Tuesday, August 9, 2016

On the state of the quilt nation.....

There is much happening lately in the quilt world. Changes of all sorts are coming or already here. It seems that every time we turn around we hear about shops closing, or magazines folding, or shows getting cancelled. I wish I could say that San Diego was the exception, but in the last decade we have seen the closing of half a dozen shops, and major changes in the guilds and their structures. When I moved to San Diego in 2005 there were 19 shops within 90 minutes of my front door, there are now 8. We lost CWAP (Camp WatchAPatcher) a few years ago, and we have seen a decline in attendance and participation in guild shows.

Many talk about the aging of the industry, and the lack of sewing in school, or the cost to make a quilt, and others talk about the e-commerce aspects, and realistically, those are all factors, but there are many others. There's the modern "era" and its need for cheap and cheerful (myself often included), and lack of understanding of the art component. Or the lack of connection to the "old-fashioned"....there's a million aspects to the issue, and a million different "solutions", but just as the problem is multi-faceted, so must be the solution. The Modern Quilt movement can't fix it, the combining of guilds can't fix it, the reality is fixing it isn't really possible, the industry is changing just as the world is changing.

I want to be confident that the industry is just in a lull, and will rebound as it did after the Centennial. I want to be excited about the future, but these "sudden" changes haven't really been sudden.....they seem to be compounding over time, we lost a shop to retirement, and one to a move, another to a business partnership that went sour. So many different reasons and so many different circumstances that ultimately have the same outcome.

So, what now??? What should we do, and can we save the art of quilting??? individually, maybe not, and maybe so. Saving the industry can not be done individually, yet it must be done by individuals. If we want to save the industry, we have to get involved. We have to be official and unofficial spokesmen and spokeswomen. We have to be advocates for our craft, we have to be teachers, and educators, and participants. We have to get involved, we have to attend, we have to participate. We have to share our craft and our art. We have to introduce new people to our craft and find crossovers that inspire us. We have to be advocates for our craft. We can't depend upon designers, or fabric companies to do it for us, we have to make it happen. So, that is the challenge for the next 12 months....to be a better advocate....a better participant, a better educator, a better celebrator of my craft, or my sometime obsession. That's my challenge to each of you.....be involved and have fun!!!! And then whatever happens in the industry, we have done our best.

Are you up for it???

Monday, August 1, 2016

Weekly Update August 1- August 7

Can it really be August already?? It seems insane that the summer is almost over......This week, I have some big things to finish up.....

1. Vintage Compass - just needs some final curved piecing on the border, and it is ready to go.

2. Dogwood placemats - are all done, I just need to make backs so that I can drop them off to the quilter on Monday night.

3. Teaching -- this week will see my at Annie's Star guild in Chico CA, followed by a weekend at Cotton and Chocolate in Thousand Oaks.

and that is my busy week.....

You can find daily information regarding these projects by following me on instagram @queeniequilts.

Happy sewing and see you next week.....

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer Fun

It's been crazy around here this past couple of weeks. My Mom and brother were just here for a week. They had a great time going to the beach and LegoLand, and checking out a few of San Diego's best attractions. We played cards every night, to hours that are just too late for a girl who has to go to work the next day. It was so much fun to have them here, and I was sad to see them go. But school starts on Monday, and the kids needed a little re-entry time after vacation, so they left last Saturday for their return to Memphis. I'll see them again later this year, since I am going home for Christmas. It'll be my first time home for Christmas since college, which seems ridiculous. In fact, I was convinced it was wrong, but I was corrected by everyone in the family!!!

There are still a few weeks of summer left here in CA before the kids go back to school, so Disneyland, Sea World, and Universal are packed full of people. I'm still waiting for things to slow down, so that I can make my visit to Universal. Summer goals, you know! So, in the meantime, I'm just working on a bunch of projects, both knitting, quilting, and organizing.

This week's fun was all about teaching : I'm in San Mateo this weekend teaching Fire Island Hosta. Next week, it's at Annie Star Quilt Guild in Chico on Thursday and Friday, followed by Cotton and Chocolate in Thousand Oaks on Saturday and Sunday. So, crazy schedule this week and next.

And there is always the summer fun of sewing. I've managed to get a bunch of little things done....bindings on a bunch of things, some new placemats, and almost finished with Vintage Compass, I'm excited to get out of summer and back to cooler temperatures, where sewing is much more enjoyable (and much less hot).

Well, that's it for summer fun around here....it's back to the grind on Monday, as we start getting ready for fall market....

Monday, June 27, 2016

Make a List Monday - June 27 - July 3

Well, it's been a crazy couple of weeks, with super hot weather and crazy deadlines and getting ready for my family's impending visit. Yep, the whole family. I haven't seen my brother in 3+ years, and he hasn't been to CA since July of 2006, so essentially 10 years. Burt is coming out with Angie and Jackson and I am super excited to see them!!! We've been working on planning for the trip, and I was informed by Jackson that he doesn't really care about Disneyland, he just wants to go to the beach. Which is SACRILEGE. complete sacrilege.

I have a million things to do and zero time to do them. Seems to be the story of life lately. Patterns to write, pictures to take, class samples to make, blog posts to write, offices to clean, stashes to sort, bindings to make and sew on, and Gilmore Girls episodes to binge watch. But for this week, I can't get all of it done, so I am just going to focus on a few....

