Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chrismas eve

It's Christmas Eve, but it sure doesn't feel like it. Did I mention that Monday, the temperature is didn't get over 39--pretty cold for all of the running around we did. Tuesday it got close to 50--much different. Today we woke up to sunshine, and it got to 75 by mid afternoon--we had to open windows to cool it down.

We haven't had internet for 2 days, so today we are on hold for the cable guy. They call an hour before they show up, so we went out exploring this morning before Leann had to go to work. We checked out drive times, neighborhoods, and model homes--narrowed down a model that might work really well for Leann. It was a fun exercise.

We had lunch at Chipotle--again right near Leann's work. We dropped her off, and then ran up to Georgetown--a historic town in the Northeast. I got to show Wil how cool the toll roads are. My favorite gift shop is in Georgetown, so we were able to score a few last minute goodies.

Halfway home, we got the call from the cable guy, so we were home in plenty of time. It was a quick fix, and we're back in business. Don't realize how much you miss the internet connection.

We grabbed groceries and a movie after picking up Leann (the mall she is working in is very close to home--the only advantage). Our evening was spent catching up on the computers, home cooked meal (pasta), and the movie--21--good movie, by the way.

More shopping Tues 12/23

We had a lazy morning at home. Leann had to work from 1:30-6. We did lunch first together at Olive Garden, since I had a gift certificate and there was one right by the mall where she is working. We dropped her off, and then ventured out in all of the traffic--last full day of work and shopping for people, so it was madness.

Okay, so we have covered bookstores, computer, and toystores--what's left? Why, Cabela's, of course. It's located south of town, so we had plenty of time to do the trip. Wil just loves watching people walk out with full gun cases--something you don't see in California. Lots and lots of families shopping at Cabela's--the Texas attitude does a hunter's heart good. We actually only bought clothes there this day. I live in my comfy slide shoes from them, and they had my favorite tote purse in pink--must haves. Wil picked up his favorite shirt and a hideous orange hunting hat for the Fryerland jaunts.

From the south area, we tried to navigate back on the east side, to explore more of what the area and distances actually look like. We checked out another tract by the same builder we had seen before--closer in maybe, but dicier area. We were able to see a couple more models to compare and prices were lower in this neighborhood.

On our way back to pick up Leann, we stopped at Ginger's to drop a couple quilts off, and to say hello to Ginger, with whom I have done business for years.

Just before 6, traffic had lightened up, so we got to Leann just in time. What to do next--dinner or a movie? Wait, it's Austin--we can do both!!!--at the Alamo Drafthouse, just across the way. So we check the trusty iPhone, and movie times are perfect. We saw Australia, with a great grill dinner and draft beer. Doesn't get any better than this.

Christmas shopping Monday 12/22

We finally get to start Christmas shopping today. Conveniently, Leann has the day off. So where do you start shopping when you are the nerdy Fryer family?? Why the Apple store and Borders books, naturally. We scored for Leann and Austin at Apple, and everyone at the bookstore.

Austin, the city, being an independent thinking sort of place, has a wonderful independent toy store, so the grandkids are taken care of. In the same center, is also a cool hardware/gift store--no problem finding nifty things there.

After that much hard work shopping, we stopped for our late lunch at Fuddruckers--great casual hamburger restaurant. And since a quilt shop is in the very same center, well, a quick stop while Wil and Leann finished up lunch.

We had some time in the afternoon and wanted to stay in the central part of Austin where we already were. After dark we wanted to go downtown to see the downtown Christmas lights and lit Capitol.

So we drove out east to an area Leann is considering for her next move. She is currently way out in a Northwest suburb--lovely, affordable, but she is putting miles on her car, and it's too far to have friends over. We drove around a couple housing tracts, and ended up looking at a new housing development--most interesting. Prices are dropping, and they are making deals. We looked at as much as we could before dark at 6pm.

We headed downtown, to test the drive from the tract, and to check out Christmas lights in the downtown streets. It was lovely and fun. The Capitol is a very impressive building driving up Congress Street.

Since we were downtown, anyway, we finished up by going to Book People. It is an awesome independent bookstore, not to be missed.

