Monday, August 15, 2011

Alaska Shop Hop!

If you are going to fall OFF the wagon, as far as stashing fabrics goes, Alaska is a great place to do it!

I was condensing plastic shopping bags full of fabric, and I didn’t realize just WHAT I had accumulated!

I’ve hit FIVE shops so far! FIVE. Oh. Man. And it all started with the Alaskan themed fabrics…I just needed some! I don’t have a whole lot of batiks, but I’d like to do an Alaska themed quilt to capture this great trip, and if I buy the themed batiks..then I have to have the go-withs, right? I mean, once I set my foot in that sinking ship, it was all over!

I had PLENTY of encouragement though, so maybe I can blame it on my friend Kathe! Kathe and I have known each other “online” since about 1996, and have met in person a couple times. She lives up here outside of Fairbanks, and I got a message from her on my phone ((When we finally got back to where we could GET a signal—)) that she wanted to see me if I was still in town.

We had just pulled into Denny’s in Fairbanks for breakfast, and I called her back as soon as I found her message. She was on her way to work, but said she would turn around right there and come meet us! How cool is that?

We had a great visit, and it was wonderful to see her. And can you tell from the picture, that we were at the world’s NORTHERN most Denny’s? LOL!!

Kathe directed me to a couple of Fairbanks quilt shops that were close by, making up shops 3 and 4 on my wild Alaska tour! More bags, more added to the collection of Alaskan treasures!

Upon reaching Delta Junction, we hit the Calico Cow too, bringing the quilt shop total to 5. in 3 days. That might not be a lot to you, but I’m not a big shopper ((or so I’m lying to myself!!)) But it is great to find stuff that I just can’t find in North Carolina!

So what is coming home with me? A variety!

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Some 1/3 yard and 1/2 yard cuts to add to my black and whites! ((Yes, they look pink, but they are not! It's the lighting!)) I’d rather buy a 1/3 yard cut for a piece that measures 12” X 44” than a Fat Quarter that measures 18” X 22”. It’s just a better use of the fabric for me, and usually costs about the same as a Fat Quarter anyway.

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5 .5 yards of a very cool brown I’m going to use for a backing right away ((Does this count toward stash accumulation if it’s going right on a quilt??!)) This was on the 50% off rack, and it feels SO nice.

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A couple of half yard cuts of some shirtings that were also on the 50% off rack. Backgrounds are always ALWAYS legal, right? Okay..I don’t have to count these in the total either then, right?

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Scrap bags of batiks!! These were from “Seams Like Home” in Anchorage….these are 1lb bags, and there has to be close to 2 yards in each. It’s helping me build a variety because I don’t have much of a batik stash, and these will round out the Alaskan ones I’ve picked up ((Yes, and the rationalization continues!))

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THESE are the alaskan fabrics. Aren’t they cool?! 1/3 yard cuts again…I’ve got whales and moose and otters and more orcas and all kinds of feet and a bigger piece that has puffins on it….it was on a sale rack for 20% off if you took what was left on the bolt.

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I found these three 1 yard pieces at the Calico Cow on the $5.99 rack……awesome, blossom!!

And it doesn’t stop here! Though I’ve had to reign it all in…our bags were already at limits and I can only replace the weight of the books that have been sold..using the fabric as “packing material” around those that are left….and trying to keep the bags from going over their weight limits! It’s a tough juggling job I tell ya!

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These were the scraps available for Friday’s Bricks in the Barnyard workshop….and I wished I could take it all home! Good thing there is no room in my bags….but I WAS told that I could ship the overweight stuff home in priority flat rate mail boxes…hmmm…I’ll have to think about it!


  1. Love those fabrics, that white with black swirls my favorite. Yep the trouble with travel and accumulating is how to get it home!

  2. Boy, I thought I was going crazy--either my monitor or the lighting on the black and whites made them look pink and white--didn't look like what you said you bought!
    Love the Alaskan theme batiks--and how cool are those scrap bags? I think you showed amazing restraint and you are lucky to have space in your bags to fill! Most of us travel without books to sell and then what do we do with all those bags of fabric? Ship them home in flat rate boxes--like you can that great haul of scraps! : )
    What a fun day! Did DH enjoy it, too?

  3. Oops! Meant pink and black. : )

  4. Oh what a stash............I love the swirly one on the right in the first pic. I would have bought 10 yards of it!!! Those flat rate boxes would have been a great deal. You wouldn't believe how much stuff people ship thru the mail, because their bags are goign to be overweight at the airport........LOTSSSS!

  5. You get the blue ribbon for rationalization, Bonnie! I love the fabrics you bought, and it IS hard to pass up good sale fabric. I can't wait to see what you do with the Alaska theme fabric. Are you already planning something in your head, or waiting for inspiration? I hope you make it home safe and sound!