1. Vintage Compass -- I got some of the new fabrics from Hoffman, and I have "a plan". Which means I need to get to the sewing machine.

2. Get back to #anhouradaykeepsthecrazyaway. I'm really a much better person when I have sewn every week. And with a crazy schedule, it's even more essential to spend some time on mental health, so sewing I will be doing.

3. Teaching -- I am spending the holiday weekend teaching in Thousand Oaks at Cotton and Chocolate

So, that is the extent of the plan for the week. What are you working on???

Sunday, June 26, 2016

What's Happening Folks?

Watching - Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix. Still. Seriously, I have spent most of this weekend in front of the TV catching up on old episodes. I'm finally almost on the final season. I didn't remember that there were SO many episodes, or how crazy some of them were, but I am feeling almost ready for the Gilmore re-entry on Netflix sometime this fall. Right this minute they are deciding on a new town troubadour. And Loralei has accepted that the June 3rd wedding will not be happening. And the girl from 24 is interviewing as troubadour. Weird to see stars that are now bonafide, in their initial rolls. (P.S. Luke and Loralei just broke up!!! WTF!!! how did I miss this part????

Craving - ice cream. It has been very warm here lately and ice cream is the reason we have hot weather!

Doing - lots of nothing this weekend. Seriously my goal for the weekend was to stay in my PJs all weekend (okay, 3 pairs of clean PJs, but PJs none the less.

Obsessing - over Brexit, and what it might mean. I think I'm just so shocked about it. And I know it will be a while before anything really happens, but it's a bit scary with all of the unknowns. 

Loving - Judy's new patterns -- I've got at least a dozen versions in my head for the Vintage Rose. The pattern won't be available until early next year, and I can't wait!!!

Reading - Harry Potter -- always Harry Potter lately. I'm in book 4, getting ready to enter the maze.

Wanting - to go shopping for yarn, and attempting to control myself.

Pinning - lots and lots of organization ideas...and then a few extra organization pins.

Dreaming - about traveling. I haven't been on a trip for fun in such a long time, I'm dreaming about Italy and Switzerland lately.

Writing - proposals, lots of proposals

Crafting - nothing. the sewice (sewing+office) is a disaster, so very little crafting has been done.

Sewing - I've been working on a couple of projects lately -- Vintage Compass and Prickly Pear specifically. More on that later this week.

Knitting - I don't know that I have done any knitting since I last wrote....much to much going on.

Listening - to Ted Talks. Obsessed with them lately.

Wearing - pajamas. 

Needing - to get off the couch and get to work, but I can't get motivated to do it.

Planning - a dozen projects --- Vintage Rose (x12), Prismatic Star #4, Vintage Compass #3, 4, 5, and 6, Fractured Paint Box, 22 Clouds in Countess Ablaze, a hammock, etc, etc, etc.

Trying - nothing. I have tried nothing lately. sad.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Make a List Monday - June 20-24

Well, it's Father's Day here in America, and it's blazing hot in San Diego. Seriously, it was over 100* today, and that is just insane!!! It was a little too hot to do the things I had on my plan for the weekend. So instead, I went on a little shop hop with a friend on Saturday, and parked myself on the couch under the ceiling fan, knitting and relaxing. It was just too hot for having lights or irons on, or doing laundry, or anything else that required moving. I seriously think Penny had the best plan, laying on the tile doing nothing but nap!!!

This week is a busy week at work, with new people joining the team, and a day off for teaching it is bound to be crazy. But I have found myself super inspired lately, and have done quite a few projects in the last few weeks, so I plan to keep that going, getting tons of things done and off the list. I finished my Spurs/Log Cabin Cutouts, and dropped it off at the quilter.....

I got several backs made, and dropped a stack of quilts off at the quilter.

And I managed to get a really strong start on my Prickly Pear Center units.....so yah me!!!

We also got to see Judy's new Technique of the Month....and it is AMAZING!!! I don't get to go to retreat until September to work on it, so I have MONTHS to color and recolor and recolor and recolor again....We only got a sneak peak at a couple of color ways, and they are all equally fantastic, and incredibly different.....

So, if you don't see or hear from me for a while, know that I am just drooling, and planning. And if you are really worried, just stop by...but bring colored pencils and diet coke, just in case it is catching!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Make A List Monday - Back on Track

So, I'm starting to feel a little less overwhelmed. Not totally out of the pre-market madness, but recovered a bit. I actually managed to sew quite a bit this past week....

1. I got the binding sewn onto my Fire Island Hosta...

I also got the binding on a gift project, but the recipient hasn't received it yet, so I'll forgo a pic here, since I know she reads to blog, and it's a surprise.

2. I finished the piecing on my Pepperdish this evening, which means the picture is atrocious, but it's the only pic before she heads to the longarmer tomorrow, so beggars can't be choosers.

This week's plan is short and sweet...Alaina and Dan make the final move to Seattle on Thursday morning, so most of my non working hours will be spent at various dinners, goodbye parties, and late nights talking on the couch....it's bound to be one of those happy-sad weeks...excited and happy for new adventures, but sad to see them go. As a result, I'm not making any big sewing plans...if I end up with time to spare, great! If not, I don't want to feel guilty or behind! 

Do you have sewing plans this week?