Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Pics from Chautauqua

This is a picture of my friend Cathy putting together kits for my OH CHRISTMAS TREE quilt (that isn't in this picture, unfortunately). In the background, you can see CARTWHEELING CLAUS, GINGERBREAD BOY, NIGHT JEWELS (which was in the controversial issue of Quilter's Home) AND IN THE MEADOW, BUBBLE BATH, THIS LITTLE PIGGIE and NOVA. I have a few more pictures that I will post later of the hall we were in and some of the other vendor's booths. I also got some pictures of some of the houses in Chautauqua Institution. Unfortuately, it was a little gloomy that day, but I think you can still get an idea of what a beautiful place it really is. Just to give you an idea of the scale of the hotel that I posted a picture of recently, if you click on the picture and enlarge it, look carefully on the right hand side near the tree trunk, and you will see my friend Darla. And, no, she's not a "little person".

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Fun Than Work

This is the Anthanaeum Hotel at Chautauqua Institution. I practically had to stand in the lake to get the whole thing in the picture! It is an amazing place on its own, but when it is filled with quilters and quilt shop vendors, it is a dream come true (for a quilter, anyway). If I could find my brochure, I would tell you how many vendors there were, but I haven't completely unpacked my car yet. It was a rainy and chilly weekend on Lake Chautauqua. Perfect for a quilt show, if you ask me. That is, if your vendor space isn't outside, like mine was 2 years ago. We were lucky that year though, since the only thing we had to deal with was the wind coming off the lake blowing my business cards away. This year and last year my booth was in Bellinger Hall, which you could reach via the shuttle from the hotel in about 5 minutes. I've already reserved the same spot for next year, since my "neighbors" and I have such a great time hanging out all weekend. Sunday mornings are usually a little slow until the lecture is over, so this year, we had a little party in our corner. I brought a cake and shared it with the vendors and some of the lucky customers who happened to be in the right place at the right time! If it wasn't so much work to get ready for a show, and someone could promise that they'd all be as fun as this one, I would do this every weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Favorite Patterns

This is it, the last day to get anything done for Chautauqua. I have a couple more things to print and fold, but I will have to wait until I hook up with my friends in New York before I can put them in pattern bags, 'cause guess what I forgot to order! Normally, I have only my own designs in my booth, but with all the teaching I do for the local sewing machine dealer, I have found a few patterns from other designers that I really like. One of them in particular, is for a purse called The Smart Handbag. You make the entire bag and then you make covers for it that are secured with hook and loop tape. I just finished a Steeler cover for the one I carry and I'm really excited about using it. There are so many wonderful fabrics out there, that you could have a different cover for every holiday, hobby, sports team, you name it, its out there. If you're going to Chautauqua, stop at my booth and see my samples.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quilting Around Chautauqua

I still need to do a lot before I head to Chautauqua Institution on Friday, but I am SO looking forward to the weekend, I don't mind doing it. I plan to drop off my children at school at 8:00 and leave from there, so I should be there by 11:30 am, at the latest. I am hoping that will give me time to walk the grounds and take lots of pictures this time before the event really gets rolling. It is such an amazing place, that everyone who has the opportunity, should visit at least once. During the summer, if you want to come inside just to look around, there is an admission fee, but in the off-season, it is free. The "cottages" there are mostly Victorian in style and not what I would consider a cottage. The hotel that sits at the side of the lake has a huge front porch filled with rocking chairs and I would love the opportunity to occupy one of those rocking chairs for just a little while! They have big name performers all summer long and lots of educational programs, too, but even if you don't get the chance to attend one of those events, it is still worth the visit. Nancy Zieman is the featured speaker this year, so attendance to the quilting event should be high. I wish I had some digital pictures to post, but the last time I had the time to take pictures, I didn't own a digital camera. This time, I will make sure I have my camera and extra batteries and should have some wonderful images to show you!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nature's Jewelers

I took this picture on the last day of the Quilting Around Chautauqua event in 2007. It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and my friend and I were treating ourselves to breakfast before heading to the show. This railing led up to the porch of the restaurant that looked out over Chautauqua Lake. I took the picture intending to make a spider web quilt and wanted to use crystals for the dew drops. If you click on the picture, you will be able to see more detail. Right now, it is just one more thing on my to-do list.
Maybe this photo will inspire someone else to give it a try. If you make the attempt, I would love to see your efforts! And I intend to take a lot of pictures of Chautauqua Institution this time, so you can see what an amazing place it truly is!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chautauqua Bound!

In a couple of weeks,, make that about 11 days, I will be heading to Chautauqua Institution for a wonderful event called Quilting Around Chautauqua. I look forward to this every year since the event began. I think this is the fourth year and it gets better each time. This will be my third time vending and although I am shy by nature, I LOVE getting to spend a weekend with other people who are as excited by quilts and fabric as I am. It is like a reunion of sorts, since I get to see people I haven't seen since last year. People that I met when I was a fabric rep for a short time and people that have taken classes with me, or attended one of my trunk shows in the past. It really is like a party. If you haven't been before, but have the chance to go, GO! Make sure you stop by my booth and say "hi".

