First stop was Piecemakers which I've been to a number of times before. It is a lovely lovely shop with many many gift items and antiques as well as fabric, yarn and an impressive embroidery section.
This shop is known for the calendars they publish every year with an elaborate applique quilt pattern featured in the calendar. I found two older calendars that I liked and decided to get.
All around the shop, which is huge, there are probably 50 or more 14" squares and all the original patterns are available to purchase for $3.00. I had to have 3 of them. In fact they have a whole book and file cabinet full of these patterns. Really really unique and lovely. In fact that is how I would describe the whole place, antiques, a tearoom and beautiful display fixtures. There isn't a ton of fabric but inspiration is everywhere.in the store.
I chatted with Karen Fraser who was teaching a thread painting class for hand embroidery. The work was astonishing and many of the examples around the shop were award wining pieces. So so pretty. There were so many beautiful embroidery materials that I really hadn't seen in other quilt shops. Oh and by the way upstairs there is a shopping area with small unique little artists' "shops". You need to check this place out if you are anywhere near Costa Mesa.
Next I drove over to Flying Geese Fabrics over in Tustin. It is in a really charming little downtown area and the shop has dedicated parking which is huge in Southern California. I'm so sick of looking for parking. I really miss Missouri's ample parking (among other things). The shop had bright and sunny fabric all over the place. There were some charming pillows that had a small printed vintage picture in them. I had to have a kit for a Christmas pillow and a Halloween Pillow.
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of patterns that were created by the shop. It is always fun to see things that you haven't seen anywhere else. They had one pattern that I bought which works as a tote and then turns into a sewing machine mat with pockets, a pincushion and a thread catcher. Genius!!!!!
They also had some really cute patterns for Christmas ornaments. There was a nice selection of fabric, not huge but ample. Also plenty of samples for inspiration. I loved the Halloween panel they had cut up and made into pennants. It is worth a visit.
Orange CA was the next stop to visit the Orange Quilt Bee shop. Turns out I had been to this shop before and I loved it. I think it was my favorite of the three shops I visited yesterday. The quilt samples are abundant and they are happy beautiful quilts. Right up my alley. They had some bag patterns I'd never seen before so bought one and was extremely tempted to get another.
Kits were available for many of the quilts that were hanging which is always nice. Nothing irks my mom more than to see a sample hanging in a quilt shop but none of the fabric or patterns are available.
The owner heard me asking for permission to take pictures for the blog and she came up to chat about my camera and taking good pictures of quilts. Very informative. There were a number of fabrics I found tempting but I'm really not in the market for more fabric right now. This store did have a fairly large selection of batiks. Both Orange Quilt Bee and Flying Geese Fabrics had Row by Row patterns so I added to my collection. I spent more money than I should have but what the hell, you can't take it with you.
Bre finished work early so we went for lunch at this place near her office called Seabirds Kitchen in Costa Mesa. It is a totally vegan restaurant with amazing food. I had a deep fried avocado taco and a mushroom and cabbage taco. So good and one of those places that reminds me I'm not in Missouri any more. We hung out for a while and ran a couple of errands before heading up to L.A. for dinner at one of my favorite spots in all of the city, Tito's Tacos. You walk up to the window and order and the 15 or so servers take the orders and assemble them. The lines are huge because the food is great and cheap. They have the best ever cheese enchiladas. . These aren't for those wimpy vegans or healthy vegetarians. Greasy, yummy, perfect enchiladas, Oh gosh it was such a great day.