Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shopping Trip to Vermont

It was 6:00 a.m. and we were having our morning cup of coffee while watching the local news. The forecast for the day called for mild temperatures but with rain in the morning changing to periods of sun in the afternoon. It sounded like a typical dull day to stay indoors and stitch. The next thing I hear is my husband suggesting that we take a leisurely drive to the Green Mountain state of Vermont to do a little shopping and "maybe" visit a quilt shop or two.

In a heartbeat I was in and out of the shower, dressed and raring to go. We loaded Mac and Lola...our Westie and Golden Retriever...into the van and we were off. Two and a half hours later...including two doggie walk and pit stops...I was standing inside Yankee Pride in Essex Junction, VT one of my favorite quilt shops. There I purchased several yards of Civil War reproduction fabrics, my favorite.


I noticed that they carried Mettler thread but I didn't see any of the embroidery thread that I've been "collecting" for my applique work. When I asked one of the shop clerks if they carried it, she told me that they didn't but a shop about 3 miles from them had a vast array of different threads and that I might find some there. She gave me a map of the area and even marked the directions to the shop on the map. After paying for my purchases and thanking her, we headed out.

Strawberry & Rhubarb is located in Williston, VT and is waaaaay different from Yankee Pride. I guess being in such close proximity, each shop would need to have it's own unique identity in order to survive. Yankee Pride tends to offer the more traditional fabrics whereas Strawberry & Rhubarb offers very contemporary fabrics.

Sam, my husband, told me to take my time because he was going to take the dogs for a walk in a nearby park. Yes!!! (Insert arm pumping motion here).

When I first walked into the shop, I was blown away by color. Color radiated from everywhere, from the walls to the finished samples to the numerous displays of thread and of course, the fabric! Being a Civil War type of gal, there was a lot of color going on in there. As I was walking around, Gail the owner of the shop came over and we started talking. She explained to me that her shop tended to stay away from the "traditional" and leaned toward the Amy Butler sort of fabrics. I didn't know what this meant before but I certainly do now. Bold, beautiful and very untraditional!

Gail further explained that they were clearing out the more traditional fabric which could be found in the classroom area and was discounted at 50% off. Naturally, I had to see if there was any calling my name. Loud and clear I heard it, so I just had to buy 5 yards of this sampler-type fabric from Moda's At Water's Edge collection by Blackbird Designs. I am going to use this as the background for a quilt called No Place Like Home from the Home Sweet Home book by Barb Adams and Alma Allen. Sold at $25!



Along with Civil War fabrics, I also love the "retro" look. I have two retro table cloths that I bought at an auction a while back but decided to start a fabric stash as well. Gail told me that this fat quarter bundle was from the Moda collection, Sweet. Kewl, huh?



I managed to add to my Mettler embroidery and Valdani perle cotton thread collections and found some long doll making needles which will be great for making pincushions. I also had to buy some citrus scented Best Press spray.



And last, but certainly not least...see the sac below?



Guess what else Strawberry & Rhubarb sells? Yep! You guessed it... Bernina sewing machines!

To make a long story short and without boring you with all the details, I'm going to be a proud owner of a new Bernina Aurora 440QE sewing machine in a couple of weeks!!! Why in a couple of weeks and not right now? Because there were only the two shop demo models in stock so they have to order a brand new one for me and the soonest we can return to pick it up is in two weeks. We also have to coordinate the pick up of the machine with a two hour training session which I'm definitely going to need. For sentimental reasons, I think I'm going to keep my Bernina 1080QE, simply because it was the last machine with a steel casing that Bernina manufactured.

After my shopping spree, we went and had a nice lunch. Sam went to a couple of man-type shops after which we started to make our way home. By this time the sun was out, the temperature was in the high 50's and everything was right in our little world.

Happy stitching!

26 comments:

Sara said...

Hey, lots of great finds on your shopping trip! Some beautiful fabric! Now what are you going to make?

Dolores said...

I'd love to see the finished creations you make with these. I noticed the doll needles. Does this mean that there will be dolls in your future endeavours?

Sew Many Ways... said...

Oh, just look at all those wonderful goodies. The fabrics are great. Where in Vermont do you go? I've always wanted to go to the Vermont quilt show in the summer...never quite make there. This might be an odd question, but the wood in the background of your pictures, is that wide plank floor or is that a table?...either way I'm jealous. It's beautiful!!
~Karen~

Sew Many Ways... said...

this is too funny...all three of us just posted at 9:31!!

