Hi kids! How was the old weekend? Mine was pretty stinkin' good! Nothing outstanding, just a series of small moments that added up to a good weekend. Honestly the only negatives are that it rained, and I forgot to tell the takeout place to leave the hot peppers out of my grilled veggie wrap, and enjoyed my dinner Saturday night a wee bit less for it. But melted cheese makes everything better so I was able to cope :)
I decided months ago that it was a brilliant idea to make a doctor's appointment (check-up) for nine o' clock on a Saturday morning. Usually I sleep waaaay in, then hang out in my pajamas a while, drinking coffee and playing around online. But because I was up and ready and moving, I felt like doing something. I hit all my usual haunts last weekend, so I needed somewhere else to trot off to. And then I remembered...Granny's Sewing Den.
This little sewing/quilting shop is directly across the street from where my brother works. I know it's there, I like it there, it's just that it's quite out of the way. I make it there about once a year, and I usually pick a beautiful sunny day so I can enjoy the drive. But yesterday, it felt like it was calling to me. So off I went.
The thing that I like about this shop is that the stock varies. I've gone to other quilt shops and a lot of times it seems like everything is in darker primitive/country colors that are just not my thing (but look nice in homes where they are that person's thing). This shop has a little bit of everything so you're sure to be able to find something.
One of the delightful things about a small shop like this is the immediate sense of community found within. At Joann's I frequently get asked what I'm making, but I feel like it's a requirement, like saying 'My pleasure' in Chick-fil-a. In a place like this you can be quickly on your way or stay and chat. I stayed and chatted. I learned who had a kidney transplant, who was expecting a grandchild, who was going to teach who how to hand quilt, and so on. It's one of those places where you feel like you know people right away.
The ladies were talking about something called a puzzle quilt, which I had never heard of before. They were more than happy to show me a finished product and a few in progress. A puzzle quilt can be made of however many blocks you want, but they're done in pairs using different fabrics. Someone may have two blocks of small squares set on point, or two snail trails, or two stars, but the fabric layout varies so that they look like entirely different patterns. I had to stare and stare and go back and forth between them to try and decide which were which. The magic is all in the cutting.
So get this: the blue and green twirly block at the top and the two below it, as well as the orangey one up there--the same block pattern. Two of them you can tell (made by two different people) but the others you really have to try and see. The orange one looks like strips and triangles all sewn together--but it's a snail trail. The green on the bottom right and the one sitting on it are the same block too! It all comes down to some insane fussy cutting and fabric placement. It kind of really blew my mind.
The black star at the bottom is the same pattern as the one sitting on top of it. I know!!!! Right?! And the black star block with that awesome center that looks like one piece of fabric? It's not--it's a lot of pieces sewn just so to give it that look. It was one of those times where you see something and your mind is blown. These are all simple shapes sewn together. BUT the vision and the fabric placement and design are at a level I am nowhere near. I'm pleased when I fussy cut something and it comes out centered. This is pretty amazing. I almost needed to take a seat :)
Of course I came away with a few goodies and plans for all of them, so I am mightily glad that I took the trip. I wasn't thrilled about the detours I had to take as I'm not familiar with the area, but I paid attention and only had to turn around once or twice (but because I missed a turn and not because I was lost). I rewarded myself with a doughnut (yeah, I totally reward myself with food :) . I cut and stitched the rest of the afternoon, and stopped for some movie watching with my bro and sis (Silver Linings Playbook).
The top left has already been cut and stitched. The handles and bottom left are to be a bag. The measuring tapes are being stashed for the moment, and the stripes are going to be bias tape. See? Plans. I behaved.
I've now got a little stack of these to put in the shop. Which I'll be getting to hopefully tomorrow. I've got lots of ideas swimming around my brain right now, so I'm going to crochet and watch the Oscars so I can get off my creative high and hopefully get to sleep tonight :)