This is the 4th (??) installment of our Adventure in Crazy Quilting. Because the Adventure was preceeded by an optional 3-day stitching workshop (and then a day of rest) and then followed by a day of rest and another optional 3-day stitching workshop, not all the attendees stayed once the Adventure itself ended on Sunday the 10th.
A trip to NYC to “do” the Garment (Fashion) District had been planned for several months and many ladies expressed an interest. When it came down to actually going, however, many had to bow out due to other commitments. Or perhaps they felt they (or their pocketbooks, LOL) needed a rest after all the wonderful offerings in the Adventure’s Vendor Boutique. And some felt they were not up to the grueling day of travel and walking.
So, as it ended up, there were five of us die-hards who made the pilgrimage; Allie, Helen, Susan, Linda H and myself. We met at 6:15 a.m. and, fortified with coffee or tea, hopped into Susan’s SUV and headed south to New Haven to catch the train. One hour car ride. Two hour train ride.
|Allie, Linda, Helen waiting for the train|
|Susan hams it up. Don’t you think the Smoothie people would love her funny teeth?|
|Yep, this is New York City alright....|
First stop: M&S Schmalberg Flowers. Allie poses with the sign she made for the friendly proprietors of this AWESOME shop. Read the back story on Allie’s blog here
and continuing on March 30-31.
|Another angle.... my favorite flower is the Big Blue One!! :-)|
|Linda and Helen cheer Allie on, while Susan gets her camera ready for some REAL photography!|
I will save some time here, and label the following seven pictures the same: Showroom Eye Candy. Please have your drool cloths handy... (be sure to click to “embiggen” them and see the detail!)
Now.... I will give you a moment here to recover from your swooning....
OK, are you ready? Let’s move on into the back rooms of the shop, which gracious owners Warren and Adam Brand (why not Schalberg, you ask? Long story, not relevant...) kindly allowed us to wander, cameras in hand. We got to see flowers being pressed, assembled and packed.
|Allie with Adam and his dad Warren|
|Cutting machines, decades old, cut many layers of fabrics into flowers or leaves|
|Molds like these (top and bottom) are loaded into a machine and the veins or shaping marks are pressed onto the petals|
|...and there are racks and racks of these molds throughout the workshop|
|Workers assemble the layers of petals|
|... stitching or glueing as necessary|
|They work, order by order, to fashion just what a customer has ordered|
|Flowers hang in preparation for their next step|
OK, now that we understand the basic process, it’s time to SHOP for those pieces we cannot live without. Easter is coming.... and let’s think ahead to our summer dresses.... and Christmas is coming - what great gift ideas! Ready, set, .... SHOP!!
|These are some leather blooms|
AHA! Not so easy to select, is it??? We were on Overload!! But after spending almost two hours there, we made our selections. Susan was the most, um, PROLIFIC shopper, but we all scored some great blooms and vintage goodies. This is what my “take” looked like:
|Look at how large this bloom is! And I have the perfect summer dress for it!|
|The leaves and birds are pressed velvet.|
My daughter also requested a “tacky NYC gift, like a snow globe”, so I bought one for her. But I also surprised her with this lovely pink organza flower (it was a hit!).
Second stop: a short stop at Mood, the store where the Project Runway contestants shop.
|We were there. We went, we saw, we left. No purchases made.|
Next up was Tinsel Trading. I was so excited, I didn’t get any pictures of the shop. (Hopefully Susan did, and will share, but she was so busy being Miss Super Shopper again that maybe she didn’t, LOL).
|This is all vintage stuff except the white trim. |
After fortifying ourselves with delicious salads for lunch, we stopped into a random bead shop (one of dozens we saw). I was able to leave some cash there in exchange for some bead-type stash. The stuff on the right was from the NYC bead store; the greater pile on the left was what I got when Maureen took us to Beads East during our 3-day stitching workshop.
It was like a treasure hunt trying to find the giant button and needle, but find it we did!
Allie poses by the giant statue dedicated to the garment workers.
And Linda snapped a picture of me by it, too. It was rather poignant for me, as my grandfather owned a sweater knitting factory in NYC back in the day. And my grandmother was a seamstress in a different NYC women’s clothing factory.
Next stop: Sposabella, a lace store.
|Heaven..... I’m in Heaven....|
|Vintage laces I purchased|
|Other laces I purchased.|
|Fabric store stop. Allie checks out the goods.|
|This was SOME of their dupioni silk. Every color imaginable!|
We made a brief stop in a chocolate shop, then enjoyed our hike back to Grand Central Station. It had turned into a glorious, sunny day, and everyone was basking in the sun. We joined the commuters on the two-hour train ride back to New Haven. The warm sunshine and gentle, rhythmic rocking of the train put some of us to sleep..... Our final stop was at Miso, a Japanese restaurant in New Haven, where the warm, moist towels they brought us felt as good on our faces as the delicious food did in our tummies!
Thank you, Linda, Susan, Helen and Allie for being such delightful companions and helping to make our Girls Day Out in NYC a lovely experience I will never forget!!