More Denver Travelogue

Any time I can get inspiration off of a floor, I take a photo. I am fascinated by mosaics and tile patterns. Above is a detail and you can see the border of 4patches.

I like the way the small green border frames the piece. I think the greens and the reds could be all different.

This was a block that I saw in a quilt in the shop of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. I like the different blues that the maker used on the top of the piece.

What I like about these baskets are the little things that make them unusual. In the top photo, the basket has a slight curve from the rim to base. In the second photo, notice the handles added to a fairly usual basket pattern. I also like, what I assume, are the border blocks.

Please note that these were not any of the exhibits. These were items in the shop.

On Saturday, we headed south to see the famed Great American Quilt Factory
I have noticed a trend of quilts shops being in strip malls. I guess it makes sense: go to the grocery store, pick up the dry cleaning, stop at the quilt shop. This was a particularly ugly strip mall, but it did have a great big parking lot, which was good because there were 200 women in the shop when we got there at 10am. GAQF has a block of the month meeting each Saturday. They make up the pattern and the kits and test it on the people who do the Block of the Month. This is how the Welcome to my Cabin became a book and a pattern. The meeting had ended, but all the ladies were in line to pay. We started looking at the fabric around the perimeter and stayed out of their way pretty much. It was no problem because they, apparently, have over 5000 bolts of fabric. The store made up for the ugliness of the strip mall. There were lots of all differenty types of quilts hanging on the walls. Many of them were Possibilities patterns.

After the Great American Quilt Factory, we went to Holly’s Quilt Cabin. St. JCN didn’t really want to go, I don’t think, but she didn’t fight too hard. ;-). Holly’s had more REALLY nice fabric. I bought a lot of FQs and more dots. They had a nice selection of Creative Grid rulers (still need to do that review!) and I bought a 2.5″x12″ model. It will be good for cutting squares for those 4patches I plan to make someday. 😉 The people there were really chatty.

Right, 3rd from the bottom was a fabric that just caught my eye. I don’t usually buy this fabric, but I decided to buy an FQ and put a piece or two in the Cross Block quilt.

Left 3rd from the bottom is a really interesting fabric. It is cotton, but it shimmers. I got it in a couple of colors. I may put it into the silk quilt just to see how it works.

Above are the fabrics that we bought at GAQF and Holly’s.

This is a bear peeking in the glass wall of the convention center. I thought it was really clever. How can I not like the bear anyway? It reminds me of Oski.

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On Sunday we ate breakfast at LePeep’s near the City Park and then went up to the Denver Botanic Garden. I am not much of a gardener, but I can appreciate a beautiful garden just as well as the next person. This place was fantastic. I liked the way the garden was laid out in rooms. It was so relaxing. If I had not had to go to a meeting, I would have liked to have sat there and read or worked on writing projects. St. JCN loves gardening and is working very hard on her garden. She is also working on my garden a bit: helping me pick out plants that won’t be a burden or take a lot of work.

I thought that this would make a good quilting pattern. I particularly like the wavy, vertical sort of look.

The top photo is a picture of a giant poppy, but the others are all peonies. I have never seen peonies growing in my area, but St. JCN said that she would look into it. She did warn me that these would need coddling if they would grow. In any case, I really took the photos as inspiration for quilts. The colors, the graphic quality are all really great. Inspiring.

The garden had an exhibit called Big Bugs. They had placed large wooden (not sure if all were wooden) insects all over the garden. I saw some grasshoppers, ants, a praying mantis, a dragonfly, and some others. My favorite was this spider on the spiderweb. We walked by and I didn’t see it, then we walked by again and I saw something out of the corner of my eye. When I looked. I saw the spiderweb. It is partially hidden and it looks like it could be real.

Mosaic bench they were selling in the gift shop.

Documenting Your Quilts

This site describes quilt software that allows you to document your quilts on your quilt and then print the materials out for a notebook.

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The Quilt Minder is here!!

Quilt Block12    As all quilters are aware, quilt documentation is of utmost importance not only for our future generations of quilt makers, but for present day “filing” of your work.

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Gallery Travelogue

St. JCN wrote 10 pages in her journal about our adventures on Friday. I am not sure I will be able to keep up with that!

In the morning, we set off from Denver towards Golden, after carefully planning our adventures (some plans for a special tour had fallen through, unfortunately), so as to maximize what we could see in one part of the area. I did not want to be driving back and forth across the Denver metro area in a crazy way.

