Books and Media: If you haven’t bought the book, Collaborative Quilting by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston, RUN don’t walk to the nearest quilt shop to buy it. Collaborative Quilting couldn’t be more perfect. It was only $20, had techniques and NO patterns. The BEST part was that it has color photos on at least 85% of the 255 pages. If you love fabric and learning techniques (not patterns) and making FUN quilts and looking at FUN quilts, then this book is for you. This is the perfect book for me! I can wander through it and look at the quilts and the fabric combinations and read the bits on color that Freddy writes, peruse Gwen’s liberating quiltmaking. This is the kind of book that inspires me to be creative. I am going to look out for more Sterling Press books, because I think they are reaching beyond the pattern books on which most quilt publishers are focusing. They are not pandering to the lowest common denominator; they are encouraging us to reach.

We also ordered the Journal Quilt book. It wasn’t ready to bring to the show, so Patricia Bolton of Quilting Arts magazine and Cloth, Paper Scissors offered us (and everyone else, I suppose) free shipping if we ordered it then and there. I can’t give a complete review, because I haven’t seen it yet, but, again, no patterns. Lots of pictures of the journal quilts. I am looking forward to another source of inspiration.

There were a group of Alzheimer’s quilts at PIQF, which were some of the best quilts there. No pictures were allowed, but they had a CD, which we bought.

Fabric and Materials: The Scrappy Appleyard (alas, no website that I could find) can be reached at (702) 806-8918. They were unbelieveably nice to us when we were looking for a certain pink striped fabric. They let us take a photo of one of their quilts and didn’t act like we were taking food out of their children’s mouths for asking. I am not sure why I am so surprised, but the whole (true or not true?) idea of all quiltmakers being friends was highly overrated in the vendor area. The vendors didn’t really seem happy to be at PIQF this year. There were lots of signs saying not to take pictures of their quilt samples. I can understand wanting people to buy the patterns, but the signage seemed very offputting. I am sure there is better terminology. “Please ask before you photograph” provides a way for the vendors to get people interested in their products and makes a connection with a potential customer.

I love the different widths of that pink stripe and also the pink and white diamond. Nobody else knew what the fabric was, but the owner of the Apple Scrapyard did and we were able to find it on the web. We would have called her and bought it from her, but she said she didn’t have anymore. I believe I have a pink quilt in me that is dying to come out. It needs to get in line!

With the information that the Apple scrapyard lady gave us, we were able to find both pieces on the web from a store in Texas. I am glad to have a piece and got that bug out of my ear.

The Good, the Bad and Not the Ugly: On the way home, we stopped at a store in San Mateo called Always Quilting. We had vaguely tried to find the store before, but were in completely the wrong part of San Mateo. The Bad: The store is hard to find! It is in an anonymous office complex with NO signage outside on the street or on the building. My unsolicited suggestion was a sandwich board or something that they could set up on the street. The location seems to me to be big problem in terms of sales. I am not their financial consultant and I hope their online store is making up for the lack of foot traffic. We perservered, however, and did eventually find it. The good part was that there was PLENTY of off street parking. Those office buildings have huge parking lots and with none of the workers there we didn’t have to lug our purchases very far. 🙂 They said that they were planning to move towards the end of the year to a different space. Good plan! I really wish them well. It is nice to know that there is a nice sized store with great fabrics nearby.

The store also looked like a hurricane had hit it. It was a wreck with bolts of fabric every where. Some of it was that they had so much fabric. I am sure part of it was that they had pulled many bolts from the shelves to gear up for PIQF, but I was tripping over fabric and that was not a good thing. I am sure their new space will be better and I look forward to seeing it.

The Good: They have great fabrics and a big space. I found a great group of snowflake-like dots by Moda that we had not seen before. I have already cut pieces of some of them for Thoughts on Dots and have found the colorways to be quite useful for cheering up the piece.

They also have a long arm machine and may be getting a new one. They give classes on how to use the longarm and that appeals to me. While I may not want to longarm all of my quilts, I am interested in the process and think I could work with my quilter better, if I knew more about the process. They will be giving classes after the first of the year and I will try and sign up for one.

Fabric Chores: I got my act together to wash the fabric and St. JCN, kind and generous soul that she is, pressed and folded it all for me.

The chores fabrics on the bottom in the photo above I plan to use in the Women’s Work series. You can see Women’s Work 1 at Another piece, Women’s Work 2, is still in process. It uses techniques and ideas from a Gwen Marston class I took a few years ago.

As you can see this series starts with red. Glad I have enough.

St. JCN also helped me dig up my front flower bed, get out the bulbs and replant them. We had to buy a few more bulbs, because many had disappeared somewhere unknown and some were rotten. This is the beginning of the landscaping of my yard. This is not something I want to do, but I want it done and St. JCN is good at it and will lead me through it by the hand. HOpefully it won’t be too painful. 😉

Other Thoughts
: The show was very crowded and sometimes I get overwelmed with noise and visual stimulation. I thought that, if I were alone, bringing some kind of portable music device (iPod, Discman, Walkman, Muvo, etc.) with your soothing music of choice might be a way of keeping overstimulation to a minimum. It might look a little unfriendly, though.