Things have been interesting in the last two (or is it thee) weeks since I last blogged. Health & computer issues mainly, but I did get to get away from Kansas to head to Iowa for a trip.
My aunt lives in Des Moines, and last year I had wanted to visit her for the AQS quilt show held there in October. Last year, I had issues that kept me away, so this year I made it a priority to go.
And what great timing! Running out of fumes from work, a 3 day break was exactly what I needed.
I have all your requests down from the last post, some of which I have done, responded, some of which I need to go back & look up & complete. I liked all of your suggestions. Thing is that I’ve either been working or sick when I haven’t been gone at AQS. This afternoon was the best I felt all this week since Sunday when my camera wouldn’t transfer any of my AQS pictures.
I had three days of fun, only one of which involved the actual quilt show. I took a self guided “shop hop” on my way from KC to Des Moines, visiting shops that are either ‘close’ to my area, but definitely not shops I have been at before. Allow me to relive my travels by sharing my experiences.
Shop 1 – Quilter’s Quarters - Levenworth, KS
Notice the ruby slippers? So Kansas.
This shop was cute. The front was several civil war sections, the middle was batiks, and the back room was sale fabrics and/or classroom stuff. I liked the staff I talked to, it was a great way to start a shop hop.
This shop had several BOM’s that were fun, and I liked several quilts in this section.
Look at their cute way to package their kits!
And this quilt kit was just amazing, and just my style. Love the paint can. I didn’t purchase, trying to keep in mind I had lots more to do & see.
A good start to my day.
Then I traveled to Missouri, and this shop didn’t allow pictures at all, so I didn’t get any pictures. On the way there I passed the bridge and had a lovely drive.
Shop 2 – Peddler’s Wagon – Parkville, MO
This shop was right across the street from the mini golf course that I absolutely loved that I discovered a few years ago.
The shop was nice, on a fairly steep hill, downtown Parkville. There is a touristy feeling about this section of “KC”, The store itself was one level, with a kind of ‘cut out balcony’ section above that rings around the central shop area that has many many examples of completed quilts on the walls & railings. Also sale fabric was found on the upper level.
More about the shop I found interesting, that on the outer ring on the lower (main) level there were sections. They were separated by walls, and left many many different alcoves, which provided natural separation of types of objects. One section was halloween, one section was baby quilts, one section was notions, one section was books, several sections were fabric, many different kinds of fabric, and many different fat quarter rolls.
Then a little bit of a drive later, and into northern Missouri, there were two shops within about 20 miles of each other just along I35.
Shop 3 – Crossroads Quilting – Cameron, MO
This shop was probably a couple of stores molded into one larger store, possibly clothing stores. There were different kinds of little alcoves in this store that reminded me of dressing rooms.
This style of fabrics were a little more ‘country’ colors for me, but I was fascinated with all the displays and the bags and all of everything they had placed in the store & how it was arranged like a house!
This was the first time I had ever seen a vertical quilt hanger like this.
There are many more pictures of this store since it was so unique. But here’s the first bed I saw on the journey too.
Then just down the road, probably the most “internet famous” of the four shops.
Shop 4 – Missouri Star Quilt Company – Hamilton, MO
Wow. Since I have seen and heard so much about Missouri Star Quilt company online in the last several years, I was kinda nervous & excited to be there. So much hype, but they also lived up to all the hype as you will see.
Small town Missouri but a big & expanding store, run by family & close knit group of people, but a large group of people in & out and about on a Wednesday afternoon.
By far, MOStarQuiltCo had the most amount of bolts of fabric over every other store I visited in person during the whole week. Not so many precut fat quarters, but several precuts, although the bolt fabric was really really high.
Each of these (look at the picture below to see what I am talking about) ‘walls’ of four bolts high of fabric was repeated about 8 times or so, in addition to the many shelves, other areas, minkie & backing areas.
And the staffing there was numerous and fantastic as well!
The fabric was organized by type / designer / line way more than it was by colors. Except for some areas.
Here you can see how ‘far back’ the store gets.
Or maybe you can’t see that, I don’t know.
Anyway, what I failed to take pictures of was Jenny Doan’s studio where she shoots her videos from. I could see some stuff set up for taking pictures & videos well in the back.
When I told one of the employees that I was excited to be there, as Jenny came to our guild once and gave a presentation, they introduced me to one of her grand-daughters. Jenny was in the newly acquired retreat center doing some kind of “live podcast” which I didn’t hear as much detail about, so she wasn’t around during the time I was there, but I did strike up a conversation with several people.
I got to see (no pictures) the large family picture they took, and Jenny has 7 kids herself, with such a large family it sounded like many of them were somehow involved with the store in some aspect or another, and many of them seemed happy to be there, and friendly to themselves and the customers. I asked the granddaughter (sorry for not remembering your name :( but it was nice to talk to you) if there was a lot of pressure to quilt, and if she liked quilting at all, and she’s done a few quilts, but hasn’t done all that many. She was helping me find the minkee for a guild scarf project, and then I was given to someone else to cut the minkee.
She talked of the expansion, the number of online orders they do every day, how they used to have classes, but haven’t had the space to do them for a while, how they have several buildings in Hamilton that they are considering breaking down into specific types of fabric shops, perhaps one that has chevron specific fabrics for example, and about the retreat center that was brand new.
I looked around at some of the other fabrics, and then when I was checking out I noticed a lady who I recognized from one of the videos. I admitted I couldn’t remember which one, and she, like me, said she felt nervous about being on the video, was glad to do it, but it wasn’t her most favorite part of working on the store to be in front of the camera.
We talked about podcasts, since she was the one who said something about “live podcast” but she didn’t have a ton of details about it, I was just about a half hour late to see that in person from their retreat center. We talked about blogs and how it is so hard to have time reading people’s blogs and since google reader went away, how it was hard to sign up for blogs. I mentioned feedly & bloglovin and it was so busy that I bet she didn’t have time to record any of the info I gave her. But I understand not having time as well.
We probably weren’t “kindred spirits” but it was so nice to be able to chat so much about so many quilting topics with all the ladies at Missouri Star Quilt Company. It was a very good side trip and I was very glad to drive the 20 miles from the interstate to see the place in person. They had some kind of 5 year celebration they tried to get me to come back for, and I very well could have done so on my way back from Des Moines, but by then I was quilt shopped out.
One Last Stop – the Most Important One
And the last part of my ‘going to Des Moines’ quilt show was the meetup with Jackie, from Sew Excited Quilts.
I was running a little late with all this quilty goodness that I saw on the way to Des Moines, so I was almost at my aunt’s by the time we were going to meet up for dinner. We met at Spaghetti Works in Downtown Des Moines, not all that far away from the quilt show.
It was so like meeting an old friend even though I think we have only met in person like 3 times before now. It was great to catch up in person, see what we’re up to, compare lives, catch up with my aunt and have her meet Jackie (and her DH) as well.
And wow I shared a lot about my trip, and this was only DAY ONE. The next post I will do will be about the AQS quilt show, but who knows when it will be written as it takes a lot of time to do this, and time is limited with all the work I am doing, and the quilting I am trying to do on an older project.
Take care everyone! Don’t get sick as it is hard on you when you’re trying to do a lot of things already!