Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Shopping at Quilt Festival

I have mixed feelings toward the Quilt Market at the International Quilt Festival here in Chicago. For one thing, I had expectations that it would be bigger (guess the Houston Show years ago, spoiled me). This one is much smaller. I covered it twice in one day.

There were few books on display. None of the publishing companies were there. All the major sewing machines were represented as well as several thread manufacturers. I noticed that felt embroidery kits were a big item and Valdani threads are the ones of choice for use in these kits.

I did buy a few things! Have a look.

Variegated Batiks 

Perfect to shred for grass in landscapes!

Hand dyed wool

Sampler kit of Wonderfil Threads

Hand Dyed Pearl Cottons

Oliver Twists Embellishment Threads / Yarns

Monday, March 30, 2015

Little Beans Cafe

I'm spending the day at Little Beans Café in Chicago. It's a wonderful place to bring preschool children. It has free WiFi (which I'm using to write this). There are comfortable seating / tables for grownups and splendid food. I'm surrounded by little kids running all over the place.

Every city should have such spaces!

Tomorrow I will share some of my purchases from Quilt Festival.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's a sunny but cold day here in Chicago. Brrrr! However, whatever the weather, anytime is good for looking at quilted pieces. Here are a few more photos from the International Quilt Festival. If I was using my home computer and editing software, I would be grouping the photos into categories. But that is time consuming on a small tablet.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

International Quilt Festival, Chicago

Today was Day One of the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. Having been to the one in Houston, Texas in 2001, I was expecting the same size of a show. This show, however, is considerably smaller with a lot less vendors. Having said that, I did purchase a few items today. More on that later.

I will also be posting more photos from the show when I return back home. It is easier to edit on my desktop computer.

Here's a sample of photos from the show:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Knitting Project

This winter, I have been knitting a sweater for my granddaughter. It was supposed to be for Christmas but with attending the different Christmas Craft Fairs, it had to be put aside. Well, it is finally finished! I will give it to her today. Yes, I'm in Chicago! And, attending the International Quilt Show. More about that later.

The wool is Bentley by Cascade Yarns. I opted to do a one button closure with a loop instead of the recommended zipper. The pattern is from Pick the Pieces by Lorna Miser.

Pick the Pieces

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Apparently Spring has arrived! You wouldn't know it by looking outside my window. So to Celebrate the arrival of SPRING, here are some colourful projects to view:
I can't wait for all this snow to go so we can actually enjoy spring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Linky Tuesday

I decided to sign up to participate in this week's Linky Tuesday over on Freemotion by the River. This is similar to the Canadian WIP Wednesday Link-up @ Needle & Thread Network. Linky Tuesday is open to any quilter anywhere. There is a chance to win a giveaway for every one who participates. Have fun checking out the various blogs!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Newfoundland Labrador Trade Show

The set-up for the Newfoundland Labrador Trade Show was yesterday. I have a new table top display that is light weigh, foldable, and easy to store (no bulk), There are also plans to do a fold-up set of shelves to use in place of one of the panels. This will give me other options for displaying art pieces. So between Princess Auto, Home Depot and Fabricville, we got everything that was needed. And finished just in time!

Today was a busy one with lots of buyers at the show. This year, we were permitted to do Cash & Carry. I opted to do this and it worked quite well. I was pleased with the day.

Have a look!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Practice Makes Perfect?

I've started to do some experiments with different stitches. It's sort of a sampler of stitches using various weights of threads. My intention is not to have a 'pretty' piece when the cloth is all stitched but a practise piece that I can reference when needed. I have a length of fabric that I've hooped. When the hoop is filled, I'll just move it down to the next clear space. It's not pretty but it works for me!  Some stitchers have been recording on fabric sheets that they bind together into a book. Others do line samplers. Mine will just get rolled when this length is filled out!

I'm using the book by Judith Baker Montano, Free-Form Embroidery as a guide. This is Judith's third book in her stitch dictionary series. Sixty traditional stitches are featured along with her watercolour illustrations, which shows the reader how to distort the stitch into organic shapes. The final chapter covers “Thinking Like a Painter” and features some of her land/seascapes and underwater projects. 

Personally, I like this book.

For online reference I usually default to Mary Corbet's Needle'n Thread web site. Have you looked at her Stitch Fun Index. "Stitch Fun is a series of articles featuring step-by-step photo tutorials that explore various hand embroidery stitches and the fun things you can do with them."  However, Tips & Techniques is another section to explore.

This is the 'pretty' stitch sampler that I did for a hand embroidery program a number of years ago. There are over 50 different stitches in this piece. Wool was used on linen. I was a bit of a challenge but I'm pleased with the result!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Sewing Kit

Several of my stitching friends have made themselves Sewing Wallets. I've been looking at theirs for ages and finally got around to making one. Of course, I had to do something different (which is another story)! Things don't always turn out the way they should and I ended up doing some extra fiddling around to get it right. Reminder: read pattern over several times and think it through before proceeding !!! My friends will laugh at that, as I took apart another project last week (which I now have finished - again).

I still have to add a needle nest on the inside cover as well as a magnet for holding sewing needles when working. A decorative button might be put on the front. I haven't decided on that yet. There are three pockets on the inside. 

Here's the easiest one ever. It's an idea from Sew Many Ways. I think I'm going to get some of these and turn them into sewing kits. OR make one from scratch! You have to visit Sew Many Ways to see what I'm talking about.

Don't forget to check out the previous post, Meet & Greet Stitchers Around The World.  A list of participants can be found HERE.

Before embellishments

embellished piece

Size when closed: 7" x 10"

Pockets piped with red. yellow & blue (the blue one is hard to see)

back of sewing wallet

Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet and Greet Stitchers From Around the World

Greetings, stitchers! Thank you to Madame Samm from Sew we Stitch, for hosting this hop.

For those of you visiting for the first time, welcome to my part of the world. My name is Judy Cooper. I am a retired primary school teacher who now creates one-of-a-kind textile / fibre art. My complete bio can be found HERE and my artist statement HERE.

Besides having a place to show my original art and some of the techniques I use, I often write about other artist's work and link to their web sites. One of the other things I like to do is find tutorials and patterns for all kinds of textile / fibre art (usually freebies). Since 2009, I have blogged about a lot of interesting 'stuff". Please come back, grab a cup of something and explore my blog. I guarantee, you won't be disappointed! Check out my Garden Sewing Box, Structures and fish.

I am also hosting a giveaway and I will post anywhere in the world! You don't have to be a follower to participate. Just leave a comment on this post. Make sure I can contact you if you win.

Enjoy the blog hop. A list of participants can be found HERE.

Back Yard, combination of applique, hand embroidery and machine stitching

Theodora, hand stitched on silk with single strands of silk threads

Hand embroidery on linen

Combination of applique, hand embroidery and free motion machine stitching

Needlepoint Sampler

Thursday, March 19, 2015

International Quilting Weekend - The Quilt Show

In honor of International Quilting Weekend, March 20-22, 2015, The Quilt Show (www.thequiltshow.com), the web TV show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, will open all of its shows from the first nine series-- shows 100-1513 --for the entire weekend. 

This means that, for three special days, everyone will have the chance to view over 200 shows, featuring some of the quilting world’s leading artists, for FREE.

Link to the TQS website landing page:

Enjoy next weekend!

Here I am with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims last summer at Ricky's 3 day seminar in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ricky is going to be in St. John's, NL next month, courtesy of Piecemakers Quilt Shop and Bernina. Check Piecemakers for more information.