Grand Parlor Chaos

Door Prize Gift Basket
Door Prize Gift Basket

The week is nearly upon us. My house looks like a bomb of tissue paper, decorative paper and ribbon went off in it. There are gifts and baskets everywhere. I haven’t even begun to inventory my clothes for the week yet. That will only add to the chaos.

In addition to the physical chaos, we also had some other chaos: our washer broke and is unfixable and one of the Grand Officers died so some of our precious prep time was, understandably, devoted to a rosary and a funeral.

My SILs, a friend and I spent Craft Night on Monday boxing and wrapping favors for the Ladies Luncheon. These soaps were made my my sister, owner of Wooden Heart Soaps (go buy some-they are awesome), the wallpaper from which we made the boxes was from FabMo and one of my SILs dug into her stash of gift bag ribbon for our use.

The soaps are Grapefruit Bellini scent. I wanted something that most people would like and was not too strong. Cross your fingers.

Gifts for Ladies Committee
Gifts for Ladies Committee

I also had to procure a number of thank you gifts for the people who helped with all of the events.

I decided to use handbags as the holders since they were nice and could be used later. I hope the committee likes them. If they don’t, I know they won’t say anything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

One Centerpiece
One Centerpiece

Maureen designed the centerpieces and Carol took them and designed a tableau around Maureen’s work. The plate holder will be clear or white (I can’t remember); the one in the picture is just a sample. Carol designed the waves and put together enough for all the tables. She did a wonderful job, especially using the lace doily to add a bit of finish to work.

After organizing my clothes, I think I will be done. We’ll see whatever other crises fate throws in our way.

Shop Review: Yoder’s Department Store

Yoder's Department Store
Yoder’s Department Store

Yoder’s Department Store is the place that is the main fabric store for the Shipshewana Quilt Festival. I never thought I would go to this place. It’s in Indiana. Do you know how far it is from my house? 5 hours on a plane, 3 hours on a bus, assuming your plane isn’t late and you don’t miss the bus, and about an hour in a car. We went to this store right after Zinck‘s and only had about an hour to look around. I was slightly jetlagged, so I had enough time, but I could have spent weeks in that store and not seen everything.

The other thing I noticed was that the store was scrupulously clean. Where Zinck’s was a little dark and slightly grubby – not dirty, just very basic – Yoder’s was spotless and bright.

Yoder's Soft Goods Section
Yoder’s Soft Goods Section
Yoder's large fabric area
Yoder’s large fabric area

For those of you who have not been to Yoder’s, it is a giant building with a few different and separate areas: fabric and clothing, housewares, hardware and a few others. We went into the fabric and clothing section, which also had shoes, table linens, baby clothes, and a few other things. The fabric section took up about half of that space. There was so much fabric that it was difficult to take it all in.

Yoder's Tula Pink & Friends
Yoder’s Tula Pink & Friends

Finally, I decided to do a circuit around the outside of the department to see what I saw. One of the first things I saw was some Tula Pink fabric.

This made me realize that I was in a different sort of store. The fabrics weren’t closeouts or remnants; they were the latest fabrics and a lot of them. I saw several lines of Thimbleblossoms fabrics, tons of Moda, all the American Made Brands solids, Kona solids, Bella solids.

I think I saw more of everything than I have ever seen anywhere. I think there was more fabric here than in Portland at the Fabric Depot. It would be close. If a person couldn’t take in all of the yardage and wanted to just pick some pre-cuts, the task would not be much easier. There were so many pre-cuts, I really couldn’t look at them all. Also, there were new ones. I saw Lulu Love by Cory Yoder (coincidence???) as well as Sunday Drive, which I had seen in Oregon and Washington.

Yoder's Notions
Yoder’s Notions

As with most quilt stores, there were quilts hanging everywhere with kits available for all of them. I found many of them to be quite appealing. Everywhere I went I saw notions, as well.

There was a whole large area with Creative Grids rulers. They had everyone I have ever seen including my favorite the 4.5″ x 8.5″ and the one on my list, the 20.5″ square. I bought a cut loose project sheet from this area to make a scarf hanger using a coat hanger, fabric and large WonderClips. Stay tuned for more on that project.

Indiana view
Indiana view

Outside Yoder’s was a farm and there was a great view of the barn. I love this view and would, theoretically, love to have my own version. I probably wouldn’t like the work, though and would need a superb farm manager like Patrick in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

My friend said there were at least 20 fabric stores within an hour drive from her house. I think I’ll have to come back. I am going to try and get a contract at her university so I’ll have a reason. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Shop Review: Zinck’s

Yes, the past 2 or so weeks have been an embarrassment of riches in terms of fabric shops. Shockingly, I have just returned from Indiana. Despite being from California, I have lived to tell the tale. Everyone was actually very nice and nobody judged me for being a Californian. Of course, my friend, Natalie, didn’t let me out of her sight.