Sherri said...

Fun shopping trip, I'd say...judging from your goodies!

Stephanie said...

Sam may not so readily suggest a trip to VT with stops at quilt shops next time if it cost him a Bernina! :o) He sounds like a keeper though.

Kimberly said...

Oh you poor thing! I'm not sure that my husband has ever instigated a fabric shopping trip!!

LOOVE your choices (I have some of the Swell fabrics as well) and can't wait to see what your new machine can do!

Annette said...

Sounds like a great day all around. Love your choices. I use Mettler for applique too. I love it. Congratulations on your new machine. That is so exciting!

Leigh said...

I'm very glad to hear that there's a bernina seller in Vermont. I'm attending Vermont Law School in the fall, and as a California girl, I have a feeling I'll be hiding inside quilting up a storm. It'll be good to know where the quilt shops are and where I can get my machine serviced!

~Leigh

Sew Many Ways... said...

Hi Kaaren,
Me again. When I saw your post this morning there were no words just pictures. I popped back again to look at the Swell fabric and there was all the text. My first comment must look silly now, because I asked you where you shopped in Vermont (when you had already spoke about Essex Junction). Oh well, glad I came back!
~Karen~

Sara said...

Still lots of great finds! I love the fabrics, and glad you experienced the differences in the shops! I have been eyeing the 440QE, but alas, not in the budget now! Congratulations on the new machine, I am sure you will love it!

Kaaren said...

I need to explain. When composing this post this morning, I tried something new. I uploaded all the photos first and then was going to add the text between the photos.

I don't know what I did wrong but unbeknownst to me, the photos appeared on my blog before I added the text. That's what the first 4 or 5 comments above reflect, the fact that they were seeing the pictures only and no text accompanying them.

Sorry gals! Another frustrating day with the computer.

Pat said...

Hi Kaaren, I saw your pictures this morning with no words. I was afraid that you had a bad shopping day in VT. So glad that I checked back. I got my 440QE from there too. You will love it. Glad that I didn't steer you wrong! There is night and day difference between those two shops!!!

Dolores said...

How lovely and what a jewel you have for a husband - to suggest you go shopping and "maybe" a quilt shop. Lucky lady.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

What fun shopping. I love what you bought. Nice. I will check out that shop link. I have my old berninas - 2 of them and they are old style metal. I really can't stand to let them go either. They work great and are made well. The new plastic ones seem so cheap but so expensive if you know what I mean!

Candace said...

Kaaren, this is my kind of day! And to have hubby suggest you stop at quilt shops - even better! You will love your Bernina 440 - I have a later model - 630 - but it has the BSR, which I just love! I'm sure you're going to have many happy hours of sewing!
Cheers!

janet said...

I loved reading this post, it was and ideal day out by the sounds of it. Even the dogs got to join in. I love retro and repro too and you got some bargains there. I hope you enjoy your 440 as much as I do.

Carrie P. said...

Whoa, you got some great buys and how nice of your hubby to take you on a day trip and walk the dogs.

Julie said...

hi kaaren,
what a sweet husband! he obviously knows they way to your heart. gorgeous fabrics too! enjoyyour creations,
big hugs,
julie x

Sherri said...

Wow...this post is totally different with the story-line! It was fun just seeing the pictures...but congrats on the new machine...never would have known without the words!

Linda said...

Aren't you the lucky one. New fabric, thread, and a new machine. I can't imagine my husband saying lets go shoppping. That would be a dream. I'm jealous. To think that you are so close to Vermont. Linda

Stina said...

What a shopping day!!! :o)
You will soo have a lot of in the sewingroom... good luck "! :0)

Betty said...

Kaaren that's the the fabric I told your about!! 3 cheers that you found some!
Congrats on the new machine and glad your keeping the old Bernina those are priceless

ranette said...

I love my 440QE and you will too. I spent the last couple of days quilting with the BSR and am finally getting to "know" it.

Love your fabric choices...your hubby is a keeper for sure...lol

Dorothy said...

Kaaren, it sounds and looks like you had a great day! Isn't that Best Press great!

Anne said...

Congrats on your new Bernina purchase. I got a 440QE and never dreamed it could replace my love for my Pfaff...But..it did and now I'm a real Bernina gal. You're gonna love it!