Archive for the ‘Quilt Market’ Category

International Quilt Market and Festival, the beginning!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Hi all! Posting from Houston…will share a few photos and brief comments from the first few days.  Flew from Maine to Houston on Sunday, got in early enough to visit Quilt Market and do some business.  Monday and Tuesday (today) taught Fine Finishes first, then Birch Pond Seasons today.  Fun having folks not only from all over the US, but Brazil, Spain, England and South Africa in class!  Enjoy the photos…. I’ve been on the run since 6 a.m. this morning, it’s now 10 pm, and my next class (teaching) begins at 8 a.m. tomorrow, so going to make this brief!

Sunrise from our 9-seater small commuter plane / flight to Boston. It was about 7 a.m. when I took this shot…STUNNING!


The Tula Pink booth at Quilt Market (a to-the-trade show, not open to the general public). Great fabrics, stunning “quilt modern” quilts with great quilting!

The Rowan Westminster booth was huge and fabulous!

LOVE these ribbons that are now available!

A happy student from my Fine Finishes class…she’s showing the couched-yarn edge finish.

Another happy student! She wanted to learn prairie points, which worked perfectly because I had just taught facings, which are what you need on the back side of the prairie points!

Had a large group of ladies from Brazil in Monday’s class. The one standing next to me had quite good English and was able to translate my instructions for her friends whose English couldn’t always keep up with the speed at which I speak LOL! They did great and seemed to really enjoy the class…FUN for me, too!

Hoooray! Got to the *original* Ninfas (on Navigation) for wonderful Mexican food. Wonder if I can make back at least once more if not twice…. YUM… I’ll diet next week….

With my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp (center) and her friend Kelly Jackson of at Ninfa’s. I’m on the phone calling the hotel shuttle, and no…we had not been having margaritas…we were just having FUN! And eating…..

From today’s Birch Pond Seasons class… a work in progress! I love watching how students re-interpret my pattern and make it their own!

And my first student to ever try a winter version…LOVE it! Inspires me to get mine a bit further done!


Now…time to read a bit, relax and sleep before the alarm goes off in 7 hours….As the saying goes here in Houston, you can sleep next week!

Teaching at Quilt Festival in Houston, 2012!

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Just wanted to dash off a quick note to tell you how happy I am to be teaching again at International Quilt Festival in Houston this coming fall!  I hope to see some of you there…perhaps in my classes!  To learn more about the classes, click here to go to the Quilts, Inc. website.  From there you can download the PDF class catalog, register (online–easy peasy) for classes and/or events.

I’ll be very busy; my schedule begins on the Monday of Quilt Market (a to-the-trade only wholesale show) and continues through the week of Festival!

October 29-November 2, 2012 – International Quilt Festival, Houston, Texas (click on images to view larger):

  • Monday: Fine Finishes(edge finishes including perfect mitered corners!)
    • Learn to make a perfect mitered binding straight grain bindings, double-fold bias bindings, piping, and couched yarns.  Time permitting Sarah will share how-to’s for  fabric accents, curved bindings, fused bindings, wacky raw-edge squares, and couched-yarn finishes! By the end of this class you’ll have a “swatchbook” of samples and notes including a wide assortment of styles and techniques to finish your quilts and quilted garments.  See a previous blogpost about this class here.


  • TuesdayBirch Pond Seasons(fusible applique)
    • Learn fusible applique, several techniques for “piecing” with fused fabrics, and how to make your own Birch Pond art quilt.  I’ll also cover facings as an edge finish and a range of fun ideas that will let you branch out on your own after class.  Kit fee ($20) covers the cost of the pattern and one package of white MistyFuse (except when taught in stores; then, please purchase these items from the store). See a previous blogpost about this class here.


