Quilts in Jackson

Entry Tile, Jackson, Calif
Entry Tile, Jackson, Calif

Traveling is a good time to get inspiration. Last weekend we went to Jackson for the Native Sons event, Discovery of Gold. I enjoy visiting these small towns in the boonies of California. I always find something interesting.

I thought the tile at one closed storefront would make an interesting row quilt – or the start of a row quilt. Look at the different elements between the ‘blocks’.  I wonder if they relate to the shop’s original owner or wares?

'Checkerboard' pillow
‘Checkerboard’ pillow

This trip, I spent a lot of time on my own because DH had a lot of meetings crammed into one day. Jackson has quite a few ‘antique’ shops. Some are more curated than others. I wanted to visit a quilt shop, but the closest one was 40 minutes away in Placerville and I wasn’t up for the drive. It was fun to wander around Jackson. I found a few gifts, especially a teapot I have been looking for for years.

'Checkerboard' pillow detail
‘Checkerboard’ pillow detail

As I wandered around, my thoughts around Women’s Work and its value (or lack of monetary value) were rekindled. The cushion above had a very depressing price tag on it. I blame Walmart and the Dollar Store, fast fashion and always wanting a deal. $9.95! I couldn’t really take it in, though this kind of thing is why I don’t have a quilt business.

Really, I kept seeing a lot of quilts and quilt related items. I also saw a lot of crochet, but I can’t take photos of everything.

One thing I noticed was a lot of quilts. Not art quilts or high quality quilts, but a noticeable number of utilitarian quilts. After seeing the first few, I started photographing them and thinking about Women’s Work again. I’ll try to stay off of my soapbox, but the prices and the cavalier way in which most of them were displayed makes me wonder again about the value of women’s work. I also can’t help wondering if my work will end up in antique-thrift-junk shops. If the YM doesn’t want my quilts, I hope my nieces and nephews will divvy them up.

Bowl Cozies for sale
Bowl Cozies for sale

Someone clearly sews in one of the shops as there were a number of sewn items for sale, including bowl cozies ($8). You’d have to have a well oiled production line going to make it worth selling these for $8. It is, however, a great way to justify making stuff. I am not sure I would be satisfied making hundreds of bowl cozies, but to each his/her own.


Yellow Pinwheel quilt, folded
Yellow Pinwheel quilt, folded

I enjoyed the simplicity of many of the quilt designs I saw. One of my favorites was a yellow pinwheel quilt. I made a basket quilt with a yellow background once, called Cheerful Baskets, so I have a fondness for certain tints of yellow. The simplicity of this quilt really grabbed me. I think those blocks are about 5 inches, but possibly four inches since they are a 4 patch. The sashing gives the pinwheels space to breathe. The eye can see each pinwheel clearly.

I saw some cushions made with a crazy quilt design that were in bad condition, but still pretty. I wonder if they could have been cut from a crazy quilt?

Dresden Plate Chair
Dresden Plate Chair

Someone had the clever idea to reupholster a chair with a Dresden Plate. I am not a fan of that type of oak furniture, but I think the seat looks cool.

I saw this not in an antique-junk-thrift shop, but a higher end store that takes some stuff from antique-junk-thrift shops and upcycles it. There was only one of these chairs, but it might make a nice start to a collection of them in different woods and styles. The Dresden Plate could unify them.

Squares with embroidery quilt
Squares with embroidery quilt

There was a sweet child looking quilt that reminded me of the Laura Ashley quilt I made for a friend a million years ago when there was a Laura Ashley store in downtown San Francisco. I had just started quiltmaking then and found an early charm pack there. Charm packs as a concept didn’t exist as they do now, so it was really novel to find a pack of pre-cut squares.

Squares with embroidery quilt - detail
Squares with embroidery quilt – detail

The quilt isn’t exactly like mine, but it does remind me of the one I made.

The embroidery is some kind of vine or edge stitch. I like it. It adds interest to the simple design of the quilt, as do the flowers in the fabric. They looked like they were painted on, but I think it was just the printing process of the fabric used.

That violet (or lavender) with the yellow is a good combination.

Yo-Yo looking quilt in Jackson
Yo-Yo looking quilt in Jackson

There was also, what I think was, a yo-yo quilt. It looked different than other yo-yo quilts I have seen. It could be that the gathered side was face down in the display and I couldn’t see them. It is possible that people don’t know that yo-yos are mostly displayed/used with the gathered side up. On the other hand, this could be a completely different type of quilt or a yo-yo variation.

Welsh-style whole cloth quilt in Jackson
Welsh-style whole cloth quilt in Jackson

I also saw, what looked like, a Welsh-style quilt. Of course, it could be a regular whole cloth quilt using a color similar to those used in Welsh whole cloth quilts. I couldn’t see much more than the picture shows, though I did take another photo from farther away that shows a little more of the design. The vines and leaves are really nice.

It is clear that this quilt has been washed, if not used, but it looked to be in good condition.

