Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Cruise

After spending three days at the Houston International Quilt Festival, we boarded buses and headed to Port Galveston!
Our ship was Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas.  After a fairly seamless check in progress, we were on board!

I chose the far bed, so I could be closer to the balcony.  Which was great as my cabin mate Kathy preferred to be closer to the bathroom!

What's a cruise without the cabin steward dressing up the cabin with a little towel art!

Our first two days were at sea.  As this was a quilting cruise, you know we spent time fondling fabric and thread.  A special Thanks to the Bobbin Boys at Citrus Sew and Vac who provided the Janome 8900 machines and expert help in keeping us sewing!

My first class was with Kim Diehl.  I have always wanted to do wool applique.  This little cutie was the perfect project!  I got everything done except for the outer border while on the cruise!

Next class was with Pam Holland.  Pam is a fantastic fiber artist, combining applique with shading with pigment pens.  I added some thread painting when I quilted this to add some interest.

Next day was class with Bonnie Hunter!  The seas were pretty rough this day, but we all took it in stride.  Any mistakes were blamed on the ship!  As I had just taken a class with Bonnie, I used my leftover strips from my version of "My Blue Heaven" to make my Texas Tumbleweed.

I didn't want another large quilt in my queue to be quilted.  Our local quilt guild is making lap quilts for one of our local nursing homes, so I decided to make it that size.  The binding just needs to be stitched down, and it is ready to bring warmth and cheer to a resident!

Next class was with Catherine Redford.  She provided us with a kit that included a preprinted panel that shows our Caribbean cruise.  She had it printed up through Spoonflower.  Also in the kit were some yummy hand dyed perle cotton.  We learned several hand embroidery stitches.  She encouraged to add little souvenirs from the cruise.  I added enamel pins with flags of Texas, Mexico, Honduras, and Belize.  One of my dinner table mates gave us each a worry doll.  I added some cool buttons I found back home.  Very fun!

In the evening we had open sewing time.  And we also had the opportunity for some small "make and take" projects.  This one was a small pouch to help us be more comfortable with free motion quilting.  The ever fabulous Dana Lynch taught this class.

This project was taught by Carol Moellers.  She showed us how to weave fabric to make a new background fabric.  I did free motion raw edge applique around the hibiscus flowers, then added the yellow stamens, and some gold beading in the centers.  I added the black borders, then stapled it to a 16x20" canvas.  Not all projects need batting and binding!

This blog is getting too long.  Stay tuned for the non quilt happenings!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2014 Houston Trip

Today the weather here in the lower Midwest is turning more winterlike with a Polar Vortex heading our way.  But I am still basking in the glow of my recent trip to Houston and cruise to the western Caribbean!  I have so much to tell, that I will do a series of blogs to get all the information in (and to extend the warm memories!)

First leg of the trip started in Houston for the 40th Houston Quilt Show!  I shared a room at the Hilton with my new friend, Jan Ruiz!  This was her first show, and she was like a kid in a candy store!  We got along famously, and enjoyed the show!

I am not good at taking selfies, but I wanted to get the convention center in the picture with me!

This was the Ruby Celebration of 40 years, so red and white quilts were celebrated!  This awesome display was front and center of the quilt exhibition!  I was in love!

This is a small aerial view of the vendor floor!  With over 1000 vendors, it is easy to get overwhelmed!

I did show great restraint.  But this sweet bundle of yellow batik fabric had to come home with me!  This will be perfect for Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusions mystery quilt!

The best things about going to the quilt shows is meeting up with friends.  The internet and Facebook are great for making far flung friends; the big quilt shows are great venues for meeting up with them and getting hugs!

Before leaving Houston, I attended mass at the Annunciation Church, which is a 10 minute walk from the hotel.  It sits in the shadow of Minute Maid Stadium.  It is a beautiful church with beautiful stained glass and statuary!