Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Houston High

I love the big round windows on the second floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center from which you can look down on the exhibitor floor. I pause there frequently on my way to-and-fro my room at the Hilton and Quilt Market and Festival to plan my next foray or simply enjoy the view.

I spent 11 days there between Market and Festival. (With two days in-between spent in getting to know Houston a bit better.) I went with my partner and art quilter, Pamela Zave, whose first time it was at both venues.

It's been a little over 2 weeks and I'm still trying to take it all in. I want to write a bit about the new and exciting from there but there is so much that this first post-Houston post will simply have to be a declaration of intentions to cover certain topics. To keep my blog accountable I will make a list of what will be covered and interperse that with the Urban Amish experiments that have begun and will be documented through this blog. (I have acquired a willing student and theory-tester!) In addition, I plan to keep letting you know when my new fabric lines are available from Blank Textiles and how they are being experimented with on their native soil. (My shared quilting and design studio.)

(An aside: the Blank booth won the Best Merchandising Award at Market. Go Blank!!! They are such warm and wonderful people. Who can refuse to love them. Their sales reps are all quilters. That is a very smart thing to do.)

What I'll be covering from Market and Festival:
  • Seamingly Accurate from Quilt.Woman.com
  • Quilter's Rule: 3 of their nested ruler sets ( The octagons, the diamonds, and the equilateral triangles. )
  • A template set from Clover that lets you do a English paper piecing type of work but with octagons and small squares. Unfortunately, it is a strictly Japanese market only product and the package is in Japanese. ( I will try to find my source and an English name for them among my receipts... and I'll include a picture close-up when I get to them)
  • Some very fine "quilting-chick-lit" acquired at The Craftman's Touch booth by Sandra Dallas, Jane Kirkpatrick and Emily Richards. (And I do not mean any disrespect to these fine authors if any one is wondering. I love the genre almost as much as I love my sci-fi.)
  • The wonderful aboriginal designs from M&S Textiles and the upcoming book, Australia Spirit edited by Meryl Ann Butler, author of 90 Minute Quilts and just plain wonderful human bean.

to Urban Amish: My pupil/guinea pig has completed her first assignment. (She completed it three times; we had first semester of school issues which she finally was able to overcome.)

I will be posting the assignments and the results in the next few weeks. For those who wish to do the exercises I will be posting the PDF templates for download and expounding a bit more on the theory behind the exercises.
  • First Lesson will be: IndianHatchet.

That's it for now. I leave you with some eye candy from Quilt Festival.

Oops, almost forgot... coming also
  • A sneak preview of my new Christmas line, Holiday Splendor
  • A bit about the new book just released, Fusing and Be Done! which I co-wrote with Barbara Campbell.
  • And my first Urban Amish quilting pattern to be published by QuiltWoman.com.
So make it easy for yourself, and subscribe. And make lots of comments.
I promise at the very least some pretty pictures. (If you just want lots of pretty pictures...check out my other blog: visualthinkinginagarden.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What is Urban Amish? (or Home Alone)

I'm a textile designer that works at home alone. I license my designs to a fabric manufacturer based in New York City that caters specifically to the quilting industry.

As a result, I talk to myself all day long.

Most of the conversations have to do with textiles design and how it relates to quilting design.
Or... quilt designs and how they relate to textile design.

I feel we are at an unusual point in textile history where for the first time fabrics are being developed specifically for use in quilts.

There is a focused synergy going on that we are just beginning to tap between the quilter and the textile designer... and all the hybrid creatures in between.

In the past, before the resurgence of interest in quiltmaking right around the late 1970's, quilts were primarily made from fabrics intended for other purposes other than quilts: clothing, curtains, feedsacks.

But alas I cannot continue this thread of thought today since it's 5:18 AM and I must make my way to Newark Airport. Houston Quilt Market & Festival Bound!

As my t-shirt constantly reminds me: life is good. I leave you with 2 snaps of my working table these past 2 weeks.

Note: Even though this post is dated October 1st, it was actually completed on October 23. October 1st, 2008 is the blog's birthday when I finally got around to realizing that this format would be a great way to get to know quilters, designers and other fabric lovers and at last sat down to write.