It’s Quilt Week!

It’s here! AQS Week in Des Moines, this will be the American Quilter’s Society’s largest (to date) quilt show–and Des Moines, and the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild have the honor of playing host!  I’m using a few vacation days from work to attend the show and take a full-day class on Thursday.


We are excited–because our (Row House Creations, LLP) new pattern, Mums for Melissa is being featured in a demo in Booths 1003-1005 by Denise of the Iowa Falls Sewing Machine Co.–you can visit their booth to purchase our pattern.


Denise paid us the best compliment, she called to order more patterns and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me how awesome this pattern is?” Seriously, does it get any better than that?! She told us she thought it was a snowflake quilt waiting to happen (We Know!) and/or a sunflower quilt waiting to happen (Great idea, Denise!) — so many ideas, so little time.  So stop by and see Denise at booth 1003-1005! Tell her Trina & Doris said hello!

Chrysanthemum Mums for Melissa Modern Quilt

Living History Farms, a living history museum complex in Urbandale (a Des Moines suburb) will be hosting a vintage quilt show, also October 2-6.  It’s always worth a visit!


Also, on Wednesday, a new exhibit opens at the State Historical CenterThe Sum of Many Parts: 25 Quiltmakers in 21st Century America. It will hang until January 31st. This exhibit is traveling from China, but consists of contemporary American Quilts.  Des Moines is the only U.S. city that will host the full exhibit.  I’ll be finding time next week to pay a visit to that one, I think…

Des Moines is a great City in which to be a quilter!  We also happen to be home to Meredith Corporation, publishers of American Patchwork & Quilting, and all of the Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications.  Just outside of Des Moines, in Winterset is the home of the Fons & Porter Love of Quilting publications.  We are also home base for a major publisher of quilting books, Landauer Publishing.  We have more than one active & thriving quilt guild, a Modern Quilt Guild chapter, numerous quilt retreat opportunities, a handful of great local quilt, fabric & yarn shops, and really friendly people! Like we said, Des Moines is a great place to be a quilter.

Are you planning to be in Des Moines this week?


Share your Quilts


I’m always impressed at our MQG meetings with the “beginner” quilters that show these wonderful examples of their work, and are often timid about showing them off.  A lot of new quilters lack confidence in their own skills, it seems.  We all had to start somewhere, right?!?  So, no matter your skill level, I think if you create quilts (or artwork of any kind) you should share them with other people, including other quilters.  Constructive criticism can be a valuable learning tool.  And, well, that other kind of criticism isn’t worth wasting your time on.  (Believe me, I overheard plenty of that other kind while walking through the show last weekend.)

Several of our Des Moines MQG members are also members of DMAQG, and submitted projects to the show.  It was fun to see MQG member’s names jump out at me as I walked around the show.

This is Katie’s snails trail:

Penny’s New Wave quilt made primarily from Denyse Schmidt fabrics:

Tricia’s Wonky Log Cabin quilt:

Her pillow, made for our Pillow Swap this Spring:

Lola Z’s pineapple mini:

My twin-size Modern Fortune quilt:

Janeen’s very fun Dr. Seuss Christmas quilt:

And this beautiful art quilt, by Janet, entitled Hawaiian Hospitality:

And, I know there were others…but these are the few I managed to get shots of.

There were several quilts in the juried AQS exhibits that were of a very modern aesthetic.  At least two wonky log-cabin style quilts, and a few pieces with the feel of a Gees Bend quilt.  Modern or Traditional, the theme for the day was superb craftsmanship and well-executed quilting!

(If you read yesterday’s post early; last night, I added an update with a photo of the delivered and installed sewing table.  You may want to go back and take a peek!)

Blogtoberfest Day V–AQS Show Des Moines

Last week was the 2011 American Quilter’s Society Des Moines Show. Oh, how I wish every quilter could have a show like this come to their City! We are blessed in Des Moines, to have strong Guilds, a huge community of quilters, and the admiration of the AQS (they signed a contract last year for another 3 years!!!!)

