Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

Sunday Stash – Shop Hop

This weekend is shop hop, and I am hopping the shops. I’ve shown a lot of restraint, gotten some things I’ve needed and caved on some unnecessary purchases. My biggest disappointment is that I have NOT found the fabric I need more of to back my bento quilt. I was really hoping I would. I have found a lot of other nice things.

Oh, Have I mentioned I have fallen in love? Like, love. L. O. V. E. Love. His name is Jason Yenter and he designs for In The Beginning. I don’t know what rock I have been under, but I decided the back I had picked out for my chevron wasn’t good enough and started searching and in my search came across Musings. I really want the print with the birds and large flowers, but at the first shop I went to I came across this in the sale room:

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So I bought a whole bunch of it.

And I just couldn’t resist the Saltwater. I should probably have bought yardage (I am seriously lacking the saltwater on my Tula shelf) but totally caved on a kit. I’ve never bought a kit before. I just couldn’t resist.

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I’ve already cut out all the squares and this may be a stash bash project. It’ll make a great quilt for my parents’ Florida home.

Today while I was out I was informed one of my picks for Michele‘s Kate Spain swap was duplicated and I needed to repick. Luckily, one of the shops I went to had TONS of Kate Spain. Oh, I wanted to buy tons of it, but I am having a lot of spending guilt. So I was good and stuck to picking just one for the swap.

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Look familiar? I bought this exact print at this exact shop last year at shop hop for my bento top that I am currently trying to finish. A year later. We’ve come full circle.  This caused me to do a lot of reflecting that I am sure will be its own post soon. But I didn’t even know this was a Kate Spain print. I remember wondering if it would even work in the quilt. Isn’t that funny. I got a little extra so it may end up in my bento back too (the scrap I had left was too little).

I also found the treasure chest of Lemon Grove in their sale room. Also, very hard to resist. I picked up a couple yards of the tree print that I love.

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So, those are my shop hop purchases so far. That last shop forgot to give me my charm for making a purchase. 😦  I have three shops left. One is my regular shop and the other two are real country shops. One is actually in a feed store.

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I finished something

I took a break from borders today to put together my notions bag. This is something one of the ladies in my BOTM class made and I thought it would be a nice thing to have too. I had been using a wet bag and was scared that my pointy things would ruin the PUL. I found the pattern at one of the shop hop shops. It didn’t seem too complicated or like it would take tooo long. It was kind of a disaster from the beginning. Two needles lost their lives in this project.

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The first set of interfacing I tried to use didn’t fuse. So I had to find some other interfacing to try. All the wet and steam caused some burn marks on my ironing pad to stain my white fabric. Ultimately, I was able to cut around the stain. I also gooked up my iron a bit. The notions fabric is the fabric from this year’s shop hop. I thought it would be perfect for this bag. And maybe a sewing cover. Because, you know, I always cover my sewing machine.

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The pattern

The pattern (or – “what it is supposed to look like”)

So the cutting went fine. And then I started sewing. Well. I’d never sewn vinyl before. I knew it was supposed to be tricky, but I didn’t know why. The d@mn vinyl sticks to the machine and doesn’t move and then jams up the thread. I tried sewing while holding it up or putting something under it, and it didn’t help. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize it was sticking to the foot. So I finally came up with the ingenious idea to cover it with a telephone book page and sew over that.  I was sewing blind, but other than that, it seemed to do the trick. And then ripped right off. I just had some nasty spots where the thread caught or skipped.

Things went along ok from there until I had to sew the inner lining to the back of the vinyl. The first time I tried, I was sewing too far over and the seam didn’t catch the end of the vinyl. It also was uneven and wonky. So I spent about a half hour ripping that seam out and then trying again. It is still wobbly but doing its job.

See?

See?

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Ok. Just a tip. When it says to square up, square up. For serious. The front with the back.Otherwise your bottom seams won’t line up and it’ll be wobbly like mine. I tried to line the “bottom” seam up with the back instead of the middle, and it works, but isn’t beautiful and doesn’t sit flat. It tilts back. So then I had to sew the sides. This was a total disaster. First, I totally missed my aim and sewed the zipper thing. That’s what killed my first needle. and it took some work to unjam everything after that. Then, remember that important lesson I learned about sewing vinyl? Somehow I totally forgot it already. I was sewing all la-de-da then hit the vinyl part and suddenly my project wouldn’t move. It took an embarrassingly long time for me to realize why. Again. So I did my phone book trick again and now my seam looks like this:

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It was intentional. Sure. Text prints are so trendy right now. Also, appreciate the contrasting thread. Totally intentional too.

