In my continuing quest to try new things in my retirement, I added yet another new experience on Saturday, July 22nd -- I went on a bus trip! The Panama Quilt Guild sponsored their annual bus trip that took 52 ladies to five quilt shops. Some in the group had a list of items to look for throughout the day. I did not have a list and, if I am being truly honest, I really didn't need to purchase any more fabric! Did that stop me? No!!
Our day began when we gathered at 6:45 a.m. for muffins, coffee, and juice at the Holland Reformed Church. Our transportation was none other than the bus that carries the Husker football team's defensive players on game weekends! We received some interesting looks as we pulled up to the quilt shops. I'm sure the town's residents were disappointed when we got off the bus instead of the Huskers!
Our first stop was at The Quilt Basket in York. They have a great selection of fabrics -- batiks, patriotic, Kansas Troubles, seasonal prints, novelty fabrics, and panels. I was tempted to pick up another Halloween panel as I just recently finished a fun quilt using that type of fabric, but decided that maybe one was enough for now. I did purchase the shop's Row By Row kit which features a family of wool raccoons seated on a couple of tractors. This shop also sells Bernina sewing machines, so I took the opportunity to visit with them as I have almost worn out my current Bernina.
Our second stop was Calico Annie's Quilt Shop in Fullerton. This is a cute store in an old building that once housed a hardware store. The owner has kept many of the old cabinets so it has lots of character. The minute we walked in I spotted a fall wall hanging made entirely with wool. I quickly found the kit and, since there was only one, decided to carry it around while I looked to see what else I might find. I did spot another wool kit for a smaller quilt, but ultimately decided that the larger wall hanging would be more useful and fun to make. The kit came with all of the patterns and wool needed, as well as five spools of Pearle cotton. It was a bit of a splurge, but since it was the day before my birthday I decided to treat myself! How's that for some great rationale!
One of the best finds in Calico Annie's was discovered by my guild friend, Janet, in the bathroom of this store -- a poster of George Clooney! Check it out below!
Next we headed down the road to Norfolk to I Bee Quiltin'. This shop had a lot of neat kits for baby quilts and large batik quilts. They also had a wide selection of panels, minkie, and grunge fabric. I purchased their Row By Row kit which featured die-cut horses, a windmill, and a barn with a barn quilt. I also purchased a half yard of penguin fabric. I don't have a plan for it just yet, but will most likely make something for Melissa who loves anything with penguins. I also visited with a lady who had just finished a Dear Jane quilt. I call that pattern my “bucket list” quilt as I hope to complete one some day, too. I also visited with a couple of ladies who had been to quilt retreats in Norfolk, Manhattan, KS, and Woodbine, IA. That is also something on my bucket list.
Next on the agenda were two shops in Columbus. These were rather small shops, so our group was split in two. Our half started at the Claus'en Paus Quilt Shop in downtown Columbus. This shop had a great variety of fabric arranged by color. I purchased three fat quarters for our Quilt of Valor group. There were several other things that caught my eye, but I resisted. There was a pattern for a modern quilt that I really liked. And there was a cute little hexagon shaped mat in which each piece was folded to the front and secured by a button. Unfortunately they were out of those kits, although I think I could figure out how to make it myself. They also had a Row By Row, but it featured cats. I don't mean to offend any of you who are cat lovers, but I'm just not a fan!
The final shop was Sew-What located in a strip mall by Hobby Lobby and a cute little flower and gift shop called Accent Floral and Galleria. This quilt shop had a lot of embroidery items -- floss, patterns, beads, Aida cloth, perforated paper -- in addition to a wide variety of fabrics. They had some really cute Halloween panels, but again I resisted the temptation to purchase any of them. In fact, I did not buy anything as I think I was just plain shopped out by this time.
We ended the day with dinner at the Pizza Ranch in Columbus and arrived back in Holland around 10:00 p.m. It was definitely a long day, but a great way to visit some new quilt shops. The best part was meeting new people who share my love of quilting. I discovered that one lady lives just a couple of miles from me and we had met several years ago when she worked at the quilt shop in Beatrice. Another lady belongs to another quilt group that I belong to -- the Midwest Machine Quilters. It was fun to play some word games during the trip and come home with some fun door prizes. I received two patterns for a throw quilts and a fat quarter of yellow daisies. Will I do it again?? Yes, I will!! Just sign me up!