Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Project paralysis

Sometimes I fall prey to project paralysis—typically when I'm feeling overwhelmed by something. In this case, the overwhelmedness was caused by a combination of too many projects, a freelance job, and deadlines (both for the projects and the freelance job). I knew the freelance job might put me over the top, but my old boss asked so nicely I just couldn't say no (and I have to admit, the extra money is pretty motivating too). So, for the last couple of weeks, I've been accomplishing very little craft-wise (not even Warcraft-wise!).

Being stalled on projects has seemingly motivated me to instead add to the stash. There has been much shopping in the last week! It has been a lot of fun, particularly since it feels like it's been a long time since I've had a chance to just go out and browse and see what's in the shops.

This last weekend was the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop. 57 stores joined forces to create a hugemongous shop hop adventure. I didn't think I'd be able to do any of it this year, but I actually managed to visit 9 shops and all but one was new to me! It was a lot of fun getting to explore the area and visit new places.

In previous years, I have headed north and west. So this year, I went south.

On Friday, the boy and I visited four shops:
  • Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue: What a fun store! They carry a wonderful selection of modern and hip prints from all the hot designers. They also have a large bead and embellishment selection (which I did not explore at all). I definitely plan to revisit this shop in the near future.

  • Pieces Quilt Shop in Renton: It was small but the space was really nice-- light and bright and open. It looks like it would be a great place to take a class.

  • Taylor Creek Quilt Studio in Maple Valley: This shop was tiny, but boy did they pack it full of fabric! It had a great blend of traditional and modern with a super-friendly staff. They actually were able to point the way to a nearby park where the boy and I had a fun picnic lunch.

  • The Calico Cat in Auburn: So much inspiration there! Lots of great samples and displays scattered throughout the store (and it is a BIG store). By that point, the boy was done, so it was a pretty quick stop. I wish we could have explored a little more there, but it is a shop I have visited before, so I didn't mind so much.

On Sunday, my husband and I dropped the boy off at the grandparents' and we did a little more hopping. (I have a seriously fabulous husband!!!)
  • Quilt Barn in Puyallup: From the outside, it's pretty unassuming-- just another shop in a strip mall. But I was in for a treat once I stepped through the doors. Bright, open and not only a great selection of fabrics and fun samples, but also a very friendly and welcoming staff. I had a lot of fun exploring their store.

  • The Wild Rose Quilt Shop in Orting: The store is in a great space and had tons of samples (which were very effective... I bought a pattern because of a couple of them!). They also had the largest selection of reproduction prints that I've seen in this area so far (they even had them organized by era, with labels on the shelves indicating the time period-- pretty cool!). They also had some fun, modern prints as well. I fell in love with this shop.

  • Creative Quilter in Graham: What I liked most about this store was their local focus-- many of the samples were from regional designers or featured local themes. And the staff was very welcoming and friendly.

  • Shibori Dragon in Lakewood: This store was a feast for the imagination! The main features were beautiful Asian textiles and embellishments galore-- everything from beads to to dyes. They actually had a full yarn shop as well (one of those moments when I really wish I knew how to knit or crochet). I left this store feeling inspired.

  • Parkland Parish Quilt Co. in Tacoma: Located in a fabulous historic building (formerly a church), this shop offered a great selection of fabric and had a super-friendly staff. It also boasted a huge classroom area. This store was the budget-buster for me... I ended up getting 4 yards of fabric here!

I don't have pictures from any of the shops (because I failed to bring the camera). But (since I can't have a post without some kind of picture) here you can see what I purchased:

shop hop loot!
I had a lot of fun and my brain is full of crafty excitement again. I've been so motivated I've actually managed to get a quilt basted and quilted over the last couple of evenings. Project paralysis is at an end. Woo hoo!


  1. You lucky girl!

    Our shop hop in Southern California starts next weekend. The only reason I am not going is because the International Quilt Show is at the end of the month in Long Beach. I need to save all my strength and money for that. LOL!

  2. Wow, you got to visit a lot of shops and it looks like you didn't spend too much money. Nice goodies.

  3. Sounds like fun! Our local shop hop was last weekend. I've still never participated in one. It's great that you broke your paralysis. I find myself in that situation often. Going to a quilt show will get me motivated a lot of times, but those are few and far between. Visiting quilting blogs is a good motivator too!

  4. I just love Shop Hop time. It is so much fun touching all the beautiful fabrics and meeting other quilters from all over. Nice selection of fabric purchases. Do you have projects in mind for them yet?