I have lived most of my life in the Pacific Northwest where autumn rolls in dramatically with heavy rains and a sudden drop in temperatures. I’ve wrapped my annual body clock around that change, but here we are in October in SoCal and still wearing tank tops and getting sunburnt on the weekends. My body can’t seem to figure out that it actually is fall. But where’s the cold? the rain?
For example, this was last Sunday, October 6. High of 90°F at Disneyland. Seriously? This is fall?
Of course, if you ask my fellow Californians, the ones who lived most of their lives here, they’ll tell you it is definitely fall. The temperatures are cooling down (into the 70s? oh brr!), the morning marine layer is more common, the leaves are beginning to drop. So I guess this is how fall rolls in down here, gently and with sunshine. I like it.
Quilt Market is just around the corner, though, along with both of my children’s birthdays, and into the holiday madness of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I needed something to convince me of these changing seasons, so I decided to make myself a scarf. Robert Kaufman Fabrics has these lovely new Mammoth Flannels which are soft and warm and, if you ask me, they are the perfect colors to get me in the mood for fall.
I was able to get my hands on a small swatch of Carolyn Friedlander‘s new Botanics collection, a fabric that just was calling out to be tagged up with the flannel. The color is Curry and it makes me want Indian food every time I look at it. But I digress, back to making scarves…. I simply cut a couple of width of fabric strips (about 8″ wide), sewed them together, flipped it and topstitched. Bam! A scarf!
Now I don’t really have an excuse to complain about the A/C being on high everywhere I go. I don’t have to be cold in the grocery store anymore because I have a lovely new cotton flannel scarf.
It’s like having autumn wrapped snugly around my neck.
Twice each year, Sew,Mama,Sew! does this awesome thing called Giveaway Day. I haven’t been able to participate in a while with life being a bit crazy, then forgetting, and thinking I’ll do it the next time, then not.
But this year I am doing it! And what am I giving away you ask. How about a little four-pack of fat-sixteenths!
My mother loves beach-themed anything and while she already has a lighthouse-themed quilt that he made herself, I’m thinking I might have to make something for her from this fantastic new line of fabric from Michael Miller. It won’t be available until summer, so that’s a nice reprieve. I’ve got plenty to do before then!
I was asked late last week if I could chaperone my son’s high school when they went down to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (which is, btw, sort of a misnomer… there’s more than Shakespeare). I agreed and figured I could take the time to do some hand-sewing and explore Ashland for any fabric stores. I wasn’t even sure they’d have one, though in hindsight… of course, they do.
In fact, they had two shops downtown. Fabric of Vision (145 E. Main Street) is right on the, uh, main street of town and I stumbled onto it on my first full day there. Outside the shop, there’s a little sale rack that I sifted through until I was distracted by the phone call I’d been waiting for. So, the next day, I headed back and made it all the way inside. It’s a miracle I came out with any money left. They’ve managed to squeeze in more bolts of cloth than I would have expected in there, with a great range of books and ribbons and tools, to boot. Wonderful shop, really, and so much more than I expected. I managed to come out with just this adorable alphabet fat quarter, the latest issue of Stitch and a copy of Material Obsession, which I am totally obsessed by.
It wasn’t until the next day, when I finally pulled my nose out of Stitch that I found Quiltz (53 N. Second), just down the street and slightly behind Fabric of Vision. As you can imagine, the entire shop is focused on quilt-making with loads of designs and prints, and plenty of finished quilts to inspire new projects. I was so good in there, just looking and not buying. Until I hit that last rounder on my way out the door. But I saw this and just couldn’t stop myself.
Really, could you have resisted?! The whole line is absolutely adorable– with raindrop fabric, even. I managed to avoid the temptation of the other coordinating prints, but this one was too fantastic to leave behind. Just a bit of it had to be mine; it makes me smile every time I look at it.
Back when I was really into sewing and making aprons all the time, I knew every fabric store in town, but school and travels and teaching and work all got in the way and I’ve neglected the local shops.
On Saturday, I had some time to kill. The daughter was at a slumber party, the son was with friends and I decided to swing by Bolt up on N.E. Alberta.
I’d seen the shop from the street a hundred times, but never wanted to stop because I knew, I just knew, I’d never get out without dropping a large wad of cash. I couldn’t justify it until Saturday. I stopped to just “take a look” and came out with 10 different fabrics. Oops! The selection was fantastic; the sales people were helpful and there was a kick-ass sale going on. I just need to put a few of these to use before I can make a return visit.
I keep saying I’m going to do it, that I need to do and I finally have. The first batch of goods available via Etsy went up today. By Friday I should have at least one quilt up there as well as some more wallets. It’s a start.