Basket quilt top
Basket quilt top

I also saw a Basket quilt top. Again, this quilt has lavender. I wonder if that was a popular color in a certain era? 1930s? I know that a lot of 1930s reproduction fabric lines include a lavender colorway. One of the nice things about this design is how some of the baskets fade into the background. It could be from fading or it could have been designed that way. No way to tell.

I really like basket block quilts and have only made one. So many designs so little time!

This Quarter Square Triangle quilt is sewn together in a interesting manner. I am not sure if the quilt was pieced and then embellished with a blanket-type stitch or if it was sewn together with the blanket-type stitch. I can see both types of stitching on the detail photo. The scraps used in this quilt are quite bright and cheerful. It might be a newer quilt without fading or it is older and well taken care of.

$4 for ~6 yards
$4 for ~6 yards

Finally, this is what is going to happen to all of my fabric when I die.

I don’t know that there are definitely 6 yards in there as I didn’t open the package. I do know that there were multiple similar packets of fabric. The fabric isn’t to my taste, but if you want some of it go to Jackson and visit Antiques On Main,1 Main St, Jackson, CA 95642. There are multiple vendors with a lot of different stuff. The one in the front on the right side of the aisle is where the fabric was.

One lesson? Label your quilts. Even stitch lettering with your name and the year are better than ‘artist unknown’.

Traveling with Bags

As I was packing for my second trip in October, it occurred to me that I should show you the pouches I use when I travel. all the pouches that I made ARE useful. However, of the bags I use for travel, I only made one of them. ;0

Pouches for travel
Pouches for travel

I use various pouches instead of one big bag as I can designate them for various purposes. This also means I don’t have to have a large bag in a, possibly, small bathroom.

The Wonder Woman pouch (top left) is one I use for tubes and bottles that don’t fit in my toilet kit. It was a birthday gift this year and made by Angela.

The pouch on the upper right is used for vitamins and various OTC medications. It was made by Gerre and has hand embroidery as well as a clever use of zippers. I keep for getting to ask her about the pattern.

The red and teal pouch is from Amanda and was another birthday gift. It is perfect for various cords and my headphones. Yes, I made an charger case a long time ago. I did a great job on that case, but it was too big. When I went to Switzerland and Austria in April, I needed the space in my suitcase.

The turquoise stitch boxy bag is from TFQ and is probably the first pouch I ever used.

The pink and turquoise dotted bad has the most useful stuff in it: moleskin, scissors, post-its, tape, a power strip and all sorts of random things that I needed when I was attending conferences.

The Triple Zip pouch is what I use for jewelry. It isn’t great for jewelry, but it is okay. Until I find something different, it will have to do.

The whole point of this post is to show you how you can use different pouches and bags in daily life – or travel life.

The Quilt Loft

The Quilt Loft, Albany, Oregon
The Quilt Loft, Albany, Oregon

The trip home from Portland started off slow. It took us forever to get out of the city, which I expected. it was Friday afternoon, after all, and people wanted to get away. I was a little surprised, though, since we left around 1pm. I thought that was a little early for people to be leaving the office.

What I did not expect was slow traffic all the way down I5. It wasn’t stopped, but we only went about 40-50 mph (~70 kph). Finally, I was falling asleep at the wheel and needed a break. We stopped in Albany, because it was close and looked large-ish. Mom was able to find a quilt shop there, which was a bonus. We thought we could, also, certainly find a coffee shop, but no such luck. Note to Starbuck’s: please put your *amn outlets next to the freeway not in some secluded Safeway.

Anyway, it was worth a stop. I had never been to Albany, Oregon and the shop was worth stopping to visit. It is a mile or two off the highway, but the Google directions were good and the downtown street, where the shop is located, had a lot of charm.

The Quilt Loft is a large shop, though the interior also came across as long and thin. It covers two storefronts and held a lot of fabrics.

The Quilt Loft, longarms in action
The Quilt Loft, longarms in action

I was VERY impressed to see four longarms, controlled by computers working away when we were there. I was told later that one of the staff was an excellent custom longarm quilter and was working back there as well. I was happy to see a shop helping people get their quilts finished. I am sure it is good for their cash flow as well.

The Quilt Loft, batting and notions
The Quilt Loft, batting and notions

The longarm area was in the back of the second storefront (to the left of the main door you see in the photo above). In front of the longarm workroom was the notions, books and batting area. I had never seen rolls of batting in a quilt shop like they had in the Quilt Loft!

I didn’t check to see what kind of batting they had. You can see that the do offer a few choices.

Next to the batting area were notions and some books. The shop had a few books, but not a large book area that I saw. The books were mostly scattered around the shop. One I saw looked interesting, Scrappiness is Happiness** by Lori Holt. I thought there were at least 5 quilts I would make out of that book. However, I wasn’t in the mood to buy books, so I put it on my Christmas list. I don’t see this book on their website, but I am sure you can call them and they will ship it to you.

I didn’t think they had a ton of notions either. I was surprised to see Quilter’s Rule rulers. I am not sure I have ever seen these for sale in a shop. If I have it was either a long time ago or I just don’t remember.

The Quilt Loft fabric
The Quilt Loft fabric

As mentioned, the shop had a lot of fabric. Much of it was new to me, though I did recognize the manufacturers. I didn’t see any Tula or Kaffe. I always find it nice to see new and different fabric.

