Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Little More of Las Colchas

I was sad to leave San Antonio today, but the drive through Texas was so pretty. The wildflowers along the sides of the hiways were so beautiful. Acres of blue, which I assume are bluebonnets. I haven't loaded the pics from the camera yet, so if any turned out, I will share them later. I wish the drive had been more relaxing but whipping along a hiway with thousands of cars driving 80-85mph is somewhat un-nerving at times. The speed limits are quite liberal on the big hiways. Easy to see how a multi-car pile up can happen. 
We are in a suburb of Baton Rouge Louisanna tonight and on to Pennsicola, Florida tomorrow. Here are the promised photos of the shop I visited yesterday.

This quilt had the cutest little ruffled binding on it. It is a Blackbird Designs pattern.

I have been in quilt shops from Vancouver to Venice, from Maine to Michigan, from Oregon to Ottawa and hands down, this is my favourite!...but I'm not home yet....

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Are you wondering what those three letters mean? What they stand for? 
Gone To Texas
Gone to Texas, was often abbreviated GTT. It was a phrase used by Americans immigrating to Texas in the mid-1800's. They moved to Texas for many reasons, often to escape debt incurred during the Panic of 1819, to start over again or to begin for the first time, to get land or to look for adventure as well as for new fortunes. Obtaining "land" seemed to be the driving force for most of those who came to Texas.  "Gone to Texas" or "G.T.T." was often written on the doors of abandoned houses or posted as a sign on fences.

I learned that little tidbit of trivia while touring the Alamo today. I was also told that some visitors comments were, "I didn't realize it was so small" and my favourite..."why did they build it there?...right in the middle of the city."  (ROFL)

The Alamo

Davy Crockett's knife

Of course you can't come to San Antonio and not do the Riverwalk so both nights we walked to the river to eat supper at one of the MANY restaurants.

Tour guides tell us that the #1 attraction here is The Alamo, #2 attraction is the Riverwalk. He didn't tell us what was # 3 but Mr. O does so much research for every place we visit that it wasn't long before he found it and here it is at 110 Ogden Street!

                                    LAS COLCHAS

Las Colchas is located in a quaint 1920's Sears-Roebuck Kit house just north of downtown San Antonio, Texas. For those of you that are not familiar with this type of building, 
"Kit houses were Sears Catalog Homes (sold as Sears Modern Homes) were ready-to-assemblekit houses sold through mail order by Sears, Roebuck and Company, anAmerican retailer. Sears reported that more than 70,000 of these homes were sold in North America between 1908 and 1940. Shipped via railroad boxcars, these kits included all the materials needed to build a house. Many were assembled by the new homeowner and friends, relatives, and neighbors, in a fashion similar to the traditional barn-raisings of farming families.

Sears offered the latest technology available to house buyers in the early part of the twentieth century. Central heating, indoor plumbing, and electricity were all new developments in house design that "Modern Homes" incorporated, although not all of the houses were designed with these conveniences. Central heating, for example, not only improved the livability of houses with little insulation but also improved fire safety, a worry in an era when open flames threatened houses and even entire cities, as in the Great Chicago Fire (1871).

More than 370 designs of Sears Homes were offered during the program's 32-year history. As demand increased, Sears expanded the product line to feature houses that varied in expense to meet the budgets of various buyers. Sears began offering financing plans in 1916. However, the company experienced steadily rising payment defaults throughout the Great Depression, resulting in increasing strain for the catalog house program. The mortgage portion of the program was discontinued in 1934 after Sears was forced to liquidate $11 million in defaulted debt. Sears stopped issuing its Modern Homes catalog after 1940. A few years later, all sales records were destroyed during a corporate house cleaning. As only a small percentage of these homes have been documented, finding these houses today often requires detailed research to properly identify them.

Today, some communities across the United States feature clusters of the houses as unofficial historical sites. Elgin, Illinois (a Chicago suburb) has the largest known collection of Sears Homes, with more than 200 Sears Homes (and few kit homes from other companies as well). Sears homes are found in a large area of the United States with homes as far south as Florida and as far west as California." Courtesy of Wikipedia

We were able to go inside and tour this home. Let me show you what I saw when we opened the front door of this quaint won't believe your eyes!

Did I not tell you , that you wouldn't believe your eyes? I was in total awe when I opened that front door! I felt like a kid in a candy shop... I wandered through eight or nine rooms totally mesmerized and after about 30 minutes my phone alerted me to a text. It was Mr. O...he had left me there, gone and checked in to our hotel room and I didn't even know he was gone! Oh my! I am hopeless! My answer to his text was, " oh, thats ok...take your time...lots of time. :) ". After a little while he texted again and said, " Parking is really limited, do you mind taking a cab back when you are finished, I don't want to lose my spot."
DID I MIND!!!  Silly man!

I stayed till they closed the place! ...the staff were just as friendly and helpful and kind as could be, in fact one of the gals even offered to drive me back to my hotel, so I didn't need to get a cab!
I feel terrible saying this, but I was so wired I have forgotten her name...Cindy I think, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
I really hated placing Las Colchas in the #3 position, but when you think they followed the Alamo and The Riverwalk I guess that isn't too bad, but if you really want my opinion, whenever anyone mentions 
San Antonio to me, the #1 attraction for me is Las Colchas.

Want to see what I bought? I had 138 things picked out but narrowed it down to this

Want a better look?

I bought this kit...

This is my Texas souvenir...swoon!

I bought some magazines.

