Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Poinsettia or Christmas Cactus

Have you ever received a quilt magazine and found a pattern that you just can't get off your mind?  You just gotta make it!  That is how I have felt for quite a while about this pattern Poinsettia's Allure by Designer Judy Blok featured in the December 2013 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.   I have been seriously eyeing this pattern for about a year.  I had some of the colors in my stash and I have been collecting the remaining appropriate fabrics.  A good solid red tone on tone and I needed a good cream.  I had some greens in my stash that I thought I could use. I have a floral that is appropriate for the border in my stash as well.  So I set out to make this one yesterday. 

It is a striking red. white and green Poinsettia.  A big 20 inch square block. It is for advanced level quilters.
I like the strong red and green. It is not a pattern design for everyone's taste. No sugar sparkle candy cane colors here.  It makes a bold statement in rich holiday colors.

So here is my first sample block made.   Humm.  It is big!  I don't know about making nine blocks, maybe four is big enough for a sofa size. Hummm.  I am not quite sure about the dark green floral.  But I have three yards of that in my stash so it is in the quilt.  Hummmmm...I cannot seem to get those pointy petals to match for a smooth poinsettia petal.   I don't think I have ever cut that wedge angle and for sure never matched it with a corner triangle like that.

Lots of components for one block....a challenge but fun nevertheless.  Lots of measurements and angles. I am not fastidious with measurements and angles.  But I am at the advanced level, right?  I have 30 years of quilting and sewing on my resume....  

Today, I have done block #2 and I am now well into block #3.  I have ripped out and ripped out those petal seams.  I just cannot get them to match smoothly. I am stumped. I am leaving them alone.  I am now calling my version of this pattern Christmas Cactus's Allure. It works!

I'll keep working on Christmas Cactus this week and update you when I finish....Thanks for stopping by!

I will be joining up with WIP Wednesday link ups with  Freshly Pieced Modern and Esther's Blog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My First Craft Show Adventure

Our party of six took a road trip last week. Our purpose was to visit my husband's family and meet up with the nieces and cousins and let all the grandkids meet each other and play. My personal goal was to participate in my first craft show and sell my handmade quilts, pouches and other stitched items along side my sisters-in-law who were also selling their oil paintings and a book about their dad.  
We started out early in the morning before daylight. 

Our happy driver got us through the big city in the early morning hours. 

We were packed in safely three adults and three children.  Lots of movies, fruit snacks and goldfish crackers.  Chocolate, cookies and cashews for the adults. 

We arrived safely in Jackson, MS for our first stop and visit.  The big bag on top held all my craft inventory for the craft show. Having that bag on top of the car made a buzzing noise for us passengers inside of the car.  Eleven hours in a car that sounded like we were in a bee hive.  You will notice our driver above with head phones.  It was very nerve wracking and none of us could hear each other talk.  Frazzled is a good word to describe it.  

We continued on our journey to Starkville, MS and made another stop and had a great visit with brother-in-law and spouse.  The cousins and their kids that we came to see were sick with a stomach bug so sadly we never had the meet up we had planned.  

On to Vardaman, MS and the 42nd Annual Vardaman Sweet Potato Festival.  Vardaman is a small town in north Mississippi.  It has grown in popularity over the years and has become known as the Sweet Potato Capital of the World.  

We got a tour of the town the day before the festival.  These old tractors are a huge hit with my four year old grandson.

I was told there is sometimes 20,000 people in town for the Festival.  So I was prepared for my first craft show.  I made all kinds of bibs and burps. 

Zip Pouches.

And more zip pouches in university colors.

 I made garden aprons and vendor aprons. 

These really darling deer head pillows.

 My daughter made her crotchet tractors.  In green, red, pink, blue and orange!

My husband and I made this cute sign for my booth and for my two sisters-in-law that were also selling their book and oil paintings

I was prepared with card reader for charge sales....I had done my research and we were really as prepared as I knew how to be for a first time seller.

Here I am in my new TakeMeThereTotes t-shirt.  Large letters so shoppers would see when they walked by our booth. 

Still dry.

Lots of great things.  If I may say so about my things!  I was excited and proud of all I had made for this event!

Oil Paintings in the next booth.

The forecast was rain, rain, rain.  And that rain was to be followed by a cold front.  The weather man got it right.  And we were again prepared for the wet weather.  Plastic draped over the tables. 

But it just kept on raining.  Not very many of the vendors were selling their goods.  They had worked so hard for this event.

What we weren't prepared for was the lack of crowds.  Few shoppers. I sold three items. THREE Items! I passed out business cards for my Etsy store. There was no 20,000 people.  More brave people did come out later in the day but no bus loads.  Some of my things stayed dry because they were in plastic bags.  Some were damp and some were down right soggy. We packed up the booth early.  Then we packed our suitcases in the car and started for home a day early.  We did this because I had to get home to wash and make sure to dry all my quilts.  We did not put that bag back on top of the car.  We did tie the bag on the back but when we were on the road in Louisiana a nice trucker said our bag was flying by a strap in the breeze.  We decided to load that bag in the car along with all of its wet contents.   

I am happy to say all quilts are dry and most all of the items are just fine. There were only a few Christmas mug mat items with red dye in the fabric that were damaged.  All flannel rag quilts were washed and are in great shape. I feel really lucky to have my things survive the weather.  With time, we will forget what a pain that bag was and how we were crammed inside with wet bags of fabric items.  

All in all it was great fun to see the kinfolks.  All in all the craft show was fun in spite of the the rain and cold.  It was a learning lesson in craft show set up and display.  I am not discouraged. I will try again,  maybe at an inside venue.  It is probably too late in the year to book another show. I know my party of six will go on another big adventure with their crazy mother and mother in law.  If anything, we learned how to pack and unpack the car with many overnight stops along the way.  

And we got the T-shirt!

And boy was this Snack-A-Saurus glad to get out of his car seat!

Thanks for reading today!