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
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Travel Bag Change

Long serving travel bag
Long serving travel bag

As I was clearing out my workroom to paint, I decided it was time to consolidate bags. My travel bag has served me well, but wasn’t the ideal travel bag and was also wearing out.

I got it in college as a premium with some makeup I bought. That was about 1,000 years ago so it was time.

The bag is a good shape and has a lot of pockets, so it might be worthwhile to make a replacement or another version for a different use.

Sewing machine cart - main compartment
Sewing machine cart- main compartment

I emptied the old travel bag and decided to fill my sewing machine cart with the various items.

🙁 Not great. It was convenient to have everything in one bag, but the various zippers and ‘doors’ were hard to open and close with all the stuff inside.

For the moment this is the way it will be. Since I have been working on La Pass at Sew Day, I don’t anticipate having to worry about traveling with my sewing supplies for the foreseeable future.

Travel Notes

As I mentioned, I left the Bay Area and drove north to the Burlington, Washington area. Without driving around Burlington at all, the trip, one way, was just shy of 1000 miles. That is really far. It took us three days, though the first leg, San Francisco to Portland could be done is about 14-15 hours. I am not up for that long of a drive in one day. We stopped in Ashland after the first day, then Portland, then drove the rest of the way. I thought the trip from Portland to Burlington would be easy, but the traffic was very heavy and I forget how far north Burlington sits.

Dunsmuir theatre
Dunsmuir theatre

On our way to Ashland, we stopped for a break in Dunsmuir. It had started to rain a few miles before we stopped, so the clouds were beautiful. I don’t know why I stopped in Dunsmuir since there isn’t much there. My grandfather was born there, so, perhaps, I feel some kind of connection for no particular reason. I never knew anything about Dunsmuir until long after he had died. I really like the downtown. I have stopped there twice in recent years on trips north.

Mt. Vernon bas relief
Mt. Vernon bas relief

One thing I enjoyed in Washington was the sky. There were a couple of days of sprinkles on our way up and throughout the drive we enjoyed beautiful views of glimpses of the sky and clouds. The day we went to Calico Creations, we parked in a lot with some beautiful bas relief on the side of an embankment. I liked the art and the clouds very much. I also liked Mt. Vernon, where I saw the bas relief, as well. In addition to the fantastic Calico Creations, there was an amazing used bookstore, Easton’s.


A wonderful cat has recently joined the YM’s new household. Her name is Marie, which makes me laugh.  She is an indoor cat who gets to lounge in front of large windows looking out a birds and the wind blowing the trees all day. She is beautiful and reminds me of the cat I had as a teenager. Marie is a little more stand-offish than my cat, Spooky. She will not sit on your lap until she knows you better and doesn’t let just anyone pet her. She sits with the YM and he gets to pet her, but she needed more time than we had to get used to me. I played with her using a toy, which is a stick with a fish and a piece of twine hanging from the end. She loved chasing the twine, but seemed annoyed by the bells on the fish. I really like this cat.

Mt. Vernon Best Western Carpet Design
Mt. Vernon Best Western Carpet Design

The hotel in which we stayed in Mt. Vernon (near Burlington) was a typical Best Western, though this one had very few redeeming qualities. It was surrounded by a concrete parking lot and what flower beds there were were overgrown and sad looking. The room was large, which was great, because we stayed there for 4 nights. Also, the carpet had an interesting design. Hotels are a great place to find quilt designs, specifically in the carpet. I have found several designs that could be quilts, though I haven’t ever, yet, translated one to fabric.

BW carpet design anno
BW carpet design anno

This design I thought would be English Paper Piecing. I only had my phone on which to draw so my annotations are a bit wonky and incomplete, but you can see direction in my thought process. I am not sure how I would finish it or put it together with other blocks, but what I have drawn is a better start than the other carpet designs which still live on my computer.


The day we arrived, we took the YM and the YMG out to dinner at a FANTASTIC restaurant called COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria. The restaurant had the best, hands down, Mexican food I have ever had. The food was super fresh, very clean tasting, e.g. I could taste all the different flavors. The service was fast, too. I didn’t enjoy my drink, but, as I said, the food was amazing. The Mocajete ordered by the YM and my mom to share, had cactus in it. I tried it and the cactus was delicious.