Zinck's Home Dec
Zinck’s Home Dec

Zinck’s is housed in a former furniture store, so it is LARGE. They have all kinds of fabric including a large selection of quilting fabric. I saw fleece for $1.99/yard and thought of BAM‘s pet bed project. There were a large number of home dec fabrics for $5/$6 per yard with sale home dec fabrics at $1.99 a yard. Can you say Priced To Sell?

Zinck's quilting cottons
Zinck’s quilting cottons

They had a large number of quilting cottons. I wasn’t overly impressed with the quality, so I stuck to fabrics that had a selvedge I could find and recognize. There were lots of different designs, many of which I did not recognize. Lots of calicos and ‘interesting’ novelty prints.

Zinck's Fat Quarters
Zinck’s Fat Quarters

There were a large number of fat quarters at $1.50 each. I was determined to find some. When I went over to look, I found that a lot of them were the flat packs. Flat packs have a piece of cardboard inside and a sticker that says made in China. While there were some cut prints, I didn’t end up buying any. The fabric felt like Joann or Walmart fabric and I didn’t like the feel.

Zinck's Flat Folds
Zinck’s Flat Folds

One interesting aspect of the shop was their flat fold quilting fabric. There were pieces laying on tables consisting of 2-6 yards of fabric. They would cut pieces off, so if you wanted only a half yard, you could get that. If you bought the whole piece, however, they would give you a dollar off PER YARD! If you need backs, this is the place to go.

The store had knits, flannels, various polyesters, suiting fabrics and basically anything any sewist would want. If you are on a budget, you should definitely visit.

On our way to the next store, we got a little Amish Country ambiance.

Amish Country Ambiance
Amish Country Ambiance

Shop Review: Fiddlesticks

Amanda and I didn’t feel like we were quite done with our day of fabric-y goodness, so she suggested that we head to Vancouver. I always think of British Columbia when I hear Vancouver, but, of course, Amanda meant Washington. The shop we visited was called Fiddlesticks.

Fiddlesticks Quilt Shop
Fiddlesticks Quilt Shop

We actually stopped at another store first, but it was closed, though all signs, including Google, suggested that it should be open. Not closed forever; just closed that day. It didn’t matter, regardless of how much I would have liked to see another store. Fiddlesticks was a great stop. I bought a couple of items, specifically text fabric for the Carpenter’s Wheel backgrounds.

Fiddlesticks: repro area
Fiddlesticks: repro area

The store was light and airy. Some of the shelves were white, which is very appealing to me. I also liked it that the shop catered to a lot of different types of quilters. Modern Domestic was fantastic, but quiltmakers specializing in reproduction quilts would find nothing of interest there. There was a small area highlighting these types of quilts, catering to these quiltmakers at Fiddlesticks.

There were other areas that catered to specialty interests of quiltmakers.

Fiddlesticks: Wool Felt Project Area
Fiddlesticks: Wool Felt Project Area
Fiddlesticks: Front of the Store
Fiddlesticks: Front of the Store

As I said, the shop was open and airy. This came partially from large windows and white paintwork, but also from the apparently new building. The shop was in a strip mall, but not a nasty, low rent strip mall. It was a nice, clean brick building across from a lovely open green space (probably slated for redevelopment, but nice and green right now).

Fiddlesticks: Catch-all Area
Fiddlesticks: Catch-all Area

They had a lot of bright and cheerful fabric. I found lots of batiks and other current fabrics. There was a great catch-all area with charm packs, current tools and notions. Fat quarters, layer cakes and charm packs were everywhere.

I looked at the Lulu Love by Cory Yoder charm pack at several different stores, including this one. I didn’t end up buying it at this shop, but I did eventually buy it in Indiana (more on THAT later). The Lulu Love colors and Moda fabrics were very much in evidence at Fiddlesticks.

The other thing I liked about Fiddlesticks was that it was very clean. They seem to move their merchandise, which I can appreciate.

Fiddlesticks: Back Area
Fiddlesticks: Back Area

My favorite room was in the back. It had the Kaffe Fassett fabrics and the text prints. There was one Kaffe Fassett print that I almost bought for another tunic or a dress. I have a few pieces at home waiting to be sewn, so I held off. I was sorely tempted, however. I love those large flower prints!

