Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove, CA

Back Porch Fabrics

My friend Beth and I headed over to Pacific Grove to explore Back Porch Fabrics, located in Pacific Grove, California, just up the road from Carmel and next door to Monterey, California.

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It has nice high ceilings, an abundance of quilt samples, and lots and lots of interesting fabric.

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The sale table, easy to find because of its umbrella, and since they are located near the coast (you can see the ocean from their front door), a beach umbrella makes perfect sense.

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Some shops like to carry lines of fabrics, but I found Back Porch Fabrics unique because they carry a LOT of different lines, but not all the pieces or colorway in each line.  I found this to be invigorating, as I saw many interesting and new bolts of fabric.

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They’ve grouped their black and whites together.
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These are not all blenders, but instead different novelties, patterns, and designs, grouped by color family.

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Dots and little sewing machines!

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They carry a wide range of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

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In talking the person who was cutting our fabric, she said that since they are the closest fabric shop to Asilomar (which runs quilting seminars), they need to be able to provide a wide range of fabrics.  They also had a section of traveling fabrics for the tourists who stop in.

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Solids.

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A view into the classroom, by the side of their wide selection of books.

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I’d love to take a class here, with all the interesting quilts on the walls.  Apparently these quilts switch out, as they can be an exhibit from one quilter.

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Fat quarters.

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The cutting table is in the center of the main room, a beautiful solid wood table.  Wood is everywhere, which makes me feel like these shop is here to stay.  In talking with another customer, she confirmed my suspicion that this began as Back Porch Press Patterns (I have a couple of those), and the shop has been here for 17 years.

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If you are ever in the Carmel/Monterey area, leave time for a stop here.  Pacific Grove also has a lot of cute shops to browse and if you are there at lunchtime, head to Red House Cafe, which is a couple of blocks from the shop.  Amazing food, and quick, so you can head out to the coast.  (Don’t forget to pick up their Red House Signature cookies: Oatmeal, Apricot and Pecan cookies.)

Pacific Grove Blues

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Oh, yes, you’ve seen this before, but only (as the Australians say) as a flimsy, a quilt top.  So I needed to get a few projects done and finished and this was next on the list.  I was originally going to name it Sand and Sea, but changed my mind to keep it fresh.

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This is the block, made in fours and arranged into the quilt.  The original post has more information about the pattern, if you’re interested.

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I call it Pacific Grove Blues, because of the time we spent in Northern California last month walking along the coastal path in that very interesting town.   I don’t have the label for this quilt finished yet, but will, soon.  Of course, I visited the fabric store that was there, Back Porch Fabrics; look for the review of that in an upcoming post.

Carmel Blues

It also hearkens back to an earlier quilt, titled The Blues of Carmel, made from a fat quarter purchased there, and homage to my mother’s blue blue eyes.

We watched these waves every morning, trying to get to the walking just before sunrise.  A peak experience, as my Dad would say.

Pacific Grove Blues

It can now join my growing stack of Schnibbles on top of the guest room armoire.  My husband keeps asking me what I’m going to do with all of these little quilts.  I really have no idea.  Table toppers for holidays (especially the last one, that’s all patriotic)?  Doll quilts for the granddaughters? (But I’ve already made them all doll quilts.)

What would you do with a bunch of little quilts? Any ideas, besides stack them up and enjoy them?  We’ve all heard quoted a million times that factoid from the book by Malcolm Gladwell about how it takes 10,000 hours of practice to get really good at anything.  I figure by cranking these out, I’m keeping those 10,000 hours of practice alive and going.  I don’t really know how much longer I will continue to do these Schnibbles, but I have to say that Carrie Nielson of Miss Rosie’s pattern company always has solid designs and colorations, and I can always keep learning something new about how to piece something, or put a combo together, or be exposed to a new block and its possibilities.  I like keeping my options open.

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FinishALong Button

This is one completed project from Finish-A-Long, hosted by Leanne of She Can Quilt, Quarter 4 of 2014’s goals.

This is quilt number 123, on my 200 quilts list.

Autumn Tote and Center Square

Hotel Room

This week I spent holed up in hotel room, sewing on fun things left and right.

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And some not so fun things, that turned out to be fun things, once they turned out.

 The Autumn Tote (above) is one of the fun things that turned out quickly.  It was my second time making this pattern, and I was able to use what I’d learned last time and make the needed tweaks to the pattern so it turned out much faster in the sewing time.

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This is the class sample for the class I’ll be teaching on October 22, Tuesday evening from 6-8:30 p.m., if you are in the area.  I’ll be teaching it at Bluebird Quilts in Grand Terrace, California (phone number is 909-514-0333).  I love the rich tones of autumn in this piece.  This tote is big enough that I can get my iPad in here with no problem.

Autumn Tote Bag Interior

If you decide to make it, pick something fun and whimsical for the interiors!

Juxtaposition in process

Full reveal comes in a future post, but finally! I was able to move this quilt from Problem Child to Model Student.  It all came because of a comment on my post from Linda, who noted that besides all the other things I mentioned, the ferns were headed in the wrong direction.  A redraw, and a few other tricks which I’ll mention later, and I was on my way.  Here it is in an interim step, threads hanging out and everything!

Pacific Grove

Tomorrow we leave from home after one last walk along the beach here in Pacific Grove (California), watching the colors on the rocks change as the sun rises.  It’s been a lovely time.