Tuesday, June 11, 2013

And The Winner Is...

Here's one of the things I will be hand-carrying into my new home this weekend, the prize I won from Betty's Fabrics on the Quilt Shop Tour:

I unwrapped it as soon as I got it home, of course, then rewrapped it to carry it away in all its regal splendor.  As you can see, the tote bag is beautiful, and inside, treasure after treasure has been revealed:

A kit with some fleece-y/velour-y fabric

Batting!  Scissors!  Threads!  Pincushions! And more!
A magnetic pincushion, rotary blades, pins, and more!

Oh, fabric!  Oh, joy!

A tote within a tote?!  Such abundance!

Marking tools, bundles of fabrics, and FOUR, count them, 4, measuring tapes of different lengths and uses--but wait, there's more!  There's even a jelly roll of my beloved batiks!  And the big quilted tote itself, covered with Monarch butterflies, which I love:

Magnificent!  I will be putting these to good use... after I move!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Central Coast Quilt Shop Tour, Part 2

Turns out, Morro Bay has one of my favorite quilt shops, The Cotton Ball.  Love the stained glass, love the wide variety of fabric.

Had to have the frogs surfing.  They look like they are having so much fun!  Then saw the frogs-on-the-beach fabric that goes with it, and had to have that too.  I know these will make a great charity quilt someday.
Then I picked up a few more fat quarters and such.  The one on the left was on sale.
Think of the money I saved.

Then I found a small piece of this beautiful shiny fabric, showed it to Elisa, and she cursed me (mildly) for showing her something else she couldn't resist.

So I "offered" to split it with her.  In fact, I almost snatched it out of her hand.  I didn't really give her a chance to refuse to share (sorry, Elisa!).

Next, we high-tailed it down the highway and barely made it to Betty's in San Luis Obispo before it closed.

Found some fabric to match some other fabric I already bought at Quilt Ventura awhile back.  Here's the main fabric:

And here are its new little friends:

And then I had to have this, just because:

We grabbed a bite to eat in SLO--yum--and then headed home.  With no stops to shop along the way, it dawned on us that we had actually driven pretty far.

We did in one day what many people choose to do in two or three days.  There were only three more stores left that we needed to stamp our passports, so we both vowed to finish, although separately, as my friend had a trip planned with her husband.  (Apparently, he doesn't mind sitting outside a quilt store while she shops, as long as he has something to do while he waits.  He's one of the good ones, ladies.)

The next day, I was too tired to even think of driving all the way back to Santa Maria, so I saved that for Sunday, and just went to the local shop, one of my favorites.

This is where I've been taking most of my amazing quilt classes.

I found a little bit of fabric that goes with some charity fabric I have.  So I had to have it.  Is this beginning to sound familiar?

Sunday, I slogged back up the highway to Betty's Fabrics in Santa Maria.  I wish I had taken a picture of the shop, but I was tired and had fiber fever.

I was kinda hoping I wouldn't see any fabric I liked.  I was already well over-budget.

But the minute I walked in, I saw one tempting morsel after another.  Finally settled on these, three of which also go with the gorgeous fabric I got at Quilt Ventura months ago.  And picked up a few more batiks, just because.

Then on to wonderful Roxanne's, my last stop, where I turned in my passport, and got some fish fabric I have been coveting for months, also for charity, and a cute little pincushion, because I needed a small one for those few times I actually sew by hand in the living room.

Of course, I have big charity plans, but quilts take such a long time, it may be awhile before I post finished projects.  After I move....

I had been questioning the wisdom of schlepping a couple of hundred miles round trip, backtracking all on my lonesome, to finish the tour, but when I got home, I found a message from Betty's in Santa Maria: I won their gift basket for the day!

There was a drawing at each of the eleven shops for a gift basket, each day of the tour.  (That's 33 prize baskets, folks, in case you didn't want to do the math.)  I didn't bother looking at any of the prize baskets along the way because I was too busy shopping.

So I'm excited that I was rewarded for my determination, although everyone who finished the tour deserves a reward, a commendation, perhaps a national holiday in their name.  At least everyone received a cute ruler, and quilters can always use another quilting ruler!

My tour pal offered to pick up my prize for me on her way home from SLO with her husband, but I did one of my, "Don't mind me, I'll sit in the dark," routines, not wanting to impose, and of course, there was always the possibility that part of the prize would somehow end up in her stash instead of mine!  (Just kidding!)

Betty's was going to ship me my prize.  But when I called in to work at Roxanne's, I heard, "Congratulations!"

I said, "Wow, word gets around!"  So my co-worker filled me in.  It turns out that the shop owners meet and exchange gift baskets to the shop nearest the winners anyway.

