Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An Experiment and a Field Trip

I've been busy around here, but alas, not much posting going on, in case you didn't notice. I've been working on my Liberated Amish, and am making some progress, but no pictures yet. And I'm currently stalling on working on the borders. I'm not sure why.

But, the latest issue of American Patchwork and Quilting had a wonderful Churn Dash quilt in it. (You can see the quilt here.) That block has been calling me for years. So, in the spirit of stalling on the LibAm, I decided to make a block. Or two . . . or three.

I followed the directions in the magazine for the first block, somehow not realizing that the block finishes at 8 3/4 inches. A little on the small side for a queen-size quilt, me thinks. That would involve large numbers of blocks, and I'm not sure I could focus long enough to make that many! As you can see, my block came out exactly the right size, which is a testament to the accuracy of the directions.

After some "playing" with the calculator, I came up with a couple of more sizes. So, I made another block. This one was actually the third block I made, and will finish at 10 inches. You can see that I was getting bored by this point and decided to reverse the color positioning. I like this, but I don't want my quilt to end up being this dark. Oh, I forgot to mention that I'm thinking I'll do this quilt in indigos and the tiny conversational reproductions. I've been collecting the fabric for years, and maybe it's time to use some of it. 'Cause I know this won't begin to use it all. *sigh*

Here's the second block I made. It will finish at 11 1/4 inches. A good size, but a little on the clunky/chunky side for such a simple block. It doesn't have quite the charm I have in mind.

After making 3 blocks. . .too big, too small and "just right", I was beginning to wonder if I should change my name to Goldilocks! Ha ha!

So, I think I will go with the block that finishes at 10 inches. It certainly will make the math easier for determining the size of the quilt, and I'm all for easy math.

The other day I had 20 minutes to kill before my hair appointment, so I went into the new Goodwill store here. I found this little silver tray for $3.99. It didn't look nearly this good in the store. It was pretty dark and dingy. But it actually says "silver" on the back, so I had hopes that it would clean up well. I immediately took the silver polish to it when I got home, and this is how it came out. Not too bad! You can't tell from the photo how big the tray is . . . . it's 5 1/2 inches by 9 1/2 inches. It's got a decent heft to it too. So, this little find made me happy!

Yesterday I went on a field trip with my local quilt guild. First we went to Country Village in Bothell, which is a collection of about 40 shops. You can't miss the 15 foot tall spotted chicken that stands by the driveway! They have chickens and ducks running around, and lots of beautiful gardens and flowers to enjoy. All kinds of shops too.

Of course they have a quilt shop! It's a great one too. Keepsake Cottage Fabrics.

As you come up to the entrance, you find the sale fabrics. $5 a yard.

Inside is a wonderland of fabrics, samples, books, patterns and doodahs. They've got the latest and greatest from all the fabric designers.

Here's one room with all the sewing tools and accessories you could want. Oops, I could have aimed the camera a little higher to get those great samples.

It's a big place, and I just kept discovering more rooms, full of more fabric. My head was spinning, let me tell you.

Here are the lovely ladies that helped us all with our purchases.

This place was so big, it was impossible to take it all in. I think I need another trip here! And I think DH would love to see The Country Village too. Lots of fun stuff to see and do. A number of restaurants, a train to ride, and enough shopping opportunities to last a while. And, of course, chickens!

There were some beautiful columbines out by the sale fabrics. I've never seen any this tall!

While we were there, we had lunch. There were so many of us that we ended up going to 2 different restaurants, which probably speeded up the whole process. Which was a good thing, because we didn't want to be late for our appointment here:

Oh my! We got to tour Martingale and Company, the home of the publisher of those wonderful quilt books that we all enjoy: That Patchwork Place. We got a guided tour around the offices, which had many, many quilts on display, all of which were from their books. Many different authors, and many different styles, but all marvelous! Sadly, no photography was allowed, so you'll just have to imagine this! We only got to sneak peeks at the wonderful quilts hanging in people's offices and cubicles.

After the guided tour, we were escorted to the Book Room. Oh boy, did my heart beat a little faster! A room lined with shelves full of books, all for $5!! These are all the books that are "old" (at least 6 months since publication, but some were much older), and some were seconds. Not that I saw anything wrong with them. We had a blast! I did not spend the most money, but I did come in second! (I will qualify that by saying I was buying for birthday and Christmas presents for friends and family.) One lady actually bought nothing. Amazing! Martingale will be moving in June, so they had a lot of gift-type things on sale for $1. I did manage to carry my purchases out to the car by myself, but it was tough!

After this bonanza of quilts and books, we had one last stop. We went to Bellevue to Quiltworks Northwest. This is not only a top-of-the-line quilt shop, but also a world-famous bead shop. Sorry, by this time, I was starting to drag, and I totally forgot to get out the camera. I just shopped. I actually concentrated on some beads. But I did get a little fabric. Again, it was so overwhelming, that I didn't buy much. Nothing really jumped out at me. I think this one needs a repeat visit too. (I'm sure my sister would enjoy this place!)

While I was editing the photos for this post, I noticed the Pileated Woodpeckers that visit us once in a while. We have a pair of them that stop by every couple of weeks. This is a picture of one, but I didn't take the photo. So I went to the What Bird website to learn a little something about them. While I was on the computer, Dunkel came and got up on the top of the monitor and went to sleep (he was actually snoring, but don't tell him!). At What Bird, you can listen to the bird's call to help identify it. So, I clicked on that, and when the bird started singing, Dunkel woke right up. He was quite interested, and got down and started looking behind the speaker to find the bird! So, if you have a bored cat, go check out the bird calls and amuse your cat for a bit!

Here's Shade, being a silly cat.

So, next post, I will show you some of the treasures I found on the field trip. I haven't taken any photos yet, as I'm still petting them!


  1. I have always wanted to try the churn dash too and thought about it again when I saw APQ. I like these fabrics you played with. What a field trip!! Lucky you...

  2. I'm in love with your Churn Dash blocks, and incredibly jealous of your field trip - my GOSH that looks fun! Both shops sound like they need a second visit, and Martingale's sounds awesome!

    I can't wait to see what you got.

  3. Very handsome rooster! And a great find in the silver tray. I love garage sailing (as my DH spells it). There are always all kinds of fun things like that.

  4. I love churn dash. I have never made a whole quilt using them but used them to fill in. I love the second one. Love the silver platter.

  5. great fieldtrip. My cats never seem to react to audio over a speaker (including my husband's voice). I'll have to check out that website though to make sure the bird I think is making that really strange call truly is. if that made sense.

  6. Ooo, Quiltworks Northwest!!! That was always a treat for me to visit. I didn't know they now carry beads too. Beads and Beyond can't be too far from them; it's one of the best bead shops in the area.

    I've always wanted to do a Churn Dash quilt in the indigo and conversation prints too. I ran into the same problem trying to decide on what size block to use. Too big a block looks clunky and too small a block requires too many for a bed size quilt. I made a wall hanging out of my sample blocks but got no farther than that!

    That little tray was a great find.

  7. I love churn dash blocks! Quiltworks is delightful, I found then when I had to travel to Belluvue for medical appts, one of the best book selections I've seen!

  8. Wow what a fun outing...complete with chicken greeters. I love churn dashes. It'll look vintagey in the indigos. You could always make the quilt reversible to help use of your stash. :o)

  9. Well, I certainly didn't expect Archie to attack my speakers!
    Great link -- but I don't think we'll be returning!


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