On the left of the photo (right) was a new line of butterfly type fabric. The main, or focus fabric had words on it. I thought the French theme would make a good future bag for my sister, but there was no more yardage. I was only able to find a couple of fat quarters. I can make some small pouches or, perhaps, a small Kit Supply Tote with the amount I bought.

The Quilt Loft for Hallowe'en
The Quilt Loft for Hallowe’en

I wasn’t able to visit a lot of shops on this trip, but the ones I did visit were decorated for Hallowe’en. They had projects on the walls and appropriate fabrics front and center. The Quilt Loft was no exception.

I haven’t seen that applique’ pattern with the purple back and black silhouettes before. I thought it was interesting. It looked like all needle turn applique’, which will never happen in my house. 😉

Some of the more modern fabrics were near the notions and batting. I found quite a few Allison Glass fabrics in that area. The staff who helped me said they were flying off the shelves. I also saw some of the Judy Niemeyer samples that are so popular at the San Mateo County Fair. I was pleased to see a wide variety of solids and not all of them (if any?) were Kona. They carry a wide selection of American Made Brands solids, which made me happy.

The shop also had different substrates. I didn’t see a class schedule, but they must have garment classes as well.

The Quilt Loft classroom
The Quilt Loft classroom

The classroom was in the first/main building behind all the initial fabric you see when you first walk in. It was large. It has a mishmash of chairs, but there were some comfy looking office chairs. The room also had three large tables, so I think people could spread out.

There were some interesting projects hanging there. As I said, I didn’t see the class schedule, so I don’t know which were samples and which were decoration. Regardless, this shop had a lot of quilts hanging up which provided a lot of inspiration.

As is common in many quilt shops, there was a nice looking seating area in the front. I liked the design of the chairs. Partners could be comfy while their other half shopped. If it hadn’t been raining the light would have been good, so someone could sit there and do handwork as well. I don’t know if the shop allows it.

The Quilt Loft purchases
The Quilt Loft purchases

I bought a few fat quarters and one half yard of a new Alison Glass fabric. They had the full line of her new fabrics and I couldn’t resist just a bit of it.

I also bought that red and white flower print on the left. It is an older fabric. I had some and used it up. I decided to grab one last FQ.

Not that this is a different shop than the Quilting Loft in Seattle, which I reviewed in 2013. I haven’t been to Seattle in awhile, but the website for the Quilting Loft is no longer, so I imagine the shop is closed as well.

The Quilt Loft
405 First Ave NW, Albany, OR 97321, United States
tel: +1 541 928 7242
Website: https://www.evilmadquilter.com/

Hours: Sun Closed
Mon 10 AM–5 PM
Tue 10 AM–5 PM
Wed 10 AM–5 PM
Thu 10 AM–5 PM
Fri 10 AM–5 PM
Sat 10 AM–5 PM

Email: Info@QuiltLoft.com or Info@EvilMadQuilter.com






**N. B. : Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s 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.

Enigma in Use

Enigma for EPP
Enigma for EPP

I finally found a use for the Enigma Bag.

I plan to use it for small EPP projects when I am on the go. In this case, I have the pentagons that will be made into a ball in the bottom.

I was able to stock the bag with scissors, needles etc by using some other gifts I have received that haven’t had a home yet and I am really pleased about that.

Time for a New Suitcase

Tulips in Austria
Tulips in Austria

In case you didn’t notice, I just got back from a work trip to Switzerland and a side trip to visit friends in Austria. It sounds glamorous and it is exciting to say I went to work in Switzerland for two weeks. It is hard work, though, being in another location. I am so happy to be home, even though I was happy to meet my team mates in person for the first time. I am also happy I got to see some friends that I haven’t seen since 2016.

Basilika Rankweil
Basilika Rankweil

I prepared most of the posts for April 28-May 18 in advance, so you wouldn’t notice that I was gone.

This trip, I took more videos than I have in the past and used the panorama photo function more than I have previously. The views were even more dramatic this time than in the past. Or I don’t remember them being this dramatic.

Pfaender to Bodensee
Pfaender to Bodensee

There was quite a bit of rain while I was there and the clouds created most of the drama. The rain means that the landscape is really green, which I love.

I got to see friends, I was able to visit Basel, a new city to me and see some dramatic cityscapes. I also got to take several train trips, which I like. I moved around a lot, which is exhausting and it made me realize I need a lighter suitcase. My suitcase has been a workhorse, but it is getting too much for me to haul around, mostly because it is somewhat heavy even empty.

Spalentor, Basel
Spalentor, Basel

The worst part of the trip was that I didn’t bring any handwork. HUGE mistake that I will not make again.

Anyway, it was a great trip, but I am glad to be home.

Family Threads Quilt Shop

Family Threads Quilt Shop
Family Threads Quilt Shop

I visited Family Threads quilt shop in San Juan Batista before the Retreat. This is a great quilt shop. There was a wide variety of fabrics, lots of patterns, bag supplies, solids and good notions.

