On our way home we stopped in Medford at Cottage Quilting. This shop is not too far from Ashland, so it was the last shop on our way home.
The weather was awful. It was over 100 degrees when we stopped. I tried to find some shade for the car, but just ended up making us walk across the hot parking lot in the blazing sun.
You know what the non-quilting interesting thing was near Cottage Quilting? A grocery store sized Harry & David’s store! I have seen the catalog, but not a shop.
Fortunately, most of the world has air conditioning and the shop was nice and cool. What a huge shop! They took up two storefronts in a modern, one story mall. We were also fortunate to arrive when we did as they were closing the shop for a week starting the next day.
The first thing that happened was that the owner scared the living daylights out of me. He just popped up and welcomed us, which was nice, but unexpected. It was completely my fault, because I wasn’t expecting it. I have to say I was hot and tired from driving, so I wasn’t at my best.
The shop has TONS of various types of machines. After thinking about it, I think most of the shop is machines, though they have a fair amount of fabric, including the best selection of toweling (tea towel fabric) I have seen. They have a number of different colors. I bought some white for my SIL so she can embroider on it. I seem to do that whenever I go somewhere and find tea towel fabric.
I also liked the selection of notions, thread and rulers. Another excellent selection of both. I truly saw items I had never seen before including a small pair of Duckbill scissors.
The shop had more thread brands and colors than I have seen. I could definitely spend some money there if the shop were closer to my house.
The owner came up to us again and wanted to chat a few minutes after we had started to look around. This did annoy me. My mom can always be counted on to chat up new people, so I left her to it and continued to look at fabric and notions.
I would visit this shop again, especially with a list of notions and rulers I needed.
Cottage Quilts * Sew Creative Studio
1310 Center Drive
Medford, Oregon 97501
My friend Amanda took me to several shops when we stopped in Portland on our way home. One was called Cotton Cure. It was a GREAT shop. It didn’t have the most fabric, but it has a really good variety and the presentation was excellent.
The quilt shop was in an urban shopping mall type building. Shopping mall is not quite the right term. It was an older (looking?) building. You had to go into the main door and down a hallway to find the shop. The shop was three rooms, two of which were full of fabric and supplies. LOTS of bag making hardware and supplies.
The first thing I saw was the new Heather Bailey fabric, True Kisses by Figo. It made me think of my grandmother’s living room curtains. The shop had a variety of different cuts – full yards, half yards, and fat quarters. I think they had wide backs as well. I didn’t take very good notice, so I am not sure. I really wanted all of this line and thought of the variety of pre-cuts, but I restrained myself. I can’t stop thinking about the line, however, so I may have to buy the whole line. I am slightly horrified at how much pandemic fabric buying I have done, so we’ll see.
That big green cabinet was full of bag hardware. I almost swooned! It is a really cool looking cabinet, though.
It wasn’t super convenient as the drawers were hard to pull out and push in, but each drawer had a different type or size of hardware. I would really love to have a shop with a such a wide variety that I could see. I feel the need to stockpile when I see hardware and I never seem to have what I need when I need it. Clearly stockpiling doesn’t work. Is there a shop owner out there who would listen to me and my crazy ideas?
That heart quilt is on their website as a PDF download called Tainted Hearts. It’s fairly appealing, though I am working hard not to buy more patterns until I make a few of those on my list.
While small, the shop had a great selection of floss. The rolls in the center are Eleganza – the brand that makes Sue Spargo’s floss/embroidery thread. As you can see the thread is not on spools. The shop also had a lot of the Dropcloth Samplers, which I had never seen before in person.
On the far right of the cabinets, the shop had other embroidery designs and another brand of embroidery thread. I neglected to see what the brand was. It is interesting that a number of quilting shops are branching out into embroidery.
They had a lot of thread as well, but some of it was across from the embroidery thread.
The other item was a large selection of wool felt. I bought a few scraps at Pioneer Quilts for my egg project. I talked about the eggs a little in my post called Handwork Week. Wool felt can get pricey, but Cotton Cure and Pioneer Quilts both have fantastic colors – not just the primitive folk design colors: brown, tan and taupe. Those are not my colors.