Fiddlesticks: Back Area 2
Fiddlesticks: Back Area 2

I saw the Moda text prints that I originally got in mini-charm format for the first time as yardage on bolts. As weird as it sounds, it was interesting to see the various designs that way. Yes, I bought a few pieces for the Carpenter’s Wheel backgrounds.

Fiddlesticks: Longarms
Fiddlesticks: Longarms

The amazing thing about this shop was that they have 2, yes TWO longarm machines. It was interesting to see them in situ. One was working while we were there. I didn’t ask any details, but it looked like the machine was doing some kind of pantograph.

I liked this store and I would recommend a visit. It is an easy drive from Portland.

Quilt Shop Review: Modern Domestic

Modern Domestic
Modern Domestic

Last weekend I went to Portland to visit the YM and attend his last concert of the year.

As a college student, he is busy and was even busier last weekend, because he was working on the tech crew for a play. We slid in little visits here and there and had a good time when we could.

I could have spent time with him Friday afternoon, but instead I went fabric shopping with Amanda. She has recently moved to the Portland area and was free to tour me around. We were able to catch up, talk about books and had a great time.

I missed Modern Domestic on my last visit and had heard a lot of about it. I was very glad to get a chance to take a peek. The store was buzzing with activity. There were about four people working, a class or worktime going on in the back and a few customers.

Modern Domestic: Notions area & classroom
Modern Domestic: Notions area & classroom

I really liked the aesthetic of the shop. Very white walls, wood accents and lots of light and windows. There was a pleasing mix of old an new as well. The hop had an old fashioned mercantile type display case housing Bernina feet.

Everything was neat and orderly and the displays were simple, yet well done. I would let whoever designed the look and feel come and design my workroom. In fact, I would be happy to take over Modern Domestic as my workspace! The owner might have a problem with that and the commute would be daunting. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Modern Domestic: Midarm & Longarm
Modern Domestic: Midarm & Longarm

Around the edges of the store was a wide variety of closely curated modern fabrics. When I say closely curated, I mean that they did not have ALL the modern types of fabrics, but the ones they did were excellent and definitely fit in with the overall aesthetic of the shop. One type of modern fabric I did not see was text fabrics. There were a few Carolyn Friedlander map fabrics (Architex??? line), but few, if any, text fabrics. I was looking for them for the Carpenter’s Wheel backgrounds.

Their solid of choice was Kona, though I did see a few Cloud9 bolts as well. No American Made Brands that I saw. Kona does have the most colors available. I just wish they would address the looseness of the weave. Don’t you love their display with heart balloons?

Modern Domestic: FQs
Modern Domestic: FQs

There were also quite a few fat quarters displayed. The shop had a handy cabinet that had to be made for the purpose (or the shop was VERY lucky). Each square could hold about 12 fat quarters.

While they had a lot of fat quarters, they looked like end of the bolt fat quarters. I didn’t see much of their new fabric in the fat quarter bins. I did notice a lot of FQ bundles around with current fabrics. I was tempted by one, but decided on a couple of cuts from favorite prints instead.

There were hanging notions and tools as well (see FQ photo, the section on the right). I liked the way they were displayed, because I could see them all without rummaging.

Modern Domestic: Midarm & Longarm
Modern Domestic: Midarm & Longarm

The shop sells Bernina sewing machines, so a lot of the floor space is taken up with various models. The inventory included a Bernina sit down midarm. They also rent longarm time on a different machine- a Gammil, I think, but I didn’t look closely.

Modern Domestic: Bernina machines
Modern Domestic: Bernina machines
Modern Domestic: Notions area & classroom
Modern Domestic: Notions area & classroom

They sold cabinets as well. Amanda and I stood and admired the one near the thread for awhile.ย The cabinet could hold one of the large throated Berninas, so the main part was quite large. It appeared to be all wood and slightly higher than a regular sit down cabinet. The chair was definitely bar stool height. We wondered if one could stand and sew at it? Also, we wondered where the foot pedal would be placed.

Several BAMers have placed their machines so they can stand and sew. Some of them have health issues that make this a better options and others have space issues. I have been thinking of how my body would like standing at the machine.

Modern Domestic: Notions
Modern Domestic: Notions

I loved the way they showed the notions. I was sometimes confused on the pricing of fabrics and various items, but not the notions. Everything was clearly laid out and labeled, which was really a nice change. I didn’t realize how much I liked seeing the rotary cutters outside of the package or feeling the webbing.

I was also pleased to see that the shop went beyond the “standard offering” of notions that one sees in many shops. This area was closely curated as well.

Everything was very tidy as well. No piles of anything anywhere I could see.

