12/13/17

A Day in Decatur

It was a short day, but a fun day as we made our way to Decatur, Georgia, just about 20 minutes down the road. A few days ago I received my regular email from Food & Wine where they published a list of their picks for the Best Burgers in the U.S. Well. Who doesn't love a good burger, right? So I perused the list and discovered several we'd already passed by. I was happy to see they'd included In 'n Out Burgers in California, because honestly, for a fast food burger, they definitely win the prize. We don't have In 'n Out in Oregon...yet...although one opened a few years ago in Medford. It's too far for us to drive simply for a burger, but I'm not bitter. Oh no. So anyway...back to burgers we can drive to.

There were a few on the list for states we have not yet visited, and there was one in Decatur. Consulting my friend Google and its maps, I discovered Decatur was just down the road. And hot damn! There was a quilt shop there too. Decatur, you maybe my favorite place this trip so far...except for all the others. So anyway...first, the quilt shop. This was the object of my desire:


It was easy to find, and it had a nice big parking lot, which was good because it was a busy place. Here's how it looks from the outside.


Stepping through the front door, you see this. The woman there on the left couldn't have been friendlier or more welcoming. Sometimes when I ask to take pictures of a store, people get very suspicious. They want to know all about how I'm going to use them, why I want pictures, etc. And sometimes they give permission grudgingly, or they set limits on what I can photograph. This woman seemed eager to have me take pictures. "Of course! Tag us! Show us!" And, obviously, that is the right attitude. It makes my visit so much more enjoyable when I can take pictures with wild abandon..."wild" being the operative word.


To my right and just under the front window were Christmas fabrics. There were more on the opposite wall. I don't usually purchase Christmas fabrics, but I do love looking at them.


To the right of those and hanging up high were their Row by Row patterns. I always miss the Row by Row since they've usually finished before we start our trips. These were cute. I like how they used prairie points for the trees in this one.


Here's the other one. It took me a second to see what this is. Do you see it? (Starting the final Jeopardy clock now.)


It's the back end of a car. See the wheels and the tail lights? And the bumper sticker? It says "Got Fabric?" Cute.

And this is also a yarn shop, which isn't in my list of, um, talents (cough). And this brings me to a funny story that happened along the road....and honestly, I really hope I'm not offending anyone by telling it. I've already commented on how charming the accents are here. And of course, if y'all live here, you probably don't even notice that you have an accent. And maybe I'm the one with the accent. Who knows?

Anyway...we were in a Waffle House. We'd never eaten there before, and they are ubiquitous in this part of the country. For every McDonalds we've seen, there might be two Waffle House restaurants. And we enjoyed it! But the woman there was training someone, and she was the epitome of southern charm. We were listening to her explaining addition with decimals, and somehow she'd worked out a way to do it that she could understand. She was sharing it with her trainee and in the process admitted that she didn't have math "skeels." You probably had to be there for it to be funny, but ever since, Mike and I have been evaluating our "skeels" for this or that thing. So, all of that to say that I don't have knitting skeels.


Okay, so back to the quilt shop. The ones in the image below were 50% off. I saw some of them in other parts of the store, and so these must have been end-of-bolt cuts. I wish I'd seen something I wanted, but I didn't.


The shop was sort of "O" shaped. When I walked past the yarn, I walked to a large back room. I believe there was also a classroom in the downstairs part of the store since folks were running down there the whole time I was in the shop. But in this room there was lots and lots of fabric.


And they had the cutest patterns in this shop and some really pretty quilts hanging on the walls. I've seen this one before, but I liked it done with these bright Kaffe Fassett fabrics.


Here's the pattern. I'll admit I've been tempted to buy it more than once in my quilt shop wanderings.


Here's one I hadn't seen before. It's a take-off on a Mariner's Compass or a Texas Star or something...the name of the design escapes me, and so I'm sure someone will chime in with the correct name. Anyway...they'd done it using strips and scraps. Very interesting.


This was the pattern, which was really explaining a technique more than it was a pattern.


These beautiful batiks stretched along one wall and then down another as it turned the corner. Very pretty.


These were all wools.


They still had their Halloween fabrics out. I'm always interested in those since I'm working on the Hocuspocusville quilt, but also, I have Calendula Patterdrip's Cottage on my to-do list. Undoubtedly I'll be wanting Halloween fabrics when I get to her.


There were some pretty ones in the middle. These are some aboriginal prints, which aren't always easy to find. When I took the pictures off the camera, I was reminded that there was a boomerang fabric here I wanted, and I forgot to go back for it. You can see it there...second shelf near the divider, third one to the right. Oh well. Now I'll regret it for the rest of my life.


On the far corner there were Kaffe Fassett fabrics rounding the corner...


and extending far down the next wall.


Beautiful stuff. Behind me were these stupendous stripes. Man, I could have bought an entire bolt of every one of these.


