Podcast 226 – a Visit with an Old Friend

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Yes, quilters – I’ve been in touch with this dear lady and friend of the podcast. I hope you’ll remember Teresa Vargas from two previous podcasts. Teresa owns a quilt shop in San Jose, Costa Rica — El Jardin de la Abuela (My Grandmother’s Garden, or the Garden of my Grandmother). Teresa sent me an email, asking if I was going to be in L. A. while she was going to be there. It was a long shot, but it just so happened that the answer was YES! After doing a lecture and workshop for the San Fernando Valley Quilt Association, I met up with Teresa in L.A. and spent two lovely days together. We had a great time, as usual. Teresa is one of those friends where you pick up your friendship where you last left it – and it doesn’t skip a beat. I seized the opportunity to do a podcast interview with her in our hotel room, complete with sound effects from the busy, busy street below. We spent the day shopping and eating, and the next day, shopping and eating — just like old times! We hit some quilt shops and the mall and threw in some ice cream sundaes as well. Here are the quilt shops we went to: Piecemakers Country Store in Costa Mesa  This is the quilt shop that is famous for its Quilt Calendars like this: They have been in business as a quilt shop since 1976, possibly the first in California. They still look like the country mercantile that they were the last time I visited, twenty years ago. They have hordes of new, fresh fabric, while keeping the country feel.

Sew Modern in Los Angeles. They’re open on Wednesdays from noon – 8, and we’re so glad because we went at 7:00! Oh, Sew Modern, how much did we LOVE shopping at your store?! The shop space is compact but oh so beautifully designed and filled with the color of yummy fabrics. Teresa and I had a wonderful time, collecting for future quilts — and it was easy to do. They have dressmaking patterns, a cozy conversational area and longarm service. If you’re in L.A., you want to go here — trust me. See the rest: This is how they advertise their classes and events — isn’t this cool? Lovely solids — they carry all brands – and colors, which is super cool. They had this lovely little quilt on the wall: So I looked for the background fabric (you can never have too many lights):   The next day, we went to Northridge and ate at Brent’s Deli — a fantastic place to eat. It’s much more than a Deli and Yelp reviews give it a solid 5 stars. They have a 12 page menu, that has 4 pages of breakfast options, which they serve all day. Quilters gotta have the strength to shop, and here is where we went next:

Candy’s Quilt Works doesn’t appear to have a website : ( but here is their contact information :

  • 8549 Reseda Blvd
  • Northridge, California 91324
(818) 349-7397

Candy’s is on Reseda Blvd., a busy street, and they have parking right at the curb in front, and then behind the store – don’t miss the drive way, it’s right after the sign above. The very best part of Candy’s is this:What you’re seeing is a wall the length of the store that is BATIKS… nothing but batiks all shelved by their color family. Oh, but wait — walk to the end and turn the corner, and you will see the rest of the batiks wall which runs the width of the store. Oh yeah — 2,000 bolts of BATIK fabric heaven. This is what I left with: wouldn’t this make a beautiful summer dress, or maybe one of these retro beauties? I actually made one of these beauties back-in-the-day (as my kids say) with a real batik fabric. What I would give to have that fabric today, but I have no idea what became of my caftan). I found this very pattern on Etsy (no longer $1.00 by the way) and I’m going to make myself one very soon. Stay tuned! I also found these lovely batiks together: …which remind me of the fabrics I used for: cover of the book you’ll find if you scroll up, and in the upper right hand corner ; )  But I digress… Candy’s has about 5,000 bolts of fabric in her store. Batiks just happen to be her specialty. The ladies there are friendly and helped us find the nearest mall, another quilter’s necessity.

 

Teresa always brings me lovely gifts from Costa Rica, and this is what she brought me this time: Teresa made this lovely journal cover for me. She knows that I love journals to design my quilts in, glue fabric swatches in and write the steps of quilt construction for my patterns in. I love this and will think of Teresa every time I use it. A quilter can never have too many cups to keep pens and markers in, and this one was designed by one of the girls who works in El Jardin de la Abuela.

After I left Teresa, I traveled to Santa Barbara and visited this lovely store: I had 20 minutes here… not even close to enough time — ever. I want to have the luxury of spending 3-4 hours here so I can see everything and contemplate what I want. The best thing is that they have all of the Japanese quilting magazines. Luckily, Super Buzzy has a huge online presence and SHOP.

