Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Las Vegas Wedding Chapel Search and Quilt Shop Hop Begins!

A few months ago, Larry asked me if I wanted to go with him to the TechEd SAP conference in Las Vegas, and oh by the way, it's at The Venetian!!! That was not a hard choice, so here we are in Las Vegas. Before we left I sent out an email to the Dear Jane "List That Knows Everything" aka TLTKE, asking for Las Vegas quilt shops. Did it ever deliver. There are five local quilt shops, and over the course of the week, I intend to hop them all. In addition, I'm trying to convince Mom that she needs to have a destination wedding when she (eventually) marries Al, so for fun I'm also checking out wedding chapels.

Larry and I will have Saturday-Sunday at Planet Hollywood (since we're on our own dime those days and can stay there on points). The conference is Monday evening through Friday morning at the Venetian. I found out a few weeks ago that a close family friend, Kathi, and her friend Ronna will be on vacation at the Venetian Monday through Wednesday, so we're planning to have dinner Monday night and the three of us will "do" Vegas all day Tuesday, while Larry is at the conference. I could not believe the coincidence. Not only are they in Las Vegas the same time we are, but that they're staying at the same hotel is unbelievable!
First things first. We got off the plane on-time, but hungry, so we stopped for lunch at the Claim Jumper at the Town Square mall. This restaurant was in a beautiful outdoor mall on the south side of Vegas near the airport - very upscale. It reminded us both of Kierland Commons in Scottsdale. While we enjoyed our yummy meal (and excellent service) we considered our shopping options. We couldn't check-in at Planet Hollywood for several hours, so we decided to begin the shop hop right away with the nearest quilt shop. We found Las Vegas to be an easy city to navigate, and we quickly found our first shop, Christmas Goose Quilt Shop. Christmas Goose is well-known for its large selection of civil war fabrics, and they certainly have a fine selection. I'm not normally into "all those brown quilts" as Brenda Papadakis of Dear Jane fame once remarked, but a large selection of all different kinds of fabrics were recently donated to the Blanketeers, so my stash now includes lots of country prints that should coordinate well with civil war prints. Here is Larry holding the top two coordinating bolts with all the bits and pieces I'm trying to "match".
The donated fabric was very print-intensive, so a more muted coordinating fabric was called for. I ended up buying several yards of the top bolt as well as several yards of the blue batik, just because! Christmas Goose is a very nice store. Larry took lots of pictures for me while I browsed. He's a major shop-hop asset!
The machine quilting on this display quilt was phenomenal! I should have taken a close-up. It is intensively quilted in a way that really enhances the design and color choices of the designer. I wonder if it was ever entered in a show? It has all the earmarks of an heirloom showpiece.

For all that the name of the store has "Christmas" in it, this did not seem to be a particularly Christmassy store. Sure there were some holiday themed quilts, but the ones I noticed first were these striking flag quilts. I particularly like the one on top - check out those cool stars. My eagle-scout husband informed me that the one hanging vertically is incorrect, because the union is always supposed to be on the left. I'm sure only the store's space considerations keep them from hanging it horizontally.
Here is Larry closing the deal. I asked, but Steph was not working today. Steph is the lovely lady from the Dear Jane TLTKE who gave me all the information I needed to execute the entire Vegas shop hop, but unfortunately she won't be working until Thursday. Thanks again, Steph! Larry's smiling. One down, only four more to go; on to Nancy's Quilt Shop.
Nancy's Quilt Shop was also easy to find, and what a find it was! Nancy's is a bright beautiful shop, with high ceilings and lots and lots of gorgeous batiks - right up my alley. It was just filled with beautiful display quilts. The nice high ceilings gave the entire store an airy, open feel, that's so often missing in quilt shops.
This being September, naturally they were showing lots of Halloween fabrics and quilts. Oddly enough, the donated fabric included bunches of Halloween fabrics in bright orange prints and Nancy's is having a 50% off sale in advance of Halloween. What a great coincidence! The hardest part was finding coordinating fabrics that didn't make the donated fabric look too... well cheap. The fabrics at Nancy's are all very high end, and the donated fabric was probably a Wal-Mart special. Don't get me wrong, lovely (and horrible) quilts can be made from either type of fabric, but there's no doubt that a less expensive fabric looks much better when its not being shown up by its richer sisters. I ended up getting only the backing fabric from Nancy's, but I did find a great muted blue, almost stone-washed fabric that ties all of the leftover donated blue prints together very nicely.
Here are even more wonderful holiday quilts, including another flag quilt that is, how shall I put it patriotically accurate... liturgically correct? lol I'm not sure. Anyway, the union is on the left so Larry is happy, and I really like the shooting stars they've used. I also love the fraidy cats and the sunflowers. Very nice!
This was a big store and we stayed there for over an hour because we were informed that the next shop on our hop, would be open on Sunday so we'll be going there tomorrow. I wish that were true for my local quilt shops in Fort Worth, but it's probably just a Vegas thing. It's a bit jarring to go into a 7-11 and see people playing slot machines, or seeing liquor for sale (Sunday morning) at the local CVS pharmacy. Toto you're not in Kansas (or Texas) anymore. lol