Sunday, March 13, 2011

a trio of quilt shops

At Thanksgiving and Christmas, when I traveled to the city house,  I took Dovey along to visit with Mya. Because Anne was staying at the farm while I went for the flower show, and I was only going to be gone 3 days, Dovey stayed behind to help Anne with her projects. That left me free to make stops along the way. And between the farm and the city there are many lovely quilt shops to visit.  I hadn't been to any of them for months so they'd have new quilts exhibited and lovely new fabrics to look at (and stroke!)
Tuesday morning my plan was to stop at Mill House Quilts on the way TO the city. The map showed it to be an easy jaunt off my normal route. It turned out to be a shortcut in time and distance around the city of Madison. That will make it easy for me to stop more often!
My sweet RAV4, purchased May 1 2009, was my first new car in 38 years. I love this car! To celebrate and log our travels together I started taking pictures of her wherever we went. Here she is parked in front of Mill House Quilts the summer of 2009. (The handicap sign was for the parking space nose to nose to mine, so please don't think ill of me!)
Mill House Quilts has fabric, wool, felt,  threads for embroidery and applique, patterns, tools, gadgets and an entire second floor for classes. The first floor shop has a very high ceiling so it is literally packed with sample quilts. It's on Rt. 19 in Waunakee, Wisconsin north of Madison, only minutes west of 90/94. If you continued east on Rt.19 you'd come to Sun Prairie, WI which is the birthplace of Georgia O'Keeffe. Sun Prairie is also the home of J J Stitches and will be hosting a marvelous quilt show April 3-5. I hope Anne and I can get there for it. If we do I'll put a stop at J J Stitches on our list.

Thursday morning's agenda was carefully orchestrated. My plan was to be on the road out of Illinois by 11:30 since I had another Madison area quilt shop to visit and I wanted to be back at the farm before 5. First Trader Joes (organic produce, nuts, dried fruit)  then  JoAnn Fabrics (yarn, cross stitch fabric, clothing patterns and yardage for baby clothes to go with the sweaters I had crocheted.) Then a "not too rushed" stop at Quilters Destination.  These 3 are within less than a mile of each other, so getting to all of them in quick time would be easy.  I even squeezed in a quick, early lunch with my sister Terri before hopping back in the car for the farm. (She had brought me a bouquet of tulips to take back! A taste of spring, which I needed as it had snowed in Wisconsin several inches on Wednesday.)
I've taken several classes at Quilters Destination and feel very comfortable with Patti, the owner.  It's the nicest shop and the closest to my city house. I was happy to see Patti and chat briefly with her while I was there. She was just about to teach a class so I couldn't hold her up, but I promised to visit when in town later this month and I did purchase several nice things.We must keep our quilt shops in business after all. And her Janome sewing machines tempt me terribly! Patti's shop is magical. Once inside the front door, which says Welcome Home, the tiny physical size amazingly expands with everything a quilter could long for. Her choices in fabrics are very fine.

Over the years we've taken day trips and a few overnight trips to Madison. We've often spent our wedding anniversary there, visiting Olbrich Botanical Gardens. There's also Allen Centennial Gardens  the University of Wisconsin campus and its art museum, and towns and shops along the way. We discovered a shop several years back which moved 3 times since then as it has grown. It's called
Stitcher's Crossing . You can find fabric, yarns, cross stitch supplies and patterns, and more. Fortunately, it's just minutes off the route so it's easy to fit into a drive between city and farm.

My friend Barb teased me that I know cities by their quilt shops. I countered that she knows cities by their golf courses. I would say that would be true whatever your passion. My souvenirs of choice have always been art/craft supplies. Only in the past couple years have I made a concerted effort of keep track of where I've purchased things. I now have an index card for each fabric I buy with a small piece of the fabric and whatever information I have about its origin and manufacture. It took me a while to record all the bounty of this trip, not to mention laundering and pressing each piece. Dovey enjoyed the remaining warmth on the ironing board when I had finished.
As I drove north of Beloit toward Janesville I began to notice there was new snow on the ground. By the time I was to Madison the snow was pretty thick. When I drove up the driveway at the farm I found a few deep drifts near the road and in front of the garage where the wind had once again done its decorating. And saw that the plow had added a few more degrees of tilt to our mailbox. Perhaps for the last time this season??
Well, I had a marvelous and full couple of days. I had spent time with my two favorite fellas, visited with my good friend and my baby sister, had taken in a flower show, put in  a few licks at the city house, stood in my city garden in the pouring rain and cut a box full of pussy willows for a wreath for my new front door which will be installed as soon as we return from Anne's birthday trip later this month, and shopped at several of my favorite shops. My sweet, comfortable, fantastic car had performed magnificently once again. The only item on my list that went unaccomplished was a complete car wash, wax, and vacuum, but the weather was not good for that and I'll be going back to the city the end of this week, so she'll get her spa treatment then.
As always, the nearer to the farm I drove the more relaxed and happy I felt. This week's weather prediction calls for warmer temperatures, so we should see the end of the snow that has been here since the beginning of December. I am eager to pull on my boots and do a complete walk of the grounds and a full study of the flower beds. I'll let you know what we find.


  1. This is such a full post Sharon! It sounds as though you really packed it all in on your trip. It must be so nice to visit all those quilt shops. I don't have any near me! I hope that the snow thaws for you. It certainly seems to have been a long drawn out winter.

  2. Ah, Sharon, a trip filled with loved ones, flowers and quilting fabric! Who could ask for more?
    I admire your method of cataloging your fabrics. Don't you love washing and pressing them when you get them home? I feel like they become MINE when I do that! I often spread new fabrics on the passenger seat of my car when I'm driving home, and admire them with quick glances as I drive. I sound like a nut, but I do love the colors and textures. And you've described yourself as a 'hands on person" and I enjoyed your saying that you 'stroke' the fabric!!
    Love how you take a photo of your lovely red RAVA in front of favorite places! Sounds like you managed to hit some terrific shops on your way home! Your upcoming schedule sounds very busy - hope you get time for a bit of rest this week!
    Hope your niece's husband made it safely home from Japan!