Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 6 continues

I am very sorry about the lateness of these posts, but after doing two days of 10+ shops and the driving to get to the proper place to start the next day, I was too tired to blog. Actually had no time to do it. I am such a slow keyboarder that it is pathetic, so it takes me a long time just to do a little blogging. I will explain the driving comment with my Day 7 blog. Then on Saturday, I attended the graduation ceremony for my niece and then was back in Rochester for her graduation open house on Sunday. Monday was back to reality, back to the real job day and I had to stay late to try to get everything caught up. So now it is Tuesday and I can get back to telling you about some more of the shops that I visited!

The next shop on the trip is The Sewing House in Ottumwa.  A smaller shop with a nice selection of samples to enjoy.  They do long arm quilting at the shop and and have kits available.  I did purchase some minkee for a quilt back.

 Patchwork Peddlers was the following shop on the list.  This shop is in Kirkville and kind of hidden back off the main road.  Smaller shop but a nice selection of fabrics.  Another customer brought in sewing machine and I was able to answer some questions about walking feet and show here how to place the foot on the machine and warned her that it would be sort of noisy.  Very friendly and great service.

On to Tracy and B&B Creations.  I drove past the store once but caught it on the second pass.  My TomTom GPS unit is having an issue with the proper side of the street for it's locating!  This shop, as you can see in the picture, is in a house.  Nice selection of various fabric, although limited by size.  I had a very helpful little friend in this shop ; )

The next three shops are actually quite close together, given some of the driving that I have been doing.  Barefoot Quilting in Alba is a quiet, friendly store.  They also sell barn quilts and have a good selection of fabrics.

Just down the road, at Moravia, more exactly near Moravia is Shops at Granny's House.  Facebook link here:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shops-at-Grannys-House/72701418177.  This shop is again a small shop with a somewhat limited supply of fabrics.  They also sell beads and I did find some pearls for a project that I am planning.

Here is a close-up of the sign outside the shop.

Centerville was the next stop, at Ben Franklin.  This store is a part of a variety chain and has the usual fabrics, notions and threads as well as other items carried a this type of store.  I did not make it past the candy counter with buying some chocolate!

It was getting late and I needed to get to 3 more shops, so off I went!  The Sampler in Chariton was the first of the last 3 shops of the day.  That sounds kind of confusing, doesn't it.  Well, anyway this shop is just off the main square and although it is small, there is a lot of fabric.  You may have to do some digging to find the one that you want.  They give a discount to quilt guild members.

Just a few miles down US Highway 34 is Quilt with Us in Lucas.  This is a very small town with a large quilt shop.  It is nicely laid out with lots of fabric displayed in manner that makes it easy to see and select.  They are close to the railroad tracks and I didn't remember how loud those engine horns can be.  The shop has expanded since I was here many moons ago on another hop.  Here is the Facebook link:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Quilt-With-Us/127769643922790

The last stop of the day is at the Robinson's True Value in Osceola.  This really is a one stop shop with fabric, notions, variety items and hardware!  I arrive at closing time (sorry) so did not have much time to wander around. Very friendly.  The store is on the east side of the square.

This is end of day 6 and I was able to make it to 12 shops today.  Now comes the planning for the last couple of days of the trip.  Thursday will be a long day, the shops are open from 9 AM to 8 PM and I will need every minute to get caught up, as I am behind on the number of shops that I will need to visit if I expect to be done by Friday.  I don't think that I will make it, but we will give it a good try.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 6 - All Iowa Quilt Shop Hop

Quiet night in Keokuk, and now on to the job at hand, shop hopping.  The first shop for today is in Keokuk, Quilt 'N Etc.  A smallish shop in a downtown mall, this shop has a range of fabrics, not much of any type.  She does have a very nice selection of sale fabrics for 3 dollars a yard, so a great place to pick up some quilt backs.  The owner is changing her thread lines and has Guttermann threads on sale for $1 for the smaller spools.  I did get a few of the odd colors that I don't have, as I use this for applique.

