Tag Archives: PIQF

Retreat – Day One

So retreat lite at my guild is not a full retreat.  It’s three days of dedicated sewing at a local hotel.  If we want to, we can get a room there and make it a full retreat.  But you can also just stay home and drive to and from each time.  Unlike last time, I opted to stay home.  What resulted was that for Day One I didn’t get as much sewing done.  Between having to deal with work stuff and having to come home and do family stuff, it was a day of interruption and driving around.  While I was there, though, I had a great time.

I did manage to finish Hampton Ridge Block 3 and I’ll take a picture and post it later.  And I finished Step 1 of Missing Ivy.  I thought when I finished sewing and cutting the half square triangles (HST) I was done and when I was cutting for Step 2 realized that I didn’t trim down my first set of HSTs.  So I had to stop and trim down 72 HSTs to 3-1/2″.  It was not fun.  By the time I was done it was about 11pm and I was ready to go home.  But I wanted to be done with cutting for Step 2 so I could just sew today.  I did, I cut more 3-1/2″ squares of various fabrics and tomorrow I’ll be sewing them together to make more HSTs.  I used my BlocLoc ruler for the first time.  I purchased it at PIQF for an insane amount of money.  I think it’s the 6″ one and at the time I was debating if I should get the set.  I can’t remember the cost of it but it was insane so I chose to get just 1 and figured I could do smaller squares if I wanted to.  I LOVE the ruler!  Absolutely!  The only thing is that I should have gotten the set instead of just the one.  I hated having to move the HST around and the ruler to get it to the right measurement.  I’m putting the sets of the rulers in my wish list and hope that someone will put it under the Christmas Tree for me. 🙂

By the end of the evening I was able to cut all the fabric I need for Step 2 and today I’m ready to sew.

Happy Quilting!


Stash Report – 10/20/13

PIQF ends today but I’m so tired I am not going.  Instead I’m running errands to get ready for the next week.  My son has a school project due tomorrow!  Why teachers assign projects on Friday with a due date of Monday is beyond me!  It’s a great way to ruin a mom’s weekend.  Oh well, a momma’s gotta do what a momma’s gotta do.  Hubby will be taking the girl to cheer practice so they’ll be gone most of the day not returning until later in the afternoon.  Anyway, I came away from PIQF significantly lighter in the pocketbook but I didn’t buy much fabric (yay!).  I’ll put a post at some point with everything I did purchase but in terms of fabric I only purchased 3.5 yards of a pretty corduroy fabric.  That’s it!  I did buy my corduroy quilt kit and I bought a wool wall hanging kit but I’m not sure how to add the fabric for that.  So I’m not going to.  That would seriously confuse me if I try.

Stash count: **I started counting 5/23/13…

Used this week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 27.5 yards
Added this Weeks: 3.5 yards
Added Year to Date: 152.25 yards
Net Added for 2013: 124.75 yards

see more stash reports at Patchwork Times.

Yesterday’s class was a big disappointment.  If you missed my post yesterday I did a quick run through on all my classes.  Yesterday’s class was Fab Feathers Messenger Bag.  It was really not worth the $65 class fee + $25 materials fee.  I took the class because I wanted to have some supervised practice making bags and how to put on a zipper (on a bag).  I also didn’t mind playing with a Bernina 780. 🙂 I didn’t mind that it was basically a sales pitch for Bernina.  I understand what it means to sponsor something and to wanting to sell your product with that sponsorship.  What was irritating was that the materials kits were not completed in advance.  At a $25 fee I expected a better presentation than being handed the materials as the instructor went over each step.  At every single piece of fabric – she didn’t have enough fabric cut out.  She kept having to cut more of any given piece.  Which took away from class time.  And she kept missing people whenever she handed them out.  And since she did that people kept going up to retrieve the piece they didn’t get and inadvertently get the wrong piece.  It was distracting and disorganized.  Don’t get me wrong, the instructor is a nice lady and she was fun and entertaining.  But we didn’t get the bag done and I believe it was because of the materials issue among other things (like only having one binder to use).  By the end I was rushing to finish one of the steps and in rushing I messed it up.  And the mess up isn’t something I can easily fix.  I’m going to finagle it to work without having to redo it but It’s really irritating that I have to do that.  The instructions were not printed as she didn’t have time to make copies.  She’s going to email it to us today. So that class was a big disappointment and now I’ve got a UFO of a bag in pieces.  I’m not sure I know how to complete it but I’m hoping I do.  For right now, I’m putting it away in a plastic bin because I do not want to see it anymore.

