Today marks the end of the Southern California Quilt Run. I am sad. I was sad on Saturday as I shopped in the last five stores. But, in order to make this appealing to all my readers (thanks, you two!), I’ve decided to tell you the best shops and what you’ll gain by visiting – quilter or not.
Top Three stores, in no particular order:
- Sowing Sisters, Carlsbad, CA. First of all, come to Carlsbad. It’s the best little vacation beach town going. You may need to be wealthy to afford the trip, but it will be worth it. Carlsbad is a little jewel located north of San Diego by about 40 miles. There’s a gorgeous beach with plenty of parking, nice sand and freezing cold Pacific Ocean water – so don’t forget your wetsuit. You’ll probably see some dolphins and maybe even a whale. About four blocks from the beach, right across from a great little bar called the Cantina is Sowing Sisters Quilt Shop. They claim to have the largest selection of Amy Butler fabrics and patterns in all of Southern California. I would denounce this seemingly huge claim, but since I have in fact been to (almost) every quilt store in Southern California, I can honestly say they DO have the most Amy Butler fabric. Plus, they’re really nice. But don’t take your quilting to the beach – it will get dirty. Take it to the pool. By the way, this store is so cool – they even have a blog.
- Quilter’s Coop, Temecula, CA. They don’t have a website – that I could find, anyway, but the store is wonderful. First, Temecula is chocked-full of wineries. You’ll need a driver, so you can get good and schnockerd. Start at Old Town, visit all the cute little antique shops, be sure to taste some Olive Oils, and then go to the best group of shops ever. In one building is a quilt store, a stamp/scrapbooking store, a crochet store, and a jewelry store. Plus, there’s a jail (for show – or for husbands…not sure.) Anyway, Quilter’s Coop has a huge selection of fabrics and patterns. They were the only shop on the run to carry Anna Griffin’s new line of fabrics or the Bleeker Street line. Sadly, they were sold out of the cool dots by the time I got there, but they’re pretty close to my house, so I can go back anytime. Then, get a driver and head over to Rancho California Drive. There are at least ten wineries – maybe more. Have fun with the tastings, then take a load off at one of the spas. Sounds nice, right?
- Monica’s Quilt and Bead Creations, Palm Desert, CA. I’m not going to lie – this place was HOT (the desert, not the store). But, Palm Springs is just a stones throw away, and according to that new show Hidden Palms, exciting things are happening there all the time. Monica’s was my very last store, and boy, did I end on a good one. First of all, I’m also a jewelry maker, so I was drawn to her huge selection of beads. But even though I lingered over the huge assortment of Swarovski crystals, I was very disciplined. Instead, I only purchased three new patterns and about 10 fat quarters. It really is a beautiful store with tons of options, great classes, super friendly staff, and especially friendly owner. I was happy to turn in my passport and get my “I did it!” bar for my quilt run pin – although there are no spaces on the bar, so it looks like “ididit”…that’s right, idiot. Well, I did drive 1,100 miles and spend a lot of money – so it might not be far off.
I also found this fun virtual shop hop called FabShop Hop. It’s a hop through virtual quilt and fabric stores – good idea, right? When you find the little pink bunny, you click it and enter to win prizes!
Happy Quilting! Completed project pictures coming soon!