We went to Boston and then Manchester, Connecticut. Darrell was teaching a class in Manchester (Boston was the vacation part of the trip). While he was busy making money (that paid for the trip) I was on my own for two days. So, I went fabric shopping with the intent being to make a quilt commemorating the trip.
As I drove around, from quilt shop to quilt shop, I looked at the scenery and absorbed the colors. Then while buying fabric, I tried to buy prints and colors that reflected what I saw.
I must say, the GPS machine made my mission so much easier. I just programmed all of the quilt shop addresses into it, hit the 'optimize' button. It reorganized them, and then I just drove where it told me to go. I was on a lot of secondary roads and saw some wonderful scenery.
When I took these pictures I was trying to capture the colors of the landscape.
First stop, Quilters Dream in Willimantic, CT.
It was a very nice shop set in an old house on a corner of what appeared to be a main street. They have a great selection of fabrics, books, lots of patterns and sample quilts on the walls. This is where I picked my 'focus fabric' - a fabric I would use to take into the other quilt stores and try to pull colors from. I picked a fabric that was a little vintage looking and I also grabbed a group of 8 fat quarters that are reminiscent of 'Colonial'. I was thinking I'd try to reflect some of the history of the area also. Below is the fabric, the large piece across the bottom is the focus fabric.
Oh, and I'll add that I bought a yard of the focus fabric, everything else will be half yards, except for the set of 'vintage' fabrics, which are fat quarters (on the left).
Next stop was in Glastonbury, Close to Home Sewing Center.
I was a little worried when I saw the outside of this place in a strip mall. But inside, I was pleasantly surprised. The front of the store is dedicated to Home Dec and selling blinds. But, the rear of the store is a wonderful selection of quilting fabrics. The people working there were very friendly and helpful. I found a collection of William Morris fabrics that I had a hard time keeping my hands off - but I did find three that fit into the theme. It is a great store and here is what I bought there:
Next stop didn't fit into the quilt shop category, but when planning this online I took what I found. I didn't realize until I walked into the store at Rocky Hill. It is called Affordable Fabrics, and that's probably because everything in the store is only $1.99! See the sign in the window on the left?
The catch is you have to buy one yard minimum. They have mostly fashion fabrics, but I did find a few cottons I could live with and one questionable one, but I love the colors, it's the one on the right below.
Next up is Lisa's Clover Hill Quilts in Berlin. Berlin Connecticut, that is.
Another great quilt store with a very nice selection of fabrics, I had a hard time controlling myself. She has a great selection of batiks. I wanted to get more than I did, but I don't know if batiks go with colonial...? Here's what I limited myself to:
The next stop seemed a little farther off than the rest, it's in Simsbury. It was a lovely drive out there and there are these fantastic looking huge Sycamore trees lining the street as I got near the shop. They were so beautiful, silver and white, and majestic.
The quilt shop, Sew Inspired, is located inside a small shopping mall which is mostly restaurants. It's a wonderful store, they have a very fine selection of fabrics. I think I'm getting farther from 'colonial' and more towards what I like.
The people were very nice and gave me a shopping bag with the store's name on it. They said I was the customer that had traveled the farthest that day! And it's a good thing they did, because there wasn't room in the suitcase for all this fabric and I ended up carrying it all home in the bag!
That was all my travels for Saturday, but Sunday there was one more shop, in Vernon called Quilting By The Yard.
This place was something else. It has a really fantastic selection of fabrics, but they are all over the place. They are leaning against the racks, lined up out into the aisle ways, making it hard to maneuver around or see anything for that matter. They have a huge selection of batiks, but they were all disheveled every which way. The gal said it was because they were on sale (20% off) and people had been buying them like crazy. But, all the shelves of the other fabrics were the same way. While I was there I wanted so badly to start straightening things up! Old habits, I guess! I even thought about asking them if I could hang and just put things away, but decided against it - they'd think I was just nuts. Don't get me wrong - I loved the store and highly recommend it. It's just quirky. I think I found more to buy here than anywhere!
Well, that's my fabric frenzied weekend. Stay tuned for the Connecticut Quilt updates. Already there are ideas buzzing around my head.