Spring Quilt Market 2013: Odds and Ends

Quilty people are the best people, aren't they? Every time I get to go to something like Quilt Market or Stash Bash or what-have-you, I'm reminded of this. Everyone was so kind and welcoming! I got to place lots of names with faces and I got to see lots of great people I'm lucky to call friends in Portland.

On Friday, I got to sit in on the Portland Modern Quilt Guild's regular meeting, which had a presentation on the new MQG membership model by Alissa Haight Carlton as well as an amazing trunk show by Jacquie Gering. I adore Jacquie, and being the tall girl I am, she asked me to help Jen hold her quilts, which was so amazing. Being up close and personal with those quilts was just incredible. And hearing Jacquie speak about her quilts, gosh... I'm not sure I can put into words how hearing her speak and share her passion made me feel. Suffice it to say, it was something I won't forget for quite some time.

Alissa and Jacquie at PMQG meeting

And I can't forget to mention Jamie...she lives in the Portland area and was kind enough to drive some of us about here and there. Her sense of direction caused quite a bit of laughter, the kind of laughter that nearly brings you to tears. I will never look at a bike lane quite the same way again, Jamie!! Thanks for the rides!

It was such a kick picking up my nametag and attaching a sneak peek of my book cover to it! It was positively surreal to talk to people and have them ask about my book. It made me kind of swallow my fear of talking about myself, and I had some great conversations with people as a result of that beautiful little conversation starter.

My nametag :)

Speaking of my inability to talk about myself, there's something kind of big I've been up to that I haven't really shared here on my blog yet. Since the end of January, I've been on a bit of journey. A journey to become a healthier, fitter me. I've never been a thin person, other than when I was a young child. I've always been heavier, in part due to my love of baking and also because I've always despised exercising. But something happened to me in January. I decided I wanted to make a change. I didn't like what I saw in the mirror and the way that I felt. I've half-heartedly dieted over the years, but there's something different about this change I've been making. It's not a diet. It's a lifestyle change, as cheesy as it sounds. I'm not just changing the way I eat for now, I'm doing it forever. And it feels good. I started doing Weight Watchers first, and after seeing some good results in the first eight weeks, I added in some exercise, starting with the 30 Day Shred. I spent 29 days doing the 30 Day Shred, and now I'm doing the Hip Hop Abs video series, and having a shocking amount of fun with it. It doesn't feel like work when I constantly see the scale moving and feel my body changing. I'm usually a pretty private person, but sharing my successes and seeing the success and accountability of others on IG using the #sweatnsew hashtag is really inspiring and keeps me going. I'm talking about you, Terri and Becky! My journey is not yet over, but I'm halfway to my goal, which is a great feeling.

This whole change in me made going to Market a really interesting experience - lots of people noticed that I looked different, which was both flattering and mildly mortifying at the same time. Sometimes I even have a hard time seeing a change in myself, so I thought I'd dig up some pictures from last Market to compare to pictures from this Market. Left side is last year, 40 pounds heavier, and right side is this year, with the lovely Cindy of Live a Colorful Life. Don't you love her gorgeous Little Folks raincoat?!?!

Side by side - last Market and this Market
left: Spring Market 2012
right: Spring Market 2013 with Cindy/Live a Colorful Life

So, this is my last Spring Market post for this year. Next week, I'm planning to get back into my sewing room and start making a dent in my ridiculous wip list, starting with end-of-the-year teacher gifts! Are you making teacher gifts this year? What are you making? I'm still undecided, and running out of time! Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Spring Quilt Market 2013: Portlandia

Portland was a great place for Spring Market this year. I'd never been to Portland before, so it was exciting to get to see a new place, and to experience it with so many great people. If you haven't visited Portland before, make sure to arrive with an empty stomach - the food is unbelievable!

Mother's Bistro was a great breakfast spot, with quite possibly the best french toast I've ever had. Granted, I haven't been to Paris or anything, but I thought they were amazing. It could be in part because I haven't had the luxury of having french toast in a long time, but the ambiance in the restaurant was also really cool.

French Toast at Mothers

AnneMarie and I also walked on over to Frank's Noodle House for dinner one night, with their amazing homemade noodles and super tasty dumplings. It was a really interesting little place, and the food was just delicious. Definitely two thumbs up.

Frank's Noodle House - yum!

And who knew that Portland had awesome ice cream?!? Not me! After the Modern Domestic Happy Hour Friday night, a group of us walked over to Salt & Straw, a super fresh ice cream shop with very unique flavors, ranging from arbequina olive oil to more classic flavors like chocolate with gooey brownies. I had a mixed scoop of the chocolate with gooey brownies and the sea salt with caramel ribbon ice cream. Definitely an amazing match up! Even if it made the mild weather feel nearly arctic afterward ;)

Salt & Straw with some super fun girls
awesome photo of us in line *yes there was a line!* at Salt & Straw by Jamie
l-r: me, AnneMarie, Jen, Sukie, and Lee

Bolt - great fabric store in Portland

The other thing you'll need when you go to Portland is your wallet, because there are so many great fabric stores! On Thursday, AnneMarie and I managed to get out to a few fabric stores, thanks to our hotel shuttle and the kindness of strangers. We headed to Bolt, which was a beautiful little shop. Gorgeous fabrics, lots of modern finds, and lots of crossweaves as well. Definitely an inspiring kind of space. I picked up a few goodies there, and at the cutting counter, stumbled upon a kind stranger who was heading to Fabric Depot next. AnneMarie and I had planned to venture out to the public transit system to get out there, but our kindly new friends offered to drive us. How nice!

Stack of finds from Bolt

Fabric shopping with some good samaritans

Our new friends were Susan, the fabulous owner of The Quilt Asylum in McKinney, Texas, and her daughter, Audrey. Thanks again, girls! Fabric Depot was definitely an interesting experience - kind of Wal-Mart meets quilt shop, with loads, and loads of bolts of quilting cottons ranging from solids to popular collections. They even had a bridal fabric section! Definitely lots of variety there. I picked up some great stash builders there, as well as some fabric to put together a Super Tote for Jacquie with her signature color, orange, and a fun dark denim I found.

Fabric Depot - interior

Makings of a Super Tote from Fabric Depot

Quilting cottons from Fabric Depot

Last but not least, I did a bit of shopping at the Modern Domestic Happy Hour, breaking my no-fat-quarters rule, because they were too cute to pass up. If you get up to the Portland area, definitely be sure to check out the Modern Domestic class schedule, their teaching space is just breathtaking!

Haul from Modern Domestic

Don't you just love checking out quilt shops in other cities? I know it's something I look forward to when I travel to new places. Have a great day today. Happy Wednesday to you!

Home sweet home

I'm back from the trip to Kansas City for Spring Market, and so far, I've still got a lot of mental processing to do before I can tell you much about the trip, I'm still recovering from the amazing visual overload I experienced there.  I can say this much for sure, though: quilty people are the best people.  I met so many wonderful people on this trip, and spent a good chunk of time with some fab girls I'm super lucky to call friends.  I'm working on unpacking and pulling pictures off my phone and camera, so stay tuned for a wrap-up post some time this week.  In the meantime, you can check out my phone pics on Instagram - I'm @dontcallmebetsy.  I love fabric and had a blast at Market, but it sure is good to be home :)

photo by Erin Sampson @ Pellon
Amy/Sukie, Colleen, me, and Lee