The Free Motion Quilting Project: Vending the Asheville Quilt Show

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vending the Asheville Quilt Show

Whew! It's been on long day, but a great day at the Asheville Quilt Show!

Just in case you're not a fan on Facebook, yesterday I announced that Winter Wonderland was awarded an Honorable Mention at the show! It's been a great show and many wonderful comments from quilters about both Winter Wonderland and Release Your Light.

Here's a few shots from the show:

free motion quilting | Leah DayJosh shot these pictures early this morning as I was frantically entering new numbers for several new products into the register.

We've had a great day helping quilters learn more about free motion quilting and the basic tools required to make this a much easier technique to learn. More than anything else, I find myself repeating "Just try it! Practice! The longer you try it the better you will get!"

While the prints and greeting cards haven't been a huge hit so far, I'm still very happy I finally got around to creating them. It's been on my "to-do" list for far too long and it really feels good to finally figure out a system with the prints that works. The 8" x 10" prints and greeting card sets will be available in the quilt shop hopefully sometime next week.

Now let's check out some of the vendors I've been rubbing elbows with today:

This awesome, colorful, quilters paradise booth is actually right across from me and Josh! This is the booth from Batiks, Etc and Sew What Fabrics. Not only does Carol run a terrific online business, but she also puts on a great show.

All day this booth has been packed to the hilt with quilters shopping for batik fabrics. I grabbed two Island Batik print samples and a terrific men's shirt for Josh to wear. What better for a quilter's husband to wear than a batik button down shirt?! (Yes, there will be pics just as soon as I can get him to wear it, but here's my island batik print for now!)

Sharing a wall with me is another awesome business of shaker style boxes created by Suffolk Shaker Shop, LLC. I really loved looking at all the different types of woods showcased in these beautiful boxes and organizers. It took me back to my childhood as my grandfather would use many of the same types of wood in his turned bowls and cups.

I ended up taking home this small organizer perfect for holding all the new feet, accessories, and bobbins from my new Janome Horizon.

And finally last, but certainly not least is Uncommon Thread, truly a thread lover's paradise! They have a huge variety of Maxi-lock, Mettler, Sulky, and YLI threads.

I'm really tempted to come home with many new YLI threads. After touring the facility in Rock Hill, SC in July, I'd love to start incorporating this thread more into my quilts, particularly more metallics and varigated threads.

I feel a lot more freedom to play with thread and experiment with my new machine. I know many of you have asked for an update on the Horizon and it's definitely coming as soon as I can try out all the bells and whistles and really break it all in.

So that's it for this update on the show! While I'm a bit tired and definitely in need of a relaxing bath, I'm also looking forward to meeting so many wonderful quilters tomorrow and sharing more tips and confidence to try free motion quilting.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. I have a question. I was free motion quilting on my new Janome horizon 7700 (when I saw yours I had to have one too). I got templates from the Stencil Co. and was doing a 14 inch one. At least once on each square, my thread would break. Any ideas on why? I was using Aurifil thread that says gr 30, mt 750 100% cotton. Should I use a heavier thread? Thanks, Rebecca

  2. Hey Leah! I was at the show yesterday. Your work is incredible! People were crowded around your quilts just oohing and aahing over them! They were so impressed with your creativity and that you are so young. Congratulations!

  3. Looks like you're having fun at the show, Leah. Love the banner - looks great and so important to have one at a show. I think your idea of doing prints is clever - if someone can't afford to buy a quilt, they can certainly afford a print! Keep going, Leah!

  4. @Rebecca: You are lucky to have the Janome Horizon! It looks like a very practical machine that would be a pleasure to use!

    Until Leah responds, here are some suggestions, from a newbie who's free motion quilting on some non-traditional materials and with a non-traditional subject matter.

    I'm using Aurifil 50 cotton (their lightest weight) (top and bottom) on a VERY thick quilt sandwich with bottom fabric which is organic hemp/tencil which I've hand stenciled. I'm not sure what the "30 gr" means--grams? I know Aurifil comes in 50, 40, 28 and 12 weights.

    What I've learned is that the thread, fabric, needle, free motion foot and machine tension all form a system. For example, when I tried to use an 80/12 needle, my thread broke; with a 90/12 needle all is fine. But when I change free motion feet, even with the same needle, or change the thickness of my quilt sandwich or the type of backing material, I again have to make tension or needle adjustments.

    So, I'd check your needle--is it the right size? Is it sharp (we're advised to change needles after 4-8 hours of sewing). (I really like the Schmetz Metallic needles because they have a sharp point but a large eye so they don't shred the thread.) Then I'd check the tension, bobbin, and any machine-specific adjustments to make sure they are OK.

  5. Love that little tote box - want one just like it!

    And enjoy the 7700 - I can't even remember what life was like before my 6600P!

    Thanks for all the MQing tips ... you're truly an inspiration.

    Happy quilting!


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