I can’t show you any of the quilts from the AQS Contest portion of the show, but I can show you some eye candy from the Des Moines Quilter’s Guild portion of the show, and maybe a detail shot ot two to spark your creative mojo!

I fell head-over heels for this vintage quilt:

It’s a Victory Quilt (I assume because of the V shape it repeats in the block?) and hung in a special exhibit of 20th Patriotic Quilts. I really should have taken more photos in that section. There were some pretty impressive quilts.

These international shows really blow me away when you start to notice some of the details: stunning machine quilting…

Different textiles, such as velvet, tulle, and silks…

Realistic artistry… 3-dimensional elements…. Many of them are just spectacular.

Many of the quilts in the local Guild Exhibit are just as impressive and well-done:

This little hand-appliqued quilt was made by a friend of mine, out of the lovely Sweetwater Sunkissed collection, with red compliments. It was lovely! She had an entry in the AQS Juried Contest as well.

This is a terrible photo of a great, contemporary looking quilt made from striped fabrics. It has a 3rd Place Guild Ribbon attached to it. And another with a definite modern flair, see all those little hexagons in the border? Also a 3rd Place Winner!

There were eleven rows of vendor booths to peruse as well as all the exhibits. I came home with a spool or two of Aurifil thread, five half-yard pieces of fabric, and some new templates. Not to mention sore and tired feet, but who cares?! I got to spend eight hours at a quilt show!

If you ever get a chance to make it to the show in Paducah, KY, Grand Rapids, MI, Lancaster, PA or Des Moines, IA–jump at it! AQS puts on a great show…

Still time to get in on my Aurifil Giveaway!

Just another Wednesday….

…HARDLY! It was day ONE of the American Quilter’s Society Des Moines 2009 Show, and I spent the day in QUILT HEAVEN! (Warning: this is an image-laden post, dear readers! Click on images to enlarge for better details.) Some detail shots from a few of the quilts that KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF–full shots to come in another post…My personal fave, done by a member of my guild, Leigh Lussie, and shown in the AQS juried portion of the show…an applique bed quilt of a pattern by Kim McLean.
An amazing wall quilt of life-like sunflowers and grapes…STUNNING…I have to double check who made this one…
A detail shot of the BEST IN SHOW quilt, and yes, it truly was. Very hard to photograph (it’s HUGE) and I did my best, but my photos will not even begin to show the beauty and craftsmanship of this quilt…
Cynthia England is one of my quilt idols, and this is a shot of her shoreline pictorial quilt, One Fine Day, which BLOWS MY MIND. I’d love to know how many thousands of pieces go into one of these quilts of hers.
And a hand quilted, hand appliqued Broderie Perse style quilt done with older Amy Butler lines, Ginger Bliss and some Charm pieces. It is a beautifully done modern take on an age old technique. Artist is Jean Clark from Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin.
Okay, maybe this goldfish and water lily quilt was my fave…and could have been my vote for “Best in Show”, lifelike, gorgeous, and mouth-dropping. The artist is Sherrie Coppenbarger from Morton, Illinois. I’m going to have to reassess my vote for fave when I go back tomorrow… And, I have only seen about half the vendor booths, but I seriously doubt I will find one that tickled my fancy like this one did:
The display and vendor booth for Handbehg Felts, a supplier of felting tools, wool roving, hand-felted wool balls, jewelry kits, accessories, etc…They had a corner booth with this awesome dress form adorned with a wool ball kits and toilet paper roll skirt, and this great “bouquet” bursting from the neck:What initally drew my eye to the booth (I was in a daze at this point, and saw into the booth before I saw the dress form…yeah, really tired and in a daze….) were these fun stockings in the Christmas fabrics I have in my stash! How cute! I haven’t checked out their website yet, but I’m betting it’s awesome, too!

Our Des Moines Area Quilting Guild is fortunate enough to have our Annual Guild Quilt Show in association with this AQS show. In exchange, we provide them A LOT of volunteer hours to man the show, assistance in planning and set-up, etc. I entered three quilts in the Guild Show this year, and nothing beats seeing them hanging amongst other lovely quilts in a large space… my Gertrude and Friends growth chart and my Canoe Crossing quilt…

Well, okay, nothing beats that feeling except maybe rounding the corner and seeing your quilt hanging amongst other lovely quilts in a large space with a RIBBON DANGLING FROM IT!

