Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sewing (+ Shopping) on Vacation

This past weekend we spent a couple nights in WI Dells.  It was a trip with extended family, and even though I knew we'd be spending a lot of time in the water, I couldn't make the trip without a few little projects to keep me company.

After making little piles of in-progress projects all over the floor I packed no less than 10 projects that needed some hand work (the machine stayed home).  All of it fit neatly into one small tub, plus my indispensable Amy Butler bag with hand sewing kits + ruler, and my 24" cutting mat.  Projects included things that needed some seam ripping, embroidery, hand quilting, cutting, etc.  I completed the hand work on five of the projects, and made progress on two others - yay!  Lest you think I spent all my time holed up by myself sewing - I did make two trips to the waterpark, went out to dinner, and spent time hanging out with family.

I was able to put in time each day toward the Kids Clothes Week Challenge, getting all the pieces cut out for two pieces of clothing.  Now I just need to get the sewing part done so I can share the finished products!!

I also finished the embroidery on this block:

I made this block for a Crazy Quilt class I recently took.  I've had the pile of fabrics pulled for months just waiting to start a quilt and this seemed like the perfect chance; especially since I've also been wanting to play with log cabin blocks.  This block is foundation-pieced on muslin.  My plan at the moment is to do a bit of embroidery on some of the blocks, sort of sprinkled throughout the quilt.  I might go back and add a few more stitches to this block...right now it's hanging out on the design wall while I think on it.

Now for the shopping...

Pretty sure I have the BEST husband in the world.  Yup.  He drove all over the state, taking hours longer to get home, so that I could stop at quilt shops.  It was GREAT.

I used the awesome directory over at (BH&G's American Patchwork & Quilting website) to help me figure out which shops were roughly along the route home.

My first stop was at The Quilt Corner in Sparta.  The shop is in an old two-story house.  Lots of Civil War prints, flannels, and a good selection of black & white fabrics.

Next up was Olive Juice Quilts in Onalaska.  AMAZING.  Seriously.  I had a hunch as soon as I saw the building, which was obviously custom-built for the shop, that there would be something good inside.

I was not disappointed.  As soon as I walked in the door I caught a glance of Aneela Hoey's latest line, Little Apples.  Behind it was a whole room of fabric that was calling my name - Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, japanese imports, Echino, Alexander Henry, Kaffe Fasset dots, and lots more.  I had to walk through the entire shop twice.  They had the best classroom area I've ever seen in a shop; huge, nice sewing desks, and these great tall cutting table units that also had tons of storage.  They also had some great samples - both quilts and bags, lots of trims and ribbons, loads of awesome books, and I loved that they had the new Basic Grey canvas samplers in stock.  And as if that wasn't enough - I found an out-of-print Oliver + S pattern I've been hunting for.  Here's what I couldn't resist coming home with - LOVE the buttons:

I also stopped at The Quilt Yard in Osseo, and The Calico Shoppe in Eau Claire.  There were a few great "text" fabric finds at The Calico Shoppe (check out the awesome aqua and white recipe card fabrics), and they carry Cosmo floss (made by Lecien of Japan).  I hadn't heard of the floss before, but the advertising on their website sounded pretty intriguing, so I picked up a few colors to try out and see how it compares to my standard DMC floss.

All in all a relaxing weekend; now I need to get sewing!!

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