Southern California Quilter’s Run Part 4

IMG_20170722_081948467_TOP It was a bit chilly on the last day of the run. I managed to make it to my parent’s home the night before in order to leave super early in the morning. Our last trip was through San Diego County which is two hours away. This time we had a new companion with us, Porkchop! Normally during the shop hops I can leave my dog with my dad because my dad prefers to stay home and relax. Perfect for a senior dog who needs to pee frequently and sometimes wants to be alone outside or inside cuddling. However, my dad wasn’t home so Porkchop came with us.

IMG_20170722_192128778We headed out at 7 AM. Our first stop was Cozy Creative Center in El Cajon. The shop’s staff were super friendly and made their own cookies for the run. That was a nice treat to start with. The store is super big and has lots of natural sunlight. The shop specializes in selling long arm quilt machines. Two neutral fabrics caught my attention. The first was a Disney print that featured the puppies from 101 Dalmatians. The second quilt featured a village with sewing names such as The Happy Quilter’s Inn. It’s cute.



The second shop was Memory Lane Quilt Shop. Last time I came here, I bought lots and lots of patterns. I think 10. Unfortunately, I have not used any of them. Maybe a goal for 2018? The shop is known for their high quality batiks (and popcorn). Every time, I come to the shop, it smells like popcorn. My mom always looks forward to this shop because of the popcorn. It reminds her of the Mexico of her youth, eating palomitas at the plaza. Back to the fabric…this shop sells fat -eighths so I bought two of them. The fabric isn’t very eye popping. But I liked it enough to want to buy. They will blend in with my other neutrals.

IMG_20170722_192337007Off we went to Inspiration Quilt Shop in Valley Center. The shop is one of my favorites because it has a variety of novelty fabrics, batiks, etc. However, it does not have neutrals! I hadn’t noticed that before. This time I had a mission for neutrals so it was a bit of a downer. But it’s not the shops fault. All quilt shops need to be different and this one would normally be where I buy a kit or panels. They have great kits! I had a silly interaction with the cashier. She was curious as to why I would only by a fat quarter of this random fabric. It’s just text on a neutral. When I told her I was a Bonnie Hunter scrappy fan, she gave me a look. She is not a scrappy fan but her sister is. There really are two types of quilters, those that can scrap and those that can’t.

IMG_20170722_192356197The fourth shop we went to was not part of the quilt run, however, they were giving away a fat quarter, if you came in. So off we went to Sewing Machine Plus! I picked this neutral fabric. It features various maps from around the world: London, Paris, Chicago, New York, etc. The shop had a good variety of fabrics and worth the visit if you are ever in San Marcos. I would definitely shop here again. The shop also sells machines, primarily embroidery ones.


Photo Credit: Cheryl Chester

The next two shops were uneventful. We went to Quilt in a Day where I bought Eleanor Burn’s book, Underground Railroad Sampler. I’ve been wanting to buy this book for a while. I think since Road to California. However, I kept holding off. I knew that since I had the money this time I could finally buy the book. In the past, I have bought from the shop but this time it was crowded. My anxiety kicked in and I had to wait outside while my mom stood in line for me. I left her with some money and guess what! Turns out the book was 50% off! I’m glad I waited. It was a nice surprise. At the Fat Quarter Quilt Shop, there was a fun little teardrop trailer. My mom and I took a photo with it. It’s so funny because this is exactly what I want to buy when I’m 40. I plan to travel throughout the county sewing, hiking, camping, visiting quilt shops. I want to do it all!

The “last” shop was the Quilter’s Cottage in Fallbrook. This is normally a nice shop. I was a bit disappointed because when we got there, we finally had our passports completed and we should have gotten a bar for our pin. If you look at the feature photo we are all wearing pins. Every year that you complete the run, you are supposed to get a finished bar. Sadly, the shop had run out of bars. Normally, it wouldn’t be a big deal because the same thing happened last year. However, last year, our last shop (a different shop owner), mailed us the bars once she got more. We were appreciative and assumed the same would happen this year. NOPE! It wasn’t going to happen with this shop owner. I had to call other shops to see if they still had bars available. Thankfully Sewn Together had some.


