Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm in love!

This past Friday, my wonderful husband and I went to lunch. I said, "I have no ambition. I think we need to get away." He said, "okay, where are we going to go?" I wasn't really meaning this weekend, but thanks to him, we ended up leaving the next morning and spending a long weekend in Philadelphia! I love that we have a small enough family and a great next door neighbor (who is always willing to watch our pets).

So, Saturday we went to the Mütter Museum. Their website isn't very useful, but it was a great museum to go to. It's full of medical specimens. Have you ever wondered what a 75 lb ovarian cyst looks like? Or are you curious about forensic anthropology? Or the skeleton of a man with a disease which causes his soft tissues to calcify into bone? They have it all. It's amazing. To hear a description, you might think it's like a circus side-show, but it's all presented in an educational, non-exploitative manner. In fact, no photos are allowed inside the museum. So here's Molly outside instead.We also went on a short horse-drawn carriage tour of the Independence Mall area (Molly's favorite part of the trip) and saw the Liberty Bell.On Sunday we went to the Franklin Institute Science Museum. Later that day we drove around and eventually ended up at the King of Prussia Mall. I have memories of going there on band trips in high school when we went to Philly to march in the Gimbels parade.

On Monday, we checked out of our hotel. We ate breakfast at a cute diner called Mrs. K's. We had been sick of eating at the extremely overpriced hotel restaurant (seriously? Nine bucks for a bowl of oatmeal? You're kidding me) and were very happy to have found it. The waitstaff was really nice and the locals eating there were friendly and chatty. And a bowl of oatmeal was only about $2.50. No website, though.After breakfast, we checked out Fabric Row. I only went to one shop and was a bit turned off. Maybe I went to the wrong shop. It was crowded and it was hard to see everything. I did buy a bit of fabric to make a ballet skirt for Molly.

The highlight of the trip for me, though, was a quilt shop we stopped at called Spool. This is why I posted that I was in love. The shop was quite small and didn't have a ton of fabric, but what they did have was breathtaking. No batiks, no blenders, no novelties; just designer prints and some solids (and a few shot cottons and Kaffe homespuns and stripes). But what they didn't have in quantity, they made up for in quality. So clean and gorgeous!First impression as you walk in:This is pretty much the extent of their fabric shelves. The only shelves you can't see here are a couple in the back where they have sale fabrics and some home decs.
Here is their classroom area. So cute with the coordinating sewing machine covers!
Another view of their display (really, their only one).
Their patterns.
Here is my haul. First is a laminate that Molly picked out. I need to make the Amy Butler kids raincoat for a shop sample. So I'll make two, so Molly can have one now!
Here's the fabric I bought, just because. It was hard to stop at five yards. The person helping me, who was super friendly, said that the whale fabric was designed by someone local. There were several of her designs there.
And I bought their two bags of scraps. Seriously, you could make something beautiful out of anything they had there. I figured even their scraps would be delicious. I bought the only two bags of scraps they had. If they had had ten, I probably would have bought all ten.
If you go to Philadelphia, visit this shop. I was blown away. So small, but perfect. Only the best of the best. There's a yarn shop next door called Loop that I didn't go to, but they seem to be connected in some way. If I were a knitter, or if I hadn't already spent over $100, I would have gone there, too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


A couple of "yesterday's news" types of things today. First is a shop sample I made way back in the Minnesota Road Show days. The pattern is called Posh and it's from Maple Island Quilts. The line is a Christmas line from Riley Blake. You know how lime green, orange and turquoise are Christmas colors, right?Now that I look at the link, I see that I did post this quilt a while back. Oh well. It's bright and cheerful and I had forgotten that I had posted it.

And in sad news, my little wallet sample was stolen from the shop. Yes, stolen. This is not unusual. There are assholes in every group, even in the quilting world. It's a sad fact. Luckily it was a fast pattern so I can make another soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Little embroidery

I have a very good friend, Meenoo, whose husband, Bill, does these terrific little doodles. Usually they end up in the recycling bin, but when I saw them for the first time I said, "I need to embroider one of those!" Meenoo thought I was nuts. But I got her to confiscate one of them and I recreated it in floss. This is my first time doing this kind of fill stitch. I think it's so cute! I gave it to Bill for Christmas.In Molly news, she has a walking cast on due to a sore foot. We're not sure of the reason for the soreness, but she's been a toe-walker forever and never grew out of it. The cast will stay on for a total of three weeks. She says it's feeling better. I'm not sure how much of this is serious injury and how much of it is pandering for the upcoming Oscar season. I'm hoping this cures the problem regardless of its origin.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New year, new projects

Wow. I've never taken a blog break for this long before. Several things happened. One is that I went to a quilting retreat with my friend and co-worker Maureen. These are really fun! Sadly, in the three days following the retreat, both my car and my sewing machine bit the dust. The car was fatal. We ended up trading it in for a tiny commuter car for RT. The sewing machine wasn't fatal, but it took nearly a month to get back from the repair shop. And then there were the holidays and the flu and other such nonsense. On to photos!

I did more than this over the holidays, but these are the photos that are off the camera at the moment. These are some selvedge pincushions. I made a bunch and gave them to lots of friends.
Some people still haven't gotten theirs yet.
More photos soon, I promise. In the meantime, a word from Molly:
Tomorrow's menu. #1: we are going out.

My sentiments exactly, honey. :-)