A Swell Field Trip!

I told you all last week that my family and I were going to embark on a little field trip to Connecticut, to attend Jennifer Paganelli’s Sis Boom Summer Sale!  We loaded our rented mini-van on Wednesday morning with a bag full of strawberry twizzlers (for me), Sourpatch   Kids (for Kenny and Will) and some kind of M&M cookie mix for Jim.

We hadn’t been in the car more than 30 minutes when I pulled the Twizzlers out for the first time.  For those of you out there that like Red Vines, I don’t really understand why those lifeless dried up hollow pieces of red straws excite you?  I have found in this world, you are a Twizzler person or a Red Vine person.  I am usually surprised by those folks that are the Red Viners’…. they look like normal people!!! Anyway…….I am getting off topic!

Traveling with our 2 pugs and our boys for any length of time in a vehicle is always an adventure.   Kenny and Will, even at their ages (11 and 15) cannot keep their hands off of each other.  The hitting and smacking it drives you crazy, even if they are just playing.  It caused stress and is distracting to the driver!  Three and a half hours in the car with these guys ugh!  But I knew that Jennifer would be worth it!  I just knew!

We arrived to our dog friendly hotel at around 4:00 P.M.   Both Jim and I were a little bit concerned by the location of this hotel.  It did not look like the safest part of town, but It did accept dogs and there wasn’t anywhere else to try given the late time of day.  We would just have to make the best of it.

It was clearly obvious to us around 9:00 P.M. that we would not get a good night’s sleep.  This Best Western that we stayed at had an over abundance of Harley Davidson visitors.  And the pool that I promised the kids, didn’t exist.  Really not good.

The Harley Davidson visitors started their motorcycle engines several times during the night, each time causing the domino effect of first Peek A Boo barking and then Ruby followed by Jim and then me telling them in a very loud whisper to “Shut Up!”  It was a really long night and when morning finally arrived all 4 of us were a little slap happy.

We traveled about 20 minutes further to Jennifer’s studio location.  We figured out 5 minutes into the drive that we were staying on the “wrong side of the tracks”.  The other side of town was delightful.  There was a quaint side of town filled with cute shops and lovely restaurants.    Oh well, live and learn.  Right?

Jennifer resides in Wilton, CT.  As we traveled closer to her home I felt myself becoming more and more excited.  A “nervous excited” as I tell my kids when they complain that their tummy feels weird on the first day of school or they are on their way to an unfamiliar adventure.  I tell them, It’s a good thing.  A good thing and a normal thing to have a “nervous excited” feeling.  I was about to meet a very impressive person, that has been able to do something that I have been only able to dream about.

The Paganelli residence was something out of a magazine.  Not an unrealistic version of a magazine spread, like something from a Martha Stewart photo shoot, but a comfortable, beautiful setting where real people live.

This is how we found Jennifer’s house!  And might I also say, we were the first to arrive (probably because we were 20 minutes early).  I didn’t want to appear creepy or stalkingish and when we pulled up into her driveway I got stage fright and didn’t know what to do.  Out came Jennifer Paganelli, she looked into our van, saw Peek A Boo and pretty much knew who I was (we had been tweeting one another).  She plucked me out of the van and invited me into her home (my men went on to kill time). Jennifer asked me, “so what is it that you would like to be doing with the fabric industry?”   What brings you here?          Wow!  I spent the next several minutes before all the other enthusiastic shoppers arrived picking her brain and asking her how she got started into the fabric designing business.  That’s what I really want to do.  I want to design fabrics.  I am not sure if I have ever divulged this small tidbit of information with you all.  Jennifer is a mountain of information regarding this very subject.  So I am pretty sure that she and I will stay in touch.

Here is a picture of jennifer and myself.  Look we are matchers.  I am actually wearing her Meghan Dress Pattern.  I sewed this dress with a Liesl Gibson print.

Feast your eyes on all the beautiful yards and yards of fabric!


A ruffled tablecloth sits beneath stacks and stacks of jennifer’s Books, Girls World and Happy Home.  If you order either one of these books through her website, she will even sign it for you and it may even come with a fat quarter of Super Fly wrapped around it!  So much fun.

I used the Superfly fat quarter that Jennifer sent me to construct this bag.  My “Happy Home” book I ordered from her was wrapped in it!                                      

These gorgeous hand made handbags were for sale.  How to decide?

A happy home!  Jennifer’s front porch.

George, the family dog meandered his way through all the elated shoppers.  Exiting and entering often with a different chew toy.  He is so cute, like a magic carpet ride!

Here are all the goodies I scored and I also purchased a few things that were used in her photo shoots for her books.

The second dress is the Jamie Dress pattern sewn in Jennifer’s new Fabric Happy Land in  Eloise print “sky” color.  It’s not out yet- when it is though, you better order quick.  I have a feeling this one is going to fly off the shelves!  The Jamie Dress, is available for downloading straight from Jennifer’s website!

I love meeting women in our sewing community.  They are hardworking people that are just trying to get themselves out there.  Jennifer Paganelli is a hardworking gal with a warm heart.  She surrounds herself with wonderful people such as her assistant Madeline Rhodes, husband Peter and two wonderful children.   I was fortunate enough to meet her lovely daughter.

This was indeed a great  SWELL field trip!  I enjoyed it immensely.  Now, our next trip is back to the west coast.  A trip I am both happy for and also sad.  Sad to say goodbye to the East, sad to head to the West, and also a little happy to be going to the West.  I think I am more of an Eastern Gal though.

 Until next time- Stay happy and healthy!


  1. Thanks for the tour Tracy,I enjoyed the comments and the fabrics.Sounds like this lady is going to be able to help you in your lifes goals(so cool) Glad to hear your doing so well.

    • Awwwww, my favorite Uncle! I love and miss you!!
      Getting ob a plane today and heading back to CA, hope those crazy fires in WA are staying far away from Kim.

  2. What a gorgoreous looking store! I totally get your interest in fabric design! In my next career, I’d like to do graphic design…! Do you have plans for study ?

  3. Awesome! I have been paying attention to Sis Boom for a little while, and she has so many great things to love and admire. What a thrill to virtually ride along with you on your field trip!

  4. Hi – I just figured out that my previous replies haven’t shown up on your posts…I think it might be something to do with sending from iPad. Now I’m using the computer. What a fabulous field trip! You look great in pink. Fabric design….I totally agree that would be fantastic. Watch out Orla Kiely!!!

    • so strange!!!! All your comments showed up spam on my blog. Certainly are not spam, they are little treasures! Maybe it does have something to do with the ipad, weird though, eh? Thanks!

      • Hmmm…I think it has something to do with WordPress…I can’t seem to comment on any WordPress blogs…Thanks for letting me know my comments are going to the spam filter…I’ll check with WordPress why this is happening.

      • Hi – I finally figured out that I had been deemed ‘spam’ by Askimet, the spam filter on WordPress. (rather affronted!) Anyway, I emailed Askimet and asked them to reset my status…and now can leave comments again.

      • You’re welcome! I was glad to get your e-mail and to see that things are going well! Remodels are no fun, they usually take longer than they should and they cause a huge mess. Good luck with that! xxoo

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