Thursday, June 21, 2018

Last of the hop, and a family supper out

We had a great day today! No rain, cooler temps, and decent directions from the GPS. I think the GPS lady wants to have us see every inch of the countryside while looking for shops. It was beautiful countryside...but we have seen enough fields and forests for now.
First stop, Needles and Pins. This is another shop out in the country, with a barn quilt on the barn and a friendly shop keeper inside. On the is a yarn shop! What?! We looked around, chatted with the owner, and I even bought a button and my sister bought a skein of yarn for a scarf. The shop was packed with gorgeous yarns, but I'm not a proficient knitter, and not interested in learning now. On to the next.

We have seen many barn quilts on our travels. They pop up everywhere!

The quilt shop that wasn't

Every conceivable type of yarn in one tiny shop

A crib full of fingering yarn

Buttons, buttons, buttons!

I bought the closure seen here on this sweater.

Next stop not a quilt shop, either. Nope. The Apple Barn is a farm market operation with something for everyone. Fresh strawberries were the order of the day (yum). They had cheeses, salsas, dips, jams and jellies, butters, cider, honey, a bakery and homemade wines. After a wine tasting with the other shoppers, I bought two bottles of wine, some raspberry-jalepeno salsa, black bean salsa, tomato basil dip, strawberry jam, apple butter and apple jelly. My sister got fresh strawberries and surprised me with a strawberry-cream cheese bear claw. Yum! 
Time to get back on track, off to a quilt shop.

They have a barn quilt, too!

The shop is in this barn
We ate our goodies while driving to the next destination, Sawdust and Stitches in Elkhorn. This was another small business shop on the quaint main street in town. They featured Civil War reproduction and French General fabrics. They had Primitive Gatherings patterns and the wool, flannel and thread to make them, Lori Smith patterns and all the best books for the fabric they stock. A nice niche shop.

The little shop with the cute awning

The owner was there ready to help, and the little shop is packed to the rafters with quality fabrics. We didn't leave empty handed.
It was a long drive to the last shop of the day, and I was a bit disappointed with the offering there. Its a fine local shop with a class in progress in the back, but had only a couple of rows of fabric shelves, and not much we hadn't already seen elsewhere. The shop keeper was bubbly and helpful, and we enjoyed talking with her. In the end, I bought only a couple of black and white pieces I was looking for, and we went on our way.

They did have a barn quilt, even though the shop was in a small strip mall along a busy highway
On the way home, we stopped in the nicest grocery store I have ever been in, Festival Foods. Oh my goodness! They must have a staff of elves to keep the shelves stocked and artfully displayed at all times. So much to look at...I'm sure the shoppers thought I must be a yokel because I was oo-ing and Ah-ing while taking pictures of the food. ha ha ha. I bought some Wisconsin treats for Mr Wazoo and myself  to take home in a cooler.

 Wonderful produce. Reminds me of the farm market in Paris.
All fresh, tidy and beautifully presented.

Why cut up your fruit and veg when every imaginable kind is cut and packaged for your convenience?

Wow! All sorts of nuts, seeds, rice and grains.

You won't find Cornish pasties and hand pies for lunch in the deli in Georgia!

Just a sampling of the deli meat and cheese offerings.

Fresh seafood in a Wisconsin market? Certainly!!

Beautiful steaks of every grade and cut. Look at the size of those T-bones!!

Another Wisconsin favorite, many flavor varieties of bratwurst and bratwurst patties.

Local Summer Sausage 

Cheese curds. Almost gone by this time of day. There will be a fresh, squeaky batch in the morning.

A quick stop at home to unload our purchases and it was off to the Decoy Tavern in Edgerton to meet the family and have some supper. We were a fun, loud, laughing group and had the best time catching up after  not seeing each other for a long while. We may be a motley bunch, but I love these people, and wouldn't trade a burger supper with them for a five star restaurant meal. We had Cheese curds, macaroni bites, fried vegetables, shrimp baskets, fish plates, fried chicken and big juicy burgers. 
 I phoned Mr Wazoo from the pub and we all had a chance to say hello, passing the phone around and taking turns speaking to him. Little Dechen behaved well, gnawing at an apple and stealing french fries from his mama's plate. The evening was wonderful fun.

Daughter-in-law, son and grandson, niece, grandson, brother,
tavern owner (brother-in-law of my brother), sister-in-law, brother-in-law and my sister, and one daughter who is so camera shy she isn't in the picture!

My son and my youngest grandchild.
Tomorrow night, I am going up to Madison to hear the Madison Scout's Drum and Bugle Corps with Jenny and enjoy a bratfest, too. I'm halfway through my vacation, and enjoying every minute.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

More hopping

Off to shop hop the sequel! First stop, Attic Quilts in my hometown of Beloit, Wisconsin! The street is still brick, but the ice cream parlor is gone. Oh well, we're not here for ice cream...we're here for fabric.

The rain stopped for the hopping.

Not a huge shop, but very nice.

Compact and chock full of stuff!
As we were driving to the next shop, I couldn't help asking my sister to pull over so I could take a photo of this sign. Typical Wisconsin humor, I find it quirky and fun!

Hmmm...just how much does a pony weigh?

Our next stop was Woodland Quilts in Whitewater, where my brother and his family live. I remembered the shop owner from the last visit, and had a good time selecting a few fabrics for the stash. My niece goes there for her fabric needs. too.

I found some new blenders from the color wall

They had nice sample quilts to admire

Tucked into the main street row of shops.