The shop was small, but they had a wide variety of fabric. They had many, many panels hanging around the upper part of the ceiling. This is only the second shop I have seen with so many panels.

Family Threads main room
Family Threads main room

The shop also had a lot of fabric. They also had a wide variety of fabrics I hadn’t seen. I saw a lot of novelty fabrics that I have only seen online. Now I know I can go to somewhere relatively nearby and actually look at some fabrics.

The bolts on the floor in the front were a wide variety of polka dots. You can see the main color. The dot colors were all different.They weren’t just white. Yes, I bought a couple of fat quarter packs.

In the photo, right, you can also see the panels mentioned above.

Family Threads main room
Family Threads main room

The isn’t exactly crammed, but every surface was well used. There are also a lot of different textures in the storage furniture. In the photo, left, you can see the interesting sides of the white shelf.

The shop had lots of pre-cuts and not just jelly rolls. The polka dots I mentioned above were all over the shop in fat quarter packs. There were different combinations, too. I saw some monochromatic packs in blue and others with a selection of rainbow fat quarters.

The shop had a good selection of notions as well. I was especially impressed with their selection of Creative Grids rulers. You can’t really see the rulers, which are behind the pre-cuts in the photo on the right. You can see a nice selection of some great fabrics in that same photo.

I was thrilled that I finally found a shop that carries Northcott solids. remember I discovered those at QuiltCon in 2016. I didn’t need any the day I was there, but I’ll go back and get some in the future. The solids room was also the shop classroom. Some people were sewing there the day we visited.

Family Threads bagmaking materials
Family Threads bagmaking materials

In the vestibule of the solids rooms was where they stored their bagmaking supplies. I was impressed with the setup. The drawers were labelled so it was easy to find different types of interfacing. You calso see straps and webbing stored. I liked this area a lot.

Family Threads patterns area
Family Threads patterns area

The shop had a LOT of sample bags and other small projects as well as a wide variety of patterns.

All in all, Family Threads was a great shop and I want to visit again.

Get a different view, though. Julie wrote a good post about what she bought, and the shop.


107 The Alameda, Suite D
PO Box 1203
San Juan Bautista, CA 95045

HOURS Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat 10-3, Sun Closed

Tel: (831) 623-0200

Website: https://familythreadsquiltshop.com/

BAM Retreat Downtown SJB

Peace pole at the Retreat Center
Peace pole at the Retreat Center

Before we could check in to the Retreat center we spent some time in downtown (old town?) San Juan Batista. We had lunch at the Jardines de San Juan. The food there was really good. We sat outside at a big table and enjoyed the sunshine. The restaurant was down the street from the quilt shop.

There weren’t very many people around the town as in it wasn’t packed, but there were plenty of people around.

A. Taix Building, SJB
A. Taix Building, SJB

After lunch we walked around the old part of the town. They had a lot of porches over the sidewalks and a lot of old buildings.

I couldn’t tell if this building was tin, but Julie and SIL #2 said it was decorative brick.

SJB old building
SJB old building

This building is a style that I really like, because of the big windows. I always thought it would be great to have a studio in a building like this, because of the light. I know that light isn’t good for fabric, but I really like working in a nice bright space.

In this building one of the shops was a candy and ice cream store.

Cactus apples
Cactus apples

There was a San Juan Batista Historic Park. There was a HUGE cactus, which had a lot of cactus apples on it. Julie knew that they weren’t ripe yet and what color they would be when they were ripe.

It’s interesting how many different textures there are on this plant.

Flowers in SJB
Flowers in SJB

There were also a lot of flowers and blooming plants around. I don’t spend a lot of time outside beyond my walks. I seem to enjoy it when I am outside. I also seem to take photos of a lot of flowers and plants.



BAM Retreat Other Projects

BAM Retreat 2023 - all the projects
BAM Retreat 2023 – all the projects
BAM Retreat 2023 - all the projects - detail
BAM Retreat 2023 – all the projects – detail

One thing we did was put all the projects, both finished and unfinished, up on the wall and take a picture of them. I thought it was a good way to acknowledge all the work we had done and all the progress we made.

Mary C's KaleidoBloom
Mary C’s KaleidoBloom

Other people made amazing projects as well. That big amazing quilt with all the curves is Mary C’s project, Kaleidobloom, Crafty Nomad Block of the Month project. I have seen the pattern and many people in the guild are working on, but I wasn’t very impressed until I saw the blocks on the wall.

I think there is just a border or two left, but I wish those corners would be built out some more. I’ll have to wait and see before I make some pronouncements beyond: awesome!

Lynette's project bag
Lynette’s project bag

Lynette, bagmaker extraordinaire, and my partner in bags for the Ultimate Carry All Bag-a-long. Lynette showed us her project, which uses a bag from Amazon**.

She cuts off the top and adds fabric to the bottom, then boxes the bottom using a 1 inch square. The bonus is that she doesn’t have to insert a zipper and the plastic bags are pretty inexpensive. She is working on developing a project that uses the bottom part of the bag as well. She may do a class or tutorial. I said I would be her tester, so you may see a few of these here later.