The next stop is a few miles down the road at Sistercraft Quilting n' More of Salem.  The owner of the Keokuk shop had printed directions to the shop, which was helpful, as this is another 'out in the country' shops.  Plus, the GPS is working again.  It needed to download some new software which I completed last night so I'm back in business again!  It was a quiet, beautiful morning and the birds were singing, including a bobwhite with a 'stutter'.  He kept singing bob-bob-white.  Small crowded shop, but expanding into more space I was told.  A little bit of everything.

Quilter's Paradise in Mount Pleasant is the next shop today.  Here is the Facebook link:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Quilters-Paradise/196922110329634.  I am making good time so far and should have 5 shops in by about noontime.  The shop is easy to find and I pick up some minkee for the back of a quilt.  Lots of nice samples displayed in the shop and there is a long-arm quilting service.  The shop is just off the main street, watch out for the construction!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

All Iowa Quilt Shop Hop - Day 5

The morning got off to an early start today, as I left the apartment with DD2 and she needed to be to work at 8 AM.  I went to breakfast at the Blue Bird Cafe in North Liberty. The food was great and the service attentive.  On a weekday morning, I think I was the only customer for a while.  Here is a Facebook link:  http://www.facebook.com/BluebirdCafeNorthLiberty.

The first shop today is also in North Liberty and within sight of the Blue Bird, Common Threads Quilt Shoppe.  A smaller shop with a more limited selection of fabrics and very friendly service.  The shop also does long arm quilting.

The next chosen stop is Kalona and the Stitch and Sew Cottage.  I had a couple of different ways that I could go, but chose to to this one next.  The road took me very close to the ongoing fire at the landfill for Iowa City.  Lots of black smoke today.  This thing has been burning now for about 2 weeks.  Stitch and Sew has lots of panels displayed and kits made up with the Northcott Stonehenge line using their panels.

Driving through this area you see Mennonites out with their horse-drawn buggies.  Kalona has hitching rails for the people to tie up their horses while they shop.  On to the next stop which is Inspirations in Hills, Iowa. The shop has lots of reproductions, but does have some brights and juvenile fabrics in the back room.  The shop for you if you like the darker Civil War type fabrics.

I have a little bit of driving to get to the next shop, Heartland Cottons in DeWitt.  This is a very new store, open less than a year.  They have a line of small paper pieced patterns from a designer in Davenport.  I picked up a little pattern for a mortarboard, now I just need to get home in time to make it!
Not a great picture of the shop, sorry.

Expressions in Thread in Le Claire is the next stop after a bite for lunch.  Should have stopped somewhere else. (insert sad face)  The meat was not cooked properly, which was unusual.  Have eaten at this chain before without incident.  Expressions in Thread has a wide selection of fabrics and lots of fat quarters and kits.  Nice sized classroom and they sell machines as well.  This is the view out the front of the store:
Looking across the river!

This is the store -
Back on the road and on to Muscatine to The Little Red Hen.  I was tangled up on construction in Bettendorf and then got lost trying to find this store in Muscatine.  Wasted a lot of time, dang that GPS unit! This shop is in a residential area and easy to miss.  The shop sells fabric and patterns, has gifts and sells flowers and has a greenhouse.  They are giving away a free potted herb, but I left mine behind as I am sure that it would be dead by the time I arrived home and I don't want to be a plant murderer!
I only have time for one more shop today and that will be Ellen's Quilting Corner in West Burlington.  This shop has a range of fabrics, not many juvenile prints. Many nice kits for sale.  They also have a nice classroom.  I know I keep going on about the classrooms, but how are we going to learn new skills or get new people involved with quilting if we can' teach them?

I drove down to Keokuk to spend the night and get an early start tomorrow by visiting Quilt 'N Etc. I can't believe that I did all of my blogging the day that I did my hopping.  I do want to give a shout out to my DD 2 who has loaned me her camera for the duration of the trip.  Thank you so much!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 4 - All Iowa Quilt Shop Hop

Day four starts off bright and sunny, The breakfast this AM was divine.  I spent too much time blogging this AM and didn't get to hopping until about 10 am.  I did spend a little time doing some antiquing as well this morning.

