Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Visit to Southwest Decoratives!

When I was in New Mexico, In between a morning guild meeting in Santa Fe, and an Evening guild meeting in Albuquerque, I had the opportunity to take a little side trip out to a very special shop!

Not that ALL shops are not special, but this one was something REALLY neat!

Southwest Decoratives might not even “SOUND” like the name for a Quilt Shop, but if you go to Albuquerque, please leave yourself ample time to wander through and be inspired by the many southwestern quilts, clothing items and other lovelies on display!

From the moment I walked in, I was ENCHANTED! New Mexico *IS* the Land of Enchantment, after all! I quickly found one of the ladies who works there and asked if she would mind if I took pics and wrote a blog post about what I found there!

((Always ask when taking pictures in quilt shops --- if you tell them you want to feature them on your blog, you may be given the go-ahead!))

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You will NOT find “thimble berries”, “Civil War” or “1930’s Repros” here! You will find rich batiks, tone-on-tones, and wonderful prints and stripes with a Southwest theme, and GORGEOUS quilts resembling Navajo rugs and basket artwork—EVERYWHERE!

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All of those rugs I fell in love with? Here they are in patchwork! Isn’t this awesome! These are the perfect designs for “Manly” quilts, for those who love Southwest or Cowboy style! These are DIFFERENT then all of the old traditional stuff --- This blew me away!

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I remember back in the “90s” or whenever it was that Southwest meant peachy-terra-cotta and dusty sagey green or turquoise but with more muted shades. THIS IS NOT THAT LOOK! This is bold and vibrant and so full of life!

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Everywhere you look there are more examples of Southwestern Lifestyle and Heritage ---and lots and lots of fabrics to recreate these wonderful images from!

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I loved these samples. I’m such a Geometric girl --- Landscapes and applique just don’t charge me like the things that I can do with strips, squares and triangles do. That vibrant one to the left..Oh yeah…that just glows!

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The classroom is large too, and there are even MORE samples in there! See that white sampler hanging to the right of the window? Those are tile replications! You know that those caught my eye right off!

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Just look at that round mandala ---and the other navajo symbols! My next pic will give you a closer view of those lovely jackets on the wall in the background!

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LOVELY LOVELY! I have to admit I am still in love with the prairie skirts and broomstick skirts I saw ladies wearing – complete with cowboy boots and a big silver buckle please! Open-mouthed smile

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I love this row quilt! Isn’t it awesome! I’m sure there are patterns for all of these available. Just check the shop’s website linked above.

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For those who love to applique….these were impressive! I love the contrast between the white background and the black design work --- with either a punch of turquoise, or some red hot red!

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I swear, around EVERY TURN…it was like being at a quilt show, I could have spent hours here!

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Love that Navajo basket medallion there on the wall…..SO beautiful! Stunning!

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Samplers, medallions, you name it --- there is something southwest to entice everyone who enters the door!

In perusing the shop's website I saw they even have some freebie patterns for you! Click HERE to check them out!

I loved what I saw here – I left so jazzed and inspired and ready to play with some wilder geometrics and wilder color combinations. New Mexico really IS the Land of Enchantment!

PS --- Happy 28th birthday to my firstborn Son, Jason! I love you more than my heart can hold! I'm so proud of you and the things you are accomplishing in your life. You are my shining star --- keep on keeping on! It will get better, I promise ---xoxox :c)


  1. Anonymous8:41 AM EST

    Oh Bonnie, thanks for sharing these awesome quilts!

  2. Wow.....what an amazing shop! I'm loving so many of those patterns! I'm heading over to their site now! Thanks Bonnie!

  3. Anonymous8:49 AM EST

    Oh, Bonnie, thank you so much for this post. A few years ago I won a contest on line and my prize was a gift certificate from this quilt shop. I shopped on line and received the most beautiful fabric, I was so impressed. Now you have given me the chance to "visit" this shop. I am more determined than ever to make that trip to NM and visit this place in person. Thanks again.
    Faye Bushey

  4. Anonymous9:13 AM EST

    My daughter lives in Rio Rancho, an ABQ suburb and we have been going to SW Decoratives for quite some time. Even went last year on Halloween (dressed in costume) for their annual costume event. Check out their website for pics. Have their Ave Maria kit and a couple of the J Michelle Watts Navajo sampler kits waiting for me to do. Quilts Ole in Corrales is also a neat shop if you are ever in the area again. Also, if you are a knitter Village Wools is right behind SW Decorative on the next street over.

  5. These pix just blew my skirt up! Thanks so much for sharing AND including the link for the freebies.

  6. These pictures sooo make me miss living in new mexico. I went to college an hour south of abq...in socorro. Thanks for the link to the shop. I see a couple of designs I would love to make for my place.

  7. Now that is the most unique collection of quilts in a shop I have ever seen. What a regional delight! People who have never been to New Mexico have certainly had a taste of it now!

  8. Thanks for the pictures of this great shop. They really stand out by not offering the same old, same old. I predict some shots of Southwest influence in one of your next books.

  9. I love that look too...long skirts and some rocking red cowboy boots! Now can you see me walking around with my big belt buckle here in NY?
    NOT! I think it looks so feminine and it is oh so comfortable. Well I did use to wear jumpers and boots back in the day :0).

    Nice trip to the shop, thanks,
    Happy Sewing and safe travels Bonnie.

  10. I didn't know they had a regular store, but i have been to their website, love their designs.


  11. Wow. Just wow. The modern interpretations of the old native patterns are so beautiful. I was hooked from the first picture with the pink, turquoise and purple batiks. I am a complete fool for batiks!

  12. Anonymous11:48 AM EST

    Maryella in Maine

  13. This is one of my favorite shops and where I got most of the fabrics for an Our Lady of Guadalupe quilt.

    All the bright fabrics make my mind zoom with possibilities.

  14. I love Southwest Decoratives! All the Albuquerque quilt shops have some southwestern themed fabric & patterns, but none of the others have nearly as much as Southwest Decoratives.

    I hated the peachy pale Southwestern look the decorating industry invented in the 90s. It did not at all remind me of the Albuquerque I grew up in and hope to move back to someday.

  15. Maravilloso reportaje y tienes un blog sensacional!!!!!!

  16. I have been wanting to go there for years! Now that I've seen your pictures, I AM going to go and that's it! Foot down and picking a date.

    Thanks for sharing with us Bonnie!

  17. My husband and I stopped there a few years ago on our trip out west. We caught them just after they closed and they let us in to shop. They were so nice and I loved their shop. I'd love to go back if I'm ever out that way again.

  18. Southwest Decoratives is, indeed, a wonderful quilt shop--a great place to visit, especially when ones spirits need to be lifted; and they do have great, helpful employees. When you return, you might want to visit Quilts Ole (that's oh-lay) in Corrales, which is also an incredibly bright shop!

  19. I'll never forget my first visit to that shop many many years ago before I was a quilter. I loved their designs and style. Since becoming a quilter, it's even more fun to visit as I get more out of what I'm seeing than before because I know more about design, technique, and color. Gorgeous.


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