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On the Road Again – Long Beach Quilt Festival and Two Outstanding Fabric Shops!

Twenty years ago if someone had told me one of my favorite things to do would be get in the car with a friend and travel to a quilt show I would have asked them what they were smoking! Who knew? Last month we headed to the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA. It’s a six-hour drive from home in Northern California, and we took the most direct route (south on I-5) which isn’t exactly a scenic wonderland. About the time you think you can’t stand looking at another field, there’s a charming quilt shop in Bakersfield (well worth the 25 miles off the freeway). I’ve been to Strawberry Patches a number of times, and it’s always a treat. It boasts “not your grandmother’s quilt store,” and indeed it’s not. Their displays and samples are phenomenal, with emphasis on really cute kid’s stuff, gift items, buttons, ribbons, and oodles of really great fabrics and quilts.

Two hours after leaving Bakersfield we arrived in Los Angeles. My husband and I lived there for nearly twenty years, and despite the over-crowded everything – I still love to visit. The quilt show was held about 30 minutes south of LA at the Long Beach Convention Center, located adjacent to the harbor where the majestic Queen Mary is docked.

The Queen Mary in Long Beach

My favorite exhibit at the show was “Text on Textiles: Words as Design in Quilts,” which showcased quilts in which words and fabric come together to form a unique statement. There were some very interesting interpretations! There was also a fabulous photography exhibit and a glorious collection of Baltimore Album quilts. Of course, what would a quilt show be without the vendors? There’s always inspiration to be found down those aisles – texture and color were my favorites this year.

Colorful fibers with fabulous textures

Yet another splash of texture and color at the quilt show

The next day we headed off to find a new fabric shop that I’d discovered online called Sew Modern. It turned out to be a little jewel in the heart of West LA, loaded with the newest contemporary fabric lines – a great selection of fresh, fabulous fabrics!  If you find yourself in LA, this delightful shop is well worth a visit!

Among the bolts at Sew Modern

The famous Hollywood sign

We did a little sight-seeing – driving through Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Hollywood to be reminded of how the rich and famous live.

And of course, every road trip needs a little “food talk.” We found an outstanding restaurant near our hotel in Manhattan Beach called LA Food Show – great food, great service, very trendy. Need I say more?

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to everyone who commented on the August 16th post and entered to win the five Mail Sack patterns from Pink Chalk Studio. Your response was overwhelming! And congratulations to the five winners – Cindy Herndon, Darlene Garrity, Janice Pierce, Lori Platt and Mar Johnson.

Until next time, happy travels!

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