International Quilt Festival – Chicago – 2010

I’m going to miss this show. It’s moving to Cincinnati next year, and there’s no way I can swing that trip. This was our seventh year (we missed the very first year), and it’s been a good run. There are a few things I would have changed over the years – better food is definitely one of them! There’s tons of parking and indoor walkways, but even then you have to trudge for approximately 18 miles to go (essentially) across the street. My biggest gripe was the predominance of country, folk and primitive vendors. There was a LOT of rust, navy, and tan in that building. Quilters come in all shapes, sizes, genders, ages, and color palette preferences. I just wish there had been more available for the other side of the spectrum. We eventually hit pay dirt in the last three or four rows, and I scored a few great fabrics (and petted a lot more!). I was on a strict budget, but I’m pretty happy with my purchases.

IQF 2010 Purchases

The four big cones are Bottom Line thread, a super fine thread we use in the bobbin on our Janome 1600P-DB. This stuff lasts forever, which is nice when you’re doing a larger quilt and it’s hard to get to the bobbin area. The fewer bobbin changes you have to make, the happier you’ll be. It’s so fine that it does require adjusting the tension, though.

The three smaller cones are Aurifil Mako 50 wt thread. I piece with this thread, and absolutely love it. It’s cotton, very thin, and doesn’t seem to produce as much lint as others I’ve tried. Last year I stocked up on this same thread – 2 spools of white.

I’ve wanted to try making a bag that uses a frame for a handle, and when I saw one that allowed you to unscrew the ends and slip the bag off the frame, I had to have it. Quick change bags, gotta love ’em! I couldn’t justify the $12 for a pattern, though, so I’m going to have to figure out how to make the bag. Shouldn’t be a problem.

If you haven’t tried Honey Guy Waterblocker Skin Cream, you’re missing a wonderful product from a wonderful company. Their customer service is phenomenal!

I first saw the fabric on the left in the Hancocks of Paducah catalog, and was thrilled to run across it at the show. Does anyone remember the Little Golden Book called “The Saggy Baggy Elephant”? I loved that story, and had to snap up the last two yards they had. (Thanks for the buck, Jeanne!) Apparently Quilting Treasures is coming out with a whole line of Little Golden Book Fabrics. I saw “The Poky Little Puppy” on their website, and I’m hoping they come out with fabric for “The Tawny Scrawny Lion” and “The Little Engine That Could.”

The dark blue fabric is my first ever Amy Butler purchase. Some of her fabrics are a little too wild for me, but I fell in “Love” with this one the moment I saw it. Yes, the line is called “Love” and it’s from Rowan/Westminster Fabrics. (I’m not sure what the whole Rowan and Westminster thing is – both names are listed on the selvage.)

Finally, we have “Spotted Owl” from Alexander Henry. This one called out to me, too, and when the lady working the booth said that it was particularly popular with girls “your age” (indicating Jeanne and I), and she had sold her other cut to a girl about 22, I had to buy it. Anything to reward the woman who thought I was in the same age group as a 22 year old and a 29 year old – I’ll be 42 on Friday.

As for the magazines, well, these were a truly unnecessary splurge. They’re nice enough magazines and the price was okay ($10 for all three), but I really bought them because the guy in the booth was so pretty. And he had a lovely British accent. And he was polite to the crazy woman digging in her bag for the preprinted address labels that I was CERTAIN I had but could not find. But mostly because he was pretty. Really pretty – blond, blue eyed, twenty-something, nice shoulders… We giggled a bit after we left the booth. And the giggling continued when we sat and put our feet on the tickley vibrating foot massager thingies in another booth.

I spent a great deal of time in the quilts area, and I hope to upload lots of photos in the not too distant future. First, though, I need to take a nap.



  1. It sounds great, Sandi! I would have loved to have gone with you and Jeanne! But alas, spring soccer season for the kids is upon us…LOVE that owl fabric!!!

  2. Way, way, WAY too much brown and turkey red there — but it made navigating the aisles much easier, at least I knew where NOT to stop!

    Great pics — and I SWEAR that cute boy was a plant to increase sales, he was adorable!

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