The first shop today was The Back Stitch in Elkader.  This shop has quilt fabric and fabric and threads for cross-stitch and embroidery.  They have lots of beautiful threads and looking at all of the items really made me thinking about getting some counted cross-stitching done.  (Like I have the time to do anything like that.)  The shop had some nice fabrics on sale.

Just across the street, behind the buildings is the Turkey River.  This stone bridge connects the business district and the the courthouse and the rest of the town on the other. You can just see the tower of the courthouse above the trees in picture.

After looking carefully at the map, I thought that heading to Manchester and the The Quiltmaker's Shoppe.  This shop has a wide range of fabrics and lots of nice samples.  I did find a fabric that I need to complete a project.  This is the first shop in the entire hop where I have seen this fabric.  I had to order the fabric for the original project from Utah.

Sorry about the pictures again.  I don't really have much control over the distance other than standing in the street, so some of the pics will be more wide-screen than I would like. 

Vintage Threads in Dyersville is the third stop of the day.  This shop is smaller and has a eclectic mix of fabrics. They had a really cute quilted book made with a panel that I had purchased earlier in the hop.  
They had used a chalkboard fabric on the opposing page and had a zippered pouch on the front of the book to hold the eraser and the chalk!

On to Dubuque and the Cotton Cabin Quilt Shop in downtown.  I finally dug out the GPS rather than just wandering around and it turned out to be a lifesaver and got me to the shop with no trouble.  The shop is long and narrow, reminds me of my condo.  They have a nice selection of fabrics and I find a pattern for a diaper bag that converts from one with handles to straps for a backpack.  

The drive to Cascade is uneventful, with a minimum of road construction.  Spools 'N Jewels is a gift shop and quilt shop.  This seems to be a common combination.  Smaller shop but lots of fabric and of course the  jewels.. Here is link to Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SpoolsAndJewels.

The next two shops on the trip are in Marion.  The Rose Cottage is a main business district.  This shop has mostly reproduction fabrics as well as wools.  They also have a line of patterns designed in the shop.  There is also a retreat center associated with the shop.

Connie's Quilt Shop is just down the street and in a older home.  There is a wide selection of fabrics, but there is not much room, so everything is really cramped.  I was able to find some cute border fabric (50's theme) to make some towels for DD1.

Cedar Rapids is the next stop, at the Pine Needles Sewing Center.  I have not been to this shop before, although they have been here fo some time.  This is a large shop, lists of fabrics of all styles and varieties. They also sell sewing machines.  Lots of the shop seem to be selling sewing machines, buy the fabric and the machine to sew and quilt the top all in one place!

Heritage Designs is a shop in Amanda, part of the Amanda colonies.  This shop has lots of very nice batiks.  The shop is open and airy and has lots of samples for inspiration.  

Fern Hill in South Amana is a gift and quilt shop.  The lower level of the building has gifts and antiques and finished quilts for sale.  The upper level has fabrics and quilting supplies.  They feature the Fern Hill fabrics by Camelot Cottons in one of the rooms.  And now the GPS unit stops working!  Back to the phone for directions as well.  My data minutes are going to over the moon this month!

Off to Williamsburg, to get to two more shops before the day ends.  The first stop is at Rainbows and Calico Things.  This shop is in the country, but very easy to find.  They have a wide selection of fabrics.  The building also has a very nice classroom.  There are some very nice fabrics for sale, on a rack by the front door, so be sure to check it out.

The Woolen Needle is in Williamsburg and sells woolen fabric, lots of threads for embroidery as well as quilting fabric.  The fabric selection is mostly reproductions.  I find a useful magnetic case for holding needles and a small pair of scissors for hand sewing then traveling!  As much time I spend on the road, this should be a great purchase.  I get to the shop just before 6 PM, so that is the end of the day.

