- 2 people, celebrating 39 years of marriage
- 3 quilt shops in: Lincoln, Nebraska (Cosmic Cow); Durango, Colorado; and Napa, California
- 5 different US National Parks
- 10 different motels including the Wine Country Inn, St. Helena, California
- 13 whole days away from home
- 17 can't-buy-these-anywhere-else bottles of Napa Valley wines from six wineries
- 4,538 miles on our Nissan Rogue, from Iowa to California and back
That's what I've been doing!
Between September 6 and 19, my husband and I traveled. We drove and drove on a long anticipated visit to Napa Valley, California. We spent more than a week sight-seeing our way through Colorado, Utah, and Nevada, with incredible views of breath-taking scenery, and sometimes cliff-hanging, hair-raising mountaintop roads!
|Cliff House, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado|
|Canyonlands National Park, Utah|
|Arches National Park, Utah|
|Capitol Reef National Park, Utah|
|Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah|
|Bryce Canyon, Inspiration Point - 8,100 feet|
If HE looks like he's sitting on the edge of his seat, he is!
He didn't like having his back to the open cliff!
In between dazzling views in five National Parks - Isn't God a masterful landscape artist? - we passed through Durango, Colorado. Though we'd never been to Durango and didn't have time for a good visit, I managed to convince my husband I needed to visit the Durango Sewing Center. The shop had a ad in a tourism brochure that advertised 10 percent off a purchase with just a mention of the brochure. It's another reason to always stop at the visitor's center in each state.
We stopped, though 15 minutes wasn't nearly adequate to take it all in, let alone decide what fabrics to buy!
Durango Sewing Center carries lots of modern fabrics that include Art Gallery Fabrics. I wasn't familiar with that brand, but I am now! I learned they're designed by the Art Gallery Fabrics owner, Patricia Bravo, and that all the 100 percent cotton fabrics are 200-count. I wanted every one of these Nature Elements prints, but settled on just one... the gray one.
|"Nature Elements" collection by Art Gallery Fabrics|
A clerk brought out a quilt made entirely of Art Gallery Fabrics and insisted I feel it. The hand is extremely nice.
I especially liked perusing this rack of one-yard pieces of various prints. That's "Wrenly" at the bottom right. I'd seen it on blogs and on-line quilt shops, but hadn't seen it in person. It's odd that I knew it was Wrenly before I checked the selvage to see if I was correct! See how much you learn when you read blogs?
|Display of one-yard pieces|
Check out these teeny, unbelievably in-credi-lious hand-made Grand Marnier dark chocolate truffles.
Ahhh, but I digress...
Quiltmaker in Napa, California. I don't know how I lucked out, but all three of the shops I visited on this trip had modern fabrics. I was in my element, gushing over all the bright, retro, fun prints, and wishing I could take home every single bolt in the Quiltmaker shop!
I'm very much into lime these days. It's the new neutral according to American Quilter magazine.
This is what I love to see!
|A selection of "Sherbet Pips"|
I have to thank the shop owner (above), and two customers, who did their best to keep my husband engaged and entertained while I looked around. When I returned to the cutting table with another bolt of fabric to add to a small, growing pile, he would groan and say, "Aren't you done yet?" Before I could reply, the shop owner had my back: "She's only getting 1/3 yard. That's not very much."
One of the customers saw my selections and said, "I don't know how you can choose so quickly!" Believe me. It's a talent I've had to develop.
I spent only $25 on fabric which I was quick to justify as being much less costly than some of the bottles of wine we bought.
|Wines from Reverie - Yes, that's "Ass-kicken" wine. The vintner's last name is Kiken!|
It was wonderful to get out and see the natural beauty that the US has to offer. I hadn't been to some of those national parks since I was a kid - like 44 years ago - so it was especially nice to appreciate them more the second time around than I did the first.
And the ambience of Napa Valley is magical.
The ambience of home is comfortable. The dog, who was ably cared for by a close friend, was thrilled to see us again. Who knew that an eight year-old beagle- chow mix can leap three feet, vertically!?
And other happinesses...
- I won a giveaway from World of Charity Stitching and have a $50 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop that I must spend.
- I learned that Snowflake Medallion quilt and Life is a Celebration: Nature (the red bird in the tree wall hanging) have been juried into the Pacific International Quilt Festival. Though I can't attend the show, if you're in Santa Clara, California, Oct. 13-16... well, lucky you!
- I'll be teaching beginner quiltmaking lessons for another Stitchin' Mission - #25! - at a Lutheran church just down the street from me. It will be a large class (no class size limit), so that means many baby quilts for pregnant moms at House of Mercy here in Des Moines. If you're in the area, please join us! We start Thursday, Oct. 6.
- We're going to see these three little men and young lady very soon. I can't wait!