I don’t remember seeing books and magazines, except for the first issue of Quiltfolk, which was on the counter. I am sure they had some and I just missed them.

I didn’t get the “quilt shop” feeling at this shop, whatever that means. I felt like I was in a working studio.

Sugar Pine Quilt Shop

I was in a mood on Friday when we left for Grass Valley. DH said he wanted to leave mid-morning so we could avoid some of the Sacramento/ Friday night traffic. We left just before 1pm and sat in traffic. This just added to my ‘mood.’

Two good things came out of this. I worked on the Ends Donation Top while I waited and Saturday I woke up much happier.

Saturday is a big day for NSGW events, so we were up and at ’em on the early side. The dedication started at 10 and by 10:45, we were free to do our own thing until 1 or so. We off loaded our stuff at the hotel then went looking for the quilt shop. Everything was within walking distance of our hotel so we were able to get our steps in as well.

Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, Grass Valley, Calif
Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, Grass Valley, Calif

We found Sugar Pine Quilt Shop fairly easily, especially after I figured out the correct address. Yes, DH came with, so he cramped my style a little bit.

Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, looking towards front door
Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, looking towards front door

Still, the people were friendly and the shop was stuffed with fabric, patterns, fat quarters, tools, notions and everything quilty.

Customers walk up to a patio and walk into the shop through French Doors. To the right, when you walk in, is the cash register/payment station (on the left in the photo – white counter). A bunch of other rooms are off of that room. If you turn left, you can make a U-turn into the room with repros, batting and a lot of books and the cutting counters. If you turn, also to the left, but not as sharply, you go into a room with Kaffe prints, notions and non-kid novelty prints. I saw a lot of Frida Kahlo related prints, Dia de las Muertos prints and Hawaiian shirt prints.

They told me that they try to keep fat quarters of all their fabrics on hand, but if I couldn’t find one, they would be happy to cut one for me. FQs were stuck in between the fabric and the bolt in many cases, which was awkward when I tried to carry a bolt around. They kept flapping around. They didn’t fall out, though, so that was good.

In the main room, aside from the cashier, I saw a good number of Fig Tree prints.

Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, Interior
Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, Interior

Behind the main room were two more rooms connected by a large opening. I couldn’t tell if this building used to be a house and, if so, how the rooms would have been laid out.

The shop mostly had fabrics that wouldn’t fit on shelves in baskets on the floor rather than just on the floor. This kept the bolts corralled, but made them a little hard to look at.

The place was STUFFED with patterns. Everywhere I looked there were patterns. They had a large selection of books, as well, most of which I did not recognize. One of the books I saw was More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts by Pam and Nicki Lintott. I have to be sure and tell Frances. I didn’t look at it, sadly, because it was way up high on a shelf and DH was waiting… I’ll find it somewhere else.

Sugar Pine Quilts, Interior
Sugar Pine Quilts, Interior

That blue bag was full of walnuts. Not fabric walnuts, but real walnuts. Don’t ask me why, I didn’t ask and I don’t know. They might have been shelling them to make crushed walnuts for pincushion filling*?

There was a lot going on at this shop in terms of prep for sales. They were cutting kits for pattern packets, sorting patterns, putting away fabrics after cutting FQs. It was busy.

Not a ton of modern fabrics, but enough variety to keep me interested. I had never seen Marcus solids and had a chance to see them at Sugar Pine.

I would recommend a visit to Grass Valley. I took some time to look at the shops in their lively downtown streets. There are a lot of interesting shops that have things I might actually buy. It is a good place to visit in addition to having a quilt shop.

Visit!
Sugar Pine Quilt Shop
452 S Auburn St
Grass Valley, CA 95945
(530) 272-5308

 

 

 

 

 

*Due to potential nut allergies, I use plastic pellets to give some heft to pincushions. I have never seen them at quilt shops, so I buy them at Beverly’s.

North Coast Inspiration pt.2

Misty scenery
Misty scenery

This post will make a lot more sense if you go and read part 1 first. That post has pretty pictures as well.

Down the street from the Humboldt Parlor Hall is the Clark Historical Museum. It is housed in an old Bank of Eureka/Crocker Bank building, which was purchased by Cecile Clark for her collection of items related to the area. The museum is small, but very well done. They had a special exhibit of 1960s fashion when we visited.

The museum also has one of the largest collections of Native American baskets in the US. I thought the designs on some of the baskets shared similarities with quiltmaking.

The museum also had a suite of rooms depicting a Victorian parlor and bedroom. Several vintage sewing machines were displayed along with a couple of quilts – two crazy quilts and a beautiful log cabin. I am concerned about the scrunched up display of the crazy quilts and hope they are replicas.

