Thursday, July 31, 2014

Snowballs and a Summer Shop Hop

Part 1: Snowballs in July

A while back I went into my local quilt shop looking for a fat quarter of teal to use in my "Autumn Flight" quilt.

You know how that goes. The shop is filled with brand new fabrics and a person just can't help looking. I was trapped, but it wasn't my fault at all! If the store didn't bring in so many tempting woven morsels I wouldn't have had a problem. So I blame it all on the management.

I discovered a wonderful display of Moda's new "Woolies" flannels. I should know better than to pet the fabrics. Oh, my. Sooo soft! What to do? Not my colors, but richly autumn. Not my style, but so very, very soft!

I argued with myself, but the "I want" argument shouted down the "don't need", and I walked out with a two half yard pieces of cream and a thick 10" layer cake of mixed colors. 

It all screamed, "Winter!" And I thought, "snowball fight!"  So that's what I'm working on now. One lap sized snowball fight quilt.

I'm becoming reacquainted with flannel. I really should have starched it before cutting! The looser weave that helps to make it so soft also creates flexibility that promotes stretching, and I'd forgotten how easily it frays I'll need to figure out how to reinforce the seams so nothing will come apart with repeated washing.

Part 2: Summer shop hop

Once a season four of us quilting buddies get together and head off along the highways of Nebraska on a shopping expedition. We became fast friends while teaching in the same school for many years. We take the day to enjoy the company and laughter of our crazy little group, and we are addicted to fabric and fun.

Last Monday morning we piled into Midge's van fortified with coffee and muffins and set out on our summer day trip. We had a specific goal this day. We hadn't been to Fremont and the fabulous Country  Traditions for quite a while. Fremont is about an hour north of Lincoln on Highway 77. If you are a quilter traveling through Nebraska on I-80, this store is definitely worth the side trip. 

Country Traditions in Fremont, NE
I took this photo from the top of a staircase, but less than a fourth of the shop is actually shown in the picture. The fabric selection is simply lovely. Lots of traditional fabrics, a huge selection of reproduction fabrics, batiks to make one swoon, and enough moderns to keep your eyes happy for hours.

That's how long we stayed, too - over two hours in one store!

Anne and Midge in the Civil War reproduction section.
We loved the people working there, too. Scott was a lot of fun. He works in the shop and he designs some very impressive patterns, too.

Shelley at the cash register with Scott. 
By the time we had our purchases bagged and were ready to go it was after 12:30. Thank goodness we'd had those muffins!

We decided to come straight back to Lincoln to get lunch, and we wound up in the Havelock neighborhood. After a leisurely lunch we moved on down the street and dropped in at the Cosmic Cow.

The Cosmic Cow
I don't know who came up with such a crazy name, but both the name and the store are delightful. The shop isn't very large, but it is jam-packed with fabric goodies. And cows!

Shelley really didn't buy all of those fabrics stacked on the counter. Did she?

I tried to get a photo of the window display because it had so many different cows, but the light was reflecting off the glass and all I captured was an unexpected selfie.

Even though we'd only visited two stores, it was a fabulous day! The afternoon was wearing on and it had been a long day of shopping, so we went back Midge's house and visited for awhile before heading on home. 

Can't wait till the next trip. We've already set a date in early October! I think we'll be traveling west this time. I do have the greatest friends!

And now I need to get back to my snowball fight!

Happy stitching!!