Sunday, July 1, 2018

Once Upon A Time.... a city far, far away (Portland, Oregon) a sad woman (a non-quilting, sad woman) at the encouragement of her quilting Auntie joined a Block-of-the-Month group at a local quilt shop (Cool Cottons). After a bad break up with a boyfriend, she needed something.

The first BOM lead to another and the adventure began.  But now she had a stack of blocks and too many other ideas she was anxious to try -- the blocks were set aside.  (Her very first UFO.)

Then, a few years later at the siren call of "The Babes" (grandsons) there was a big move to another state. While many household items were left behind, not much left behind was from the sewing/quilting room. (And by now there were more UFOs.)

Fast forward 5 more years: American Patchwork & Quilting issued a challenge for 2018....complete 12 UFO projects this year.  The now-happy woman signed up. (Read January 8, 2018 and February 10, 2018.)


Each month a number is published on their Facebook  page. That number corresponds to the number on your UFO list. That is your assignment that month.  May was #6.

Here it is July, but FINALLY, my #6 is ready for the quilter.

The layout is not any particular pattern.  My quilting friend, the "other Charlotte", has a computer program that will figure out layout and fabric requirements.
Quilt Pro.

How cool is that!

Recognize the triangle setting blocks and the outer border fabric?  I've used this fabric in other projects, one being my Nephew's Tee-Shirt Quilt.

You just can't beat a good blender! I did have to search the internet to find more of this fabric.  The original yardage was purchased in Portland at  Fabric Depot a year ago.  

That is why it is always a good idea to keep the a piece of the salvage with fabric information.

The result is both BOM blocks combined
This will be for my sister; for her birthday later this month.  She mentioned a few years ago she wished she had a quilt big enough for her bed....this should do the job nicely; 80" X 124.

I realize it is pretty long.  I didn't pay attention to the layout...oh well, it is long enough to go up over the pillows when (if ?) she makes her bed.

Because I didn't pay attention, I ended up with two blocks left over.

Quilters do not make mistakes, they make variations...and pillows.

Happy Birthday, Peanut.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thelma and Louise

Two weeks ago I traveled to Portland, Oregon for work and play. I am originally from The Rose City so not only do I have a lot of friends in Portland, but my daughter still lives there, as well. I fell like I am "home."

Portland in the Spring, west side of the Willamette River, looking east.

I spent time with my daughter celebrating our birthdays; time with the C.O.W.s (Company of Women, my Portland Bible Study group) AND I bought a car!!!

My colleague recently moved right downtown. In Portland, you don't actually need a car.  You can  pretty much get anywhere on a bus, a train, zip car, a pedal bike, the street car or by walking, not to mention Uber.

So, I bought his car.  Mind you, I did not actually NEED a new car, but isn't she pretty?

Now I needed to get her back to So. Cal.  My friend, also named Charlotte, flew up to Portland to drive back with me.

Just call all us Thelma and Louise!

We did not zoom out of town, however, before visiting Cool Cottons to kick off our very own shop hop.

Cool Cottons is a small shop in SE Portland.The proprietor has a wonderful collection of fabrics!  I bought a blouse pattern (and fabric.$$)  When you are in Portland, this shop is a MUST.  Tell Marie "The Charlotte's sent me."

Next Stop, Spokane, WA to see the quilting Auntie...only 350 miles in the wrong direction, a slight detour. We helped Auntie clean up her sewing room (setting aside a generous pile of quilting junk stuff to haul back to Calif.)  Even though the visit was short, we had time to visit one of my favorite quilt shops in the Spokane area, The Bear Paw Quilting in Coeur d'alene, Idaho.

Yes, we did pick up a few items at The Bear Paw. $

All too soon it was time to say goodbye and head for Bend, Oregon and The Stitchin Post in Sisters ... 368 miles.

We picked up a few BUGS along the way!!!

All over my new car!  EEEeeekkkkkk!

OK, we did spend a few coin at The Stitchin Post. $$$$$
A "fat quarter bundle" for The Gypsy Wife.  It was the first time I've ever purchased an entire FQ bundle but I wanted The Gypsy Wife blocks to coordinate.  (More about this project in a future post.)

Bend, Oregon is so beautiful and we are not just talking about the quilt shops.

Melotius River

There absolutely IS more to life than quilting.

I could SO live here!