To get to the next shop, we ambled through beautiful countryside admiring the fields and farms. When I saw the shop, The Quilt Patch, I immediately remembered the woman who owns it, and how much fun we had there last time. The shop is surrounded by beautiful flower beds, in an idyllic country setting. The fabrics there are perfect for the setting; floral collections, shabby chic offerings and soft pastels. I added some new petit floral prints, and a couple of shabby chic fat quarters.

I bet this is really pretty when it hasn't been recently flattened by heavy rain!

Another great farmland view

Walking to the shop entrance.

Inside the shop there were other hoppers having a good time with us.
We saved the favorite of mine for last, driving over an hour to get to Sun Prairie and J&J Stitches. If you are looking for Civil War, 30s, French General, Japanese Diwabo, Homespuns, wool or quilter's flannel, this is the shop for you. I drooled over the selection and came away with an assortment of shirtings and border fabric for the antique quilt I am making at home. I also bought a jelly roll of flannel and a pattern for a quilt. 
After this shop, we had to hurry home to meet my daughter and have a gyro dinner. Tomorrow, I'll see the whole family gang in Edgerton for supper. Life is good!

I bought the fabric and pattern to make this quilt.

Shop interior

More of the shop and the hoppers.

Wonderful quilts everywhere!!

Monday, June 18, 2018


 On the way to my sister's, I spent the night in a hotel (which shall remain nameless) and had quite an adventure. The room was really swanky for the price I got on, and I was thrilled with the fact that I could sit on a sofa to watch TV and eat my Wendy's salad.

King bed in a huge bedroom

Sitting room with sofa and TV

 Unfortunately, when I got all ready for bed, this is what greeted me...hundreds of tiny bugs all over the pillows and between the sheets! Yikes!! I called the desk and the night clerk said he would be up with keys to a new room. So sorry! I got dressed and packed my stuff, and when he arrived, I showed him the bugs. "Oh My", he says, "There is a big field of hay outside, and they must come from there". We are three stories up and the room has sealed shut windows. I didn't argue, I just wanted to go to bed. Room number two...

More bugs!
He said to sit in the little sitting area and wait while he found another room to go into. I'm now wondering if any other guests had this problem, or did they just go to bed with bugs. Surely they weren't moving guests all around looking for bug free rooms. The long suffering clerk returned with more apologies and another room key. The third time was the charm and I finally turned in. Comfortable bed, cool room and deep sleep. And I got 25% discount for my troubles. Yippee!

I arrived in Wisconsin before lunchtime and off we went on day one of a shop hop. The first shop was The Quilt Barn in Janesville. Wow! Wonderful shop and APQS dealer. Rachel was so nice and we chatted about the APQS and how I could get more knowledgeable about  Quilt Path as well as Mr Wazoo learning the maintenance end of things. We'll be scoping out our possibilities when I get home. This was the nicest experience I have had with anyone connected with APQS since I got my Millie. I am hopeful of finally making friends with the machine. Fingers crossed!

The Quilt Barn. I wish I had a studio like this one!!

Proud owner, Rachel. Rachel, her husband and two daughters all work in the business. I met them all, and they are a powerhouse of APQS talent.

Here is the perfectly wonderful Wisconsin location for a quilt shop

The quilt Barn. It really was a barn before it became a quilting business

I'm thinking I need a sign like this for my customers.

The next shop was Twin Turtle Shop in Clinton. The main street there is still vibrant, unlike many other small towns where the big box stores have squeezed the life out of local business. Twin Turtle is right in the middle of the main drag. They had some panels there I haven't seen before, and I think they will make nice quilts for men in the nursing home. I'll lay out the loot later and show you all the fabric I got. Today, I'll show you the shops and the locations.

Twin Turtle Shop

I tried to get a picture through the window, but the strong reflection of the main street is there, too!
After this shop hop stop (!) we had a filling lunch at Boxcar Pub and Grub, just down the street from the quilt shop. Yum. I had a Reuben and my sister had a wrap. People were in the bar watching the World Cup and the entire lunch was low key and laid back. The building used to be a bank, and they have done a great job with the makeover.

Oh yeah...I'm home.

Number three shop was Kari's Sew Unique in Whitewater. They have a HUGE selection of wide backing there. I wish the shop was by me when it comes to backing tee shirt quilts. The owner demonstrated the Scan and Cut for my sister and me while we were in the shop. I am taking a class in my local shop for the machine later this month, and told her I would be buying mine there. She was so friendly and helpful. A gem of a shop owner. 

We arrived at Kari's after a brief rain shower, and got inside before the black sky opened and  the real deluge began.
The skin was getting darker and darker as we progressed on the hop, and at Kari's, it cut loose.
This is the view from Kari's
The shop is another country location. They are Hands Quilter dealers, too.
When the rain let up, we scurried to Milton, the last stop for the day, and Loose Threads. I scored big at this shop, finding black and white fabrics I haven't found elsewhere, some wonderful light colored homespun plaids and stripes, a Wisconsin themed quilt kit and some bright stripes and dots for bindings. We closed the shop, leaving for home at 5:00.
This is the kit I got. I think its a great Wisconsin quilt!
A big thank you to the shop keeper for being so patient with us at closing time.
I'm hoping to talk my sister into another adventure tomorrow. I'm sure having fun!
Meanwhile, Mr Wazoo has been quilting. I feel so bad about that...NOT!
See you tomorrow.
He quilted this little patriotic wall hanging right before I left.
Panto: Star Spangled Banner