This week there was some sadness….

I didn’t have much time to sew this past week.  I’m hoping for a better opportunity tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Now for the sadness.  The quilt shop where I started my quilting journey is closing.  Mabel passed the word and over the weekend Hazel, Mabel, Inez and I took a trip.  Blanche was along in spirit.  The big sale doesn’t start for another week.  We went early because we knew it would be picked over once the mark downs happened and we wanted to get in before things got picked over.

The store had offered punch cards that scored you $25 once you filled one and I had one full and two partials ready to go. Blanche had a full card and a couple of partials that she sent up so we could go shopping on her behalf (which we gladly did and I will save what we got her as a surprise!).

Before I share what I purchased for myself, I would like to wax nostalgic.  I first learned how to quilt around 15 years ago (maybe more, I’m not really sure).  I didn’t have any type of sewing machine experience.  I cross-stitched a hem on a dress while I was in college if that gives you any kind of indication on what my skill set was.  My husband had more sewing machine experience  than I did and gave me a crash course on how to thread and use the sewing machine.  Inez was in the class with me (really was the reason I was taking the class in the first place) and walked me through my first steps in quilting at this quilt shop.  I still have the blocks…they still haven’t been turned into a completed quilt.  I still like them…and they are in my pile of UFO’s to complete.

We took a few more classes there and made sure that we visited when we were out at retreat.  The shop changed hands to it current owner and our lives changed that we didn’t get out there for classes although we did try to make it out there for some shopping.  Of course it was never often enough.

I feel saddened that they will soon be closing their doors, like a piece of my quilting story is becoming faint.  While I hope to make it back while they are having their big sale, I’m glad we made a priority to go before the vultures swoop in.

Now, I’ll share what I picked up for myself.  Hazel picked up a few things and I think we are going to be embarking on a project together, but more on that later!  Mabel came with a list of fabrics she needed for upcoming projects and stayed true to her course.  Inez picked up some background fabrics and fun things.  I wandered around trying to take it all in and touching various bolts waiting for the spark that comes when you are feeling inspired or when bolts jump into your arms because they are so beautiful that you couldn’t possibly leave them in the store.  There were so many that I wanted to take home that it was hard to start shopping.  I think made at least 3 complete circuts of the store before actually picking up a bolt of fabric.

Here’s what I picked up for fun.  The blueish one I grabbed a yard of just because it was fun.  The yellow one…well…it was my splurge piece.  The longer I stood at the cutting table the more I wanted.  I was just going to get a yard but I ended up clearing the bolt.

As I stood looking at the Oriental fabrics, Inez came over and picked up a bolt and said, “this is pretty”.  I couldn’t disagree.  But then I noticed a nice teal that went really nicely with it.  Then there was the gold.  Oh, the bolt of gold.  Then we were wandering around looking for more to go with it.

You can see what we came up with here.  The first in line is that teal that was just so nice.  And the gold…oh, the gold.  Then the hunt was on for the right green and blue.  The hardest was the background, but finally we found something that would be just right.

Here is everything together.  Doesn’t it just look so rich?  I’ve been thinking about it all day and have been running through different block/pattern ideas and I’m starting to think that I just need to come up with my own design.  Not that I don’t have a million other projects to work on….Ahh well.  I don’t regret it at all.  I did have to clear the bolt on the peacock and the background, some things you just can’t find a substitute for.

Now for the new project Hazel and I are about to embark on.  I don’t know if you have seen the Lucy Boston cross blocks?  They utilize the English paper piecing method.  If you haven’t seen the blocks check this out!  Just google “Lucy Boston cross blocks”, there are some amazing fabric combinations.  I’m not sure whose these are, but the colors were intriguing.  During our shopping session, there were some supplies  as the shop was offering a class and I picked up a template and some paper forms.  However, I really need to get the book to make sure I have all the things I need (unfortunately they were sold out of the book).  I think there may be some other shapes we need.

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I’m sure you remember how well Sandra Dee and Hazel love paper piecing.  Hazel was less than thrilled when I mentioned English paper piecing, but I think I have her talked into giving this a shot with me.  After all, these are two completely different methods so it should go much better!  Stay tuned for mine and Hazel’s totally awesome blocks!

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