November 29, 2012

A Sad Farewell

One of my favorite shops - Foothills Fabric and Threads (in Tecoma) - is closing down today. I will miss them greatly. I've gone there several times since launching into my quilting mania, and found lovely women there who've been encouraging, supportive, helpful and well, just really nice people.

There's you just can't beat shops like this one - they had an excellent selection, reasonable prices, and the staff - well the service you get in a place like that is hard to beat.

So - to the owners and staff - farewell and best wishes for the future.

Your shop will be sadly missed.

November 28, 2012

Florida Quilts - another one that got away

Then there's this one ("Oh Christmas Tree"):

It's a pattern - not a kit. I looked long and hard at this one. It's so UNUSUAL! I love the Christmas theme and the kind-of Hawaiian style design. I went as far as finding the pattern and thinking about it but...'s applique. I'm just not ready for applique, and even if I was, this doesn't look like a good "beginner" project.

So I passed it by.

Of course... hm... I COULD order the pattern. Surely shipping just the pattern from the US wouldn't be expensive.

But no.. no.. no...





November 21, 2012

Florida Quilts - the one that got away

Isn't it gorgeous? I couldn't get a photo of it "straight-on" because it was just too big and hanging amid so many other quilts which were in the way - but even so, you can see it well enough here:

I adore the colours - the browns, peaches and blues.

It's a queen-size spread done with civil war prints. I just fell in love with it. I studied it a bit and am pretty sure I have the skill now to tackle it. So what stopped me? Well - it's a "block of the month" project. I just couldn't see getting into something like that when the shop is in Florida and I'm in Australia.

So I didn't.

Or I haven't...yet...

No.. no... no... I'm not going to.



November 14, 2012

When I Win the Lottery...

More about that shop in Florida:
Back behind the area where their clearance/bargain fabrics are, I saw this:

Not sure what you are looking at? Have a closer look:

It's a "longarm" quilting machine.

In addition to all the fabric, books, patterns, and doo-dads, this shop also offers professional quilting.

Oh... what a fantasy! Think about it!  Wouldn't it be GRAND to have one of these babies? OOOOOO!

I makes my head spin to think how FAST I could crank through my UFO closet and churn out heaps of lovely quilts at lightening speed. Now, to be honest, I do think there are some quilt designs that just look nicer hand-stitched, even with my horrible, sloppy, fat stitches. But then again, I've seen so many that look lovely with tight swirlees and machine-done patterns.

So I had a little look to see what these things cost and...



After the smelling salts revived me, I decided that when I win Tatts Lotto, I'll get one. Of course I'll have to buy a new house, too, as there isn't really any place here to set up such a huge working area - but with Tatts Lotto winnings in my bank account, maybe I can convert our garage into a workroom and put my long arm in there. Along with an armed guard.

November 9, 2012

The Quilt Place - Retail Therapy, Florida-Style

Where have I been, you ask? Well.. it's a long story and a fairly ugly one, so let's just look at the highlights, OK? Just the fun stuff. I've been in the US - very much an "unplanned" visit. At the end of the trip, I took myself on down to Titusville, Florida to visit my family. I stayed with Cousin Toni, who took me to what has to be Quilter Heaven. Oh... my...

The shop is called "The Quilt Place", and it's huge, simply huge.

I'm trying to decide if it really is bigger than my favorite local shop here in Australia ("Patchwork With Gail B") - or if it just FELT a lot bigger. I'd have to say it's at least 50% larger than Gail B in terms of floor space - and that's saying something.

Well- they have more books, that's for sure. Here I am (below) standing next to a book wall that is close to half the length of my house! We tried to get a photo of the whole wall, but it's just too big. Just behind me is rack after rack of panel prints. On the opposite wall in this wing of the store (yes... I said "wing") is an equally huge display of quilt patterns.

Now you'll laugh at this: I fell head over heels in love with one of the display quilts. I asked about it...hoping it was a kit. The clerk who was helping me checked and said it wasn't - but the pattern is in a book that they carry. But... believe it or not... they happened to be out of that particular book! That's OK. The clerk wrote down the name/author and I've ordered a copy from (the book is "Traditions with a Twist" by Blanche Young). It's just as well - my suitcases were already overstuffed, and books are heavy...

Here's part of their "bargain/clearance" area:

Look at the price list (below)! Now you'll be wondering if the fabric they've got in this clearance area is junk... well, no... let me tell you, I saw a couple of prints in that stack which match some prints in my UFO closet (and not fabric I've had long) that I paid about $20 per yard for.

Below is a view of the shop looking from one corner near the front toward the back of the store:

And here's a view from the clearance area back toward the front (strangely - this photo makes it look kind-of small... trust me... it's NOT a small shop):

Poor Cousin Toni - she wore out long before I did. Fortunately, there are chairs near the front of the store - so she had a seat and just let me run wild.

And did I run wild?



(more about that next week)

November 7, 2012

I've Been Duly Chastised

Received the following email:

Subject: From a faithful reader

Dear Liz, You appear to be falling down on the job. You have promised to update both of your blogs on a weekly basis. I have been faithfully following you for quite some time. The past few weeks I have been sadly disappointed to find no new postings. Have you fallen ill or are you just a slacker who is leaving your fans in the lurch without even a fare thee well? I am inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I could change my mind at any time (you never know what these Internet stalkers may do when deprived). I also have access to your home address and could possibly start some deliveries to express my displeasure. Since I am an anonymous stalker you should beware and make a new posting posthaste. 

Sincerely, Your anonymous follower

Well, good and faithful reader - you have been heard. My thanks to you for your loyalty and for giving me a gentle and loving "nudge".

I just finished checking my visitor stats on this and my other blog - and am delighted to find that although I did lose a few folks this past few weeks, many are still checking back on Wednesdays.

So,OK, I'm back in the "saddle" and I've got things to share. Thank you all!