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September 17

Blogger Meetup_Day 1

I haven’t had such an action-packed weekend in quite some time!  The one and only Lladybird Lauren decided she was coming for a visit to Chicago.  So what better excuse than to make it a mini blogger meetup to have brunch with a swap followed by fabric and yarn shopping?!

I only grabbed one picture from the brunch and it was the aftermath of our swap, but I’m sure you’ll see more pictures pop up on someone else’s blog shortly.  I can’t believe how much stuff we had piled on the table!  Our poor server couldn’t find an open space on the table to set our food down.  heh

Lladybird Lauren collected a few local bloggers to hang out which included myself, Tasha of By Gum By Golly, Meg the Grand, and Nancy of Buddha Bear Studio.  We met up at a place in Ukrainian Village called Bite Cafe which was quite close to where Lauren was staying.  It was BYOB so I decided to improvise and bring Champagne for mimosas.

From brunch, we all piled into my car and we headed out to our first fabric stop which was Fishman’s Fabrics.  Sadly, Nancy wasn’t able to join us on our fabric shopping adventure.  I wish I could say she didn’t miss anything… but we had a ball.  (Sorry Nancy).  No one bought anything at Fishman’s but we still spent a good 45 minutes in there drooling a bit at the fabrics.

From there we hopped across the street to Vogue Fabrics.  I directed everyone to the Discount/Remnants room which is a great place to start.

Tasha is on the left, followed by Meg and Lauren on the right.

Meg got quite excited by this bright red, sparkly fabric.  :)

We spent the greatest amount at Vogue since that’s the main place that Lauren wanted to go.  She was relaying to me how much certain notions and fabrics would cost her in Nashville, and I admit I was quite surprised.  It almost seemed like everything was at least double where she lives, but I can’t understand why that would be!  Technically if it’s imported it has less of a trip to get to Tennessee before it makes its way to Chicago…. Go figure.

Not only was it Lauren’s first time at Vogue, it was Tasha and Meg’s first time at these two fabric stores.  I was really excited to share with them the places I frequently visit for fabric since I’ve made so many garments with Vogue fabrics.  But I kept asking these ladies where they shopped if they didn’t go to Fishman’s or Vogue since there aren’t all that many places to go in the city (surprisingly!).

For me, browsing around a fabric store is how I get acquainted with different types of fabric.  You can read as many books about fabric as you want, but unless you’re touching the fabric you won’t ever know the difference between a wool crepe and a poly crepe, etc.  I’m a very tactile person, and I don’t like buying any fabrics unless I can touch them first.  But now that I kinda know what fabric is what (& still learning) I’m trying to branch out and purchase some fabrics online.

As excited as I was to go fabric shopping, I think I was most excited to share my freshly baked macarons with the girls.

I wanted to make our outing as fun as could be, so I came home from work on Friday and baked all night (ending at 10pm). Fabric shopping left us famished so we hung out in the parking lot chatting & eating macarons.  For me the best part of the day was when Meg slowly turned around to savor the macaron all by herself.  It was sooo funny, I don’t even know if she knew she was doing it.  But once we started giggled, she was hamming it up like her fun self.  :)

I should note: Before I began sewing and knitting I was baking.  I learnt how to make french macarons, and even though I hadn’t made them in a while it was like riding a bike.  I made gingerbread macarons with vanilla buttercream filling and also made a hazelnut macaron, half with nutella filling and the other half with vanilla buttercream filling.

Hope over to Felix’s site to see the WIP shots of me baking.

After fabric shopping we went yarn shopping and Tasha and my fabric yarn store, Loopy Yarns in the south loop.  Lucky for us they were having a store-wide sale this weekend.  *Woot*

And then we closed out the day drinking some beers and eating humus at a Hackney’s restaurant that was across the street from Loopy.  I wish I had taken more pictures, but I guess that only goes to show how much I was enjoying myself that I kept forgetting to take pictures.  :)

After driving everyone home, I came home and was utterly pooped out that I had to take a nap.  I had to power up a bit for Sunday’s activity: The Vintage Garage event which I’ll be sharing pictures of on Tuesday.

*YAY* for blogger meetups!

  1. Julia / Sep 17 2012

    That seriously looks like so much fun. Look at all those beautiful patterns! I’ll have to remember to stop in those stores next time I’m in the city, I’m not too far up north!

    • Liz / Sep 17 2012

      Yes to totally should! But my favorite local fabric store is actually the Vogue fabrics that is up in Evanston.

  2. Meg / Sep 17 2012

    That was the BEST time!! I definitely should have bought that red sparkly fabric for a little va-va-voom top – ah well, we can go and hit the remnant table together another time :) Seriously, though – the Vogue remnant room was like my version of heaven – could it have been any more awesome?! I loved meeting everyone and hanging out with your fabulous self – thank you so much for organizing!! I’m putting up my photos once I get home today … and possibly eating a delicious macaron while I do it ;) Oh yeah, they are totally in the fridge (hidden) so I can snack on them at my leisure.

  3. Kerry / Sep 17 2012

    That looks like a great meet up! And I bet those macarons were delicious :)

  4. Ginger / Sep 17 2012

    What a fun group!! Looks like you guys had a great day!! ALSO– I’m so impressed that you can make macarons! I fear them!

    • Liz / Sep 17 2012

      They can be tricky… but no matter what they’re ALWAYS tasty.

  5. Tasha / Sep 17 2012

    It was so! much! fun!! Thanks for everything you did to orchestrate such an awesome weekend! I know I don’t have that many photos, but I definitely have the ones of Meg having a special moment with her macaron. I’ll try and post mine today or tomorrow!

    (Remind me next time to close my mouth and not look so angry when I’m taking photos. lol)

  6. Janice / Sep 17 2012

    That looks like a lot of fun!

    I’m learning how to make macarons at the moment. Which recipe did you use? Is it the French or Italian method?

  7. Liz / Sep 17 2012

    Hey Janice! I like using the French method of making the meringue instead of the Italian or the Swiss. I’ve only done the Swiss/Italian method once before, while they were more stable, I thought it was just excess work that wasn’t needed. If you live somewhere humid, you may want to try out one of these cooking methods since the meringue is more stable this way.

    But my tried and true is the French method. Sometimes I’ll enhance my meringue with some egg white powder, but oftentimes I find it’s not really needed.

    I let my egg whites ‘age’ in a tuberware container in the refrigerator generally anywhere between 1 day or 5 days, depending on how fresh my eggs are.

    Recipes… I’ve used a bunch but I prefer to stick with ones from Tartelette or Cannelle et Vanille. My buttercream recipe however is top secret. :)

    Let me know if you have any other questions! It took me a bit of time to perfect them, but even if the consistency isn’t quite right, they always taste delicious. My coworkers were always very happy to eat them no matter what.

  8. kaitui_kiwi / Sep 17 2012

    I love seeing blogger meetups! How cool to meet them in real life :) Ohh and your macarons look delish xx

  9. Lauren / Sep 18 2012

    Oh yes! I had so much fun meeting up with y’all – thank you again for orchestrating everything, especially those macarons (no shame… I ate my very last one AS I READ THIS POST) & mimosas! Favorite vacation day EVER, forreal!

  10. Liz / Sep 18 2012

    What a fabulous meet-up! Sewing, knitting and macarons, what a perfect combination :-)

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