Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

We arrived home Monday evening from our trip to California.  We spent a few days in San Diego visiting my husband's aunt, one night in Oakview (between Ventura and Ojai) visiting his uncle, and a few days in Solvang for his Grandmother's 95th birthday.  Today is actually her birthday, but the party was on Saturday. Lots of friends and family came, and we were happy to be able to spend time with her.

Four generations!

The first time I visited Grandma's house we found some scraps of fabric in a drawer.  Grandma hasn't sewn in years, so we knew she wouldn't be using it.  We stole took it home with us, and I was able to make it into a quilt without adding much fabric at all.  I bought the fabric for the border, back, and binding, but everything else was from her house.

 I finished this quilt and gave it to her 5 years ago for her 90th birthday.  She said she recognized the fabric, but had no idea we had taken it.  It was a fun surprise.  I love how retro this quilt looks.  CRAZY bright colors.  I was teaching FACS (Home Ec.) at the time, and we had an embroidery machine in my classroom, so I was able to embroider a label on the back before it was quilted.

In the car on our trip I worked on my English Paper Pieced ball.  Well, freezer-paper pieced I guess.  The freezer paper worked very well for the most part, although it fell out of a few spots.

I didn't take any in-progress pics while we were driving, but here it is just before I removed the paper and turned it.

Here is it almost finished--I just have to close up that one seam.  I used all of the colors from the color wheel (all Kona) and arranged them so red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet go pretty much in order around the ball.  All complementary colors are on opposite sides, and all of the tertiary colors make a triad color scheme on the sides.    Here's a red-violet, yellow-orange, and blue-green triad.

Red-orange, yellow-green, and blue-violet triad.

The "warm" half of the ball.  I like the star pattern that results.  I'm looking forward to getting this done, likely tonight.

While on our trip we had to stop at two of our favorite quilty stops.  The first isn't as good as it used to be, but is a very unique place and worth the time (sometimes).  Solvang, where my husband's Grandma lives, is a Danish tourist town.  Off of the main drag is a little complex of buildings called Shelbi Ranch, which is owned  by the same people that own Jodi California, if you've ever heard of that line of dresses.  This location is kind of an outlet.  Upstairs they have a room with $10 dresses, a room with bizarre leftover clothing that hasn't sold at stores, and other odds and ends that will likely surprise you.  (Why would anyone ever buy this?)  Downstairs is the fabric outlet.  There are several rooms filled with rolls and rolls of fabric, all for 99 cents a yard.  The selection really isn't much good any more, but the first time I went 6 years ago there was a LOT of Robert Kaufman fabric.  I didn't find any fabric worth buying this time (weird knits and such) but they have several barrels filled with zippers for 5 cents each.  I bought 58 zippers for less than $3.  Not bad.  I don't know what I'll use them all for, but I will never need to pay full price for an odd colored zipper again.  Ever.  Probably.  The best thing about Shelbi Ranch is that all of the proceeds from their cafe go to the Shriner's Hospital.  If you're ever in Solvang on a weekend, it's worth stopping by, even if it's just for a $2 jumbo hotdog.  Just be ready for a crazy mess of fabric.  They're only open Friday-Sunday, so you can't go during the week.

Our absolute favorite place is the Creation Station Fabric and Quilt Shop.  This is my favorite quilt shop anywhere.  It is located in Beullton, just west of Solvang.  The owners, Dawn and Patrick Farrier, are just so kind and unique.  Dawn always remembers us, even though we only come once a year when we're visiting Grandma.  They specialize in pre-cuts, but not what you'd normally think.  They cut most of their fabric into 1 yard and half yard lengths, but have a fair amount of bolts left too.  

Here are my kids hanging out by the lovely selection of Kona cottons.  You can see the precut fabric on the shelf.  Doesn't it look pretty?

I confess that I totally cheated on my fabric diet and spent WAY too much money.  I bought over 25 yards of fabric.  I haven't taken a picture of it yet, but it is SOOOO pretty.  I couldn't say no.  My husband bought a few yards of fabric too--hopefully he'll have some time to do something with it soon.

Another acquisition on the trip is a beautiful vintage Singer Featherweight sewing machine that Grandma gave me.  It hasn't been used in years, so I'm going to get it serviced before I use it, but I've got a question for anyone out there who might know.  You know that musty smell that is often found in old people's houses?  Well, the case of this little machine REEKS of it, especially when I open it.  Any ideas how to get rid of that smell?

We had a really nice time, but we're so glad to be home.  I'm working on quilting two quilts to deliver at a SLMQG meeting tomorrow night, and hopefully I'll have some pictures to post soon.

I'm linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


  1. Sounds like an awesome trip! I bet your Grandma loves seeing you guys and your cute kiddos! I can't wait to see what 25 yards of fabric looks like!!! WOW!!! You're going to be having some fun! :)

  2. Gee, I wonder if you are related to my mom, grin. Anytime she came to visit I lost something, might be fabric, but she loved finished projects more, and any of my books, grin. Barbara in western NC


Thank you for taking time to leave a comment! They make my day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...