I had to shop really quickly at Quilter’s Cottage because we were going to go yet another quilt shop. I picked four neutral fat quarters. The first one reminded me of English forests with little foxes, hedgehogs, owls, deer, etc. The second was a newspaper print featuring The Kitten Chronicles. It was funny because it has a cat as an astronaut. The third had icons of pattern pieces. Think of the printed tissue paper. It was fun to see because my first pattern was for making Barbie doll clothes. I was horrible at it but I remember. The final fabric had food names and maybe recipes. I’m not sure.

IMG_20170722_191813821We left in a hurry because we were going to Norco. It was on the way home so it wasn’t really out of the way. Of course there was traffic so it took us a while to get there. While in the car, I was able to figure out how many different types of fat quarters I had gotten for free and could be used for the free quilt pattern that was given to us. We can use this pattern to go with all the mini  applique camping patterns that designed for the run.

By the time we got to Norco, I realized that I didn’t have have any of the green fabrics. I ended up buying them at Norco. This quilt will definitely be a wannabee quilt. I have a due date of my 40th birthday. I have a few years to go!

Yards of Neutral Bought: 2.25

Total Yards of Neutral: 11.375

Southern California Quilter’s Run Part 3

I’ve been in Orange County these past few weeks house-sitting for my boyfriend’s grandmother. While here I began working on my Leaders and Ender’s Challenge during my days off and breaks from studying. I just started piecing the 6 patches and have roughly 65. I think it’s going to be a fun quilt. I also realized that I messed up the measurements. I should have cut the rail fence 5″ instead of 5.5″. I also need a lot more star but I don’t have it with me so I will see how many I can get from the remaining fabric. I guess it’s time to redesign my quilt. Oh well.


While here my boyfriend’s grandmother left me her unfinished quilt. She has been working on this quilt for four years and it is hand appliqued. She asked me to add borders so that she can finally finish it. The quilt features a Nativity scene. It’s super cute and can’t wait to see it when it’s completed.

While in Orange County, my mom and Cheryl met me for the third part of the quilt run. Orange County only had two quilt shops participating in the run: Orange Quilt Bee and The Quilt Cupboard.

So our first stop was the Orange Quilt Bee. It’s roughly six miles away from where I am staying so it was a nice surprise. I’ve been to this shop before but from a longer distance. The shop is super cute and has a lot of fun fabric. They have Civil War prints and lots of purse making selections. I think my mom bought the Mini Diva Wallet pattern and frame. She has the normal size pattern and made a few Diva Wallets for Christmas. Now that there are smaller ones, I know she will be sewing up a storm.


I bought four different fat quarters at Orange Quilt Bee. I really liked the Halloween fabric this year! I’ve bought maybe a yard and a half so far of Halloween neutrals. Then I saw one that reminded me of Pride and Prejudice. When I lived in England, I had a chance to go to Winchester and Bathe two places that were important to Jane Austen. I saw this and got super excited to have something to remember my time where. The car fabric was interesting because it looked like blueprints for an older model. And finally, my last fabric for the shop featured stops from a main street. One of the shops is named Warwick’s and another is Dragon Books. Again, I’m just reminiscing about England.

IMG_20170720_135714400We then headed off to The Quilt Cupboard in Placentia. The shop owner is looking to sell and at one point I was interested, but, honestly, at this point in my life, I’m not really to own a business. I mean I just came out of a 10 year career and am moving into teaching, getting my masters and working on products for my Etsy store, nothing yet because I’m working on what I would want to sell, how much, and all that jazz. The shop has a nice selection of fabric and a large classroom. I think every time that I’ve been there, there are always people working on their own stuff. I think it’s great that the store has a following.  I bought some fabric that featured the Eiffel Tower, cupcakes, poodles, hearts, and balloons.