 The Three Sisters

Heading out of Bend with Sacramento, CA in mind, we stopped at two quilt shops in Klamath Falls, experiencing wind, rain, dust and more bugs along the way!

The credit card did not get any activity in Klamath Falls.$$

Spending the night in Sacramento, we were pretty much ready to be home, but we had 423 miles between us and our own little beds.  Off we went....

And, you guessed it, we did stop at one last quilt shop.  This one in Bakersfield, CA.  Thimble Town.  This shop is in a very out-of-the-way location but worth the scavenger hunt.  We did whip out the 'ol credit card for a few purchases. $$

All-in-all we made pretty good time UNTIL...dun dun dunnn...we hit Santa Clarita and the infamous Los Angeles rush-hour traffic.  It was U-G-L-Y to be sure.

Two-and-a-half hours later we pulled into Charlotte's driveway in Huntington Beach.  Thankfully the hubs had a dinner reservation for us at their favorite Italian restaurant...WITH wine.  So, the day ended on a good note.

1,718 miles, 4 hotel rooms, a visit with the Auntie & Unkie in Spokane; 8 fabric stores along the way; 7 episodes of Car Talk; picked up a bushel of smashed bugs on the front of my new car; too many restaurant meals (not enough veggies)....but, what an adventure.  I can honestly say my wander lust has been satisfied for a while.

$$$$$ Oh, and the damage to the pocket book?
$212 for me, double that for the other Charlotte. $$$$$

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Happy Surprises Come in Small Packages

My children grew up in the age where everyone received a trophy just for no one would feel bad, dontcha know....(When I moved from Portland to "the land of endless sun" I gave a gob of trophies to Goodwill.  I sure hope there are more kids out there with names of Ana and Matt.)

I always thought receiving a trophy for showing up was pretty silly because when we grow up and become adults we do not get trophies for showing up.  We get FIRED if we don't.  That is the real world.

Having said my piece, last night at our monthly Guild meeting I RECEIVED A RIBBON!

This pattern is from Fandom In Stitches, enlarged 200%

I'll admit, it was "honorable mention"  (the ribbon for showing up...)  But, it was too fun!!!

This was a challenge quilt for the Flying Geese Quilters Guild.  We were given (for $15) a packet of three pieces of green fabric.  The theme was "It Ain't Easy Being Green."

There is some amazing talent in this group.  Here are but a few of the entries:

I think Gordo was my favorite.

There is a reason we let professionals color our hair.

Just plain nice.

This is the first challenge quilt I've done...not sure if I'll do another.  It is hard thinking up ideas, and the competition in this group is big.   But, it was a fun experience.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hopped Out - Shop Hopping - Day 4

Last Day on the road, headed back to the O.C.  Hopping makes a person tired!  But, it has been fun.

Yesterday on my drive from Hollister back to the O.C., I visited three stores...

Quilts and Things in Morgan Hill  
Small shop with a bit of EVERYTHING.  Chatting with the shop person, it is the only shop in Morgan Hill.  Local quilters appreciate that, I'm sure. (Bought some pins.)


A few miles down the road is The Nimble Thimble in Old Town Gilroy.  
(I actually did buy a cut of fabric here...1 yard .)

Located in Old Town, downtown with your typical old town, small town look and feel.  A very nice shop with lots of modern fabrics.  AND, Gilroy is the garlic capital of the World, with a Garlic Festival and everything!  Bet you did not know that.

 They are currently featuring classes for Jen Kingswell patterns.


And finally, Family Threads in San Juan Batista.  (And, honestly, I was hopped out by this time and the only reason I stopped was because it was right next door to an eating establishment, where I had some "pretty good" BBQ ribs and mac-n-cheese.")

 This was a very nice, bright, shop with lots of modern fabrics, patterns and notions, and, of course, very nice sales people.

AND, a collection of Featherweights!

I did buy a pattern at this uses scraps!


All-in-all, I visited a lot of shops.
Met some really nice people (and a couple of new BFF's.)
And, got lots of inspiration.... all without breaking the budget
(Dave Ramsey will be happy to know that.)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A No Hop Day

Man-O-Man.  Our jobs can sure mess up a perfectly nice day for quilting, or shop hopping. 

I worked with a firm here in Hollister all day Friday, so no hopping happened.
But, that does not mean no quilting happened.