You can see the wool felt better in the picture, left. They really had a nice selection of colors. Not great for turquoise, but look at those pinks and purples! The yellows and oranges are pretty nice, too.
This photo shows more regular thread, too.
The waxed canvas is in rolls in the basket attached to the black & white plaid wall.
The second room had more bag making stuff and a ton of notions. The shop had a good selection of mesh as well as a variety of different substrates. I saw waxed canvas for the first time in person. I almost bought some, but it was on the pricey side. Since I didn’t have a project in mind, I passed (for once!).
They also had the Clammy rulers, which, again, I haven’t seen in person. I didn’t take a close look at the patterns, but the tool makes me think they had some of Latifah’s patterns as well.
Most of the shops I visited had Tula Pink’s Curiouser and Curiouser fabrics. I bought a little at Calico Creations, but didn’t keep collecting.
The two tier rack in the first picture above is their sale fabric. This may not have been all of it. I don’t know; this is what I saw. Regardless, it was good fabric. Not icky novelty fabrics or anything.
The shop also had a workroom. It was a well used room. I suppose it might be a classroom in non-pandemic times. At the moment they seem to be using it for prep and a place to just toss stuff. We all have those spaces, right? 🙂
They have a longarm, but I didn’t see any information about whether they longarm customer quilts or rent time on the machine. I noticed that their Juki sewing machine was set up so the operator could stand at it. I have always wanted to try that.
I definitely want to visit this shop again and I will add them to my list of online fabric shopping websites.
133 SE 2nd Avenue
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
We use the same entrance as Balance Fitness, so look for their signage!
Open M,W,Th,F,Sa 10am-4pm
By Phone: 503-747-6115
By Email: email@example.com
Isn’t Sedro-Woolley a funny name for a town? I looked up the history and I guess Sedro-Woolley is better than the original name of the town, which was Bug, because of all the mosquitos. Regardless of the name, we still visited Quilting Foxes. The name makes no difference to me when there is fabric involved. I suppose the shop is in the old downtown area, though I don’t really know. It seemed like an old downtown area.
When we arrived, I was surprised to see two fabric stores right next door to each other. Cascade Fabrics has, apparently, been in business for 40+ years. It is more of an old time sewing shop. It had clothes patterns, fabrics on rounders and all the notions for sewing clothes. My Mom said it reminded her of an old Woolworth’s store like she visited when she was a kid.
We went into Quilting Foxes first. I had a bit of a fabric hangover from the abundance at Calico Creations, but powered through. This shop was really different than Calico Creations. It had fewer bolts and all the fabric was on shelves. I saw a number of fabrics I liked.
They had a large number of bolts from the Dit Dot Evolution line and I thought for sure I could get the grey I have been wanting. Once I got the bolt up to the counter, the grey had a brown tinge to it, so I passed.
The shop had a lot of Japanese fabrics and supplies. There were tons of indigo fabrics, books from Japanese authors, and Sashiko supplies.
The shop also had a lot of other stitching and embroidery supplies. They had the full line (or close to it) of Sue Spargo’s Eleganza Perl cotton. I almost swooned! I need to find a project where I can use the thread I have. The BAMQG Improv quilt isn’t cutting it for me.
The books which tempted me were bag books by Japanese authors. One was by Akemi Shibata called Sew Beautiful Quilted Bags**. I can see where one of these bags would take months to make. The embroidery and applique are exquisite. I would never do that work. What I love about the bags is the shape. The same is true about the Yoko Saito book** I bought recently.
I liked this store and would have bought more if I didn’t have such a fabric hangover from Calico Creations.
Quilting Foxes Quilt Shop & Gallery
822 Metcalf St
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284
**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.
If you thought Sew Creative was good, you will love Calico Creations. We found Calico Creations accidentally on our way to the post office. I had seen the listing on Google, but thought it was a chain upholstery shop. There is a decorating/soft furnishing shop with a similar name near me so I ignored the listing. I am so glad we ran across it. This is a GREAT shop.
