Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Visit to M & L!

 Did you know that if you try to type M & L into your iphone it auto corrects it to M &M!?

It’s true!  And that’s okay with me, because being in this place was like being in a candy store for quilters anyway!

I’d heard about M & L fabrics for years ---- never thinking I’d get a chance to go, but go I did!

And so did Julie from Australia, Brigitte from Germany, Caroline from Belgium, Carolyn from Maine, Kim from Minnesota, and Deborah from Illinois, Florine from Brea, California, and Sherry from Whittier, California, and Grace from Whittier, California!

We hit that place like a swarm of wasps --- swooping and and snatching up and petting, and passing around and looking here and looking there!

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This was my first glimpse as I stepped inside the store.  My reaction?  Holy. Mother. Of. Fabric!!  Where do you start?!  This side is the bolt side, and there is some good stuff over here…batiks for $3.98 a yard? Yep --- They’ve got them, and more!

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THIS ---this is the flat fold side…and there are miles and miles of shelves stacked HIGH with flat folds!  You have to dig and search in here, for bargains mean there are undesirables as well as desirables. Perseverance is a MUST!

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Found the right fabric?  You better have a buddy with you, because it is going to take TWO of you to get that piece out of the center of the stack…1, 2, 3 ---- LIFT!  now PULL!!  Here’s Sherry and Grace showing us all how it’s done!  HEAVE!!! PULL!!

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Is all that pulling and heaving and searching worth it?  Absolutely! I left with a few pieces, mainly for backs, and only spent about $42.00  I’m happy with it!

Upon our exit..I had to take a closer look at the tile wall outside the building –you can’t see it in the top picture above….but look at this:

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Here’s the view down the wall..it almost looks like a crossword puzzle doesn’t it? I had to take a closer straight on shot to see if I could make any “pattern” emerge from it:

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Can you find a face in here?  Do you see anything else in here?  I think it’s kinda cool……that is if you don’t stare at it for too long and wind up with a raging migraine…LOL!

We all had a wonderful time and ended our shopping trip at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. I don’t know about you, but I can be perfectly fine and not feeling like eating, until I smell good fried chicken, and I’m instantly famished!  All 9 of us gathered for a fun lunch before going our separate ways. Chicken pot pie! I’m sure I’ll be regretting it when I get home and get to a scale, but it sure was yummy!

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Yep, it was “THAT” Mrs Knott's, of Knott's Berry Farm! We didn’t go into the park, but walking under the roller coaster on the side walk to the restaurant, I relived many memories of going to Knott's Berry Farm when I was in high school ---I love those roller coasters as much today as I did then!  If we had had more time – I would have loved to go!

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I took a picture of this bottle brush tree because it reminded me of the bottle brush bushes we had growing in our front yard in San Jose when I was growing up! I remember it really attracted the bees..but the flowers are so fun…they DO look like bottle brushes don’t they? Love the color…and love the memories!

My lecture with the Friendship Square Quilt Guild of La Habra was last night….and we had a great time.  I love an interactive audience. It’s nice to connect with people who understand my love of fabric and finding  places in fun quilts where it all can be used!

Today is our Sister’s Choice workshop….easy pattern, loads of fun, great for swapping strips and sewing up a fun quilt.  It’s the last day of my Southern California trip ---boy am I glad I came!

Boy am I glad to go home too! :cD

Monday, January 16, 2012

Afternoon Edition! Free Kindle Book!

On our way out the door to hit M&L!!  We have a fun group of ladies ---They call themselves the Caravan Quilters, and as it turns out, I knew most of them, if not all of them from when we were all on the Dear Jane list back in the late 90s! ((Doesn’t that just sound SO WEIRD!!))

Caroline I’ve seen in both Paris and Stuttgart, Brigitte came to all 3 workshops I held in Stuttgart and knew all these ladies who knew me…..they’ve all done the Dear Jane retreats in Shipshewana over the years..

I am just blown away by how close quilters are --- we all know someone who knows someone, and you’d be amazed who knows you through someone else!

