Time to step back and catch up you up on some of my adventures from the past several months.
At the end of February I joined my Seattle area based friends Judy and Dana at the 2019 Sew & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington.
I will share photos from the 2019 Expo in a future post but this post about how I became a crazed FABRIC FANGIRL when I got to meet my favorite fabric designer Marcia Derse at the Expo!
I’ve loved Marcia Derse fabrics for many years and first discovered them at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon when I lived in Central Oregon.
I’ve made several quilts with her fabrics, such as this one below:
I also have a ridiculous collection of fat quarters of her fabrics (collected over the years from the Stitchin’ Post) and some yardage including prints and solids:
So when I saw that she had a booth at the 2019 Sew & Stitchery Expo I had to go introduce myself as her “biggest fabric fan” and generally embarrass myself with my fabric fangirl frenzy. I did not even know she was going to be at Expo – what an incredible surprise as I wandered through all the booths with my friends.
She was very humble and gracious and showed me her new fabric line as well as existing fabric lines (which I was quite familiar):
She also had on display some of her amazing quilts made with her fabrics:
I dragged my friend Dana over to introduce her to Marcia Derse and her fabric line and before you know it, Marcia was helping Dana select fabrics for an impromptu quilt idea:
Dana left the booth with a nice collection of Marcia Derse fabrics:
Of course I left the booth with fabrics – including Marcia Derse’s new spectacular art prints:
It was very exciting to have Marcia herself packaging up my fabric!
Here are my new acquisitions with my existing collection of Marcia Derse fabrics:
We ran into my friend, New York Times Best Selling Author Marie Bostwick at Sew Expo and had her autograph a book for my friend Lisa, who is one of her biggest fans.
So where did we leave off? Ah, yes – a couple crazy quilting friends decided to create their own quilt retreat in a rented vacation townhome to focus on making Tula Pink All Star collection sampler quilts together.
But before we get to the endless images of quilt blocks we made (warning: it might get mind-numbing for non-quilters reading this post), let me share some of the non-sewing adventures we had during the retreat.
We did not just lock ourselves in a rented townhome for four days of non-stop quilting, we did do non-sewing activities…though some of these activities did involve fabric.
I took Judy and Dana on a mini Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop over two days. This was exceptionally fun because Dana had never been to Central Oregon before, much less our quilt shops. I took them to the following quilt shops:
At Sew Many Quilts we discovered a very cool antique sewing machine on display:
At QuiltWorks we had a wonderful time visiting with the owner Marilyn Forestell who I’ve known for a long time. We also congratulated her on her shop being featured in the Spring – Summer 2018 issue of Quilt Sampler:
We had a blast at BJ’s Quilt Basket, the third quilt shop we visited. They have a delightful and very friendly staff. While at BJ’s, OH NO – we discovered a new Tula Pink fabric line was just released: Zuma.
Judy and Dana could not leave BJ’s without the fat quarter collection (I was good as I currently have more Tula than I can handle right now!):
The next day we headed to Sisters, Oregon to go to the Stitchin’ Post.
While at the Stitchin’ Post, my quilting sister Dana and I did a “Hand-piecing Intervention“.
I overhead a woman tell her friend that she had recently retired and wanted to take up quilting but did not want to do machine quilting. Instead she was interested in hand quilting, but did not know how to get started on learning how to piece quilts by hand.
Her conversation was none of my business but I could not help myself, I had to be helpful. I introduced myself and told her all about English Paper Piecing (see my series of posts – Adventures in Paper Piecing). I grabbed Dana who was nearby wandering about and had her join me in sharing the joy of English Paper Piecing (EPP) as an option to create a quilt by hand.
We even brought over the store sample of a EPP hexagon pieced pillow to show her an example of the cool stuff she could make:
After our intervention, the woman gleefully left the shop with a package of EPP hexie templates in hand. She plans to begin by practicing with fabric scraps (and hopefully she was going to follow our suggestion to check out YouTube videos on EPP).
Dana and I felt pretty darn proud of ourselves (either we helped someone on their road to a fun retirement hobby, or we got her to totally waste her money, ha!)