I also bought a book at The Quilt Cupboard titled, The Simple Seven for Summer! (Volume 1 At the Beach).  I bought it because of the cinch backpacks. I have been thinking of making my own tutorial on how to make these kind of backpacks because I go to Disneyland often and I don’t like taking a large bag. I’m not going to show or make a tutorial on how to make this bag because it is copyright. But more importantly, it’s not how I imagine my bags looking. I am always interested to see how others write in order to make instructions clear.

IMG_20170716_082638569That was the end of my 3rd shopping spree. I began putting away my neutral fabric when I noticed something that “didn’t upset me” but upset me in a funny way. The Nightmare Before Christmas fabric that I bought features a little devil with yellow eyes! I thought that I had looked through the fabric to make sure it didn’t have any color BUT it did. I’m still going to use but it’s more of a slight whomp-whomp.



Yards of Neutral Bought: 1.25

Total Yards of Neutral: 9.125

Southern California Quilter’s Run Part 2

We woke up bright and early for the second leg of the Quilter’s Run. We went up to Tops and Bobbins in Hesperia. I totally fell in love with their free applique pattern. I love anything Bigfoot/Sasquatch. I ended up buying the kit for ten dollars! I also bought some fun fat quarters that feature Halloween motifs. My neutral stash is getting huge! This store is totally worth a visit. The owners are super nice and their fabric is beautiful. They have a variety of kits at a great price.

Afterwards, we took the back roads to get to Lancaster. I knew this trip would have a lot of down time because the shops are at a distance from each other. As a result, I took a variety of books with me to see what I would be interested in reading. I chose to read Illidan by William King  because, before I began quilting, I was a World of Warcraft gamer. I’ve been reading a lot in regards to world history so I needed something to get me excited and energized so I thought a fun, noneducational, but entertaining book was right up my alley. I ended up reading 100 pages while on the road but it was so exciting. I was feeling very youthful.

IMG_20170716_082953378Anyways, we got to Bolts in the Bathtub in Lancaster and thankfully it still wasn’t very hot. This shop is super cute and they always have the best decoration. I don’t remember when but at one point they had created a cherry blossom tree for the ceiling. Another time, they had a chandelier made out of teacups. I’d like to imagine they were influenced by Alice in Wonderland. From this store I bought two fat quarters for the neutral collection. One of the fat quarters was part Asian theme, part London Eye, part French. The other fat quarter has famous Californian iconography: the redwood trees, Disneyland, the Hollywood sign, a taco truck! I honestly bought this fat quarter because of the taco truck.

IMG_20170716_082911605We were then back on the road for another shop. It was over an hour away plus traffic. Traveling through Los Angeles County to get to the shops was definitely exhausting and I wasn’t even driving. Normally, I would drive but my little car would not have been up for it. The next shop is located in Thousand Oaks. It’s Cotton and Chocolate Quilt Co and it is another one of those super cute stores.  Every time I come here I look forward to the chocolate fountain and marshmallows. I allow myself two chocolate covered marshmallows. I bought a foodie fat quarter and a very interesting dandelion print. Can you see it? It’s the one on the far left. It reminds me of the old school printers. I really don’t know how to describe it. I just know that I liked it.

Then we were off to the next shop in Woodland Hills. This store was at least closer to the FullSizeRlast one, but the traffic makes it difficult to get there. In case you haven’t noticed I hate Los Angeles traffic. I try and avoid it as much as possible. The store, Quilt Emporium, is super cute but super small. Walking through it reminds me of a labyrinth of fabric. This place had the cutest dessert! I’m serious. The owner’s mother bought those mini brownie bites from Costco, then she added a few coco puffs, colored frosting, and two pretzel sticks to make your own campfire dessert. Can you imagine just how many of these treats she made for this run? The treats were super sweet, at least for me, I needed water. But it was good!


