Between pre-holiday travels and the holidays themselves, Pearl the Squirrel has been sorely neglected. I've been doing a bit of holiday sewing as well, but revelation of those projects will have to wait until the gifts are given. I've also managed to miss my one-year blog-iversary, which happened last month. Perhaps after the holidays I'll have a giveaway to celebrate.
But here are a few shots of my travels...well, actually there are just shots of my travels to one quilt shop in particular. I was in Sonoma, California (where, for some reason, I took NO photos). After visiting a friend and his two llamas, two sheep, three dogs, and multiple cats (I know, NO pictures), I just took off driving. The weather was cool, but sunny and crisp and the grapes were turning golden (you'll just have too imagine this...NO pictures) and I headed out from Sonoma toward Petaluma, a town I'd especially loved when I lived in Berkeley. It's definitely not the sleepy little place it was 18 years ago, but it did hold a treasure: The Quilted Angel.
The owner, Barbara, was sitting in a wing chair by the door, finishing up a project and chatting with customers. The classroom was abuzz with quilters working on charity projects.
The shop had tons of fabric, lots of brights and new lines and more traditional stuff, as well.
White-painted branches decorated with lights hung from the ceiling and the shop just seemed to go on and on. Old-fashioned pot holders hung over the entry. (The cloth elves below were sewn by Northern Californian Jan Cochrane.) There was an entire back room with wools and lots of notions that I couldn't even tell was there until I wended my way to the back of the shop.
Barbara said she'd worked at the shop and when the original owner decided to sell, her husband surprised her and bought it for her! Wow! There's a man who knows how to give gifts.
At any rate, I visited a few other shops, but this one is definitely worth a stop if you're in Northern Calif., a place I hope to be more often.
Between visiting our favorite haunts (including The Cheese Board for pizza and our old neighborhood Peet's for coffee in Berkeley) and seeing some of our favorite friends, Paul and I were both reminded how much we enjoyed our years in California.
And I was reminded that despite my many years in the Midwest, California really does feel like home—there's something about the landscape of one's youth that, all these years later, still evokes a visceral response.