Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Houston or bust!

And we are off!!  finally the day arrived for my husband and I to travel to Houston for the International Quilt Festival.  I have been looking forward to this trip since May, when I found out my quilt would be in a special exhibit at the show. 

This is Monday morning, and we don't check into the Houston hotel until Wednesday, but we are taking the scenic route.....
A beautiful bridge in Alabama.  I am taking these though my car window, which really could have used a washing.  My camera is an ipad and I think it takes pretty good pictures.

We were to cross many high and beautiful bridges.

Our first night was spent in Mobile, Alabama.  We had a good start to our trip and were very ready for a night of rest.
On Tuesday we set out for New Orleans, but had to take Hwy 90 along the Gulf of Mexico.  I just love the Gulf and would love to spend a week or more sometime in this area. 

Here are two pictures taken at the Gulfport area. 

We were on vacation in this spot the summer before Katrina and it was so sad to see many of the beautiful homes  that we remembered from before were gone, all that was left was a "land for sale" sign.

We did eventually make it to the French Quarter in New Orleans and proceeded to get completely lost!  Roads were blocked and under repair, and we kept getting turned around. The streets were totally clogged with service vehicles, construction work and I was supposed to be navigating us through this narrow little maze.

At one point, I was using the car navigation system, my husband's Garmen GPS, the maps program on my ipad AND the paper map they gave us at the visitor's center - and I still did not know where the heck we were.  So we just headed towards I10W and for Houston.  I don't think I will be going back to New Orleans, unescorted, ever again.

By sundown, we were drawing near Houston and were treated to a beautiful sunset against the skyline.  Unfortunately this picture is not even close to the beautiful view. 

While taking this picture, I , the navigator, missed a very important turn and we ended up once again, a little lost (we call it taking the scenic route.)   But we got through and found a hotel west of Houston - as our journey continues on....

Tomorrow we skip on over to San Antonio to see a member of my husband's family and then back to Houston where we will settle in for a few days to enjoy the show.  Three days in one location without having to get back into the car sounds pretty good to me right now.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012


 At the end of this month, I will be traveling to Houston for the International Quilt Festival.  I am very excited as I have never been before and I will actually have a quilt on display.  If you go, be sure to check out the special exhibit "In the American Tradition" and see my quilt Circus Stars!  You might even find me standing beside it, beaming with excitement.  

I wanted a special bag to carry my IPAD in so that I did not have to carry a pocketbook and would have my hands free for exploring the vendor booths. I found this bag in the McCall's Quilting magazine, May/June 2011.  I have modified it some to suit my purposes.
They had a patchwork front, but I have added fabric stars, using the Rebecca Wat method from the book Fantastic Fabric Folding.

This was so much fun and if you have a  chance, you should give this a try.  Each of those stars started out as a 6" square of fabric, and then you fold and stitch and embellish.  I can't wait to try a few of her other stars.

I also added a magnet to the flap to keep it closed.
I also added a back pocket for my phone. The velcro you see  one of those velcro wrap straps.  It was late, and I could not find my velcro and this was the best I could do.  But I really like it and will probably do the same in the future. The strip is more narrow than regular velcro, comes in fun colors, is not quite as rough and holds great.   
Another zipper pocket on the inside for cash/credit card/license/hotel key etc and I am set to go.

Thank you to my daughter for teaching me this technique.

I lenghtened the strap so that it fits from my right shoulder to my left side, which leaves my hand free to check out those goodies in the vendor sites.
The only thing I would do differently is I would make the bag 1" longer as my Ipad does not go all the way into the bag.  Its not a real big deal as it only sticks out a little over the top and the flap covers it, but it would be nice if it fit all the way in.

If you are going to be in Houston - look for me - you'll recognize me by my bag and my big smile of excitement! 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Perle Cotton Thread - I want my DMC back!

I know I have been away for awhile, but been extremely busy with preparing for teaching and trying to finish up projects for our guild's quilt show.  Ok...enough excuses.  But I have not even had time to read blogs, and I miss that. I will catch up soon and see what all of you have been up to.

But today, I want to complain about how Hobby Lobby has switched from DMC Perle cotton to some off brand called Artiste.   I had to purchase some #5 Perle for kits I am preparing for a Make-It Take-It demo at our upcoming guild show.   I hurridly went into HL to get the floss I needed, and thought it seemed smaller than usual, but in my haste I just looked at color and made sure it was #5 Perle.  It was hanging with the DMC embroidery floss - so I thought that was what it was. It was not until I got home, and started preparing the kits did I realize the difference.

 The floss on the left is the Artiste brand and on the right is DMC that I purchased about a month ago at Hobby Lobby.  You can obviously see the difference. 

I have not workded with the Artiste thread yet, so it may stitch ok, but just from the feel of it I don't think it is of the same quality as the DMC.

 Next you have to consider the price.  Yes, the Artiste is "cheaper" selling for $1.29 and the DMC for $1.79; BUT the Artiste is only 15.3 yards where as the DMC is 27.3 yards.
I did the math, the Artiste is $.084 per yard and the DMC is $.065 per yard!

This is exactly what the grocery stores are doing in the packaging - making it appear to be a bargain, but when you read the lable, you discover it is actually costing you more.

I am really surprised at Hobby Lobby!  I intend to write their Customer Dis-service Department this afternoon, as I know it does no good to complain at the store - they just say, "Headquarters" makes all those decisions.

I guess I will be buying my thread at Michaels now, as the last time I checked they still carry DMC.  The closest quilt shop or Joannes is about 20 miles away - too far to drive to just pick up some thread.

OK - enough of my rant.  Hope to have a more fun topic to talk about soon.