Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quilt Show Shopping

Here are some pics from the quilt show. There were many vendors there and there was a huge quilter's shopping frenzy going on. Since this is the biggest show in the area, it is not surprising that the vendor area was packed. According to the "Quilting in America 2010" survey, quilting is a $3.58 billion dollar industry, with your average "dedicated" quilter spending $2442 annually on their hobby!

I am definitely a dedicated quilter but I guess I'm not your average one as recorded by this survey. The average dedicated quilter has a household income of $91,000, and we are far short of this number! Not that I will dispute that my purchases might be less than their average, but let's not focus on that number. I was just thrilled to be able to go to the show, and those expenses were plenty so I couldn't spend much money and I wanted to be very careful with what I bought.

So I knew I was in trouble when I found the book booth by Dover! Books are so seductive! I am trying not to buy many books now because I read them once, put them on a shelf and that's it. Some get thumbed through occasionally, but I am not a project girl, making the projects in the book. I just want to learn about the technique and be inspired. I bought three, but one of them was a children's picture book for my daughter, so that doesn't count. :-)

I bought "Amazing Ways to use Circles and Rays" by Renae Haddadin and "Custom Curves" by Karen McTavish, my favorite quilter with dreadlocks (OK, maybe the only quilter with dreads)

Mmmmmm, books!

Then there was Sue Pelland's booth. She's the creator of the Leaves Galore templates. I already have her 'norme' sized template/ruler and I've used it mostly for marking feather spines for quilting, but I need to try one of her quilt ideas. I bought a large package of Misty Fuse from her.

Then there was the booth that I could have done some serious damage at, but it was very crowded and my mantra at the time was "Use what you have". I did buy some So Fine 50wt thread to try with my King Tut and my So Fine 30wt threads. (More on that in another post.)

The only fabric I bought came from the Dippy Dyes booth by Lisa White Reber. She had some lovely hand dyes and I was on a search for some mandala style dyed fabric for some wholecloth quilting.

And then I tried the Sweet 16 Sit Down. Not impressed. First of all the tension was all messed up. The dealer then blamed it on some competing dealer coming by and turning the tension knob. The blaming annoyed me. Then they had no quilting gloves. I am very dependent on my Machingers. They had a hoop thing, but without gloves, it was hard to move their sandwich. And I found the end-on orientation disorienting. Something I could get used to I'm sure.

But then there was George. Sigh. They had machingers and Angela, the rep, was someone I was somewhat familiar with from MQR so she wasn't a complete stranger. I'm a bit timid and I hate crowds (I think I define crowds as more than 3 people in a grocery store aisle.) There was absolutely no problem with this machine! The table was just the right size to fit in the family playroom, which is my new sewing space. Too bad I can't afford it, nor justify the expense even if I could.

Janome (or anyother sewing machine company) you really need to make a machine like your straight stitch only machine 1600, but with an 11 inch throat and easily dropped feed dogs for under $1000 and good visibility and you would sell it like hotcakes!

Speaking of Janome, I stopped by their booth and picked up 2 new feet for my convertible free motion foot. They're actually for the 1600 on a frame, but I thought I'd try the one made for ruler work anyway. I've heard that some sit-down machine quilters can hold a ruler and move the sandwich. Let's see if I can be that dextrous. The other foot is useless to me, but they were sold in a set. It is just an open toe foot that faces the end of the machine for using your DSM on a frame. I also stopped in a Quilter's Rule and picked up a small long arm ruler to use with the new foot. I chose a small double S curve so I could try out some curved cross hatching as described in the Karen McTavish book.

And finally, I bought a few cones of Floriani Thread. It's a polyester 40wt thread similar to Isacord but shinier and less expensive. I thought it was worth a try. I also bought the all-important thread color card so I can order more if I like it.

Wow! I took me an hour and a half to write this post. Geesh. Gotta go.