After returning to the hotel for a quick nap, I set up my sewing in the hotel's breakfast area.

Lot's of space.  Because this hotel serves breakfast but not other meals, the area was perfect for setting up a little sewing center.

Including big-screen TV and Peanut M & Ms from the "market."

Several guests wandered by and asked questions.  One gentleman stopped to tell me about the quilt his mother made for him that he still sleeps with every night.... sweet.

As I worked, I was thinking .. this would be a perfect location for a retreat.  Comfortable rooms, food near by, beautiful landscape and a really big area for setting up machines and iron stations.

I have a quilt guild challenge due early next week (actually it was due last Monday, but they are still accepting entries.)

The theme is "It's Not Easy Being Green." 

I had borders to finish and the "sandwich."  It will be quilted tomorrow.

Headed home today, with a few stops along the way.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Quilt People are Fun People - Shop Hopping - Day 3

I had an unexpected day off today so I decided to visit two quilt shops: 
Mennonite Quilt Shop in Reedly and JMG Fabrics in Los Banos.
It was a fun, fun day.

I visited the Mennonite Quilt Shop in Reedly early in the day.
What a nice small town (and good tacos, too).  I could so live in this small town!

Downtown Reedley, CA

This shop has a mission statement posted on their website:

"The Mennonite Quilt Center located in Reedley, California, is a fabric store and quilt gallery, but more importantly, it is a community of volunteers working together for world relief.  The MQC is owned and operated by West Coast Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Each purchase at the MQC benefit MCC’s work of relief, development and peace in the name of Christ."

Mennonite Quilt Center was much bigger than I would have imagined in such a small town.  A nice variety of fabrics from traditional to modern.  The woman giving me the tour said they have a "faithful" following from neighboring cities, including hour away.

This shop hosts two quilt retreats a year and for sure I'm marking the dates in my calendar, it sounds so fun.

 One display was totally amazing.

I so wish this picture could do this display quilt justice.  It was VERY well done with lots of embellishments.  And, it won an award!

Hopping back in the car and driving on toward Hollister (my work assignment for tomorrow) I stopped in
Los Banos at JMG Fabrics.


Kimmie and Lori were so fun!  We spent at least 2 hours chatting and pulling up pictures of our projects on our cell phones and sharing our successes and even a few projects that turned out to be challenges!

Two new BFFs for me!!!!  And, both ladies have partners who also quilt!

BOM quilt sponsored by JMG Fabrics and taught by Kimmie.

The Los Banos Quilt Guild has a quilt show coming up.  I'm marking my calendar, again.

I bought some chances and hope to attend the show.

I've purchased a few quilting notions in my travels, but so far no fabric.  Let's see if my resolve holds.

All-in-all, a very fun day.

Drive - Work - Explore - Shop Hopping - Day 2

There are a few shops that are unique to specific areas of the country:  Portland, Oregon has their "Fabric Depot."  Paducah, Kentucky has their Hancocks.

Fresno has  "Second Chance Fabrics"  

As I wrote earlier in the week,
I'm traveling and working in Central California this week.
I have been in Fresno the last two days. 

It is a creative idea..... resell fabrics the original buyer no longer needs or wants.

This little shop has it all.... fabrics (even kits!), notions, sewing machines for sale, a good size classroom, and very friendly sales people.   If I lived in or near Fresno this is a shop I'd love to spend more time exploring!

Margaret, gave me a tour and explained the concept....
Bring in your fabrics you no longer need* or want.  They will exam the fabric for quality and size and give you store credit.

They package and price the fabrics.  This shop isn't like some shops that have lots of creative ideas dripping off the walls to inspire you, but they have lots of nice fabrics displayed in a way that makes it easy to pick-and-choose what you need*.

Each piece of fabric is folded around a cardboard form and put in a cellophane sleeve.  There is a sticker on the front with yardage and price.

 The fabric is placed on shelves by color.

They also have a big bin of "scraps" (like we need more, right?)
But what if you're making a scrappy piece and need "just a bit" of a certain color????

Here is a clip from the Fresno Bee CLICK HERE

 Yep, this is a good idea and I wish there was a place like this in the O.C.

A friend of the shop made this quilt....
The creator's husband was a biologist and she made this to hang in his office.  Totally Cool!

Next time you are passing through Fresno, stop in.

*let's be perfectly honest, most of us don't "need" more fabric...