I had my fingers crossed. I was hoping the stars would be on my side, again. It worked. The Calico Junction’s Beginners Quilting class is typically capped at 6 persons, but my pleading eyes or my unbashed enthusiasm may have convinced them to bend the rules, just this once. I had wandered into the store during the short week to buy some quality batting with the plan to do some small patchwork projects over the 4 day weekend (I just love it when New Year’s falls on a Thursday because everyone knows no one will be working on Friday so they just let you take the day off regardless…).
Sara had introduced me to the Joelle Holverson’s Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. The easy designs and minimal time commitment inspired me, and I was planning to make some quilted coasters — yes, quilted coasters. But, how can you walk into a store by the name of Calico Junction and not be inspired to quilt? In addition, I’ve promised my friend Jenny that I would make her a quilt for her wedding, which was last August. I’ve kind of set this pattern of making a blanket or a quilt for the more important people in my life. I’d like this to be an honor for the recipient, an indication of my admiration for her, but that also means the quilt needs to handle the average wear and tear that a blanket must endure, beyond my tortured sewing. A quilting class is probably a good idea. I inquired and put my name on the waiting list. Today — a few days later, I was called and informed of the good news. The teacher had kindly allowed me in. The classes start in a few weeks! Sara has made me promise to note my fabric choices, and that day will come, later.
And, no pictures here of cute little quilted coasters. Soon after I set my sites on a weekend of crafting, my friend Maren from Bellingham called to annouce she had scored a free ticket to fly down to Medford on New Year’s day. Although she is a fellow crafting buddy — she makes some amazing princess crowns out of sparkly pipecleaners, we had other plans in store, driving south to Corning, CA to meet up with our dear friend Lis who was driving up about 180 miles from Oakland. It was a bit of a long day trip — but we listened to an audio version of Pride & Prejudice en route and on our return (pausing it while going over the snowy, treacherous Siskiyou pass at 9pm).
Our tentative halfway point between the lovely Bay Area and the quaint Southern Oregon: the OLIVE PIT. Apparently just south of Redding, Anderson, and Red Bluff, CA is a lovely area to grow olives. The Olive Pit has free tastings of lots of different olives (garlic stuffed, jalepeno stuffed, cheese stuffed, etc.) and plenty of accessories about olives (olive spoons, olive oil spouts, “olive ewe” onesies (get it, “I love you” — I have one of the few t-shirts for adulst of this design, circa 2003 — shockingly, they are no longer in production for those larger than 3T), and yes, plenty of space to park your RV. It’s that kind of quality environment. Lest you think that store is the only one with the penchant for olives, just across the street was Liquor Cabinet. As Lis said, “it’s your one-stop shop for a martini!”
Ms. Maren and I explored Ashland a little today where I found a lovely fabric store, Fabric of Vision, that has all kinds of funky designs, including the latest Amy Butler! I was very tempted to make several purchases, but Maren reminded me that maybe I ought to start with the fabric I have at home. Yeah, she’s right. Maybe I’ll try to create my own patchwork placemats tomorrow… Afterall, I managed to score a lovely kitchen table off of Craigslist this weekend. If anything exciting transpires, I’ll let you know.