Through innovation and a passion for creation, Eleanor Burns revolutionized the process by which quilts are made. She cast off the shackles of scissors and templates for a more visceral approach that combines the ripping and stripping of fabric with an assembly-line approach to sewing. The new process brought an exciting speed to an activity once known for taking months and causing anyone who attempted it to grow a 4-foot beard. To spread the word and bolster the quilting community, she released her first book, Make a Quilt in a Day––Log Cabin Pattern.
Thirty years and 100 quilt books and patterns later, she continues to promote the art of the quilt and to improve the efficiencies of quilt construction. Along with a staff of fellow seamstresses, she began Quilt in a Day to further spread her message through simple and social classes filled with thorough and accurate instruction. Beginners can register for classes or attend a demo day, where refreshments fuel entertainment and scraps of fabric fly.
Like fancy suits, sofa sets are sewn from the same cut of fabric. These matching sets provide a well-rounded look in living rooms, but near misses tend to clash due to their small differences. At 20 show rooms throughout the western US, Mor Furniture for Less arranges complete-room sets so customers can envision the collections in their own homes. Furniture for living rooms, dining rooms, and children's rooms can be found in each store along with individual lamps, tables, and entertainment centers. The stores also carry complete sets of beds, dressers, and nightstands so that homeowners don’t receive criticism from design bloggers in their dreams.
Mr. Jingles Christmas Trees spreads holiday merriment with noble, douglas, and grand firs individually selected from forests in Oregon. On the lot, trees stand in water and receive additional watering from the staff each day to keep needles healthy and green. Trees vary in size from 2 feet up to 16 feet, ensuring customers can a perfect specimen no matter how high their ceilings or how modest their budget. Complimentary hot chocolate keeps patrons warm as they peruse the lot, and once customers have found their perfect tree, the crew will gladly grab a rope and secure it to a car or riding mower at no additional charge.
The serene 4-acre Buena Creek Gardens fills local gardens with more than 5,000 varieties of flowering plants and showcases botanical innovations in demonstration gardens. An octogenarian pepper tree shades visitors as they stroll through the entryway, leading them to shelves replete with flourishing leaves and gardens that demonstrate the art of attracting avian life, beneficial insect life, and the migrating flocks of biographies from recently closed bookstores. One-gallon Sweet Kate plants ($7.95) and Poorman's rhododendron shrubs ($8.95) adorn yards and gardens with collars of delicate jewel-toned blooms. Lush trays of spiky echeveria succulents ($5.95–$19.95) sport verdant crimson-tinged leaves alongside steadfast resistance to drought and stoic perseverance when suffering through gardeners' dated comedy routines. Sinuous Medusa Head succulents ($15.95) pepper landscapes with sprawling tentacles and mesmerizing floral centers, and garden sculpters can summon armies of lepidopterae and beneficial insects with a vigorous 5-gallon Golden Purple butterfly bush ($24.95). Florid peafowl strut through the grounds and flash their feathery frondescence, attempting to grab the attention of the swarms of butterflies and hummingbirds flitting through the air.
Not content to just give people the tools to make their gardens beautiful, San Diego Hydroponics & Organics also teaches customers more effective ways to use them. At five California locations, the staff works to keep a dialogue open between customers, supply manufacturers, and master gardeners while helping visitors realize their gardening goals with a stock of more than 3,000 products for indoor and outdoor use. The shops brim with high-tech gardening gear ranging from plant sprayers to growth lights, and low-tech supplies such as organic compost teas. Much of the inventory helps make gardening easier by reducing it to a precise science, providing everything from pumps and irrigation to pH meters for maintaining an ideal growing environment.