Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On Dyeing

This is it! This is the week I finally check off one workshop I have been dyeing to do, so to speak. Carol Soderlund is a dye goddess, and leads a 5-day workshop at Pro-Chem (and a few other placed as well) that teaches you how to mix a thousand different colors...no lie! When you are done, apparently there is this master book that will be yours, little grasshopper.

My adventure starts tomorrow. I'd better get to bed so I can look fresh in the photos I'm going to post of the class!

Monday, June 08, 2009

On the Renegade Route

I made the trek to Brooklyn yesterday to check out the Renegade Crafts Fair. I love the idea of an organization making it possible for artisans to market their handmade crafts to the public. Etsy is awesome, but seeing the vendors in person was a huge plus. It was a sunny day, and after so much rain this past week, NYers were surely ready to be outside in the sunshine.

There were hundreds of stalls with crafts for sale; many, many t-shirts, lots of funky jewelry, body care products, art on display everywhere. One of the things you realize is that the handmade items have a certain je ne sais quoi that mass produced items cannot match. I enjoyed strolling through a pure crafts fair, without the distraction of food and crafts that had little or no handmade touches.

Hmmm, I wonder if they've considered a NJ venue?

Where Ya At?

'Where Ya At?' is something you hear a lot of in New Orleans. Translation: whassup? how are you doing? where've you been? (Yes, a blog gives you the license to create your own contractions). :-)

Over the past couple of months I've been on the road a bit, and gearing up for classes I'm taking and teaching this summer. I went to the Spring IQF (International Quilt Festival) in Chicago, and I was surprised to see how many classes I could still get into at the last minute. Class attendance seemed lighter, but attendance was heavy as usual.

I had the opportunity to hook up with (one day I might have to change that phrase, as it doesn't mean what it used to apparently!) some African American quilting buddies that I only see when I get the chance to check into my African American Quilters group on Yahoo! We plan a lunch on the Saturday of the show every year, and spend the time catching up. The photo was taken by Jeanette Walton's camera (so she could be in the picture).

Upon my return from Chicago, I headed off to Paducah, KY for the AQS show. What made this show different and wonderful was the fact that the whole town was part of it. Paducah is, indeed, Quilt City USA. From Hancock to the National Quilt Museum, to Caryl Bryer Fallert and Eleanor Burns, everyone is all in. My only complaint, and it is a huge one, is the HORRIBLE execution of the shuttle bus. If you have your own transportation, I strongly urge you to use it. Otherwise, you will subject yourself to long waits, blank stares instead of answers, and less of the show surroundings because of a tight schedule. I was also amazed at the number of residents who had never been to a show. If I had thousands of people descending upon my tiny town like locusts, I think I'd make it my business to find out why. Go figure. I'd also train the hospitality industry a wee bit more. I had an inept Group Manager cancel my group booking, and then have the temerity to tell me she "probably should have called me". If you want to know who, and what hotel you should avoid if you want to skip that nightmare, email me, and I'll tell all. ;-) All in all, the Paducahns make you welcome, and if you are a quilter, Paducah is a trip you should complete once in your lifetime.