Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Impromptu Shop Hop and Design Wall

This weekend hubs and I went up to Franconia, NH for a weekend with his soaring club. As much as I love watching specks of planes in the distance floating slowly in and out of the clouds, it was pretty muggy and warm, so I excused myself from the picnic tables and took a little road trip.

First stop was at Stitch at the Old Mill, which billed itself as "a social club and fabric resource". Love it. The shop wasn't too big, but half of the building was set up with tables that would allow 20+ quilters enough space to work and chatter for hours on end. I wished I'd brought my machine (or at least the latest finish, since they'd had a show n tell not half an hour before I got there). Their list of social activities makes me want to retire early and just hang out at the shop all day.

The next stop took a little work to find. Google Maps led me slightly astray, so I ended up needing to stop for directions from a surly guy working at the paint your own pottery place (he made fun of me for using a GPS...I'm sorry, but I wouldn't have known your little town even existed, let alone had a quilt shop if it weren't for Google Maps, so don't knock it!) Then I got closer and had to ask a sketchy dude running what might have been a pot shop if he knew where the shop was.

Finally, I made it to Pinestead Quilts in Lincoln, NH. They don't have a website, and the shop was really pretty tiny...but I loved it anyway. They had bins and bins of precut squares that you could put together and purchase as little kits...sort of like a by the pound candy shop, but with fabric. Love it! The lady working the counter was 75 (she told me so) and just this tiny little thing, but she had some great opinions about technology. Not ones I agree with necessarily, but she had them anyway. :-)
I bought these fat quarters for a project I'm not at liberty to discuss yet. I'm actually hoping that this project won't be necessary, but just in case...

Aren't they lovely? I just love the rich colors and the subtle texture/pattern. Beautiful.

The final stop was Keepsake Quilting in the Lakes Region. Oh. My. Goodness.
They had an outlet store!
The place was seriously enormous. It took up an entire side of a strip mall, and the fabric selection was just overwhelming.
I loved this little tie quilt! It made me think of church-going babies
I bought this fabric for an upcoming project for a friend's mom. She wants a "whimsical cat-themed" quilt, so I found this stuff. The fishes is going to be sashing and the paw prints is the backing.
And after much labor and graphing (see below), the layout for the Civil War quilt is coming together. All the feature pieces (flags and maps) have fusible stuff on them, so now the next step is to crease the edges then iron them to their background blocks (blue has the Gettysburg address on it and cream is just a pretty pattern). Then I'll start putting the blocks together in chunks and hopefully by the end of the week the top will be done! I'm thinking I'll quilt around the feature pieces with cream or tan thread, some kind of swirly something.
Seriously, this is the most planning I've done on a quilt since the first one!

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