Ok. Here comes the worst part. I am truly mortified to admit it. All I can blame is a long day and tired. I went to box my corners and wanted to put my hand inside the bag to push them out and…. I totally sewed my bag shut. It never occurred to me to unzip the zipper before sewing the sides. Stop laughing. I spent a good deal of quality time with some tools trying to pry it open before finally coming downstairs to my husband (who had been waiting quite a long time at this point for me to “just finish this up”) and said “you are going to laugh at me, but I need your help.” He looked so confused about what I would need sewing help for. Until I got about halfway into my first sentence and he put his hand to his eyes and started laughing. Then I handed it over and he spent some time til he finally got it open. Lesson learned.

The second needle died when I was doing my corners. I don’t quite remember why now. I think I just hadn’t tightened the needle well enough in the first place and it slipped out.

I finished my corners and here you go.

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It is serviceable, if not beautiful. Oh well. I always do everything better the second time. The fabrics sure are real cute. I had meant to add a carrying/hanging loop but that never happened. Next time.

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Wip Wednesday

I feel like nothing is getting accomplished. Between the cleaning, the pretty weather, the shop hopping, the mess in my sewing area…. I feel like I am doing a lot of moving around and not much doing. This weekend I finally buckled down and finished my card trick blocks: (these are bee blocks to be sent out to different people.)

Now I just have one more to finish for my pinwheel group, then these can all go out.

Yesterday, I spent the day cutting and sorting for my fat 8 swap:

We still have one person we are waiting on, then I can package these up and get them back out and take a picture of what was swapped. Then I have the polka-dot swap right on the heels of this one. We are signing up for Lizzy House Jewel print now.

My next most important project is my modern round robin block. I actually have two of them here to do, but one is due at the end of March. I have a plan for what I want to do with it (which is going to take a bit of pattern work on my part) but I have no fabrics to match one of the major colors. I wish I had realized that when I was going to 100 quilt shops last week. I thought I had some things that would work, but they are the wrong color. I can’t be more specific, sorry. 🙂  It’s a mystery! So I am going to go out to my shop this afternoon with the block and see what I can find so I can get to work on that.

Also on my to-do list is to finish my ribbon quilt top. I have picked out a rather ambitious border. I had a little fussy fit trying to figure out the directions in the book. It isn’t difficult, but it is a bit of math, and it doesn’t give actual measurements to cut so I am never sure whether it is finished measurements or actual in their diagrams. I find it very confusing. And I don’t want to waste fabric doing it wrong! I think I have it figured out though, and hopefully will get to that soon.

I have some fabric OTW to try out for my citrus theme. Yellow is impossible to find, and it is stressing me out a bit that I have a disproportionate amount of it. Once I am able to focus on it, we’ll see how it looks. I also had to buy full yards of these fabrics and won’t need anywhere near that much. 😦

My I-spy quilt is still waiting for me to attempt quilting it. I went to order a walking foot I have been considering for a while, and they are sold out now (due back in stock soon). I also want to make some smaller projects first to quilt before I attempt that giant quilt. I also want my sewing table complete for extra space and support – and comfort. Did I mention I sew standing up right now? A post for another day.

And once I get some of these things done, I will start cutting tumblers for my nephews. Hopefully those will go quickly!

I am ready to start seeing some progress!

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Shop Hop, part 3

I sat in the car a few minutes trying to decide how to tackle the rest of the shops. Should I bail and go home? Should I start at the furthest or the closest? The three remaining shops were all in the same city, so I hoped that meant they were all relatively close together, cutting down on travel time. I made a choice and told Siri where to go, and she provided me with a route I didn’t know about. I thought I was going to have to drive east all the way back to the highway then head nw from there, but the shop was pretty much due north of the shop I was at, and an easy about 25 minutes on a couple streets straight there. I found it easily with minimal traffic.

Their theme was batty/halloween

Their theme was batty/halloween

This was a nice sized shop too. Lots of batik and reproduction. Mostly arranged by color. Not a lot of yellow. 😦 My yellow search continues… but that’s a story for another post.

