Monthly Archives: September 2015

NorthWest Quilting Expo 2015

Columbia FiberArts Guild booth at NorthWest Quilting Expo 2015

Columbia FiberArts Guild booth at NorthWest Quilting Expo 2015

Last week I sat a shift at the Columbia FiberArts Guild booth at the NorthWest Quilting Expo. It was tricked out pretty nice! This is a pic of Sara – we were sharing a shift. 2 hours went by at a gallop – we talked non-stop.

Quite a few people approached us, signed up for emails, took business cards etc. I think many were grabbed by the artwork and wearables we displayed.

The best part of volunteering for booth sitting is all the people you get to meet. As if you couldn’t tell you were at a quilt show! Here’s a general sweeping statement: we are all of an age and some of us tend to wear what I call ‘quilty’ clothes. My husband, lugubriously calls us the ‘blue jumper crowd’. Not quite sure why but I think it probably tells me something….?

Knitting and Stitching Show 2015

Knitting and Stitching Show 2015

Knitting and Stitching Show 2015

Walkaway Dress from Butterick

Walkaway Dress from Butterick

I was sent a reminder about the 2015 Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in London, England. One of the events is the Butterick Walkaway Tea Celebration. The ‘Walkaway Dress’ pattern was featured on the The Great British Sewing Bee and thousands of sewers created their own version of the Butterick classic.

The email reminded me of all the years I made my own clothes. My first serious sewing machine was an Elna which I left behind with a friend when I moved to the West Indies and started living abroad. I missed my Elna and bought another no-name machine while in Antigua. I say ‘no name’ because I can’t for the life of me remember what it was!

Everyone on the island was a skilled seamstress and pattern maker. We couldn’t afford to buy clothes as they were all imported at vast expense. And you could fit only so much into a suitcase when you traveled to the States.

I made all my clothes – even my own swimsuits.

When I married and moved to the States, we bought a Pfaff. My husband wondered if we couldn’t have bought a car with the money we spent on my machine!

I stopped making my own clothes. The machine didn’t languish – I began making quilts.

I bought a second sewing machine – a Juki with a big throat, which I could use on a large quilting frame.

My mother gave me 2 family Singer sewing machines. One of which I remember using when a child. It was kept on a table in the attic and I have no memory of what I stitched – but something! The oldest machine belonged to my great grandmother and the other to my paternal grandmother.

So I am part of a great tradition. No, not the ladies who sew. But the ladies who have far too many sewing machines in their home……!

If you are in England next month then take yourself to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in London. You’ll enjoy it.

Liberty of London

Liberty of London

For those of us who suffer from a fabric fascination, Liberty of London is probably a very bad place to visit when in the UK!

It’s an amazing store to walk around as it is a mock Tudor-style building constructed in 1924 from the timbers of two ships. Inside there are what seem to be hundreds of little rooms around 3 wells. It’s difficult not to get completely lost in wonder at each area. I nearly always have to buy something when I visit. Usually a small collection of their beautiful Tana Lawn cotton which is very fine. Of course, I still have each piece, in its bag, never opened. This is a problem quilters have……

The original Liberty was founded in 1875 in Regent Street. The iconic property on Great Marlborough Street was built to enable trading to continue while renovations were in progress at the Regent Street store.

When you go, make sure you use their loos. Quite an experience!