Quilt! Knit! Stitch! was a chance to do a new show and to have a little family vacation! The drive up to Portland, Oregon, was fun and not too long. We stopped many places along the way to see parts of the country we hadn’t seen before. I think our daughter enjoyed it, too.
I had taken many projects to work on in the “Chic-amobile,” but really only worked on the Chic-a Quilt. It was fun to sew the hexagons together. The tinted reading glasses worked really well — except when I wanted to look out the window!
We arrived a couple days before the show, so we were able to relax and spend some enjoyable time with my aunt and uncle, who live nearby. We also took advantage of the two days to set up just how we wanted: The first morning, we put up the structure of the booth, and the second morning we put out the product. This worked well, because it gave us the afternoons to relax. The Oregon Convention Center is a nice facility, and all the people who work there seem very friendly and helpful.
The show ran from Thursday through Saturday. Amazingly, our booth was close to the entrance. This was a first for us! We are usually in the back. We had a lot of traffic, and it was fun to show our products to people who hadn’t seen them before. My aunt was a huge help in the booth, and it was so nice to have her around and spend “working” time with her. My daughter has mastered the cash register, so she was the check-out person! My husband is a great sport, and he has his favorite items he likes to demonstrate. It was a great family affair!
The show itself was heavy on the quilting, with a handful of the knitting/yarn booths. That wasn’t really a surprise, though — it was sort of what I was expecting. I think there was a plenty to see and take in. The quilts and projects that were on display were amazing and beautiful. There were fashion shows, classes and demonstrations going on each day. There was a lot of fabric, tools, sewing machines, yarn and accessories to look at.
Everything was so creative, colorful and inspiring. For a first-time show, I think it was a success. There are things to work on and improve upon for next year, but isn’t that almost always the case?
By the time we were ready to leave and head home, we were pretty tired. We had spent a week with my aunt and uncle and their dog, Henry, and done a three-day show! We had originally planned to drive home in three days and see Crater Lake. That changed once we hit the road. Our minds were ready to be home, so we did the drive in two days. We just wanted to get home, sleep in our own beds and see the cats — all of which we did !
As I’ve mentioned on our Facebook page, we are exhibiting at the Quilt, Knit, Stitch Show! in Portland, OR, next week. We are making it a family vacation by driving up there. We are leaving today (Aug. 8) and arrive in the Portland area by Sunday, Aug. 10. My aunt and uncle live there, so we are going to be staying with them, which will be fun!
It is roughly a 1,000-mile trip from California, which means a lot of driving. Luckily, I don’t get carsick, so this means I have some good knitting and sewing time!
I have planned out my projects that I want to work on as we drive. My Chic-a print of choice for the projects is Cherries, with a little bit of Chic-a Pink mixed in!
I have two knitting projects that I am taking. One is the Blue Whale scarf by Stephen West. I had seen this scarf knit up at Wild Fiber Studio in Santa Monica, CA, and knew I wanted to make it. I am knitting with Malabrigo Finito and I really like it. It is so soft and a nice dark grey/blue!
The other knitting project I will be starting on the trip. The pattern is called Chevron Lace Tank by Mari Chiba. It is part of a pattern book called In Bloom by Knit Picks. There are a lot of patterns I want to make from this book!
Since I haven’t started this, I am bringing my new set of Caspian interchangeable needles from Knit Picks. That way I will have the right size for gauge! The yarn is some from my stash, a periwinkle blue from Hemp For Knitting. I haven’t knit with this yarn before, so I’ll see how it goes. I had wanted to make this tank for summer, but it looks like it will be for fall… good thing September and October are warm months in Santa Barbara!
I have also included my Chic-a quilt project that I started. I have some of the hexagons done, so I need to start sewing them together. All of these pieces fit nicely in the All Clear Pouch. Hopefully I will get some of this sewn together before the Show so I can have it out on display! I haven’t really tried sewing in the car. I’ll have to see how that goes! Note the sunglasses in the picture… they are reading glasses! Yes, I have to wear glasses to see my stitches, and these work great in the sun.
The last thing I have included in my pile of stuff to do while in the car is my drawing notebook, pencil and colored pencils. I know this might not work in the car, but if I get an idea, I want to be able to sketch it! I’ll probably need those sunglasses for this, too.