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Shop quilt

Shop quilt

This time I found something I was looking for:

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They teach classes AND rent time. They lady spoke with me for some time about it and I took a flyer. I am SO super excited. I am really interested in learning to long arm and want to do my own quilts. Classes are one on one and there is always someone available to help/oversee when working. They are all non-computerized machines. She did scare me a little about how long it takes to do, and how steep the learning curve is. But this year is all about facing my fears head on, right? And, of course, you book ahead of time, not based on time used, so you may over or under book and it all adds up, so I am not sure it is any cheaper than sending out. But it’s mine. This can all get so expensive. Anyway, as soon as I have a small quilt and some free time, I am totally going to schedule a class.

I picked up a few fat quarters for my jar swap because the price was good, but ended up putting them back. So I had now been in and out of 8 stores without buying anything! Unheard of. Their gift bag had candy, thread, a nail file, coupon and pattern.

They had printed directions to the next shop, which was maybe ten minutes away. YAY!

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Shop quilt

Shop quilt

This was another smallish shop. They had a room with contemporary, novelty and sale. The front room had blender and repro. Their baggie had the pattern, candy, coupon, some english paper piecing precuts (people say these are addicting, but it so doesn’t appeal to me at all) and a fat quarter. I did pick some things up here. I actually didn’t hit the minimum dollar amount to get my strips, and had to go back and pick out a few more things. I wish I had gotten one of those charms though. I thought those were darling.

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They had one bolt of Tula Pink on the sale shelf. It was the main reason I bought here. I almost didn’t, but wanted the pattern too and was scared I would regret it if I didn’t. It was 40% off the marked down price, so I kinda wish I had gotten more. The pattern is for a notions bag with a vinyl window. One of the ladies in my BOTM class made one and I have been wanting to, too. I am using a wetbag right now, but am always worried my sharp tools with punch holes in the PUL. Several of the fat quarters are for my I spy swap. The tomatoes, candy, bugs and buttons are for the jar swap. And there are the fabric strips I got for my purchase.

One stop left! Again, not too far to go, and by now I was onto them. I knew to ask for directions.

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Shop quilt (I think)

Shop quilt (I think)

I made it! With a little time to spare. I spent some time here, since I was finally able to relax a little. I turned in my passport and got a big coupon to all the stores as the prize. The bag for this shop included the pattern, coupon, a fabric label, and another nail file (seriously – is there some use for these in sewing I don’t know about?!? It was certainly a popular gift bag choice). This was a nice sized shop. The main room had batiks and various designer fabrics and a notion section. There was a large room with novelty and flannel. I saw lots of cute stuff.

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I knew I was going to get the shop fabric here, so I started picking out some other things to get. They had some nice moda that I hadn’t seen before that would work great with my citrus theme. I took it to the cutting table to be cut and asked for the shop hop theme fabric. I asked for two yards, which should have been plenty to get me to the minimum purchase for the strips, but they only had less than a yard and a half. I took what they had and got a 15% end of bolt discount! LOL. I was way under what I needed to get the strips. So I decided to look around for some more fabric. I picked out a few more for the jar swap, the two at the top of the last column (not sure the second one will go with my citrus theme, but we will see) and the cute crabbies that were just calling to me. Plenty of orange and lime, but no lemon still.

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So, I headed home and got stuck for some time in even more construction traffic. I can only imagine if I had done this during the week….

Reflections….

I am glad I did it. At first I wasn’t going to at all, then I was just going to check out a few, and then I had to catch them all. I found lots of shops I didn’t know about. However, there are a couple I do that weren’t a part of it.  I wonder how it is determined who joins. But there are certainly some I will be going back to again, which I would never have known about otherwise. I will Definitely be learning long arm this year! I will also be going back to the first shop I visited yesterday that was huge and had all the designer stuff. Some of the ones over on my side of town, while still far, are good to know about if I get a day out and need to find something. Over all, I still think the shop I go to is the best in the bunch… well, except maybe for the huge shop… maybe it is loyalty or familiarity or maybe it is that they are more my style (though I did like the fabrics in this last shop too). All in all, a worthwhile and fun thing to do.

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Shop hop, part 2

Today I set out after putting the baby down for a nap, around 11:30 or 12. I started with the most southern shop. As I asked Siri how to get there, her answer was “I found a place that matches. It is a long way from you.” So even she realizes how crazy it is to go to these places! A long way to Siri is, apparently, 45 minutes. I probably would have gotten there in a little less time, as I was cruising nicely at 70 or 75…. til I hit my first bout of construction traffic, about 5 miles from the exit. Then we were creeping along at 20 miles or so. I was stressing that this was not the way to start the day. I had a long day with a lot of travel ahead. The return traffic was completely stopped and not moving at all. Suddenly, just before the exit, everyone started moving again (on my side, not the opposite). I saw no construction or other reason for the traffic to have stopped. How annoying.

