Monday, September 29, 2014

My Favorite Quilts From The 2014 SVQA Quilt Show

I did get a chance to look around the Quilt Show this weekend, sneaking in before they were officially open yesterday!  I have spent today tidying up my Etsy shop and making sure there is nothing on there that I don't actually have.  This weekend was so successful for me that it has left my shop looking a bit sad!  I added some new items this morning but I have a lot of work to do to restock! (This is a good problem to have!!)  Anyway, here are some of my favorite quilts from the show. 













Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gluten Free English Style Pancakes After A Day On Our Feet At The Quilt Show

I had such a great time at the quilt show.  I was a little apprehensive, not knowing what to expect but the lady organizing the vendors was wonderful and helped settle me in!  I set up on Friday afternoon and then was back at 9.30am on Saturday morning for a 10am start.  I was very happy with how my stall looked.  My bunting was much admired and gave my stall a colorful, festive look. I ended up with more table space than I was expecting which was great and allowed me to spread everything out a bit more and have an area for wrapping.  I met lots of really nice people including another Etsy shop owner from the Monterey area.  I was asked to consider selling at two other much larger shows by members of the guilds organizing those shows.  I was flattered to be asked and will seriously think about it.  In terms of sales, it was a very successful show.  I really hadn't know what to expect, this being my first ever show but I didn't have much to bring home!.  My pincushions and needle books look even better in real life than in the photos and it's helpful for people to be able to pick them up and feel how soft and lovely the wool felt is.  I almost sold out of my embroidered pumpkins and only have a few of my owls left.  I will be sewing like mad now to catch up and prepare for the Holiday Season!  





My daughter helped at the show and was a wonderful helper, greeting people and working out that I could use my "Square" credit card reader for my phone as cash register for accepting cash and checks as well as credit cards!  When we got home we were exhausted!  We spent some time in the hot tub and made some gluten free "English" style pancakes that we served with brown sugar and lemon juice or strawberry jam.  Yum!  The perfect sweet ending to the day!





Friday, September 26, 2014

Getting Ready For The Quilt Show

I have spent the last two days sorting out final details for the Quilt Show this weekend.  I printed a stack of brown paper bags with one of my lino cuts.  I like doing this every now and then, I find the process very soothing.  While I'm working I like to listen to my funky little radio I found at Target and I listen to NPR which is similar to the BBC's Radio 4.  I also wrote my price signs, using some pre-made chalkboards I found at various craft stores.  I looked for examples of chalkboard signs on Pinterest and used these for inspiration.  The writing and doodling was done with a special white marker that looks like chalk, doesn't smudge when dry and wipes off with a damp paper towel.  I was ridiculously excited with how well these came out!  










This afternoon I set up my stall at the show.  When I got there, I wasn't where I'd thought I would be but actually I have an awesome location and my set up went well.  Just a bit of tweaking to do in the morning.   Here is my stall.




Thursday, September 25, 2014

South Valley Quilt Association Quilt Show 2014, Taste Of Morgan Hill, First Time Vendor!

This weekend is the South Valley Quilt Association Quilt Show.  I am going to be a vendor.  I may have mentioned this once or twice because I'm pretty excited about it!  This will be my first foray into the world of craft shows.  The Quilt Show happens every year as part of a town festival called "A Taste Of Morgan Hill".  There is the quilt show, a vintage car show, live music and food, all downtown.  I have been going for years and enjoy the variety of quilts exhibited although I'm always a bit disappointed there aren't more modern style quilts. My daughter says I should enter one of mine, maybe I will.....one day!  My town has a Sister City in Japan and often there are exhibits from there.  They are always exquisite.  For the kids there is a treasure hunt, a paper with pictures of details from the quilts, with a prize for those that find them all.  It always seems to be a super hot weekend and it is such a relief to step into the air conditioned coolness of the Community Center.   I usually end up going multiple times over the weekend because there is so much to take in.  I find it very inspiring and I especially appreciate the incredible hand quilted quilts.  I'm excited to be part of it this year.  Below is a mock up of my stall, on my dining table, so please try and ignore the chandelier and globe etc in the background!  I'll post pictures of my actual stall too.


I'm taking my pincushions, needle books, owls, embroidered pumpkins, mini stockings and notebooks.  You can see more pictures of some of those things here(owls and mini stockings), here(embroidered pumpkins), and here(notebooks and dragon pincushions).  You can see my current selection of pincushions and needle books at my Etsy Shop.











Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Finished Queen Elizabeth Costume

Today I finished up the costume I've been working on.  I began by hemming that very full skirt, wow, there is a lot of fabric in that!  I hemmed it on the sewing machine.  I couldn't even begin to get my head round hemming it by hand!  When I was done with that I made the stand up collar.  This is made using two layers of organza and a layer of lace.   I used more boning to make it keep its shape and covered the boning with trim.  As a finishing touch I added some pearl trim on the top edge and a little bit of white fur trim.  It looks suitably opulent!  This was not a beginner pattern.  There were some seriously challenging moments and times when I felt overwhelmed but I am very pleased with how it came out.  I'm very glad I took the time to fit the bodice accurately.  I have to say, that I am really looking forward to getting back to sewing with felt again though!



I had never used boning before this project and was surprised how easy it was to use.  It was lightweight fabric covered plastic boning and cut easily with scissors.  You cut a length, slip the plastic out, sew the fabric channel down and then slide the boning back in.  I cut the plastic ends in a curve so there would be no sharp edges.  The boning is curved from being in a roll and for this collar, that was perfect!



My nails do not need cleaning, I poked myself with the needle under my nail and that is dried blood!  At least I didn't bleed over the white lace!  The creamy colored fabric on the bottom of the collar has velcro on the back and that is how it attaches to the bodice - remember the velcro squares?







In case you are interested this is the pattern we used and we made the view with the white dress with the collar.






Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Queen Elizabeth Costume, A Finished Bodice And Skirt

By the end of the day yesterday, I was feeling completely exhausted and a bit overwhelmed with the complexities of this costume.  I woke up this morning with a clear picture of what needed to be done and things went pretty well.  I think it helped that I had dealt with all the sewing machine problems yesterday so today I was able to dive right in.  First job of the day was to finish the alterations I'd had to make to the bodice to fit my daughter.  Those went well and although attaching the bodice to the lining and inserting those very puffy sleeves was not easy, it all went smoothly.  The pattern had called for an 18inch zipper for the bodice but when I went to put it in, it was way too long so I had to pop out and get a 16inch one!  



In this pattern, the bodice and the skirt are made separately.  This has worked really well for me because it has allowed me to tailor the patterns to my daughter so that the fit is really good.  There was a little bit of hand finishing on the inside of the bodice. 



You can see how the shape of the bodice combined with the placement of the boning makes a beautiful silhouette.  You can also see the darts I added to make the top part fit my daughter.  You don't really see these most of the time.  Tomorrow I have to hem the skirt and make the stand up collar.  The collar attaches to those squares of velcro that you see around the back neckline.  I made good progress today and we are both happy with the results.  I also cleaned the house and decorated my mantlepiece with some mini pumpkins we bought at the weekend.  They look very cheery.  A good day!