Amy's Metro Twist
Amy’s Metro Twist

Amy worked on her Sew Kind of Wonderful pattern, Metro Twist. Amy’s looks awesome! I love the Tula Pink True Colors dots and stripes she used and want to make one exactly like it. 😉 This is made with the Quick Curve Ruler, a ruler I thought worked very well. Amy talked about the certified teacher from whom she took the class and getting that person to come to the guild. Somehow that morphed into Amy and I teaching the class! If we do it, it’ll be fun. We’ll see.

Anna's Kaffe Fassett quilt
Anna’s Kaffe Fassett quilt

Anna finished a Kaffe Fassett quilt she has been working on for awhile. It looks a little like a watercolor quilt. Remember those? She has a goal of only working on UFOs this year. This was encouraged by the President’s challenge, which is to work on (and maybe finish?) projects that have not been worked on in over 6 months. I plan to finish some of the bags from the 2018 Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. Remember I gathered all the pieces and parts recently? I just haven’t done anything about it yet.

Owls with my blocks
Owls with my blocks

Melinda and Mary M were working together to make a quilt for Mary M’s daughter. They used an Elizabeth Hartman pattern called Allie Owl**. The owls were quite large and will make a lap quilt. The pattern shows brighter fabric; these fabrics look nice, too. I was really amazed at the size.

Some of my blocks are under the owls.

Deb's quilt top
Deb’s quilt top

Deb is a new member and this was her first retreat. Where I worked on 3+ projects, Deb worked on one project and she ended up with a quilt top.

I haven’t seen most of the fabrics she used in awhile. Some of them looked like aboriginal style fabric. This pattern doesn’t look like one that I have seen, but there are some elements that look familiar. The zigzag sashing looks like a Streak of Lighting quilt, but the blocks don’t fit with that design. It’s definitely interesting.

Melinda, Bonnie, Amy & Julie's projects
Melinda, Bonnie, Amy & Julie’s projects

Melinda, Bonnie and Julie  have their projects above Amy’s Metro Twist. Melinda’s blue and brown piece will be part of the San Mateo County Fair climate change challenge. It depicts the amount of rain in sort of a graph format that her hometown got this winter.

Bonnie has been working on the circle piece for a few months. She had some acrylic templates made by Tap Plastics and has been steadily making progress. It looks good.

The piece with the fuchsia in the middle to the right of the circle piece is the back of a quilt Julie is making. She wrote a post about it recently. This back goes on the Stitch Happens quilt I talked about recently. I really like the little HSTs surrounded by the fuchsia.

Maria and Alison's projects
Maria and Alison’s projects

Maria’s climate challenge is on the left of this picture.  I didn’t have a chance to talk to Maria about her piece, but I will later.

Alison’s blocks are underneath it . They are from the Tula Pink City Sampler book**. She is using some of Denyse Schmidt’s fabrics she got in some swaps.

You get a peek at another one of my blocks.

It is amazing how much we got done in a short amount of time. I love seeing everyone’s projects.









**Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s 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.



BAM Retreat My Projects

This will be a multi-part post on the recent Retreat I attended. I have to split it up, because I don’t have enough time to write a big long post right now.

I had a couple of specific goals in mind. I wanted to finish a Mother’s Day gift and I wanted to finish some gifts I am taking to my work colleagues later this week. Then, if time permitted, I planned to start a new quilt.

First, I was able to finish the Mother’s Day gift. It is small and you’ll have to read the post on May 14th to see what it is.

Three cork I Spy pouches
Three cork I Spy pouches

Second I finished the three I Spy pouches I started. I had some of the fabric cut, but not all. I cut the cork, yes cork, at the Retreat and sewed the pouches together. I cut quite a number of strips wrong, so will have to make some pouches out of odd sized strips.

In between, the top two projects, I worked on donation blocks. You saw some of these in the post a few days ago about donation blocks for April. I don’t think I mentioned that I used kits the guild team had prepared. The squares frayed a lot and made me quite crazy.

Scrappy Celebration - first blocks
Scrappy Celebration – first blocks

After these, except the donation blocks, were finished, I started a new quilt. I had a fabric pull from a couple of years ago that I wanted to use. I had some options and finally decided on a plan. This quilt is from the American Patchwork and Quilting Sew-a-Long. It is designed by Lissa Alexander. Because I seem to be incapable of following directions as written, I resized the EQ8 project to include 12 inch blocks rather than 6 inch blocks. The straight nine patches are quite large, but they provide some space for viewers to rest their eyes. Also, the small squares in some of the blocks above are much easier to sew when the entire block is 12 inches finished.

I missed the Sew-a-Long, which started in February, but this project is super easy. The pieces are, mostly, standard sizes and easy to cut. I think even beginners looking for a second or third project could do it.

One of the things I wanted to do to start was to use all the fabrics I selected to see how they worked together. I didn’t quite succeed, but I was able to use a lot of them. So far, so good.


BAM Retreat Location

View from the workroom
View from the workroom

My guild went on retreat over the weekend. It was held at a somewhat revamped Franciscan monastery. I say somewhat because the building with the sewing room was new, modern, spacious and nice. The building with the sleeping rooms was old. The rooms were small, the furniture clean and well maintained, but a mishmash and the bathrooms were super tiny.

