A couple weeks ago, my friend Barb asked if I'd like to go with her back to our hometown for Corn Fest, an annual event that's become sort of a reunion for classmates. This was a big decision, since we'd have to miss the Madison Quilt Show (always fun) to go to Corn Fest. We decided if we stopped at a bunch of quilt stores along the way, we wouldn't miss the Madison show so much. So that's what we did! Here's our little Personal Shop Hop Across Iowa. (A warning here ... never quilt shop with someone who's expecting a grandchild soon. You will end up with bags full of baby stuff. A whole bunch of that stuff jumped in my bags, and there are no babies in my near future. If I get invited to a baby shower, though, I'm set for the next few years). Our trip "back home" takes 7 1/2 hours driving time - with our stops, it only took us about ten hours - that's not too bad, is it? We didn't stop much to eat, though LOL.
Our first stop was JJ Stitches in Sun Prairie. (You didn't think we'd actually get out of Wisconsin before we found a store, did you??) This is a great store, but I had been there just a few weeks ago with Donna, so didn't do too much damage to my wallet at this store. I joined a BOM here last time I visited, so I'm anxious to get started on that.
Vintage Threads in Dyersville, Iowa. This shop was a Quilt Sampler Top Ten Shop a few years ago, and it was wonderful. Lots of vintage as well as bright fabrics, and a very nice, helpful owner. We did a lot more damage to our wallets at this store! The store is in a nicely restored historic building and is lots of fun to visit.
The owner of Vintage Threads suggested we travel a little on down the road to Manchester to shop at the store there. That was "sort of" on our way, so we changed our itinerary a little to add that one in, and I'm so glad we did.
The Quiltmakers' Shoppe in Manchester, Iowa. This picture doesn't do it justice - it was chock full of inspiration and models of everything from wallets to aprons to quilts. It was a nice, bright, airy shop with something for everyone.
Our fourth stop was Inspirations in Hills, Iowa. This store was also a Quilt Sampler Top Ten Shop, and it's full of reproduction fabrics and a ton of baby and children's fabric. Another receiving blanket kit jumped into my basket at this store! Inspirations is also in a neat, renovated historic building with lots of, well, inspiration!
Wisconsin has great quilt shops and we're a little spoiled, but I think Iowa can give us a run for our money. The shops we visited we all wonderful, and each had their own special charm.
I'll be back tomorrow to tell you the rest of this story!