Eureka is a very nice city and there is a lot to do, wonderful restaurants and many historical sites. It is well worth a trip.

Part 1

Bunny Hop Quilt Shop Review

Stitch Quilt Shop Review

Ocean Waves Quilt Shop Review (previous review, not 2017)

North Coast Inspiration

The trip did not rest on my visits to Stitch and Bunny Hop. Eureka and the surrounding is beautiful. I found it to be especially beautiful on this trip because we have had enough rain to make the hills green and everything seem clean and fresh. Aside from the quilt shops, there is a lot of history and they have done a nice job making the downtown appealing, so it is well worth a visit.

Watercolor Sky
Watercolor Sky

The drive up (about 6 hours) was beautiful after we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge with blue sky and green hills. We were pleased and a bit relieved to see some blue sky after the crazy hard rain we had on Thursday. We stopped in Willits for lunch and then it rained on and off the rest of the way to Fortuna. The rain clouds make for some beautiful sky photos.

I thought the blue of the sky in the first photo (right, above) looked like a particularly good watercolor.

Trees and mist on Hwy 101
Trees and mist on Hwy 101

The area was known for logging at one time. There are tons of Redwoods that have grown back or been preserved. These trees with their mist also made for some nice views as well. As mentioned, the weather was rainy on Thursday at our house and the highway did not escape the pounding. there were a couple of places where we had to detour off the main highway to get around work being done.

On Saturday, DH dedicated Fire Station #6 on J Street. It is now a fire museum and the Friends are working on restoring the building and preserving fire equipment. It was a very nice ceremony, one of the best I have attended. Humboldt Parlor did a great job organizing the event and even had a TV reporter along side newspaper photographers.

Parlor Hall doorknob
Parlor Hall doorknob

After the dedication we were invited for lunch at the Parlor’s hall, which is in downtown Eureka. I always wish DH’s Parlor had a hall, but there are a lot of issues with owning property, not the least of which is buying it.

One of the things I noticed was the artistry of the doorknob plate. This could be a quilt design with a little reworking.

I love this kind of detail and, though I wouldn’t want this exact doorknob assembly, I do think the plate would be fabulous.

Building decoration, Eureka
Building decoration, Eureka

We walked around a little bit on Saturday after the dedication and I saw various details that made my brain spin with ideas. The photo left is an interesting version of a spiral. It is one ofย  many that decorated one part of the building. It made me think of Friend Julie, as she is my spiral girl.

I am not sure what it is made of, but it looks somewhat soft, in terms of stone being soft.

Check back for part 2 in a few days.

Shop Review: Bunny Hop – North Coast

Bunny Hop Quilt Shop
Bunny Hop Quilt Shop

It really was a beautiful day on Saturday, but that meant that my poor phone was having trouble taking photos – lots of glare.

Bunny Hop is located in an old Victorian. The inside does not appear to have been modified much, including the kitchen, which looked freshly painted and was decorated with a cherry theme. They made the inside work, which pleased me. I dislike it when historic buildings are chopped up without sensitivity. Eureka, Ferndale and Fortuna have some great Victorians.

Bunny Hop room 3
Bunny Hop room 3

In contrast to Stitch, this shop’s decor was in keeping with the Victorian style of the house. They had a fair amount of 1930s repros but they also had other bright and cheerful fabrics that I wouldn’t categorize as repro, but not Modern either. The fabric they had was similar to Scruffy Quilts (normal??). The decor definitely tended towards repro.

Bunny Hop: Room 2
Bunny Hop: Room 2

They had some precuts – mostly charm packs and mini-charms. On the ironing board were some Uppercase charm packs, which tempted me. I resisted. They had a great selection of dots and had they placed together. There were patterns and notions and samples everywhere. I realize now that I didn’t really get a good look at some of the notions they had away from the cash register (DH was waiting in the car).

Bunny Hop: Room 2 dots detail
Bunny Hop: Room 2 dots detail

The rooms were on the large side – or well laid out so the place didn’t feel crowded. The shop owner seemed to have a good FQ policy and they were placed near the like fabric on the bolt. I bought a couple of text fabric FQs for the Carpenter’s Wheel and one of the Studio E blue to which I am attracted.

Bunny Hop Main Room
Bunny Hop Main Room

They also had a nice selection of white on whites, which made me think of TFQ. I bought one called gingham for a background. It had a white printed (a la Blueberry Park) grid on it. Not sure what quilt I will use it for, but there is no shortage of options. Bright white is something that I find goes well with the bright colors I use.

The main room was also where they had notions, including a nice selection of scissors, Renaissance Ribbons and their blue fabrics.

