Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Quilt Scene - Miami, Florida


So, we made it to Miami just in time for DH to see the games on Sunday. We spent yesterday with DD and since she has to work today, we did some exploring. So, I found a quilt shop!

I did my usual and Goggled quilt shops in Miami. To my surprise there is only one shop in the Miami area.... The Quilt Scene. What a vibrant personality it has! I walked into the shop and was immediately greeted by a cheery staff member. (Not the lady below, she was the one who checked me out.) We chatted, she shared an overview of the store and their 'celebrity' staff member and then left me alone to browse. There was a group standing around one of the tables in the back discussing fabric choices with a new quilter.... quilters and staff alike were helping walk her through the process of choosing fabrics.

There is a large, bright room in the back where a class was going on, so I didn't explore too much back there. As usual I was on the hunt for threads..... they carried a good selection of Superior... King Tut, Razzle Dazzle, Masterpiece and Rainbows. They also carried YLI and a good selection of YLI Silks. Of course they carried Sulky Blendables, and Mettler and other thread for machine embroidery and sergers. Much more variety than many quilt shop I have visited. This is a good thing. To me, many shops focus on fabric, patterns and gadgets, but for those of us who tend more to contemporary or art quilting, a good variety of thread is a must!

The Quilt Scene is a dealer for both Bernina and HandiQuilter16. My husband was intrigued by all the old Bernina machines they had on display. They showed old popular machines dating back to 1950 along a shelve on the perimeter of the store. Don't know if you can see them on the shelve in the back.

These quilts are by Jane Hardy Miller, who works at the shop and is also their 'celebrity' staffer. Jane has a pattern line and is also the author of of the "French Braid Quilts" books.

I brought one of Jane's patterns, as well as another from ToadQuilts and some more black & white. Both of the patterns are good for quick, easy, but yet vibrant quilts. Great for gifts. Yes, this was a good trip for B&W's, I have built up my stash. I didn't have much room in my luggage for alot of fabric, so I had to keep my fabric purchases to a minimum on this trip, but I will be back:-).

I must say, I really liked the feeling of this shop. I told my DD that she now has a place to buy me presents :-). My DH and I were intrigued by some sample wallhangings they had with Angelina film (not the fibers)... really neat. Definitely need to get me some of that!

So 2 shops in Florida worth visiting as you travel down (and past) I-95 South....

Oh well, back to NY tomorrow... I will miss the 75+ degree weather!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Magrieta's Quilt Shop - St. Augustine, Florida

I stumbled on a wonderful shop today! While driving to Miami we were planning to spend the night in St. Augustine, Fl. So while enjoying the scenery, I decided to google quilt shops near our hotel..... I was pleased to see that there was one only 7 miles away!

Once my husband settled in to watch football, I got in the car and headed to Magrieta's Quilt Shop.

Ooooohhhh, I knew as soon as I walked in the store, that I was in for trouble. Good thing we were flying home and I only had a little carry on bag :-)!

The store was just my style.... brights, batiks, plenty of eye candy to brighten your spirit, tickle your fancy and grab a hold of your pocketbook. They carry a wide assortment of batiks as well as traditional and eclectic prints.

The staff was friendly.... ... and of course I did my usual damage... but at least just enough to fit in my carry-on luggage. I loved it that they had plenty of crisp black and whites.... not those almost white or greyish blacks, but true colors. They have a whole section dedicated to just such lovely baby's.

And some pinks for a pink, green and white quilt I want to make for some lucky young lady. Maybe I will donate it to my local Project Linus Chapter... they give quilts to a girls summer camp, where all the girls are in foster care, waiting to be adopted.

Then a piece for the back of Raven's wall hanging, which I have to get finished.

The spool of thread is one of Superior's King Tut variegated threads that I liked. They carry Superior, Sulky, Mettler, Aurifil and a few other thread brands. A nice variety for all type of quilting!

They are getting ready for The Florida Breeze Shop Hop, which starts on the 18th, so if you are in the area, stop in.

It is definitly worth the trip!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I signed up for a new workshop...

