Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Acres and Acres of Tulips...

Mean only one thing, it's Tulip Festival time here in Skagit Valley.

Every year, beginning on April 1 Skagit Valley hosts the Tulip Festival for the month. Normally, the tulips bloom by the second week of April. But this year, the tulips bloomed early.

Aren't they beautiful? There are literally acres and acres of color as far as the eye can see.

The picture above was taken during the Tulip Festival in a previous year, but the effect can be seen every year.

There are several events occuring during the festival, including a street fair in downtown Mount Vernon. Bus loads of tourists visit the participating farms solely for the purpose of taking pictures of the beautiful blooms.

So, if you're planning on visiting the area to see the tulips this year, you might want to play your visit early so as not to miss the blooms.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Signature Block Swap

I'm participating in a Signature Block Swap and although I had lots of resources to choose from I decided to purchase new fabric.

Above are the fabrics I selected. I only need two prints plus the white muslin for each block but I decided to make two variations of my blocks and purchased four prints.

The block we're using is called Friendship Heart and it's a paper pieced pattern. It seems simple enough and I should be able to complete them in a relatively short period of time.

So I've added another item to my long list of To Do items. LOL

What's on your To Do List?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Puyallup Sewing Expo

Every year we are blessed with the Puyallup Sewing Expo held the last weekend of February at the Puyallup Fair Grounds. This annual event is sponsored by Washington State University and is said to be one of the largest sewing expos in the country with  over 400 vendors while people attend from all over the United States and other countries. Four days of attending seminars and/or hands-on classes. What can be better than that?

Below are some of my sewing expo highlights:

There were Batiks

 And more gorgeous Batiks... If my last name was Gates, I would have bought several of these prints.

Tons of beautiful yarns and other embellishment materials.
Here is a collection of I Spy quilts. I forgot who had these but I think it was either Marti Michell or Kaye Wood.
 I was intrigued with this wall hanging at A Quilting Roadshow's booth because it had lights that blinked on and off. Unfortunately, my picture doesn't do it justice. If you're interested, you can contact them by clicking here: A Quilting Roadshow

Isn't this baby quilt spectacular? Shelly Smola, owner of My Fair Lady Designs does beautiful work and some some lovely patterns for children available on her site.
There were several well known guests, including:
Mary Mulari who hosted several classes.
Linda MacPhee who hosted a couple of classes and a fashion show.
Marti Michell who hosted classes and had a very nice booth.
On the third day, I demonstrated Brother's Quattro 6000D... I wish I was rich because I'd buy this in a second. But, reality as it is, I am not and I can't justify spending a few thousand dollars to replace a machine that still stitches as nicely as it did when I purchased it. If you're looking for a sewing/embroidery machine, this one is a gem.
 I purchased this fabric to make a new ironing board cover. I had a difficult time locating something without a distracting pattern, but I kind of like this one and I purchased enough to make some accessories for my sewing studio too. Spoiler... I'll be posting a tutorial on the ironing board cover sometime soon.
I found a tutorial for a pincushion on Ivory Blush Roses blog and fell in love with it. While I was browsing one of the booths I found these decorative ribbons, beads, and silk fabrics to use just for this project. I can't wait to try it.

I found this at Lorraine Torrence Designs booth and thought I'd give it a shot. I've never used a kit before so I'm hoping I can successfully assemble this wall hanging without running out of fabric. LOL

One day as I was leaving, I noticed a tent set-up outside of the fairgrounds. I decided to take a look after I saw it was filled with fabric and I came upon these prints. The store doesn't have a website listed on their business card, but their name is Trains, Fabrics, etc. and they are located in Tacoma, WA. This was a particularly nice find since I only paid $10 for the six 1/2 yard cuts.

I love Oriental prints. I purchased these from Shibori Dragon's booth. They have a nice shop in Tacoma, WA specializing in Oriental and Batik fabrics.

I don't remember where I found these charm packets but I thought they'd make a nice Disappearing 9-Patch project.

I'm always looking for flannel prints to use whenever I have a baby shower gift to make and these are perfect to add to my resources.

And finally, I found these at one of the booths and thought these were perfect to share with all my quilty friends. 

I hope you've enjoyed reading my highlights of the sewing expo. Next I need to get back into my sewing studio so I can get back to posting more regularly while catching up on my blog reading. I'd love to hear what you've been working on lately.