Road to California: Tips and Tricks for a Quilt Show

I've gone to a lot of Quilt shows in my life - never enough shows - but a lot of them.  I love everything about them except for maybe how my feet feel afterwards! (more on that later!)

I went to this years Road to California Quilt show in Ontario, California.  It was pretty great.   The weather even cooperated.  You may be thinking the weather is always nice in Southern California, but this year we have  been getting a ton of rain! A third of the show is now held outside in a large tent because the show has become so large.  

I don't know about you, but I always prep for a large show and if you've never been to one I hope these tips will help you become a Pro!

The most important tip I have is wear comfortable shoes!!  Trust me, you will thank me later!

Next, empty out your purse!  You aren't going to want to lug around a 10 pound purse and then 20 pounds of newly purchased fabric!  I use a light smallish cross-body bag for adventures like these.  

I also carry a lightweight medium to large handmade bag to put all my newly acquired must haves in.  (Plus you're helping  the planet by not getting a plastic bag for every purchase.  They add up quickly!)

Purchase your tickets ahead of time from your local quilt store. By doing this, you don't have to wait in line at the show and your supporting your local store.  They won't be around if we don't!  Place your ticket in the bag along with some water because you're going to be talking to a lot of folks!

Be sure you know the address and show hours. Make a list of items you need or are on the lookout for.  Get a good night sleep if you can.  Like a child on Christmas Eve I'm normally super wired thinking about all the new interesting goodies I'm going to find! 

This year I wanted to show support for a wonderful sewing podcast that I love, so I was rocking my Modern Sewcity shirt!  I love this podcast, it's like having friends who are passionate about sewing sitting around with you, plus I get so inspired by all the guests. 

Enough about you want to see some of these beautiful Quilts that were on display?  I do!  Beautiful Quilts are hung in the entry way, to greet you and build on your excitement about what's to come!

Lots of Mini Quilts - they look like a painting!

Isn't this Melissa from Pink Polka Dot Chair a new line?  I think it is!  Wonderland by Riley Blake! I'm a big fan of Melissa's blog and her patterns are wonderful! 

It's very sweet.

I have this pattern. I love these fabric choices..I'm inspired!

Awe, how can you not love this?  I love it! My Mom made me a Raggedy Ann doll as a young child.  This just pulls at my heart strings. 

Ghastlies, just cuz. I love them!

I really don't have the words for this one..maybe amazingly creative?  And I love that it's just the back half and the bottom is do I dare say...catiwampus!  Had to do it!

These just look like paintings!

How is this possible?

This might need to be my new screen saver.  For the record this is an Eagles face.  I called it another type of bird, but no kids, it's an eagle!

Drum Roll Please!!

Best of Show!

My two favorite booths this year were By Annie and Fiberworks.  By Annie has some great patterns for bags along with all the hardware needed and Annie's very own Stabilizer, I should add her to our earlier blog about all the different kinds! 

Fireworks makes these amazing paper piecing patterns, they had very fun fabrics but be warned these patterns are not cheap nor for the faint of heart!  That said I purchased this house patten and it could be my most prized new goodie from the show!

Let me know your tips and tricks to having a fun day or two at a Quilt Show!

Here is a link to the Show's website: Road 2 CA Quilt Show website.  Scroll to the bottom for a handy Frequently Asked Questions section about do's and don't's at the Show!  

Not your Granny's Classic Coin Purse - or maybe it is!

I found this little cutie Coin Purse pattern at QuiltCon 2015.  I had to have them!  They didn't have any extra hardware in the booth, so I bought two patterns (that included the hardware) just to make sure I'd at least be covered for two. Since then, I've bought eight more, but this time I just ordered the hardware, as it's much more cost effective this way!  The patterns are made by Zakka Workshop.  You may find the meaning of Zakka interesting:

Zakka (from the Japanese 'kak-ka in de zak-ka'(閣下 雑貨)or 'many things') is a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan throughout Asia. The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance. It is often based on household items from the West that are regarded as kitsch in their countries of origin, but it can also be Japanese goods, mainly from the fifties, sixties, and seventies.

I don't know about you, but there is just something that pulls on my heart string with a ball clasp.  I think it reminds me of my step Grandmother Evelyn.  She was a wonderful Grandmother, and so classic.  Her pink lipstick was always perfect, along with her solid grey hair.  I remember she always had scarfs, just incase one of us crazy kids (manually) rolled the window down. Those scarfs would show up outta no where, and she'd tied her hair down with a little bow under her little ole chin.  She was soft and wrinkly and beautiful.   We loved her.   And this, my friends, is why it tugs on my heart strings, because inside Evelyn's purse, you'd always find an identical cute little coin purse.

Is that reason enough to give this pattern a try?  Why yes, I do think so!

Let's see if I can help make the assembly of this easier for your first stab at it.  I used parchment paper and traced out the template, that way the original will stay in pristine condition.  I know I'm going to be making many more of these so why take the chance of ruining or losing the it!

If Ido say so myself, this fabric is adorable for this pattern.  Being the "smart" or probably more honest description "lazy" sewer that I am, I layered the outside and inside fabric together so that I cut once and will have all the pieces I will need!  Isn't that smart? (and lazy?)

Be sure to always mark your fabric where the pattern calls for it.  I take after my Mom, and she would the a little snip and so do I. 

The pattern calls for fusible batting, and I used leftover batting scrap and sprayed it with basting spray.  My favorite is  The Original Quilt Basting Spray.  Attach the batting to the ws of what will be the outside fabric. Using a 1/4 seam allowance,  you sew around the bottom half of the outside fabric, rst.   Then repeat for the inside fabric. On the top half, you open it up like your looking down the throat of an alligator, and put rst from both half  (like the alligators kissing) and sew the top halves together.  When pinned it should look  like this.

I always double pin where I'm suppose to leave a gap.  I just know myself too well.  I think I'd remember to skip a spot and leave an opening but without double pinning forget about it...I just get too caught up!  The more you sew, the more you will find tricks that help you.

So the pattern calls for you to iron open the seams...I really didn't find this necessary because the next step is to trim the seams down, which does help I found out. So do trim the seams, as this is a small coin purse, and it does lay nicer once it's turned inside out. Now Flip it.  Flip it good! Be sure to run your finger across all the edges pushing out all of the seams.
At this point it's starting to take shape and it's adorable.  And it's little.  I placed the seam ripper next to coin purse so you can truly see the size of it, and I know we all know the size of our seam rippers...  :)

Time to close the gap in the lip of the purse.  Take a minimal seam around the mouth the purse.  (They say around the entire opening, I just sewed around the top and some of the sides) If you don't take a very minimal seam here, you'll see the stitching once the hardware is on. 

:( ask me how I know! 

I broke out the trusted craft glue.  They suggested using a toothpick, but I was at the office, and we had Qtips, so I  improvised, and it worked.  I liked glueing with the hardware closed and then opening it slightly and sliding both sides of the purse in at once.  It nearly fits like a glove.  I was pretty impressed.  And that little seam just gives it enough stiffness to slide up without wrinkling up.  Jam the paper strings up in-between the fabric and the hardware, pinch off the sides and you, my friends, are done!!
I can't say this was the easiest pattern I've ever followed.  I spent a long time trying to figure out what they meant from step to step.  So I hope if nothing else, these tips will help you.  The coin purses really are adorable.  I want to make 8 more for gifts!

Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be glad to help.

Thanks for sharing in my thoughts of my Step Grandmother Evelyn.  I'm sure she's looking down from  heaven smiling upon us with perfect hair and those pink lips!