Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Road Trips and Finishes

Today's post will be a long one as it has been a very busy week.  Wednesday I left very early in the morning picking up two of my guild ladies and a quick stop in Buda, IL to pick up Kathy O.  We headed to The Quilt Box in Kewanee, IL for an Iowa Shop Hop.  Originally, it was planned to be a bus trip but because so many had left for Paducah it was hard to fill a bus.  So we broke up into four cars and were handed MapQuest directions plus I had a Garmin, and off we drove over to Iowa. 

First, we headed to Merry Stitchins in Jesup, IA.  This was about a 3 hour drive to a lovely store and  retreat center in the quiet country. 
This store is probably the largest I have ever been in.
Meet Mary the owner and hostess of the retreat center.  She prepares breakfast for you each morning while you stay at the retreat center.  I was able to go visit the retreat center which is two large rooms, one for sewing and one classy dormitory style room for sleeping 11 quilters.

Following are couple views of the store.

Here's my partner in crime, Kathy O.

This is spacious, well it classroom.  The sale fabrics were off to the right.  I emptied a bolt for them!

This is checkout counter.  Staff were so friendly and helpful.  I brought a collect of fabric to make a baby quilt.  We left this store and headed to Marion, IA for the Cottage Rose Shop.

This was a fun store.  The owner is a pattern designer and her patterns looked difficult but she had simplified many of the steps to make them easy for everyone.  They are also a Janome dealer and we got a preview of the new Janome embroidery machine.  All I can say is WOW, that machine does everything.  After a long morning of travel and shopping, we walked down to the corner Maid Rite Diner for some re-fueling.

The third shop was just two blocks away, Connie's Quilt Shop.  Don't let this one fool you, it does not look like a quilt shop.  Inside it is well lit, with floor to ceiling bolts of novelty, civil war repros, batiks, blenders and kits.  Kathy O stocked up on some yummy Civil War repro fat quarters.

The fourth shop was Pine Needles of Cedar Rapids.  This shop is like a quilt city.  If you can't find it here... just saying.  They are a Bernina dealer. I don't think anyone from the shop hop left this store empty handed.

These are my travel mates for the day (from left to right) Kathy Olson, Joyce Allen and Ruth Hayward.  We traveled about 450 miles and visited 4 quilt shops.  It was a very successful, fun filled day and I would definitely do it again.  I wouldn't mind staying overnight at Merry Stitchin's retreat center next time. 

I spent Thursday baking in the morning.  I made cranberry corn muffins, frosted pumpkin muffins, and chocolate banana muffins.  I will be heading to Fulton, IL later this morning for a retreat at Susan's Calico Creations.  There's a group of us that gather from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin about four times a year.
For dinner I baked meatloaf, au gratin potatoes, green beans and the cranberry corn muffins.  That will leave the hubbie some leftovers to eat while I am gone.
I was making the frosting for the pumpkin muffins and was having a hard time getting it smooth and creamy.  Finally, I stuck my finger into it for a taste test.  Uugh!  No flavor at all because I had grabbed corn starch instead of powdered sugar.  I just got the giggles over this.  Really, corn starch looks just like powdered sugar if not labeled.  So I dumped, this batch out and started over.  The second batch tasted much different and was a success.
In the afternoon I headed to the basement to finish quilting a quilt top for one of the ladies who will be in Fulton. 
I didn't open the quilt all the way, with all the white I was afraid one of the dogs would leave footprints.

It turned out lovely.
Yours in quilting,


  1. How fun! a shop hop. Haven't done one of those in a while.
    You sure are a busy bee!

  2. looks like ya'll had a great time. Love the quilt, the quilting is wonderful

  3. Yes, it did come out lovely. Beautiful design, and the quilting really makes it pop!

  4. You ladies just did it up right, wishing I could have been

  5. I would have loved to have been able to visit all those quilt shops! What a lot of fun!