I've been keeping this under wraps for quite a few months now, but last year was the first time that I participated in the Shop Hop by the Bay. It's basically a way to learn all about the local quilt shops by visiting all of them within a few days and getting your passport stamped. It must have been rookie luck but I managed to be on the winners list ... see here. Yes indeedy I had not only won a prize but the mother lode of prizes, a week long retreat at the Empty Spools Seminar in 2013. Yay!!! The hard part was trying to figure out what class I wanted to take. I was torn between Mary Lou Weidman and Jill Schumacher. Finally I decided that I have one of Mary Lou's fabulous books and can try out her techniques with it but that I absolutely needed to learn more about machine quilting which is Jill's specialty. So now I'm running around trying to get all of my supplies gathered together before heading out this weekend for the gorgeous town of Pacific Grove, CA. My dad used to live there ... lovely scenary but a bit chilly. Whenever I can I'll take photographs.