One day, while the YM was at work, we went to LaConner and walked around. We wanted to visit the quilt museum. It was a gorgeous day. While we waited for the quilt museum to open, we walked around downtown LaConner (at least I think it was downtown!), had some gluten free pastries, checked out the boats and enjoyed the sunshine.

We also spent some time at MoNA – the Museum of Northwest Art in LaConner. They were showing the pieces that would be available for purchase at an upcoming auction. Pieces of art were donated by the various artists and some of them were quite good. Others were not to my taste. Check back, I may write a post about that museum visit.

Quilt Museum sewing chair
Quilt Museum sewing chair

At the quilt museum, I saw a cool sewing chair unlike any I have seen before. It was in the tower room of the mansion under a mural of the sky. My Mom actually pointed the chair out to me. I think it would be very handy for supplies needed for sewing by hand. I am not sure how comfortable it would be, though the seat was contoured a bit. I have suggested Mom have my stepdad try and make one of these chairs. He probably won’t do it, sadly. I bet it would be very popular among quiltmakers.

Gaches Mansion fireplacee
Gaches Mansion fireplace

One of the things I enjoy about architecture, especially in houses like the Gaches Mansion, is the detail. Much of it gets stripped away and has to be rebuilt during restoration projects. While this mansion had some bad luck, some of the details remained, including the tile on some of the fireplaces. I especially like the tile on the surround. The leaves and vines would make a great applique’ pattern.

After visiting the YM for not long enough, we had to head home. On the way south, we stayed for two nights in Portland. We visited with my sister and my friend. Mom and I went on two separate outings one day and had a lot to talk about when we got back together.

Pioneer Quilts - June 20211
Pioneer Quilts – June 2021

Amanda and I went to a few quilt shops. One was Pioneer Quilts. I have been there before. While the fabric has changed, the cleanliness, good fabric choices and friendliness were the same. Fortunately, despite COVID-19, the shop was open. After a vigorous handwashing we spent a happy hour there looking at their offerings. It is still one of my favorite shops in Portland. It is housed in a historic home and they put the space to good use. Despite the name, they have a lot of modern and contemporary fabrics, beautiful non-brown colors of wool felt, patterns and everything one needs to be a happy quiltmaker. One thing I love is the flowers in the beds around the house/shop. I have seen a few of those giant poppies and I love them.

Sharon's Quilting Attic - June 2021
Sharon’s Quilting Attic – June 2021

We also stopped at Sharon’s Quilting Attic. I have also been there before. Last time, I bought a roll of Vanessa Christensen’s Ombre dots and wanted to see if they had the same rolls of the new colors. No luck, but they had a few interesting things. I found a good selection of ByAnnie’s double fold elastic. I bought a few rolls as normally I have to buy it online and I like looking at the colors in person. The workers seemed unhappy or overworked. This shop reminds me a little of Always Quilting.

Oregon City Municipal Elevator
Oregon City Municipal Elevator

While we were driving around, I saw the Oregon City Municipal Elevator. This elevator takes people from one level of Oregon City to another. It was opened in 1915 (though TripAdvisor says 1955) and does not spin around as it goes up and down. The levels are 89 feet apart. It is located at 300 Seventh St, Oregon City, OR 97045. Trip Adviser lists it as the only vertical street in the US. I did not ride it, but now that I know about it may another time.

All in all it was a good trip. I got to see my YM! My mom got a little rest from her caregiving duties. I don’t think I want to drive that far again, but we’ll see.

Cottage Quilting

Cottage Quilting
Cottage Quilting

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.

Cottage Quilting - June 2021
Cottage Quilting – June 2021

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.

Cottage Quilting - June 2021
Cottage Quilting – June 2021

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.

Cottage Quilting notions - June 2021
Cottage Quilting notions – June 2021

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.

Cottage Quilting - June 2021
Cottage Quilting – June 2021

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
Unit A
Medford, Oregon 97501
Tel: 541-500-8071
Email: info@cottage-quilts.com

Tuesday – Saturday
10 am to 5 pm