The next day, I went to this lovely shop:

and, I found this:

I was looking all over for this fabric in L.A. and finally found it at Birch! They also have an online presence and Shop, which is Fabric Worm. Ever since meeting Lizzy last month and being ultimately inspired by her, I want to make a dress out of her fabrics. I brought home a pattern from Sew Modern and didn’t realize that this is the very outfit I want to make with Lizzy’s amazing Natural History fabrics. Kind of fun, huh? (Okay – so I just realized that I didn’t get enough of the Pearl Bracelets fabric, so luckily I can order it from Fabric Worm ; )

Please let me know what you want to hear on upcoming podcasts — I’m listening to YOU!!

Until next time…

©2015  Annie Smith  All Rights Reserved

Is it really May 15th already?!

hi Quilters –

Sorry for my brief absence here. I’ve been traveling and teaching in L. A. and I have a new podcast in the can, waiting to share with you:

But we can’t get it off of my iPad away from home! ARGH — technology!

so, stay tuned  –  I’ll be home tomorrow.

Podcast 225 — Classes and Workshops

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Running time: 00:29:36 Size: 14.5 MB
Podcast 225 — Classes and Workshops

 

Thank you for your Donations! It keeps the Podcast rolling!

I was asked by several listeners  to talk about how to be a good workshop attendee and get the most from the class/workshop. In the podcast, I cover:

* Pay attention to the materials list

* Make sure your machine is in good working order and bring the manual.

* Arrive early and get set up. Allow the teacher to do the same.

* Be attentive and ask questions. Take notes too.

* Don’t chat with friends during instruction and don’t work ahead.

* Don’t leave early – you don’t know what you’re going to miss.

One thing I missed — If you need help, don’t ask your friend or table mate. Ask the teacher — she can tell you quicker and better than your friend who is trying to work on their project. The friend may be doing it wrong, then you’re both wrong. It’s not an intrusion of the teacher’s time, and they won’t think you’re asking a stupid question (remember: there are NO stupid questions). The teacher WANTS to help you get it right. And even though your friend may want to help you, you are taking time away from their project. You know what I mean if you are always the friends who helps : )

This week’s quote:

Being humble means recognizing that we are not on the earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others.           Gordon B. Hinckley

These last couple of weeks have been a real challenge with being sick off and on, traveling and teaching and having BigGuy get sick too. I want to share my trip to Southern California with you, though.

What is Meet the Teachers?

For those of you not familiar with this, quilt guilds form a Council and then offer information to all of the guilds. There is a Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds, SCCQG, and once a year in April, they hold Meet the Teachers. Fifty national teachers were in attendance. We each have a booth to show our samples, give out brochures and write contracts for upcoming guild visits, and have three minutes to talk about our lectures and workshops in front of the Guild Program Chairs. It’s a fun and exciting day. Believe it or not, we are signing contracts for teaching in 2016-2017 already. And, there are three councils in California alone: SCCQG, NCQC (Northern California Quilt Council), and Quilt Guilds of the North Quarter.

If you want to see my brochure, click here. You can download the PDF version and share it with your local guild or quilt shop ; )

Here’s me at my booth, in front of a quilt I hope you remember: West of Baltimore. It was featured in the Keepsake Quilting catalog for 2 1/2 years and has traveled around the world.

My table-mate, Mary Tabar:

Directly behind was my long-time friend, Tracey Brookshier and Mike McNamara.

Dixie McBride was also there — I’ve been a big fan of hers for umpteen years. She was presenting at the time.

There were vendors there, and I just had to make a donation ; )

I found this cool electric seam ripper! Now I can be a professional Seam Ripper for all of my students. **read why below**

My very talented friend, Arlene — who did a Q&A during her presentation: Why are you wearing the belt? Her reply: It stops the Girls. Arlene is a Civil War historian and collects quilts from the era, teaching how to create them.

and then, I was this booth across from me, and the more I looked at these amazing quilts, the more intimidated I got:

This is Rita Verroca. She’s a C&T author and will have a new book out soon. She is so nice — I look forward to spending some time with her in the future.

