Monday, June 29, 2015

Quilt Market Recap-Expo Hall

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

Today we're sharing our last recap post from the 2015 Spring Quilt Market. Previously we talked about Schoolhouse and Sample Spree, and today we're finishing it up with the Expo Hall.

Linda Chaney and Laura Chaney Prairie Sewn Studios


Since we were at Quilt Market with the AQS Publishing booth we had special exhibitor name badges that got us into the expo hall when it was still being set up. I'd never been inside of an expo hall during set up before, so it was really fun to see how the different booths came together. Some of the booths had amazingly elaborate set-ups, where some were more much more simple.

The big fabric collections had booths that not only displayed their new fabric collections but also allowed space for their sales representatives to sell directly to the store owners. I see this kind of set up each year for the international education conference I go to for my day job, but this type of a expo hall was a new experience for Mom.

2015 Spring Quilt Market Expo Hall



Once the expo hall was officially open, Mom and I carefully made our way through each and every aisle. Similar to Sample Spree, much of the Expo Hall was geared towards shop owners and helping them find new notions and fabrics for the coming season. We didn't let that stop us from getting some ideas of our own, and finding some fun new things to experiment with in our designing.

2015 Spring Quilt Market Zirkel Magnet
Zirkel Magnet

2015 Spring Quilt Market Fabric Elements Fabric Editions
Fabric Elements from Fabric Editions. 

Even though we aren't shop owners everyone in the expo hall was nice to us and more than willing to tell us about their fabric collections, supplies or patterns. It was also lots of fun to meet some of the amazing quilters that I follow online, including the woman who has opened up free motion quilting on a domestic machine to thousands of quilters, Leah Day.

2015 Spring Quilt Market Leah Day
Leah Day


Of course, the most exciting part of our time in the expo hall was doing two author demos for Contain It! English Paper-Pieced Style Accessories at the AQS Publishing booth.


As designers with book through a traditional publisher it's sometimes hard to know how well our patterns are being received by shop owners and their customers. So it was really exciting when a shop owner came to the booth and said she was there specifically to see us, and buy the book for her shop! Showing our English Paper-Piecing technique to experienced shop owners and quilters and seeing their enthusiasm was one of the most rewarding parts of this whole publishing process for us. 



We hope you've enjoyed hearing a little bit about our experiences at our very first Quilt Market. We learned so much about the industry side of quilting and crafting, and had a great time getting to meet other designers, shop owners, and manufacturers alike!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Crafty Comment Karma and A Poll About Basting

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

Happy Friday! I'm kinda getting a kick out of these weekly polls (and from the comments it seems that at least a few of you are, too), so I'm going to keep rolling with them for a while.

Last week we asked, "When you purchase quilting fabric, do you prefer the school cut or tear the fabric?"



I was actually a bit surprised by the responses here, or at least in all of them being the same! I've heard the theory that tearing the fabric gets a straighter edge since it automatically follows the grain of the fabric, but I'm not convinced that's true. Mom prefers cutting the fabric, and I guess she instilled that upon me since I also prefer cutting the fabric.

How do you baste your quilts?


Safety pins

Basting stitches

Spray basting

Other
Please Specify:
Poll Maker


And now, onto the link-up!






Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Work in Progress Wednesday-#42 Walk in the Park Mystery Quilt Continued

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

The Mystery Quilt saga continues as I finish Part II and start Part III. Last week I posted about I and II where I selected my fabrics, cut the pieces and started assembling the first blocks.

Walk in the Park Mystery Quilt



Completed blocks are on the design wall.  It takes a bit longer to sew some of these blocks since there are quite a few seams to align carefully.

Walk in the Park Mystery Quilt

My best friends have become the Clover ultra fine pins that distort the fabric very little as I try to align intersections for sewing. Part IV will be published in the next issue of Quiltmaker (September/October 2015).  Yes, I will be ready to complete the assembly to see the final design!

Love linking up? Be sure to join us each Friday for our Crafty Comment Karma link-up. Join in and check out the festiveness here

Crafty Comment Karma Prairie Sewn Studios


Linking up with Freshly Pieced and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Quilt Market Recap-Sample Spree

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

In our first detailed Quilt Market recap post we talked about our experience at Schoolhouse; today we're going to talk about the event we went to that same evening called Sample Spree.

Sample Spree is one of the events that we'd heard was a "must do" at Quilt Market, but we weren't really sure what it was or what to expect. Taking the advice of several other attendees who'd been to Sample Spree before we joined the crowds and lined up early, about two hours before they opened the doors!



Although the wait was long (and not very comfortable standing on the tiled floor), it was also a great time to chat with other people attending the show. Most of the people in line were shop owners, and it was fun to hear about how their day at Schoolhouse had been and what they were looking forward to during the remaining days of Market. It was also fun as some exhibitors walked up and down the lines passing out fliers, samples and even truffles!

Right when the doors opened the crowds surged forward and into the room where the vendors were set up in rows. Each vendor had a table (or tables for some of the bigger vendors such as Moda) where they were selling items at wholesale prices.