Bunny Hop: Room 2 detail 2
Bunny Hop: Room 2 detail 2

The project on the wall of their workroom was appealing. I couldn’t get a closeup view. It was 16 patches set with lozenges so it looked like the 16 patches were Sawtooth Stars.

The photo, left, was taken in the same room as the dots (above). They had some kids prints along with the repros in this room.

Bunny Hop: Room 1
Bunny Hop: Room 1

In, probably what used to be, the Service Porch Bunny Hop had their interfacings, fusibles and a lot of Sullivan embroidery floss.ย  The floss was mostly in hanks rather than spools like the recent Sue Spargo and Aurifil purchases I have made. There were some in balls. I haven’t heard of this company and didn’t buy any. Isn’t that a GREAT cabinet?

Bunny Hop Project Area
Bunny Hop Project Area

Finally, of course, throughout the shop, they had samples and projects. This area was particularly cheerful. You can see the red, yellow, green and white theme they had going. This was another area with a number of books and patterns, which I did not take the time to explore in depth. ๐Ÿ™

There was a pincushion made from selvedges in a small bread loaf tin (second shelf under the bag and to the left) that was fun. I am not sure how it would be to put pins in, but it would make a cute decoration for someone who enjoys selvedge projects. It is also another way to use up those selvedges.

Bunny Hop selvedge pincushion idea
Bunny Hop selvedge pincushion idea

I enjoyed this shop, not only because it was new, but because of the cheerful quality of the projects and the fabric. I was also pleased when the cashier told me about Stitch. It is well worth a visit, especially if you are in town visiting a number of quilt shops.

Visit Bunny Hop Quilt Shop
Address: 1809 Albee Street, Eureka, CA 95501
Phone: 707-497-6356
Email: info@bunnyhopquiltshop.com
Website: http://www.bunnyhopquiltshop.com/

Shop Review: Stitch – North Coast

Fun Stitch sign
Fun Stitch sign

This is a fantastic shop. I wanted everything and bought more than I had planned. I am so glad I went and wish this shop was in my neighborhood. I am probably lucky it isn’t.

Stitch: view from the street
Stitch: view from the street

I was directed to Stitch by the kind lady at Bunny Hop Quilt Shop, another shop I missed last year. Stitch opened in January 2016 and I didn’t visit last year. DH reminded me that we spent the day wandering around Fortuna trying to get a library card. I don’t remember anything about quilt shops last year and I can’t find anything on the blog so perhaps I didn’t visit quilt shops last year? I must not have been feeling well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stitch: view from the street
Stitch: view from the street

The outside of the building isn’t anything to write home about. It needs a good coat of paint and some glossy white trim. The inside of the quilt shop is a paradise. It is small, but has a great feel, wonderful fabric, lovely displays and a general air of things happening. The fabrics were all modern and current. I never liked light blue, but after seeing it on the walls of this shop, I might change my mind. The shop had the feel I want for my bedroom.

Stitch: View towards the street
Stitch: View towards the street

While I was there two ladies were in the small classroom making modern Dresden Plate type blocks that made me want to sit down and make one as well. The owner was calling out encouragement to them while she helped me.

The shop is compromised of one large room (photos left and above) along with a small room behind the cutting counter that had a design wall with interesting blocks on it. As mentioned, there was also a small classroom. In the classroom was a wall of sale fabrics.

Stitch: Apron idea
Stitch: Apron idea

The displays were also wonderful. Why didn’t I ever think of using a border print for an apron? Genius.

The whole front corner made me think of Friend Julie as it was grey and yellow themed. In addition to the tea toweling, of course. The apron pattern is the Church Ladies apron that I made, but shorter. And better looking. The fabric is great.

Stitch display detail
Stitch display detail

Also in that corner was a display that included a tote bag and a Sew Together Bag. The kits are for the quilt on the wall in the photo above.

I saw the crab fabric on the Hawthorne Threads site and almost bought it. I think it is interesting, but, after seeing it, am glad I didn’t.

Stitch: Poolside Tote
Stitch: Poolside Tote

Finally, they had an example of the Noodlehead Poolside Tote (sorry, slightly blurry). I LOVE the grey dot straps and the bold print. I bought some of that grey and am thinking of making something similar with one of my man Phil’s (Philip Jacobs) flower prints. I think a larger bag might be better, but we will see. I need another tote (and project, for that matter) like I need another hole in my head. Still, the idea of using that grey with a bold print is very appealing. I really, REALLY need some serious sewing time.