In addition to our miniature Central Oregon quilt shop hop, we also dined at some wonderful restaurant in Sunriver, Oregon.
After shop hopping and dining adventures, it was time to buckle down and piece our samplers!
Blocks, Blocks, Blocks
We pieced a lot of blocks during our four day retreat from our Tula Pink All Stars fat quarter packs!
I’ve never fussy cut (selecting a specific section/motif in printed fabric) for a quilt block in my life, but inspired by Dana, I fussy cut the feature fabric for all my blocks.
BLOCKS BY DANA
Dana, who already pieced 10+ blocks so far since our annual Quilting Sister May Quilt Retreat (see posts Please Vote On The Color! and The Votes Are In!). She focused on piecing star blocks in honor of the name of the name of the fabric collection – All Stars (the title of the collection is based on the prints in the line are updated reproductions of some of Tula Pink’s most popular retired fabrics). Here are some samples of her blocks:
BLOCKS BY JUDY
My quilting sister Judy was very adventurous and did not follow any set type of block pattern. She had fun using an old quilt block sampler book and randomly selecting blocks to piece with her fabric. Below are some examples of her blocks:
BLOCKS BY ME
Now I did not want to do a quilt with a white background. Instead I wanted to only use the fabrics in the Tula Pink All Star collection. I decided to create a sampler called “Tula in a Box” and use two different block patterns that feature boxes or boxes inside of boxes.
Here are the first 12 blocks I completed using a “Box inside a box” block pattern:
Tentatively I am planning to set the blocks using the Tula Pink All Stars stripes fat quarters.
By the end of the retreat I completed 14 blocks including these two blocks in a different block pattern called Little Boxes:
I will feature more on my “Tula in a Box” quilt blocks in a future post after I complete additional blocks.
Again, here is the “design sofa” I mentioned in the first post, with all our blocks:
FUN WITH COMBINATIONS
A very fun part of making our blocks was deciding the color/fabric combinations:
Here is another one of Judy’s cool blocks that came out of fun with putting together fabrics:
We spent of a lot of time consulting with each other on combinations.
Okay, so dear readers, are you sick of looking at blocks and Tula Pink All Star collection fabric now? No worries, we are nearly at the end of this post series.
On the third day of the retreat we had a special guest stop by – my friend Marie Bostwick – New York Times bestselling author.
Marie’s bookThe Second Sister is an upcoming Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas Movie: Christmas Everlasting that airs on the Hallmark Channel on November 24th and stars Patti LaBelle.
If you get the Hallmark Channel be sure to watch the movie based on the awesome book!
After the quilt retreat my friend Laurie (who owns the vacation rental) stated that Marie Bostwick was the first famous person to ever visit her vacation townhome rental. I teased that I should have had Marie autograph one of the walls – ha!
As if we were not already having an immersive Tula Pink experience, one afternoon we watched on YouTube Episode 1 of the series Tula’s House:
This episode provided some insight into the brilliant and creative mind of Tula Pink and you get a tour inside her awesome studio and sections of her home.
I met NY Times Bestselling Author, Marie Bostwick, through a mutual friend when I attend last Fall’s Trends Show (see the “Postscript” section of the 09/18/16 post The Ladies Friendship Circle (1931)). I had a great time hanging out with her and learned she was moving to my beloved Central Oregon! She is currently on a book tour and Terry the Quilting Husband and I went to see her speak on Saturday.
Marie is a quilter and her first major series of books, Cobbled Court Quilt Series, was strongly quilting/life of a quilter related. The series begins with the book A Single Thread.
In case you have read her books, I thought I would share photos from her Book Tour stop on Saturday April 1, 2017 in Bend, Oregon.
During this tour she is promoting her latest book, The Promise Girls, released at the end of March.
On Saturday Marie discussed her new book as well as some of the history on her other books and how she became a writer. She also did a little “trunk show” and showed us several quilts, many of which were based on quilts/themes in her books:
Even the table she did her book signing featured one of her quilts!
If you would like to see her on her US tour, here is a link with tour dates: