Tag Archive: quilt

Mar 17

Shopping at the Dallas Quilt Show

Fabric, Thread, Crystals, Quilts,

Exceptional Stores and Retreat Centers!

The Dallas Quilt Show had it all!

No matter what we tell ourselves when we go in to the convention centers for large quilt shows … “I’m just going to look at the winning quilts” or “I need inspiration” … we are going to shop.  It can’t be helped!  And even on limited budgets, we can still come home with a few prizes which will make our future creating even more joyful!  Here are the things I found irresistible and the vendor booths I most admired and enjoyed at the Dallas Quilt Celebration 2013.

Quilt Mercantile

I don’t usually go for “cute” but I have to say that the Quilt Mercantile booth won my appreciation as Best Dressed booth!  The displays were adorable and really creative.  The booth was well stocked, busy, and the staff as friendly and helpful as they are in their Celeste store – which is, by the way, one of the largest quilt shops in N. Texas with 5,400 sf of brilliantly chosen variety of fabrics and every notion and tool you could ever need.  Their classroom is big, well laid out and lit, and their retreat center one of the best in the country (and I’ve been to many!).  They also have a full featured website:  www.quiltmerchantile.com.

Quilt Merchantile Booth Quilt Merchantile Booth Quilt Merchantile Booth Quilt Merchantile Booth Quilt Merchantile Booth Quilt Merchantile Booth Quilt Merchantile Booth Quilt Merchantile Booth

Another thing I appreciate greatly about Quilt Merchantile is their machine knowledge and inventory.  Here, Jackie Brown, renown award winning quilter and pattern designer at JackiesMachineQuilting.com, guides a guest using the fabulous HandiQuilter Sweet 16.

Quilt Merchantile Booth


Compass Centre

The Compass Centre booth was the busiest booth at the show.  I was intrigued by how many people could be in the booth – and down the isle in line.  Compass Centre staff never stopped smiling and multi-tasking.  Their booth looked great, too!  Best known as a retreat center – the Compass Centre store is a jewel and their kits always, always beg me to take them home.

Compass Centre Booth

“Fireworks” (pattern by Alice Wilhoit – alicewilhoit.com) on display at the Compass Centre booth.

IMG_2553 Compass Centre Booth


Cheri Meineke-Johnson’s Crystals.

First, Cheri is so friendly and approachable, I would be drawn in by her personality even if the sparkling, shiny things didn’t suck me in (and they do!).  Her crystals are gorgeous, affixed with a smart little heat adapter, and affordable.  Award winning personality and great product – Cheri’s Crystals is on the top of my list!

Cheri Menkie Johnson Booth

Superior Thread

I spent so much time in this booth, practically HUGGING the thread, that the rep surely thought I was a bit insane … and I FELT a bit insane.  Choices.  SO MANY CHOICES!  I had a budget and was determined to stick to it.  I also needed every single color of Rainbow and variegated thread (yes, NEEDED … as in NEEEEEEEDed), Oh – and So Fine in the basic colors…and who can walk away from King Tut?  Oh!  Oh!  And Magnifico in such glistening colors (sorry die hard 100% cotton thread police… I do appreciate a poly-blend because it does not leave nearly as much thread-dust in my machine and my machine is PICKY about thread dust … plus the sheen … and the price – there’s much to love about this thread!).

So – yes, I shopped, and shopped.  And left the booth $2.00 under budget.  HAPPY QUILTER!  I think the rep was a little relieved to see me go.  I really was bouncing all over that booth like a small mental  metal object in a pin-ball machine.


Superior Threads

More thread.  These caught my eye because of the sheen in the color braids.  I would just love to bathe in this display!