Many of the things for were brand new fabric collections that hadn't shipped yet. Shop owners were purchasing these upcoming fabric lines so that they could make samples for their stores ahead of time and thus be ready when the fabric shipped. Thus the name "Sample" Spree.



As Mom and I aren't shop owners, we went in with the simple agenda to just have fun and enjoy the experience. And we might have picked up a few things, too!


Embroidery has been on my list of new needlework techniques to learn, so I was super excited to pick up this cute little elephant, as well as the sampler below to practice on! Both of these were from Penguin and Fish. Now to just find the time to work on them! 


Sample Spree was lots of fun, and we were happy to got to have the experience. I can see how getting these new fabric collections ahead of time could be really helpful for store owners to get a jump start on sewing up samples ahead of the fabric arriving, but there were also lots of fun non-fabric items to that were just plain fun. It was fun to be a part of the quilting industry during an event like this, instead of just consumers in the quilting world.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Crafty Comment Karma-Fabric cutting poll

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

Hi everyone, and happy Friday! Thanks so much to everyone who participated in our little poll last week! Here are the results that came in. In the "other" category was bag making, Kumihimo, painting and counted cross stitch.


Poll Results: What kinds of crafting do you do? 
Quilting
11

Garmet sewing
6

Sewing for the home
6

Knitting/Crocheting
3

Other
3

paint
1

Scrapbooking
1

counted cross stitch
1

Bag making, Kumihimo
1

Card making
1

Tatting/Lacemaking
0

Given that so many of our readers are quilters, I thought I'd ask a fabric question this week!


When you purchase quilting fabric, do you prefer that the store tear or cut the fabric?

Tear/Rip
Cut
I don't care, so long as I get my fabric!
Poll Maker



And now onto the link-up!











Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Work in Progress Wednesday-#41: Walk in the Park Mystery Quilt

Written by Linda Chaney, mother

I've been a busy little bee in my sewing room lately! This week I'm sharing a Work in Progress that's a mystery quilt from Quiltmaker called "A Walk In the Park." This quilt is designed by Debbie Caffrey.

Here are the fabrics I'm using in this mystery quilt. I pulled them all from my stash!

Walk in the Park Mystery Quilt


I'm currently sewing part two and will start part three next. Part four is yet to be published.

Walk in the Park Mystery Quilt


Here's what the completed block looks like. I love gardening, so I'm really enjoying the floral look to this block!

Walk in the Park Mystery Quilt


Love linking up? Be sure to join us each Friday for our Crafty Comment Karma link-up. Join in and check out the festiveness here
Crafty Comment Karma Prairie Sewn Studios


Linking up with Freshly Pieced and Sew Fresh Quilts.

.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Crafty Comment Karma-A Crafting Poll

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

Happy Friday! It's been a busy week for me here in San Francisco. Summer might be our (slightly) slower time at work, but it also means we dive into projects that we've been "saving for later" all year.

This week I thought it might be fun to do a poll before everyone links up to Crafty Comment Karma. I'd love to know what kinds of crafting the readers of the Prairie Sewn Studios blog like to do, and see if I can start tailoring our content a little better. Use the poll below to mark any kinds of crafting, quilting or sewing that you do (you can mark more than one and even write in your own answer!).

Be sure to link-up your crafting, sewing and quilting blog posts after you've taken the poll, and check out the links others have left, too.


What kinds of crafting do you do?

Quilting
Sewing for the home
Garmet sewing
Knitting/Crocheting
Scrapbooking
Card making
Tatting/Lacemaking
Other
Please Specify:
Poll Maker


Crafty Comment Karma Prairie Sewn Studios


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Work in Progress-#40 Grandmother's Flower Garden

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

Nothing too exciting has been happening in my sewing room this week, just a little more progress on the flower blocks for my ongoing Grandmother's Flower Garden project.

The first one has colors that are a little bit of a stretch for me, incorporating some greys and browns instead of my usual bright colors. I do rather enjoy the purple leopard print hexagon!

English Paper Piecing Grandmother's Flower Garden


This second one reminds me of a book I remember reading as a child, about a group of children who go off to have a picnic in a meadow. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I found the book on Amazon! It's called Once Upon a Time in the Meadow by Rose Selarose.


I only vaguely remember the story, but it definitely involved children picking strawberries in a meadow. Isn't it strange how things in our lives today can bring back childhood memories?

English Paper Piecing Grandmother's Flower Garden

Two more blocks added this week, bringing my total GFG blocks in 2015 to 19! At some point I should mess around with the layout I have in mind to figure out how many blocks I really need, but for now I'll just keep stitching!