  • WednesdayDecorative Stitch Applique(use those fancy stitches on your machine!)
    • Make a small wallhanging or a selection of small blocks which take full advantage of all those decorative stitches on your sewing machine. Using fusible appliqué and an assortment of as many threads as you care to bring and use, you’ll see how versatile a single leaf pattern can be! The embroidery / decorative stitches you use in this class can be adapted to your choice of other appliqué methods; we will use fusibles in class so that you can make a wide selection of appliquéd leaves during the class. The project samples can be used for a quilt, a garment or home dec items. See a previous blogpost about this class here.


  • Thursday Morning Machine Quilting ForumFun with Fancy Threads
    • I’ll share some tips about using fussy, fiddly threads and how to master them with the right needle, the right bobbin thread, and a fun little project/demonstration.  This Forum starts with an overview and introduction to six machine quilting experts.  Each of us will give a 9 minutes (not one second longer!) presentation. Then we break out into 6 stations…think of it as speed-dating for machine quilters!  We’ll do a 20 minute presentation, then the bell rings and off you go to the next station/teacher.  A great way to see if you want to learn more or book a teacher for your group.


  • Thursday AfternoonMeet the Teacher,a free 30 minute demo on the show floor:  Collaged and Fused Art Quilts
    • I’ll show you my process for creating fuse-collaged quilts, with step-by-step examples of this small tomato-garlic-and-basil quiltlet.


  • Friday Morning: Friday Sampler–QuiltColoring with Thread
    • Think of your sewing machine and thread as a big box of crayons… more colors than you’ve ever had in a box of crayons!  Then learn to use your machine and thread to color your art quilts and bring them to life.  This Sampler is a ginormous room with 20 or more teachers giving quick demos.  Participants can move from station to station as they choose.  It’s a great way to see if you’d like to take a class with a teacher or even book them for your guild.
  • Saturday:  Sarah gets to relax and play today… I’m going on the bus tour to the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange.  Anyone want to go on the same bus?
  • Sunday:  I’ll be visiting the booths and quilts today…including one of mine that has been juried into the show (more on that later, after the judging is done and it’s safe to post pictures to the internet).

I’m so looking forward to Houston this year…hope you get to come play, too!

Quilt Market–October 2009, Part 2

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

When I wasn’t working in a booth to promote my book, I got to dash around Market madly getting an overview of things, dropping off my pattern packets for the distributors and meeting old and new friends.

I FINALLY got to meet Susan Brubaker Knapp, an amazingly talented woman, internet friend, and fellow working mom.  Here is her website and blog, and a picture of happy Susan at Market:

We have written back and forth for several years.  Our careers are both taking off on parallel but forward-moving tracks.  Check out Susan’s blog and booklet/pattern Applique Petal Party from C&T (I’ll have more on that and a give-away of a copy in the not too distant future!).

A few moments later, the ever-lovely Bonnie McCaffrey came by; she is now the official videographer for IQA, so if you see any cool videos on the Quilts, Inc., website about festival, they are Bonnie’s handiwork (click on that link to get to various videos).  She is also an amazingly talented art quilter and teacher!  Here we all are:

Later, I happened by Linda McGehee’s booth, and fell into severe zipper lust:

I can see a Frayed Edges zipper challenge (and an order to Linda’s website, Ghee‘s)!

One of the best things about Houston is meeting on-line friends in person.  Since Marie was home this year (she is my regular roomie!) I got lucky, and roomed with Larkin Van Horn.  Larkin lives out near where I used to live and Marie still lives, and she stayed with me when she came out to San Juan Island to teach six or so years ago.  During Market, we went to dinner in the hotel, so here we are (well, I’m behind the camera):  Larkin on the left, Bonnie across from Larkin, and Lyric Kinard (author of Art + Quilt, just released   and in my reading pile–I’ll review it when I get it read but so far it looks great!) in red:

We talked books, and I am currently REALLY enjoying some mysteries (recommended by either Larkin or Lyric?) by Julia Spencer Fleming… some much needed mental R&R!