At the end of the day, I took poor BigGuy out to dinner, who by this time had caught my cold and was miserable. We went to our favorite restaurant in Irvine, — Houston’s. They are a part of the Hillstone group of restaurants, and they even have a Houston’s in Houston. If you go for Market or Festival, it’s a treat to go there. This, is heaven on a plate:

I don’t know why, but I always get a cheeseburger. Pretty simple, right? The bun is made fresh, the meat is ground in-house ribeye and it is yummy. Almost better than the burger is the Coleslaw on the plate, which is savory, not sweet and isn’t overpowered by sauce.

So, this happened two days after I got home — not one but two broken toes, courtesy of an office chair…

Sorry it’s blurry — but then again, maybe that’s a good thing!

Lastly, I found this book in my hostess’s bookcase — I can’t resist looking at books about quilting.

This book was printed on 1984, just before the rotary cutter found it’s way into our quilt shops and homes. Take a close look. No, it’s not the drying rack that I want you to see — although that is a good tool for keeping cut strips separate…

It’s THIS that I want you to see:

Uh huh.

…if you are thinking that she’s using a paper cutter to cut strips, you would be right. That was an innovative solution to replace drawing pencil lines and cutting each strip with SCISSORS. That’s what we used to do “back in the day”, as my kids would say. But — those strips, cut in at east two layers of fabric would shift under the blade and would never be straight or accurate.

Thank heaven for Mr. Yoshio Okada:

If you’ve ever thought that the rotary cutter resembles a pizza cutter, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. OLFA Corporation is a part of the World Kitchen group, which also has other companies like Pyrex, CorningWare, Chicago Cutlery and OXO as a part of their stable of products. Get it?

**About the Seam Ripper:

Those of you who have taken a class from me, know that I have three rules of the class/workshop:

1. This is YOUR class, it is not my class. I want you to get out of the class what you need to help you be a better quilter. I am the facilitator, you are the student.

2. This is YOUR quilt, it is not my quilt. I will show you how to make a quilt the way that I do it, but you don’t have to make your quilt to please me — you make it to please yourself. You don’t have to make your quilt exactly like mine. I will give suggestions, which you can take or leave. After all, you will be taking your quilt home with you, I won’t.

3.You should have a seam ripper in your notions kit, as it is on the materials list. You, however, may not use it — only I can use your seam ripper. If you sew something wrong, I will pick out the stitches for you while you continue to work. It is a waste of you time to pick out stitches — that’s what I’m here for.

Please let me know what you’d like to hear on a future podcast, by leaving me a comment below, or send me an email, at  annie@simplearts.com

Happy Quilting!!

©2015  Annie Smith    All Rights Reserved

The road goes on and on…

Hi. Quilters…

this is me this week:

… Still.

and BigGuy has joined me. A pathetic pair, I tell you.

i’ve put together show notes for Podcast 225 — i just can’t talk without coughing.

I’m thinking about you, and some fun things that I have to share. It will just be next week instead.

On the mend

Hi Quilters!

thank you all for your emails and well wishes! They have certainly helped.

Despite not wanting the get out of bed yesterday, I did travel to Central California because the show must go on — so today, I did a lecture for the Olde Towne Quilt Guild of Nipomo. I feel so much better. I’m looking forward to my workshop tomorrow, Shadows and Light:

(Okay, so that is not a flattering picture. Mental not to take a new one…)

BigGuy is traveling with me, so we went to one of our favorite places tonight — the Farmer’s Market in San Luis Obispo. It’s one of the finest Farmer’s Markets ever. Every Thursday night, except for. Thanksgiving, when it happens on friday night.

We souvenir eat — it’s no secret. Here’s what we love the best at the Market:

Isn’t their oven lovely? It bakes a pizza in 4 minutes flat. That’s the best part : )

there’s a new quilt shop in town, but they closed before I got there. table linens and modern fabrics. i have to come back soon. Picking Daisies is closed on Sunday-Monday. Every other day from 11:00 – 5:30.

More to come!

A Little Under the Weather…

Click the play button below to hear a special audio message from me.

CLICK ME PLEASE

Running time: 00:00:37 Size: No podcast this week — Feelin’ a Little Under the Weather
But, I’ll be back with an all-new podcast next week! Stay tuned!