It was great for a number of reasons. The shop had A LOT of bolts of fabric. Their shelves were mostly 3 bolts high and then bolts were stacked in front of the shelving about 6 deep. They had just gotten Curiouser and Curiouser in as well as the new Anna Maria line, Bright Eyes. I haven’t seen that number of KFC bolts in one place in a long time. I saw Philip Jacobs fabrics that I have never seen on the bolt in person. There were bolts everywhere and then there were more bolts. I saw a lot (A LOT) of fabrics I wanted, but I tried to keep the yardage numbers down.
They had a large number of notions, rulers and other quiltmaking tools.
There was a book nook with a comfy chair nearby. My Mom sat there for a minute and browsed some books. For the first time ever, I saw some Tilda books. I have wanted to see one for awhile, but CC had them and I was able to take a peek. One I looked at was Quilts from Tilda’s Studio**. I also took a quick look at Sewing by Heart**, which had small projects like pincushions. I like the soft colors, but the books are mostly projects and I need more out of a book than more projects. I saw an issue of Simply Moderne, but didn’t take the time to see if it was worth $20. I have an issue at home and one quilt I want to make from it.
CC had a large number of sample quilts. I saw a few bags, too, but their sample quilts were stellar. There were a lot of them and the fabric and color choices were great. I keep looking at various Quilts of Valor type designs and have wanted to make one. The shop had a flag quilt displayed that I thought would make a nice Quilt of Valor.
The classroom is large and roomy. I think it could easily hold 10-15 people sewing at one time. It is, obviously, not in use at the moment except for the large number of $6/yard sale fabrics. Above I said they had a lot of fabric. This sale room wasn’t even included. There were tons of bolts here, too.
The shop was busy as well. Not crazy busy, but people were coming in and going out the whole time I was there. I couldn’t turn around without seeing someone in the shop. The shop owner must be doing something right.
The staff was super friendly. They were eager, but not too eager, to help. They chatted with us while my fabrics were getting cut.
I bought some super bright fabrics, including a couple of Philip Jacobs prints.
I only bought two yards of the pink and orange flower print, so it won’t be a dress. The flower urn fabric was an impulse buy as was the Tula Pink True Colors fat quarter pack at the bottom, right. I blame my mom. She was talking to the lady at the counter and giving me more time to shop. I bought the rubber ducky fabric (one is flannel) to make pillowcases and some other gift items for my YM’s partner. I really just wanted a bit of the Curiouser and Curiouser. The two books were on sale and I thought I would fill in my collection. I hope I had it right that these were the two I didn’t yet have.
I highly recommend this shop. If you visit one shop in Washington, go to Calico Creations.
400 S 1st St
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.
After 18 months, I am on the road again. I drove almost 1000 miles north to see my YM who has had two bouts of non-COVID illness in the last month. I needed to see him for myself – see that he was getting well, see that he was taking care of himself. Since he was the only one who was not fully vaccinated (though he is now), I felt confident in traveling.
I want everything to be like it was, though I realize it isn’t so I put on my mask and go forth in the new normal: looking at others wearing masks and seeing so many closed shops and restaurants.
On the way north, we stopped in Ashland, Oregon. It is a beautiful city and I took some time to venture to a quilt shop.
Sew Creative was crammed full of everything quilty: fabric, kits, patterns, notions, etc. I thought the shop was a tiny bit overcrowded and a little dark, but I liked the overcrowding because there was so much stuff! Also, it was a little dark because the walls had beautiful wood. Neither made me not want to go there again. I had to decide if I was going to visit again on the way back!
One of the things I saw (but didn’t buy) were a couple of interesting bag patterns. The shape of the bags were pretty normal, but they had some interesting detail. One had a diagonal pocket (like the shape I cut with the Simple Folded Corners ruler). It is in the middle of the counter in the photo. The other, which is hanging in the photo, right, has a scalloped top edge.