Loving the embroidery machine!

Loving the embroidery machine!

On a better note – I loved playing on the 780!  I’ve never played with an embroidery machine before and I loved all the little gizmos and gadgets the machine has.  If I was looking for a machine right now I would have totally jumped on the bandwagon.  As it is, my little Bernina 330 is a little over a year old.  I’m using it a lot though so I think I can justify getting a new machine next PIQF.  At $8,000 (which was the sticker price at the show) I’m not sure I will be able to swing that but a girl can always dream. 🙂

And my favorite class at PIQF was Jean Brown’s Hawaiian Quilt Making.

Jean Brown's last class before retirement.

Jean Brown’s last class before retirement.

Hawaiian Quilt Making Before applique

Hawaiian Quilt Making
Before applique

I bought a bunch of stuff in her class to help with hand quilting so apparently I’m going to continue to hand quilt after I’m done with my current hand quilt project.  I also went to the vendor booth with all the Hawaiian quilt stuff and bought all the pattern books they had!  I may have gone overboard but at $6.95 per book (with 12 -15 patterns) I thought it was a steal!  There were only 5 books so it wasn’t a big deal.  However I did add to my list of things I want to do! 🙂

Wish I was quilting!



It’s almost over!

Today is the last day of my workshops at PIQF.  I have been enjoying myself so much.  But with every class comes another UFO or set of things I want to remember to do.  🙁  I’ve got some pictures on Instagram so  be sure to follow me  – thousandneedles – to see what I was able to take pictures of.

On Wednesday night I attended the pre-show and got the lay of the land.  I looked at all the show quilts and got inspired, laughed, and was in awe at how beautiful or creative many were.  I actually met some guild-mates and joined them.  Another perk of being in a guild!  — running into quilters I know at the show and being able to have lunch with them and shop and check out the quilts.  I didn’t buy anything this first night.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted.  I came into the show with the intention to spend money but with some guidelines –

Guideline #1 – NO MORE KITS!  I have tons (not just a ton but tons) of kits that I intend to complete.  The one exception I had to this was a corduroy quilt.  I saw one at the Long Beach show but by the time I saw it, I had already hit my budget for the show and could not get the corduroy quilt kit.  At home months later when my quilting budget cleared up, I tried to find it online but I couldn’t remember the shop it was from (and I couldn’t find the card that I took from the booth.)

Guideline #2 – NO FABRIC!  It’s nice having a stash but I want to focus on buying fabric specific to a project.  I plan to keep a stash on hand for those small projects I jump into to learn something or practice something but for the most part I’ll only buy fabric for specific projects. (At least, I’ll try.  I can’t seem to help myself with grab bags!!!)

So with those two things I’m limited to tools and books and whatever else I can find.  Although once PIQF got started on Thursday I’ve just been too busy to shop!  As I said in a previous post, I signed up for a ton of classes to concentrate learning techniques rather than going shopping.  I signed up for 4 classes and a lecture.

Thursday – First Class – Sue Nickel’s Machine Quilting Essentials

Bernina provided machines for the class and I got to play with a Bernina 710.  I absolutely loved it.  If my own Bernina 330 wasn’t just a little over a year old I would seriously consider plunking down a huge chunk of change for this baby or even the 750.  My hubby always tells me that I’m such an easy sell! 🙂    But that has nothing to do with the class.  Sue was awesome!  By the end of the class I was quilting feathers on a practice sampler and while the first few were somewhat wobbly, I was getting better and better.  The next step is to start practice free motion quilting on my Bernina.  I’m going to make a few practice sandwiches and practice every week with a different design.  Of all my classes, I liked this class because I learned a technique and didn’t add another UFO to my ever-growing UFO list.  Just another to do item. 🙂

Thursday evening – Second Class – Jean Brown’s Hawaiian Quilt Making

This was my favorite quilting class at PIQF.  I signed up for the class because I like the look of Hawaiian Quilts and wanted to learn the technique.  However I wasn’t super excited about taking the class.  It was Jean’s last class as she is retiring now.  So I’m really happy I signed up and took this class.  I was thinking of taking it next year or some other time but decided to just do it now.  Thank goodness, I bit the bullet and took the class now.  Jean basically hand applique’s the entire thing and then hand quilts it.  I do not know if it can be machine appliqued and/or machine quilted.  I’m sure it could be done but I’m more experienced with hand applique and I’m almost done with my current hand quilt so I may just end up adding a Hawaiian quilt to hand quilt in front of the TV.  Jean has a tool that she calls Aunt Becky that she uses and makes the most perfect stitches.  I’m hoping that once I get the hang of it it will increase my hand quilting speed.