 

Podcast 224: Quilt Week in Paducah

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Running time: 00:40:12 Size: 38 MB
Podcast #224 — Quilt Week In Paducah

Podcast 224: Quilt Week in Paducah

Last year, my friend Aneda and I went to Quilt Week in Paducah, KY — my very first trip!

 Here are the photos that correspond with the Podcast:

We are both totally overjoyed to be here!

Our first stop was at the National Quilt Museum, where we saw the most a-mazing quilts: including The Beatles Quilt by Sue Nickels and Pat Holly. I have wanted to see the quilt in person ever since I sat in a darkened room at Asilomar (16 years ago) and saw slides of the creation of the quilt. We also played “find the book” while we were there, finding the first copies for sale in the Museum Bookstore.

Quilts that blew me away… (a teeny tiny selection)

a study in Value. It looks like there is light shining on areas of the quilt. An optical illusion made by fabric.

by my favorite Japanese quilter, Ayako Kawakami — I LOVE her quilts. Here is a closeup of one of the blocks:

The next mind-blowing quilt:

those are actual metal gears on his chest.this is the back side of the quilt. Everything on the front was stitched with black thread, everything on the back was stitched with white thread. How Judith did that and manage to keep the thread tension perfect defies my comprehension!

This is my favorite quilt from the entire show of hundreds of quilts. Aki Sakai is the quilt maker. Here is why I love this quilt:

Every square inch is covered in detail like the little bear sliding down unrolling bolts of fabric. Every tiny detail is lovely and charming and made me laugh out loud. Every bit of it is also stitched by HAND.

Here are some people we met:

Gayle Allen Grier, long-time podcast listener. We challenged each other to enter a quilt in this year’s show — I have fallen short of that challenge. How about you Gayle?

We had lunch with the lovely Callie Charles Appelstein, also  long-time listener. Do you love the photobomb or what?!

And Surprise!! who should be signing her new book but Marie Bostwick!!

…and speaking of books, I found my book in that very same booth.

And here is my friend, Karla Overland, in my very favorite booth at any show where they are: Cherrywood Hand dyed fabric, the creme de la creme of fabrics. They were beginning the WICKED challenge at last year’s show and selling kits. If you’ve been paying attention to quilting news, you’ll know just how big the WICKED quilts have become.

Sue Nickels and Pat Holly,  my two favorite quilt designers — their quilt “Two of Us” won Best Home Machine Workmanship award. It was the 2013 Block of the Month quilt for Alex and Ricky’s Quilt Show. You can visit it in the National Quilt Museum when you go to Paducah.

Here’s the link to Winline Batting: Winline Textiles I love their Bamboo!!

At the end of the day, Aneda and I took a Quilt Week taxi back to our car. This is our driver:

and this is us, with happy feet:

 and this is the shoe store, Groundfloor Shoes, where they serve even happier feet:

(If you didn’t know, I have a major shoe fetish) Aneda and I each bought a new pair of shoes.

Yes, even Walmart gets into the spirit of Quilt Week!

I love stopping at Welcome Centers, especially ones like this lovely home:

Whitehaven, which even has quilts on display:

and then we bid a lovely farewell to Paducah before heading back to Nashville to catch our flights, Aneda went home and I went to see this lovely pregnant woman:

Kirsten moved to Lousiana two months before giving birth to:

Seth, our first grandson

Wow — that was a whirlwind trip to Paducah for Quilt Week! I hope a trip to Paducah is in your quilting future. It’s worth everything to go there.

Please comment here and let me know what you love about Paducah!

Until next time, Happy Quilting!

©2015  Annie Smith   All Rights Reserved

Podcast #223 – It’s been TEN years! Let’s Celebrate with a new PODCAST!!

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Running time: 00:21:17 Size: 21 MB
Podcast #223 — It’s Time For A Reboot

For real, Quilters!! Here is Podcast #223 — It’s Time for a ReBOOT!

Yes, 10 years ago, I began the first podcast for Quilters and have recorded 222 shows!

Welcome back Quilting Stash listeners –

how I’ve missed you and appreciated every expression of support and encouragement that you have sent me.

Welcome to new listeners –

I hope you’ll find a nice place to hang out here with us.

Remember this girl?

(Wow…is that really what I looked like 10 years ago?…)

How about this one instead, something a little more contemporary…

Here is the link to Jennifer Moore’s article: Quiltonomics: The Real Cost of Quilts. This is a very important article to help you understand the value of your quilts.

