I always take the necessary books with me, one to do crossword puzzle in and one to find the quilt shops with. I have an old edition of the Quilter's Travel Companion. And most of the time the shops are still there. I have learned to call ahead and find out if there are any changes but most of them welcome me by returning an email and inviting me to visit them.
I don't have any specific ones that we hit, just a few in a willy nilly sort of way. When I have been to too many Automobile Museums or too many Train Museums, or just plain too many museums I get to add a quilt shop or two. It is a trade off that allows us both to be happy. Franklin will sometimes sit in the car and sleep but most of the time he comes in and finds someone to talk to and offers up his credit card for whatever local goodies I find to bring home with me.
So in this California trip we did find a few goodies to bring home! Check out the stores and the goodies below:
The first stop was in Auburn CA just outside of Sacramento but unfortunately the Cabin Fever Quilt Shoppe had closed about 3 weeks before. We looked into the windows of an empty storefront and commiserated with the sad fact that the economy can have an effect on the small business woman. The other quilt shops in the area knew she had closed and they all felt the loss.
Going Batty in Carson City, NV was hysterical. I love that name for a quilt shop! I did not meet the owner but met her delightful son who dutifully showed me around the really nice store. The showroom was huge and open and had high high ceilings to add to the effect of openness. The back classrooms could accommodate at least 20 to 30 per class. And he showed me some of the new fabrics and a pattern that was unique to his mom. I bought a Quilt As You Go pattern that Frank fell in love with. It was hanging in the exact midpoint of the store, I don't know that that had anything to do with it........
In Reno NV he dropped me off at the Sierra Quilting Center while he snoozed in the car. I bought some redwork patterns to bring home to Valerie. Of course I did not take a picture of them, but one was a humpty dumpty sort of guy and the other was a really cool Halloween quilt.
At Lake Tahoe we met a sweet lady who owned the Quilting Tahoe shop. Not only did she have a gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe but she had some unique stuff. Her shop was small and catered to summer visitors and movie stars and then she took in quilts from all over the area to long arm quilt with intricately beautiful patterns. In Lake Tahoe there are many Canadian Geese. So one of her friends took MacKenna Ryan's Snow Geese pattern and converted it to a Canadian Geese pattern. So of course I had to buy that kit!
And she had put together a landscape quilt of Emerald Bay looking out to Lake Tahoe. So of course I had to buy that kit too!
At Quilting Corner in Sacramento there were some adorable ladies who totally enjoyed my stories of anticipating seeing the friends from High School/College and being able to recognize them or not. We laughed so hard the whole time I was in the shop! But I knew they had a sense of humor when I saw this sign outside their door:
The local artist celebrity there is
Melinda Bula and her fabulous books about raw edge applique. Being as I am not an applique person but can do raw edge applique, I did buy that one. Melinda is fairly well known for her Orange Rose.
The ladies in the shop helped in putting this book together and it is indeed a work of art.
I also found this fabulous new fabric that is coated in vinyl. It is pliable and easy to work with. They had a kit for a tote bag using this fabric so I decided I could try that and then get back with them for additional fabric if I liked it. I know some people are going to love the fabric for purses and totes (hint hint Beth!)
I have quite a few projects for next years UFO lists! I am sure Jesse will be pleased to hear that! LOL.
I love visiting the quilt shops all around the country. The people are so welcoming for the most part, and I love meeting them. If you don't have a copy of The Quilters Travel Companion, visit your local quilt shop or call me. There is a new edition out now, they come out every four years or so. I couldn't live without mine!