I went to a quilt show!
The Pacific International Quilt Festival was held, as usual, at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I went on Friday with Friend Julie and had a good time. The big change was that there was fewer of everything. Fewer quilts, fewer vendors, fewer exhibits, fewer items to buy, fewer people.
I was in a mood to shop. I didn’t want to get a lot of fabric, but I did want to look at everything in person and buy a few things, including some fabric. One thing I am really excited about is a pattern called Stay Tuned. It is by Thimble Creek Quilts. I almost bought the kit, but the solids in it were Konas and I have a strict policy of not buying fabrics I don’t like. The nice things was that Roxie (owner of Thimble Creek) asked me what solids I liked, so we had a chat about American Made Brand, AGF Pure Solids and Northcott. Maybe they will change what they use for kits. I went to Stash Fabrics and randomly chose several solids to use for this quilt.
I am excited about it, because it is just piecing a bunch of small blocks into a cool quilt. I am really desperate just to do sew something new. I don’t want anything complicated or arty – just an interesting block quilt I can relax with. I have to pick a few pieces of fabric for this quilt, but will mostly use my stash.
Another thing that I was able to do was look at a variety of needles. I was able to identify the hand sewing needles I like and buy a couple of packs. They are Chenille needles** (Amazon has them for twice the price as Batty Lady, where I bought them). I like them because they are sharp and have a big eye. I had lost the package for the ones in my La Pass sewing kit, so I am glad to have been able to identify which ones I like. I bought size 28, because I always forget about needle sizes. Not sure if those are the ones I have had before.
I also bought a couple of new seam rippers. As I ripped seams out of Pointillist Palette #4, I found that the process seemed much harder than necessary. I thought that my seam ripper might be getting dull. Can they be sharpened? Who knows? I bought a couple of Kaffe branded seam rippers, not because they are Kaffe branded, but because they had a large grip. The cutting end is pretty thin, which may mean I can more easily get the blade under seams. We’ll see. I’ll have to try them out, but I hope not too soon.
I am happy with my Clover seam ripper**, in general. Those are definitely my go-to seam ripper, but the Kaffe seam ripper has a larger handle and might be better for a lot of ripping. Also, I am scared of the Tula Pink surgical seam ripper**. I’ll do a review.
Aside from those few things, I bought 4 yards of fabric and some Pineapple Flatter. I finally used the bottle I got from the guild at the last (??) retreat. I like the smell.
I didn’t think the COVID lockdown affected me that much in terms of quiltmaking. I was wrong. Looking at all the quilts made me realize how much I have gotten into my own bubble of quilts. I looked at the show quilts which were pretty normal for PIQF and realized I hadn’t seen anything like them since the last time I went to a quilt show. Visiting a quilt show meant that I saw quilts I wouldn’t normally see in all types of styles and colors. In general, at home from my computer, I look at quilts that appeal to me and skip over quilts that do not. I look at quilts by people I know and not at others. At PIQF, I looked at everything, regardless of the style or appeal. I was walking by anyway, so I might as well look, right? This is really hard for me to explain because I have just realized it myself.
It was also hard to be around all those people. I am just not used to it. Most people were not wearing masks, but I wore a mask while at the show. The booths were still small and somewhat jammed, but the show cleared out pretty much by 3pm.
**Obviously, you should shop at local fabric stores, knitting shops, independent booksellers or quilt shops. However, if you can’t, please know that I use affiliate links. I may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I do not recommend items I don’t like. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.