On the fourth wall were solids and tone-on-tones.


A little farther down, some calicos.


And that brought me full circle to the front of the store where they had a great supply of notions.


Also, my favorite Creative Grids rulers. I always look for any sizes I might not have, but definitely need. Maybe I've found all the rulers I want at this point in my life. There were some new ones here, but nothing I couldn't live without.


Walking on, there were some pretty polka dots.


To their right...come cats.


Here's another quilt from a pattern I've seen before.


The name, "Outhouse," made me think of my brother and his never-written novel, "Fifty Yards to the Outhouse," which made me all nostalgic, and I almost bought it. No. I put it down again.


And here's what I've realized about me and patterns. I often see patterns that I'm tempted to buy. Then I put them down and tell myself I'll come back for it later. Only...I never go back. So I was waiting for the woman at the beginning to cut a yard of this next one for me. Cute, huh? Looks like confetti. I can imagine all sorts of uses for it.


Also, I was holding onto a fat quarter of this one. This is my regional print. It seemed right since we came here to see the aquarium.


And while I was waiting for her to cut my fabric, I picked up this pattern...only, I wasn't going to come back for it, and so I never put it down. I just bought it. It's a 13-inch block, and I was thinking it would be cute to make a whole large quilt of these using scraps in my stash. If I'd seen it earlier, I probably would have put it back not to come back to it. But since I was at the end of my shopping trip, into the bag it went. Sorry, I'm not sorry.


And there you go. That was my quilt shop shopping trip in Decatur.

I don't know about you, but shopping makes me hungry for one of the best burgers in the U.S., and I just happened to know where I could find one. It was just a few minutes away in a rather trendy part of town.


We ordered at the counter and then had a seat and our food was brought out to us. We were having a little trouble deciphering the blackboard at the front.


Thankfully, they had a printed menu. Food & Wine told us this was the burger we wanted.


And they had other choices as well.


We were there to sample the one Food & Wine told us about and so we stuck to our guns. Mike had his with bacon. I added some sauteed mushrooms to mine. There were other choices too. Here are the list of additions you could make to any burger.


After we placed our order, we sat at a small table where it was delightfully casual...a roll of paper towels on the table for napkins, and silverware there in a quart-size mason jar.


Also, I noticed this sign on the wall:


Good to know. The burgers were everything we hoped they'd be. My picture doesn't do it justice, and honestly, I was in such a hurry to eat it I didn't give it much time to pose.


Also, we split a basket of onion rings and sweet potato fries. They included some smoked paprika mayonnaise for dipping.


And then, we rolled on home...rolling, because we were in the truck, but if we'd tried to walk, we would have probably rolled that way too.

When we got home, I noticed the flowering plum across from the RV is blooming. Weird. We have these at home and they are one of the first trees to bloom in spring. Who'd think they'd be blooming in December in Georgia.


So this is our last day in Stone Mountain. We're biting our nails waiting for Mike's car part to arrive via UPS. It was marked "out for delivery" yesterday, but then rescheduled for delivery today. We checked again this morning and it is again, "out for delivery." Fingers crossed because I'm not sure what to do if it doesn't arrive today. Anyway...sight-seeing today will take us to the actual Stone Mountain. I can't say more about it because I just realized I left all the information in the truck...and I'm still in my pajamas...and it's, like, freezing outside. You'll just have to wait until tomorrow, and I'll tell you all about it then. But here's something: a gondola ride could be involved.

12/12/17

Quilt Shop: People, Places & Quilts; Summerville, SC


Okay, so this is the last post I have to write to catch up on the days I missed. It seems as good a time as any to also tell you about our sewing/chill day. I'll tell you about the quilt shop in just a minute.

It was a chill day for Mike, and he caught up on some TV watching. I was doing mostly sewing (rather than cutting), and so I tried a different set up with the sewing machine. When I set up on the other side, I'm kind of in the way of the TV.


With my sewing buddies at the ready, I felt invincible!


You can see why, right?


Also, I had a great view of our neighbor. When we took off for Charleston, these two were sitting next to a burning campfire in the pouring rain, and they were under umbrellas. Not my kind of campfire sitting, but some people are hard core. On this morning, I could see her peering in through our RV window as if asking herself, "Does she have a sewing machine set up in there?" There's more than one way to be hard core.


As for the sewing, I was ready to start sewing together the center panel for the Hocuspocusville quilt. Recall that the finished quilt looks like this:


The nine patch square-in-a-square blocks and the setting triangles were cut. I just needed to start lining them up and sewing them together. One down, many to go.


Eventually, I reached the halfway point.


When I got there, I paused briefly to drink the Spanish Coffee Mike made for me. With rain falling outside, it was that kind of day.


And soon after that, I had it all finished.


