Sunday, July 28, 2013

On the Road Again...

Hello my friends!
How are you?  Have you been busy quilter bees? My life continues to be a hot mess!  It seems that just when I think things are going to settle down something else comes up to keep me hopping!  The good news is that everything that is keeping me crazy is all good stuff! 
This week my husband and I made a little trip to Virginia where good friends of ours ended their 20-year Air Force career with a wonderful retirement ceremony followed by a great retirement party!  Never one to let the opportunity to visit a quilt shop pass, I quickly scoped out the shops in the area and along our route and while we weren't able to stop anywhere on the way we did manage a few stops while there and on the way home (:-P)  Lucky for me I have a WONDERFUL husband who is ready and willing to shop hop along our routes when traveling by car and this trip was no exception!
Norfolk, VA
We made our first shop stop while killing time
between the retirement ceremony and retirement party. 
This is the Fabric Hut.
It's a very big store and carries not only quilting fabrics but
 lots of sewing products including bridal fabrics,
decorator fabrics, sewing machines, and notions ~
kinda like an independent version of a retail chain.
Virgnia Beach, Virgina
We also managed to squeeze in some time at Sarah's Thimble

This was the perfect day to stop by as
Sarah, the owner, was there and so nice
to demo her Statler Stitcher for me and my hubby.
It's great because he now realizes that
I absolutely should have it! 
Now I just have to find the $15,000
it will cost to retrofit Gammill Bea!
Not the greatest picture I know but you get the idea!
Here's one of the main part of the shop.
Another good thing about stopping in on Friday
was that all the Batiks were on SALE!!  50% OFF! 
 You know I took advantage of that!

Mechanicsville, VA
Now, Millstone Quilts is not exactly on the beaten path but don't let that stop you from going because it is well worth the trip! 
This is the second time I have been to Millstone Quilts;
the first time I went was with my friend
and quilty pal Michelle (click her name to go to her great blog).
Millstone Quilts is a Quilt Sampler Featured Shop
and lives up to the reputation!
The shop has three levels- this is the first level:
Isn't it beautiful?  I took 25 pictures of this shop and
had such a hard time choosing which ones to post!
This is the Gristmill Wheel and is over 150 years old.  
I love the way they use the space for display!
The Grist Wheel is on the second level of the shop and
 I was standing in front of it to take the next photo.
 This is the second level looking down from the third level.
And here is the third level.
And here's just one of many well-done displays
It's a great shop!  The staff is warm and
welcoming and ready to help.  They have tons
 of samples and many of them have been
 made into kits and are ready to go. 
This is one of my all-time favorite shops!
Stauton, VA
Our last quilt shop stop was Rachel's Quilt Patch.
This shop is located in an old train station along with several other businesses.
As you can see they have yarn as well as quilting fabrics.
They were very nice in this shop which is
owned and operated by a mother-daughter team
 with a grand-daughter "in-training" (she's probably about 5
 but you're never too young to start quilting!)
It was a busy day as they were photographing and cataloging
 quilts for the Shenandoah Valley Quilt
Documentation & Discovery Project.
  The Virginia Consortium of Quilters is researching
Virginia quilts made before the year 2000. 
Now, the next picture isn't that great but
if you look CAREFULLY, you'll see some blocks
 hanging on the design wall. 
There are two sets...can you see the smaller ones on the left?

That is a new Civil War block of the month
that is coming out in September so...
Yep- I signed up! I couldn't resist!
It's called Hampton Ridge
with Fabrics by Paula Barnes for Marcus Brothers
 and quilt design by Red Crenoline Quilts.
This is the photo from the Marcus Brother Website
 of the completed quilt. 
You can see this photo and thumbnails
of all the fabrics by clicking on the photo.
Hampton Ridge
 Now, sadly, many shops close early on Saturdays
so this was the last quilt shop we managed to get to on our way home.  Fortunately, antique stores stay open a little bit longer! 
 Didn't find anything I couldn't live without but I had fun trying!
Of course, between shops there's a lot of free time on the road so I took a project with me...
This is another Block-of-the-Month that I am working on.

Now the pattern is actually written as a traditional appliqued quilt but Bella Quiltworks in Tuscon Az has modified it by reducing the size of the blocks and making it out of wool.  I've received the first 4 or 5 months of blocks but have only finished month one and two. 

Neither have been squared up yet and I probably should have ironed them before I took their picture but...oh well.
 I'm halfway done with month three, too! :)
Now, I have one more thing to share...
About a year or so ago I went to a quilt shop
where they sold "Stitch-a-book" and
I FINALLY tackled it and got it done!
Basically, its a binder and pages that you
cover with your choice of fabric. 
Page choices include address book, password book,
quilt diary and four or five others. 
You can get the custom binders and pages
 from if your
local quilt store doesn't carry them. 
They come in three sizes...mine is a medium.

There's a pocket on the inside and next time
I'll pick a contrasting fabric for the pocket.  
You can customize it so that you use
more than one fabric but the
designer recommends you make one "single-fabric"
cover before tackling the multi-fabric cover
and I can understand why having made one. 
Now that I understand how the pattern works
 it will be easy to properly place secondary fabrics.
Well, that's been my week...what did you do? 
I'd love to hear from you and
if you have any suggestions
(shorter posts?  more pictures?  fewer pictures?)
I'd love to hear those too!
Keep on Quilting!

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