The cherry on top of the ice cream sundae was the Sue Spargo AND Auriful embroidery threads. They didn’t have as much Sue Spargo as Thistle Dew, but they had enough to keep me happy.

I really wish this shop well. I also wish it were in San Francisco. It is an incentive for me to go to this Native Sons event again.

Visit Stitch!
385 Main St
Ferndale, CA 95540
(707) 786-5007

 

Stitch Envy
Stitch Envy

This is a funny view of the front of the shop.

Fabric Garden Visit

Fabric Garden, Marconi Ave, Sacramento
Fabric Garden, Marconi Ave, Sacramento

The other weekend, in addition to Runs with Scissors and Thistle Dew, I also visited the Fabric Garden for a second time.

I didn’t take photos the second time around. I think I got distracted, so these photos are from my first visit, which was last Fall for the Admission Day Celebration. The skies were bluer and the air warmer.

I went to look for the Hansel and Gretel kit, which I have decided to make for my little niece to keep Red and Coral company. The very nice shop ladies were successful in selling me a multitude of fabrics (for dresses, probably) and a charm pack of Poppy Mae by Robin Pickens for Moda. Yes, Moda fabrics. I loved the motifs too much to think about the fraying I would have to worry about.

Fabric Garden Interior View
Fabric Garden Interior View

The shop is light and airy and clean, though it is also stuffed to the gills and there is plenty to look at. I also think they have a nice variety of fabrics that suit many desires. They do only have a small section of repros, e.g. Civil War. I didn’t notice whether they had any 1930s prints. The wide variety of other fabrics from tone-on-tones to modern was really pleasing. They had a lot of pre-cuts, especially charm packs, though they were all packaged to it was hard to look at all the prints. I was able to look at the mini-charms to get an idea of what the Poppy Mae looked like and that worked for me.

I also liked their section of embroidery patterns and supplies. There were tea towel type projects as well as wool felt designs and patterns.

The people at this shop are very friendly and helpful, though they don’t hover. Between this shop and Thistle Dew, it is worth a trip to Sacramento. The other shops I have visited make it a quiltmaking haven and a weekend’s good quilt fun.

Fabric Garden Purchases -1/2017
Fabric Garden Purchases -1/2017

 

Retreat Work

Final City Sampler blocks
Final City Sampler blocks

As mentioned briefly yesterday I was on Retreat over the weekend. CQFA had their annual retreat in Half Moon Bay. My big huge accomplishment was that I finished the last 41 blocks for the City Sampler.

Hallelujah!

I started in on them on Friday right after I arrived. I worked until about 9pm with breaks for food and water. Then I worked on them all day until 10pm Saturday with breaks for food and water, but no breaks for other projects. I finished the last block after 10. Angela stayed and kept me company for the last few minutes so I wouldn’t be alone, which was really sweet of her.

City Sampler block n.59
City Sampler block n.59

I had the idea that I would photograph each block as I finished, but the quantity was too great and after the first few, I gave up and focused on my work. I have cleared off my small design wall and will put the blocks up there and take a photo. The one shown (left) is number 59 and one of the few I think have potential in a larger quilt.

I feel like this is a real achievement and coupled with the finished Peacock top is good work towards getting me over the slog through the quilt mire I have been in. After thinking about this project for awhile, I have decided that I wouldn’t do it again if I had a do-over. I was coming off of the excitement of the A-B-C Challenge when I started this one. I thought this one would be a similar experience, but it didn’t turn out to be as collaborative. Also, the blocks are fiddly and, in most cases, not terribly interesting. As a group, I think they will be interesting, but singly, with very few exceptions, they are uninteresting and, as I said, fiddly. If I do such a project again, I will look more carefully at the blocks before I start.

It wasn’t all peaches and roses, though, I as I am really having trouble with the seam allowance on both machines. ERRGH!!! I can deal with putting different sized blocks together. I don’t want to be seen as an amateur or a poor quiltmaker when I work on collaborative projects (like the donation blocks). The DC5100 is going to the shop. I have to figure this out so I don’t worry about it.

Runs with Scissors Quilt Shop

Runs with Scissors Motto
Runs with Scissors Motto

I made a circuit of the shops, mostly driving on surface streets. The second shop I visited during my #politicalwifery weekend was Runs with Scissors. Great name, huh? Runs with Scissors was a lot smaller and had fewer items than Thistle Dew. Still, I found some nice things.

I had some trouble locating this shop once I found the address/mall in which it resided. It is tucked below and behind a sidewalk, but is truly net to Goodwill as the online resources say. I don’t think I could see it from the street. The mall looks a little seedy, but the shop is bright and clean and has new and modern fabric and supplies.