The Quilt Emporium had a lot of wonderful neutral fabrics. By the time I was ready to check out I had seven bolts of fabric that I wanted to be cut. However, I settled with four. I chose one with dream catchers, trees, hummingbirds, and reindeer. When I chose these, I was reminded of mythical animals and gods such as Huitzilopotchli, the Aztec, God of War,  or the Magical Deer of the Huichol people that symbolizes the power of maize as it sustains the body.

Our last stop was at The Sew’n’Sew. It took two and a half hours to get there! It was torture in the car. I don’t mind road trips but not being able to move, get out of the car, stretch, that was brutal. But we made it at 5:30 PM. This is another one of my favorite shops because it carries a variety of fabric.  I don’t even know how many rooms the store has. While I was there I just kept gathering more and more bolts of fabric. I don’t do drugs but man, I did receive a high from picking up so many bolts. I finally settled for seven (yes, seven!!) different designs: one from Disney’s Frozen, elephants, Disney’s Princesses, Harry Potter, the iron game piece from Monopoly, Halloween spiders and swirls.

IMG_20170716_082744459By the end of the second day of the Quilt Run, I had almost 8 yards of neutrals that I can chose from for the next mystery quilt. I don’t plan to buy anymore neutrals so that I can focus on the kits but who knows. I just had too much fun looking for neutrals.

IMG_20170715_172740927 As I was leaving The Sew n’ Sew I asked for their Row by Row pattern. If you have not heard of Row by Row, you are missing out. I have added a link to the website that explains everything. I don’t think I have any from 2015. However last year’s theme was Home Sweet Home and I have a few patterns. This year’s theme is “on the go” and the sample to the left is a great example of how shops have interpreted the phrase. This one shows the various transportation methods beginning with the invention of the wheel. Of course I like this because it has a UFO at the top. This was the end of the day two. I made it back to my parents place at 8 PM only to drive to Anaheim for some house sitting. Overall it was a successful halfway point for the run. Can’t wait to see what happens on day three!

Yards of Neutral Bought: 4.5

Total Yards of Neutral: 7.875

Southern California Quilter’s Run Part 1

On Friday I woke up super early to drive to my mom’s place and then quickly drive to Cheryl’s. We made it to Palm Desert at roughly 10:30 AM where the temperature was already 103 degrees. Normally, we begin in Norco but Thursday night we had decided it would be best to go out to the desert first and then work our way back to the cooler area. By the time we were finished it was 103 degrees at home!

Our first stop was Monica’s where I bought two neutral fat quarters. One of them reminded me of a cartoon version of a Tutor style village with boats and everything. I really enjoyed it. The second fabric was of Earth. After Monica’s, we headed to The Quilter’s Faire, where I bought three fat quarters featuring Star Trek, Dr. Seuss, and alcohol drinks. The shop had coffee fabric but the colors didn’t match the neutrals I was looking for. But the alcohol drinks fabric semi-matched so I bought that one instead.


This year’s theme was camping. The featured photo illustrates the 17 different patterns that are being given out at the different shops. I had so much fun because each shop had a game. At Quilter’s Faire, I had to use a fishing pole and “fish” for fabric fish. Each one had a number that corresponding with a number. I won a charm pack that features cowboy hats, spurs, etc. I like it.

I had a really negative experience at one of the shops, so I refused to buy anything there. Nothing was directed at me personally, but the shop’s manager was talking crap about her customers to other customers. Very rude. At least our next stop was fun.


We went to the Painted Lady, in Redlands. They were not participating on the run but Cheryl likes the shop and it was on the way to Quilter’s Cocoon. At the Painted Lady, I bought one fat quarter but you received a fat quarter with any purchase. I got two fat quarters for a total $2.95! My original pick was the one with the small design. Both are civil war prints so they are off-white. But they blend with my other neutral fabrics. I can’t wait for Black Friday because that is when the next Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt begins!

