived, giving a whole lot of quilters a pretty significant case of sticker shock not only at recent shows, but also at the local quilt shop. And since it’s usually the shiny new full-price fabrics that vendors bring along to the shows, not their discount rack, I only had to use a small amount of willpower to keep my wallet in my purse. If I’m going to buy any full-price fabrics, I’d rather give the business to the quilt shops near me who have given me so much in return over the years by way of service, support, advice, and the fostering of a greater quilt community.

Besides, this was Quilting with Machines! There were so many other fun things to buy that I definitely can’t find at my local quilt shops. MeadowLyon Designs was indeed there again this year, and as I posted when I had finished Ronan’s Minkee Dragons quilt, I had planned to buy at least one or two more of her “pictogram” designs. Well, she made the proverbial Offer I Couldn’t Refuse (although no horses were harmed in the making of this purchase.) The pictogram patterns are normally $18-20 each, depending on size, and Judy was running a show special of five patterns for $60! At that rate, it seemed like leaving money on the table to only buy two. So needless to say, I am now the proud owner of five more of her patterns.

MeadowLyon patterns

In comparison, I was relatively restrained at the Superior Threads booth, considering I’ve already bought the thread for my upcoming big quilting projects, and I’m no longer using their titanium needles for machine quilting. I was considering buying some more NiteLite glow-in-the-dark thread to quilt my Halloween Buzz Saw quilt, but it doesn’t come in orange the way I thought it did, and I couldn’t settle on an alternate color that would look good. Instead, I bought two cones of Rainbows, their 40-weight variegated trilobal polyester, in Piñata for Halloween Buzz Saw and Neons just for fun. In fact, I used that Neons thread for all my class samples and really had a great time with it. I think that’s a thread I’ll be able to use for some Patsy Thompson-style hyperquilted feathers, as well as for anything I want to show up on a print. I also bought an entire 3,000 yard cone of Bottom Line in Tangerine, since in my studio, orange is a neutral.

At the Friday night banquet, which I attended for the third year, there are always door prizes donated by various sponsors and vendors, some of which are worth close to $100. For the first time, this year I won one! The good news was, I was the lucky winner of a Westalee adjustable strip cutting ruler from Quilter’s Rule. The bad news was, I already had it– along with their half-square and quarter-square triangle cutting rulers. I dearly love that ruler; someday I’ll have to do another Favorite Things post about the quilting gadgets and gizmos that make my quilting life more enjoyable, and that ruler would definitely make the list. But I didn’t need a second one. Fortunately, the very nice people at the Quilter’s Rule booth were willing to let me exchange it towards getting some design templates:

Quilter's Rule templates

These are 1/8″ acrylic, in contrast to the 1/4″ acrylic used for longarm quilting templates, and therefore are at least half as expensive, but can be used for tracing directly onto fabric or onto Golden Threads paper for quilting designs. Sue Patten used shapes like these as the basis for the Zen-Sue-dle designs in the class I took. I’m excited to play around with them and see what I can come up with. The circles will be useful as different-sized arcs as I make my Spirograph-type designs with Renae Hadaddin’s circle and ray tool on Taupe Winding Ways (someday…)

But definitely the best thing I bought at Quilting with Machines this year was my Fine Line Quilter’s Ruler from Accents in Design. I didn’t actually buy it in the vendor mall, but instead from Beth Schillig during her feathers class.

Accents in Design ruler

That’s the sort of thing that frequently happens to me when I take classes:  the most valuable thing I learn in any given class is often something only tangentially (if at all) related to the stated focus of the class! Beth was showing us a quilt in progress to display the feathers on it, but we students immediately zeroed in on the beautiful textured border quilted in close parallel lines like beadboard. She demonstrated how she accomplished it with no marking, which is a phrase that’s always music to my ears! I had accepted up to this point that acrylic templates for quilting were a longarm-only option, since you need to guide the machine head along them. However, Accents in Design has developed rulers with handles on the top and gripper strips on the bottom, like super-strength Velcro, so that the template can be used to move the quilt along the foot on a domestic machine. In addition, it has etched lines on the underside so that you can space multiple quilted lines evenly. Beth had brought along extras to sell, and I’ve been greatly enjoying it. In fact:

Piano key border

That’s a preview of my next “Finished!” post, which I could not have accomplished so quickly or sanely without this little gadget. More to come on that soon!

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Entry filed under: Fabric Shopping, Quilt Shows, Travel. Tags: , .

QwM 2011: Quilt Show! Finished! Halloween Buzz Saw

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