Thursday, October 23, 2014

Part 4: New York, New York - Days 7 and 8

So the previous night some friends from Canada had arrived to join me for the rest of my time in New York City....Natalie and her sister in law Jo, and Janelle of Emmaline Bags. I was sharing a room with Janelle.  Janelle was attending the Quilters Take Manhattan event, which I had decided not to go to, so Natalie, Jo and I decided to go to JoAnns.  We don't have JoAnns in New Zealand, so I had a shopping list from my NZ friends for DS fabrics! The closest one was at Paramus in New Jersey, so we diligently planned it all the night before, carefully working out the trains and where we would need to swap trains etc.

Unfortunately, even the best laid plans sometimes go awry!  We hopped on the New Jersey train and as the conductor came round he told us we had gotten on the wrong train. It was 5 minutes earlier than the one we were supposed to catch.  Anyway, he was incredibly helpful and told us where to get off and that we could catch a cab from the station to JoAnns. There is always a silver lining, however, as when we exited the train station, what should be across the road, but a fabulous little quilt shop.

So of course, it would have been wrong not to go in, so while Jo waited diligently for a taxi outside, Natalie and I went in.  I picked up a little bit of Cotton and Steel.

Anyway, we made it to JoAnns.  I stocked up on Shapeflex, other fusibles, DS fabrics and a few other bits and pieces, like Clover clips, a new triangle template and a beautiful pair of Gingher's. I also got Angela Pingel's book A Quilter's Mixology. I managed to get all the Pellon and notions and book for 50% off and then as a birthday gift I had 30% off my entire order.  I saved $150 using the vouchers! Go me!!

So that had basically taken up a full day, so back to NYC we went, on the right train this time! We got half price tickets for Jersey Boys by lining up at the TKS stand in Times Square.

It was an incredible show...loved every minute.  We had good seats and a great view of the stage.  

Afterwards, we decided to wander home via Times Square. I must admit, I am not a fan of Times Square...too many people, very touristy and really noisy.

One of the "entertainers" in Times Square

Paramount building

The next day was Saturday and I had arranged to meet Sami again. We decided to meet at Boise Tea Parlor in the West Village, a fabulous little tea house with a gorgeous selection of macarons and sweets.  I broke my sugar free rule and had a macaron and a Chantilly crepe. Just divine!

Sami had the afternoon free so we just decided to walk to the 9/11 memorial.  Lots of great old buildings to see on the way.

One World Trade Center in the distance

And then we were there...The One World Trade Center (which is also called the Freedom Tower) is part of the new World Trade Center complex next to where the twin towers used to stand. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 104 stories tall.

We walked around a little further and came upon the memorial.  It was a very sombre and moving experience being at Ground Zero.   There were 2 huge reflecting pools in the footprints of the original towers with waterfalls disappearing into what appeared to be a bottomless pool.  The names of everyone who died on September 11th 2001 and in the 1993 attacks were inscribed into bronze panels around the edge of the pools.

I didn't real feel like smiling for this...I felt sadness and sorrow for the terrible tragedy that had occurred here.  Sami and I were both quite sombre walking back to the subway, reflecting on lives that had been lost and on those whose lives had been changed forever in one way or another.   We said our goodbyes in Union Square and I am sure we will get to meet up again one day.

Grand old buildings on the way to the subway

Trinity Church in downtown Manhattan

Looking down towards Wall St

Monday, October 20, 2014

Part 3: New York, New York - Day 5 & 6 - All the quilt shops

I woke with very stiff and sore legs the next day, but no time to worry about that as I was meeting Gayle, an online friend who had been my partner in the Sew Sew Modern swap a couple of rounds back.  She was travelling down from Vermont with her son and hubby and we were going to do the quilt shops and they were going to visit the museums.  First stop was M & J Trimmings which was literally just around the corner from my hotel.

It was so overwhelming that we didn't buy anything. I am amazed that one shop can just stock so many trims!

Next stop was Mood Fabrics which became well known through Project Runway.  It was a little hard to find as it isn't signposted, but eventually we found it on the second floor of a building.  Again, choice was overwhelming and we left empty handed! Not a lot of quilting fabrics. It's a shop you need to go to with a project in mind, I think.  Rolls and rolls of fabric all piled up on shelves, all divided into their categories such as Wool, Voile, Home Decor, Leather etc.

The owner's dog was very friendly and welcoming 

One of the Mood workers very kindly let me take his photo 

Ok so it was time to head to Purl Soho which was Downtown so we caught the subway there. Unfortunately, we had unwittingly hopped on an express train and we ended up in Brooklyn.  We were starting to get a bit short on time as we were meeting Gayle's family back at Grand Central station for lunch, so we just decided to head straight to the station and go back to Purl Soho after lunch.

Outside Grand Central station

We both thought this looked like a NY Beauty quilt!

Inside Grand Central Station

The clock in the middle of Grand Central Station

The Oyster bar for lunch

This place is huge...only a small section of the restaurant

Grand Central Station is amazing. I did notice a large number of police around. And not just here any areas where large numbers of people were likely to gather like Times Square, the subways, 9/11 memorial, etc.  I guess they are always on the lookout for dodgy behaviour...bombs in rubbish tins etc. Underground the station were all the eating's just like a mini city under there.

So after a lovely lunch, we headed Downtown to Purl Soho.  I wasn't sure what to expect. It has such a lot of hype and so many people talk about it being an amazing shop.  It's a small shop that you could almost miss if you weren't specifically looking for it. Rather nondescript from the outside.

Then you walk in and get hit with an array of colour...yarns down one side and notions and fabric down the other.  I expected more quilting fabric. Their selection was very small...lots of Kona, some Hadley by Denyse Schmidt and a few other ranges, and a huge range of Liberty, but that was about it.

That's Gayle fossicking around in some Liberty!

A small selection of pre-packaged Liberty

Most of their quilting fabric.


Some Nani Iro

One of the few quilts they had hanging in the shop

Notions, felt, and more wool

A liberty hoop display as you enter the store

That's Gayle still umming and erring over the Liberty

So then we were off to The City Quilter which was in Midtown Manhattan.  


Cotton and Steel!

Books, sewing machines and the gallery

There was a small gallery attached to the shop and it had some stunning art quilts in it.

I left here with a new foot for my Bernina...the 97D which I have since tried out and I love. It's a quarter inch foot but is made for the 9mm feed dogs and has a guide to set, so you can get an exact quarter inch seam.  It's not available in New Zealand yet, so was pleased to be able to get it.

Gayle and I then said our farewells. I was starting to fade and I think the jet lag was really catching up with me at this point.

A bit blurry, but that's us!

The next day I headed up to Pins and Needles in Lexington Ave, as Gayle and I didn't have a chance to get there the day before. It was a little hard to find, but is located upstairs on the second floor. The external door is locked so you have to buzz to be let in.  They have a fabulous collection of all sorts of things... fabrics for quilting, home decor, crafting, and garment sewing, in addition to lots of books, notions, trims and patterns.

They also have a selection of Liberty...not as much as Purl Soho, but still a lovely selection

And I spied this too...

As I was leaving, I peeked into the studio next door, which is brand new. Look who was welcoming me in...Her name is Molly and she was just adorable.

I think out of all the NYC quilt shops, this was my fav. I then wandered back over to Central Park as I was so close to it and continued exploring the areas I hadn't covered the first time.

The Mall


The Great Lawn

A real carousel!

Loved watching these guys play chess.

Chess and Checkers House

More arches!

The skating rink was having work done to it, but I bet it looks glorious in winter

Entrance to Central Park at 53rd St

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