Bright and early Friday morning we checked out of our hotel. A quick stop at Canadian Tire for flashlight batteries (the one thing we kept forgetting in all our trips to various stores) and then it was time to drop our son off at his new home.
Goodbyes were said. A few tears (mine) were shed, a final long hug and I was on the road home to Dave in Georgia.
Our son’s landlady warned me not to leave so early because I’d just end up stuck in rush hour traffic but I know from experience that prolonged goodbyes just make them that much harder.
Traffic, however, was unusually light on Friday. I think perhaps half the population of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) must have taken an extra day off for the Labour Day weekend because once I hit the express lanes, it was smooth 100 km/hr driving all the way to the border.
Along the way, I did make a quick stop to pick up Timbits for Dave and let me tell you, those were hard to resist on the trip home… but they stayed in the cooler the whole way. I didn’t even have one. How’s that for resisting temptation… lol.
The little tourist center outside Niagara where I stopped had the wait times of the various border crossings listed. We usually cross on the Peace Bridge and I knew that being the start of the long weekend it would be busy but I was surprized to see that the wait time was already listed as an hour and a half. Wait time for the Rainbow Bridge however was listed as 15 minutes. Guess which one I decided to cross at.
And I’m so glad I did. The I-190 from the Rainbow Bridge takes you right by the Peace Bridge and the traffic was backed up as far along the bridge as I could see.
I had my stops all planned out. First up… the Calico Patch Quilt Shop.
As I mentioned yesterday, there was something missing from the picture of my purchases. On my stop there on the way up, I was excited to find one of those new Lil Twister rulers that I’ve been reading so much about in blogland. Excited that is, until I had a chance to read the instructions which included a notation that there would be approximately 1/4 to 1/3 wastage. I don’t care how cute the resulting quilt is (and they are cute), that is more wastage than I’m willing to accept.
The lady working that day wasn’t best pleased that I was returning it, but she did process the return which I quickly ended up spending on three more fat quarters.
Fabrics for an I-Spy Quilt
About 7 pm I called Dave, told him my location (as in what mile marker on the I-71 I was at) and that I was starting to feel like it was time to stop driving for the day. A few minutes later, he called back saying he had a hotel room in Mason, OH booked and which exit I needed to take. I was to call him back once I got to the hotel and he’d give me the reservation confirmation number.
After a great night’s sleep and a good breakfast I was back on the road. On the way up, I’d purchased that cute fat quarter bundle to add to my bug jar quilt fabric collection. The ladies at The Quilt Box had actually put that bundle together to make a Yellow Brick Road quilt. And the more I thought about the sample quilt, the more I wanted to make one. So my first stop on Saturday was back at The Quilt Box for another bundle of those fat quarters and the pattern.
And I don’t even have to count the two fat quarter bundles as added to stash because I’ve already used them (scroll down to the end of this post to see how far I’ve gotten but come back to finish reading about my next and final quilt shop stop.)
By the middle of the afternoon, I was ready for another break.
Mammaw’s Thimble Fabric and Quilt Shop is just off the I-40/1-75 and if you’re ever traveling through Knoxville, TN, I highly recommend that you stop by and check it out. This little shop, by far, has the largest selection of fabric in any of the quilt shops I’ve visited.
If you like novelty prints, they’ve got lots in amongst the hundred and hundreds of bolts of fabric on display. If you find a fabric on the bolt that you like, but only need/want a fat quarter, chances are if you look in the cubbies right above you’ll find one in just that fabric.
If you prefer buying quilt kits, they are displayed on racks and shelves throughout the shop. There were so many different ones, it was really hard to resist the urge to buy a couple. I had to keep reminding myself that I had added a quilt to my to-do list on this trip already.
They also have a great selection of quilt patterns and the usual rulers and notions. There’s even a selection of Moda charm packs and jelly rolls.
An hour of browsing and making difficult choices and I came away with these:
See that adorable “Beach Diva” fat quarter I’ve spread out for the photo. I picked up two to make a beach bag for myself but they are just so much fun that I picked out two more, plus a yard of the co-ordinating Beach Toys fabric. Half a yard of that is for me and the other half, I’ve cut into two fat quarters.
I’ve added a fat quarter of the Beach Diva fabric and the Beach Toys fabric to each of the gift bags that I’m giving away.
Speaking of which, there’s still lots of time to enter the Gift Bag Giveaway by leaving a comment on this post. I’ll be drawing a winner September 10th.
After that refreshing break, I was back on the road and by 7 pm was pulling into our garage. Home Sweet Home!
Sunday, I spent just lazying around the house and enjoying the fact that I didn’t have anywhere I needed to go or anything that I needed to do. I did however get those two fat quarter bundles washed and Monday morning I started pressing, cutting and sewing.
I just adore this fabric. It makes me smile every time I look at it.
I did decide to “steal” a 6 ½” square from all the bug fabrics and so had to raid my stash of fat quarters plus cut into one I’d bought at Quilt a Bag in Canada to add back enough fabric so that those deletions and additions wouldn’t be glaringly noticeable.
If you’re looking for a quick easy, strip pieced quilt, Yellow Brick Road is a great one to try. I really appreciate the time that the designer, Terry Atkinson of Atkinson Designs took to make sure that all the cuts maximized the use of the fat quarters. There was very little wastage.
As of this morning, I have all the blocks sewn and now I’m trying to decide on the best layout.
It’s proving to be a challenge. I’ll see a portion of the quilt with too much purple, so I rearrange squares only to discover a section with too much orange, so I rearrange those and so on. I will eventually decide enough is enough and start sewing blocks together.
Then I’ll need to search my stash for border and binding fabric.
I do have four blocks leftover. I would have had 5 left, but I changed the layout of 5 X 7 blocks that the pattern called for to a 6 X 6 block layout. I might add those blocks to the quilt back or perhaps make a matching pillow out of them.
The pattern I used may be called Yellow Brick Road, but I’m calling mine Smiling Sunflowers.
This post has been added to WIP Wednesday #43 over at Freshly Pieced.