View from the workroom
View from the workroom

The rain for the past 3-4 months has been difficult for a lot of people, but the result now that it has stopped is amazing.

SIL #2 told me this was a Redbud. I really enjoy these flowering trees. It was great to see this gorgeous tree whenever I walked to the ironing board.

View from Alison's workstation
View from Alison’s workstation

Out another window, by Alison‘s workstation, was a field of purple and yellow flowers. I think lupin was one of them. I am sure if you check Friend Julie’s blog she will be able to tell you exactly what all the plants were.

Workroom view
Workroom view

The workroom was really nice. It was very modern and there were plenty of outlets and large tables. In this view, you can see Julie’s workstation in the front and the bulk of the other workstations towards the back.

You can see how many large windows there are. I had no  problem seeing even late in the evening.

My Retreat workstation
My Retreat workstation

I felt like my workstation was large enough. You can see all the tools and supplies I bought. You also get a peek of the Ultimate Carry All Bag I made and ended up giving to Julie. I like sitting next to her. We kept borrowing supplies and tools from each other so it worked out pretty well.

All in all it was a great retreat. I got enough done – more on projects later – and got some time off from life. The Retreat was really well organized and had the right amount of activities.

Travel to Portland

I talked a little yesterday about the quilt shops I visited while in Portland. There were other random things we did, which were fun or amusing.

Mom frosting Beatty's Chocolate Cake
Mom frosting Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

A friend told me about a cake that she baked, Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. She baked it because it had the reputation of being so delicious. I wanted to try this fabulous cake, so I assigned my mom the task of baking it. She did bake it with good humor despite not cooking in her normal space. There was a lot of banging of cupboards as she looked for things, but not many complaints. I think she enjoyed herself.

I really enjoyed eating that cake. We shared it with friends who came over, but there was plenty left for breakfasts and after dinner snacks.

Yes, that’s the apron I made in about 2014. We brought it with us since wearing an apron is a good habit and prevents clothes becoming involved in messes.

Beatty's Chocolate Cake
Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

I warned her in advance so she brought her good cake pans and some parchment paper. I made her follow the directions to the letter, too. She tends to make substitutions when she doesn’t have the right ingredients, so things taste weird sometimes.

OMG!! This cake was delicious and it looked as good as the picture in the recipe. Even with gluten free flour, this was an amazing cake.

We also visited a shop, as we often do, called Collage. If you go to Portland, visit this shop! They have great stationery, buttons, stickers, notebooks, beads and a whole lot of other things that are different each time we go. I tried to convince my friend Megan, via text, that she needed some giant googly eyes. She was good, so I didn’t buy them, even the bloodshot version, but that spawn a whole text conversation about door decorations. Google it sometime. Great way to decorate for Halloween.

Modern Domestic - Portland
Modern Domestic – Portland

One of the reasons we went to Collage is that Modern Domestic was closed the day we went!! The website said they were open, but when we got there, the sign said they were closed for a 3-day staff retreat. I’d like to work at a place that takes me on a 3 day staff retreat!

Still, I was disappointed that we couldn’t go that day. We went back later in the week, which was fine. I bought a small gift for Amanda, but there wasn’t really anything that I wanted.

Inspiration: wool felt (table mat)
Inspiration: wool felt (table mat)

One of my missions at Pioneer Quilts was to get an idea or a pattern for something to do with the wool felt I bought on one of my last visits. I checked out all the patterns they had and thought about what I wanted. I am thinking that I will make another tablerunner for my buffet. I wasn’t able to find a pattern I liked, but can probably figure out sewing wool felt to another piece of wool felt.

I liked the edging on the daisy table mat. I also liked the daisies and thought I could use different colors for the petals, if I wanted.

Inspiration: wool felt (tea cozy)
Inspiration: wool felt (tea cozy)

While I am certainly willing to buy a pattern I wasn’t ready to buy yet, so I took some photos for reference since I might design my own pattern. The above tea cozy has a nice cup and I like the embroidered swoopy, curved lines coming out of the cup. I am not fond of that green, but there is no shortage of embroidery floss in my house.

Inspiration: wool felt (table mat)
Inspiration: wool felt (table mat)

I may want something more colorful. I am not sure I want black as a background. I almost bought enough turquoise wool felt to make a buffet runner, but I stopped myself.

I decided that I need to finish La Pass and the Half Hexie Star quilt before I buy anything for another handwork project.


On the counter next to the cash tablets (registers) was a very strange pincushion – at least I think it was a pincushion. It wasn’t fabric and it felt a little like playdough or clay covered in something to keep it from smooshing all over the place. I didn’t buy one, because I was a little confused by it. The shape reminds me of a pincushion my friend Cheryl has attached to her machine. Cheryl’s pincushion looks like a voodoo doll.

Work visitor
Work visitor

I worked while I was in Portland. WFH is a wonderful thing. I had a visitor some days outside the window of the room from which I was working. He was eating or playing with something in the gutter. Maybe he stored some nuts there.