Friday – Third Class – Linda Ballard’s Dancing with the Stars

This is the class I had a hard time getting my fabric together last week. This is what I started with –

The dark is in the middle somewhat and is primarily a chocolate brown with light blue.  The complementary is above that and is primarily light blue with a chocolate brown motif.  Then my mediums are the various purples arranged around.  The ones that are cut are ready and I have two more I need to iron and cut.  Those are more dark than I wanted but will have to suffice.  I need one more purple and I hope I can find more in my stash.


I added 1 more purple strip and I went with plain white for the light.

Linda's finished Dancinc with the Stars.  It's kind of hard to see the detail but you can see the overall circle affect.

Linda’s finished Dancing with the Stars. It’s kind of hard to see the detail but you can see the overall circle affect.

I was able to make 2 of the stars and 1 one of the snow balls.

Dancing with the Stars  Block A

Dancing with the Stars
Block A

Dancing With the Stars 2-Block A and Snowball

Dancing With the Stars
2-Block A and Snowball

So now I have another UFO! 🙂

The great thing about taking classes with teachers who have been doing it for years is that they have so many tricks to share.  I learned a great cutting trick to speed up the cutting process as well as a trick to sewing 4 patches and a few others.  The tricks were the best thing I learned in this class.  I can pretty much figure out how to make the quilt if I really wanted to just by looking at it and breaking it down.  I think a lot of quilters can after a few quilts under their belts.  However the tricks she teaches is really what the class is about and worth paying for! I’m not going to tell you the tricks because you should take her class!  It’s worth it!  However I got tired in this class much earlier than the Thursday classes.  On Thursday I was up at 4am to get some work stuff done and then headed over to my first class beginning at 9am.  The Hawaiian quilt making class didn’t end until 9pm so by the time I got home unpacked and readied my stuff for Friday it was probably 11pm by the time I got to bed.  So by late afternoon in Linda’s class – I was pooped out!  And I still had a lecture to attend with Sue Nickels.  Well – I was really tired and didn’t think I would make it.  Plus I wanted to spend some time shopping.  I shopped a little on Thursday between Sue and Jean’s classes but I felt rushed and there were a TON of people.  So while I got stuff, I didn’t get everything I wanted.  So I gave away my ticket to Sue Nickels’ lecture and went shopping!  I bought a lot of stuff and I’ll post about everything I bought later.  But the highlight of my evening was that I FOUND my corduroy quilt kit!  It was the same shop and I’ve even been in the shop.  I can’t remember it exactly but it’s in Southern CA and part of the annual quilt run I participated in last year (2012).  I’ll post pictures another time.  It’s still dark here (6:15am PST) so I can’t take a picture of it now… 🙂  Do you know where I can buy good corduroy fabric?  These are really pretty and bright so while it is corduroy, it’s not dark and heavy as the corduroy I remember.

I’ve got one more class today at 9am – Kellie Rushing’s Fab Feathers Messenger Bag.  Materials are in class for a fee and we will play with Bernina’s 780!  I plan on checking out the vendors one last time before I leave and that’s it for me!  The show continues on until tomorrow but unless I’m not able to get something today that I absolutely want I do not plan on going back.  I really do not know what more I want to get but – you never know!  I’ll walk through it one or two times and something may catch my fancy.  🙂

– happy to be at the show!


What’s going on? It’s Saturday already?

I find myself this morning with a little time to actually update ya’ll on what I’ve been up to this week.  Wednesday passed me by before I realized that I forgot to do my WIP Wednesday post.  So, here’s an update on what I’ve been able to accomplish with my Get It Done list for this month –

  • First Quilt – October goal: Hand quilt border #2 and #3.
Border #2 is done and I’m working on Border #3.  I try to work on this one daily doing one string at a time while I watch TV with the kids or hang out with the hubby.  Lately I have been too tired and not in the mood to pick this up and quilt it.  I know it is going to take longer than the month of October to finish this border because it is bigger than the previous two borders and I plan to quilt it more than the other two.  That may be why I haven’t been as diligent to pick this up every day.  I want to try swirls but the other two borders are pretty much straight hand quilting and I’m afraid it might look weird if I start doing swirls at the very end.  What do you think?  Should I just do it?  
  • Easy Street – October goal: Get the backing done and baste it
I’m working on the backing now.  I’m actually half way done with it.  I pulled all the leftover fabric that I had and pieced them together.  I’m not sure I have enough though and I am going to try to finish the backing this weekend. 
Block #9 is done!  I finished it yesterday after work.  I want to start on the next block and have already pulled it out of that pile.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to get any of this started but my daily task includes hand applique and without this I will not have any hand applique to do. 
Block 9 - Done Raining Cats and Dogs

Block 9 – Done
Raining Cats and Dogs

LInking up with Quilt Story to share.

