This past week my family was in New Mexico for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. My sister and brother-in-law have been a couple times, and it sounded like a great experience. We decided we'd meet there for this year's Fiesta. Bonus! Balloons and baby nephew! Here are a few highlights from the photos I took.
While I was in town for the Fiesta, I visited Hip Stitch, a lovely quilt shop located conveniently a mile down the street from my hotel. The kids and I had a great time. They each had $10 to spend and were able to spend nearly every penny. They both decided on some hot air balloon fabric. I'm counting on one of them being willing to give me a small piece to make myself a hot air balloon mini quilt to remember the trip, since I didn't seem to win the awesome quilt being raffled off at the Fiesta (see below). They each got yardage of these crazy sushi making cats. No idea what their plans are for that one! My daughter also picked up a little of the Schmitties in dusty blue, from Cotton and Steel's Cat Lady line.
I had no problem finding a lot of fabric I like in the shop, and since we were shopping on my birthday, I got 20% off my entire purchase! What a lovely surprise. My mom had given me some money to spend on my trip and I found the perfect souvenirs, FABRIC! Oh, I also bought a Zirkel. Thanks, Mom! I picked a couple from Tula Pink's Slow and Steady, and a few that will work in my Swoon project, including my first cut of Moda Grunge. I couldn't resist taking the last two yards from the bolt of the rainbow fabric. Never pass up a good rainbow fabric!
Additionally, we did a day trip to Santa Fe. (Non-sewing related side note: If you're ever in Santa Fe, check out Meow Wolf! So much fun!) We stumbled across the Quilt Fiesta, a small quilt show put on by Northern New Mexico Quilt Guild. So I got to do a little more fabric shopping. ;-)
It was such a nice surprise to run across the Quilt Fiesta. Here are a few of my favorite quilts from the show.
Purple Rain by Deb Martinez
Artists' Description: The quilt used up so many of my scraps! The back used even more. Just working through my stash.
Inspiration: Pattern - Patternworks - Japanese Windows
Dancing Duo by Donna La Bombard, quilted by Tessa Atwood
Artists' Description: My parents were dancing at my mother's 85th birthday party when I took a photograph. Some of the material in her shirt comes from what she was wearing that day.
Inspiration: Adapted from family photo
Under the Sea* by Susan Kayar
Artists' Description: I started with the kit for Underwater Rhapsody by Barbara Jones (AQS) but switched early on to using marine biology textbooks and dive buddies' photos of real fish plus my own fabrics.
Inspiration: Adapted from Underwater Rhapsody by Barbara Jones
*I was unable to get a full shot of the quilt, so this is just the lower half.
Nambe Rainbow by Judy Johnson
Artists' Description: I wanted to use my scraps to make a quilt in rainbow colors. I chose a diagonal uneven strip block and an off center barn-raising layout just because I like it.
Lone Star by Carol Naranjo, quilted by Millie Young
Artists' Description: My design comes from the Easy Lone Star class taught by Patty Bailey at SFQ in 2014. This is the third quilt I've ever made after learning patchwork and rail fence at SFQ.
Inspiration: class by Patsy Bailey
giraffe quilt by Lynne Horpedahl
This quilt was part of a Contemporary Quilting display. I really wanted to take him home with me! :-)
Plus, here's the amazing opportunity quilt from the New Mexico Quilters' Association. Some lucky winner got to bring it home from the Balloon Fiesta on Sunday.
Since I was traveling, I brought along my La Passacaglia project. I need a better storage/travel solution. What do you keep your EPP stuff in? I mostly only worked on it on the airplanes, but I did make some progress and those picky little triangles are growing on me.
I missed my sewing machine while I was away and dove right into my first attempt at improv curves when I got home. I am in love! Here's my first piece.
Now that I'm home from vacation, it's time to clean the sewing room and reassess what my priorities are. My Q4 goal post is in draft form, so that'll be up soon. Mostly I'm just overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done around the house as well as all the things sneaking up on my calendar.
Thank you for visiting! I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and Midweek Makers.
Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
It sounds like a lovely vacation. I have a soft spot for New Mexico and Albuquerque; my husband was born in Los Alamos and grew up in Albuquerque so we spend a lot of time there visiting family and friends. The balloon fiesta opportunity quilt is stunning every year, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to see the fiesta myself a few years ago.
It was a lovely vacation. I'd love to go back, both for the Fiesta and to explore the area more. How fun that you get to visit often!
What an amazing sight seeing the hot air balloons! I can't even imagine seeing it in person! Your improv curves are fantastic! Can't wait to see where you take it!
I really had no idea what to expect. It was a great experience. Aside from the fact that they are all at the mercy of the weather, it's a very well run event. I think I read that they get over 900,000 people in the nine days of the Fiesta. As for my curves, it's going to be a mug rug, so it's not going too much further. But I'm looking forward to using my new skill again soon. :-) Thanks for visiting, Jayne.
What a fun vacation...lots of color! I really like your free motion piece.
Thank you, Kathi.
That looks like such a fun trip. I love the Dancing Duo quilt - also the giraffe quilt. Vacations are wonderful but it's always nice to be back home.
It's good to be back home for sure, but I'm looking forward to really be back into a normal routine. ;-) Thanks for visiting, Bernie!
Wow, what a great opportunity for you and your family to attend the balloon event in New Mexico. The balloons were just so beautiful and so vibrant!! Oh, and the quilts that you got to see were fabulous!! Thank you for sharing those. My favorite is the giraffe...that is spectacular!!
I so wanted to take the giraffe home with me. It was excellent! I'm glad you enjoyed my show and tell. :-)
That looks like a really fun trip, seeing all the beautiful balloons and catching a quilt show - bonus! And your curved piece looks great! Are you sewing curves or appliqueing them?
Thanks for sharing on Midweek Makers - can't wait to see how the curves come out!
My curves are machine pieced. It's a little project, so it should be finished up in a day or two. ;-) Thank you for hosting!
How funny that last weekend you were in New Mexico, and I was in California! I'm so glad you found Hip Stitch. It is such an awesome little store. I haven't been to the balloon festival in a few years but may go next year if my friend from Florida comes to visit. I did see several balloons in the air when I was driving into Albuquerque the morning of Oct 6th.
That is funny. I thought of you while I was there. I hope to get back to the Balloon Fiesta. Oct. 6 (my birthday) was the first day we were there. Dawn Patrol went up and a bunch of regular balloons. Unfortunately weather wasn't good enough for the special shapes to go up as planned. I hope your friend visits and you get to go enjoy the balloons again!
Wow!! I am in awe of all the gorgeous photographs you captured...I will have to add that festival to my bucket list. And fabulous fabric selections!!
It was so much fun! Huge crowds, but actually not too overwhelming. The field is huge and bathroom lines were never very long. :-)
Anja @ Anja Quilts
It sounds like you had a great birthday. Did you take a ride in one of the balloons?
It was a lovely birthday. No balloon rides. Maybe someday. ;-)
I'm so glad you had the opportunity to see the Balloon Fiesta and Santa Fe! The balloons are amazing and Santa Fe is filled with such history - especially Loretto Chapel with it's winding staircase! Yea! You got to visit Hip Stitch! It IS an amazing quilt shop, yes? If you ever make it to Las Cruces, NM I hope you can stop by our local Bernina shop - you will fall in love! Thank you for such a wonderfully descriptive post! Blessings!
Thank you, Patricia. I'd love to come back to NM and spend more time exploring. I loved what I saw. Perhaps there's a multi-state southwest US road trip in my future. :-)