PIQF Hangover

Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) is over and I am counting the days until next year's show!  This year, I was able to take a few days off from work so I could thoroughly enjoy the show and its many offerings.

This is the first year I attended Wednesday night preview, open to class registrants.  Fellow guild members said this is a great time to check out the quilts and vendors.  I was a bit skeptical at first as the line started to form, but once the doors opened, we quickly filed into the showroom and fanned out.  It was very relaxing and enjoyable experience as I could shop without having to fight crowds, and photograph quilts without having to wait for people to move away!

Frieda's hand dye fabric
My Fused Background
Thursday, I signed up for a full day Autumn Mums Fusing workshop with Frieda Anderson.  It was a fairly minimum packing list (no sewing machine needed!) thanks to the kits provided by Frieda which included several pieces of her gorgeous hand dyed fabric including a full yard of her blackened rainbow which was used to create the background and border for our wall hangings.  She introduced us to her all time favorite color-puke green (at the bottom of the gradient) and showed us how to fuse using Wonder Under and cut it all up for maximum impact to create our background for our Autumn Mums.  It was fun to create strip sets that appeared pieced to create a free form background, although I will admit I did get a bit fussy at times.
My first two fused mums

After lunch we were ready to start creating our autumn mums and Frieda demonstrated creating the petals, leaves and stems.

Despite everyone starting with the same fabulous fabric kit, it was amazing to see how many different variations were created in class!  I came home and continued fusing/trimming my various components and have since started the quilting process.

I am proud to share that I am now a graduate of the Chicago School of Fusing and have a badge to prove it!  This is such a fast and fun process, so I bought some more of her gorgeous hand dyed fabric, her "Fabric to Dye For" book and a two more kits!  And I now have a basket of fused scraps for even more future fusing fun!

Marjan Kluepfel's Butterflies in Free Motion sample
Friday morning, I was off to Marjan Kluepfel's Butterflies in Free Motion full day workshop which featured more fusing and more stunning hand dyed fabrics used to create the butterflies!

We spent the morning creating a fused butterfly from just one yard of her specially hand dyed fabric.  The class kit fee included just one yard of her fabric to create one butterfly, but I had such a hard time choosing which butterfly to create, so I ended up buying more yardage to create two more butterflies and her blue glowing background.
My first fused Butterfly and yardage to complete project

And then after lunch, she did a quick presentation on free motion quilting and incorporating some fun techniques such as couching and bobbin work.  I was a bit nervous as I took my Brother sewing machine which did not have the Bernina Stitch Regulator.  But even without my BSR training wheels, I was pleasantly surprised with my FMQing using the exercises she gave us to work on.

Free Motion Sandwich Sampler

And she had some fun ombre yarns for us to try bobbin work.  I borrowed some and wound up my bobbin and used my previous stitching as a guidelines and did some echoing in bobbin work--which you can see below around my spirals and pathetic feathers, and then some free form spirals below! I will admit that I have since visited Joanns to pick up some of this yarn for future bobbin work!

And with over 300 vendor booths, I already forewarned Doug that I might do some damage!  Each day I went with a mostly empty backpack to carry my camera and wallet, which would inevitably fill up as I wound my way through the vendor aisles!

Wednesday Night
With only 90 minutes for the Wednesday night preview, I still managed to fit in some shopping.  Several instructors have raved about Superior Threads for piecing and quilting, so I decided to check out their booth where I picked up a variety of their threads and a free copy of Dr. Bob's Thread Therapy, which I hope will help eliminate some of my many frustrations with tension woes!  And I also found a few fun fabrics.

Thursday, I was able to check out the show during lunch and after my workshop.  This day, I focused mostly on fabric, including several bundles of hand dyed fabric.  I am afraid they are so gosh darn pretty--that I may never cut into them!  I may just keep them to paw at!

Friday, I swear the same vendors I had already checked out on Wednesday and Thursday, were pulling out new fabrics, which I could not resist.

By Saturday I was done!  I went in for the first two hours to cover SCVQA's table where we had tickets to win our Opportunity Quilt.  I did some research of future projects that needed quilting and made a list of thread colors to visit one booth that had a great deal on Aurofil thread and back to Superior Threads booth for even more thread.  He commented on my bag already containing several spools of his competitor...oops!  I spent the rest of the day tidying up my studio and putting away all my goodies!

Last but not least, I visited several booths with Long Arm quilting machines conducting some important research.  After watching Angela Walters and other long arm quilters--it looks like so much fun!  So I figured I would take this opportunity to test drive several different manufacturers and models.  There were several models that felt super awkward and did not produce pretty quilting.  And there were a few models that glided beautifully and created really nice stitching from the start.  I realize that regardless of model, I will need to invest considerable time and practice to consistently produce beautiful hand guided quilting.  One of the vendors of the models I did like, shared that they are planning on opening a store in northern California about 30 minutes north of me...so that would provide for education on setting it up, using the various features and maintenance=A huge bonus.  We shall see...  

I certainly have plenty to keep me a busy little quilting bee until next year's PIQF!