Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What a day!! What a SHOP! WHAT A QUILT!

The Country Loft in La Mesa, California is an INCREDIBLE quilt shop…EVERYONE needs to go there at least once. It’s like Disneyland for the quilter…a shop full of GOOD THINGS at every turn…sensory overload!

Before I share the Country Loft with you, I need to introduce you to JoAnn Mullaly, the autor of Wool Crazy! JoAnn’s sister is the owner of Country Loft and JoAnn teaches class there twice a week.


This is JoAnn and look what is hanging to her right!! The original Wool Crazy quilt!! Gorgeous is an understatement!! I’m sorry about the glare but the window was right above the quilt…and it is sunny California! You only see the top two squares of the quilt as a shelf is in front of the rest. JoAnn is as nice as her smile!! She was wonderful…talked about her quilt and gave us all kinds of tips…which I had better share today before I forget them!!


JoAnn used number 8 Valdani Perle Cotton to do her fancy seam stitches as she really wanted to have them pop…she really achieved her goal..Her beautiful stitches really make your jaw drop! Just lovely!!


And her embroidery work really brings her appliqué figures to life..Look at Santa holding the twig of babies breath…it’s these little touches that REALLY make this quilt.

P1050962 P1050963

Both these pictures are of the border…perfect!!

Tip Number ONE~ If you can, go with the batting behind your appliqué work!! It makes each little appliqué figure pop even more! I asked her if she had stuffed certain shapes and she said no it was the batting that gave that effect. Loved it!

Tip Number TWO~

When you are working on your stitching, work on a flat surface. Spread your block out and work that way..then it won’t be as bulky.

Tonight when I work on my block I am going to get my laptop computer board out and try working on that. I think it will help a lot!!


Tip Number THREE~ Use Crewel Number 2 Needles when doing your fancy stitches on your seams as they handle the bulk better. JoAnn said they work like a dream. These needles are even bigger than the Chenille #24 needles that Claire suggested. (I used the Chenille #24 last time I worked on my block and it was WAY easier so I can’t wait to try my new Crewel needles).


Here’s JoAnn’s little house…notice how it is slightly wonky…but that is what gives it charm. I think I need to remind myself that my appliqué pieces shouldn’t be perfect….also it’s the embroidery that gives it that whimsical, primitive look!


All in all, I learned a lot from my visit to the Country Loft!! JoAnn and her sister were wonderful. And very approachable…JoAnn said numerous times that if we have any questions she’s only a click away…

So ladies let’s get Crazy…Wool CRAZY!! But first I’m off to the Clubhouse for quilting!! Yikes, I don’t want to be late!

Tomorrow I will show you around my NUMBER ONE favourite quilting shop! Yes, Country Loft has now taken the title of being the BEST of THE BEST!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday and Happy Quilting!


Sandy said...

Great tips, Paulette...thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures. I have been to the shop a bunch of times, I live about an hour or so away. Now I'm thinking I might have to get down there again one of these days before they put the quilt away so I can say I saw it too.

Jeanette said...

Thanks for tips and comments! I love the close up pictures, too. Those will be so helpful when I get started. :-) Did you get any suggestions on Valdani colors to get? Hope you are having tons of fun down there!!

Lori said...

I'm so green with envy! JoAnn seems so nice and so willing to assist. Thanks for your tips, Paulette!

Sandra said...

Those closeup pictures are very helpful. I'm looking for a good online source for nice or unusual threads. Any ideas? My background is basted and I'm itching to get going.

Brenda said...

Hi Sandra,
You can find hand dyed wool embroidery floss here:
I carry every color they offer, and they are gorgeous!

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penne said...

Those are just wonderful pictures and all the tips. Thanks so much ...... don't you just love that shop.

I was in that shop several times during a month visit I was enjoying in San Diego. Just loved the shop.

Thanks again.

Penne said...

Those are just wonderful pictures and all the tips. Thanks so much ...... don't you just love that shop.

I was in that shop several times during a month visit I was enjoying in San Diego. Just loved the shop.

Thanks again.

Kelli said...

Thanks for the wonderful pictures! I'm still waiting for my book and am chomping at the bit! This blog is great - I love all the comments and helpful hints you all are sharing! Can't wait to get started once my book comes. I went to Goodwill and a local thrift store - picked up some great wool - women's pants and skirt as well as two men's jackets - such fun hunting for just the colors I want.

Paula said...

Hi, Ladies, I just discovered this blog. I haven't bought the WOOL CRAZY book---YET (lol), but I do a lot of wool applique (just finished Maggie Bonanomi's SETTLER'S PRIDE) and had to offer this tip. I do all my basting with a long-arm stapler! No pins to deal with, no tedious basting, no gluing attempts. Long-arm staplers are available at any office supply store. Be sure to get plenty of staple refills and a staple remover. This will be the best $30-$40 you ever spent!Hope this helps. Happy stitching!

Denise said...

Thank you so much for setting up the wool crazy blog Paulette.
The pictures will be helpful with all the embroidery stitches used.