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A billboard on the highway promised this was the largest quilt shop in the state! That was exciting. I was eager to see it.

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This whole building was the shop.

This place was amazing. And overwhelming. I spent almost an hour just looking around and talking to the workers. I could have spent a fortune here, but managed to escape without buying anything. But I have filed away a lot of the stuff they have here for if I should need it later.

The shop quilt

The shop quilt

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Lookie what I found:

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Unfortunately, they only had Salt Water and Prince Charming. But there are a few prints there I may go back for. I spent some time trying to decide if I should get them, but they were full priced and not cheap. The goody bag for this shop included a tape measure, coupons, and the pattern,

My other fascination in this shop were their long arms:

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Unfortunately, they do not give classes or rent time. When I inquired, I was told that they give a class to everyone who buys a machine. Well… I’d kind of like to know how to use it and if I like it before I go spending tens of thousands and devoting a lot of space to a machine, y’know? But they do provide longarm servixe, which is really good to know. It seems in line with, or cheaper than, other places I have priced, but without the expense and risk of shipping. Their turn around is 7-10 days. All good to know. If I could just get past my hangup with having other people do my quilting for me… but good to know about in a bind and I am sure I will use their services at some point.

I asked for a non-traffic-highway way to get to the next shop and discovered they had printed directions and everything! I still double checked with Siri (I like to see where I am on the route) and headed out to the next place. It was after two by this point. The drive was getting hot and the sun was beating down on me. And even though I was trying to avoid the highway, I was still in a lot of traffic for about half the way. Then, suddenly, everything opened up and the rest of the drive was a breeze.

This next shop was kind of in the last place I would expect to find a quilt shop. That’s all I am going to say about that. It was in a little strip mall. I actually drove by it and had to turn around. Inside, it was cute. Small. Lots of novelty and batik.

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Their theme was pirate and they did a cute job with it. The also had water and gold coins available for free, and other goodies for purchase. I was excited to get the water after several hours in the hot car already.

Some of the pirate theme

Some of the pirate theme

Shop quilt

Shop quilt

They also had a long arm. They also do not do classes or rent. Their turn around is closer to 6 weeks. Nuff said.

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I also took pictures of their jar quilt since we have a jar swap coming up. It kept falling while I was trying to take the picture. I also didn’t purchase anything here (go me!) even though I need some stuff for the jar swap and they had some good options. The bag for this shop was the pattern and coupons.

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The next shop was the furthest away and really in the middle of nowhere. Traffic wasn’t as bad, but it was far and the directions were not good. They told me to turn onto a road that didn’t exist. And Siri had no idea what I was trying to find. So I finally pulled over and called the shop. They gave me convoluted directions that were at least good enough to get me the rest of the way there. This one was also in a strip mall.

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This was a nice shop, but I didn’t spend a ton of time here. I was really stressing as now it was 4:00, I’d been at it for over four hours, and I still intended to get to three shops. They closed at 7. So I tried to get in and out of this one quickly, especially as it is the furthest and most difficult to get to, I figured I would not be a frequent shopper here.  I did win a door prize here, a goodie bag with an applique book and a pattern. Other than that, they handed out their pattern for their quilt block, which I did not get a picture of. At this point, my phone was full and I had to spend some time deleting pictures, and I guess didn’t realize it didn’t take a picture of the block because it was full. It is a log cabin.

DUN DUN DUN…

Will she complete her quest??? Will she buy the shop hop fabric?  Find out in part three, coming soon!!

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Shop Hop, Part 1

This weekend is Shop Hop. Ten quilt shops around the city band together to bring people out of their comfort zone and visit the shops all around the city. And boy, are they spread far and wide. Ten shops, 4 days, door prizes at each shop, and some great grand prizes if you make it to each of the shops. Each shop hands out little gift bags, has a theme and a shop quilt showcased. They also are offering kits, and fabric strips for purchase to complete the shop quilts. (But I didn’t know all that til later)

Yesterday after naptime, I strapped the kidlet in the car and make the hour + treck to our first set of shops. I was absolutely convinced when I arrived at the first shop that I was in the wrong place. It didn’t help that all over the literature it said not to trust the GPS because it takes you to the wrong place. And of course, what did I do? I printed out directions on google maps and asked Siri how to get there. I found myself at, what looked from the outside to be a yard nursery or somesuch. I wasn’t sure if I should even get the baby out of the car, but I went ahead and strapped him into my Ergo (which I haven’t used in a year) and went inside. What I found was a real, old fashioned like dry goods store. They had beans and hunks of meat and candy and fabric. I was wrestling the baby for the phone, so I didn’t get all the pictures I wanted to.

