Friday, September 23, 2011


Marilyn Doheny has worked her butt off the past two days, presenting an amazing and awesome trunk show on Wednesday and a jam-packed full day class on Thursday using her remarkable 9 degree rulers.  We were all completely saturated with  the variety of designs that could be accomplished with her quilting techniques, and we were also totally immersed in the process to the extent that while finally creeping out of the class at the end of the day, we found ourselves tired but exhilarated by all that we had learned to do.

So I thought that today, Marilyn, who is my guest for the next several days, should have a little relaxation.  The first requirement was that the fun would not require any of us to meet anyone's schedule on anything, and the second was that it must involve fabric.

After the trunk show on Wednesday, we had held a luncheon for her at the Rosemont Winery.  Chef David had made incredibly delectable tidbits of this and that for us, topping it all off with a heavenly flan.  During that luncheon, I heard of a new quilt shop in the area, the Threads Run Thru It Quilt Shop in Phenix, VA.

Now, you have to realize that "the area" in rural Virginia does not mean "the area" in any other civilized and populated part of the world.  If you lived in a suburb of a big city, it could mean just a few blocks.  If you lived in a small town, it could include the backroads between that town and the next.  But in rural Virginia, "the area" means anything between your home and about 2 hours away, because there is absolutely NOTHING around where we all live down here until we get to a major city, like Richmond or Raleigh. 

So that meant that we needed to make an hour and a half trip to see this quilt shop.  And we did.  In the rain on a grey and somewhat muggy day. But oh boy!  Was it ever worth it!

The quilt shop itself is a charming log cabin out in the middle of nowhere.  It's not even near the three or four houses that pass for a town in this neck of the woods.  It is REMOTE!  As you go down the lane and come upon this pretty place, you are immediately greeted by two things:  the lovely quilts hanging on the outer walls, and the cat, Wing Nut, who is a long-haired, multicolored, affectionate "familiar" of this bewitching place.

Once inside, the warm greetings continue.  Lori and Steve Clayton (who built the log cabin himself!) welcome you with an exquisite collection of every fabric you could possibly want, with the exception of no Amy Butler(which I don't use anyway) or Kaffe Fassett (which is ok, because I can get his stuff any number of places).  The fabrics are top notch quality and very up to date.  I spent over an hour just drooling and touching and thinking and planning and combining one with the other.  Finally, I bought a whole bunch of yummy stuff and sat down to wait for the others in my party.  Myrt was with us, and she looked over some fabrics I wanted to make into strata for the Eye of Rah quilt.  She quickly saw that I needed a particular red as a zinger, so back I went to the batiks rows to choose a strong, deep red.  While there, Marilyn had found a batik with several heart-catching colors in it, so of course I needed some of that, too.  I ended up at the cash register for two more purchases.
This is Emily.  She must have cut more than 50 fabrics for the three of us today!  And always with a smile.  While we were there, four more ladies arrived, and by the time we left, another two had come in the door and were proceeding up and down the aisles, eyes glazed over, slack-mouthed and drooling, just like we had been upon seeing all those fabrics, willing and eager to jump into our arms almost of their own volition.
I sat back down again and watched others fondle, carry and combine their treasures.  Then another spark of color caught my eye, and of course, that needed to go in my bag.  And the black and white diagonal stripes -- I had forgotten I needed them, too.  By now, I'm a little embarrassed at showing up for a third time at the register, but what's a quilter to do?  You have to have the correct supplies, right?

If you look at the top picture, you will see that Marilyn is seated at a little bistro table.  These tables are in one section of the cabin/shop, as is a small kitchenette.  Lori Clayton will prepare lunch for her customers if she knows when you are coming and how many there will be!  We had delicious chicken salad sandwiches, potato chips, brownies and iced tea -- for free!!!  What service!

Lori is also a longarmer.  She has a Gammill with the Statler computerized robotics attached.  I'm giving her a plug even though she is competition for me.  But she's also a good sport about it and seems to have a comfortably large customer base.

This quilt shop has been in business for a year and is doing very well.  Both Steve and Lori are personable quilters who know what is required to have a successful enterprise.  They make a good team, and the shop is absolutely, 100% worth the trip.  I highly recommend them to all the quilters in "the area."