East Coast Travels
A Crazy Quilter’s Dream Vacation

Barbara Blankenship © 2009

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The summer of 2009 will be remembered for one of “the best” vacations I have ever taken. Lynnis Burt, friend and fellow crazy quilter, and I flew out of Houston, Texas in the early morning hours on our way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We were met at the airport by Stephanie Novatski, former CQMagOnline staff member; an amazing artist and dear friend.

The first part of our time was spent with Stephanie and her wonderful family, including Diamond (a beautiful Maltese.) We shopped at some of the most amazing places and spent as much time as we could in her studio learning new techniques. These are the results of our experiments with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel and Textiva. With Stephanie’s guidance I made the leaf and Lynnis made the cabochon.

Eddie, Stephanie’s husband, is a Corvette lover and owns several remarkable cars; Lynnis and I were both treated to a ride in the beautiful countryside of New Jersey . This article would not be complete without sharing pictures!

The second part of our time on the East Coast was spent with Victoria Adams Brown. Vic is another amazing artist, designer, author and international teacher. She lives in the most beautiful home in the countryside of Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Mike, share their home with Sadie (a beautiful Papillion), along with cats Pearl and Olive. This photo shows Pearl waiting to fill in another RibbonSmyth invoice.

I first met Vic at the Omaha Crazy Quilt Convention in June 2002. I took several classes from her and credit her for my love of silk ribbon embroidery. Over the years that followed she became a dear friend and mentor. She has a remarkable talent and has taught me so much.

I met Stephanie through one of the crazy quilt Yahoo groups. We corresponded for years before we finally met at the Houston Quilt Market and Festival. I met her at the airport and we spent five days visiting, shopping and representing CQMagOnline. Stephanie is the “Jill of all Trades!”

In this issue I have written an article on both Vic and Stephanie.  I hope through these articles you will get a glimpse of the amazing talent and creativity these two wonderful ladies possess. What a distinct pleasure it is to count them among my dearest friends.

Some Memorable Shopping and Site Seeing(a few of our favorites):

On Saturday, Vic, Stephanie, Lynnis and I took the train from New Jersey to Penn Station in New York City. What a wonderful adventure we had! We did some amazing “speed shopping” in the hours available to us. Pictured here are Vic, Lynnis and Stephanie outside Penn Station.

Tinsel Trading Company (www.tinseltrading.com), located at 1 West 37th. Street, New York, New York 10018, was beyond my wildest imagination. Their business card sums it up; “A Resource for the Imagination: Passementeries, Ribbons, Metallic Trims, Flowers; Vintage and New, Rare and Production.”

Pictured here are Marcia Ceppos, owner (center), along with Sara Frohlich (right) and Kate Wnek (left), sales. I enjoyed looking through their vintage stamen and picking out some of my very favorites. Walking through the aisles of this store is a crazy quilter's dream come true. Here I am with Sara behind the counter picking my favorites.

If you are in New York you must visit Tinsel Trading. It is a remarkable store for embellishments of every kind. The store is beautifully decorated and the staff so gracious and welcoming.

Fine Fabric Warehouse, located at 339 E. Railway Ave., Paterson, NJ 07503, was another wonderful store. Tery Favo, one of Stephanie’s friends, met us and we enjoyed browsing and purchasing beautiful trims and fabric. David, who was the exact image of Tyrone Powers, provided excellent service. (I promised David I would make that reference and I try to honor all my promises.) Pictured here are Tery and David.

The Birds and the Beads (www.thebirdsandthebeads.com), located at 411 Route 79, Morganville, NJ 07751, was our favorite bead store. We cannot believe Stephanie could be so fortunate to have this wonderful store within walking distance!

Pictured on the left is Barb Cook and on the right, Karyn Daino.

They have an amazing stock of beads, charms and findings, along with many more wonderful bead-related items. They do not have an online store, but will be glad to accept any mail orders. If you are looking for a certain bead to match a fabric just send them a swatch of the fabric, and they will do the matching for you.

Barb created this beautiful wall hanging depicting bead containers full of varying colors of beads.

Peace Valley Lavender Farms, (www.peacevalleylavender.com) 802 New Galena Road, Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901, is very close to Vic’s home. We spent some time looking through all the products available in their store. I returned with a number of items that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using; among my favorites are the shampoo and conditioner.

Longwood Gardens (www.longwoodgardens.org), Kennett Square, Pennsylvania 19348, is a fabulous du Pont family estate with acre after acre of breathtaking landscaping, including fountains, waterfalls, flowering trees and floral wonders. I took wonderful pictures of flowers I would love to reproduce in silk in their glorious colors.

Byers’ Choice

One of our last stops took us to this remarkable campus. Vic’s brother, Brent Adams, has been an employee for the past twenty-three years and manages quality control. We were thrilled to be invited to tour the facility and thank Brent for extending this invitation.

Lynnis, Vic and I dressed in appropriate attire and posed for Brent in this photo.

The story becomes more interesting and deserves its very own article. I invite you to click on this live link, Byers Choice, and read the “rest of the story.”

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