Sunday, April 22, 2018

Jamestown Landing at Thimble Towne!

See this handsome fella in the red shirt?

This is Jeremy, the owner of Thimble Towne in both Visalia, and Bakersfield California.

More than just a quilt store –serving quilters is a way of life at Thimble Towne.

For over 20 years, Thimble Towne has been promoting high quality products, and services, and supplying the sewing community with everything they need to create stunning projects.

In addition to two wonderful quilt stores, the Thimble Towne Bakersfield location also offers an amazing 5,500 square foot event center! Open for public use and rental, this is the perfect space for events, retreats, and more!  

And this is where I have been for the past 4 days of events.

Yesterday we gathered for the last workshop of this California visit to spend our time making Jamestown Landing from my book String Fling.

Of all the quilts in that book, I would have to say Jamestown Landing has been a favorite – and what’s not to love – simple string units and half square triangles all the way!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Blue Heaven with the Cotton Patch Quilters!

Palm trees against a blue southern California sky?  That IS a Blue Heaven!

And I love this My Blue Heaven class so much, I think it’s time to make a new sample…maybe in a different color way?  Maybe using a different size of strip?

Every time I teach this, new ideas come –if only there was time to stitch them all up!

We met yesterday morning at wonderful, wonderful Thimble Towne who has been so gracious to host all of our events this week.  It’s been a dynamic duo of 2 workshops and a morning lecture for the Cotton Patch Quilters of Kern County, and an evening lecture and today’s Jamestown Landing workshop as a shop event.

What’s been lovely is those who are staying for more than one workshop can leave their stuff in place and not have to move it in or out.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Yes, There IS a Woolworths!

There is still a functioning Woolworth’s Luncheonette counter in the old Woolworth’s building in downtown Bakersfield, California!

Yesterday was a double duty lecture day – one for the Cotton Patch Quilters of Kern County during their morning meeting, and one hosted by Thimble Towne quilts in the evening, which gave time for 4 of us to bustle around town in between.

These girls KNOW me!  An afternoon of lunch out at the Woolworth’s counter, and antiquing before going to the evening event?  I’m ALL IN!


Five & Dime Antique Mall is in the building!


Our feet on the historic entrance!


It’s like stepping back in time!

And yes, cherry cokes are on the menu.

Step into the Five & Dime Antique Mall in Bakersfield, California, and that rarity becomes reality. There, in the back corner at the ground-floor level of the four-story building, is a fully functioning former Woolworth luncheonette counter, complete with 22 counter seats, formica tables ringing the room, and an open kitchen for griddling burgers and making milkshakes. 
But this well-protected bit of ephemera isn’t cordoned off with Do Not Touch signs — it’s still a real, thriving luncheonette counter called the Woolworth Diner, serving police officers, antiquers, and locals daily.
This is the last Woolworth luncheonette counter in America.[source]
It was just too much fun, pulling up a table, being served our lunches, oldies playing on the overhead sound system.  And all around us – a huge antique mall beckoned for us to finish our meals and come take a wander.


Oh yeah, I could be here for days – and there are 3 floors!


There were quilts tucked in and around – keep your eyes peeled!


Treadle lamp, anyone?

Actually, this was so cute I’d probably have bought it if it wouldn’t have cost a fortune to ship it home.  it would be great near a sewing chair…


Wooden straight legged treadle and singer 15!

I’ve come across the straight legged machines with metal legs before – but wood?  I didn’t know they made such a thing!  This may have been on the take home list too, but again, I’m in California so was able to show much restraint.  Though missing its bobbin plate – that is easily replaceable- This is an AWESOME machine for anyone near Bakersfield who is looking for one.  This machine is 1940-1950 vintage and has reverse.  I think the black spoked hand wheel is so classic!


There were beautiful quilts on beds.


And more tucked under tables in baskets.


This one – SO interesting!


Lovely scrappy stars -


And oh, my!  Turkey reds so vibrant!


Flour sacks on the back!

We had the best time just poking around and wandering.  It’s fun to go with other folks and see just what it is that catches their eye that I might not even have noticed.


No longer Kit-less!!


Times TWO!

My thanks to the lovely ladies who brought me more Diamond Tile block kits from their own stashes to keep me sewing while I am still on the road.  I am just blown away by their generosity – you ladies just MADE MY DAY! Thought I was too worn out after last night’s event was over – you can bet I’ll be sewing these up tonight after our Friday class is done.  Aren’t quilters just THE BEST!?


And my thanks to  A & E Signature!

Signature thread has so graciously gifted Signature 60 wt thread for each of my students here in Bakersfield.  I am so in love with this thread for both my handwork and my machine piecing.


Processed in my home state of North Carolina, USA!

There are still two workshop days ahead.  Today we’ve got My Blue Heaven up on deck, followed by tomorrow’s Jamestown Landing.