But wait, the Ben Franklin in Iowa City is in a mall, and is open until 8 PM!  This is a typical variety store that sells fabric and patterns.  They also have an awesome selection of beads and jewelry making supplies.

Dear Daughter 2 lives in North Liberty and is willing to put up with me for the night.  Will start the day tomorrow there at the Common Threads Quilt Shop.  All in all, a very productive day!

All Iowa Quilt Shop Hop - Day 3

Sunday, on the hop, is a short day for shopping, only 5 hours. So, that means, that I will need to pay attention to what I am doing and get some driving in. The day started cloudy and dreary which persisted until the very end of the day when we did get a little sun, showers off and on all afternoon.

Forgot to take photos at the first two shops, so sorry, will go back and get them later as they are close to home. My camera which was acting up, started working again for a short period of time after I accidentally dropped it on my kitchen floor. Evidently 'restart your camera' is shorthand for drop it on the floor. It only worked for a couple of pictures and then I was back to the phone again.

The first stop today was at Larson's Mercantile in Clear Lake. The store is exactly was it says, has little of everything: fabric, sewing and knitting supplies, quilt blocks to embroider, toys for the kids, jewelry, you name it. They have a large stock of Moda marbles and some flat fold fabrics as well. The annual flower are arranged around the outside of the building and some of the hanging baskets were buy one, get one. Will need to come back after the trip to get some flowers for the patio.

Posh Fibers is a very small shop in the basement of a home in Mason City. They also have fabric and kits in the garage as well for this hop. A mix of fabrics, lots of kits. Did see a new fabric in gray, pink and black that has line drawing pictures very reminiscent of Tim Burton illustrations. This is Halloween fabric.

The next stop is a way down the road at Waverly, Moose Patch Quilt Shop. Iowa is not really know for their moose, so this is kind of a novelty. They have a wide array of fabrics and have some very nice displays, including a quilt on a bed (not something you see in shops often). Shop is very quiet, especially after the bustle at the shop in Mason City.

Crazy to Quilt is the shop in Cedar Falls. I have been here many times, my dear daughters went to school at the University of Northern Iowa (Go Panthers), so I spent a fair amount of time here, off and on. The shop is very busy, compared to some that I have been at. This shop has lots of batiks, good representation of large florals and reproductions. They also have lots of great samples made up for inspiration. I did find a charm pack of coordinates for the panel that I had purchased at Carroll on Friday.

The weather is actually starting to look kind of ominous with lots of dark clouds as I travel to rural Jesup and Merry's Stitchins. It has been a while since I have been to this shop and they have a new building! It is beautiful! The shop is large and open and has a great classroom and lots of samples made up. Lots of fabrics and kits. The previous shop was small and cramped, so this is wonderful.

I have just enough time to get to the shop in Oelwein, Lou Ann's Quilt Garden and Retreat and breeze in with about 10 minutes to spare. It is really good that there are no constables patrolling the back roads today! This is a smallish shop with a retreat area next door. Nice selection of fabrics.

The next stop would be Elkader and The Back Stitch but I will be there after the shop closes. I did drive to Elkader and spent the night at Elkader Bed and Breakfast. Had a restful night and a wonderful breakfast, highly recommend that you give it a try. Here are pictures of the Queen Ann Victorian and my room.

My room and bath!

What luxury!

Well, time to hit the road for another day. I expect to be near Iowa City by tonight.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day Two continues - All Iowa quilt shop hop

I will pick up where I left off with the previous post.  After leaving West Union, I drove to Postville to go to the Forest Mills Quilt Shop. The shop is actually out in the country, way out in the country.  I had to call twice to make sure that I wasn't lost!  Should have hooked up the GPS.  The shop is tucked back behind the trees and without the sign easy to miss.  Wide selection of fabrics and I did find some music themed fabric that my DD 1 had asked me to look for. This part of Iowa is hilly and rocky, more like parts of Minnesota that I have seen from that state-wide shop hop.  For a flatlander like me where I expect the roads to be straight and the intersect at right angles, this driving can be interesting!  I really enjoy it.

