One of the best "Quilting" things to do is visit quilt shops. I usually try to pick up a new pattern or several fat quarters when I visit a new shop. I am fortunate to have a husband who indulges me in my perpetual passionate pastime (his words!) to search out new quilt shops. During one summer vacation to Colorado, he chose our route through southern Nebraska by researching where the quilt shops were. As a result, we traveled through Hebron, Holdrege, and Hastings. So here are my top 5 quilt shops--
Delve MIY in Cedar Rapids, IA -- I just discovered this fabric store last weekend when we were in the New Bohemia Main Street District in Cedar Rapids. We were on our way to Dubuque to visit Lindsay and stopped in CR for lunch. While looking for a parking spot, I noticed a couple of fun stores that I thought we should check out. One was an independent bookstore and I wasn't sure what the other one was until we walked in the door. All of the fabric is designed by Stephanie Brandenburg of Frond Fabrics in Cedar Rapids and is just fantastic. It is all hand generated from art prints and the colors are spectacular. The designs tend to be on the modern side yet can also be used in more traditional patterns as well. Or, as in many of the quilts displayed in the store, in a combination of the two. The possibilities are endless!! I purchased some fabric from the Rhapsody line (see the picture above) -- as a music teacher I really couldn't pass it up. Now I'm anxious to have some time to make a quilt with it.
The Woolen Needle in Williamsburg, IA -- I discovered this shop at Quilt Week in Des Moines two years ago and just loved every one of their many patterns/kits/wool fabric. I told them that I would like to have one of each and they said that they could make that happen! Actually I just drooled and dreamed! The colors of the fabric are so warm and rich. Last fall we stopped at the shop in Williamsburg on one of our many trips to Dubuque and I purchased a kit to make a candle mat. Wool is so fun to work with because it gives a piece texture and it doesn't ravel. I would still like to make a large quilt using wool someday -- just another idea for my long to-do list.
Country Traditions in Fremont -- this shop is located in an historic building in downtown Fremont -- the perfect setting for a quilt shop as old buildings have so much character. I can spend hours there looking at all of the fabric, patterns, notions, and quilts. This is also where I purchased my long arm quilting machine and I have enjoyed attending several classes there as well. They have a gargantuan "garage sale" in July that is a quilter's dream come true. Lots of fabrics, kits, patterns, etc. at garage sale prices.
Quilter's Station in Lee's Summit, MO -- This was a shop on my Row By Row last summer that we visited on our trip to Missouri. The amount of fabric in that store is astounding! Yet it is displayed and organized very nicely. If you were looking for a green fabric you would have about 60 or more bolts to choose from! If they don't have it, you don't need it!
Jo-Ann Fabrics -- my go-to because it is close to home. The store in Lincoln has stocked a lot of usable fabrics at great prices. I can generally find fabric that matches what I need to finish a project. Lucky for me, too, it also seems like there is always a great sale going on! My husband just wishes that there was a hardware store next door!! Their selection of wide backings continues to expand. Those are fabrics that are 108” wide as compared to the usual 42”. They are great to use on large quilts.. I also like to use the Quilter's Showcase fabric for backings. Lots of great colors and patterns at a very reasonable price.
As the title of this blog indicates, these are my five favorite quilt shops as of today. I can't wait to search out other shops during our travels and see if my list changes. I'll be sure to report back if it does! And let me know your favorite quilt shops, too, and I'll add them to my list of shops to check out. Maybe one of your favorite shops will make my next Top 5 list!!