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 author 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!


  1. What a cool shop! I love all of your pictures of the stitches! :)

  2. Wow, the quilting economy seems to be alivea and well in CA (thanks, in no small part to you!). Seriously, there are so many shops, I can't believe it! Great does she mean you cut a piece of batting slightly smaller than your applique item and put it behind, or have a large piece of batting behind your whole crazy block? You're right, her embroidery totally makes it!

  3. Looks like you had a great visit with JoAnn. Thanks for taking us along and passing on the tips that she gave you. Now I am waiting on my thread to arrive, cause no place in my town carries the perle cotton I want.

  4. Great tips, I knew I forgot something when I was at jo anns. Will see what i have in needles, have enough of them. I would say this is a quilt to enjoy making and not something to rush and try to finish quickly.


  5. Green with envy...I hear that shop is wonderful!

  6. Oh Paulette, it must be such a pleasure for you as each day breaks. Every day has new and fabulous things to show. And you show so well. Thank you

  7. Wonderful quilt, have been seeing it lots lately,, the IN project now. Just drop-dead gorgeous work.. Thanks for sharing.

  8. You just get to go to the best places! That quilt is awesome!

  9. You got a two-fer... you saw the original quilt AND met JoAnn! What a treat! JoAnn must be tickled at all the buzz about her gorgeous quilt.

  10. Paulette..It was great to have you visit. My sister and I both really enjoyed it. Kathy has managed the Loft for 25 years, ever since it opened. We have two great owners...Joe and Sharon Smith...but since Kathy is there so much all most everyone thinks she owns it...:)))
    Beth..all the talk about the quilt is amazing! I can't believe it!!!

  11. This is a new angle on crazy quilting, I like it much better than the usual.