Sunday, July 25, 2010

Long Beach Quilt Festival

I had a fun day at the Long Beach quilt show yesterday! I have told Marcy that quilting is really a very economical hobby but it sure doesn't look that way when there are so many treasures to be found at each booth you turn to! In the ol' days when I only did hand piecing and hand quilting then sure, a quilt might cost a hundred dollars in materials but I would spend 6 months to a year on it and buy little else. Nowadays with the sewing machine, roller cutters, speedy patterns and the like, my output is a little faster but I still think that rather than being a fashion queen or a tennis club member that I'm getting a lot for my money!

This is what the Long Beach Convention Center looks like! Marcy and I picked up Takumi and Bianca a little before 10:00 and drove a short way to the center (good place to live Takumi!) We bought our tickets and went in the main entrance when I hear,

"Tanya? Tanya!"

Who? What? Is some one calling me? It was Tanya D. whom I only know through blogging but she had given me her cell phone number and told me to call her while I was at the show since she would be there with friends. We were just walking in the door at the same time! I didn't know her, but she recognized me and we had a quick chat and promised to browse the booths together later.

Booths, booths, booths! Since I didn't really know what I wanted to buy I just poured over the shops with Marcy occasionally asking

"Aren't you going to buy anything?"

First I had to buy an official Long Beach shopping bag which is beautiful and will be a great reminder of my day when I use it to carry quilting supplies back in Japan. THEN I started adding things to my bag.

I found an applique pressing sheet which was on my "to buy" list. I picked up some one dollar fat quarters that will find their way into my Alabama Beauty project. I bought some Magic Bobbin Washers which I've seen during my website browsing.

At one of the aisle intersections someone said to me,

"Are you Tanya? I read your blog and I recognize your picture. Oh, hi Takumi. I recognize you and your girlfriend. Oh, and here's your sister-in-law."

Wow! What a surprise that was!!! With all the fantastic things to look at I'm surprised that Gigi would be taking in anything else but the booths but it was so nice of her to stop and chat, and let me know she visits my blog.

At a time out period in our day I called up another blogger, Annie O. and she came over to have a quick chat and to give each other the promised High 5.

Pretty soon Tanya D. joined us again and introduced us to people and favorite booths and her guild's quilt raffle. When I decided to buy 5 batik fat quarters she and Marcy somehow encouraged me to buy 15. Tanya D. spent quite a lot of her time telling Marcy about what was good to buy or what would be cheaper elsewhere but since Marcy doesn't quilt she felt Tanya D's expertise was being wasted on her.

At some point during the day Takumi guided me back to the vendors and said,

"I am buying you a birthday present. You can pick out whatever you want."

Well, that puts me on freeze.

"Oh no. I can't spend my poor son's hard earned money. What a wonderful son! There's so much I want! No, no. I don't NEED anything. Fat quarters? A kit? A pattern? A couple yards of fabric? Tools?"

I think what I enjoyed most about the quilt show was watching people demonstrate techniques and tools. I was tempted by kits but once it is made, it is made. I finally asked Takumi to buy me a rotary circle cutter because I can see me using that in some applique projects.

A little while later I watched someone doing applique and found out why my applique doesn't look like hers! Oh dear. Do I want to buy this wonderful set of applique tools? Tanya D. and Marcy kept saying yes.

"It's a good price! If you bought everything separately you'd be spending a lot more."

And Takumi solved my dilemma by buying THAT for me too. Poor boy. He spent more money at the quilt show than I did!

So this is what I came away with yesterday. I think I was very good. I came home thinking...

"I should have bought that. I'll never find those again. I shouldn't have been so cautious."

But there are still quilt stores in the area that I may get to in the next two weeks. And I am sure other new and wonderful quilt things are waiting for me right around the corner. A quilter can never be at a loss for something to buy!

Oh, and did we see quilts? Oh yes, we did! Too many to photograph, too many to choose which is my favorite. Some photographed well, some didn't. Here are a couple. A silk antique. A whimsical LA Rose parade float quilt. Tanya D's guild's raffle quilt.

I think Marcy and Bianca had a good time yesterday. They are both non-quilters but they seemed to enjoy the hub-bub and enthusiasm of the people around them. I know I had a FANTASTIC time and consider this the highlight of my summer (so far! You never know!!!)

Takumi? Well, nothing too enlightening for him and he was good to spend 6 hours following the females around. He was still smiling at the end!

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