It’s time for me to get a move on!


Quiltville Quote of the Day

Quilt found in Woolworths, Bakersfield!

What are you giving power to that you shouldn't be?

Make up your mind how this day is going to go before your feet even hit the floor and accomplish it!

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Wonky Wishes Day At Thimble Towne!

If you’ve never been to Thimble Towne, YOU MUST GO!

This is no ordinary quilt shop, it’s also a wonderful event center right here in Bakersfield, with a second location in near by Visalia.  Just awesome beyond words!

And I came face to face with the poster that has been announcing my arrival over the past many months as we have had this on the calendar for more than 4 years.  4 years, and I am finally here!

And so is the quilt in this photo, as it was a Wonky Workshop Day yesterday, hosted by the Cotton Patch Quilters of Kern County.

I learned many things yesterday – this area was also big in cotton growing for many years, though citrus and nut trees and vineyards have slowly taken over.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bakersfield or Bust!

I left this idyllic location yesterday morning as Linda’s SUV rumbled up the long drive and toward Betty Ann’s guest cottage ---

I had been getting some steps in walking up and down the vineyard road, knowing they  would HAVE to pass by me to get to the cottage – there was a whole day (or the better part of it anyway) of car sitting ahead of me and I needed that leg stretch while I could get it.

Cool morning amongst the vines?  Beautiful! 

And if you peek closely, you’ll spy an old farm house tucked in between those trees.  And the mountains in the distance?  Lovely!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Talkin’ Turkey Monday!


Our Monday started with a stop at the renowned Butter Cream bakery and diner in Napa to pick up goodies for our burgeoning class of 50 assembling for our Talking Turkey workshop.

“What? You’ve never been to Butter Cream?” was the cry.  So in we went.  It can’t be missed – this pink and white striped building.

Parking is ALWAYS a problem, and there can be a wait to be seated for breakfast – I understand their blueberry pancakes are not to be missed – a thing of beauty!

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Hawk’s Nest Day in Napa!

Triangles, triangles, oh – SEW MANY TRIANGLES!

We met yesterday with the Napa Valley Quilters and visiting friends at the senior activities center (beautiful location!) for our busy bustling Hawk’s Nest workshop from my book Scraps & Shirttails II!

I am so tickled that these books that are 8 to 10 years old still have workshop quilts in high demand.  Quilts that have been in cold storage for a while get to come out and play and it just goes to prove that some block designs may be classic in nature, but so variable when it comes to fabrics and layouts and modern up-dos!

We were 44 quilters strong, and with the room divided up into two groups, we doubled up on the demos and got everyone working with strips and specialty rulers like the Essential Triangle Tool focusing on building triangle variety from short strip sets.  

Short strip sets are the best thing when it comes to building variety and variety we needed – each block takes 16 half square triangle units – 4 that match the center “Donut” in the block, and the other 12 randomly scrappy.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Saturday in Napa.

When you hear the words “Napa, California” What is the first thing you think of?

Probably THIS right here!

And April in Napa is a sight to behold.  Acre after acre of beautiful vineyards, ready for the growing season ahead.

It’s an optical illusion to the eyes as you drive past the rows as rows of grapevines standing at attention – appearing with arms outstretched, nearly touching their neighbor vines, but not quite.  Waiting for new growth to happen.

And I learned something -- some grapevines stand taller (less bending for pruning and harvesting) and some are quite short to the ground.

The ones closer to the ground actually require LESS water and during drought conditions will produce more - because they don't require as much water to be drawn up  from the roots to the rest of the plant.  (But oh, the back breaking to stoop so low to end them!)

We were on our way “over the hill” from Fairfield to Napa to meet with the Napa Valley Quilters and friends for the Saturday morning meeting held at the senior center.

I LOVE a Saturday morning meeting!  What a relaxing pace!  It almost felt like playing hooky.  And what a group had gathered.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Napa or Bust!

This is what 4:30am at the airport looks like, for a 5am boarding time – Greensboro to Atlanta to Sacramento, nearly coast to coast.

I climbed into bed  = hopeful = that I’d be able to squeeze in 6 hours of good sleep before my 3am alarm went off so I could get myself to out the door by 3:45am to make it to the airport by 4:15 to do the luggage struggle and parking solo again.

Neighbor dogs barking madly at midnight did NOT help.  

There are no sky caps at his hour in Greensboro.  I grabbed their cart however and loaded all of my stuff and wheeled it into the terminal, giving myself extra points for weight bearing exercise on this day of long travel ahead.

Somewhere over Atlanta I dozed off…maybe 20 minutes, but that was enough to get me all the way to California with no extra shut eye.  It just wouldn’t come.

What does a girl do on a flight where her pop-up TV from between the seats in row 10 has NO AUDIO!?