I am sooo happy! I have admired the artistic work of Jane Davila for a long time. I first met Jane at my all time favorite quilt shop, The Country Quilter, which closed last March. Jane ran the store with her Mom, Claire Oehler... one great woman. I miss the shop so much!! It really defined who I am as a quilter. Luckily they still offer quilting retreats twice a year, so I get my fix... But I digress..

As you can see by taking a look at her blog, Jane is offering a workshop called 'Surface Design Sampler' where you get to play with paintstiks, neocolor pastels, assorted inks, mediums, paints, stamp pads, glitter, foil, smooch, angelina fibers and films, and more. :-). I have always admired how some quilters add depth to their quilts using a little surface coloring, so I am psyched to get the opportunityto learn from someone as talented and diverse as Jane! I brought some painstiks and watercolor pencils long ago and they are just sitting there. Now maybe I will have the courage to use them :-).

March 20th .... I can't wait !!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hands or Feet?

Have you ever used the BSR on a Bernina? I have an 830 and have played with it now and then and have not yet found my rhythm. Some folks say if you are good at free motion quilting then it isn't really helpful. Others love it for the speed control and stitch length regulation, no matter how fast or slow they go.

I do quite a bit of free motion quilting, so this weekend, I decided to play. I spent an hour or so using the BSR with the foot pedal and another couple of hours using my hands to control the speed. You know, I like the fact that I only have to think about my hands, but I find that when I need to move my hands I am just not coordinated enough (yet :-)) not to cause a noticeable stop/start in my quilting. I think that when I use the foot peddle my mind already knows to slow the machine down so I can use my hands... hey it is what I have been doing for years.

Yes, I know like anything else, I will have to play with it a bit more to get comfortable. I am just looking for any pointers or thoughts you might feel comfortable sharing...

Do you use a BSR? How long did it take you to get comfortable with it?

Foot or Hand control or both, depending on what you are quilting?

Yes, this inquiring mind wants to know ?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Round Robin Dilemma and other stuff...

What is a quilter to do? Yes, I have a dilemma... As you know the Pelham Quilters are doing our annual Round Robin. We have three tops going and each will have 4 contributors. I was absolutely thrilled when I saw who I would be sharing a top with... Teri Lucas, Doris Green, me and then Anne Frascarelli... all real fine quilters. Teri and Anne entered a piece in the Hoffman Challenge and it was accepted into the traveling show. You can see why I was excited!

Well, once I saw Teri's beginning 2 months ago I was even more excited. As usual, she created a wonderfully colorful square made with appliqued batik jewel tone diamonds on a Kona Black background. Doris brought in her addition last night and she added a bright on black print boarder then batik diamond and circles appliqued on a Kona Black boarder. It was a wonderful complement to what Teri had started and gave me quite a bit to think when I got home. The colors and fabrics could have been taken right from my own stash. In fact, I have quite a few of the batiks in the quilt in my own collection. But, do I continue the applique theme or do I change it up with some piecing? Do I add some curves to offset the geometric shapes or do I continue with points and diamonds? Do I work with it as a square, or do I do what Doris suggested and set it on point? I drifted off to sleep last night dreaming of all the possibilities.

So you can imagine what popped into my mind tonight when I hung it up on my design board and stepped back. Oh my, the center square is not a square, it is not a triangle... no, it is uneven...one side is almost 2/3" bigger.... and two of the circles in the last boarder are just a tad too close to the seam allowance... one will definitely get eaten up by a 1/4" seam!

What am I to do? Do I leave it as is, add my round, whatever that ends up being or do I take off the second round, square the center and then fix the circles, so they won't become ovals???

If I leave it as is, it will effect they type of design I add... I can't do any drafting, as the square is not a square and it will become increasingly noticeable as the piece gets bigger. If I don't try and make some adjustments, at the very least it will put poor Anne in the same quandary I am in now? Do I call Anne and discuss, so we can make a joint decision?

What am I to do???? I definitely won't be fantasizing about all the design possibilities tonight in dreamland.... I won't even get to focus on the piece I just basted with minkie backing and all the quilting possibilities for my great nieces quilt that has to be done by Friday night!

Ugh... I wish I had left it in the bag until I was finished with my deadlines :-(....