We made it to the Quilter’s Cocoon around 3:30PM. By the way, we hadn’t ate at this point. I was starving but we still had another quilt shop to go! Quilter’s Cocoon sells fabric and essential oils. I was looking to buying some for my birthday. I think I might like them. I tried out two types of oils and I felt calm and less hungry afterwards. but let’s talk about fabric! I bought fat quarters of an aboriginal design, quilt terms, owls, and bicycles. I think they will work well with the neutral theme.


Can’t wait to see what happens on day two!

Yards of Neutral Bought: 2.75

Total Yards of Neutral: 3.625


Shopping and Designing

I’m so excited about the Southern California Quilter’s Run. In just a few more days I will be out on the road looking at what’s new for the second half of the year! This year, my mom and I invited a guild member, Cheryl, to join us. She just moved from the East Coast and hasn’t had a chance to see the kind of shops we have in SoCal.

We will be starting off on Friday by visiting all the stores in Riverside County: Monica’s Quilt and Bead, The Quilter’s Faire, maybe Busy Bee (it’s not participating but it’s nice to see right?), Quilter’s Cocoon, and Sewn Together. Then, on Saturday, we are off again but this time we are going to San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County: Tops and Bobbins, Bolts in a Bathtub, Cotton & Chocolate Quilt Co., Quilt Emporium, and The Sew n’ Sew.

To get ready for the run, I have nine kits that need to be finished. I like to organize my fabric by kit. I buy lots of those gallon size or two gallon size freezer bags and put my fabric, my pattern, and what I need in each bag. After that is finished, I keep those soon to be kits in a plastic tote box. Once I’ve completed a fabric kit, the bag is ready for the cutting plastic tote box. Finally, once the fabric is cut, it goes to my ready to sew plastic tote box. How do you organizer your fabric stash?

This is my current list of wanna-bee kits:

  1. Green Sand Beach Crazy 9 Patch
  2. Green Sand Beach Crazy 9 Patch
  3. BQ2 Folklorico
  4. BQ2 Harry Potter
  5. Carpenter’s Star French
  6. Walkabout Day of the Dead Folklorico
  7. Carpenter’s Star Christmas
  8. Carpenter’s Star Christmas II
  9. X-Files

My goal is to find fabric for these kits and not start any new fabric kits. However, I have been buying 1/8 neutral fabrics for the next Bonnie Hunter mystery. A few days ago, I happened to go to M&L Fabrics in Anaheim where I bought a few more 1/8s.

My neutral color scheme this year will be white with black! This M&L trip, I bought fabric that featured musical notes, angry birds, those dressmaker stands, and skull pirates. So now I almost have a full yard! I plan on buying white and black neutral fabric from each store during the quilt run.

In other quilting news, I have finished piecing my Ethnic Quilt. It is now “hopefully” with Gerry. She was on vacation but can’t remember when she was coming back. I believe can finish the quilt by the 27 of this month.

I’ve also started a new project. Bonnie K Hunter at Quiltville has revealed the latest Leader and Ender challenge. I like the idea of using scraps for this rail fence project so I went looking through my strips bag to see if I had anything at a 2″ width. I know that Bonnie suggests 1.5″ but I can’t work that small yet. 2″ is perfect for me. I found a neutral that I didn’t like and thought YES this is it! I can cut it up into little pieces and it won’t be all that bad.


These are the first pieces of scrap that I found. My rail fence is going to be really colorful. If you notice, I have scraps from the dinosaur quilt, the Day of the Dead quilt, my En Provence Mystery, my iron caddy bag, and another quilt. Since I don’t have enough neutrals and blacks for Bonnie’s challenge, I had to come up with my own. I used my The Quilter’s Planner to design and get measurements of how I want it to look like.


