This last weekend, my Aunt Jacque came to visit me and we had such an excellent time. She and I share a love of quilting and I am so grateful that we share this connection. I could go on and on for pages about how inspiring she is, but I will just say that every time I speak with her, my appreciation for all the beauty around me grows ten-fold.
Part of the reason for her visit was the local Lavender Festival and Farm Tour. More about that later.
When she arrived, we decided to spend the day going around to the crazy amount of quilt shops around Portland. (note: I might mention a name or two of different shops, but I am not receiving any compensation for it)
Our first stop was Fiddlesticks up in Vancouver, WA. What a cute shop! This is definitely going to be one of my go-to LQS's. They were so friendly and we had a great time browsing the store. Their display quilts were all so inspiring. Believe it or not, this was the first time I had come across the Quilt Sampler magazine and my aunt explained it to me. I will have to check out the next issue.
After leaving that shop and heading back down to Portland, we were distracted by IKEA. LOVE that place. I had been thinking about getting an actual sewing table or something better than the large folding table I was using. I found the perfect tables there. Shelves and drawers. I haven't done any decorating yet, but you get the idea.
I think my favorite thing is that I can move them around and rearrange them or separate them. Totally inexpensive too!
We found one more hidden little shop called Cool Cottons where the lady was so helpful when we started picking out fabrics. She had some very unique pieces there. My aunt had found a pattern that she wanted to make and it was at this store that she found her jump off piece. I found a couple too that I thought would be perfect for the mystery quilt I am doing with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. I have since changed my mind on the mystery quilt fabrics, but I still love the fabric I bought. I will just have to add it to my stash or find a small project for it.
The Lovely Hunt Meadow Flower in Blue by Lizzie House for Andover Fabrics & all I could find on the purple was Sparky & Marie by Jot Creates for Quilting Treasures.
The next day, we had planned a trip to the coast. We were not even on the road an hour when we decided to stop at a couple of shops along the way and boy am I glad we did. We looked at the description on the website for Quilter's Corner Store. They call it "A thimble full of lovely" and describe it as cozy. We questioned whether we should stop at what was sure to be a small shop. While indeed very small, it was probably one of the best quilt stores I have ever been too. The customer service in that place was phenomenal. We had a nice chat with the woman working and I regret not getting her name, but I will certainly be back there, so I will get it next time. She showed us a bolt of fabric from the Simply Colorful II line and my aunt fell in love with it. It was the Avacado Wildflower we later learned. We spent time at every store after this looking for the rest of the fabric she would need to complete the pattern she had purchased. It was so much fun. I think she is going to have a beautiful quilt and if I am lucky she will allow me to share some photos here when she is done.
We stopped at a couple more stores that day and the next day as well and we found ourselves discussing how important friendly, engaging customer service was in a quilt store. Other stores as well of course, but it is especially important in local quilt shops. Quilters are return customers for sure and for the most part enjoy talking about their quilting. It is a pretty big deal if the people at the shop show an interest and visit with you on your comfort level. What about you? Do you prefer to just do your shopping and be left alone? Or do you like when the shop clerks take the time to talk with you?
For the last day of her visit, we toured some local lavender farms. We cut our own bunches and tasted jams and honeys. It was a good day. :)
Now that I have my new sewing table all built and my house smells of fresh cut lavender, I am ready to start getting some projects done. :)
You still have until July 24th to enter the giveaway for a Holiday Wishes book here. Make sure to leave a comment and entry on the rafflecopter button.
I am a little bit late in posting this week, but I will still try to link up with my favorites:
Let's Bee Social
Linky Party Tuesday
Needle and Thread Thursday