Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quilt Market decompression in 3, 2, 1,....

Ohhhhh my! It's so good to be home. I just returned from my first trip to International Quilt Market (held the week before Quilt Festival) in Houston after 6 days of fun, fabric, and everything Stash Lab! Wow, what an experience.

My weekend started with a bang with a Schoolhouse presentation on Friday- Schoolhouse is for shop owners and retailers to see and hear about new products, fabric, books, etc. that are coming on the market for their shops. It was the fastest 20 minutes ever! Basically, my book in a nutshell, share the quilts and why shops should be interested in offering it to their customers. No small amount of stress for yours truly, but it went well, the feedback I got afterwards was very positive and it was a great start to a very busy 4 days.

I also did some demo time in the Martingale booth, chatting with shop owners and talking all things quilty. Also, very fun. Much of the rest of the time was spent just getting to walk around and meet and talk to some of the quilting world's most creative and awesome people. I'm such a fan! I tried to not be too much of a crazy quilt groupie - but it was hard! I can honestly say every person I met was friendly beyond belief and a thrill to meet and chat with. I would do it all again just for the chance to meet these wonderfully creative people.

Clockwise from top left: Tula Pink and Tracey, Jo Packham (Where Women Create), Lisa and Bethany from APQ, the Master himself - Kaffe!, Valerie Wells, Katja Marek, Sandy Klop (American Jane), Jackie Kunkel, Laurie Simpson and Polly Minick  (Minick & Simpson), and Kathy Doughty.
Another highlight was the Moda 40th Anniversary dinner on Saturday night. I was a lucky guest of Two Thimbles Quilt Shop (thank you Lee!). I am sorry to report my phone battery was completely dead by that time of night so I have not a single picture of the event, but believe me, it was a treat. More about this in a future post I think. Met some wonderful people there.

I tried to post a bit on Instagram @tonyaalexanderquilts while I was there but it was a challenge. Or, I should say, I was technically challenged! Wi-Fi was not my friend but that's o.k. Inspiration is everywhere you look and it's impossible not to be completely overwhelmed. Here are just a few peeks at things that I loved...

So, a few things I learned while at my first market...
1. Drink water.
2. Inspiration is everywhere and creativity is endless.
3. You can never pay too much for comfortable shoes.
4. Quilters are awesome people (I already knew this but it was happily confirmed!)
5. Drink more water!

In a nutshell, QuiltMarket 2015 was an awesome experience, Texas was lovely (even with the humidity, heat, and passing hurricane :) My special thanks to the crew at my publisher Martingale, Lee at Two Thimbles, my awesome travel partner-in-crime Tracey and to my friends and family who sent me packing with more love and support than my luggage could hold. I really, really hope I get the chance to go again. I would do it in a heartbeat.

Happy quilting,


Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Perfect Setting

We interrupt the Stash Lab frenzy for a moment to bring you...A Perfect Setting...

“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.”
 While I've been caught up in the excitement of Stash Lab finally hitting the store shelves this past week, another beautiful project got it's moment in the sun. This is my project "A Perfect Setting" and it's featured in the current Dec. 2015 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. I'm also super excited to share that it will be hanging in the APQ booth next week at Houston International Quilt Market! The beautiful long-arm quilting on this one was done by Tracey Fisher. Cannot wait to see it again - it's been awhile since I shipped it off into the quilting universe.
“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.”
APQ, December 2015 issue
One of the things I love about quilting and the creative process is how a single geometric shape can lead you to new places. This quilt is made completely with 60-degree equilateral triangles - traditionally known as a "Thousand Pyramids" quilt. Of course, before it looked like the finished project, it looked more like this on my design wall...
Definitely one of those projects that a design wall or surface is a must to help you keep organized in your piecing. This could have absolutely been a great addition to be included in Stash Lab, but this one wasn't under the presser foot until long into the book process. But it certainly follows the Stash Lab equations! Here's a sample of my collection of background fabrics that I used in this quilt...
Selection of background neutrals - a fun focus for a shop hop trip!
Most were collected on a single shop hop trip through Washington and Oregon a couple of summers ago. This is one of my go-to fabric shopping tips: pick a focus and let the hunt begin! I focused specifically on low-volume, light background neutrals. White, cream, beige backgrounds were all fair game. I mix them all the time. The brights in the floating diamonds were all scraps from my stash. A great example of old and new coming together to create something special. Hope you are inspired to dive into your own stash and see what you come up with!

Happy stash quilting,