Show Shopping

I've been home a full week now since my return from the American Quilter's Society (AQS) Show in Lancaster, PA. My house is pretty much back to normal and life resumes its daily routine of never enough time and too much mess life with little kids. My sewing room is not entirely back to normal.

By "normal" in both instances above, do not read that as neat and tidy. I have learned to temper my creativity with some organization and good habits, but the rest of my family? No. Especially the only other female in the house who has mastered the creative chaos process. Her creative vision seems to require cutting up tons of paper, fabric, string, yarn etc.

But today I thought I'd share my shopping haul from the show. Compared to many shopping trips, this is pretty small. This may be due to having completed my business taxes prior to heading out to the show.

The first thing to buy was batting from Hobb's. Three queen-sized batts were purchased, one 80/20 cotton/poly blend and my new favorite batting- their new cotton and wool blend, Nice stuff! No picture as batting is fairly unexciting to photograph.

The next thing on my shopping list was thread. Now there was a ton of thread for sale at the show, but when faced with a huge selection, my brain just can't make up its mind. Since I couldn't buy it all, I bought what was new to me that I already knew I wanted to try.

thread from YLI

The Top Anchor Quilting Tools booth was right next to the YLI booth. The folks there were such good neighbors. Jim saw me eyeing the spools of braid. I explained that I was wondering if it was big enough to use for free motion couching or small enough for bobbin work. The sweet man gave me the two spools shown above! I also bought a ginormous cone of their #40 poly thread that is similar to Glide and two small spools of grey Silk Sparkle, which is silk thread combined with a silver metallic.

Then I had to try some thread from WonderFil. There was a huge selection and again, I just couldn't decide. (Plus I had to hurry back to the booth- no slow shopping stroll here.) I snagged a pack of rayon cord, perfect for bobbin work. (I had bobbin work on the brain since I used it for the Top Anchor banner.) I also picked up a cone of  InvisaFil, a #100 poly thread. So thin and fine! I had heard a few longarmers talk of using it, so I thought I'd check it out.

Then I bought two half yard pieces of unique hand dyed fabrics. Both will end up as table runners and/or teaching samples. The bottom one tells me it wants some straight line ruler work done Zentangle style.

The last stop was the sew Batik booth. I love their gradations line of solid batiks. It was easy to pick up these two and hard to say no to the others. I wanted to pick up some of their rayon batik for a tunic for myself, but since I haven't done anything with the last piece I bought from them, I refrained.

That's it! Positively restrained in my shopping, wasn't I? How about you? Do you go crazy when you get to a big show like this? Do you have a list and stick to it? Are you like me and get overwhelmed with choices? Share in the comments.

Showing off my purchases reminds me of the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival three years ago when I bought the Janome Frame Quilting Foot Set. I had no idea if I could use it on my stationary machine with my convertible FMQ foot set, but I was going to try it. I'm so glad I did!

I also want to welcome new readers who found the blog after seeing me at the show. Hi!

A final parting note to let you know that Craftsy is having a sale on fabric and kits right now. Use the link to them on the right sidebar to take a look.


  1. A note about invisafil - Amy you will love the thread, but, you need to play with tension, both bobbin tension and upper tension. On my bernina 820, invisafil works best with bobbin tension set all the way left (click system - this is not a bobbin case machine), and upper tension set very low .5. Usually, you don't have a very loose bobbin tension *and* a loose upper tension together, but I found this is what is required for this thread on my machine. You really have to play and it took me hours to find my magic settings for that thread. Expect the unexpected for finding your settings for this thread on your machine. It is definitely worth it. Set aside some time if you can find any for checking this particular thread out.

    1. Thanks Pat. I figured I'd have to do some tension hijinks as I have with Superior Threads' Bottom Line and it's not nearly as fine as the Invisifil. Though my recent play with silk thread on my whole cloth required no tweaking of the bobbin tension. I do have an extra bobbin case/holder (drop in bobbin, so it's not always referred to as a bobbin case) for mucking about with my bobbin tension. I have GOT to get some stitching time in! Not sure if the time away was worth getting so behind here at home, though I had a blast meeting so many quilters!

  2. Quilt shows are so fun, let us know how your experiments go, thanks.

  3. You'll like the Invisafil. It just leaves texture behind if you match it to the fabric. I agree that the tension gets weird. I also found when I used an entire spool of it on a quilt that it's important to recheck it every time you refill the bobbin as it will randomly decide to be different from bobbin to bobbin.

  4. I can't speak for what sews well on a DSM, but I LOVE YLI's polished poly thread, It is less sheen than Glide, and runs like a dream. As for Jim - he's the best in the business. I enjoy seeing him at every show. Wonderfil makes my all time favorite metallic thread. I don't use metallic often, but if I do, this is great. It is soft and smooth, not rough/krinkly like some. If you haven't tried, pick some up at the next show. I run the Bottomline in my bobbin with every top thread. It can be successfully tensioned.

    1. Jim was absolutely the sweetest and so cheerful!

      I love trying new threads. With a domestic, it can be problematic running mismatched thread weights since we aren't as used to changing our bottom tension like you long arm quilters do. But it’s so worth it when it comes to certain thread combinations. I’m learning so much from you all.

    2. Over the years I have started going to shows with a shopping list- or I am at least on the lookout for things I use a lot of that I may get a good deal on.Having said that It is always fun to try new things- I just went to mountain Quiltfest in TN and bought some YLI - looking forward to giving it a whirl esp after reading your blog !