This Saturday, I drove inland, between mountain ranges intending to visit a couple of quilt shops while taking in the views. Can you tell I’m not in Kansas anymore!
Inland California was much drier than I expected. I guess I didn’t realize how close to Death Valley and the Mojave Desert I was! The bumpy slopes reminded me of camels humps, covered in rough brush-like vegetation and rocks like hardened calluses. The landscape was devoid of color, and the horizons were clouded over as if with a dust curtain. Locals told me that a day earlier they had a rare rain for the season.
Little did I know that my impromptu visit to the desert and Quilter’s Cocoon in Riverside, CA would end up in a colorful, all out holiday themed quilt dash! I walked right into the Reindeer Dash!
Quilter’s Cocoon’s modest exterior opened into a large cocoon of color with a wide selection of yardage, precuts, patterns, and notions. They even looked to be a Handi-Quilter dealer and were long-arming in one of the back rooms. Their staff was friendly and after their staff signed me up, they explained how the shop hop worked, and I was on my way, dashing through the California sands!
Next stop was Sewn Together Quilt Shop in Norco, CA. I love their sign, so artfully done with the hexies! Their website indicates that the shop is a work in progress, but I really loved the cozy atmosphere. They even opened their small space during the hop to show some opportunity quilts for the Valley Quilter’s Guild opportunity quilts. They told me the American beauty in the photo below is a fundraiser for student scholarships. Look at all of the needle turned applique!
Next Stop, was the Painted Lady Quilt Shop in Redlands, CA.
Stepping into the shop was like visiting a shop in the Midwest. I loved the pattern they were giving out with their fat quarter. Isn’t their runner festive? I think that the snowballed blocks with the applique candy canes were a perfect choice for the fabrics. As I spoke to the staff, I met the owner, whom I learned was originally from Merriam, Kansas and graduated from the same high school as my mom and I. What a small world! I guess we never know where life will take us.
Well, If I was going to make the other four shops before the end of the day, I had to dash off. Next, I hopped over to Calimesa, CA and visited two shops, Cherry Berry Quilts and Becky’s Busy Bee. Calimesa proved to be quite a mecca. Not only did it have two great quilts shops, but another shop specializing in long arm quilting. It was exciting to see one of the quilts I plan to complete hanging up at Becky’s, the Gravity Quilt. It is definitely one I need to start in 2017.
Well, after catching a snack, I headed off to furthest part of the trek, Palm Desert, CA. I was concerned about the distance, but was ensured it would be worth the wait. My next two stops were The Quilter’s Faire and Monica’s Quilt and Bead Creations.
During my drive between mountain ranges, I curved around dry crops of… windmills. The white bladed mills gridded the landscape along with arrays of solar panels. I wished I had a dash cam. What was interesting was that the large mills along the highway were all turning, while many higher in the hills were not.
I finally arrived at The Quilter’s Faire. As I turned into what seemed an industrial park, I wondered if I had the wrong address… Right up until the point that I drove up to a large shop, decorated with snowmen blowing flakes cheerfully at a group of shoppers happily leaving their last stop. As I entered the shop I was greeted by the smell of fresh baked Christmas cookies and big band Christmas music. As their website is a work in progress, I was duly surprised by the large, yet very inviting space! (If I had to pick my favorite, this one was it!) Well done!
My final stop was about 9 miles further, Monica’s Quilt & Bead Creations. My last stop! Monica’s had a huge selection of fabrics, and their bead shop carried a wonderful selection of specialty beads. I loved the fabric panels they were selling that were famous art.
I did it. I finished my first shop hop, though far from home. Each shop was giving out a fat quarter and a pattern, and since I finished the hop, was entered in a drawing. If you are ever in the area. Check these great shops out!