This section had some Figo Linen/Cotton blend fabrics that were a little like canvas. I bought two 2 yard pieces and plan to make some bags out of them. I have heard of Figo fabrics and seen them in quilt shop newsletters, but hadn’t seen them in person. Since this was the first quilt shop in which I had set foot in 18 months or so this should come as no surprise.
I also saw a large selection of books (photo left). They had about 3 full racks of books. I didn’t look closely at them, but I noticed several I have not seen at other quilt shops or had never seen. The shop had a GREAT selection of embroidery stitch books.
In the books photo you can also see a sample quilt. The shop had a number of sample quilts around the store. I am not sure if the samples were for classes. There was a straight list of classes, but there were no photos, so I’m not sure what types of classes they were and I didn’t ask.
This photo is looking from the back of the store towards the front window. You can see the beautiful wood on the ceiling.
There were several tables scattered throughout the store with various displays. Many of them held a project or kit. I didn’t look very carefully at the kits, but I did notice there was a huge selection, so anyone who didn’t want to make decisions was in the right shop.
I bought a couple of gifts and the shop staff was very helpful with them.
The back of the store was a little brighter. The ceiling was white and that helped. Don’t you love the black and white floor? I do!
There really was a lot of stuff in this store and looking at the photos, I realize how much I missed. Most of the bolts of fabric by color were housed in the back of the store. I found some turquoise dot dash fabric. They had quite a bit of Philip Jacobs for KFC prints and I spent a long time looking at them and dreaming. I also found a few red-violet prints to replace the ones I have used up.
In this photo, you can see how many patterns are available. There were a wide variety of non-quilt patterns. I saw placements, a number of different bags, some garments. I also noticed that many of the patterns were from designers I didn’t recognize. I didn’t find it difficult to see the patterns, in terms of lighting. That is one of the things I enjoy about visiting quilt shops in different areas.
In the photo, left, you can also see the shelves of fabric at the back of the photo. That is where I found the dot dash fabric.
The other thing I noticed was the shop was very clean. I don’t know what they have been doing during COVID restrictions, but it looked like they turn over their stock quickly.
The grey stripes and the black stripes are the Figo fabrics. I am going to use the white, which I think is Grunge fabric, to redo my inspiration board. The Laurel Burch fabric will be a gift. The shop had a great selection of Kaffe fabrics. I bought that shell (?) sea urchin (?) print. I also replaced some of my red-violets.
I highly recommend this store. I will definitely stop again next time I drive through Ashland.
Address: 115 E Main St, Ashland, OR 97520, United States
Phone: +1 541 482 1665
I need another EPP Project (or any project???) like I need another hole in my head, but I am still very tempted. My friend, Lindsay, is working on Smitten and I love to see the progress she is making. Of course, she takes it with her places and works out in by bits while she is out. I never really go anywhere where that would work. I have the half-hexie project I haven’t worked on in months. Also, I have La Passacaglia papers and templates waiting for me to make into something.
It would be stupid to spend money on this new temptation, but I am still tempted.
As I mentioned when I received my first subscription box, Modern Handmade is one of my favorite shops. Because of shipping delays, I received another box a few days ago. I really wanted it to come and couldn’t really wait. I don’t know how I will wait until the end of June.
I am much more enthusiastic about this box than the first one. As soon as I opened it, I saw the coneflower fabric and was excited. I loved the previous version of that fabric, especially in flannel for receiving blankets. The fabrics are from Anna Maria Horner’s Conservatory and Hindsight collections. The colors are mostly, not colors I would choose, but I like them. I especially like the combination and may need to add some solids or tone on tones to use them together.
2 3/4 yards of fabric must be added to my spreadsheet, but I like this fabric and am already trying to think of a use for it that I will enjoy. Perhaps I will center one of the coneflowers on a Cotton Candy pouch? It is a good pattern for showcasing large motifs. I need another pouch like I need a hole in my head, but at the moment I can’t think of another project that would showcase the fabric.