I finally had time this morning to get some email time and reading time and just came across this goodie to share – it was free when I clicked it, hopefully it still will be for you :

The Walk by Lee Goldberg is free today from the Amazon Kindle store, and has received an average user rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars based on 141 customer reviews:
Category: Action & Adventure
Book Description:
It’s one minute after the Big One. Marty Slack, a TV network executive, crawls out from under his Mercedes, parked outside what once was a downtown Los Angeles warehouse, the location for a new TV show. Downtown LA is in ruins. The sky is thick with black smoke. His cell phone is dead. The freeways are rubble. The airport is demolished. Buildings lay across streets like fallen trees. It will be days before help can arrive.
Marty has been expecting this day all his life. He’s prepared. In his car are a pair of sturdy walking shoes and a backpack of food, water, and supplies. He knows there is only one thing he can do … that he must do: get home to his wife Beth, go back to their gated community on the far edge of the San Fernando Valley.
All he has to do is walk. But he will quickly learn that it’s not that easy. His dangerous, unpredictable journey home will take him through the different worlds of what was once Los Angeles. Wildfires rage out of control. Flood waters burst through collapsed dams. Natural gas explosions consume neighborhoods. Sinkholes swallow entire buildings. After-shocks rip apart the ground. Looters rampage through the streets.
There’s no power. No running water. No order.
Marty Slack thinks he’s prepared. He’s wrong. Nothing can prepare him for this ordeal, a quest for his family and for his soul, a journey that will test the limits of his endurance and his humanity, a trek from the man he was to the man he can be … if he can survive The Walk.
Have a great afternoon!  We are planning lunch out together, then rush home to get everything together for the lecture tonight…Sister’s Choice workshop tomorrow --- long journey home on Wednesday!

Bargello In Paradise!

Is there anything more beautiful than a sunset on the ocean? We don't get this in NC....we are on the wrong END of the country ---we get sunrises, which are beautiful in their own right, but ther is something about the light quality that lingers after sunset --- the light reflects UP from the water and even in 5 minutes passing of time -- everything can look so different.

This is one of my fave photos I took on Saturday evening --- see the silhouette of the little birds? The birds were so fun to watch -- the surf would come in and they would run run run to get away from the edge of the water.  Then the surf would go out, and they'd wander around, digging for bugs or whatever it was they were looking for in the sand, until the next wave would come, and they'd run run run run just keeping their little feet out of the water, running ahead of the waves by inches. So funny to watch, it was almost comical!

Saturday was our Scrappy Bargello workshop with the Beach Cities Quilt Guild in Mission Viejo --- it was held at The Sewing Party in Laguna Hills.

It was fun having some of the students for a second day of scrappy happiness ---they were crazy enough to start two UFOs in a row, having also taken the Texas Braid workshop from the day before! This gave me more time with them to get to know them better ---and it made class so nice to have some familiar faces to break the ice.

Other students were some I remembered from last year’s Road to California workshops! SO happy to see these ladies again, and I think I convinced them to come see me again in March when I’m teaching at the Glendale Quilt Show in March!

During the class I love seeing what other people are sewing with!

“Who has the oldest fabric in the room?”

“Who has the UGLIEST fabric in the room?”

“Who has the most interesting memory attached to their scrap strip?”

One story pulls us into another and into another, and lots of laughter follows.

One quilter caused a  huge bout of laughter ----- you see….there is this phenomenon that happens when people prepare and kit up fabrics and come to sew ---when you look at a whole room full of students sewing, there will be a certain number that dress to match their projects unknowingly.

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We all laughed when I pointed out that this gal’s whole panel matched her striped sweater!!  It was too funny!  She was holding up the panel, showing us the wrong side…..we couldn’t stop laughing--- and she was such a good sport!

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Here she is, smiling brightly, holding up her first uphill panel ---- doesn’t it look great?

This quilt goes so fast because the strip set is the length of the quilt center.  EVERYTHING goes…and what is “ugly” just isn’t anymore by the time you are done!

One of our gals decided to use amish solids and 1.5” strips ---- be sure to look for her panels in the slide show below….it’s awesome!

So here’s a peek at the mess we made and loved it:

I want to thank everyone for the comments to my post on rhymes and reasons from yesterday.  I was busy teaching a My Blue Heaven workshop, and it wasn’t until we got done with the class, and back from dinner that I had a chance to log into my laptop and I was blown away.

Sometimes  I just need a time when I can vent.  And yes, getting it all out DID make me feel better. It was just time for me to simplify, and that is that.

There was one comment that said it the way I hoped would be the reaction….that if you are looking for new blogs to follow – try clicking the names of the commenters in the comment section!  There are many people who leave comments who have great blogs themselves, and you just might find some people to follow that you never would have met otherwise that way.

I also loved the old “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and don’t pet the sweaty stuff” LOL! True. And still --- it’s good for the soul to vent to those who understand.

This morning? A group of us are headed out on fabric exposition to M & L fabrics in Anaheim -- I'm told it's definitely a "DO NOT MISS" experience!  Tonight? A trunkshow with the Friendship Square Quilt Guild of La Habra!  My time in California is winding down, but I've got a good couple of days left yet.  We're going to fill it full!

Quilt on, everyone! Quilt on!