A full day behind us, we headed home for a couple quick groceries, and light dinner. For me, I had Tex-Mex leftovers--doesn't get any better than this.

Texas bound 12/21

On the road to our Texas flight today. Grabbed a quick Subway sandwich for the trip. A little bit of rain on the way to the Oakland Airport, but not bad, and only one traffic hangup with road construction at Manteca/I-5. I love the Park'nFly at Oakland--the shuttle picks you up at your car. A quick jaunt to the airport, express check-in with our preprinted boarding pass, and we're off on time.

We had a surprising light flight for the holidays. It caught up with us in the San Diego, though. Loads of people, delayed flights--ours included. Planes late coming in, and then they hold us up to wait for 70 more people from another incoming flight. Southwest, in all fairness, did an admirable job of juggling and keeping too many folks from missing connections. We were delayed an hour, but not a big deal. We weren't waiting for hours getting in and out of Chicago, and we had warm sunshine in San Diego to watch.

We arrived just about 9pm Texas time. Our Jetta Shuttle Service was waiting for us right after we got our quick bags. The driver used her iPhone to locate a restaurant open late enough for dinner on this Sunday night. So we started our Texas stay with Chuy's Tex-Mex--doesn't get better than this.

Our lovely hostess has Christmas lights on her counter, and a pretty little silver tree, with purple ornaments, of all things, tied with silver bows. Finally, tis the season.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm Free!!--Retired!!--well, almost....

I have actually called it quits on machine quilting for hire. As of Saturday the 20th, I am nearly out of the shop. Cloth and Quilts, our great next door neighbor has taken over the location and 2 computer machines. They are already doing quilting jobs and starting to move in furniture and family--one of the partners has 5 kids, so they are quite literally moving in.

With the business so very big, I actually sold it in parts. One of my staff, Dea Oskerson, bought one machine. She has set up her own business, Dvine Quilters--doing fabulous freehand and computer quilting.

The rest of the staff has retired, or gone on to bigger and better things. Never easy, the transition has still been great, and I think everyone is doing what suits them best.

We had our traditional Christmas Chinese dinner with Grandma Pam tonight. Panda South did not disappoint--it was delicious. Just have to start the season and the retirement off right.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I guess it's over.

Well, it's been a long road, long hours, and a long time coming. California Quiltmakers no longer exists at 621 East Main Street.

But the good news is now that we have no storefront, we have soooo much more time to manage the website. That means that you will have way more fabric, kits, and now even gifts to choose from! YAY!!!!

Thanks to our amazing extended family of quilters. I had no idea the impact that we've had on this industry. Thank you to our awesome friends, old and new. Can I just tell you that California Quiltmakers has changed my life forever? Before CQ I couldn't even turn on a sewing machine. Pat has been teaching me how to quilt since as long as I've been working for her, six years.

Even though this chapter is over, we are feeling new beginnings all around us. Expect greatness coming soon!

If I don't hear from you sooner, I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!! We love you!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Asian Invasion Continues!

We are overwhelmed by our gorgeous new fabric by Kona Bay. December is going to be Asian Invasion, with new kits and fabric going up on the website. That being said, here are some pics of some of our newest creations:

What Four and Big Spins

Big Spins Kit, available now!

the newest addition to the Asian family, a new PamCakes Kit available now!

Also, a good customer of ours came in the other day named Martha Howden. She made this quilt using one of our favorite patterns, Simply Delightful. Just had to show off the great work!

This is another quilt we received (sorry! I forgot to check who made it-if this is you, email me at and i'll give you credit!) using our PamCakes pattern! This was a Sheet Cake bundle that she bought at our booth at the Long Beach Quilt Show in July. Rock on mystery gal! Love the borders!

Ladies!! Show us what you have been making out of our patterns, kits and fabric! Email your pics to Make sure your photo is a .jpeg file please!

One last thing before I work on more quilts. Quilts don't have to be patchwork, sometimes it's fun to be a little more artistic and think outside the seams. I (Jessica) made this quilt with the intention of telling a story with fabric. It's a love story, can you tell?

Have fun! Keep checking the site for new stuff, we will be updating frequently!