Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2nd Day of Fun In Florissant!

  We didn't sleep much Thursday night...too chatty and too wound up, I guess. We ate a hearty breakfast at the Hampton and got to the church at 9 AM, just in time for the workshop. The ladies taking the Winds of War workshop were a self-proclaimed group of over-achievers. And, boy, were they. They all, but one, had their quilts all cut out and blocks or even rows put together before they got there!  What could I teach them?! I think they paid me to keep them company really. They were so much fun, cracking jokes and teasing each other all day. They were serious about their sewing though. Everyone made great progress on their quilt and some even finished their tops!

Some of the "Over-Achievers" hard at work...

Laying them out playing with the block placement...

A few of the tops in various stages of completion...

  It was so interesting seeing all the different color and fabric choices they made. The one above was a coppery greenish print in the outer setting triangles with black print setting squares and subtle earthy prints for the pieced blocks. It will be gorgeous when done. I didn't see a combination I didn't like. I've been assured by Kathy Parks, guild president and a member of the "over-achievers", that they will send me pictures of the finished quilts. Hers is the 3rd one from the top and done in the original color scheme of my pattern.

  We broke for lunch and ate at the Whistle Stop Cafe down the hill from the church. It is in the old Ferguson, MO railroad station. OMG! What a treat that was. It is totally refurbished and full of railroad momentos in glass cases. The ticket counter is original and you go to the ticket window to order; then you're given a number on a "Boarding Pass" and wait for a "conductor" waiter to call it. You have to go to the boarding window to pick up your food when your number is called, "258 is now boarding!" What a hoot that was and the food was DELICIOUS! Most everything has a railroad theme, of course. You can order such edibles as The Club Car (ham, turkey, & bacon layered on ciabatta bread with tomatoes, cheese, & dressing, or  The Brakeman (Italian meatballs on ciabatta bread & topped with mozzarella and tangy marinara. If you aren't full after  the entree, you can order fabulous desserts like a sundae called End of the Line (with oreos, peanuts, and caramel) or the Smokestack (a unique vertical banana split) or maybe you'd prefer one of their Concrete Mixers, their version of a blizzard, like a Cow Catcher (peanut butter cups & chocolate) the Armored Car (Ande's Mint chips &Cream de Menthe). I wish I'd had room for one of them, but we ate there both Friday and Saturday and I was stuffed before dessert, darn! We had the rare treat of a train going by while we ate. They told us it is a seldom used track anymore. If you find yourself in the area of Ferguson, you MUST eat there! You won't be disappointed. The decor is worth seeing and you couldn't find better food for more reasonable prices anywhere. It's located at 1 Carson Road, Ferguson, MO.

  Here are some pictures inside the depot. I didn't think to take any of the outside, but I think you all know what an old time depot looks like....

    All day Friday, as I walked around the workshop giving pointers (rarely) and mostly admiring the ladies progress, I kept seeing yummidy CW fabrics I'd never seen before! The ladies kept saying, "Oh, I got that at the Patchwork Plus, a quilt shop across the river in Wood River, Illinois. (62 E. Ferguson Ave.)By the end of the day I was drooling and had to go there. Kayla is fearless in rush hour traffic up to 6 lanes across, so I gave her the keys to the General and off we went! We got to the shop at 5 minutes before it closed!

   We had decided we'd take a quick look around and if it was worth it, we'd plan on trying to load up fast on Saturday and go back. Welllll, we took one step inside and were hooked. I started oohing and aahing (I'm NOT subtle or quiet when I get excited by fabric). I grabbed a couple bolts; then realized there was no time, but I looked at the owner, Jan Copeland, and I must have looked desperate, because she smiled and said, "Take your time, we're in no hurry." Well, that was all the prompting I needed! I soon had a large stack of bolts waiting to be cut. I noticed an applique album style quilt in a corner and Jan got it out and held it up for me to photograph. It's her own design and she offered it as a BOM several years ago. Oh, was it gorgeous!

And a couple of closeups...

   If I enjoyed doing applique or if I was any good at it, I'd have to make this one! She had a display case with vintage toile fabrics from the early 1800's and you know I love toile! She opened the case and I even got to touch the toile! I was temporarily in Heaven there for awhile. Jan and her helper stayed open for Kayla and I till 5:15 PM!!! Jan and I got to talking toile and vintage fabrics and before we checked out, she invited us to her house to see her "quilt vault", a room her husband built for her with floor to ceiling shelves in the basement to house her vast vintage fabric collection. I nearly had a coronary when I entered. Talk about Heaven, that was it for me! She has toile and chintz pieces dating back to the late 1700's. We saw fabrics you won't find anywhere else but in a museum. I couldn't believe she was so gracious to share it with us and let me take pictures to boot! I talked of little else till I fell asleep late that night.(Poor Kayla!) What an experience. Jan could write a book about her collection or at least charge admission to see her "vault". I know I'd pay to see it again. I told her, a day in there for me would be like a day at Disney World for someone else! She said ""We'll have to stay in touch." That won't be a problem!

  You  are now entering the "vault"...

 Here are a few of the early fabrics in her collection...

 An early 1800 Mariner's Compass quilt...
A circa Civil War Era Autograph quilt...

Another Civil War era quilt featuring early flag fabric (now reproduced) and a wonderful madder print...
This is a very early quilt top sewn of 3 political panels and is the only one known to exist other than one like it in a museum...

   Now, can you see why I had trouble settling down to sleep that night?! I'll post tomorrow night about Saturday's workshop. Till then, keep stitching,


**I have to apologize to Jan Copeland, owner of PATCHWORK PLUS! I made a typo and said it was Patchwork Place. Thankfully a reader noticed it and was kind enough to send me a heads up email. Thank you Momma Bear! Sorry Jan!!! I really did love my visit at your shop and your vault.**


  1. Wow, wished I was with you....and what a vault..it should be a museum. Love the applique quilt and will taked next week to the other girls about it when we get together. You are having such a good time. Remember how long we stayed up and talked in Des MOines? Just isn't enough time in the day to talk and quilt!

  2. You were in the right place at the right time! Yay! All those yummy toiles and gorgeous quilts she had......heaven! Thanks for sharing!

  3. OH MY GOSH!!! Just peeking into that vault, I would have gotten lightheaded and dizzy. Toiles are a weakness for me, and 1800s era fabrics set my heart a flutter. You lucky, lucky lady! What a lovely experience for you.

  4. Oh my goodness! What wonderful things to read about, and what wonderful sites to behold! What a great great time you must have had - Disneyland for sure!

  5. Oh my! Oh My! Are sure you were not knocked out and dreaming? What a gracious lady, and a once in a life time experience!

  6. I can see why they call it a vault! It's certainly a treasure trove of treasures. I'd be in heaven there!

  7. What a fabulous post, just loved all those photos, especially of all those really vintage/antique fabric pieces, what a vault - every quilter's dream LOL!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.