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another First!

Turning what you love to do into a profitable business, isn't easy. It is a long, and sometimes difficult task, and at times, you consider giving up. But each time you have something happen for the first time, it is so rewarding and exciting, it makes all the hard work worthwhile. While looking around on the web yesterday, I happened to check out the Clotilde website and found my design, BUBBLE BATH, in their virtual catalog. Now, this wasn't a complete surprise, as I had been emailing with them for a few months about this very thing, but to finally SEE it, was amazing! But this is only the beginning. I know its there, but now I need other people to know its there. I tried really hard to post a picture of the actual page of the catalog here, but in truth, I am not that good with the computer, so the best I can do is give you a link: and tell you to go to the Virtual Catalog. From there, my design is on page 71, bottom, right-hand corner. I would love to know what you think about it!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Not quilty, but important all the same!

Rather than embarrass my stepmother-in-law and cause another family feud, I will let go of my frustration here. My SMIL is constantly forwarding emails to me and expecting me to blindly send them on to my email list without checking them out first. The one I just received claims that Target has banned the Salvation Army from soliciting in front of their stores for some ridiculous reasons. Although it is true they no longer allow the Salvation Army to set up their kettles in front of their stores, it is not for the reasons mentioned in the email. They actually have a very good reason and have come up with other ways to support the Salvation Army's causes. People think if they see "Snopes verified" at the end of the email subject line, it MUST be true. In this day and age, it is so fast and easy to check things out, please, please, take the time to verify the information you receive before passing it on. Jumping off the soapbox now and hoping SMIL doesn't read my blog!

WARNING: Do not call me before 10:00am

Very rarely do I ever sleep past 7:00am. Most mornings, I am up before my alarm goes off. But just because I am up, doesn't mean I'm UP. I would NEVER call anyone before 10:00am especially on a weekend or holiday, unless it was an emergency. That being said, my phone rang this morning at 8:33am and, let me tell you, it was no emergency. One of my students called me to ask me how to find an embroidery design on a website I showed her in between classes on Saturday. She claimed she search this website for hours and couldn't find the design I had found for her. I found it for her in about 30 seconds and she let me get on with my morning routine: 2 cups of coffee, answering emails and enjoying a few moments to myself before the other early riser in my house, my 8 year old son, joins me. I really don't mind helping people and I often go out of my way for my students, but if you want to talk to me before I am really awake, don't expect me to be my usual helpful and friendly self. You also might find yourself mentioned in my blog...Regina!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Quilters Corner and Quilt Sampler!

Well, its official, I picked up my copy of Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Sampler yesterday and my local quilt shop is there in all its glory! Quilters Corner is on page 86 and I have to say the pictures don't do it justice. It is such an amazing place to walk into and the people are so wonderful. When I started quilting, I used to go at least once a week. It is about a half hour drive from my home, so it was the perfect length of time to get my infant son to fall asleep. I would take him out of his car seat when we arrived, (because he would wake up if it wasn't moving), and Carson would sleep the entire time I shopped lying on my shoulder. It made it difficult to carry bolts to the cutting table, but Mary Beth and her staff were always so helpful. My daughter Caitlin, 3 at the time, loved to pick out fabric for herself, carry it to the cutting table and ask for a fat quarter. I choose to go to the quilt shop without her most of the time now because I can't afford to take her with me! I think I've created a monster. They have watched my children grow up and I hope to be able to shop there for their wedding quilts someday. If you are ever in the area, it is well worth the trip.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Nothing like a deadline to spur me on. The self-imposed ones are easy to ignore, but if you've got a pattern for sale on someone else's website, it better be ready! This pattern has been "just this side" of ready for months, but I finally put the finishing touches on yesterday. It is called Checkered Repast, and it is a table runner. I have been teaching it for about 4 months locally, so I was able to find any problems with my directions from my students. I haven't added it to my website yet, but it is available if anyone is interested. And I will be putting kits together for it using Hoffman 1895 Watercolor fabric. Contact me for the price and any other info you'd like.

I love my students, (most of the time), but some of them can be really challenging. I have been teaching this wonderful purse pattern, by another designer, for about 8 months now. I have made the purse myself about 4 times, so I have been able to work out any potential "bugs" along the way and have given these tips to my students. When someone is interested in signing up for this class, the very first thing I tell them is that it is a very "involved" project. During our third and final class, this very sweet lady said to me, "If I had known how involved this project was, I wouldn't have signed up for it." I assured her that I know I would have explained that to her before she signed up for the class and she told me, "I know, but I probably wasn't paying attention." Does anyone know of an IQ test or an ADD test for quilters?