I've been home from the big Houston Quilt Festival for just hours short of a week now, and I think I've finally recuperated and caught up enough to get my blog caught up, too. ;)
A friend and I flew to Houston on Wednesday (11/2/2011), arriving in time to dump our luggage in our hotel rooms and dash over to the convention center for the preview night. We headed straight for the vendors, as usual, saving the gorgeous quilts for a full day — at least. I have to say that I didn't buy as much this year as I have in past years, but I enjoyed the shopping and looking just as much. What did I buy?
1. a king-sized batt from Pellon, in their Heritage line. Hobbs was sold out this year in record time, and the Pellon product is just as nice as the Hobbs product — in fact, it's made from the same formula.
2. a large package of Soft and Stable, much of which I'll need when I make one of the two patterns I also purchased.
3. two patterns. The one on the left in the photo will use that Soft and Stable, and it's an adorable dog bed. The one on the right is another wool appliqué project, for which I bought some yummy lavender wool and Valdani thread.
4. a new pair of thread snips.
5. some Martelli rotary cutter blades.
These were my "just because" purchases. ;) No books this year, no fabric other than that piece of wool! But I'm trying to use what I already have, so I was good.
Thursday at lunch time I met up with an online friend from Australia, and she bowled me over by bringing me a gift. She made this adorable little (12.5" x 8.75") koala, using aboriginal fabrics. Isn't he wonderful? I just love him — and I'm so grateful to have him. :D
Thursday I also had a class in curved piecing from one of my very favorite instructors. Here is the block I made, though I still need to add the curved borders:
We learned how to make just about any block into a curvy one and how to put the pieces together to end up with a flat result. One of the tricks was to use a very fine polyester thread. The fine thread takes up very little space in the seam, and the poly allows for a little stretch in the curves. The thread I bought to try out is made by Wonderfil. I bought some Deco-Bob, which is 80wt., and some Invisifil, which is 100wt — as is fine silk thread.
On Saturday I took a second class, this one on machine trapunto. I've experimented a little with this technique in the past, but I learned so much in this class! I still have much to do to finish my piece, but we began with some patterns that we then changed around to become more "personal". I've finished all except the background stippling to make the trapunto stand out more:
Since coming home, I've started yet another class, this time on how to knit lace! It's an online class, and it's very good. The lessons are all on video, so we can see exactly what the instructor is explaining, and we can ask questions, post photos, and make comments. The beginning of my lace shawl is on the left, and I have to admit that the yarn for it was yet another purchase in Houston! ;) That's where I found out about the online class I'm taking.