January 20

Back home in New York and very appreciative of the peace found in familiar surroundings and routines.  My dad got out of the hospital today but will need another operation shortly.  Thank you for your kind thoughts and emails, everyone goes through rough patches, I think I just wasn't prepared for this one.

Well, we're 20 days into the new year and already I've been to 3 different quilt shops in 3 states.  Let's review..

First, on our last day in Virginia, our hosts asked if there were any places I'd like to go before we headed for home.. "Can I see if you have a quilt shop?" I asked.  And they did!

On our way out of town we stopped at the Cloth Peddler in Stephens City, VA.  A cute shop in a little store on the main street, they crammed an aweful lot of fabric into a small space.  Bolts, samples and notions were tucked in every corner.  I was a bit distracted because our friends came with us, so this small shop was filled with myself, the two owners, three non-quilting adults and two toddlers (one with a dirty diaper).  The shopkeeper was quite chatty and even showed me the new package of samples that had just came in the mail.  Beautiful fabric.  They have a lot of really nice stuff.  I left with a black print and some small cuts of medium blues (one even glows in the dark!).  If I had been alone I probably would have bought more.

(here's George helping chose fabrics from the remnant bin)
A nice, well stocked shop with knowlegeable shopkeepers.  Worth the trip if you're in the neighborhood, or just driving through.  When we make it back out that way, I'll be sure to stop in again.  The online shop looks promising too.

In Chicago I would be lying if I said I wasn't overwhelmed with the family situation.  One day I took my sister's car and drove 40 minutes south-west to "escape" to a quilt shop to catch my breath and get my wits about me.  I had been to Thimbles in Lockport before (no website?) and knew it would have a good dose of trendy fabric to put me in touch with the modern quilting world and pull me out of the dark cloud surrounding my parents' house. 

I realized how tightly wound I had been when I noticed I had been up and down each aisle twice before my eyes registered the beautiful fabrics on the bolts.  But I stayed in the shop til it worked its magic and I had calmed down. 

Not only do they have a gorgeous shop, friendly staff, beautiful fabric and cheerful local quilters, but this shop is child friendly!  They have toys for toddlers!

So George was happy, I was happy, and we just stayed there for a while.

In the end I found some fabrics that go well with my living/dining room and I bought about 4 yards, total.  I don't know if they'll become pillows or placemats, but they're very pretty.

(I actually swapped out the center green for an Amy Butler print, but it coordinates well, take my word for it)

 And today, on a whim and with no intention of buying any fabric, I drove out to The Quilting Bug in Massapequa.  I've wanted to check out this shop since we moved in LI, and it's really not that far away (15 minutes?), but when I got there, my heart fell.  It's bad.  It's not the bigger, trendy shop I was hoping for.  Sure, it's a nice size with a big classroom, but it's not well set up at all, and it didn't really have that much fabric.  (How is this possible? A quilt shop without fabric?) Ok, so they had 2 walls of fabric, but I didn't want any of it.  I didn't even like any of it.  It was so.. uncoordinated and random.  I felt bad for the shopkeeper, she must be going through hard times.  She told me (once I got her off the phone) that they are relocating to a smaller shop down the street.  I hope she is able to pull things together.  I'd love to give her my business if she had anything worth buying.  I guess the most dissapointing thing about it was the sad atmosphere of the place, like no one cared. 

I've been busy in the sewing room since I've been home, falling in love with tiny nine-patches.  Class starts again next week so I'll have to find a good balance again, but I'll manage.  C's mom is coming to stay with us at the beginning of February through March, so maybe she and I can work out a schedule that allows for more quilting time for me.. I can be optimistic, can't I?


Lesly said...

Glad you're back home now - hope your dad is doing well!

Dee said...

Peace and inspiration...two things I find at quilt stores too. A space to let go, a fantasy world where everything is possible and pretty. The world kind of goes away for a while, doesn't it.

Glad you're home. I got your block ready to mail yesterday. ESP? LOL I didn't want to send it while you were gone. Today, I'm sick...so hopefully soon!
Remember to take care of yourself and breathe. It's all going to be okay!

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