Holy cow ... I was dreaming in color last night because yesterday, I drove up to Brainerd to visit Cherrywood Fabrics. There are thousands of quilts waiting to be made by all the hand dyed fabric within their walls!
First order of business was to hand off one of Terry Atkinson's Fire Escape quilts done in Cherrywood fabric. It looks like suede. We found Terry and Kirk hitchhiking along Hwy 10 because they decided to go to Cherrywood, too! Just kidding ... everyone in Minnesota knows you don't hitchhike in below zero weather ... you call your pals to pick you up instead and make a day of it.
Before we got down to business, we needed to take a litte tour. Shelves and shelves of outrageous colors! It was impossible to look away from them.
Bins of Cherry Rolls ... and then a surprise on one table ... they hand dye t-shirts!
They have 'manglers' to help them cut and fold their fabrics after they are dyed. The name just fascinates me! Ok ... and here's some other Cherrywood jargon. An 8-step is a fat quarter bundle that has two yards of fabric ... a 4-step has one yard of fabric ... and of course you can always buy yardage. We weren't allowed to go through the door to where the action happens ... all of their washers and dryers and deep dark secrets are kept there ... sort of like the CIA.
But finally we settled down to the real reason for the trip. I decided to use their fabric for my quilt for the Twin Cities shop hop in April. I went in with one idea and came out with something totally different and am excited to start cutting! Did you know that's Cherrywood's main problem? Quilters are hesitant to cut it ... like they can't get more or something. Girls ... take the fabric off the display shelf and put it to work. You can get more. Truly. I saw it with my own eyes.
After auditioning a number of choices and figuring out the yardage ...
... I ended up with this beautiful stack ... including the quilting thread. Yes ... they have it all!
Linda (on the left) and Karla were so helpful and excited about their fabrics. They gave us petit fours for a snack ... how cool is that? I've known Linda for a million years ... from back in the day when she had her quilt store in Staples. This was my first time meeting Karla and she was as nice in person as she was in emails and on Facebook. (I betchya she dyed her t-shirt.) They go to a lot of consumer shows around the country so you've probably met them. I'm still totally amazed by what they do inside the walls of their workshop! What a great day!!