California Dreamin’

 I am out in Monterey, California this week for Ted Women 2015. It is an amazing conference with inspirational speakers and a beautiful setting. More in the conference in a moment, but first, a quilt shop. 

  I had a precious few minutes to spare at lunch and asked my good friend  Siri for a fabric shop nearby. She gave me two to select from. I didn’t have time to call the shops or read reviews so I did what any logical person in my situation would do – asked the taxi driver for a recommendation.
 Based on the names alone he picked Back Porch  Fabrics in Pacific Grove. When we pulled up I was a little concerned. From the outside it didn’t look very encouraging. 
  Shame on me for judging a book by its cover. This is a bright, area, sophisticated quilt shop with a wide array of fabrics, books and notions that would appeal to even the most discerning modern quilter. There were warm and personal touches throughout and the ship was filled with quilts that were truly inspirational. 
  Apparently Kaffe Fassett is from the are so they had everything possible. Plus lots of modern prints and solids. And look at those floors!
  The back of the shop features a beautiful classroom and gallery. It was really quite lovely. I was only there for about fifteen minutes (still managed to spend a hundred bucks!) but the service was warm and friendly and the selection pleasing. I got 4 yards of fabric, three patterns and a present for Jen!
Now, back to TED! What an inspiring experience! I heard Jimmy Carter talk about his views on women’s rights and Billie Jean King relive key moments of her Battle of the Sexes against Bobby Riggs. 

  This girl was perhaps the most inspiring. Memory Banda from Milawi is an 18 year old activist working to end child marriage. Her sixteen year old sister is divorced twice with three children. This young woman had another vision for her life and worked to get the laws changed in her country. She brought a tear to my eye. 
  The evening ended with a hosted dinner and a view. I am leaning a lot and want to channel some of this emotional energy into a quilting project. A lot to think about and some moving experiences to fuel both my day job and my after hours quilting!

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