Thursday, September 26, 2019

Teri's Travels: A Quilt Shop Mecca!

During our cross-country road trip in July, we spent almost a week in the St. George area of Utah. The landforms of the state are absolutely stunning, and much different than what this Maryland girl is accustomed to seeing. Whether we were in Zion or Bryce National Parks, or just driving around the area, I marveled at the colorful mountains.

Zion National Park

Bryce National Park

Having been to the Grand Canyon, I had anticipated how thrilling the landscape would be. What I hadn't contemplated when we decided to land in St. George for five days was that there could be enough quilt shops to fill an entire day! My husband was on his own, while I explored the quilt shop mecca.


My first stop was Scrap Apple Quilts. I was warmly greeted upon entering the store, by both people and bolts of fabulous fabric. I thoroughly enjoyed wandering in the shop, admiring the project samples and fondling the fabrics, trying to decide what I might "need."


The next stop was a bit of a surprise. Superior Threads and Fabrics surpassed my expectations, even when I realized it was the Superior Threads warehouse. It was actually two shops in one: fabric upstairs and thread downstairs. Yes, two full floors. With a surprise on the lower level...


Mother Superior's Fab Fabrics houses over 8000 bolt of fabrics, beautifully arranged by color. I may have found the perfect fabrics for my mushroom cap and fall oak leaves for our 2020 Academy of Appliqué autumn wreath block. It would be hard not to find a few greens with shelves packed like these—so many choices!   

Having made my purchases, I headed downstairs with thread on my mind. I passed the kimonos—a cheerful welcome. I easily got lost in the thread selections: any and every kind of thread imaginable. I even found some silk ribbons, always a great addition to my collections. But the surprise was the gallery of quilts, like a mini quilt show, showcasing various Superior threads. Such inspiration!

Quilts by Natalia Bonner

Quilts by Marilyn Badger

Quilts by Linda Brown

Pharoah's Offering, by Sandra Leichner

Jingle Bells, by Kathy McNeil

The quilting adds such life and detail to the horses. Just look at that face. And that eye! Wow. (Yes, the lashes are dimensional.)

Emily Milne created this masterpiece, based on Van Gogh's Starry Night, using (of course) MasterPiece thread. To read more about this exquisite piece, click here

I could have drooled admired these works of art for hours, but I had a few more shops on my list to visit.

Unfortunately, my next stop was closed. The day I was shop hopping was Utah's Pioneer Day, and this shop was closed for the holiday. Who knows what trouble I may have found in here?! 


Quilted Works met me with a challenge: to celebrate Pioneer Day, they had all red, white, and blue fabrics on sale. Now, I'm not one to pass up a good sale, and I love red, so the search was on. It was almost a dare; okay, I made that up... I was daring myself not to walk out of that shop without any red, white, or blue fabric. And I won! In fact, I found some fabric in all three colors—no surprise!


My final stop for the day was at Clover Patch Quilt Shop. I knew before I crossed the threshold that I would enjoy this visit, just based on this sign. You have to love a sense of humor! The inside of the shop did not disappoint: rooms of fabric, lovely displays, and fun projects abounded. 



And I found the perfect panel to commemorate my visit to Utah!

What a wonderful day, exploring a new area with spectacular views both outside and in—inside all those quilt shops, that is! Not only did I find some great fabrics, but I also met some delightfully friendly and helpful people. In each shop, I was welcomed and shared conversation as if I were a longtime friend. That is the beauty of our little quilt world—we are all friends, with the passion for fiber as the thread that binds us together. 

We loved our visit to Utah, which took us across the state to Moab. The landscapes, the people, and the quilt shops all made for a memorable visit. We just may have to go back again!

Some desert flower stitching inspiration

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Teri"s Travels: Northwest Oregon

For the most part, the first 3000 miles of our cross-country road trip this summer followed the Lewis and Clark Trail. The culmination of that leg of our journey was our visit to Fort Clatsop, where the explorers wintered before their return to St. Louis. As we explored the museum, I (Teri) was thrilled to see this quilt, commemorating the exploration of Lewis and Clark, made by an eighth grade class. As a former teacher, this project warmed my heart!

Corps of Discovery's Journey Quilt

"As one unit in their 8th grade U.S. History class, these students researched individual topics about the Corps of Discovery's journey to the Pacific. After Visiting Fort Clatsop, each student chose a discovery or fact to research, compose an essay and then present their findings. The work culminated in the creation of a quilt square representing their topic. Their teacher, Mrs. Kraft, pieced the squares together. These students are now sophomores at Warrenton High School and are proud to present the completed quilt for viewing. A special thanks goes to the members of the School House Quilter's Guild, Sali Diamond and Jacki Holland for their volunteer hours spent working with the students. Also, Amy Keeling for machine quilting our quilt."

What a wonderful project! I applaud the teacher for her creativity, the volunteers who spent countless hours helping to produce this historical quilt, and the students for all their hard work. I am certain that the information they learned will not soon be forgotten—and perhaps a few quilters may come of it.

We spent several days in Portland, so of course I took a day to explore some quilt shops. The first that I visited was Pine Needles Quilt Shop, an amazing showroom of McKenna Ryan's designs. It was as much like a museum of her stunning work as it was a quilt shop; indeed, it had quilts galore, AND fabric, patterns, and kits! McKenna Ryan heaven! Enjoy!

I have always loved the way McKenna uses fabric, and I have several of her fabrics in my stash. You can see how they would work in her landscape quilts, just looking at them here on the bolts.

This laundry basket full of "scraps" drew my attention. I spent a fair amount of time seeing how much fabric I could fit in a bag; I am certain that I touched every scrap in that basket. My appliqué scrap stash has grown with some lovely fabrics!

Her Row by Row block is a mini-quilt on its own, celebrating the Portland area. I may have to make this block to remember my trip.

What creative ways to display blocks, if you don't want to put them together in a quilt! Everywhere I looked, I saw some inspiration—in design, color,  and presentation; this shop had everything. 


How adorable is this?!

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My next stop was Pioneer Quilts, located in the Historic Broetje House. Being a lover of flowers, I knew I was in for a treat when I approached the house and saw the stunning gardens. I may have spent as much time outside as inside!

A cheerful greeting

What a charming shop! On one side of the vestibule, there were sale fabrics and a lovely classroom area. The main shop was on the other side, and it appealed to all my textile-loving senses: brightly colored Kaffe Fassett and aboriginal fabrics, reproduction fabrics, and shelves arranged by color. The nook filled with a variety of embroidery threads and ribbons, as you can guess, made me happy inside, as did the section filled with beautiful hand-dyed wool. They even had a selection of notions; I purchased some adorable needle threaders, because one can never have enough of those!

Ribbons and threads!


The historic building and grounds were the perfect backdrop for this shopping experience.

 Garden beauty!

Thank you for joining me on my quilt shop hop through the area around Portland, Oregon. I have one more place to share from my road trip this summer—stay tuned!