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October 2011

This occasional store has just the right Patina!


Lately I've developed a strong affection for occasional stores ... I love how they're only open on certain days ... and how they switch things up every month. It seems like the best ones aren't near me so when my friend suggested we meet up in Buffalo MN on the second Thursday in October ... well lets just say the day didn't come fast enough! We decided to meet up at Patina General Store and for me, it was love at first sight!

They had these beautiful handmade ... one-by-one ... origami flowers. They were in tons of colors. Amazing work.


The theme was very Autumn-ish ... it was so cool how orange and red and yellow were pulled out of some very basic items. I love anything to do with the harvest!






The owners have a great sense of humor and it came out in such clever ways!


In addition to vintage and primitive they had someone who created beautiful punch needle art ... they were all over the place!

I can't wait to go again. I'm thinking  their holiday event in December will be a great time to go back! There are quite a few other stores open in Buffalo on the second weekend ... I might just have to call up the bus company to see if I can drag sixty of my closest friends along. There were just so many wonderful items at Patina ... I can't wait to see what they come up with next!





A Ghastly good time at Olive Juice!

Yesterday morning I took the beautiful drive down Highway 61 along the Mississippi River to teach my Square Deal pattern at Olive Juice in Onalaska WI. As part of their in-store retreat, I came in as a surprise after brunch. Everyone received a gift bag with the pieces for the table topper ready to go ... cut from the Ghastly fabric line. It was cool seeing which parts of the panel ended up in everyone's project and some of the imaginative quilting a few of them did on it!




If you were unsure of the name of the store when you walked in the door ... there was no doubt you wouldn't remember it! Fat quarters were banded with the Olive Juice name and the kits had Olive Juice headers. Love seeing the cohesive look! If I lived within easy driving distance, this would be a store I'd be at often!

All kinds of people were in and out ... including Eleanor! I was worried that she was critiquing my teaching style but she seemed ok with it and just kept on smiling. Olive Juice has a sewing center with Bernina ... and Baby Lock added this week. The machine that fascinated me was a new Baby Lock quilting machine that stitched to look like hand quilting! They had some in boxes ... it's killing me that one didn't end up in the back of my Jeep. I can't quit thinking about the possibilities!!


Need a few batiks? They were easy to find! How about some inspiration? There was plenty of that, too.



There were so many interesting touches around the store but one thing I loved was that there was something for everyone. If you loved bright and bold you could find it. If Civil War and wool are your thing ... well that was there too. It makes it easy for a group of girl friends to go there for a day out.





That classroom was amazing ... not a bad seat in the house! And with all kinds of amenities ... like two beautiful bathrooms and a snack bar! And what about those chairs?


And I know everyone is going to be asking for job applications when they find out the break room is stocked with Fiestaware ... tables with beautiful centerpieces ... and a quilt gallery! Where do I sign up? Did I mention it has a dishwasher and oven too?



Olive Juice had lots of great displays but it's the little things tucked away in unexpected places that I found really charming. It was layered so that initially you see the fabrics and patterns ... then the displays ... and then your eye catches one more touch as you look up or turn a corner. I loved that! It made me think I was at someone's home and not a store.






I hope I get invited to spend the day again ... soon!!


Fish flowers fruit ... and some other things.

It's hard to believe that it's been a little over three weeks since I returned from Seattle ... it seems a lot longer and shorter! My head is still in the pleasant afternoon we spent at the Pike Place market with my friend Julie pointing out things not to miss ... choosing the perfect lunch place with an even more perfect view ... getting the lowdown on the local restaurant scene from her chef son ... and just taking in all of the colorful stimulation. It's no wonder I can't forget!


At the Pike Place Fish Co they were tossing around fish ... just like they show on the tee-vee! I've been to the fish market in San Francisco ... this place had an entirely different feel to it. It was more of a covered marketplace ... rows and rows of stalls ... permanent shops as well ... some from the early 1900s. Active noisy and exciting!



It wasn't all about the fish though ... you needed to have your head on a swivel device to take it all in. Sensory overload to say the least!




I couldn't get over the colors there ... in fact my friend and I were sort of having a color contest ... calling out colors as we took the pix to claim them as our own. So fun! I managed to shoot a few rainbows ... just to stay ahead. Competition gets the blood flowing.




