Sep 14, 2016

Field Trip!

For several months now my quilt group and I have been considering going on a field trip over to the Birmingham area fabric shops.  Brenda knew of two located in Gardendale (AL)--Material Girls and Our Sewing Nook .  Since it was our regular meeting day, we just said "be at the regular meeting spot at 9 a.m. if you want to go. We'll work out how many cars to take then."   Four of us were willing to drive, if need be, even though none of us were crazy about driving on I-20 in and around Birmingham.  LOL, Brenda and Bev were the drivers, as it turned out.

Aline met up with me at my house at an appointed time.  We were about 2 miles down the road when my phone went off and kept going off.  I knew it had to be one of the girls but I really could not pull over at that point.  Aline couldn't reach my purse in the back seat or work my phone once she found it.  I knew we would be at the church in another 5 minutes and I would take care of it then.  Turned out Brenda had a flat that was caused by a screw buried in her tire.  She was right next to an automotive place when this happened.  She was coming but would be a few minutes late.

The first stop was Material Girls. About a week ago Brenda had alerted me that in all her excitement about going on the field trip, she forgotten that the shop was normally not open on Tuesdays.  A phone call to the shop owner was made and she agreed to come in for us to shop.  Turns out she watches her granddaughter on that day and they were both there to greet us.  When we were going further and further out to more of a residential area on Route 31, Bev said "where is this place?"  Turns out in a house next to Great American Tent Rental Company!  The prices were good per yard.  One of the girls found some Gingher scissors and Wonder Clips for a reasonable price too.  The owner was friendly and definitely accommodating!

My main objective was to see if I could find a green similar to the one in these blocks.  One of the guild members in response to a call out for comfort quilts for children had pulled these out.  This much of was made by one of the past guild members who has since passed away.  Others have been completing some of Miss Esther's projects over time.  The only fabric with the blocks is the pink gingham print.  There are three of the smaller framed Bear Paw blocks and one row is complete.  I am not sure where she was headed with the Art Square block (I think that is what is called anyway) that is on top.  So.......... 

First I found a few fat quarters of the print but not knowing how many more blocks or how to use the ones already made it was good that I found it on the bolt and was able to get a bit more in more linear yardage.  It is an Oriental flavored print but should be okay. The gingham has yellow and blues in the little figures on it.  The pink-y red is close but I don't see me making any more of those framed Bear Paws!  Big ones, yes.  Both should work to complete this for a donation quilt.

Then we were off to Our Sewing Nook which turns out is fairly close to I-65 North in a strip mall.  This was a Brother machine dealer who also had fabrics, threads, etc.  As a matter of fact, they were loading up a woman's vehicle with a high end embroidery machine as we pulled up.  I know Margarita found some "Frozen" fabrics along with a panel piece to make a quilt for her three year old granddaughter in the 40% off room.  Aline had some lovely fabrics that could be used for a Christmas quilt but did not "scream Christmas", if you know what I mean?  I found this--4 yards of fabric for 20 bucks in the discount room.  Moda "Folklore" by Lily Asbury.  I believe that this will go with some Sandy Gervais stuff I already have at home though have not pulled out the bin yet to verify.  The colors are similar with the yellow gold, orange, lime greens, aquas that I so love.    I am considering doing another Chevron quilt for my great niece Emily.  Should really finish Lily's first seeing as she is two now and the top has been done for some time!!  The leftovers from that quilt should go with this as well. 

Next stop:  Lunch
Brenda mentioned a couple of choices near our next stop.  The Smokehouse Steaks and Seafood Restaurant seemed like the best choice for 6 different folks to make a choice as it was served up cafeteria style in a "meat and 1, 2 or 3" sides options.  Salad or dessert could be one of the sides even.  Bear in mind that I had no real idea of just where I was all day but this spot is on Finley Avenue in Birmingham near the Farmer's Market. I know this only from googling it now, LOL.   Jackie who had recently re-located to the Birmingham area met up with us at the first quilt shop and had lunch with us.  She used to eat there often and vouch for the food.   I think we all enjoyed our meal.

Brenda had one more stop for us at Cottage Needleworks.  The business is now located in the woman's home when her lease ran out at her bricks and mortar location.  (She was a vendor at the recent Heart of Dixie Quilt Show Jane, Hugh, Aline and I had gone to in late July). I think we were in the Inverness area of Birmingham at this point??  not far from I-459 anyway on the return trip.  Bev and I had to laugh as we were driving and trying to keep up with Brenda's vehicle on that so busy 280.  Her Garmin which did not have the third address plugged in kept trying to direct us somewhere. We guessed back to I-20 but who knows?  She goes "make a u-turn" --we were stopped at a light with vehicles all around us--like "just how do you expect us to do that from the center lane?"  After about the 4th or 5th suggestion to u-turn, I said "we will u-turn when Brenda does and only then."  Wouldn't you know that Brenda overshot the house and did have to turn around in someone's driveway?

The fabrics were 7 dollars a yard and 5/yd if you took what was left on the bolt.  The fat quarter bundles were discounted from the lowest marked price as well.  The ones spread out on the left were in the bundle and I found the other two of the same line in the fat quarter mix.  This is called "Church Ladies Aprons" by Mary Mulari for Penny Rose Fabrics.  All my favorite colors are in here!  I also found this cut little pattern post card and some gray Aurifil thread.

And look!  It even kinda goes with the other stuff I bought earlier depending on what I do with it.   I have been looking at the Sweet Life quilt in Camille Roskelley's Simply Retro for some time now which calls for 16 fat quarters. Maybe that one with the fabrics already on hand, I'm thinking.

I should really head into the sewing room and get back to my challenge quilt especially since I goofed off all day yesterday!  So far all I've done is messed around in the kitchen for a bit---I tried something called  No Bake Avalanche Cookies.  Kinda reminds me more of a Pay Day candy bar, especially since I threw in some dry roasted nuts I had leftover from making Pad Thai recently.  I am looking for something to take to the sewing retreat next month and wanted to see if this will work.  Once they set up, they are headed to the freezer as I don't think I need the temptation around here---peanut butter fudge-like stuff! I also added some more Rice Krispies to it than called for at the end as some of the peanut butter/vanilla coating was more runny in the bowl.  Oh, I'm loving the idea of using scoops for this and the muffins I made recently.  So much easier!

Okay, way past lunch time here and time to get this show on the road since the day is half over already.  Guess you'll never know what I'll be up to when you stop in, LOL.


  1. It sounds like a great outing! Great fabric choices!

  2. It looks like you had a very successful field trip.
    Those cookies look a little too good. I guess they would wreck my A1C. Ha ha.

  3. Love the photo of your father from the previous post! What a reminder to all of us that we need to keep active as we advance in years.

    Isn't it great to explore new fabric/quilting stores? Sounds like you had a good time. :-)

  4. I like that you are using your treadle for the background in all the pictures of your beautiful fabric! Looks like you had a great time!


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