Quilt Market, October 2009–Part 1

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Quilt Market is THE trade show for the quilt industry.  It takes place every fall in Houston, and in spring at a sequence of cities around the U.S.  I had only been once before–in 2003 I think it was–in Portland, Oregon, with my dearest friend Marie.  What an overwheleming experience and eye-opener!  I knew within 30 minutes that I did NOT want to do the “designer and have a booth at Market” thing for my career, but that I DID want to be a part of the industry.
This year, AQS really  put on the extra push to get my book into print in time for Market, and arranged book signings both in their booth and in Peterson-Arne, one of the major distributors to quilt shops.  The photo above is the AQS booth, and you can see that they included two of my quilts on their wall, including The Wall right under the AQS banner (with my book smack dab under it!), and Tea over on the right.  The two projects on the table are in the book!

Marge Boyle, the AQS marketing person, put together some very nice name cards and easel-display thingies which I was able to use later when doing book signings at Festival, in my booth, and later here in Maine at book-signings.  Thanks Marge!  Here is the close-up of the center of the booth’s wall:

The booth was at the back of the hall….right near the ladies room!  As Libby Lehman walked by while I was signing, one of the editors immediately went over to say hello, brought to introduce her to me, and we gave her one of my books.  Needless to say, I felt quite sheepish–I mean, I’m just me, and she is the Queen, Master…Empress??? of Thread (except she is so nice and friendly those all sound too uppity–she’s just the master!).

To my utter delight, on Thursday one of my students from MOnday came dashing in…she was in Libby’s class that day, and of the three books Libby recommended for machine quilting, MINE was one of them!   MY OH MY!!!!   It is SO AFFIRMING to have someone with Libby’s expertise and stature say good things–after all, she doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall, and for her to think I’ve done well… WOW!   I know I did my best, but it sure makes you feel wonderful to know that someone who is THE expert agrees that I’ve done a good job.  PHEW!

And a view of another table in the booth:

Life is good!

Getting ready for Houston

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Last minute preparations for going to Houston included packets to give to the major distributors (the folks from whom Quilt shops buy their patterns, notions, books and whatnot) with my line of patterns and letting them know about my book, ThreadWork Unraveled.  Of course, none of the regular envelopes was the correct size..too large, too small, none just right.

So I decided to think like my friend Deborah, who is amazing at putting together lovely package presentations.  I decided to use cloth ties or tags or something…and went looking for white envelopes, not boring manila.  I wanted my package to stand out. Then I measured and sewed up the tyvek envelopes so the contents wouldn’t slop around, punched holes to add the tag which has a custom “Sarah by the Sea” stamp on one side and a hand-written “thank you” on the other side, and tied things up! Ready003

So far, EE Schenck (out in Oregon) gets the prize for the most prompt reply (alas a thanks but no thanks).  Will have to follow up with the others.

And, inspired by Margarete Steinhauer’s jewelry bag in the current 2009-2010 Quilting Arts Gifts magazine, I decided to make my own.  Margarete’s cinches up into a little snug ball.   Of course, my suitcases are always crammed, and I am so intensely visual I want my jewelry case to open up flat.  So I made this: Ready002

Here it is open: Ready001

I used an idea from Diane Rusin Doran (who had two awesome projects in the same issue, won a third place in the same category as I did in Houston, and is just cool and fun!), to wit:  paint white velcro so it matches your project—reject the tyranny of white-black-beige!  Diane suggested using a thin, ink-consistency paint.  I didn’t have any so I thinned some leaf green Setacolor.  Kinda blotchy, so while in Houston I bought some Jacquard Ink! From Jane Davila’s Flourish booth to try next; you can find these items at her website store, here (if you don’t find it on the website…e-mail her….they have it and you can order it for sure!).

This project is definitely a prototype…the long zipper (which I had on hand) allows the bag to open flat but is a nuisance in real life, so I’ve got an idea for an improvement.  Then maybe I’ll submit it to Quilting Arts Gifts for next year’s issue and see if I can finally get a pattern in it!

Back next with pictures from the show floor and my classes!