This is my friend, Lizzy House:

She has a new fabric designing tutorial on CreativeBug

with Denyse Schmidt and Heather Ross. Check out How to Design Fabric here.

@Amazon

Review coming shortly : )

Mark’s new venture:

(P.S. the applique flower basket is my design and the pattern can be found in

Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!, Third Edition by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes)

and…

Just like this little guy, “my hands are in the air like I just do not care”

Here’s the quote by Karey Bresenhan, president of Quilts, Inc., and Director Emeritus of its shows:

“…we know Dedicated Quilters don’t regard quilting as an optional hobby, but as part of their lives. They, like quilters throughout history, quilt during good times and bad. Their quilting is both a means of expressing themselves creatively, and also of expressing what is going on in their lives and how they are dealing with it,”            (from Quilting in America survey 2014)

Does that resonate with you like it does me?

PLEASE: remember to either leave a comment here or to send me an email  annie@simplearts.com

I want to know what you want to hear and what you want to know about. Do you know a quilter with an exceptional story that needs to be shared? Let me know that too!

FaceBook: Quilting Stash or Annie Smith’s Quilting Stash

Instagram: anniesmithqs

Pinterest: @anniesmithqs

Twitter: quiltingstash

Happy Quilting!

Annie

©2015  Annie Smith  All Rights Reserved

International Quilt Weekend — it’s HERE!

Dear Quilting Friends:

Big news here! In honor of International Quilting Weekend, March 20-22, 2015, The Quilt Show (www.thequiltshow.com), the web TV show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, will open all of its shows from the first nine series– shows 100-1513 –for the entire weekend. This means that, for three special days, everyone will have the chance to view over 200 shows, featuring some of the quilting world’s leading artists, for FREE.

This year’s sponsors are contributing over $5000 in prizes, including the Grand Prize, a BERNINA 550 QE.  Other prizes you have a chance to win are:

  • Innova – Have your quilt professionally quilted ($500 value)
  • Superior Threads – five $100 gift certificates
  • RJR Fabrics – a Delicious Selection of RJR Fabrics
  • AccuQuilt – GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter
  • Missouri Star Quilt Company – $500 in Quilter’s Cash plus signed copies of Volume 1 of Block Magazine and Man Sewing Swag

 

I was honored to be a Guest on The Quilt Show in Season Two, episode #209 The Fabric Detective.  If you didn’t have the opportunity to see this show the first time around, now you’ll have the chance to see it—and so many other terrific shows—at no cost in this unprecedented three-day offer.

I hope that you’ll share this information with all of your quilting friends. It’s a fantastic opportunity to enjoy three days of learning and fun without leaving your home…all for free.

Enjoy the shows, and thanks for helping to spread the word!

 Here’s the Link to The Quilt Show website:

http://thequiltshow.com/international-quilting-weekend

 

 

 

 

Open Season for Travel

Hi Quilters –

I just got back from Southern California and the Orange Grove Quilters Guild. What a great guild! If I lived in So. Cal., I would join their guild.

That trip is just the beginning of my Teach and Travel season. Here is some of my upcoming travel:

I’m going to be a featured guest here:

Fisher, Louisiana

and here:

While I was in So. Cal., I attended the Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds “Meet the Teachers” event. Each teacher set up a booth of quilts and projects for the Guild Programs Chairs to see, then we gave a three minute introduction of our lectures and workshops. The fabulous quilter who was in the booth next to me was the lovely Tammie Bowser.

Click on Tammie’s name above to visit her website. She has online videos and online classes. She may be teaching in your area.

What a great surprise it was! I love Tammie’s art and have followed her ever since I first saw her quilts (pre-Simply Quilts). She’s someone that I’ve wanted to interview for my podcast for many years, but we haven’t been in the same place at the same time. Being booth-mates gave us the opportunity to get to know each other better — what a treat!

 Now, back to packing…. I’m heading for the Quilt Capital of the Universe –none other than Paducah, KY — for the first time in my life! I’m SO excited.

Would you like to meet-up with me at Paducah? Just send me an email at annie@simplearts.com and let me know. I’ll be there Wednesday – Friday evening and already have a couple of friends to meet. I’d love to meet you too! Just let me know ; )

Happy Quilting –

Annie