Seeing a squirrel made me wonder if we have squirrels where I live. After I came home, I saw a couple near where I live, so the answer is probably. They don’t hang out on my roof, though. I can see the roof from my workroom window and I haven’t seen any squirrels.

Stuffie like YM's walrus
Stuffie like YM’s walrus

The YM has an image that he uses for various things. I saw this stuffed ‘animal’ and thought it looked like it. I almost bought it for him, but ended up just sending him a photo.

New Fabrics

I am just back from Portland where I went for a few days to relax and see friends. I also went to my favorite quilts shops and stocked up a bit. Mostly, I bought fabrics for future projects and some gifts.

Cool Cottons 2023
Cool Cottons 2023

After having lunch with my friend Amanda, I went to Cool Cottons. It is a small store, but I wanted to take a look. I can often find good fabrics there. I just like looking. That store has fabric stuffed in every corner even though it is a small store.

The fabrics are all on the dark side. The bottom two on the left are for Stay Tuned. Yes, I switched gears on that one and got some different fabrics for the alternating squares and the borders.

I will make some gifts from the typewriter fabrics and bind quilts with the grey stripes and the black and white stripes.  Only two are on ‘spec.

Pioneer Quilts 2023
Pioneer Quilts 2023

I made a huge effort to visit Pioneer Quilts. I love that store and always like to visit. I got some gifts for people and really enjoyed looking at their fabric.

I didn’t buy a lot there, but I did look at all of their wool felt patterns and fabrics. I have bought wool felt there in the past and wanted to get a pattern or something to do something with it. I finally decided to get inspiration from the book and do my own thing AFTER La Passacaglia and the Half Hexie Star quilts are finished. I bought that book, Wild Wool and Colorful Cotton Quilts**

I have used Chenille needles for hand stitching for a long time. They have big eyes and are sharp. I was finally able to look at a variety of sizes. The 22 or 24 sizes are the ones that are perfect for me. I bought two packs.

Sunshine Quilts 2023
Sunshine Quilts 2023

We went to Sunshine Quilts in Medford, which used to be Cottage Quilts. I am glad they stayed open. It is a nice space and there is a lot of potential for more fabric and supplies. At the moment it was a little light on fabric and notions, but I think they will get more based on the amount of space they have.

The packet on the right is filled with ruler stickers. You can outline where you need to cut then peel off the stickers with no residue. Interesting, right?

I am going to make another Cha Cha Cha table runner from the charm pack. I am not sure what I’ll use for the border. Maybe pink.

A good time was had by all.



**Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s 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.

Quilt Shop: Just for Fun

Just for Fun quilt shop
Just for Fun quilt shop

This is a shop we visited when we went to Portland in March. For some reason, I never got around to writing about it.

When we had to leave the AirBnB, but before we could check into the hotel, we had some time to wander around the Portland Metro area. We happened to wander into Washington and visited Just for Fun in Vancouver.

Just for Fun: front of the shop
Just for Fun: front of the shop

In case you don’t know, Vancouver is not too far from Portland. I liked this shop. The people were super friendly – verging on too friendly, but just shying away from it.

They had an excellent selection of fabric, samples and a great notions area.

Just for Fun: Kimberbell area
Just for Fun: Kimberbell area

The shop wasn’t large and the first thing I did was look at the Kimberbell items. Do I have an embroidery machine? No. I don’t know why I look at the patterns and supplies all the time, but I do. The lady in that area was super friendly and very chatty. I had to work hard to get away from her.

Just for Fun: fabric shelves
Just for Fun: fabric shelves

The shop isn’t large, but they had an appealing selection. They did have the fabrics on those slanted shelves, which I don’t usually like. I did feel like I could see the fabrics pretty well, angled as they were.

I think they all the Kona solids, though i didn’t count.

Cha Cha Cha in Just for Fun
Cha Cha Cha in Just for Fun

This is where I saw the Birthday fabric from Sarah Watts of Ruby Star Society used in the Cha Cha Cha table runner. I didn’t do anything special except buy the charm pack and the pattern. Mine came out a little differently, but I still like it.

There were a number of good sample projects around.

I also found the Easter fabric at Just for Fun. As mentioned, I thought I would make masks for Easter, but then decided to make napkins.

Just for Fun: center of the shop
Just for Fun: center of the shop

I noticed the shop had a kind of pastel-ly vibe. That is probably not true, but that was the impression I got. Perhaps there was a larger selection of light fabrics? Or there were just Easter fabrics in profusion, which are typically pastels.

Above where the people are standing (photo left) you can see some panels. They had a nice selection of panels. Mom bought one or two for  future baby quilts.

Remember when I talked about Golden State’s new space and the longarm machines? I have no problem with any shop dedicating space to longarming, but the noise breaks my concentration. Just for Fun had two or three machines as well. Those machines were in a corner of the space and blocked with doors from the retail space. Customers could look into the space and see the longarms running, but not hear them. It was GREAT (no photo, sorry).