English Paper Piecing Grandmother's Flower Garden

Love linking up? Be sure to join us each Friday for our Crafty Comment Karma link-up. Join in and check out the festiveness here
Crafty Comment Karma Prairie Sewn Studios




Monday, June 8, 2015

Quilt Market Recap-Schoolhouse

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

We're running a little bit slow with our full Quilt Market recap posts, although we did post a little bit about our first day at Schoolhouse. The weeks after Market have been a bit of a whirlwind. I came back to San Francisco after spending a few more days in Omaha helping my parents, was back at work for two days, had two days at home for the weekend and then took the red-eye to Boston for my day job. I'm back for a while now, and hoping to get lots of crafting, quilting and writing about our adventures during the next two months!

We're going to post three more in-depth posts about Quilt Market: Schoolhouse, Sample Spree and the Expo Hall/Networking.

Schoolhouse is the day long program where quilt shop owners can come see new products, techniques and publications in the quilting industry. In order to present at Schoolhouse you have to have a booth at the expo hall, apply for Schoolhouse, and pay the application fee. If your application is accepted you are assigned a 15 or 30 minute time slot (depending on which you applied for). The schedule for Schoolhouse isn't released until the opening session at Schoolhouse itself where the session information packets are handed out.



We presented under the auspices of our publisher, The American Quilter's Society and presented our book Contain It! English Paper-Pieced Style Accessories. As you might imagine, we were super nervous about presenting at Schoolhouse; I think Mom might have had an actual nightmare that no one came to our session and we were presenting to an empty room!



Luckily, that didn't happen and we had attendees at our 15 minute session. The session was EXACTLY 15 minutes long, with just five minutes between sessions to allow the attendees to switch rooms as the next presenters rushed in to set up their own presentation. We came up with a presentation based off of the demonstrations we've done at the AQS Paducah Shows. We made up an outline and ran through the presentation a few times to make sure we had the timing right and wouldn't run over our allotted time.


One new thing we did was to make up little packets to give to our attendees. Our packets had three components:

  1. Information about Prairie Sewn Studios, including our website, contact info, times we would be at the AQS Publishing Booth in the Expo Hall and our handle on Social Media (@PrairieSewn). 
  2. A simple flow-chart of the container making process. This helps people to get an idea of how the containers go together since it isn't necessarily obvious when you're first working with this technique. 
  3. Samples of the three stabilizers we recommend (Peltex, Timtex and Buckram). Each one was labeled, and the Peltex also had a piece of fabric basted on two sides with 1/4" fusible tape using the technique in Contain It! 



At the end of our 15 minutes we were very happy with how it went, although also certainly relieved it was over and not hanging over our heads for the rest of Market. 


I think the attendees liked having the samples and the container flow chart. People, especially people who work in crafting or quilting, like to touch things with their hands. It's one thing to hear about the three stabilizers, but an entirely different thing to feel the differences between Buckram and Timtex and think about how it might change the design of a project and how their customers might respond. 

For that same reason, I think they liked that we had samples to pass around the room. We'd made up some extra partially completed cubes so that attendees could try flipping the container inside out. This can be the part of the process that people find the most intimidating, so it was helpful to allow them the chance to try it for themselves. 

One thing that we didn't think about going in (and a lesson learned for next time), was to make sure that we remember we're talking to owners and buyers for "small" quilt stores, the Local Quilt Stores (LQS) that tend to carry supplies specifically for quilters. We needed to be more cognizant that these small business owners are up against the big box stores and cater to that fact a little more. 

We're hoping that this information is helpful to someone preparing for a Quilt Market of their own and an interesting peek into the industry for our readers who might not have the chance to go to this industry trade show. 

Have questions about Quilt Market? Ask away in the comments!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Crafty Comment Karma-The Sweetest Thing

Written by Laura Chaney, daughter

When I was off in Boston last week for my day job, the sweetest thing happened and Prairie Sewn Studios was nominated for A Lovely Blog award by the wonderful Lara of BuzzinBumble.



This is one of those fun viral awards that helps connect our online crafting and quilting community by helping all our readers get to know us by sharing seven things about ourselves and also by connecting people with new and different blogs! I love this because that's exactly one of my goals with Prairie Sewn Studios and the Crafty Comment Karma Link-Ups.

I'm going to answer my seven questions and hand out some Lovely Blog Awards of my own next week, but in the meantime PLEASE link up below and make some new friends. Don't forget to also pop over to BuzzinBumble to see Lara's beautiful work!

And now onto the link-up!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Work in Progress Wednesday-#39 Chip in Grey

Written by Linda Chaney, Mother

When Laura was home a few weeks ago working on her Chip wall-hanging the design caught my eye. I made a copy of the pattern for myself (the pattern includes written permission to do this) and spent some time down in my stash figuring out what might work well.

I went with a more monotone color scheme of greys, blacks and whites.


Of course, I'm never content making a pattern exactly as it is written so I had to change it up a little bit just to make it my own. Here's how I have it right now up on my design wall.



Love linking up? Be sure to join us each Friday for our Crafty Comment Karma link-up. Join in and check out the festiveness here! Linking up with Freshly Pieced and Sew Fresh Quilts!

Do you usually follow a pattern exactly, or do you make changes?