Tuesday, October 7, 2008


While my Northern frends are beginning to make their preparations for the coming winter, I am making preparations for the Houston International Quilt Festival. I think this will be my ninth year attending and every year it serves as a reminder that the hot and humid days of summer here are gone until next May. One of the things I do to prepare for the Quilt Festival is sign up for classes. My criteria are simple, classes need to offer up something interesting and do not include a lot of pre-purchasing of materials before hand. This year, so far, I have only signed up for two classes. One is to improve my piecing skills and the other is just for fun... a whole day of making fabric beads. The materials for both can be sourced from my stash and should be very interesting.

The other thing I do is try to figure out what stuff will I carry to hold purchases and stuff that I will need to make my Fstival days a little less bothersomeweary. I generally carry a rolling tote with wheels folded up to carry purchases, but with all the tote bags I have made this past year I may just bring a bunch of them... fill one up, return it to the car, get another one, do more shopping and repeat. Something to carry other essentionals such as cash, credit cards, ID and credentials is another matter. I have tried out several things in the past and just finished a new one to try this year. In no particular order, here are some of my collection of hanging pockets for conferences:

Size - 5" x 6"
Details - one zipper pocket, one Velcroed pocket, one open pocket, two pen holders
This one came from the American Sewing Guild. It is a good size, cost me about $5.00 and holds stuff securely. There are two problems with this pouch - it really doesn't hold more than the bear necessities. Cram in just one lip gloss and it becomes a bulky rock thing around your neck. The other thing I don't like is wearing a logo. Yes, it is probably good for the sewing guild but sometimes I don't like being an advertising billboard.

Size - 6" x 7 1/2"
Details - one zippered pocket, two open pockets, one pen holder
This one is unique and was developed during a pre-Festival event. For $5.00 you were given a plain black pouch, a whole bunch of fabric glue and six long tables of stuff to stick on your pouch. For some reason that day I was into the glitz and glamour of gold and black. It is larger than the ASG one but it too can look like a rock when full. The other disadvantage to this one is that the hanging strap is closed by the itchiest Velcro I have ever come across. I have been stopped many times by people asking for the pattern and I have to confess to them that there was no pattern just a lot of glue drying time.

Sizes - 5" x 4", 5" x 5 1/2"
Details - each have three credit card slots and velcroed change pocket all covered by a velcroed flap
These two little gems are from a commercial pattern that I cannot find anymore. The one on the left uses netting instead of vinyl for the badge holder. Both sizes are in the pattern and both hold the essentials including a nice little change pocket. These were both fiddley projects with little tolerance for errors in seam allowances. Again, you can get the rock around the neck look if it is really loaded up but they are both so small that the temptation is never really there.

Size - 7" x 6 1/2"
Details - outer cover - two penholders and one open pocket. inner purse - two open pockets
This is the one I just finished for this year. It is based on a pattern through Hancock Fabrices called 'Purse with a Secret'. One of our local ASG members modified the pattern for an ID window. The secret is that the outer pouch has another hidden inside of it. I added the two pen holders on the side because I am always wanting to write something down. Mine is a little bulkier than the samples I have seen... it is almost a rock around the neck before I get it filled because I used fusible fleece rather than the suggested thin batting. I think I will try this one out this year because I can probably add a lot too it before it looks like a blouder aornd my neck.

So those are my winter preparations - no leaf raking, no putting up the storm windows or cutting the grass for the last time. For me its signing up for classes and playing with fabric. Its a good life and, after all , someone has to do it!

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