It started last Wednesday morning bright and early as Dana and I packed the car and drove an hour and a half to Pleasant Hill, California, to attend the quarterly meeting of the Northern California Quilt Council. I had been invited to participate in a panel discussion called “So You Want to Get it Published.” How very cool! Publishing nerd that I am, I can’t think of a more thrilling topic.

My fellow panel members were Cara Gulati of Doodle Press, Jill Rixman of A Designing Woman, Megan Wisniewski and Lynn Koolish of C&T Publishing, authors Judy Sisneros and Melinda Bula, Tracey Brookshier of Brookshier Design Studio, and Judy Mullen of Scaredy Cat Designs. Quite an array of different perspectives on publishing in the quilting world!

We each had five minutes to introduce ourselves, complete with red, yellow, and green flash cards to let us know when the hook was approaching LOL. Questions from the floor followed. Some of the answers shared great information about various forms of ‘getting it published,’ while others provided moving inspiration. I think we all wish the session could have gone on longer. We only scratched the surface; there was so much more to talk about!

After the meeting was over Dana and I had lunch and set off for our next destination: Shinneyboo Creek Cabins near Emigrant Gap in the Sierra Nevadas. This is a rustic vacation resort with little cabins that I found by following Google Maps up I-80.

Little cabin in the woods.

Little cabin in the woods.


It was so much fun! A complete change of scenery from our coastal Santa Cruz. Crisp mountain air, woodsy terrain, and tons of tumbled rocks and huge boulders thanks to the work of glaciers in the last Ice Age 20,000 years ago. (Hello, I‘m married to a science writer.)

We brought our dinner and warmed it up in our cozy little cabin in the microwave, and made tea with the electric kettle. Dana immediately climbed up into the loft and turned 10 years old again, reading in the loft as happy as a clam. I read some quilting magazines and stitched three holly leaves.

The next morning we went for a walk. (Notice I said walk. I’m a good sturdy walker but don’t say the word hike.) Our destination was the Pierce Creek Wetlands Trail, ¼ mile from the path behind our cabin.


A mile or so later down a rocky road, we came to the following sign.


I swear they were in that order.

But we did find the Pierce Wetlands, er, dry creekbed. Rains this winter will undoubtedly make it wet again.

yurtThey also have a yurt.

Dana examining a fascinating round rock.

Dana examining a fascinating rock.

Dana contemplating a sign that says nothing, with a pine cone on his head. Don't ask.

Dana contemplating a sign that says nothing, with a pine cone on his head. Don't ask.

We left Shinneyboo and drove east to Bearpaws & Hollyhocks, a charming quilt shop in Sacramento well worth the detour. I found some of the double pinks that I have come to greatly appreciate.

We got back on the freeway and proceeded eastward a short hop to historic Auburn, where I stopped in at the Cabin Fever Quilt Shoppe. The first thing I saw was Susan Brubaker Knapp‘s hot-off-the-presses Applique Petal Party! (A whole post about that’s comin’ up.)


As I was perusing the shop’s lovely fabrics and making my selections, the owner came in. “Oh, hello!” she said to me. She had been at the NCQC meeting that morning! It was great to chat with Patti a little bit about the experience. She gave me a copy of the 2007 Quilt Sampler magazine, which features Cabin Fever as one of the Top Ten Stores! Congratulations Patti and staff!

Just one part of the store.

Just one part of the store.

Then, on to our last stop, the Sands Regency in Reno, Nevada.

From woodsy to glitzy.

From woodsy to glitzy.

Dana plays in a chess tournament at the Sands once or twice a year and I love to go along when I can. The fabulous Windy Moon Quilts has a huge selection of fabrics, lots of lights and darks and other categories too numerous to mention. I also found Sew-n-Such, a very fun shop featuring sewing machines, sergers, and a sizeable quilt fabric presence. Very nice vibe in that shop.


My haul of fabrics from the trip. Can you tell that I’m collecting backgrounds, reds, pinks, greens, and blues? Yep, I’m off to the races on another future project.

So what quilter doesn’t combine vacation time with visits to quilt shops, catching up on quilting magazines, and time spent on take-along projects? For us, all trips are quasi-quilty! I sure enjoyed mine.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie