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.