Joy’s Fabrics

And this is where I blew the budget – not because the product is expensive – quite the contrary – it is very reasonably priced – but because I had already spent the funds allocated for the show.  I had walked past this booth twice, exercising sheer will-power to stay out of it (I’ve tried that many times at other shows and rarely succeeded).  But now that I am painting my own fabric, I decided I did not NEED to buy hand dyed fabric from any one else.  Finally, on the third pass, I succumbed.  I had to buy panels of Joy’s beautiful work.  It is such gorgeous fabric that I, who rarely hesitates to cut right in to fabric, can hardly bring myself to use it.  It is a piece of art unto itself!  Visit JoysFabrics.com and you’ll see why going over budget was the perfect ending to a great Quilt Show.


joysfabrics SwirlRustPanel



Mar 10

Quilts that Inspire – Dallas Quilt Show

This is the first in a series about the quilts that inspired me.

The Dallas Quilt Celebration show opened Friday, March 8, and I was there – and in line with hundreds of smiling faces! – shortly after the doors opened. I want to show you some of the quilts (and vendors) who were extraordinary. This article is not about the specifics of the show, or the award winners, or anything official. I am not an expert. I have never even entered a quilt show! But I do have opinions – LOTS of them! Although my opinions are well advised (by osmosis – hanging out with master quilters and brilliant educators), and influenced by many years of quilting and art making, they are still just my opinions. Enjoy the photographs (I am also NOT a photographer so the pictures are basically point and click with a good Canon camera). All photographs are used with permission of the artists. There are more quilts I want to show you, but am either waiting for permission to use – or trying to find the makers.

Please visit the artist’s websites, where they are available, and support them with your “Likes” and “Friendship” and comment here! Your support is well deserved. You’ll see…

First – I have two favorites from the show that I can not show you (yet!) because I have not found contact info for the makers (but when I do – I will show them off A LOT! They are FABULOUS!). Both get my highest praise for attention to detail, quality of craftsmanship, use of color, choice of quilting, and over-all inspired creativity!  My favorites are Heidi’s Schlowers by Andrea Brokenshire of Round Rock, TX and Shocked by Vicki Conley of Ruidoso Downs, NM.   If you know these ladies, ask them to contact me!!

These are displayed in the order in which I received permission to use.

OK – now for the reason you are here – to see the pictures!


Tears for Newton - Carolyn Skei - McKinney TX

Tears for Newtown – Carolyn Skei – McKinney TX

Tears for Newton Detail

Tears for Newtown Detail


Outside of the obvious creativity and use of non-traditional elements, Tears for Newton caught my eye because of the twinkle effect of the objects.

Texas Bluebonnet - Shirley Cawyer/Jan Hutchison - Gainesville TX

Texas Bluebonnet by Shirley Cawyer; Quilted by Jan Hutchison, Pattern Design by Barbara McGraw.

Texas Bluebonnet - Shirley Cawyer/Jan Hutchison - Gainesville TX

Texas Bluebonnet Quilting Detail

Texas Bluebonnet caught my attention because of the value structure.  The use of lights and darks in the applique and borders made the focal point “glow” from across the room.  Fabric choices for this piece are beautifully executed, using warm background tones to enhance the blues of the flowers.  As I approached the quilt, I was impressed by the quality quilting, and a design in the stitching that is not over-used.  Plus the micro-stippling is impressive!


Balancing Act - Austin Art Bee

Balancing Act – Austin Art Bee

Balancing Act drew me right in and made me study the details!  I stood in front of this quilt long enough to create a bit of a crowd around me because I was not MOVING from my front and center spot until I was satisfied I had seen every inch!  It is a bit whimsical and yet very complex.  I was intrigued from first sight – then saw the list of names of the creators and became fascinated.  How can that many people collaborate on something this obviously complex?  Check out the details on Austin Art Bee’s blog – and then you, too, will be intrigued…and IMPRESSED!

Creators: Frances Holliday Alford, Barb Forrister, Connie Hudson, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Sherri Lipman McCauley, Susan Lewis Storey, Kathy York.


Balancing Act - Austin Art Bee Detail

Balancing Act – Austin Art Bee Detail


More to come!  Stay tuned!  You can click on the RSS button at the top of the page and “subscribe” to the blog.  Or comment here, and I will let you know when the next post is published.