I see that I completely forgot to tell you about the two quilt shops I visited while I was in Indianapolis (I'm home now, as I type this:). Bad me! I got photos of one but not the other - which IN NO WAY reflects on the quality of the two shops - they are both excellent places to visit.
The first one I managed to find is called Crimson Tate and is the very model of everything that I think a 'modern' oriented quilt shop ought to be! It's only been open a year and the owner, Heather, is out-going, friendly and welcoming ... the shop is filled to the gills with beautiful fabrics and samples ... and they have a sewing lounge where you can take lessons or just work on a project. When I walked in, one of Heather's teachers was working with a young girl (and her mom) who looked to be maybe eight or nine, teaching her to sew. YEAHHH! Teach that next generation! :)
Here are a few quick photos I took (with permission) with my iPhone, standing near the front door:
You can just barely catch a glance of Heather, the owner, on the right in the striped shirt - she's at the cutting area. My apologies for the focus - apparently my hands are starting to shake more than the camera can compensate for. (sigh)
Even the sidewalks outside the front door are quilt-y:
The area of downtown Indy where Crimson Tate is located is being revitalized and there was very good access to the shop with plenty of parking. I highly recommend that you stop there if you are in the region - worth the trip! I spent a pretty penny inside, I can tell you. :)
The other shop I visited is Quilts Plus, on the north side of the city. It's situated in an open mall shopping area and I had been there before. They have a bit more country-to-primitive slant in their merchandise than my store has, but the fabric selection is EXCELLENT and the service is great. I just happened to visit on Saturday during one of their biggest sales of the year and the place was filled with customers. :) Such a fun visit and, again, well worth the trip. I'm not much of a crowd person, though, so the busy-ness discouraged me from spending much there (did get what was on my actual shopping list:).
There is one other shop that I regularly visit in the Indy area - Back Door Quilts. Again, more country than my shop but still a great store. It is located on the far southern side of the county that Indy is in (maybe a half hour drive from downtown?) and, by the time I had been to CT and QP, I was out of 'drive' desire. I generally love to visit the Back Door 'cause they do a lot of lovely wool applique (among other things:) and I always buy some new variegations of hand dyed Valdani perle cotton when I am there. :) Managed to get what I wanted at Quilts Plus this time, so decided not to go south.
By the time I finished with the two shops, it was early afternoon and I went back to put my feet up and actually sew in the hotel (I am re-covering an iPad case that I bought to travel with my iPad - using vintage embroidered table napkins that a friend gave me:). Maybe two hours later (plenty of feet-up time:), my daughter called. We went out to dinner and spent the rest of the day together, just hanging out and talking. I so want to move closer to her and my son-in-law in Wisconsin! I miss her a lot. :)
Was a great day, no question about it!
I have had two glorious days! The first two days I was here, I focused on 'duty' and got my sewing jobs finished. Yesterday I got to spend most of the day with my beloved daughter - refilling my heart, in many ways (see my next post to find out about Indianapolis quilt shops:). :) Today I have managed to refill my soul.
One of the most anxiety-reducing uses for my iPhone is the Maps ap. I am very (extremely!) gifted at getting lost - my daily life is full of disoriented physical wandering as I move around my world. (sigh) I am passionately attached to that little blue radiating map pin that shows me where 'here' is at any given moment on my iPhone's screen. God bless the human team that first proposed GPS technology! :)
I have used Maps extensively on this trip to find my way around the Indianapolis area - both to find places I've wanted to go (like the quilt shops and restaurant yesterday) and to figure out how to recover from missing my turnoffs from the highway into town. Best Christmas gift I ever got, this iPhone ... I hardly use it for a _phone_. :) Calendar, crutch, interface to the Net, library for both entertainment and reference, game machine and all-round keep-me-not-bored, yes!
Today, after I dropped my son off at the Convention center for the last day of gaming, I drove to the White River State Park where, among other things, the Eiteljorg Museum is located. Wonderful place dedicated to the native life of this continent and to 'art of the west'. Right beside the museum is a canal through which the White River flows. In this part of the downtown there is a lovely walkway with gardens, museums, the Indiana state museum as well as the E., the Zoo, etc.
I parked in an underground ramp and took the wrong exit (of course!) so I strolled down the promenade beside the canal (along with a generous number of families walking, biking and paddling duckboats in the lovely weather:) to get to the Eiteljorg.
One of the benches where I stopped to rest was in a sort of prayer circle with a bronze statue in the middle depicting a life sized Chiricahua Apache elder, titled 'Morning Prayer.' I sat there for a while in the shade and made a sketch (in my Sketchbook Project moleskein) of the setting ... and thought about what it means to be a 'native.' There have been times in the past when I thought that only the people whose families have lived on this continent since prehistory could be called 'native' and that the rest of us were interlopers.
