Wow! What a four-day quilt shopping trip through Iowa. I went with Marlena, her mom, and another quilting friend. It was so much fun and I bought so much. My main objectives were to get 40 fat quarters for Miss Rosie's Gone Buggy pattern, find some different threads to try in my machine, find the back for the Dick and Jane quilt, some fabric to finish off my Shadow Play quilt, and anything else that might be shop-specific. I was able to get that, and so much more. I have so many projects to work on now, and I'm not good at having multiple projects going on at once, so I've got to get going on one so I can get it finished up. We ended up going to 11 stores over the course of the 4 days. Here's the list of them, plus what I bought.
Our first stop was Adel Quilting and Dry Goods. It was a tiny shop, but had so many cute things, such as stitcheries and jackets. I picked up a few fat quarters for my Miss Rosie's Gone Buggy pattern and this cute stitchery from Mac-A-Doodles. I'm going to have to wait til we're actually done having kids... which means I should probably start stitching now or our youngest would probably be 21 when I would finish.
Next stop was Creekside Quilts in Clive, Iowa. This shop was big and while the last shop had only about 1000 bolts, this one had close to 3000. Even though it had so many bolts, there weren't a lot that really stuck out and I just got a few more fats for Miss Rosie.
From Clive we headed to Grinnell Fiberworks. This stop was definitely not my taste. I bought a spool of Superior thread to try on my machine and that was it. This shop had lots of Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett. I think the big, bold designs of their fabric just intimidate me. The others along really loved the shop, though.
We stopped by two places in the Amana Colonies. The first was Fern Hill. This shop was amazing. They sold antiques and had their own fabric artist on staff, so they had their own line of fabric. The staff was so helpful and I walked out with 7 fat quarters. I wanted two of the kits they made up, but I had my objective list and was trying to not veer too much. I veered at the next store, though. Heritage Designs had a TON of reproduction fabric, as well as many stitcheries. I got a panel to make Ian a farm book. He already has confiscated it so I don't have a picture. I got a few more fat quarters there, a spool of Aurifil thread, and these fabrics to make the Foldover Bag, which I already had the pattern for. The paisley fabric is the main fabric, the cream is lining, the blue is top and the brown the bottom.
That brought the end of day 1, and what an exhausting day. I was surprised at how all the shops were different, and at how I had done a pretty good job of restraining myself....
Day two started at Quilter's Quarters in Lamont. This was my favorite place of the trip. She had SIX THOUSAND bolts of fabric. You could barely walk down the aisles there were so many. I went nuts in this shop, and the great thing is, I drive past it every time I go to visit my parents! I wanted to by fat-quarter sets of all the lines she had. She just had so many things. We spent at least 2 hours in the store. I bought 11 fat quarters for Miss Rosie- which were actually priced at 1/4th the cost of the bolt instead of a flat rate. I found the back for my Dick and Jane quilt here as well. I also got this pattern for a future project and a fat quarter collection from Buggy Barn- In the Pink II line (the star pattern was from Quilter's Cupboard).
We drove a scenic route to Lansing along which we saw many barns with quilts on them. Our stop in Lansing was Yellowbird Art. It was another shop that had fabrics too 'out there' for my taste. I ran into friends from childhood at the store though, so it was completely worth it. I bought the cream lining for my fold-over bag here and that was it.
We spent the rest of Saturday night and most of Sunday quilting. I sewed together Ian's farm book so I had something to give him and worked on Shadow Play. On the way from my friend's house to my parent's house, we stopped by the quilt shop her aunt's own- Forest Mills. I got a few more fat quarters for Miss Rosie.
We left for Omaha Monday morning and our first stop was Quilting Connection in Ames. By this point in the trip, I was expecting shops to look the same, but you could still find fabric lines and patterns that no other shop we had been to had. My Miss Rosie collection grew by 8 more fabrics.
Just a short trip down the road took us into Ankeny and Quilter's Cupboard. This is where I got the star pattern I'm using with the pink and brown fat quarters above. I once again added to Miss Rosie's (2 fats) and got a Christmas table runner. The table runner pattern comes with more applique designs than just the holly berry, so you can make one for all the seasons. It is "brewed" by "Tea for Two" from Cherokee, Iowa.
Our final stop of the trip was to Elk Horn and Prairie Star Quilts. This place was a close 2nd to the Lamont shop. They had lots of fabrics, mostly reproduction and country. They had a neat mailing you could sign up for; for $7, they would mail you a 5 in. square from every bolt of fabric they got in that month. That really allowed you to see how diverse their fabric line was. I actually didn't get any fat quarters here for Miss Rosie's. I did buy the Runaroud Bag pattern by Lazy Girl and fabric to go with, along with some reproduction fabrics for an Americana wallhanging I have a pattern for.
It felt like while we were shopping, I bought more than that. Looking at the total bill, though, it was enough. We've already begun planning for next year. Our thoughts are to invite all our female family members down to Omaha next year and rent a cabin to quilt in for the weekend. We're planning on inviting our family members that quilt and don't quilt, and have a few 'classes' for those who are new to choose from. Now we just need to figure out a name for our group. Here's all the fat quarters for Miss Rosie. Not sure if I have all that I need yet, but I'm pretty darn close.