Back from Lancaster!

Got back from the AQS show in Lancaster, PA on Saturday night.  What a great town to hold a quilt show in!  You couldn’t look in any direction without seeing something quilt related!  Hats off to Lancaster for being a wonderful host city!  The show was held in their brand new convention center in downtown Lancaster.  Evidently we were their guinea pigs as the first big show.  I think they passed with flying colors!  Everyone was as friendly and as helpful as they could be.  Even on Saturday morning as I was looking for the right building for my lecture, the police crossing guard looked at my puzzled face and imediately knew where to direct me.  They must have had some town meeting before we came and everyone was briefed!

I stayed at the Days Inn just on the outskirts of downtown (about 2 mi.) and took the shuttle to the Convention Center which was also connected to the Marriott Hotel.  Most of the show was located in the Convention Center, but there were also some vendors located in another building which you had to take a shuttle to.  There were also some classes in a building across the street.  But all in all, it was pretty compact.  The Centeral Farmer’s Market was across the street.  I had a delicious and inexpensive lunch over there – it reminded me of the Reading Terminal Market (for you Philly people) except in miniature.  Actually, the whole town reminded me of a miniature Philly.    I also got a chance to visit the Lancaster Quilt Museum, which is definitely worth a visit.  Beautiful collection of Amish and Mennonite quilts.  The funnest part of the museum was there display of living rooms decorated for Christmas through the decades.  A neat journey back in time!  Lancaster claims to be the location of the first decorated Christmas tree in America.  (I think I have that right.)

No ribbons for Driftwood, but I was very proud to have her displayed along with the other amazing quilts that were in the judged exhibit.  You can go to     to see the winning quilts.

The show is booked for the next two years.  Next time I hope to explore more of Lancaster and  visit more of the shops in the surrounding area.  It’s a neat little city and worth the trip!



mennonite-web1.jpgMennonite Quilt from the Museum

driftwoodme-web-2.jpg Driftwood and me

A very important EQ6 lesson!

You probably know by now that I’m a big EQ6 fan.  It’s great quilt design software.  I’ve used it to design nearly all of my quilts.  However, I rarely use it to design the actual quilting designs.  I tend to doodle that mostly by hand.  Well this time, I’m working on a smaller quilt and wanted to keep the quilting design simple.  So I thought it was a good opportunity to use EQ6 to lay out  some stencils on the quilt. 

I was fooling around with stencil sizes and combinations when I realized it was time to start making dinner.  Without thinking, I quickly closed the file even though I still had some of the stencils sitting off to the side of the quilt in the margins.  I just assumed they would disappear.  You can guess the rest of the story! Never assume! 

The next day I went to work on the quilt again and the file wouldn’t open!  The nasty message simply read, “The project has an unreadable polygon.”  Since when can’t my computer read a polygon!!!????  Ok – Don’t panic, I told myself – just contact the wonderful folks at EQ and they’ll get my project back.

Well, I did contact EQ support and got a real reply within 30 minutes!  How’s that for customer service!  I’m telling you they really stand behind their product.  (This is not the first time I’ve gotten such a prompt response!)  Unfortunately the news was bad.  Those stencils that I left off to the side basically corrupted my whole file. 

Lesson 1:  Always clean up your work space when you’re done – don’t leave anything off to the side.  There’s a technical explanation for what happens when you do – but I won’t get into that now.  Just don’t do it!!!!!

Lesson 2:  Here’s the really important one that I never thought about.  If you’re an EQ’er like me, you probably thought that saving your quilt at various stages  in the Sketchbook was enough.  However, if you are working on a project that’s important (and what project isn’t?) – you want to be sure that you also have a back-up file .  Follow this very sage advice from Penny McMorris of Electric Quilt.  This is what she advises:

“…part way through [your project], using
FILE > Save as, giving the project a NEW name, and navigating so you are
saving to the PJ6 folder.
Then exit, get back in and open your ORIGINAL project again and continue
working. That way you’ll have:
– ORIGINAL PROJECT, which you will complete
– HALF-WAY FINISHED (or almost completed) PROJECT, so that if something
happens to ORIGINAL PROJECT you can open HALF-WAY FINISHED and carefully
recreate. That way you will not need to start from scratch.

Also, if you ever create your own stencils or blocks, add them to My
Library so those are not also lost. ”

Fortuately my  story has a happy ending after all because I realized that a few weeks back I had saved the project as a different name for another purpose.  So although I lost the work that I had done recently, the majority was still in existence!  But believe me – I will definitely be following Penny’s advice in the future!


P.S.  Regarding that request for Brother sewing machine info.  I found out that BabyLock and Brother machines are one in the same company.  ( I swear there are only a handful of companies in the world that make everything – but that’s a story for another day)  Anyway I have a friend who swears by her BabyLock Serger and recently bought a sewing/embroidery machine.  So I told my cousin she should buy a mid-priced model and she should be good to go again!

Wanted: Sewing Machine

Remember my cousin in Norway who is getting married this summer?  Well, she is making her wedding dresses and her sewing machine died.  Yes – that’s plural.  She will be wearing both a traditional white dress to walk down the aisle as well as wear traditional Estonian costume during the reception.  (I did the same at my wedding here in ’95. )

Anyway she e-mailed me for an opinion.  It’s obviously very expensive to buy a new machine in Norway and was looking on line at some Brother machines.  I have no experience with that brand, let alone what might be available overseas.  Does anyone out there have an opinion or recommendation?  I’d love to pass along any info that I can.  Thanks!


P.S.  Just a reminder, the blog spam protection software requires that you do some simple math in order to leave a comment! 

Spring is sprung!

No going back now (I hope!)!  I found a few crocus blooming in the yard, even a hardy pansy from last year!  What a glorious day!  I took down our snow village today – finally.  It’s official winter is over!

Atttended the NJ Mancuso Quilt Show yesterday in Somerset.  It’s not a huge show – could easily be done in a day.  Spent half the day wandering the vendors and oogling the quilts. 

Spent the remainder of the day selling raffle tickets for our guild’s beautiful raffle quilt.  It is called “Fireworks.” A beautiful rainbow of batiks against a backdrop of black sky.  It’s all paper-pieced with lots of long sharp points.  As soon as I get my hands on a picture, I’ll post it. 

Since it’s my blog – I’ll put in a plug for our upcoming show on October 1, 2, and 3rd.  It is held at the historic Prallsville Mill in Stockton, NJ.  Makes for a beautiful fall day/drive in the country.  Be sure to put it on your calendar – but I’ll remind you as we get closer!

Now open the windows and let the some fresh air in!