I usually drink hot cocoa in the afternoon (I would be an awful Englishwoman!) when I want a hot drink. I will have to switch to tea to use up some of the teas I have been receiving in these boxes.
The quilt patterns are good for using up large prints, but they are not very interesting. I’ll have to look at them more closely and see if making a quick quilt with some of the fabrics would be satisfying. I don’t want to use up the fabric just to use it. Some of it I really like and would like to be able to see it in my house.
The Market Bag is interesting. I have one in my Minikins patterns, but it might be worthwhile to try it for one of the raffle baskets. It takes a 1 1/2 yards, so it would offset some of the acquisitions I have been making lately.
It is fun to receive a box like this even if I don’t need the items in it.
Modern Handmade is one of my favorite shops. It is relatively local, too. When this whole pandemic, shelter-in-place started, I wasn’t buying a lot, because it was so stressful to try and buy food. Also, I wanted to save money in case I get laid off.
Once I got over myself, there were a few things I wanted or needed so I worked at buying things from small/local companies. I decided that it was important to me to help quilt shops stay in business. I can’t support all of them, but I can do a bit. Thus, I subscribed to the Modern Quilter’s Box from Modern Handmade.
I have been leery of these boxes. First, they may have stuff I already have. Second, they automatically add fabric to my Fabric Usage Report every month, which means I have to sew at least 2.5 yards extra every month to make up for this incoming fabric. Third, what if what I get is icky or I don’t like it? Still, I wanted to support this shop and for a limited time, this is a good way to do it. Friend Julie also subscribed, so we can talk about the boxes that come. She wrote a nice, positive post about receiving hers. Also, it is kind of a fun surprise to get something new and exciting that I might not have seen before.
The box came late since distribution was limited during the first part of the S-i-P. This means I’ll get two in May!
Since this is my first one, I don’t know if this is how they will come or if I will get the same sorts of things. The second photo, left, is what the contents looked like when I opened it. The card on top tells about all the things inside the box and gives a brief overview of the designer of the pattern, Nancy Scott from Masterpiece Quilting.
The card also talks about the notion, Purple Thang, and has a brief mention of the tea and snack, a Stroopwafel, which also came in the box.
They sent out a survey after I received the box and I told them to forget the snack. It looks yummy, but it isn’t gluten-free so I can’t eat it. Give me more fabric or quilt related stuff not snacks.
In general I can use almost everything in the box. The pattern is sort of interesting with the added Flying Geese element. I probably won’t make it, though, so I’ll give it away. Some of the fabrics aren’t those I would buy, but I do like Art Gallery fabrics, so I am sure I can use them. I have them out so I see them as I move around my workroom. I am thinking about what to make with them. I like that pink the best so far. Are you surprised?
I think I will put the Purple Thang (sincerely dislike that name!) into my Go Bag. I tried it out when I made my most recent face mask. It worked pretty well for poking out corners and flattening the inside of seams. Apparently, while I have one, I haven’t used it before. Or I haven’t used it recently.
I bought a 6 month subscription. If you try it out, I am curious to know what you think.
Bunny Hop was the third shop I visited. I have been there before and liked it again.
The owner was super friendly and helpful. The shop was pretty light – again it is housed in a Victorian, so light can be a problem.
There was a good selection of notions, patterns and display projects.
As at Ocean Waves and Stitch, I noticed a lot of ByAnnie products. I was surprised that all three shops all had some supplies beyond just patterns. They had mesh, foldover elastic and some hardware. The owner told me that they have someone who teaches the ByAnnie patterns locally. I don’t really have a shop I would consider local, so I guess I can’t expect them to have patterns. I do like to see examples of the bags made up, as Stitch had, as well as the actual colors of the products.
I thought the cabinet with the pre-cuts was a very nice piece. I have no where to put it, but I like the color and the fact that items can be displayed. It is a good piece for a shop.
In the back a few ladies were preparing for a retreat up the coast in Trinidad. I don’t know where that is, but they said it wasn’t very far away.
In the hallway, the shop had a selection of patterns. There were a wide variety of aprons and some embroidery patterns with examples and supplies. The thread was in the clearance room, however. They have a large selection of thread as I discussed last time I visited.
