Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adventures in Alpaca batting!

About a year ago I decided to look into alpacas as another source of income. In my quest to learn as much as I could about these wonderful animals, I discovered alpaca batting! Being a quilter I just had to have some. I had read somethings online about alpaca batting some good, some bad, but no one I knew had ever used it before. At a friend's ranch in Loveland, CO I bought some alpaca batting but because it was expensive and special (at least to me) I didn't want to use it on any quilt. Finally, I decided that I couldn't save it forever and about a week ago I used it in a friendship block swap quilt.
It is a small lap quilt and I have twin size batting so I decided (it was midnight-ish) to double up the batting. Alpaca batting is warmer then wool, or so I was told, and they were not lying! I am hand quilting this quilt because I have yet to get my long arm, and let me tell you! Having double the alpaca batting in a lap quilt while quilting it, it is by far warmer then anything I have ever used before! I am lucky to live in the Colorado Mountains where it gets cold at night.
Now for some "technical talk"; in my research of the lovely alpaca batting, I found some reviews that stated the batting gets "fuzzies EVERYWHERE". My personal experience is that is not true. While basting this quilt, I was crawling on the batting, in black pants on my hands and knees and there was very little "fuzz" on my pants or on the floor. I also found that this batting is expensive, no lie there, it certainly is expensive, however I feel that it is worth it for the extra special people in your life. As far as washing goes, I have heard that machine washing will "ball" the batting, for that reason I am making a smaller "wall hanging" size quilt just to see if the batting will "ball" in the wash. I am using a blend of alpaca/wool batting at the moment from Pacafil. This is only the beginning of my alpaca batting "testing" :) Later I will be experimenting with 100% alpaca batting if I can find it!
I will keep everyone updated as my adventures in alpaca batting continue!

Also, check out my new blog about life as a freelance author.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas in Divide Craft Fair

Yesterday was the Christmas in Divide craft fair. It was my first year at this craft fair and I have to admit I was impressed by the turn out and all the crafters. Everyone had some beautiful crafts and I met a lot of very nice people. A big thank you to everyone who came by and to the organizers from the Divide Chamber of Commerce. I am looking forward to next year.

For those of you who signed up for the drawing, a name will picked from the jar and an email will be sent out later this evening. I appreciate the interest in beginner classes in early 2011. I will keep everyone up to date on schedules and class prices through emails. If you are interested in taking a class, please feel free to contact me at "class" in the subject line and I will add you to the email list.

A physical location is in the works for next year.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More pictures of the pin wheel quilt

The entire quilt laid out.

Looks like a grease stain (?)
Both moth holes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

75 to 100 year old quilt?!

I believe the spot on the right is an actual cotton seed, but I am not sure.

A hole in the top fabric, reveals the batting.

Moth holes in the pictures above and below.

I just had to post some pictures about this quilt I got recently at a consignment shop in Divide, CO. When I first got it I had thought it was made in the 1950's, maybe. I asked the store clerk if they knew how old the quilt was, he said he'd call the lady who consigned the quilt and ask. She said the quilt was made by her grandmother between 75-100 years ago. The quilter's last name was Crum from Colorado, Frances maybe I am not sure.

Here are some pictures of the quilt. There are some moth holes, stains, etc...however for being 75-100 years old, it is in great condition. I am guessing the quilt was made around the 1930's, if anyone can tell from the pictures of the fabric the time frame, I'd love to know the age of this quilt. At some point I will be getting this quilt looked at by an expert, but I'd like to hear everyone's opinions.

To put everyone's mind at ease, I have wrapped the quilt in a sheet and rolled it gently to store it. Beyond that, I am unsure as to how to take care of this quilt. Suggestions on that topic are also welcome!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Planning Begins!

Saturday was the conclusion of a two part class offered by the Stargazer Ranch. Our day was spent with some hands on work with the Alpacas and some “class room” discussion. Spending the day working with Alpacas reinforced my excitement to owning these wonderful animals. A special thanks goes out to Cindy and John from the Stargazer Ranch for putting on such an extraordinary class and for sharing their knowledge and expertise.
Alpacas will be a big part of my life, the resort and now is the time for making detailed plans to bring these ideas into reality! I am in the beginning stages of writing a very detailed business plan, looking for grant researchers and writers, and of course interest in my ideas. Keep an eye out for articles I am writing topics will include; alpacas (of course), quilting, and hippo/animal assisted therapy for conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism, and stroke. I have also purchased a video camera! There will be pictures and videos coming soon.
Quilting Love,
Michelle, owner of Snow Top Quilts

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Alpaca journey...

Yesterday marked the beginning of my Alpaca Journey. I went to Stargazer Ranch Alpacas, for their Coffee to Cocktails event. Having spent 12 years in the alpaca business, Cindy and John are a wonderful source of knowledge, and their joy and love for these adorable creatures is contagious. They have "barn-cams" set up so you can watch the Alpacas live on their website.

My family is considering starting a farm of our own. In a couple of weeks I will be going back to the Stargazer Ranch for the "Ranch-Hand Day". I am looking forward to learning more alpacas and how to care for them.

Stay tuned for more of my journey with Alpacas :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Alpaca batting anyone?

Just a quick question to my quilting friends;
Anyone ever use Alpaca batting?
Any comments on it?
Easy to use?

Ok, so that was more than one question :) I am considering using this batting in a quilt and would like to know what other people think.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thinking too much too late!

It is just after midnight where I live and I know I should go to sleep but I just can't turn off my mind. I have so much running through my head, quilts I want to make, quilts I need to make, working on my book, who should I hire to design my website, etc...

I have to learn to let these thoughts go at night so I can sleep. I can't be the only one who deals with this, can I?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Coffee better than Starbucks!

Hello All,

I just wanted to pop in and tell you all about a coffee that my husband and I found. It is called Skinny Coffee, from Boresha. Honestly it is better than Starbucks, I stopped brewing my Kenya blend at home because I got Skinny coffee to brew at home now.

Stop by this website and see what it is all about. Try it once, it is worth it, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I am back

Hello All,
After family medical issues, a long hard move, and getting to know my new area, I am back. It was a stressful 3 months but I am hoping it will get easier over the next month or two. I have started to do some side work as a Virtual Assistant to help make ends meet until Eric can find another job. There are a couple of VA positions I am interested in and they look promising.
While I was away, I had some thoughts on where I'd like to take Snow Top Quilts and I'd like your opinion. My thought was to set up a quilting retreat or camp somewhere in Colorado. My first thought was at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO -the place where they filmed The Shinning- and have some guest speakers, as well as some quilting teachers for 3-4 days. My questions to you are:
Where would you like to go for a quilt retreat/camp?
How many days would you be willing to go for? 3-4 days? 7 days?
Who would you like to see teaching at the quilt retreat?
What classes would you like to take?
How many people would you be comfortable taking a class with?
I am working on finding locations all over the state of Colorado and hope to have a good idea of when, where, who, and how much by the end of the February. Send me an email with your answers to: