This last weekend was the CQFA annual quilt retreat. We take over a hotel in Capitola and fill it with our quilting stuff, lots of laughter (seriously, almost the whole time), bottles of wine, tables of snacks and stuff people are giving away, buckets of sheer talent and creativity and a whole lot of productivity. I usually bring my boring, old, orange-handled Fiskars scissors that just about everyone else has, so I spotted these at a local quilt shop and just had to get them. Aren't they a hoot? I felt like I was cutting "fast" and ever so fashionable with them.
Two of the battings that I brought with me that I like to use these days. The one on the left, Quilter's Dream Green is made with recycled soda bottles, so it is slightly greenish. It is a very soft and lightweight and drapey batting. I find it super easy to quilt and like the look of it after it is quilted, a little bit more dimensional than other battings. Also when you take it out of the wrapper, it isn't all folded and crinkled and lumpy, starts out nice and smooth and flat which helps when you're bad at basting like I am. The package tells you how many bottles you're keeping out of the landfill (almost 5 in the case of the crib sized version here). One of the local fabric stores, Hart's Fabrics has it on the bolt too. It is funny to see this green batting next to the usual white and off-white ones, but what a great recycling idea. I would imagine it would be nice and warm just like the old-style polyester batting is.
So far I've only used it for wall quilts and have not sat around with them on my lap so I don't know from personal experience whether that assumption is correct or not.
The other one is Warm and Natural which is also a very soft batting. I find it to be very flat when quilted, which is the look that you want sometimes. I also find that it is nice to work with a soft all-cotton batting, very comforting feeling and relaxing when you touch it.
And during my pre-retreat shopping, I also realized that I needed to replenish some of my "essentials". Diamond Glaze glue! I ran out and had trouble gluing some dimensional collage work. This stuff is the best, it holds so well, dries fast and completely clear. It is good to use when you're using those teeny tiny glass beads or glitter because it makes everything looks good even when it ends up showing. Plus the bottle is well designed and doesn't get kludged up and stuck.
My favorite pins, the Clover flat flower-head pins. The flower heads make them so easy to pick up out of the pin cushion and then out of the material you've pinned.
And needles, I stockpile needles of all kinds. I get the cheapie Dritz ones and put them where my boys can find them. Then I don't care if they use them all up and disappear them....I then hide the good ones like these Clovers in a spot they don't know to look in.
Here's a mildly amusing or perhaps perturbing confession about my stockpiling of needles:
After reading one of my all-time favorite books in the post-apocalyptic genre I like so much, A Gift Upon the Shore , I find that I tend to buy needles whenever I see them. There is a section in the book where they talk about how prized and rare needles are when no one is left to make them anymore... Hey there are things I could be stockpiling that cost much more and take up a lot more room, like jugs of gasoline or cases of bottled water.
I'll share more about what I sewed at the retreat tomorrow. Now I must go rest my poor tired hand. That was more sewing than I've done in three months and it is really squawking at me!