  6. My daughter brought two batiks home from Alaska with salmon on them so I am collecting some 'go-withs' to make some sort of water-y kind of quilt. Not sure the pattern yet but it will be cool, I think!

  7. Awesome stash enhancement Bonnie! I now buy 1/3 cuts as well for the same reasons you do. And I have been on a black and white bender lately and have 18 yards worth of 1/3 cuts on the way to me as we speak. Yikes. But I rationalize the purchase because I got most of the pieces for less than $7/yd, which you know is a bargain compared to the new fabric prices that are out there.

    Love the batik scrap bags. I would have snapped those up too and the Alaskan batiks you got are awesome.

    And if I had a chance to ship those scraps home, I would be on that in a heartbeat. I love other people's scraps even more than my own! Lol

    Enjoy your new stash! You deserve it!

  8. I would totally leave my clothes behind if I had to make room for fabric. LOL
    Great fabbies. Hope you get them all home without too much trouble.

  9. LOL My first thought was MAIL it home haha...see you thought of that..

  10. I had a similiar stash when I went to ALaska but you forgot the Huskies with the blue eye and brown eye. Ha!HA!

  11. I just LOVE Quilt shop hopping. I really like all your fabric you picked out:):) I looks like you are just having a super time.!!! hugs---Sandie

  12. I like the flat rate boxes. You can get a lot of fabric in one, if you pack it right. Believe me I speak from experience. :)

  13. Anonymous11:54 AM EDT

    I'm sure Alaska appreciates your efforts to help their economy. :) Have you considered wearing multiple shirts and pants on the trip home to make more room in your bags?


  14. Anonymous2:10 PM EDT

    I didn't have a chance to go to those shops in Fairbanks but you missed a good one in Skagway.got a great kit with lots of bears etc. for 20% off. Just had to have a quilt from Alaska. Safe trip home. Eileen in Maryland mamaw21713@yahoo.com

  15. Love all the pics of the fabrics you bought and laughed (with understanding) at your rationalizations. But, um, Bonnie, we want to see pics of your cruise and workshops!! Love those! Do we have to wait till after the 2nd cruise?? Sally

  16. Wow, you picked up some very nice fabrics. I am glad you are having a good time.

  17. Anonymous3:27 PM EDT

    Bushey's Rules of Travel
    1. When on the return trip, remember clothing rolled up takes up much less space than clothes laid flat. Extra space equals more room for fabric.
    2. Over-weight charge on bags - $50; flat rate boxes - $15. You can fit considerable yardage in the $15 box for shipping. Three boxes is less that over-weight charge.
    3. Never feel guilty about purchasing quality product when on a once-in-a-life-time trip.
    (Went to Hawaii in 2006. Took only one suitcase, bought a second one there, loaded it with fabric and came home with it. Where there is a (fabric) will, there is a way!!)
    Faye Bushey, Maine

  18. Great fabric purchases BUT....I want to know about that quilt in the last photo....the one behind the clothes baskets.....hhhhmmmm??? Is this something new???? I.LIKE.

  19. WOW! I had to wipe the drool off my face looking at your fabric purchases.
    I have a great batik with wolves and pine trees ( a whole bolt ) I will send you a hunk to add to the batik collection!
    XOXOXO Subee

  20. Oh I do love a good fabric shop! I hardly ever shop, but when I do it feels great... So good you could roll around in it LOL!

  21. Glad you and Kathe got together, I was wondering if you were going to see her.

  22. I am so glad to see a quilter who looks for the good bargains. I rarely buy anything full price. I always look for the bargain corner/bin/shelf/room first! My quilting buddies always rave about how "Gina finds all the really good bargains!" I figure I can bring home more fabric that way.... *grin*.........

    Gina in Missouri

  23. We are driving home from AK now, I will have to sort when I get home, but we hit quilt shops in Kenai, Soldotna. Homer, Seward, Fairbanks, Delta Junction and Skagway. I have a whole new stash of batiks!,,, can't wait to get home and Sew!

  24. Anonymous9:36 PM EDT

    Bonnie: I know you've worked on your "Hexies" this past week....

    Did you see this post:


    There are very productive, talents and amazing women amoung us.... You're one of them.

    V. Heins, Idaho and former Alaskan traveler....

  25. What a great selection of fabrics, fun and more fun. I know you will love working with the batiks, they are so awesome.

  26. Looks like lots and lots of quilty fun "trouble" you got into in Alaska! I like 1/3 yard cuts too and have pretty much stopped buying fat quarters if I can find yardage--so much more versatile. What a great trip you and your hubby had.


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