Saturday, March 03, 2007

a day at the beach

Not really at the beach, of course. But today was as relaxing as if we had been on vacation. Rachel Cochran and I went to the NJ Quilt Fest - or whatever it is called - for 3 reasons: to see Usha, to hit the other vendors, and to see Jeanne Beck's solo exhibit.
First stop, Handloom Batik - Usha's booth - a visual and sensory delight on every level. Fabrics to die for, delicious shawls (I bought one) ,gossamer scarves, journals, incense, wood printing blocks from India - and glorious t-shirts. And of course, Usha herself -- one of my favorite people on the planet! Her family prints these fabrics in India - and they are gorgeous and you will not see anything like them anywhere else! While I was there, I met a lovely customer named Susan (sorry, I don't think she told me her last name) who stopped at the booth and admired one of the quilts I had made in 2004 for Usha's booth display, using her batiks. Turns out that Susan had just seen me on Simply Quilts, so that was fun! I had made a previous one in 2003 to showcase Handloom Batiks fabrics because so many traditional quilters stopped by her booth in Lancaster and loved the fabrics, but then couldn't figure out what to do with them. So, I made a Log Cabin (could you get more traditional?) with her genuine Indian batiks and gave it to her for the booth. Fabric sales skyrocketed, I am happy to say. I loved it so much, I made another similar one for myself. The other vendors were just so-so. Rachel and I were looking for black fabric so we could discharge and compare results, but strangely, only ONE vendor had black on the bolt. In fact, almost nobody had fabric on the bolt - just those little bitty pieces they sell, which left much to be desired. Superior Threads was there - the first time I've run into them, although I have heard raves over the years. I bought 3 spools of thread and a color card. Yummy. And of course, I bought needles and nice big seam rippers. Never did find bobbins for my Janome, but that's okay.

Jeanne Beck had quite an extensive exhibit of her work (mostly done between '04 and '06, after all her stuff was stolen) - and it was the best part of the show. Jeanne's work is beautiful, interesting, and varied. Can you tell I am a fan?

While I was on a traditional kick, I hauled out all my antique quilts and tops for Rachel to see - including two that I rescued and hand quilted, and two that I had started to restore and gave up on because I didn't have time.

It was a busy day and these old bones are ready to pack it in.


Frances said...

a good Sunday morning Rayna, Usha's fabric looks to die for, I have enjoyed seeing before on your blog, I like your blue jacket too, it looks as if it is indigo, did you make it?

I love both the quilts too they look so bright and cheery and the unusal shape of the first one,

sounds like you both had a wonderful day,

Anonymous said...

I just got Superiors new catalog. By any chance did you see the CB Fallert 30 wt rayon? Is is fat and juicy in real life? I'm so tempted....

Let me know if you need Anything Janome - there is shop nearby that sells the Official Stuff, bobbins and the funny little free-motion foot which is more fragile than I like.
I'm going there one day this week after work. Deb Lacativa

Rayna said...

Frances - the jacket started life as a sweatshirt, which came in that faded indigo color. I cut it apart and sewed on the patces. It goes with everything and I wear it to death. Should make another one sometime.

Deb, thanks for your generous offer (why are you posting as anonymous?) - but there is a fabric store nearby that sells Janomes and may have the bobbins. I'll let you know.

Judy said...

What a fun day you had!!
I always love hearing about Usha and the quilts...has it been a year already??? Wow!!

cfent said...

those batiks are goreous! and you 2 look like kindred spirits...

Rayna said...

We ARE kindred spirits, Claive. Next time I see her will be for lunch at her new favorite Indian restaurant in NY. Soon.