But, damn it, at what point do you count as true blue anyway?? My personal ancestors have been residing on this continent for almost 400 years (since 1620 that I know of for sure)!! The ones that weren't actually prehistoric natives, that is (I am a descendant of Pocahontas and the Powhattan natives on my maternal grandmother's side). Making a life for yourself and your own descendants counts, too. Might be the first time in my life I have believed that viscerally. (sad smile).
I wandered into the museum to view a wide gallery full of mid-19th to early 20th century art - including pioneering paintings of native life and the vast geography of mountains and plains of the western part of this continent mixed with the bronzes of Frederick Remington and others depicting cowboys, desperadoes, and natives in various action poses.
Visited the extensive and temptation filled museum shop. Had lunch in the museum cafe and sat on the outdoor terrace overlooking the canal promenade to read the book I bought in the shop about the history of women's costume in the Americas from early 1700's to the present. Glorious, especially with the very pleasant breeze and temperature in the high 70's!! :)
Tomorrow we drive eastward, back to life as usual ... And I am well feeling satisfied with this journey!
Yesterday I set up a nice little sewing corner here in our hotel room - even has a proper iron and board! :). I managed to sew together all eight of the patchwork blocks I want to use for my Stripper's Quilt-Along this fall - in only seven hours! Surprised myself. :)
Here they are (at the risk of boring you:):
As you can see, the strip set I grabbed up to use for these blocks had very little light-to-dark contrast between the fabrics. I think these blocks will end up on a baby quilt for some serene tiny girlie. :) It continues to amaze me how many different blocks you can piece with 2 1/2" wide strips. I know, intellectually, that there are a semi-infinite number of ways to cut up a plane ... but seeing how many blocks 'make sense' still surprises me. :)
Today I tackled the second task I brought along to do while my son and daughter play at the Con. You have probably seen the videos of 'jelly roll race' quilt making - or maybe you've made one. :). I had a design idea about the process and resulting quilt which I wanted to test. I am happy to say that my idea panned out. :)
Here is the 1600" quilt top I made, adding accent pieces between each strip:
Tomorrow I am planning to go quilt shopping - there's a new place in this town to check out! (very kindly shared with me by my friend Barbara B.) :)
What a crazy travel day today has been! What my son, Hugh, and I were _supposed_ to do today was get up to leave before 10 a.m. On our annual trek across the Near MidWest to Indiana. I had hoped to get to the west side of Columbus Ohio before 'bedtime' this evening. '
Course, that would have been easier if I had not drunk a large Dr. Pepper soda at lunch yesterday - the less caffeine I drink, the less I seem to be able to tolerate! :( It was 4 a.m. Last night the last time I looked at my clock. Sigh! So late getting up (9:30 a.m.)
Then, just as we were loading the car, I realized that I had left my daughter's quilt at the store. Major bad! Drive to Catonsville to get the king sized quilt I finished at utter long last (along with a strip set to make sampler blocks with because I was unable to find the TWO Balipop sets I saved for the project - they are in the legendary safe place where many of my treasures probably end up. More sighs!
Oh, and then stop just up the street to drop off the Fall newsletter at the printer's. I think it was 11 a.m. Before our wheels actually rolled onto route 70 going westward.
It has been very s-l-o-w driving today ... One construction back up near Hagerstown ... And TWO major delays for accidents (one for an hour, the next only five miles farther on for an additional 45 minutes). We rarely see accidents on our travels down interstate highways - today we drove into torrential rain with a thunder storm, that was not good for a number of unlucky or maybe unwary drivers. :(
By the time we got out of the second jam, I had enough driving for the day so we dived into the nearest Hampton Inn (Zanesville, OH). WHEW!
A little email reading and it is lights out for me! Tired fer sure tonight. :P
Oh, if you have any interest in preserving the natural world, you might want to take a look at this NGO that is seeking contributions for the Iberian Wolf Sanctuary (I contributed). IndieGoGo is running the campaign. Be sure to watch the video showing a mother wolf playing with her two pups. :)
Sent from my iPad
Deep inside the stand I spotted a praying mantis standing on a grass stem and thought I'd take a photo. Mantises (mantii?:) are hard to spot usually so I felt privileged to see her in such a public venue. :) I hope you can see her, too, disguised as she is inside all the grass. Here's a different photo that might be clearer:
I've been fighting off a chest cold that my lovely husband shared with me. :P Spent all of Sunday afternoon and most of yesterday (Wed., my day off) horizontal. (sigh) So much for getting my bedroom computer area cleaned up. Had that task on my tuit list for I-don't-want-to-tell how many months.