I haven’t touched this one at all.  I haven’t pulled fabric or even looked at the instructions.  I think this one will wait for a little while. 
  • Secret Project #1 – FINISH THE TOP, QUILT AND BIND!
I have two more borders (the top and the bottom) and that finishes the top.  I’ve got to get the backing pieced together.  Since this top involved two jelly rolls and I had a couple of coordinating charm packs, I basically am piecing all my leftover fabric together.  I’ve got a bunch of the rows completed for the back and once the top is really done I can size up the back so that I’ve got enough fabric pieced together.  I want to get both the top and back done this weekend.  


Pacific International Quilt Festival is coming up.  It starts Wednesday night and ends Sunday.  As I’ve posted previously, I’ve signed up for a few classes and I’ve been prepping the materials and supplies for each class.  I have only one class left to prepare for and I’ll be doing that this weekend. I wasn’t planning on going shopping but I was told that I HAVE TO GO shopping at this show. 🙂  So I cleared out my credit cards and saved some and I plan on checking out what is there.  I was told to check out the wool booths and to be sure to purchase LIGHTs.  Apparently while there are local shops I can purchase wool from here, it is difficult to find the light variations.  I was also told to get the thread/yarn necessary to applique wool from here as the selection and the price at the show is better than anywhere else.  I was given some more guidelines that I wrote down somewhere so I hope to be able to get some good stuff.  I’m so happy to have met really helpful ladies in my guild who can give me such insight!  I went to the Long Beach quilt show for a couple of years but didn’t have this kind of help so I pretty much just bought kits that caught my fancy.  While that is okay – I think I’m growing as a quilter.  I’m becoming more interested in the different tools that are showcased and how I can use them to help me with my quilting.  This is exciting for me and I’ll try to document this as much as possible!

PIQF XXII – Santa Clara, CA

Yesterday, I received in the mail confirmation of my registration at the PIQF  coming up in October in Santa Clara, CA.  I am super uber excited because it happens to fall on my birthday weekend.  And I’m taking time off to take a few classes.  I’ve never taken classes at a show.  I’ve always wanted to but usually I find out about the show too late to register for classes.  This time around I heard about this show through my guild and I went online to see if there were any classes I wanted to take and found quite a few!  When I picked the classes that I wanted to take I picked as many as I could fit in the schedule.  I didn’t realize that I could pick one or two classes and just attend the one or two.  Well, I ended up registering for 4 workshops and 1 lecture.  It’s okay though because each of the workshops sound like techniques I want to learn and are worth taking.  We’ll see after the show.  🙂  Funny thing is that if I had known I would have only registered for the one class I wanted and at the time I registered it was FULL and CLOSED!  I was very disappointed.  The class is Machine Quilting Essentials taught by Sue Nickels.  I decided that I was still going to put the class as my #1 choice and see what happens.  Of course I had a second and third choice lined up but I really wanted that class.  Well I registered and received an email saying that the class was full and if I’d like to be on the waiting list.  I said yes!  I was put into my 2nd choice.  Then a week or so later I received another email saying that a spot opened up and being that I was #1 on the wait list, I can go into the class if I still wanted to!  Of course!  That is the class I wanted in the first place!  So now it’s official!  Here’s my workshop schedule for the show and if you’re planning on attending also, comment or email me so we can meet up!

Workshop Schedule

Machine Quilting Essentials by Sue Nickels

Hawaiian Quilt Making by Jean Brown

Dancing with the Stars by Linda Ballard

Fab Feathers Messenger Bag by Kellie Rushing

My goal for the show (unlike the Long Beach Show) is to take the workshops, check out the quilts, and buy VERY little!  I got my buying frenzy out of my system at Long Beach.  I am looking for a corduroy quilt, though.  I saw a cute one in Long Beach but by then I’d already met my budget for the show and couldn’t buy another one even though I really wanted to!  So if I see a corduroy quilt here I will buy that one!

So now I’ve got to prep for the classes and make sure I’ve got all the supplies I will need to bring! If you have taken any of these classes before or have any advice for me please comment and let me know!

Wish I was quilting!