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.
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.
Working with local artists, the home decor experts at Skylar's Home & Patio have assembled hundreds of unique furniture pieces and accessories made in the U.S. to fit many interior and exterior home-decor styles. The showroom displays sectionals and a variety of styles that include vintage-like and shabby-chic pieces for the dining room, living room, or bedroom, as well as ultrasleek stands for plasma TVs. Resin-wicker and cast-aluminum patio furniture dominate the outdoor-furniture selection, which includes fire pits that warm up backyard gatherings or make a fine replacement for temperamental office shredders.
With 300 independently owned locations in the United States and around the world, FastFrame brings the advantages of a large international company to each intimate franchise location. Storeowners take advantage of thorough trainings to stay up-to-date on the latest custom-framing technology, but have the freedom to personalize their customers’ experiences. At the Carlsbad show room, trained design consultants advise customers on the mats, frames, and glass or acrylic glazing that best meet their needs, whether they are looking for a basic poster frame, an elaborate 3-D shadow box, high-tech preservation framing, or a lone, empty frame to express their existential ennui. FastFrame offers a lifetime guarantee on craftsmanship and a 30-day guarantee on design, and will recraft or redesign any piece for any reason within 30 days of a sale.