I called a lot of colors on this one! Another thing I can't get out of my mind was the taste of the fruit ... vendors would slice off chunks for you ... the peaches were out of this world!!

The signs were right ... these truly were OMG good!! I loved the computer lingo everywhere ... we were in Microsoft's hometown, afterall!

The kitchen store that sold Fiestaware ... yi yi yi.


And then there was the absence of color. A picture really is worth a thousand words. Can you guess what this was about?


After hours of walking around Ispied the coffee mecca ... Starbucks! You know ... it looked a lot like my Starbucks ... same products ... same coffee smell ... same happy baristas writing your name on the cup ... took a quick look around and checked it off the list. It was our last stop before the parking lot but I kept thinking back to something I saw on a shelf in the restaurant. LOL ... keep it real ... enjoy the moment ... hang on to it tight in your memories! What a great great day ... very hard to forget ... and I'm scheming ways to go back!


On the radio!

APQ radio logo

Excited to be on American Patchwork & Quilting Radio with Pat Sloan today!

If you can't get in to to the store to see me ... listen to me on the radio! Well ... on your computer but you know what I mean. Excited to be talking with Pat about my trip with my quilting pal to Portland and Seattle. It's so much fun to grab a friend and visit the places you share in common ... like quilt stores! We had the best time and on the show I'll talk with Pat about how you can make the most of trips with your friends, too. The show begins at 4pm Eastern time ... three o'clock if you're in the midwest ... and on a download after the show. Listen in!!

I'd love to hear about your quilting trips ... share with me where you've been so I can plan my next one! Scroll down and see all the pretty pix and the stores and sites I visited. And I'm still not done!

One tip for your trip? Take extra media cards for your camera and phone ... I took over a thousand photos!!!!

Here's one more of them ... my friend Julie at Keepsake Cottage Fabrics has her sale fabric outside on the porch and it's as charming out there as it is in the store!


It's a keeper! Keepsake Cottage Fabrics ~ Bothell WA

I've been wanting to go to this store ... just outside of Seattle ... for almost five years. And finally! My wish came true!!



My friend Julie Stewart owns Keepsake Cottage Fabrics and like she says ... "I love fabric" ... and she's not kidding! But for me ... it wasn't about the fabric ... it was about how stinkin' cute the place was! Julie may say I cried when I saw it for myself ... well ok ... I did ... it brought tears to my eyes it was so cool. It's in a section called Country Village in Bothell, Washington ... filled with lots of different shops and restaurants. Julie's store has the look of a really large barn only nicer. Cute picket fence ... windows to peek into ... porches. Just darling ... I can't quit thinking about it.



My favorite room had to have been the sunroom. It had light streaming in through all the windows and Julie hung up aprons and kitchen things instead of curtains. You looked out on to a community garden with sunflowers trying to hold up heads the size of dinner plates! The colors were fresh and inviting.


Loved the Foursquare Farmhouse from Atkinson Designs on the wall ... equally loved all the little children's toys scattered throughout the displays!



I was trying to describe to someone the style of Keepsake Cottage. The fabrics were bright and modern and but with a more feminine feel ... bold in some cases but still soft and pretty at the same time. The other thing I liked is that Julie had picked a great balance of fabrics so that you wouldn't have trouble shopping from many different lines and still be able to put together a beautiful project.

The latest and greatest from Happy Zombie!




Oh wait ... those are real veggies from the garden in the break room!

All over the store were baskets of coordinating fat quarters ... sure makes shopping easy!



When Julie wasn't looking I snuck past the employees only sign and peeked inside her office. I want to see where she spends a lot of her day and imagine her hanging out with us on Facebook when she can. Ya ... it was cute too. Kill me.

After my friend and I handed all of our cash over to Julie ... we left for a little walk around Country Village. My favorite ... a primitive shop next door ... a bakery ... an art studio ... stamping store ... bead shop ... antique store ... and on and on and on. But one of the most fun sights was ...

... the free range chickens roaming around! And the ducks. And the crows everywhere. It was a place removed from the hustle and bustle of busy life.

But after we took a look around we had to hurry back to Julie's place because we were going to ...

... for lunch! More on that later. Can you say 'best day ever'? It was so much fun seeing Keepsake Cottage Fabrics and Julie in her native environment! Loved it ... thinking it would make a fabulous destination for a quilting tour. Who's with me?