Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quilt Heaven!

I was in Sisters, Oregon for the 2012 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this past weekend. My daughter, Melissa and I drove down to Sisters from Issaquah with 7 month old Anelie...a long 8 hour trip with a baby! My parents live in Sisters, so it was fun to go see the show with them and with my BFF from high school days who flew up from L.A. to join us. It was wonderful to see her again and to share such a delightful weekend together!

If you don't know about the Sisters Quilt Show, it's an annual event that takes place on the second Saturday in July. People come in droves by the bus, plane and carload from all over the country to see approximately 1,000 quilts which hang from every building in town! They close the main street for the day so that you don't have to worry about getting run over by a car as you gawk at all of the amazing quilts.

Here are quilts hanging on the side of the famous (to quilters) Stitchin' Post fabric store...

...and here is a close-up look at a quilted "Starry Night". It's hard to see, but the quilter used metallic thread throughout the quilt that made it sparkle and glitter in the sunshine. Beautiful!

Quilts lined every street of every building in town and it was just about impossible to see every single one.

Here are just a few of my favorites, like this quilt of the town of Sisters...

...and quilts that incorporated traditional quilt blocks,

and clever quilts like this "dress" quilt,

and my personal favorite, "Grandma's Kitchen" quilt...

...with charming vintage fabrics, 

and loads of charming detail!

Some quilts looked just like paintings that glow, 

and mesmerize with beautiful color, texture, 

and incredible detail. 

Watching people watching quilts was part of the fun too!

I couldn't resist taking a peek into this wonderful western wear shop and especially loved all of these cowboy boots lined up. I want a pair!

In the afternoon, the sunny skies clouded over and thunder crackled above us. The rain poured down, but all 1,000 or so quilts were safely inside in less than 30 minutes. Hats off to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt show of 2012!! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An Enchanting, Enchanted Garden

Last week I was vacationing at California's Central Coast and one of the things I enjoyed most was discovering the town of Cambria. It's located just a few miles south of Hearst Castle, so Keith and I spent some time exploring the town before we headed over to the Tea Cozy tearoom for lunch.

We discovered this wonderful store called Heart's Ease, and it drew me in like a magnet the moment I saw it! Charm was pouring out of the windows and doors and overflowing into the garden in back. I had to go in and see it!

Getting into to the garden was the tricky part. I first had to navigate my way through shelves lined with jars of loose tea and the amazingly fragrant potpourri sitting in crocks on this table, inviting you to take a scoopful or two home. 

So much to look at, so much to want to buy! It's a good thing that I had given Keith my credit card for safekeeping, and he was wisely nowhere in sight. Finding the garden was helping me to focus on adventure instead of shopping, so I wandered through each little room until I found the back door that led outside... this table full of owls and mushrooms which was the first thing that caught my attention. It really didn't help that two of my daughter's favorite things are owls and cute mushrooms! I still had to resist the temptation to buy (which is exactly what the store wanted me to do!) so that I'd have more time to explore the garden before it was time to leave for our lunch reservation.

Now into Alice's Tea Garden we go! 

Through the arbor (on the left), and then who should be hiding behind the shrubbery than Alice herself! See the blue bit on the far right? That's part of her dress. Someone made an enormous Alice (obviously AFTER she had eaten something that made her grow huge) that was towering above the pathway. She looked kinda scary to me so I didn't take her picture.

Everything was miniature-sized since this garden was created for children to wander and explore. I felt like the big-sized Alice galumping along, trying to fit inside this little tea arbor! 

There was so much attention given to delightful details around every little nook, like the teacups attached to the gate posts. There was a sign pointing in various directions to Never Never Land, Narnia, the Tulgey Wood and other enchanted lands. And if you believe in fairies, this is where you'll find them!

Well, the too-big Alice in this story had an absolutely wonderful time exploring this enchanting garden and wanted to stay longer. But like Alice in Wonderland, tea awaited her so off she went hoping to come back someday to linger a while longer.