One thing in which I was interested was the Scottie Dog patterns. You might remember that DH and I went looking for Scottie Dog quilt shop on our 2015 visit to the North Coast and found that it was permanently closed. I think that ScottieDogquilts.com is their new home. I ended up buying the Modern Meteor pattern because I have an idea for a quilt for one of the nephews and the pattern reminded me of my Star Sampler quilt, an idea with which I am not yet finished.

I also bought an apron pattern called the Chatterbox Apron because I liked the shape. After I got back to the hotel, I thought that it might be by the same designer as my Church Ladies apron. Not a good sign since I needed a translator for that one. Clearly, however, I like the designer’s style. I have an idea to make aprons as gifts. I hope not to need a translator now that I have made one of the line’s patterns.

Runs with Scissors motto
Runs with Scissors motto

The shop was filled with people making a group project or taking a class, so the place had a cheerful feel. I really liked the decorations they had including the mottos/sayings. I have been told it is slightly modified from a Molly Ivins poem or essay, however, I found it listed as a saying from Hunter S. Thompson. The above is slightly revised.

Thistle Dew Quilt Shop

I had a #politicalwifery event over the weekend. While DH was in meetings, I went to 3 quilt shops, Thistle Dew Quilt Shop, runs with Scissors and I made a second visit to the Fabric Garden.

Thistle Dew Quilt Shop - outside
Thistle Dew Quilt Shop – outside

The name “Thistle Dew” made me think of Laura Ashley prints, so I didn’t have high hopes. I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find an awesome quilt shop experience. It was light, bright and cheerful. The people were friendly and helpful, but didn’t hover. It was that hard to find and though information said parking would be difficult, I found a spot right in front.

Sue Spargo Embroidery Thread Display
Sue Spargo Embroidery Thread Display

When I walked in, the first thing I saw was 4 large cases of Sue Spargo embroidery threads. I almost swooned! I love embroidery floss. I love Sue Spargo’s work and have been admiring her book, Stitches to Savor: A Celebration of Designs by Sue Spargo. It is a kind of coffee table book where you can see the stitching. I have been drooling over the designs for awhile. I didn’t even know she had come out with a line of embroidery threads. The threads were different weights. Yes, I bought several. I was pleased to restrain myself, because I wanted ALL THE THREAD.

Cosmo Embroidery Thread Case
Cosmo Embroidery Thread Case

I was already in heaven when I turned and found an entire case of Cosmo embroidery thread. I really couldn’t believe my luck. I remember seeing a big case of this thread at QuiltCon last year. I don’t know for sure, but it looks like they have all the colors. I didn’t buy any then. I love the way they arranged the colors in this case as well. Again, I wanted ALL THE THREAD.

I was also pleased to find that one their instructors filled in for Sue Spargo last year when she was sick. I don’t know if the woman is certified, but with the threads and the high level instructor, I would say that they have classes in Sue’s stitches and techniques and are within driving distance.

After selecting several spools and hanks, I went to look at fabric, which they did have. Lots of it. Bright cheerful prints, lots of text and low volume fabrics, many dots, plenty of solid. Generally, they had a great selection.

I was also pleased at the selection of notions. Theirs was not the standard selection of Dritz notions that new store often have. This was 10+ feet of very special notions, including so many needles my head was spinning.

As soon as I got hope and saw SIL, I told her we had to make a trip to Sacramento to visit quilt shops. There are several worth visiting. I guess I had better make some finishes. I told my mom about the store and will definitely visit again.

Thistle Dew Quilt Shoppe
10127 Fair Oaks Blvd
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Tel:+1-916-967-5479

Grand Parlor Quilt

At Grand Parlor the candidates for the Executive Board have Hospitality Rooms. The rooms open up at a certain time, people walk around and chat with the candidate and other members of the Parlor. Food and drink is offered and the Parlors vie with each other for the best food. Another thing they do as a fundraiser for their Charitable Foundation is to raffle off stuff. You have seen the pillows SIL2 and I have made. DH’s Parlor also usually has raffle baskets. Other parlors have other things, both big and small. anything from commemorative coins to TVs.

Bidwell Parlor Raffle Quilt
Bidwell Parlor Raffle Quilt

The Parlor across the hall from us had a quilt! It was simple, but pretty amazing. The motifs were made with some kind of commercial silkscreen. The quilt has been washed and doesn’t look faded, so the process seems to be colorfast, at least after the first washing.

This is the second quilt this Parlor has raffled, so they do have some quiltmakers associated with the Parlor. I am not sure I would make a quilt like this, but the gentleman who won was thrilled and the Parlor made over $500, so that is good.