About four weeks ago, Karene ran to the little shopping center near her house, to have lunch with her mom, I believe. I'm really fuzzy on these details, because its been a rather crazy few weeks, what with Christmas, New Year's, and some business crises, etc. Anyway...She phoned me from the shopping center to tell me the news:
"There's a new store opening right across from Esther's Taco House and I think it's a quilt shop!"
I think our initial strategy, if I remember correctly, was for her to start leaving notes taped on the glass. "Are you a quilt shop?" "If so, when will you open?"
("Is tomorrow too soon for you? May we help?")
Anyway, fast forward a week or two. I got another call.
"IT'S GOT TO BE A QUILT SHOP - I see shelves for fabric!"
We decided that if we resorted to the note-leaving technique, the notes should read "Will work for fat quarters" and include our phone numbers.
Finally, she called me around New Year's Eve with the biggest news yet. "It IS a quilt shop! And they are opening on January 3rd!" She actually had gotten to talk to someone from inside the store and she regaled me with details.......
She was able to get away from work long enough to go the first day! She called me with a full report about "beautiful fabric, so cute, patterns, lots and lots of fabric, and a long arm, etc."
Wait. Rewind, please.....
A LONG ARM?
Be still my heart!
Schedules and work prevented me from visiting the shop before Sunday. Daughter Karen and I met Karene there. And, oh, baby.....we are in SEW much trouble. :)
Quilter's Garden......2007 E. Orangethorpe Avenue, Placentia, CA! In the NW portion of the Orangethorpe/Lakeview intersection.
When I entered, I was invited to join their mailing list and also enter a drawing for the beautiful quilt below, by Diane Beauchamp (whose name is on the shop business card - she may be pictured in here somewhere - excuse my manners, I was a tad distracted by the fabric).
I just love this quilt! (click pix to enlarge)
So pretty!! (I dragged Michael to the store the very next day and he entered the drawing also....he's really liking reproduction fabrics! Maybe we'll get lucky!)
This is Dolores Morris.....whose name is also on the business card. A very delightful lady, quite patient with drooling customers.
From there, it just got better and better. Beautiful selection of fabrics, lots and lots of fabrics, great patterns!
Everything was beautifully arranged and decorated. Karene, Karen and I just kind of lurched around pointing and exclaiming.....
Then I saw her.
Yeah. Oh my, hello Beautiful Thing!
Oh, she is pretty!
Dolores might have heard me hyperventilating, but at any rate, she came over and introduced herself and told us a little bit about The Plan. The Plan is still being, well, planned!
As I recall, it will include two options: one being that they will offer long arm quilting service and finish your quilts for you for a fee......or.......that the Beautiful Thing will be available for rent.
They are working out details, like, you have to take a class taught there by either their staff who has learned from a really fantastic teacher (from Cranberry Quiltworks in Yorba Linda), or maybe you are taught by that particular teacher herself. Again, I am sadly fuzzy on specifics. Anyway, you need to learn about long arm quilting and this specific machine before they turn you loose with it. (Duh! I personally probably need double instruction!)
And since it will take me a long time to get really proficient, I was interested in the fact that they are going to have a computerized system on it (maybe the StatlerStitcher?). Dolores told us it will do all the calculations for you when you key in the dimensions of your quilt, and will automatically perfectly execute the pattern you pick.
Somewhere around this point, I may have lost my customary poise and decorum. I recall looking at Karen and Karene and just standing there with my mouth open, or grinning. Or both!
Moving on, Dolores showed us the classroom.
All those quilts hanging on the wall? Those are classes, my friends. Karen already has plans for that heart quilt. She sees that one in black prints, white prints and hot pink/deep red prints.....oh yeah!
I like the one to the left of it, partially hidden by the popcorn maker - a pretty purple floral with winding ribbons that appear to cross or weave.....sigh!
And up by the register, see that red and white quilt on the right? (right behind Michael's head?)
That is Quilt 101 class. You learn everything needed to make that, in the class (which I think is six sessions). That is a fantastic newbie quilt! There are several kinds of applique and lots of very useful basics and techniques covered in that quilt, and everything I have heard about the teacher, Regina Collett, has been very complimentary.
I neglected to take a picture of one very important part of the shop. I completely forgot about it. I blame the sensory overload from exposure to all the fabric and ideas and quiltiness in one place. That's a normal reaction for me! Anyway, it's sew important, and sew cute, that I will go back and take a picture and post it later this week.
(And its not the bathroom! I have noticed that most of the quilt shops on the Quilt Run last year seemed to decorate the bathrooms especially nicely. Quilts, ideas, inspiration.....right where I least expected to find them! Quilter's Garden had a gorgeous quilt in their spacious bathroom....and a perfect inscription for their mirror that puts a smile on your face!) But that's not what I forgot to photograph....
Well, back to work for me. Gotta make some money so I can go shopping!
(What fabric diet?! But, but..... Fat Quarters and background fabrics don't count!!)