I was shocked at how close Golden was to Denver. We have a map of Denver metro the size of a double bed and it made the drive look like an hour. We were at the Primedia Gallery in about 20 minutes.
The Primedia Gallery is really called the CK Gallery now, but as you can see, the sign still says Primedia on it. I wouldn’t call the gallery large, but it is a nice open and airy space behind the reception desk. There is plenty of space for a smallish exhibit. Photography allowed, which was really nice.
Gallery (back to reception desk) looking left. Conference room is through that glass window.

Gallery (back to reception desk) looking right.

The exhibit was called ARTQUILTImages and was a collection of art quilts. They were good quilts to look at. There was one about the futility of war and it depicted guns. St. JCN and I talked about it and she thought that all the gun imagery kind of celebrated guns. She also pointed out that with the advent of photo transfer, people don’t have to be subtle about their message and, as a result, their message can easily be distorted. In this quilt, all you see is guns. For me, gun imagery does not promote peace. I will be glad when St. JCN gets a blog, because she can explain the subtleties of her argument better than I can.

This is a punched tin cabinet. The designs on each door, as you can see, are different quilt blocks. We were each looking at a different one and I was talking about the Ohio Star-ishness of one while St. JCN was saying that it was not an Ohio Star. It turns out we were looking at different areas of the chest! DUH!

This is the conference room and I liked the way they had their magazines displayed. If I had a big wall that I was willing to devote to something like this, I could see putting books and magazines I wanted to use for inspiration in such a layout.

After the Primedia/CK Gallery, we headed up the road to the old part of Golden, where the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum lives at 1111 Washington Street. I loved the Howdy Folks! sign. I thought it was fun and cheerful. I am sorry I cut off part of it, but I was in the middle of the street taking the picture, so I had to be quick.

If you haven’t been to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, put this trip on the top of your list. Not only were the quilts great, but the staff was fabulous, too. Joanna, after taking our entrance fee (that is her job), gave us a personalized tour. It was interesting to hear about specific points of the quilts. The museum has a start quilt on right now. There are a lot of fantastic star quilts in the exhibit, but, excuse the pun, the star of the exhibit is Irene Berry’s Lone Star. Unfortunately, RMQM doesn’t allow photos so I can’t show the great use of fabric and the wonderful mix of hand and machine piecing.

As I mentioned in my previous post, a great quilt store, the Golden Quilt Company, is located right across the street! This detour would be a two-fer!

Jessica was the highlight of our trip in the people department. She is the store manager of the RMQM. She steered us towards Harriet’s shop. We met her yesterday at the Great American Quilt Factory, too. She is a great personality and totally willing to share her knowledge.

The RMQM also had an exhibit of Ellen Ann Eddy’s works. She is a quilmaker who knows how to use threads and her machine. I heard QA will be reprinting her book.

In the same gallery as EAE’s works, they filled out the space with a few quilts from their permanent collection. I have to say that simplicity is highly underated in quilt design. I think people need to to get back to the basics in terms of design.

New Fabrics from Denver and Seattle

I am in Denver for a conference related to my work work. I took a day off to hang out and relax a little bit. St. JCN came to join me and brought me these nice fabrics. The cups are, dare I say, cheerful! And the bonus is there is NO brown. See, fabric manufacturers, brown is not mandatory in coffee fabric.

The other thing about these fabrics is that they are not very good for my quiltmaking, except for the dots, of course. I just don’t use conversationals, but they are fantastic for napkins. Periodically, in the past, I have made napkins out of two fat quarters of fabric sewn together with a decorative stitch. Often, the napkin project became a big drag, because of the corners, usually. You can read a little about my last napkin foray here. With my recent Teacher Pillow experience, I am beginning to think I am just a quiltmaker and not much of a crafter. That is, however, a whole different subject and I am not getting into it now.

What I am getting around to is yet another reason for St. JCN’s nickname. She said she would make me napkins out this fabric. HOORAY! New napkins. What a saint!

The first shop we visited was after our gallery tour was the Golden Quilt Company. The Golden Quilt Company is across the street from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum (very convenient, because I was ready to touch some fabric after seeing the exhibit). What a friendly crowd! Not only did I find great fabrics, but we were allowed to take photos of whatever we wanted in the shop. Nice!

GQC had lots of brights and clear colors. The space was open and airy and on a quaint main drag in a nice looking small town.

As you can see, I branched out and bought non-dot fabrics.

Another shop that we visited was called Harriet’s Treadle Arts.