I saw some redwork and some dishtowel projects as well. The photo shows hoops as well as small 1930s patterns. I didn’t look very closely at the mini-quilt projects, so i don’t know if they were patterns or not. There were definitely some other quilt patterns, a Broderie Perse pattern as well as an embroidery pattern from the Girls Getaway collection. I also saw some EPP supplies.
I enjoyed this shop again even, though I didn’t buy much.
Bunny Hop Quilt Shop
Address: 1809 Albee Street, Eureka, CA 95501
**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item you click on. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.
I know you remember me talking about Ocean Waves Quilt Shop. I have visited this shop 2 or 3 times before. I think this was the first shop I went to on the North Coast. This is the first shop I visited on Saturday with Karen, one of the other NSGW wives.
The shop was full of fabric, patterns, projects, kits, notions, tools and supplies.
The lady who works the front counter was very friendly. Karen and I had talked about Jelly Roll Rugs and the lady was happy to show us a selection of patterns. She had the oval version as well as the square version. Karen isn’t a big fan of jelly rolls so she bought the square rug pattern and some of the pre-cut batting. She inspired me to make one of the square rugs, too. I already have some of the pre-cut batting and I will cut my own strips. I just have to figure out where to put it so I can select the fabric.
The lady also told us about their shop quick quilt pattern. It is called Seven-Eleven (I didn’t ask why) and is basically squares. You can see olive green quilt in the corner, on the left. I don’t really need a pattern or kit for that type of quilt, but if I was a new quiltmaker, it would be a good starting point. They had a number of pouch patterns including the Knot and Thread Design’s Hello Pouch. I need another pouch like a need a hole in my head, but there you have it.
The Seven-Eleven quilt kits were made from Laurel Burch fabric. Seeing the Laurel Burch fabric gave me some ideas for things I could make, so I bought a bit to use for gifts. I haven’t used Laurel Burch fabric before and was surprised at the wide variety of designs that were available.
I was VERY tempted by one of my favorite Philip Jacobs designs. I have a couple of lengths of fabric for dresses that I haven’t had made yet, so I restrained myself.
The shop looks very similar to what it looked like in the past. I think the first time I visited was 2010 and 10 years later it is still in business, which makes me very happy. There were a group of ladies sewing in the back.
Ocean Waves Quilt Shop
305 V Street
Eureka, CA 995501
I have been to Stitch a few times and haven’t always had the chance to write another review. I like to see shops that stick around and Stitch has been around for a few years now. I wrote about it in 2017 and I am still a fan.
When I drive to Portland, I will often drive up highway 101. After I get past Petaluma and Santa Rosa, the drive is pretty easy – not a lot of traffic and nice scenery. Often I will take a detour to Ferndale to stop at Stitch on the way to Portland or on the way back. As mentioned, we attended a NSGW event on the North Coast this weekend. The dedication was in Ferndale. If you haven’t been to Ferndale, it is worth the trip. It is a well maintained small town with a Victorian main street. I posted some photos of details of the buildings in a previous North Coast post. Stitch is right on the main drag and while it isn’t large, I want everything in the shop.
I am trying to use 100 yards net (again) this year, so I decided I would visit quilt shops, but I would focus on looking at the projects displayed, the notions and patterns. The interior of Stitch is long and thin, but they have really packed great fabrics into it. I had to lighten up the photo as it came out a little dark, but the shop is not dark.
I saw a lot of bags displayed again and I was pleased to see that they had a lot of ByAnnie products. In addition to the bag patterns, they had a good variety of her handbag zippers as well as foldover elastic and mesh. I bought a couple colors each of the mesh and elastic.
I was surprised, though I shouldn’t have been, to see a Valentine’s display. One of the items shown was the Winter 2019 issue of Simply Moderne (#19). There is a pattern called Diamante in it that I think I will make. It is one of those patterns that is constructed in squares that looks like it is curved. Also, that is just a cool magazine. They had an insulated cup with a “Quilt Drink Repeat” saying on the side. I thought it would make great gift, but at $24.99, I didn’t want to buy it.