The next shop was Country Stitchin' near Waukon.  This is again, out in the country, but well marked and easy to find.  It is a pretty large shop with a wide selection of fabrics.  The gentlemen sitting on the bench in the front of the store was also at the previous shop but you can't see him in the picture.  At Forest Mills, he asked why I was taking pictures and I told him it was for my blog.  When I showed up at the shop in Waukon, he wanted to know if I wanted his picture again, so here he is.  He was traveling with a group of quilters who were traveling in the white van you see in the picture.

On to Decorah and to the Pine Needles Quilt Shop.  This shop used to be in Cresco and moved to Decorah. They have a very nice shop on the main downtown street.  Lots of room, lots of fabrics of all kinds, kits and precuts. The shop was a  American Patchwork and Quilting Shop Hop shop in the past as well.  

The last quilt shop for today is Quilter's Garden in downtown Cresco.  This smaller shop has quite a few panels and I find a panel of fabric that coordinates with some of the music themed fabric that I already have. Bonus points for me!  Eclectic mix of fabrics and very good service.

Time to stop shopping and start delivering!  I drop off the graduation stuff in Rochester and drive to Brooklyn Park to drop off the rocking chair, only to discover I was given the wrong chair!!??!!  Back home I go, will try to get this straightened out tomorrow.  Sunday hours for the hop are 11:00 to 4:00, so probably won't get to very many shops.  Monday I will need to buckle down and get busy getting to the shops!

Day 2 - All Iowa quilt shop hop

Day 2 gets off to a late start again, that seems to be a theme with this trip.  I am going to the northeast corner of the state today, it will make it quicker to get to Rochester, MN to drop of some items that my sister needs for a graduation party for her daughter, Emily, next weekend.

I also received feedback from DD 2 that I need to do better editing before I publish my posts, so I did do a little work on the previous posting.  I must admit that things very often look a little different in the morning than they do at midnight!

The first stop of the day is at Debbie's Quilt Shop and Gifts in Osage.  Couldn't find a link for the shop.  This is a medium sized shop with an eclectic mix of fabrics as well as small gifts, tea cups etc.  They have food for the hoppers in the back of the shop along with their sale fabrics.  Nice selection of batiks.   I do find a very nice kit for queen sized quilt on sale for a great price, so it went home with me.

The gentle reader will note that I will comment on specific fabrics or types of fabric from time to time, These comments are usually based on something that I am currently looking for and are not meant to state that this is the only type of fabric that the shop carries.

The next stop was a new shop to me and I had trouble with the GPS so it took a while for me to find it, even though if I had been looking up instead of at the screen, it would have been easy to see!.  Stitches is a yarn and quilt shop in a building next to the Theisen's Supply in Charles City. New, small shop but nicely laid out and accessible from both the front and the back of the store.

It is almost noon now and I am not seeing too many other shoppers or hoppers yet.  I decided to move on to New Hampton and hit the 2 shops there before I get something to eat.  Both shops are downtown and essentially across the street from each other.  Material Magic is the smaller of the two shops. They also have some craft supplies as well as a nice area of Christmas fabrics.

The second shop is Quilter's Window.  This shop was an American Patchwork and Quilting Shop Hop shop in 2008.  The shop sell sewing machines, a wide range of fabrics and has a very nice classroom.  I did find a book for bed scarves.  I think that it would be fun to try some of these 'little' quilts. I also live the building that the shop is in.  Don't you love that old architecture?

I pick up a bite to eat on the way to West Union and One Block Over,  Watch out for the construction again.  This is a medium sized shop with a large selection of Jinny Beyer fabrics.  The store has bolts of her border fabrics, as well a many of her blender fabrics.  I find a couple of bolts of a cotton silk blend and purchase some for garment sewing.

I do want to apologize for the pictures at this venture.  My digital camera failed to work and now I have resorted to using my camera on my Samsung Nexus.  On the computer they actually look pretty good, but I miss being able to compose the pictures like I could with the camera.

