Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blogging on the Road

We thought we'd be able to blog about our road trip, share pictures, feature great quilt shops and keep a record of our days on the road.

We were wrong.

Just because a hotel offers "wireless internet service" does not mean that it will be working.

And, that's enough on that unpleasant topic.

Winterset, Iowa - The Bridges of Madison County Festival

Our weekend in Winterset, Iowa was not at all what we expected! When we booked the show we were expecting lovely autumn days in a charming town with lots of vendors and shoppers. We knew as we set up the booth on Friday night that morning "snow flurries" or "snow showers" were mentioned as a Saturday possibility. Small percentage chance.

We woke up on Saturday morning, checked outside, and it looked like a blizzard! October 10th!

We drove the 30 miles from Des Moines to Winterset, shaking our heads and moaning all the way. We had placed our plastic tarps over the tent, so all was dry inside, but there was quite a pile of snow on the top. We made the decision to keep the booth closed until the snow stopped. Other vendors made the same choice. Most sane people, upon checking the weather, decided to stay home. Wouldn't you?

Fortunately, the Winterset stores and restaurants were open and we ended up spending a few fun hours walking around like tourists. Winterset's downtown wraps around a beautiful courthouse square. We felt as though we'd stepped back in time to the 1950's. We shopped for fabric in the Ben Franklin store and nearby quilt shop. We ate donuts in the local family owned bakery where most of the family was seated at a large table eating their breakfast. I ordered coffee and got a WHOLE POT for $1.00. We went to the pharmacy, walked to the back, past the soda fountain and counter seating, to the attached dining room and ordered some eggs. We stopped in shops along the square. The local movie theater was offering free movies all day long, a tribute to John Wayne (born in the area), and because it was warm, free, and popcorn was available, we watched True Grit! I stepped outside to check the weather, and the snow had stopped. So, we left the warmth of the theater (about 1:30 p.m.) and opened our booth.

We had enthusiastic and very pleasant wonderful customers for the rest of the day and all throughout Sunday, which was a cold, breezy day. Take a look at the photo of the booth. You'll notice all the heavy winter coats. We really needed them! We were really freezing after a full day of standing outside. I like that photo - see the Cold Beer sign hanging from the building behind our booth? That's a optimist. I don't think he sold much beer that weekend.

The other photo is of the courthouse. The steps were used as a stage and local musical groups provided music hour by hour for the entire weekend and it was EXCELLENT music. Sunday began with a female trio singing "The Star Spangled Banner" followed by a very good church choir. We had a lovely dose of patriotism and church service the very first hour of the day.

We hope that our schedule will bring us back to Winterset and that we'll be able to experience the festival the way it was intended . . . . lovely autumn days in a charming town.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Back In California

Arrived back in California last night around 6:00 p.m. Had a great drive, saw lots of scenery, visited some great quilt shops, and shared good laughs.

Will post details of our Iowa show later.

Getting organized now, planning for our Arizona shows, and working on our Etsy shop.
A very rainy day turned our "driveway" sale turned into a home party. Friends stopped by all day, and it was nice to have time to shop, sit, and chat. We stayed open until after 9:00 p.m. so that two friends, caught up in the Twins playoff game, could run over and shop.

Monday, October 5, 2009


We're having success with our new bag, the Mother Load bag. This is the mother of all tote bags, big, beautiful, functional and REVERSIBLE. We carefully choose fabrics that are compatible but will offer two distinct looks, providing great value as well as versatility.

The top two pictures in this posting are of the bag we call Autumn Elegance. The top picture is the reverse side of the autumn leaves pictured just below. The print is a Celtic knot in tones of gold and accented with metallic gold. Just beautiful! The other side is a warm rich print of beautiful autumn leaves.

The second set of pictures is for the bag we've named Dotty Plaid. One side is a dotted fabric trimmed with red and black flowers. The reverse is a black, white and red plaid accented with grosgrain ribbon in solid black and a second dotted ribbon.

This is a big bag: about 18 1/2" x 15 1/2" by 13" tall. It has shoulder straps and a grosgrain ribbon binds the top. There are 6 pockets! The price is $55.00.

Check out our online store to see other Mother Load bags.


Tomorrow is our driveway sale - a chance for local friends, family and neighbors to see all of our stuff and purchase gifts. It's supposed to rain, so we're talking about putting the booth inside the garage in lieu of tarps and other rainy day precautions. We're busy today!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Not what we'd expected . . .

According to our calendar we're supposed to be in Bayfield, Wisconsin at the Apple Fest. We're not. We had to make a tough decision based on the following facts:

Rain in forecast
Wind in forecast
Temperatures in the low 40's
and . . . . the final straw . . . . . contaminated drinking water in all of Bayfield.

80% chance of rain on Friday and Saturday, wind gusts up to 30 miles an hour, chilly temperatures combined with wind and the wind chill factor kicks in, and no water unless it's boiled.

So, we bailed! It was absolutely the right decision, so now we're using the extra time to sew more new stuff and work on the website.

It's not what we expected . . . .