Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sew much to Share!

Hi Friends!

I have so much to share that I hardly know where to begin...  It's been a crazy July and it's only half done!

You probably wondered if I had once again abandoned my blog but fear not!  As it happened I took a last minute trip within my current trip to the great Northwest.  I spent a week in Washington during the Fourth of July and it was FABULOUS!  Now, the thing about Washington is that it has the most beautiful three WEEK summer and this year was no exception.  My folks live on Whidbey Island, which is North of Seattle and every year they host a Fourth of July party.  Usually one or two of my parents' five childern and their families make it up to enjoy the fireworks over the harbor but this year all of us were planning to go.  Of course, as my mom says, "If you want to make God laugh, make a plan", and let me tell you He must have been rolling on the floor with this one!  My husband and I were all set to make the drive to Whidbey when his new employer moved his training date up a month which meant no Fourth with the family.  I was so bummed and of course my husband encouraged me to go alone but this new job was such a change for my 26 year-Air-Force-Veteran husband that I wanted to be there to support him while he transitioned to civilian employment.  Well, I just couldn't stay away so on the 3rd of July I bought a ticket at 1 pm and by 5:30 pm I was in the air and on my way!  I coordinated with my sister, Tracey, and my brother, Chris, so that my arrival would be a surprise for my parents... I think we succeeded....

Here's a photo of my folks and and their kids.

From left to right:  Dave, Tracey, Me, Mom, Dad, Victoria, Christopher


This picture was taken from their yard.  They have an amazing view of the harbor!

Panoramic View from my parents' patio.

It was such fun!  The downside was that I had to go without my hubby.  The upside, besides spending time with my family, was that I could spend a day or two (and a dollar or two) exploring the quilt shops around the area with my mom :-) and here's what I found:
 Oak Harbor, WA
The Quilters Workshop is one of two or three quilt shops on Whidbey Island.  Unfortunately, this is the only shop I was able to get to on the Island so my next visit I'll have to be sure to budget in more time for quilt shop exploring!

I found this shop a little disorganized but once the shopkeeper (owner?) got off the phone I found her to be friendly.  This shop offeres long-arm services and had a small selection of yarns for knitters and crocheters as well as fabrics and quilting books.  I cannot say that they had a whole lot to choose from but what they did have was good quality quilter fabrics and notions.

My favorite part of the store was this sign which
was hung in the doorway to the classroom.  Sorry about the glare!

Seattle, WA
You can find Undercover Quilts in Pike's Market- the popular tourist attraction- in downtown Seattle.
This is a quilt that was made for one the shop's anniversaries
(sorry, can't remember which one!)
by one of the customers

The problem with this shop is it has sooo much in a small space!  Lot's to see here especially if you like outdoorsy themed quilting. 

 The staff was very friendly, welcoming and gracious! 
The Quilting Loft is also in Seattle- a little North of Pikes Market.
This is a new location for the Quilting Loft. 
It used to be futher south on the same road but
the new location offers more space and better light!

This shop offers lots of modern and bright fabrics
 and the shop itself is bright and airy; 
lots of room to step back and see everything.
 I was a little disappointed that they didn't
have kits of some of their samples
but the staff was very friendly and offered to help gather fabrics. 
Unfortunately, when you are in a hurry to get to
a bunch of shops before they close it doesn't leave a lot of time for picking fabrics :-(
Another Seattle shop is Pacific Fabrics
and while not strictly a quilt shop,
 it has some great quilt fabrics and notions.

This was the last shop of the day and
we only had about 10 minutes
to see everything before they closed! 
I did find one gadget that I thought I'd give a whirl....
This is the Cutting Edge and it's a vinyl strip
you apply to the back of your ruler. 
Each package contains 10 strips.
You apply by firmly pressing on to the back of your ruler. 
Now, the idea is that when applied the strip will
a) provide non-slip action and
 b) provide a lip that works as a stop
 much the way your quarter-inch foot works when piecing. 
 In all honesty I have not used this while cutting fabric but
one pitfall I see is that in order to work
you must apply it very carefully (ie accurately)
 to your ruler or all your cuts will be wrong. 
Can you see how when I applied it here
the strip is not as close to the line on the right as it is on the left? 
I can see using this as a general guide
when cutting a lot of pieces the same width
 but I think using the actual ruler line
when cutting fabric is a better option for me.
Well, try as I might to keep things brief
I just can't seem to manage it! 
 I have several more shops to tell you about
 as well as project updates
 but you'll have to come back to read about them
as I am out of time! 
I saved the best for last so make sure you drop in! 
I'd love to hear your comments so feel free to leave one!
Happy Quilting!

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