I went back later in the day with a friend and there were ladies there working on a really cool block of the month project. It is from Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. I looked at the sample they had and thought it would be easy enough to make. I found it on Etsy and Lee has a lot of nice quilt patterns. I am not trying to make fun of the shop for doing the BOM. I actually think it is a great project for a shop. *I* just don’t want to do it.
The shop often has Sue Spargo teach. I have bought her thread there before. There was a display of her patterns and designs. I loved the book, but need to finish up some of my hand projects before I start on one of hers. Then, of course, I saw a fabulous circle sampler on Instagram when I got back. Sigh.
The shop was having a sale that day, so I got 20% off of my purchases, which was nice. If I had shown up before 8am in my pajamas, I would have gotten 35% off. I was sleeping then. 🙂
You really need to visit this shop. Make a trip to the North Coast. It will be worth your while.
385 Main St
Ferndale, CA 95540
As I mentioned yesterday, I am just back from a trip to SoCal for a Native Sons event. I have mentioned the Charitable Foundation in at least one previous post along with its mission to help children with craniofacial anomalies such as Cleft Palate. If you want to make a donation, use the form.
While the boys went on a tour of a local historic playhouse, a friend and I went to a quilt shop. I was initially disappointed because of the small size of the shop, but quickly found that Cat’s Quilting Corner is a great shop.
The front entrance is a little hard to see, but it is right on the street. There is no sign sticking out from the building, so you have to look for the other businesses, park and trust that it is there.
The front of the shop is a little worn looking, but the inside is bright and fresh with, what looks like, a new floor.
There were a small selection of fabrics, which was my concern. The fabrics, however, were primarily modern and well curated. They had 6 shelves of solids and another two-four of tone-on-tones.
Across from and next to the shelves of solids were prints. They had about 12 shelves of prints. Most of the prints were current. It didn’t look like they were trying to fob old fabric off.
The shop also had a nice, if small, selection of patterns and notions. I saw some new-ish patterns from Elizabeth Hartman (formerly the Oh Fransson blog) and others as well. I didn’t see any bag patterns, but I did hear the owner/manager say she could order anything. There were the usual types of notions and tools: rulers, mats, pins, rotary cutters, etc.
When we arrived, the owner (or manager) was giving a lesson to a lady who had been frustrated by a class at Joann. The room in which they were working was light filled and fully equipped. I did get the impression that they had another classroom upstairs, though I didn’t see it.
Their online presence is wonderful as well! They will cut out a quilt or some blocks for you! This shop is definitely worth a visit.
The other day I wrote about the Calico Mermaid. The second shop we visited was Thimble Towne. It was closer to the hotel, but we went to it second. I think SIL #2 was right in going to Porterville first. It was a long drive and I might not have done it if we had visited Thimble Towne first.
Thimble Towne is a large shop. They sell BabyLock sewing machines, have a large amount of fabric, embroidery designs and projects as well as notions and tools for both quiltmaking and embroidery.
It is nice to see shops with lots of fabric. Again, I didn’t buy anything, but I was tempted by some Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics.
I did like the embroidery patterns and projects. They had a number of ‘in the hoop’ patterns. I no longer have an embroidery machine, but I like the idea of embroidering something that can be immediately made into a project. The projects were small like key chains and change purses. I might like to have an embroidery machine available to me to make projects like this whenever I felt like it. I don’t want to invest in a machine, though.
The shop had a fair number of batiks. They didn’t have as many solids as I would expect, but, perhaps, they are not following trends like the Bay Area shops do. I saw a wide variety of fabrics and think that they do a good job catering to different types of quiltmakers.
The shop had a class sample for a travel notions tote. There was no pattern with it, but I am hunting for one, because it looked like a super useful bag.
I asked about a pattern and the shop owner (worker bee?) said that there was no pattern for sale, but that someone taught a class regularly on making the tote. This is not a convenient option for me, but I might try to collaborate with Lynette to make a pattern of our own. It might be a good bag to give to officers.