I need to find a book to read, too, before we leave. I always like to have a book to read and I just finished the second one in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. Such a fun, different, mystery series. If you like literature, this is a great series to read.
All of this fit into the Market Tote bag, which really surprised me! I even have room for the iPad and snacks. This will fit nicely next to the passenger seat in the Chic-aMobile! Now, I just have to convince my husband to drive the whole time …
We love hearing about creative uses for Chic-a products — share yours below, on our Facebook page or on our Ravelry group page, and you could win an Ort Keeper! If you haven’t tried any Chic-a products, you can still enter by simply saying how you’d use them!
The winner is drawn at random on Aug. 31, 2014. Please note: Neither Facebook nor Ravelry are affiliated with this contest. You must be 18 or older, and may only enter once for this contest. Void where prohibited; certain other restrictions may apply.
I have always loved sewing. I have been sewing since I was in third grade. I sewed most of my clothes in junior high school, and I designed and sewed my ice skating dress. (Yes, I did a little bit of competitive figure skating!)
I always wanted to learn how to make my own patterns and learn better sewing techniques. After many, many years I am now pursuing a bit of this dream!
Last September, I enrolled at the De Marcos Fashion Academy. Thankfully, this program works well with my crazy schedule — because, you know, I really needed to add one more time-consuming thing to my week.
It has three parts: fashion illustration, draping on the dress form/pattern making, and sewing. It all is finalized in a fashion show at the end of the year!
During the first quarter, I learned Fashion Illustration. Well, this was an adventure. Let’s just say that figure drawing in college was not one of my favorite classes. To my surprise, though, I was able to get this somewhat worked out. Jodi, the instructor, taught with skill and formulas that work.
I practiced at home, and when I was at the warehouse I would make myself sketch one picture a day on scratch paper. I think practice really makes a difference. I remember when I was in college and my drawing teacher said that if you don’t spend time, like hours, on a drawing, you will never get the feel/eye/skill for it. I took that to heart for this new task, and practiced a lot.
Over the weeks the figures started to look a bit more normal, fashion normal. My drawings and sketches for Chic-a are so different than these fashion drawings. There are some parts that I have yet to master, especially the hands and faces.
Once Jodi thought I got the figure down, I was to design three dresses. That was easier said that than done!
I was a bit intimidated by how to draw on the clothes in a creative, unique way. I think it was hard for many reasons. I drew pictures of things I knew I could sew instead of just designing. I would figure the sewing out as I was drawing, and if I couldn’t figure out how to sew it, I would erase it.
Finally, I got past that and just tried to draw things I liked. I was able to get ideas and experiment with them.
I came up with three designs that I liked. I found fabric from my stash (yes, there are fabric stashes like yarn stashes), and decided what would work best for each piece.
The next step was to draw them on art board and add color. Oh no! I really am not a color artist! I’ve always been a drafter… black and white and straight lines. Now you see the art dilemma.
I had three choices: color pencil, oil pastels and watercolor! Oil pastels, way too messy. Color pencil, hard to get smooth lines. Watercolor, hard to work with and very limited experience. So what did I pick? Watercolor, of course! I had my watercolors from college — yes they are 20 years old, but they are the dry kind so they still work.
Jodi gave me a crash course in using watercolors, and I started the process. It took several days to complete the pictures, since it helps to have it dry between sections. Once they were finished, though, I was actually very surprised and pleased at how they turned out. I learned a lot in those first 10 weeks.
I still draw and sketch, but not daily. I probably should. I still want to improve in this area and learn how to make the hands look better, give my figures a face, and learn how to turn the body more. If I have an idea now, I will go draw it. But I use color pencils to add the color —watercolor takes too long and is hard!
In a small way, I think illustrating is becoming a part of me.
Next up, tackling the dress form!
Chic-a was founded in 2007 by Joanna Reyes. Born out of an idea to create something practical, yet fun and colorful for knitting and crochet projects, Joanna designed and crafted the Quick Draw Project Bag. Responding to immediate popularity, Joanna continued to develop products to meet the growing demand, and out of this, Chic-a was born.
After 10 wonderful years in business and meeting countless amazing people who have helped make this venture possible, the Chic-a offices are closing their doors. Our products will no longer be manufactured, but you can still find some in retail stores. Click here to find one near you.
If you have any questions about Chic-a, please contact Chicaknitting@gmail.com