06 March, 2014

A Turn At The Wheel

 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA last week was all that I expected it to be... and more! 
Quilts! Classes!! Vendors!!!
I drove the 300 miles up there on Wednesday and traded in my steering wheel for a wheel of a different type on Thursday morning. I was enrolled in Augusta Cole's "Wheel of Fortune" class; here's my first completed block. This will be a great stash-buster quilt. By no means is this a block that I can mindlessly skate on through, though...piecing  it takes vigilant monitoring of every single piece. Augusta recommended, at the outset, that we label 5 ziploc bags and keep our individual cut pieces in their own designated bags each and every time we handled them. She couldn't have overstated that directive! Ask me how I know. This block is worked in quarters and those two wheel background pieces are not the same. I made the same mistake of switching them at least three times before it all began to sink in; I get it now. Once home, in the quiet of my own sewing space, I was able to concentrate and get the components of three more blocks together. I'll be adding in some more white background fabrics and chose not to stitch the blocks together quite yet, as I want to scatter the backgrounds and incorporate them into the mix.

Here are four blocks laid out together, I love the secondary pattern that emerges where the corners meet. These colors remind me of jelly beans, I may be naming this one "Starburst Spin" in honor of my favorite brand of jelly beans, the tropical flavor assortment that usually hits the store shelves at this time of year.


I don't have much of a Festival report this time, I will pass along my observations, however. One trend that I did notice, and found interesting, this time at the Quilt Show was the presence of more hand quilting than I have seen in years past. Of course, the phenomenal machine quilting and embellishments on the "big winner" quilts only gets better and that bar is raised higher.  Another trend that's going away, I would say based on my observations, are quilt "kits" from the vendor's booths... there were still some, certainly, but not nearly as many as I have seen at  past Festivals. Specialty rulers of all sorts utilizing quick cutting techniques for block accuracy couldn't be missed, they were everywhere; as were longarm machine vendors, there seem to be new manufacturers popping up overnight! I did my fair share for the economy in the booths, picking up mainly essentials; a few of those rulers to combine with my cutting dies for setting purposes followed me home. I was also able to collect quite a few black and gold FQs to make a Boilermaker quilt (in the future) for my Purdue alumni husband; that happy hunt took up most of one day without doing too much damage to my wallet... oh, a few low volume FQs may have jumped in my shopping bag too. As always, it was an energizing and inspiring time away; I can't wait to start planning my trip for next year! 
But for now, it's back to those wheels.... 
they're in motion and I can't lose momentum!
Life is Good!

10 comments:

julieQ said...

I am so glad you had fun at the festival...I enjoyed reading your thoughtful observations of what was new and newest! Those blocks look hard!! and beautiful!!

Nane said...

Yes this looks several levels beyond her Snaps and Stars pattern...but it will be very cool!

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

As a handquilter, the report of more handquilted quilts there makes my heart smile. ;-)

LizA. said...

These wheels are wonderful -- I'm gathering from your post that they are NOT paper foundation pieced. Oh my, I can see why attention to detail is an absolute necessity. Glad you had a good time.

Janet O. said...

What happy blocks!! But I can understand how they would create a sad quilter if you kept getting pieces misplaced. : )
Interesting observations about the show.

Paula, the quilter said...

From the photo, I can see that there is a left and right in the blocks which *does* make for tricky piecing. The bit about the lack of quilt kits is interesting, not that I make quilts from kits. I will have to keep my eyes open when I go to the Denver National Quilt Festival in May.

Laura Davies said...

Looks like a complicated block. Pretty though:)

cityquilter grace said...

i've got one of those in progress....it IS a wonderful scrappy pattern....yours is sooo pretty, love those primary colors...mine is just plain scrappy, if a scrappy can ever be plain...thanks for the report!

lindsey said...

Sounds like a great trip and your block is wonderful!

StitchinByTheLake said...

Beautiful blocks....and interesting observations. I love that hand quilting is holding its own. Even though I can't do much of it I love the look of it gives to a quilt. The last big quilt show I went to I spent way too much money - not that I didn't use it all or at least I will use it all. :) blessings, marlene