A couple patterns

I have been hunting for this Sue Spargo bag pattern for several years! Score! Take a look at the shop sample and then tell me if you would have bought it...

Be still my heart!
The other pattern, My Paris Travellers Bag also had a shop sample

This picture does not come close to doing this bag justice. There were whimsical little surprises inside and outside, and I absolutely could not resist. I have to say that they really don't play fair...making up the sample with French General fabrics and using bits of vintage buttons and in the world could I pass that up?

I got me Some fabric...

This roll of shot cottons is simply beautiful! The yellow fabric with cherries...I have a piece of yellow with a red ticking stripe that will match perfectly...and the wovens? How can a person resist those colours?

To round things off I bought a mixed bundle of "goodies". 

A Hint Of Paris...4.5 yards of pure delight!

I have a few more photos of shop samples and decor but I think I may have over done it with pictures this post. Too much stimulation is not good for you gals either and this time of the night, so I promise I'll show more tomorrow.

One last thing I want to tell you is this really weird thing that has happened to us since leaving Mesa.
The first night on the road we stayed at a Best Western in Benson Arizona. I almost never pay much attention to our room #. Mr O is usually with me when I go out and he opens the door so I just follow blindly along; however this night I went out to get something at the snack counter, so i had to remember what room to come back to...Room 112. No big deal.
The next night we stopped in Fort Stockton, Texas at a Holiday Inn. I stayed in the car while Mr. O checked in. I then proceeded to follow him to our room and I happened to look up as he was unlocking the door and noticed our room number was #112 again. I commented on it and we kind of smiled over it...what a coincidence.
I mentioned earlier that Mr. O abandoned me at a quilt shop and went and checked in to our hotel here in San Antonio. When he texted me to say he was at the hotel, his next text was, "guess what room they gave us? Yup! Room #112 weird is that?

We head out in the morning. Destination: Baton Rouge, Louisanna. Surely it can't happen 4 stops in a row...can it?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A little Eye Candy

Drove most of the day today. Took a brief stop at quilt shop just down the road from where we had lunch. I have been looking for 3/4" Thangkes for quite some time with no luck. Today I decided to go a different route. I purchased a software program called Triangulations. That way I can print my own in any size. 1/2 square triangles, 1/4 square triangles, flying geese. I am thinking this is the best way to go for me. Not having acess to a quilt shop at a moments notice makes things difficult sometimes and this will probably be a handy tool in my studio.

When you spend all day on the road there is not much to blog about. We listened to an audio book while driving.  A Year Of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg. I love how this author can write with such feeling and description. It is a well written story of a woman learning to live and deal with life after the death of her husband. This book would pull at my heart any day but today would have been my Mom's birthday. We lost her over 2 years ago and I still miss her terribly. I want to call and tell her about my day, about our travels, see how she is feeling, play Scrabble with her on-line, scold her for not looking after her health. Just to hear her voice. I always called her on her birthday and sang Happy Birthday on the phone to her and it just doesnt seem right not to do it. Happy Birthday Mom. I love you and miss you so much.

                           Happy Birthday Mom, I miss you.

Sorry if I made anybody uncomfortable or sad, but Mom was on my mind today and somehow I had to express a little of what I was feeling.

Lets take a peek at a few of the quilts from the Arizona Quilt Show this past weekend.

This quilter definitely had a lot of patience, time, skill and sense of humour. I love what she named her quilt....

As you may have noticed all of these quilts had a pineapple theme. The next few were all part of a scrappy challenge. The picture below is of a small quilt; probably 30x50. The pieces were extremely small as you can see by the photo of my thumb against some of the pieces. It was hand pieced and hand quilted. The judges gave it an honorable mention. I apparently do not judge the way they did because in my mind it deserved a 1st place ribbon. Several of us commented about it, but went on our way shaking our heads. We were so pleased at the end of the day when the announcement came that this quilt won Viewers Choice from all the hundreds of pieces there at the show. Inmy mind this quilter was recognized by her peers and that was what counted.

In case you are curious to see which quilt had taken 1st place in the scraps category, it is the grey/beige tree quilt above. For the life of me I could not see why the judges thought this one so much more worthy, but I'm sure they must have known what they were doing.

This Forest Aglow was truly amazing. Size was about 12x20. The colours literally glowed and the workmanship was stunning!

This quilt was very attractive and the quilter knew that a traditional binding would have detracted from the clean strait bands of colour that ran off the edge of the quilt. She still used a traditional binding, but applied it in a non traditional way. The binding matched the backing fabric and was sewn with a 1/4" seam on the front but ALL the binding was brought to the back was folded to the back and stitched with an invisible stitch, therefore leaving no framing to cross the clean linear look of the front. Very clever!

Some quilters are pure genius with colour and shading!

These last pictures show how a simple quilt comes alive when a quilter does her magic with the right thread and stitching.
This was a great quilt show. I wish I had felt better, and I also wish I had had more time to spend looking at the quilts, shopping the vendors, and listening to the lectures. Barb and I did manage to attend one lecture with machine quilter and author and Craftsy teacher, Angela Walters. She was a bundle of energy, very talented and fun to listen and talk to.
The Arizona Quilt Show is definitely on my list again next year!
Oh, didn't I tell you. We have booked our accommodations for next year too...December to April. I know, I know, that means I miss out on all the snow and cold again, and it was a tough decision, but we'll deal with it.

(Backup) (Backup) On The Road Again Ok, telle me the truth...are you humming thatsong now? Cause I am and I fear it may be runni...