Monday, February 14, 2011

San Fransisco Fabric Shopping

For my birthday three weeks ago (has it been that long?!) my husband and I spent the day in San Francisco. We had a delicious time! We drove there then parked our car in a cheap garage and walked a few blocks to get our bus passes. The rest of the day we spent using public transportation.

It was so easy and convenient! I used the "public transportation" option on Google Maps on my phone and Google told us where to walk and how long until the next bus. It usually said something like: walk 1.5 blocks north. Catch the bus in 3 minutes. Get off on Stop X. Walk 1 block south to your destination. It couldn't have been easier! Using the bus system meant we didn't have to worry about finding or paying for parking, watching for traffic, or checking for one-way streets. We were able to sight-see on the bus as we were driving. If we saw something that looked cool, we just jumped off to check it out! We took the traditional bus, the electric street-cars, and the cute SF trolley all for the price of our one bus pass. I highly recommend this mode of sight-seeing.

Okay, time to get off my eco-tour bus and show you what I bought! First, we went to Britex Fabrics. They are right next to Union Square. Wow! Four floors of fabric and notions! This is the perfect place to spend my birthday! I found the quilting cottons right away and started digging through the batiks. I really want to join the Jewels in the Crown BOM, so I picked out jewel-tone batiks. These are all from Bali.

Then I moved on to the cute prints. I bought whatever caught my eye! Lots of kitchen gadget fabric. Yummy! The service there was fabulous. The ladies working the cottons helped me pick fabrics and chatted with me the entire time. Super-sweet ladies! All the bolts are organized by color. The prices were a bit high, so I got the minimum cut on most of the fabrics.

Next up was Mendels, close to Haight and Ashbury. The service there was nothing spectacular. The selection was low on quantity but high on quality! I think they cater more to the artist than to the quilter. A fabulous selection of faux fur and oilcloth. I stuck to the cottons though and was very pleased with my score. A bit cheaper than Britex but still on the pricey side.

We looked for one more fabric store but they had closed down, bummer. I was so super excited about my purchases though that it didn't even matter! I carried around my Britex shopping bag so lovingly! When I got home I weighed my purchases. Guess how much!!

5 lbs! I'm in love! BTW, my husband carried around my bag when I got tired of it and didn't complain once! What a guy!

After fabric shopping we did a bunch of other things like eat sushi, walk around Fisherman's Wharf, drink beer and wine, buy cupcakes, ride the carousel, eat fresh crab right on the wharf, and explore Chinatown. We found our "special word." We have a word that describes us and our relationship and we use it often and have it inscribed in our wedding rings:

I think it describes our trip to San Francisco too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Poor Baby

Oh, my poor, sweet baby. My poor baby has an owie.

I was free-motion quilting the other night when I realized I ran out of bobbin thread. I went to change it when I couldn't get my bobbin case out! I called my husband:

"Oh no, babe, help!"

He throws down his Xbox controller and runs to my sewing room, looking very worried.

"My sewing machine is broken!" I start making crying noises that mean I want him to fix it. We manage to get the bobbin case unstuck, then I spent 20 minutes explaining to him how it was broken.

"There's a little door that goes here that's gone."

"A door?"

"No, seriously, there's a little handle-something. It doesn't swing out like a door, well it kinda does. It's like a door handle. It opens the bobbin case. Wait, it's like a zipper! Yeah, a zipper tab. That's missing. Where did it go?" *looking around my desk for a mysterious zipper-door*

I have no clue how it broke or why. So I do a search for my local Bernina Repair and call them as soon as they open. A new part is $64. I put my big-girl panties on and take a deep breath. No problem. I already spend an arm and a leg on quilting anyway. It's time for my baby's second tune-up too. That's another $85. No problem. I was expecting it. Then she hits me with the big one:

My machine will be out for 2 weeks.

OMG. Now I'm really freaking out. And I try not to because I'm sitting in my cubicle at work next to 40 other people who are listening to me talk because it's totally not break time and I'm supposed to be working quietly instead I'm almost crying because some sweet girl tells me she's holding my sewing machine ransom for 2 weeks.