This is the shop of Harriet Hargrave, the machine quilting queen. The shop has been open for nearly 26 years, which seems like a long time in quilt world to me. Kim and Kari helped us in the shop and were extremely friendly. We heard all about their projects and the samples they made and they heard about our projects. The shop is medium sized and in a stand-alone building on W. 44th Ave in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. I didn’t find it on Google or on Yahoo Local. It also was not mentioned on any of the web lists that I found before my trip. We were directed there by Jessica at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. The store is decorated with lots of medium – dark wood and carries lots and lots of reproductions. However, the store does not exclusively have reproductions. As you can see, there were plenty of dots and brights and batiks to satisfy me. They carried lots and lots of tools, had a medium sized classroom, lots of great samples and a huge selection of books. I was pleased to see that they carried solids and perl cotton as well.

I pretty much cleaned out their dots selection. 😉

I have done a lot in the past few days and will continue the travelogue another day.

Teacher Pillows Finished!

The Teacher Pillows are done and wrapped. HOORAY!

I found the cute bags at Walgreen’s, of all places. They are so adorable (thank heaven for no boy teachers this year!) that I didn’t feel bad about not making gift bags for them. I delivered the Principal and Assistant Principal pillows before I left. P will deliver the rest next week in stages.

Now I have to think about next year. St. JCN said that he fact that the project went well towards the end made no difference to her torture threat. She suggested a different project, so I will have to think on that. Suggestions, always welcome, of course!

Another Quick Bite (or Byte!)

This was a weird shadow I saw on my wall. Don’t you think it looks like a bear sitting in a chair with one leg crossed over the other?

New fabric.

More new fabric

Pineapples 13 & 14

Kristen, over at Ardent Peace saw the Pineaple blocks in person recently and said she hadn’t realize how large they were. The size, apparently, does not come through very well in the blog format. She asked me to give my dear readers some perspective. This block has a spool of red Aurifil thread on it. As you can see the blocks are quite large.

These are the Pineapple ‘scrap babies’. As I work through the strips, I find that I have litle bits of the strips leftover. I began setting them aside for who knows what. Finally, I decided I should use them up, so I used them on the beginning parts of Pineapples 15 & 16. The above two Pineapples are made from scraps to the point you see above. After this point, the sides get too large for scraps. Notice how much green is in them. I seem to have a lot of green strip ends.

Scrap babies grow up. These are Pineapple blocks 15 & 16.

Quick Bites

Technorati relaunched their search service yesterday. As a work project, I had to try out the new and expanded Technorati service. In addition to searching blog comments, it now searches for music, videos and images. Of course, I had to use ‘quilt’ as my term. I know the subject better than any other subject, so what better topic to use? Very interesting results, including some how to videos on quiltmaking. Here are a couple of blogs I found that I thought were worth looking at:

Mosaic-It: The post I saw was about a mosaic floor in Venice (Italy, not California). As you may (or may not) know, I, obsessively take pictures of mosaics wherever I go. I really liked the floor in this post as I thought it looked exactly like a quilt. I also thought the tiles looked like they had little patterns on them, mimicking fabric somewhat. There seem to be only two posts, so stay tuned.

Sister’s Choice: This seems to be a relatively new Typepad blog (3-4 months old). The pictures are really clear. Her fabrics seem to be a little dark for my taste, but she does use Creative Grid rulers, which are my new favorite. (I’ll write a review sometime) She also uses interesting patterns. The Evelyn Sloppy pattern, Fall Frolic, uses ugly colors IMO, but I like the way those four patches stand out. Not sure I could strip piece it the way Sister’s Choice describes.

Quilter’s Buzz appears to be a news site for the quiltmaking world. She has lots of posts from Quilt Market, especially of the booths. Her colors are similar to Sister’s Choice. Perhaps these are the colors of the day and I am the only one not using them?

Go take a look at what you can find at Technorati. If you are looking for me, though, you won’t find me there, so put me in your RSS reader. 😉

Kaffe Fassett Spots

Be*mused turned me on to Kaffe Fassett’s new dots. She says has been trying to cut back on buying dots. I haven’t and keep buying more in case they stop making them. Follow her directions below to see Kaffe Fassett’s dot collection. Even though he forgets to put the fabric lines in his books, the man know how to design fabric!

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  • And when are the Kaffe Fassett spots being released? The Westminster site won’t allow a link to the *spots page* (and I’ve just spent too much time trying to get around it, to no avail) but if you click on the KF page, then click on printed fabrics, then scroll down to the spots thumbnail, you will be richly rewarded. Darn…I’ve been trying to cut back on the polka dots, but I’ll be in line for some of these.