Inspiration: Pittsboro

Inspriation: Pittsboro

We’re back in Nijmegen now, but what an amazing trip home. It was our best in years. I particularly enjoyed having a project to work on besides clothing and entertaining the family. My thoughts constantly returned to getting this site and my little business started. As a result, it seemed like inspiration was everywhere. There were so many pretty things to see – there were bags to examine and fabrics to admire. There were colors to fall in love with and patterns in nature that I’d never noticed before. It was a treat and filled me up with things to think about for the coming weeks.

During this trip, we got away for our first night away since Peanut was born. He’ll be five on Monday (ack!), so it has been a while. Finding a quirky little place to stay that wouldn’t cost a bundle was surprisingly difficult, but we prevailed and ended up at the Small B&B in Pittsboro, North Carolina. The name Pittsboro doesn’t inspire much, but I have a penchant for picking out odd places and then hoping they’ll turn out to be suprisingly fabulous. Venlo, in the Netherlands, is not.

On first glance, Pittsboro wasn’t promising. Downtown was a small block of mostly closed stores on a street in the middle of a resurfacing project. Even the bakery was closed (cue husband’s despair). Things started to turn around when we stopped for a drink. They’ve got a nice little bar with good beer on tap. After that we went to Circle City Books and Music. It was so nice, so very nice! I keep a running list of books that I’d like to read and there are quite a few books that have been on that list for years. I went home with five – five yummy books to read! At this point, I was entirely satisfied with Pittsboro. Any town with a used bookstore that full of quality books is just fine for me.

Our next stop was our bed and breakfast The Small B&B was an internet find. The first impression was good. They had quirky yard art, not overdone and interesting, modern buildings on the property. The owner was lovely. She gave us a  feeling of anything goes, just be nice, whatever you need, have a great time, let us know if we can help – enjoy! Our room was just big enough and it was beautiful. Waves of wood paneling cover the lower half of the wall with branches curved along the tops of the panels. A sliding barn door style bathroom door leads to a bathroom with great details like a plumbing piping toilet roll hanger. They also had some of the best smelling soap I’ve had the joy to experience (made by Abela Bodycare) and I’m not such a smelly soap girl.

On the bed was a quilt. I’m not a huge quilt fan. They are impressive in terms of the sheer size of the undertaking. I make accessories, let’s not even compare the work it takes to make a bag with the work it takes to make a quilt! The way they get me is the fabric. Every once in a while, I see a quilt that uses fabric in a way that makes me stop and even gasp. This was one stopped me short. It kept me up at night thinking about the possibilities. I know, romantic, eh? On my big old fabric buying trip, I played it safe with mostly solids or prints that would work as solids. I really like bolder prints, but can’t seem to find a way to work with them that satisfies me. This quilt did it. She used small to medium sized prints in shades of blue and put them together so nicely. Every little cross was a surprise but also worked. The next morning (lovely breakfast), I asked about the quilt and it turned out it was made by a local quilter. Such a neat story.

Seeing such a great example of how to put prints together inspired me to try it myself. I was back at the fabric store within 48 hours choosing another stack of bolts, these bolder. While I was getting some help with batting on a roll, I mentioned a quilter in Pittsboro and the beautiful quilt I’d seen. How small is the world when the lady helping you buy fabric is the one who made the quilt you slept under just nights ago? So very small and wonderful. I love that I got to meet her and share my completely unselfconscious impressions of her work. Had I known she was the quilter, I would have tried to sound vaguely sane about it. As it was, I think I gushed something about “so beautiful, couldn’t sleep, amazing use of fabrics, inspiring.” She might think me a bit crazy, but that’s just fine.

Fabric shopping (part 2)

So that’s Pittsboro, or at least that was my Pittsboro experience. It was pretty nifty. We’re planning on going back. I’m hoping a new quilt will be ready!

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