So now I can't finish my Valentine table-runner that was all quilted and just waiting for a binding to be sewn on. And I can't finish my Valentine hot pad for my electric tea kettle that I was in the middle of quilting. And I can't finish my Valentine mug rug. *pouts* I will have to spend Valentine's Day with no Valentine's quilts!

I may survive. I have some appliqué projects I can work on in the meantime. One thing that cheers me up is that Molly from Molly's Place is having a giveaway. You get a chance to win these darling Western fat quarters. Tell her Jen from The Quilty Home sent you and I get an extra entry! Molly is hosting her Boot Bash BOM right now. She just posted February's bock and it's darling! This is the only BOM that I am keeping up with so far!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Lovely Gifts

I've been getting gifts in the mail! I sure do love coming home to check the mail every day!

My first gift is from Liz from Be Encouraged. She cleaned up her sewing room and purged some of her patterns and notions she wasn't using. Liz is such a sweetheart. Have you been to her blog? I love reading her posts; she really does encourage and uplift me with her writing. Well, she's so sweet that she sent a package to everyone who replied to her offer. And what a package! I got a 6.5 inch acrylic ruler (which I didn't have and have already used), patterns from Fig Tree Co, MH Designs, and a Schnibbles pattern! Yes, that's my first! I got a Fig Tree pincushion kit too! And (see, I told you Liz was a sweetheart) she slipped in a special surprise for me: 2 charm packs of Fresh Cottons by Moda. What an awesome surprise!

My other package was from Taryn from Repro Quilt Lover. I love getting handmade gifts! This is my first mini quilt, and I am absolutely in love with it! What an inspiration! This is the cutest thing ever, these mini 9-patches and teeny hand quilting and the binding is just perfect! See that quarter on the 9-patch?! Wow, Taryn, I really do treasure this quilt. I might have to stick it in my purse for a few weeks to carry it around with me before hanging it on my wall.

I'm such a lucky girl! I'm getting ready to win this giveaway at Pigtales and Quilts. Thearica does some awesome giveaways and lately she's been hosting some sponsored giveaways! Florine Johnson from Florine Johnson Designs and of Radical Rooster fame. Have you seen these Radical Roosters? They are amazing applique patterns. Florine is offering one of her Fabulous Boards to the winner. I really hope I win this! When you go over there, tell Thearica that Jen from The Quilty Home sent you and I get an extra entry!

Thank you so much Liz and Taryn. Your gifts are appreciated and treasured!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I've been Clubbin'

Book Clubbin that is!

I love quilting books. I love the magazines too. That's why I started reading quilter blogs: they were like magazine articles except more real and more interesting. I check huge stacks of books out from the library at once and just like to sit and page through them. Whenever I'm tired or cranky or not feeling well, I reach for my quilt books first.

But I don't have enough of them! So I signed up for Martingale Publishing's Book Club. On this plan I promise to buy 6 books in 1 year. After I fulfill that promise, I get a free book. And I get a free book for joining. Pretty cool!

I thought I got to pick my free book for signing. Then I received Creative Quilt Collection Volume Three from That Patchwork Place in the mail. How did this get sent to me? I wondered. I thought maybe the company shipped it out by mistake. After about the sixth pass through the paperwork, I finally found it: New Book club members receive Creative Quilt Collection Volume Three from That Patchwork Place.

Oh, ok. It's not the book I would have picked out, but it's a good book. It's a collection of patterns from such designers as Fig Tree Quilts, Me and My Sister Designs, Mimi Dietrich, Heather Mulder Peterson, and more. There are a few patterns I'd like to try in here, and the eye candy is fabulous! I'm not going to lie; I buy quilting books to look at the pictures!

I very excitedly took the Martingale catalogue to work with me and spent a fabulous lunch hour poring over the pages and highlighting books I want to purchase in the future. My first pick: The Civil War Sewing Circle by Kathleen Tracy. I totally love her designs! I can't wait!