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They had quilts hanging all over the shop. The selection wasn’t large, and quite honestly, not really my style. Lots of what I call “country” colors… muted, lots of calicos (which I like in the right colors), a good batik section. Nothing really modern or designer.  The top quilt in the second picture is the shop hop quilt pattern they gave (though I didn’t know that at the time, I just liked the quilts) and the fabric pattern in the bottom quilt is the exclusive shop hop fabric for the year. I will pick some up at one of the shops eventually.

I got my program stamped, and filled out my entry for the drawing. They gave me a goodie bag. It had the quilt pattern, seeds, a coupon and some candy in it. Then we headed back in the car to go about ten miles to the next shop.

Ok. This time I really did get a little lost. This shop was in a renovated home in a cute little historical district. Siri didn’t really tell me the right spot. I was on the correct road, but wrong location. I don’t know if I drove by it or didn’t go far enough or what, but I eventually looked at addresses and figured it out. It is easy to miss if you don’t know what you are looking for.

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This shop was a little more my style, though still not a Lizzy House or Tula Pink in sight. Excuse the first picture, I took it blind because of the sun. The theme for this shop was black, white and red. They had a whole room just with fabrics of those colors.

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I like the tumbler. I am about to start cutting tumblers for my nephews, but I love the monochromatic. I love the one next to it, too. Here are some other quilts they had displayed:

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This last one is their shop hop quilt pattern. I really like it. The woman at the table in this shop did try to explain about the quilt and the fabric strips, but I didn’t understand that each shop had its own different quilt… I thought I was supposed to collect fabrics from all shops for the same quilt. I got a goodie bag with more candy, some fabric cuts – I think to make a mug rug, and a cute nail file that says something about nail care for crafty hands. We headed back home for the day after that.

This morning I managed to get out during naptime without the baby. I had a list of places to go, including the store and post office, so I didn’t have a hope to make it back before he was up, but took advantage of the opportunity. It is so much easier without him. After a stop at the PO I went out the the shop closest to my home, where I usually go and take classes. I didn’t get a front pic of this shop, since I was rushing and didn’t think of it because it is so familiar.

I went straight to the stamp table (I am very familiar with their stock) and on the way met the sewing machine repair guy. I talked to him a bit (he was real sweet) and told him about some of my issues and got an idea of his schedule. Then I got stamped, filled out my entry and took my goodie bag. This one had the quilt pattern, some table runner patterns, a coupon and a fat quarter.

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Shop Hop quilt

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This is the quilt for the quilt of the month class I am taking

Then I drove about 45 minutes north to the next shop. Their theme was “under construction” and they went all out. They did a cute job.

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Don’t you love the “barn quilt” on the front? There was one on the side too. Renovated homes seem to be a popular place for quilt shops. They had a lot of nice stuff, but still not what I am on the lookout for. Lots of cute novelty, batiks, a 30’s room, and various other stuff. They had a bunch of fabric panels that make up into books. I really spent time going through them and trying to decide if I should get some to make for the baby.

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In the end, I decided I had overstayed my time out and still had a long drive home and needed to get going. I got my goodie bag and headed out.

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This was their shop hop quilt, but I didn’t get the pattern in my goodie bag (which had a candy and a fat quarter)!! I didn’t realize it til I was already on the road. At least it looks like an easy one, but now, after four of these I know what to look out for.

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I thought this was real cool too. I think it is a quilt with little working purses on it. I may have to grab that pattern if I ever go back for the fabric books someday.

I debated whether or not I should even stop at the grocery store and ended up pulling into a smaller store on the way home. Just as I was getting out of the car, my husband called to tell me the baby had just woken up! I couldn’t believe he had slept so long. I was sure he would have been up for some time, and my husband would be waiting for me to get home so he could get back to work.

Well, four down, six to go. So far, I haven’t bought anything! I have done all the shops that can even remotely be called close to my house. The other 6 are spread out all around the west, northwest and south, clear across the city. Places I wouldn’t even think of going on a weekday when I could run into traffic. I really don’t want to have to go both tomorrow and Sunday but it seems like a lot of driving to do in one day. We’ll have to see what happens, but my husband is already on notice that it’s going to be a boy’s day tomorrow.

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