Picked up my prize yesterday at work, and it is FABULOUS!  More on that in my next installment!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Central Coast Quilt Shop Tour, Part 1

Quilt Shop run: done and won!  Yes, I and my pal Elisa did all eleven quilt shops and turned in our passports, covered with stamps.  Check out her blog yarn-tails to see pics of her beautiful fabrics and get a great run-down, as it were, of our adventure.

And yippee!  I won one of the prize baskets along the way; more on that later.

I had no particular plan, such as a project I'm already making for which I might need more fabric, for example.  My only requirement was, I was only going to buy things I LOVE, and I didn't care if they went together or not.  I figure it will all come together later.

First stop: Orcutt.  Fabric found.

Old Town Quilt Shop is much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside, like one of those tents in Harry Potter at the Quidditch championship.

(Did you know there was a similar-acting tent in The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour movie?  Little known facts.)

Anyway, be forewarned.  Bring money.  Super friendly staff, too.

On to Grover Beach and Sew Stitchin'.  My chauffeur and I--Elisa drove the whole way; she's a champ!--were leapfrogging so we would have shops to visit driving each way, and plenty of stops to stretch our legs.  This was Elisa's brilliant plan and it worked great.
We both got into the Asian fabrics here, and of course, I found another batik.  I'm convinced the red will go with some other fabric I have, but I will check after I move.
Super friendly staff here too.  They gave us a tip for a quick lunch place with very good sandwiches.  Can't remember the name.  At times like this, fiber gets in my brain and that's all I can focus on.

On to Pismo Beach and Quiltin' Cousins, where the theme was
Alice in Wonderland.  Everyone looked fantastic in their
costumes, and I loved how the table out front
was decorated with cupcakes made of fabric and pins.

The water might have been dangerous!

I would have bought fat quarters but all they had of these two beauties in a grab-and-go format were half-yard cuts, so, too bad, more fabric.  Awwww.

Next, Atascadero.  At Sew Fun, "Sewing in Paradise" was the theme.  More fat quarters were the... plot?

The staffers there were eating lunch, so we didn't get their full attention, but I did have a giggly moment with the lady at the cash register, who told me I owed half what I really owed, and I dutifully pointed that out, and then handed her the wrong amount of money.  I blame it on fiber fever.

Just up the road, Quilters' Cupboard.  Picked up some fabrics that actually go together, for a change, with a completely different vibe from everything else I bought.  Forgot to take a picture of the shop itself, though.  Fiber fever.

Top of the map for us was Paso Robles and The Quiltery.

They specialize in close-outs of brand-name fabrics, so, good quality and lower prices.

Had to have the bubbly fabric for the table runner I plan to make from Roxanne's pattern.  (Elisa got some too.)

And had to have the suns and moons fabric because... well, just because.

That was the trip out.  More about the return trip in my next exciting installment.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Maryvales Made!

We did it--eight blankets off to Maryvale!  I was thinking I would post pics of all of them, but it turns out that isn't possible due to technical difficulties.  I haven't seen the one Susan's niece made.

Sonja meant to take photos of the two she sent, one made by Jaime of Binky Patrol and one by someone else, not sure who--thank you, whoever you are!--but she shipped the blankets off and then remembered she forgot to remember to take the photos.  I think we all know how these things happen!

At least I finally figured out how to get Susan's photo uploaded.  Here is the charming blanket she sent from Chicago to Maryvale:

This is an 'in progress' photo; Susan says she also added the multi-colored yarn in a border.

And here are the four blankets that went out from my house, a colorful, traditional granny square blanket made by Sue of Binky Patrol, and another she made with a non-traditional granny pattern.

Love how she combined the colors!

The other two blankets I knitted using James C. Brett Marble Chunky.  The blue is from my FREE Color Convergence pattern.

The one with autumn colors is adapted from my Ribble pattern.  The Ribble action frames a center of stockinette stitch.

So that's it for the blankets for this year.
And the gift bags to put them in!

I am determined to start earlier and stockpile a few Maryvale-worthy blankets for next year.  After I move.

Lately I seem to be saying, "After I move," a lot.  Type up new knit and crochet patterns?  After I move.  Master my wonderful new sewing machine?  After I move.  Blog regularly?  After I move.  Someone offers me free fabric for quilting?  Even that, after I move!  (That last one is shocking, I know.)

I did take time out from packing and prepping yesterday to go on the Coastal Quilt Shop Tour with my new quilting and crocheting pal, Elisa.

Did we shop?  Um, yes.  I was trying not to spend more than she did (I'm very competitive), but so far, I have failed.

More about our adventures to come!