I worry that I just like the challenge of making the bag and don’t really want the bag. After all, I have the Tool Tote waiting to be filled. The tote at Thimble Towne has some very useful features, however, including a small pressing mat, many zipper pockets, slip pockets and mesh pockets. It might work well as small project tote – or a tote for various small projects. The tote has features that other bags I have made have. I think the construction may be similar to the All Rolled Up Tote, in part. The slip pockets and other pockets could be customized, but I have made similar ones before.
Thimble Towne also had a large classroom (sorry about the vacuum cleaner! I didn’t notice it until we were already gone). Not only is the classroom large, but it includes high quality chairs. I also saw cutting and ironing stations set at a good ergonomic height. The shop really takes good advantage of the space they have.
I recently returned from a week in the beautiful Central Valley where I attended the Native Sons of the Golden West Grand Parlor. Grand Parlor is the organization’s statewide convention. As you may remember, my DH was Grand President in 2016-2017, so he is now a Past Grand President. He has a lifetime vote, which is one reason he enjoys attending. I enjoy seeing some of the ladies I have met in the past. Mostly, I go because DH and I get to spend a dedicated week together. I have gotten him interested in audiobooks, so we listen and have book discussions on the drives.
What I enjoy when I go on these trips with him is visiting quilt shops. While I didn’t buy anything (shocking, I know), I did visit two shops. Somehow I missed the outside sign in this photo. Not sure what I was doing.
The Calico Mermaid is in downtown Porterville. It was about 45 minutes from where we were staying in Visalia. Google Maps got us there, though some of the roads seemed a little odd. Also, not all of the roads have street signs so we had to go on faith a little bit.
The shop is very bright and cheerful. I think it was all painted white and the shelves were see through metal. The wooden shelves were white. The local area was very bright, but the decor and furnishings of the store made it light-filled.
In the photo, left, you can see the umbrella, which I thought was a unique and fun touch.
There was a lot that I liked in the store. I was particularly drawn to the area with violets this time. I am not sure why. That isn’t a color I use particularly, but I saw some fabrics I would have purchased. I didn’t feel like I was in the mood. I was also thinking of my fabric spreadsheet and how much I have used recently.
I felt like they had a lot of fabrics. In addition to the violets, there was a great shelf of dots that was very tempting.
The shop had a wide variety of notions and patterns. I didn’t see a lot of bag patterns, but, perhaps, I missed those? My SIL was my partner in crime on this outing and she was able to find some nice fabrics.
There was a class going on. It was some kind of finishing class or UFO class. The people were laughing a lot and it seemed like they were getting things done. I am a big fan of quilt shops using their classrooms. Finishing/UFO sew time are a really good way to get things done. Sometimes having people around really motivates me to make progress on my projects.
Visit the Calico Mermaid, Downtown Porterville’s Quality Quilt Fabric Shop
122 N. Main St
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 6, Sunday 1 – 5
Sharon’s was a surprise. We happened across it as we were preparing to go back to downtown Portland after visiting a few fabric stores. I wasn’t quite ready to stop looking for fabric. I was pleased that so many shops were open on a Sunday.
The first thing we saw when we walked in was a display of Moda fabrics, precuts and gift items. Yes, I was tempted by the V&Co ombre dots fat quarter pack and yard pack. I resisted, because I have some of the fabric at home already. The shop had quite a few fat quarter packs as well as jelly rolls. I walked around the display a couple of times even though I am not much of a fan of the Moda greige goods. I do like their designers.
The shop reminded me a bit of Always Quilting, except that it was tidier. Sharon’s was a really big store. There was a large classroom in the back and a space with two longarms, one of which was being used to quilt a quilt.
I saw a lot of possibilities for creativity, including a number of specialty rulers, embroidery supplies as well as a full selection of patterns, notions and, of course, fabric. There was also a well stocked book area. I was able to look at the new Kim Brackett book, Scrap Basket Bounty.