Well, that's all for now.  I need to get packed and get the van loaded and on the road.  Only have 5 hours of hop time today, starting at 11 so I need to get 'hopping'. (pun intended)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

First Day of the Hop - June 1

Well, day one is at a close and I made it to 10 shops today.  I did get started a lot later than I wanted to, so I could have gotten a couple more in, but that's life.  I was a beautiful day, sunny and just the right temperature.  It was fun to be out in the sun all day, instead of indoors, working in a basement with virtually no windows!

Country Threads was my first stop today.  They are only a few miles down the road from where I live but I don't shop here much.  They have lots of reproduction fabrics and I'm just not into repros right now as far as my quilting goes.  The have a new little garden house in front of the store and I always enjoy their flowers.  The shop also has cats and one of them took a liking to the way that I scratched her and started following me around.

The second stop was at The Honey Barn in Goldfield.  This is a smallish shop with an eclectic mix of fabrics.  I run into a couple who are hopping and geocaching.  Sound like something fun.  So far, I've been like the first one or two customers of the hop to register, judging by the prize drawing slips.

The next shop is in Vincent and is a quilt shop that also has fashion accessories, gifts and serves food in the back of the shop.  Here is a link to the Facebook page for Mrs. T's Mercantile: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mrs-Ts-Mercantile/147205689236.  The shop has fabrics, threads and sewing machine accessories.  Your  purchase will be rung up on an old-fashioned crank register that really rings! Look at that beautiful sky.

I decided to go to the Gingerbread House in Webster City next.  It meant doing a little backtracking but that's OK, I'm on vacation!  This shop is in an older home and has fabric and gift items on the main level and holiday decorating items on the 2nd floor.  The ceiling is really short upstairs but the trip is worth bending over and walking around.  I have purchased several Santas over the years at this shop for my collection of 'tall' santas and I find another one today.

Fort Dodge is the next stop and I have to pick up the rocking chair here as well as visiting 2 shops.  The first shop is near downtown and is new to me, Tillie's Quilts.  I see that they have the some of the Bittersweet collection by Nancy Halvorsen, but I don't have the info on the amount that I need, so will have to make a trip back this way to get some.

After the pick up at Mcgregors Furniture, it is off to The Family Quilt Shop.  This is quite a small shop. They have their batik fat quarters flat and in a big bin so you can see the entire piece of fabric and get the color gradation that you want.  I really like this idea.

The next stop was an adventure!  Got to love summer with all of the road work.  Finding Lee's Quilt Shed was an experience.  Once the new highway is finished, it will be easy to get to, but not so much now.  It is a cute little shop, lots of patterns and the owner is very friendly and helpful!  She had written directions to get me to the next shop around all of the construction.  Yah!

Towne Square Quilt Shoppe in Lake City is a shop that I have been to before.  It is small, very neat and organized and has a trunk show at this time. Here is the Facebook link:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Towne-Square-Quilt-Shoppe/142476009131743  They also had some great gingerbread cookies today!

Carroll, Iowa is the location of The Yarn Basket and Quilt Shop. This shop has a very nice yarn shop in the front and a quilt shop 'out back'.  They have a nice selection of pre-cuts and I found a cute panel that had the numbers 1-10 in three languages with appropriate animals in the proper number!  It will make a cute little quilt.

The last shop of the day is Threads, Etc. in Glidden.  This shop does long-arm quilting and has a selection of fabric and lots of kits.  The shop is neat and open and everything is easy to find.  They have several bolts of a fabric line that I need to finish a quilt, so they are on the list to contact again.

My day ended in Jefferson when I found the Ben Franklin closed when I arrived.  The brochure states that the shops are to be open until 6 PM, but I guess that not everyone got the memo.  I drove to Ames and ate at Hickory Park.  Since my son graduated from Iowa State, I have not been down this way much and the restaurant really has great food.  Home to bed and to start the hop again tomorrow!  It will be a shorter day as I have to be in Rochester and Minneapolis later in the day.