Amazing things can happen when you have a website. People come to visit, view your portfolio, read your blog, and even leave comments.
David and I received a comment from a local guild in the San Diego area. Janet is in charge of lining up speakers for her guild in 2014. She contacted us about speaking and sharing our art quilts at their meeting in May. This will be a new venture for us and even though we are a little nervous we are also excited. I will be going through our quilts and putting together an interesting (hopefully) talk.
We had the benefit of meeting Janet and her husband at the Long Beach show. It was a great meeting, they are both very friendly, and were encouraging about our speaking engagement. As we traveled around the exhibits and the vendor area we kept bumping into them and saying Hi.
Several of our friends have experience speaking to large groups about their art and I have been picking their brains on what makes a good speaker. Now to start putting together some ideas and working on our presentation.
Friends Stacy and jo (pictured with her Maps quilt and a small corner of my quilt) were very helpful. Stacy shared some fun information on techy stuff that I am going to try to implement on my website in the future. More on that later.
Have you spoken to a group about your art? Do you have any tips or things you would do different?
A new (to us) machine is now on the market, the Sunshine 16. David has been looking for a few years for a machine that would make quilting our larger pieces easier. The issue: On a domestic machine with a standard size throat (7 to 9 inches) anything over 30 inches wide becomes a little cumbersome. Rolling and folding the quilt is the only way to get larger pieces quilted. Some drag is caused making smooth transitions in direction more difficult.
David tested out this machine at the Long Beach show. This is the vendors (Pennywinkle Valley Ranch) first west coast exhibit. They are from the mid-west and concentrate on shows closer to home.
David was very impressed with this machine. Not only does it sew very well, but the price point is very attractive for the basic model. David stitched out with metallic thread on a fast speed. The thread did not shred and the tension top and bottom was great. He likes the fact that your hands are on the table and not on handles. He feels he has more control and is comfortable with this hand position as it is the same as when working on a domestic machine. The acrylic table that comes with the machine works like a slip sheet so the quilt glides over the surface. The machine we tested was sitting on a card table. Yes, a card table with its little spindly card table legs. It was smooth, vibration free, and the table did not feel like it was in danger of collapse. There were several machines set up in the booth and each one had a different type thread on it from all different thread manufacturers. This tells me this is not a prima donna machine.
The machine is basic. It has no fancy features like automatic needle up/down. It has a governor for setting your maximum speed while you work. That enables you to set your preferred speed and always go pedal to the metal. There is a needle advance wheel that you can use to move the needle position. It is an industrial looking machine. No flowers, no fancy paint job. I personally like it. It looks like a great little work horse and I am sure that is what it is. Simple mechanics means it will be simple to maintain. A little oil and lint cleaning and it should last for years and years. It also means that getting any work done on it can probably be taken care of by a local shop or even the owner if of a techy ability. David inspected this machine quite a bit and was impressed with the quality.
The machine is built to order. At the time we looked at it there is about a two month wait. I see a possibility of this machine in our future.
The best thing about the machine we tested? The price. $1,750.00
This machine also comes in a 24 inch model. There are options to purchase handles, a table or frame.
Did you see this machine? Did you test it out? What did you think?
Update Aug, 2014: For those of you looking at this machine and hearing some positive or negative things about it, you must rely on your own personal makeup. I am a person who loves to figure things out. I am not afraid to adjust tension or other items. I loved the look of this machine as it appears to be something not too finicky that I could tinker with and tweak exactly the way I want it. If you have the sort of personality where you don't want or like to mess with things you might want to purchase a machine where you have local support. Neither personal style is better or worse, but it should be a part of your decision on the actual machine you purchase.
I still have not purchased this machine, but it is high on my list. It appears I am in need of replacing my 30+ year old machine first.
Nothing but the Specs
Stacy is my new techno geek guru. While at Long Beach we got talking about some new tech things she is in to. QR codes are something that really intrigued me. You can use them to embed audio and video content into items. That was fascinating to me and my mind went wild with the possibilities. What a great option to add to my website. I will record back stories to some of our quilts. Scan the QR code with your phone and get the dirt behind the creation of the art. What inspired the piece or the struggles that developed during the process.
I am starting out with something a little more simple. I opened a Café Press account and have loaded up a few of our original fiber art designs. If you like this idea or you would like one of our other designs printed on a specific product, let me know. I will be keeping the prices at an introductory level at the start. I will try to build an interesting product selection but if there is something you would like to see let me know. Café Press prints on almost anything from clothing to puzzles to luggage tags and everything in between.
As I get content tagged to our quilts I will blog about it.
What do you think? Does this bonus content interest you?
"It's The Journey..." by Patricia Charity
Making the big time. I have been writing several blog posts about the Long Beach Show experience and Janet (a new friend and contact) just sent me this link to The Quilt Show blog.
They made a slide show of the Maps exhibit. How great is that? If you like the Smilebox slide show you can even download it. Guess what I am doing?
Thank you Alex and The Quilt Show for showing our special exhibit Maps on your website.
6 quilts from Maps exhibit
David and I attended the Quilts, Inc Long Beach show Aug 2 - Aug 4, 2013. We attended the event on Friday and Saturday. As always it was a wonderful show with great quilts and vendors. We saw many inspiring quilts and purchased a few new pieces of fabric.
One of the events that we attended was the docent tour of the SAQA Seasonal Palette exhibit. We were fortunate to have Kathleen McCabe as our docent. She gave some wonderful insight on each of the 38 pieces in the exhibit. Photography was not allowed. The quilts are fabulous and the techniques are varied and creative. I recommend seeing this exhibit if you get a chance. SAQA has a Seasonal Palette book.
Click to see larger view
David and I are very excited to see his Maps quilts "Bit Map" in the Long Beach catalog for the 2013 show. We are also excited that a detail of my quilt "It's the Journey..." was selected for the postcard. This was quite an honor for me as I thought all the quilts turned in for the exhibit were wonderful.
I hear that the judges did a wonderful job of selecting a varied but cohesive exhibit. I can hardly wait to see them hanging side by side.
David and I are working the Quilts on the Wall table for a few hours on two of the days. When at the show, stop by and say "Hi". We always look forward to seeing new and old friends.
Here is the information and link to the show:
Maps Exhibit - Debuting at the International Quilt Festival, Long Beach
Show Dates August 2-4, 2013
Preview Night Thursday August 1, 2013
David & Patricia
We are fiber artists that live in Southern California. We work our jobs by day and create our art by night.