This is my version of the rail fence quilt. My favorite size quilt is 60″x72″. I figured out that I needed 120 2″x5.5″ and I had enough of that ugly fabric. By the way I got that on the recycle table at the guild. I now need enough of the colorful fabric for the checked stuff. This project won’t be due until July 4, 2018. So I have time. Please stay tune as I work along this year with the project!

Ethnic Quilt Challenge

I haven’t been working on my quilting these past few days. I just took a job at a very magical place so I was working on getting that squared away. I finally have a schedule so that will help me figure out time for quilting. In addition, I have my first test of three coming up for the California Subject Examination for Teachers. I think I have read over 900 pages pertaining to world history and I have approximately 600 more pages to go.

I miss sitting down, quilting while binge watching TV. I have given myself permission to sew twice a month during Open Sew and then in between my study time. Because of this, I do have a few items to share. For example I finished my Canyon Sunset Block #7 Pillow cover. I don’t remember if I mentioned but it will now become Porkchop’s bed for his playpen.


I’ve also been working on my Ethnic Challenge Quilt. On Saturday, I managed to work on piecing half of it when I noticed that I messed up half the quilt. I had to use the seam ripper so I didn’t get very far. I also began to cut my papel picado. I’ve been figuring out the placing of the skulls and papel. I’m still not sure about my layout but I will have something soon! Guess what happened when I was piecing the border? I ran out of fabric! I know have to hurry up and drive to M&L so I can look for some. Hopefully they still have some or I’ll be screwed. By the way, if you are interested in the quilt pattern, it is called Snow Sparkle by Laundry Basket Quilt.

I don’t remember if I have but I’d like to properly introduce my dog, Porkchop. He is an almost-12 year old chihuahua mutt. He loves the kid’s chicken meal from Waba Grill and long afternoon walks. He is constantly in my way when I’m eating, sleeping, studying but especially when I’m working on my quilts. He just loves to lay on top of them and I don’t have the heart to move him.

On July 4th, I had him all tied up with a piece of fabric from my fabric stash. I did this in order to keep him from freaking out because of the fireworks. I guess it worked because he slept through the fireworks and the movie, Mamma Mia.

Can’t wait to show off what I do to get ready for Southern California Quilter’s Run 2017!

Return to En Provence

Last Tuesday, I received my mystery quilt from Gerry, my long arm quilting friend.  It’s been months since I last saw it and I didn’t realize that it was so big and heavy! This has been by far the biggest quilt I have ever made. I really like it. I’m sad and happy that I am giving it away. I can’t wait to make myself a similar quilt. Someday, right. I will be self-binding the quilt and adding a label within the next two weeks.


The other day I went to JoAnn’s and bought this 18 inch block from the clearance section for $1.97. It’s Block #7 from the block of the month theme, Canyon Sunrise. I wasn’t able to find all the blocks so I assume they are long gone BUT I really liked pattern #7, so I bought it. Initially, I didn’t know what I was going to do with the block but after much inner debate, I have decided to make it into a pillow-bed for my dog. I will be quilting the top of the pillow envelope sleeve. I will be quilting the top using fusible fleece on the immediate back and then making the envelope sleeve pillow cover. I love this technique and it’s super easy.


I’ve also been working on my Day of the Dead Ethnic Quilt Challenge. I’m still trying to come up with the papel picado design. I began by copying Crafty Abby’s Skull Snowflake. I didn’t want to start cutting into my fabric so I decided to play with the template on the website. It was so hard to cut through on paper. I can’t imagine what it will be like on fabric! I have to have find my X-acto knife and lay out the snowflake pattern. I’ll get through it and can’t wait to show off my work.


There was a monthly guild meeting on Thursday and my mom had a chance to show off her quilt top. The pattern was created by Lana (sorry I don’t know her last name) for the guild. I believe a total of 16 members made it. I have the pattern and the fabric but haven’t made mine yet. This was my mom’s first patriotic quilt and all of the fabrics were from the free table. Isn’t that crazy?

That’s it for this week! I hope that by next Friday I can start my Fabric Fridays.