|It's a button!|
We stopped at Solvang for shopping and lunch on our own. I found inexpensive lace trim at Buttons and Bows, and cute buttons at Rasmussen's fabric.
|Actually - lace, zippers, and inexpensive fabric|
Lunch, unfortunately, was not so good. Well, you can't win them all...
|The Elf-Skivers were not made with real elves.|
Our last stop of the day, and of the trip (sigh) was Cotton and Chocolate in Thousand Oaks. Another nice selection of fabric and supplies, and more lovely salespeople and inspirations.
I was sorry to end this trip, even though both I and my suitcase were heavier than we started, and my wallet a lot lighter.
If you go:
What should I wear?
Wear layers: There is no way you can get a bus load of quilters to agree on what the right temperature should be inside the bus. If you take a light sweater you can use it for warmth, or to stop up the cold-air coming out of the vents...Also, good walking shoes are a must, and a hat if you are sensitive to sun.
What should I bring?
A suitcase with gussets. Lots of cash. I took my iPod with music and audio books on it to listen to as we rode along as I don't like to read while I'm on a moving vehicle. I also really wished I had a small craft project I could carry with me because seeing all the wonderful examples of fabric art made my fingers itch. I also took two cloth bags for purchases a list of fabric and supplies I would need for upcoming projects, and a list of thread colors I was low on.
What shouldn't I bring?
You probably shouldn't bring husbands or boyfriends unless they are active quilters, and even then they might feel conspicuous being the only male in a large group of women. Check with the tour leaders if you are not sure.
What should I do beforehand?
I googled all the quilt stores we were going to visit to see what their specialties were. I also tried to divvy out my cash so that I wouldn't overspend my budget the first day. I wish I had done more research on restaurants for the times we were on our own.
What should I expect?
Well, think of going on a quilt run, only you are going outside of your usual neighborhood, and you won't have to drive or navigate, and you will also be able to eat at nice restaurants and do a little sight-seeing while you are with the group.
Will my trip be like this one?
No. Even though the same basic itinerary may be repeated, The Traveling Quilters crew is constantly researching and updating their lists.
Last thought: I think that there must be a law somewhere that all quilt shop owners and staff are friendly, generous, and creative. No two shops were alike, and every one of them was full of wonderful examples of quilting and sewing projects.