And that was enough sewing for one day, but this one is on the home stretch now. Next time I get out the sewing machine, I'll start sewing together the embroidered blocks. They form a border around the center. Each seam will have a fancy machine stitch sewn over it, and then I'll be ready to sew on the final border and the quilt top will be finished. This quilt was started in July of 2015, which isn't such a long time, but it'll probably be at least July of 2018 before it's finished.

Okay...so now...the quilt shop you've been waiting for. My friend Anne told me about this place, and it was definitely worth a stop in. Here's how it looks from the outside.


Stepping inside, it was like its own little mini mall with rooms of fabric going off on both sides of the hallway and more at the end and up the stairs.


It was my favorite kind of shop with lots of color, cute displays, and lots of cute patterns. (As I'm writing this, I'm thinking that the quilt shop I visited in Decatur today was also one of my favorite kinds of shops. I'm hitting the quilt shop jackpot right now.)

So look at those little angels. Aren't they cute?


I was so enamored with them that I bought a kit to make three of my own and a spare bag of clothespins. I figure I'll have it down once I've made the three from the kit and I can use my own scraps at home to make more.


They had such cute quilts and patterns hanging all around. I love this one.


This one was cute too. I was thinking that if one made it up in Christmas fabrics, it would be a good way to display Christmas cards.


The pattern is in the bottom pocket. It's called Party Bags by Tracey Brookshier, and you can find it in her Etsy shop right here. There were lots of bright colors and children's fabrics in this room. The ones below were all flannels.


If I had a youngster to sew for, I would have had me some of this koala bear flannel.


And I loved this quilt.


The crabs, fish, and turtles' bodies are all made up from large yo-yos. Very clever.


Here's the pattern for that one. I cut off the name of the designer, Marcia Layton. You can find her pattern right here.


These wall-hangings for different campers were cute.


And I fell in love with this quilt too. It's embroidery and applique, and it was designed by the store owner.


I liked it enough that I picked up the pattern for that too. (Can you tell I'm spending a bunch of money in here?)


There was another hanging on the wall to the right, and I liked it too, but less well. Still, I took a picture because I liked the way the blocks were set. I'm filing it away in my unreliable memory bank for future reference.


There were yummy stripes and polka dots.


I loved the bolt of fabric toward the back of the next image.


I was on the hunt for palmetto fabric or else some cardinal fabric, and so when I saw this little wall-hanging, I almost picked it up too.


I decided against it. It's really more for y'all South Carolinians.


This was a Janome-loving shop. I know some of you have Janomes that you love. The one I had caused me nothing but grief...it was a basic model, and I ended up donating it to the Coffee Creek Quilters a while back. You can read my sad story of the Janome machine right here, if you're interested. Be sure to have some kleenex nearby. Now I have my Pfelicity for when we travel. Nevertheless, I'm sure Janome makes some good machines and this shop clearly loved them. They had a whole section of the store devoted to them.


I zoomed in on that poster where the Janome History is so you could read it a little easier.


They had all sorts of Janome feet and other attachments.


Also, a cute display that included Janome machines.


This was their sewing-themed part of the store, and they had some cute sewing-themed fabrics,


and quilt patterns. This one tempted me mightily, but I have some similar patterns at home.


If you're interested, this is the pattern.


The image below was a quilted tote, but I loved that fabric.


There was a nice classroom. It would have been a comfortable place to take a class. Look at the fabric seat covers on those chairs.


By this time, I'd made my way to the stairs.


And there was more cute stuff up there. Here's a doll bed. Sigh. I think there's one in my future when we get back home again.


Here they had some of the civil war style prints.


The ones below were wool.


All the quilt shops have their Christmas fabrics out now, and I fell in love with this little wall-hanging.


This one also used a lot of yo-yos. It's from the same designer as the Ocean Frolic quilt pattern, and you can see it below.


Of course, they had a good supply of books, lots of cute patterns, notions, rulers, thread...definitely a full-service quilt shop. And I loved the displays. In the image below, you can see the little mini quilts hanging from a clothesline. These were hanging all around the shop.


Turning around I found the largest of the fabric rooms.


Folks in the store were friendly and welcoming. There were so many fabrics I liked, I could have gone completely nuts.


When I saw the cat fabrics, the one on the right side was irresistible.


There was absolutely no reason for me to buy two yards, but I did anyway. Life is short.


Also, I found the palmetto fabric I was looking for. I got a fat quarter of that for my Quilty 365.


And since I was photographing birds during this part of the trip, I liked this one too. I got a fat quarter of that.


And now I've caught you up on the posts I couldn't write while we were out of range. Today's journey took us to a quilt shop in Decatur, and I'll tell you about that tomorrow. Also, we found one of the country's best burgers for our lunch, so there's lots more to tell you. The last load of clothes is in the dryer right now, and so I'm nearly caught up on all fronts! There are no flies on me...and no ladybugs either, although we are *still* finding them in the RV, brought all the way from Canada, we think.