That’s right, my Gypsy Django quilt earned a Third Place ribbon in the Non-Traditional Wall Quilt category. I was thrilled to say the least, and since I was alone at the time, I whipped out the cell phone and started calling people…three phone calls and NOT ONE ANSWER later, I ran to the nearest table being manned by a friend and mine to delightedly declare “I won a Ribbon!” She obliged me with the appropriate amount of enthuiasm and took a quick break from her duties to run over and view it with me. Gotta love quilt friends. (And seriously, loved ones, where are you when I need you to answer your phone?!?)

In the afternoon, I took a class with Frieda Anderson, called “Fast & Fun Freemotion”, and guess what?!? I think I finally get freemotion quilting! She’s a very thorough, no nonsense teacher and we all concurred it was a fabulous class. Here are shots of my four “sandwiches” of doodles I made:
stippling, square meanders, and M & E’s…
Sticks and twigs & shooting stars….
and there are even some hearts, McTavishing style echos, and feathers in there, that don’t look too bad for a first time attempt! Now, I need to find time to practice in the near future at home, lest I forget everything I learned…

And last but not least, there had to be some shopping…my booty:
a Supreme Slider and Magic Genie Washers, recommended by Leah, some fun Michael Miller and Monoluna FQs, a piece of Kaffe Fassett Aboriginal Dots in a color I didn’t have!, a new Clover thimbletwo Minnesota fabric FQs for my sweetie who hails from St Paul, a stack of Art Gallery Blenders (yum!), and of course, some LOVEStay tuned for additional AQS Des Moines posts…good things are happening in our Capital city!

Happy sewing,


Overwhelmed and humbled

I’m not even sure where to begin…I promised you posts post-AQS Des Moines, but truly, I don’t know where to begin. I’ve been to the Quilt Festival in Chicago before. I’ve been to Quilt Market in Houston and Kansas City before…but I was truly overwhelmed by the show here in Des Moines last week. I live three miles from the venue, I spent all day there on Friday, and much of Saturday. The quilts were, for the most part, stunning and in some instances, even humbling. I am SO inspired to work. But I still have to finish the damn slipcovers first.

The shot above shows a portion of the show, which included 12 aisles of vendors (nearly 300 total booths!), and four separate exhibit areas. I could have spent SO much money there, but my frugal-’cause-i’m-scared-as-hell-by-the-current-economy self only bought a few items, that I had been planning to purchase for some time anyway. Only two small impulse buys.

My favorite quilt of the entire show, this Autumn inspired stunner. I have some detail shots of it as well, it may get its own post one of these days! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Do y’all (I can use that term, I lived in Columbia, SC for over three years!) like those selvage quilts? I didn’t think I did, but then I saw this one:Are any of you saving your selvages for one of these? If so, you really need to check out this project…it puts the quilts to shame!
This quilt was titled something like “Those Little Monkeys Visit Grandma’s Again”. It talks about the grankids (the little monkeys) getting into the sewing room, the blocks start to fly, and then they find the button basket! Too cute and oh so well done!
And a winner that included painted cloth (painted after the quilting is completed):
A Halloween quilt by a self-proclaimed “new quilter”. She got an HONORABLE MENTION on her first show entry! You Go Girl! An original design, it is just fabulous!I loved these morning doves and morning glories! What great fabric choices!
I’m sure this will take a few more posts…it really was overwhelming! I enjoyed meeting many visiting quilters and love hearing how welcoming my city was to them! Iowa does have the nicest people…and it truly is under-rated!

Time to share some bloggy love~please go visit my friend Ann’s blog, another Iowa girl, and welcome her to blogland! She took the leap and started her own blog after reading mine and others for months. She is one of my table partners at our local retreat every Spring and Fall and she totally outsews the rest of us every single time!