My son is starting to get excited as time for GenCon nears - and I to panic as I will be gone from my store for ten days and have quite a lot of work to finish before i leave. Wish me luck!
I got a delightful (and, again, unexpected) treat in today's mailbox - a pattern by La Todera called Harlequin Star Pillow, won in a giveaway from Craftytammie. This will make a pincushion or pillow - I am eager to try, once I get home. :)
Here is the way my shop journal cover turned out. I'm quite pleased with it ... though the contrast between those orange/red owls and the pink on the front was a bit, um, strong. LOL! I love the way this book feels in my hand as I am writing in it - should have made fabric covers before! :)
I got my round robin block back from the crazy quilt group I've been embroidering for - and I am beyond pleased. I actually had a few tears to shed when I looked over this piece straight out of its envelope! I truly, truly love this work and I cannot wait to finish my little wall hanging - I'm going to border my block with something lovely and hand quilt it (well, I'll tie the block itself and quilt the border), then hang it in my shop for everyone to enjoy. So lovely! :)
Back to school stuff is starting to appear in the local office supply stores here ... and I am a sucker for paper goods. :) I bought a hand full of 'composition' books the last time I was out to get things for the store - now the familiar black & white covered 'essay' books come with fancy colored covers and a choice of three kinds of paper (1/4th inch gridded, wide and narrow ruled).
The one I got for myself is gridded so I can doodle quilt designs when I'm not taking notes and such. One thing I've done ever since I bought my shop is to keep a daily 'business' journal - I just jot whatever happens down in it ... phone calls, questions from customers and staff, things needing to be done, etc. Recently Kathy Shaw had a nice tutorial with pattern on her website for a crazy quilted journal cover and I thought it would be nice to cover my gridded composition journal with one. Anything to keep it from getting lost on my desk! :)
The photo at the top of this post shows how my cover started out. I have some 'yukky' print-on-fabric-with-inkjet fabric and thought I'd use that for the purpose - stabilized, piecing guidelines, etc. :) I embroidered the little floral posey right onto the fabric (and colored in bits with my Copic - alcohol ink - markers). Stupid me, forgot that you are supposed to sew the fabric on the BACK of a foundation. :) Really, how could I forget that? LOL!!
Anyway, I crazy pieced coordinating fabrics on the front of the foundation instead, using Kathy's pattern as a loose guideline (had to make the cover larger for one thing:). I'll show a photo of the finished cover tomorrow - still have to sew the flaps shut. :) I like the colors I used on the front - and dipped into my scrap box to get bits for the back ... decided to add not one but two different OWL prints (to remind me to attempt to be wise:).
Last Saturday I went to Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA with my friends Barbara B. and Patty S. What a great trip! :) Lovely weather, no traffic tie-ups, great quilts, fun shopping. Great day out. :) I haven't been to the show in Hershey for a couple of years so it was fun to go again.
There was an extensive exhibit of Civil War Era antique quilts (enhanced with some very nice CW women's garments and other antiques) - including one I'd like to make a copy of for myself. Photos weren't allowed of the exhibit, so I hope I can retain the idea (didn't have a graph paper along to take notes:).
There was no prohibition against taking photos of the competition quilts, so I thought I'd share some that I particularly liked:
This piece was a close runner-up for me. Heavily thread painted, very realistic and botannical, covered with beads and stitching. I loved this! It isn't easy to portray something as ephemeral and delicate as ruffled petals ... and this quilter did that quite well imho. :)
Not very well focused ... I love the color scheme and the subject matter (I have very fond childhood memories of a flock of guinea fowl that lived up the 'holler' from my grandmother - gosh they are good watch animals and they make a helacious racket when disturbed!).
This quilt showed a heavy influence by Katie Pasquini .... I love the subject matter and the colors (orange/blue are my favorite color complement pair:). Would like to see the original geography some day. :)
Besides going to the show and working on my journal cover, I met with the MetroThreads SIG on Sunday afternoon and learned to make 'people' figures from Cindy W. - will share a photo of my girlie later (forgot to take one and she's at work right now while I am at home) ... am knitting on a shawl for my sister ... and managed to get quite a bit of work done today on my shop's quilt for Quest this fall. Here is a teaser pic of what I am making:
I have been looking at this design for so long (well, since early March) that I have no objectivity left. (sigh) This often happens to me when I have worked on something too hard. :P It still needs borders and to be quilted ... maybe I'll be happier with it when it is 'real'? :)
Tomorrow I have to drive to Hagerstown (about 2 hours away) for a meeting of the shop owners' committee for Quest, then work on the sales floor and sew with a friend and ... life is almost never boring (leaving aside Tuesday - yesterday - which I slept right through).