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Shopping 101...

Shopping 101...

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Sure there is fun and games, demos and informational opportunities... but for the shop owners that come to Open House, it's very much about the shopping.


From new merchandise to this-is-the-last-one-we-have-of-these items, there is always a whole lot of really cool stuff when the doors open on Sunday morning.  I admit it... even though I've seen everything here and have more than enough "stuff" to sew with, it's very hard to walk past without taking a peek.  Just in case.

What I wanted to share today were some of my favorite items from the vendors who make the trip to Dallas for Open House.  Every one of them creates all sorts of great products that make our stitchy-pursuits a whole lot easier, and more fun. These are just the things that caught my eye.

Tina Farman of C&T Publishing brought several terrific newly-released books but the two that I am most excited to get won't be published for a few months.


Quilting is My Therapy - Behind the Stitches with Angela Walters.  I love Angela's work.  She's extraordinarily talented and skilled, a very nice woman and an exceptional author.  While I am not a longarm quilter and I only do a bit of home-machine quilting, I learn so much reading her books.  At a minimum, I enjoy the passion and enthusiasm she has for what she does.  This book will be published in October 2016.


AppliQuilting - Applique & Quilt at the Same Time by Gina Perkes.  I met Gina twenty years ago when she was still a "relatively new" quilter.  She was just beginning to enter quilts in our Arizona Quilt Guild shows and from the beginning, her quilts were distinctive and spectacular.  Her sense of color and design, the attention to detail and quality of her work is exceptional.  AppliQuilting will be published in November.

Tadashi Harada and Kotaro Harada came all the way from Japan to show us the wonderful pins, needles and tools from the Tulip Needles company.


I had to have one of these Fine Beading Awls with a Cushioned handle.  In Mint.  I use it as a stiletto.  The super-fine tip makes so many stiletto-tasks a whole lot easier, and the results are better.


So... it seems I've been making a lot of blocks for sampler quilts of late.  And I kept mixing up the blocks from one project with those of another.  The Essentials 12 x 12 Storage Box from Artbin to the rescue!  (I keep hoping Artbin will make an 8 x 8 or 10 x 10 box.  Until they do, this works beautifully.)

Do you Squedge?CT-Mini-Squedge-Set

If you like wedge pieces and square blocks, this is the ruler for you.  Cheryl Phillips of Phillips Fiber Art has designed a series of rulers using wedges of different angles to make all manner of projects.  This 8" Squedge Set 45 & 22.5 is my favorite because it's a set of two mini rulers - the blocks finish at 8".  It's also a great ruler for making Dresden wedges with a different angle - 8 or 16 wedges instead of 20.


I really like this Best Wash from the nice folks at Mary Ellen.  I've never used regular laundry detergent to wash my quilts and when I tried this, I liked it.  It's an acid free, pH neutral cleaner.  It doesn't contain bleach, phosphates or sulfates.  (Now if there was just an Unscented version...)


The nice folks at Clover brought a box of these Clover Mini Wonder Clips just for me.  Not really - I got a box a month or so ago.  They're great for everything the regular Wonder Clips are just a wee bit too big for - bags, zippers, single-fold bindings on mini quilts, holding mitered corners in place for machine-stitched bindings, holding English Paper-Pieced shapes together while stitching... and I'm sure you can think of a hundred other uses.  They're also just really cute.

Speaking of EPP...


Yes.  I do make Hexies for an "I-don't-know-what-I'm-making-these-for" project.  These 1" Hexagons from Paper Pieces are my favorite size.  Okay, my only size.

Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs was here showing off her zipper and bag prowess - and talking about her terrific line of interfacings.  The Dreamy Fusible Fleece is seriously good stuff.


I've actually used this several times for small boxy-bags and I'm hooked.  It fused easily and smoothly to the fabric, and there wasn't any pebbly-grainy feel.  The fused-fabric was smooth and soft, and it was easily quilted without the addition of a backing fabric.  When I showed it to the ladies in the office, a whole bolt of it went missing.  (I also love Sew Lazy's Face It Soft Fusible but I'm keeping that to myself.)


I think it's impossible to say that one triangle paper is better than another, mostly because there are all sorts of variables that need to be factored into choosing one for a specific project.  That said, I do like the Spinning Star Designs papers.  I like the feel of the paper, the way the grid is laid out for continuous stitching and the number of sizes they make.  I use the 2" finished half-triangle square size the most.

And the name on the package is wrong - they are Half. Triangle. Squares.  (Insert a laughing emoji here.)

Do you ever  make little catch-alls for next to your sewing machine?  When they first started appearing, there were all sorts of contraptions for making them stand up and collapse.  This is so much better.


Joanne Hillestad of The Fat Quarter Gypsy has a knack for creating clever little things like this.  While these Pop-Up frames come in several sizes, this is the one I've used - the Small 5.5" Pop-Up.

Martingale - That Patchwork Place - sent Jennifer Keltner and Wendy Jacobson, and a big box of cool books.


The next in the Moda All-Stars series - Mini Marvels - 15 Little Quilts with Big Style.  The quilts on the cover are from Camille Roskelley, Pat Sloan, Vanessa Christenson and Sherri McConnell.  Coming October 2016.

And from Gwen Marston...


This is A Common Thread - or a common thread.  It is a retrospective of Gwen's 40 years of making amazing quilts.  The book is a hard-bound, coffee-table like book that does not include patterns or instructions.  If you love color and pattern, and someone who clearly has a passion for creating and experimenting with shapes and colors, then I think you'll enjoy a common thread.  Gwen's book will be published later this month - August.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a vendor or twelve but they were busy.

So I'll leave you with a few more pictures-collages from the warehouse.


This is what it looked like early Sunday morning before the vendors had arrived and as the campers were beginning to assemble.  Ducky did an amazing job - the warehouses looked great.


This includes pictures of some of the vendor tables after they'd arrived and gotten set-up.

That's it for today - but we're back tomorrow with a beautiful quilt and a cool new book.






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