Just for Fun: purchases
Just for Fun: purchases

Just for Fun
Address: 1503 NE 78th St, Unit 12, Vancouver, WA 98665, United States
Phone: +1 360 882 9101
Website: https://www.justforfunquilting.com/


Pioneer Quilts Again

I was fortunate that Amanda had some free time and we were able to hang out a little. Of course, we went to quilt shops. I didn’t have a whole day to spend as I was working while I traveled.

Pioneer Quilt Shop - Creepy View
Pioneer Quilt Shop – Creepy View

We definitely made time to visit Pioneer Quilts again. I wrote about it a little while ago. The shop had refreshed fabrics and had moved some things around in the lobby area, but was otherwise the same great shop. I looked for ideas for the wool felt I bought last time. I refrained from buying more wool felt, though I was tempted.

I saw some pincushions I could make and also some table runners, though they used black as a background (patterns from Primitive Gatherings).  I don’t want something that dark or folk-arty, which is why I was thinking of buying some wool felt yardage. I didn’t as I got the idea to cut overlapping ovals (or another another shape) from what I have and putting them together to make a table runner for the buffet. I’ll check the wool felt I have at home and see if I can make something large enough with the wool felt I have.

I never noticed the door handles before, but they were beautiful. I took a picture thinking that I might be able to use some or all of the design for something.

Pioneer Quilts purchases 2022
Pioneer Quilts purchases 2022

I also bought a few things, including a new Yoko Saito bag book. The shapes of her bags are amazing! Look at that one on the cover! The ribbon is another Renaissance Ribbon that I hope to use the ribbon on another bag soon. Pioneer Quilts was the first place I saw that type of ribbon in person.

The pinks on the bottom right might be great for the Friesian Pouch with those great pink zippers, especially the circles. I have some of that fabric in a different colorway. I haven’t seen that colorway before.




Pioneer Quilt Shop
3101 SE Courtney
Portland, OR 97222

Green’s Sew & Vac


We stayed with Mary in Ashland overnight on our way to Portland. This area is a quilt shop mecca, but I want to use fabric not buy much more, so I had to balance my love of quilt shops and quilt shopping with my bursting fabric closet.

Green's - Bags with patterns
Green’s – Bags with patterns

Mary directed us to Green’s Sew & Vac, which is a sewing machine and vacuum sales & repair shop with a HUGE selection of bag supplies and 2000 bolts of fabric. They had one of the best selections of bag making supplies I have seen. They also had bags made up – A LOT OF BAGS – and hanging near the patterns, so shoppers could see what the bag looked like and how big it would be. I liked this store even before I talked to Vickie, the owner/operator of the part of the store where the bag making supplies lived.

Green's - from left to right
Green’s – from left to right

I didn’t pay much attention to the machines, but I saw Janome, Babylock, and Bernina for sale. I think that one in the front is a M7 Continental. I am still enamored of that machine, but can’t buy it now. There was also a whole room of vacuums, which I didn’t explore.

Accuquilt display
Accuquilt display

The shop has so many different aspects. The first thing I saw was a 70% off sale of Accuquilt. You bet I looked at what they had. One thing they that I would have bought in a second was a die for a bowl cozies. I still want to make bowl cozies as gifts for DH’s cousins. Sadly, it was only for the Accuquilt Big not the Accuquilt Go!**, which I have. I might have been tempted to buy an Accuquilt Big, but they didn’t have one. Probably a good thing. I don’t have anywhere to store it at the moment.

Green's fabrics
Green’s fabrics

In terms of fabric, they had a good selection of quilt fabrics, but also more canvas and heavier weight fabrics like canvas than I have seen at other stores. I didn’t see any of the Echino canvas like I bought in Ashland at Sew Creative last year.

They don’t consider themselves a quilt store, which Vickie made clear to me. They consider themselves to be a bag making store. I think that is a good business model as there aren’t a lot of stores that specialize in bags. They had a lot of quilt-adjacent supplies and the fabrics could, mostly, be used for quilts as well as bags and other projects.

One thing I saw was a lot of embroidery supplies: Kimberbell**, thread, interfacing and things on which to embroider such as tea towels. I didn’t recognize the interfacing brand and I wasn’t in the market so I didn’t investigate.

Bag making supplies
Bag making supplies

Some of the bag making brands available were Sallie Tomato, Emmaline and ByAnnie. I haven’t actually seen Emmaline in person before, so that was a mini-thrill. The shop carried a lot of hardware, much of it I had never seen in person. I was thrilled with what I saw and wanted to buy everything.As you know, I like online shopping, but there is something special about seeing bag hardware (and fabric) in person.

They have just started this part of the venture, Vickie said, so are adding supplies slowly.

One of the bonuses at this shop was their YouTube page where Vickie has a live session, called “How Vickie Does It”, every Thursday. She told me that she focuses on bag making in these sessions.

Green's purchases
Green’s purchases

I bought a couple of things. I am not going to embroider on the tea towels. I am just going to use them in my kitchen. They are perfect for my decor.

I bought the small triangular pieces. Sadly they didn’t have the corresponding lobster clips.

Green’s Sewing & Vacuum Center
1017 Knutson Ave., Medford, OR
Tel: (541) 779-3411
No masks required











**Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops. However, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s 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.