August 20, 2013

A Beautiful Day With A Beautiful Friend...

 Rather than head north from our camping location this year, Kathy chose to
introduce me to two fabulous shops in the south-central part of Wisconsin.
She pointed our chariot toward the Madison area and we we off!

First in our two-stop trip was "J.J. Stitches" in Sun Prairie.
(I've made the shop names a link, so you can visit their websites, too!)
My intrepid quilt shopping partner, Kathy.
 When we walked in, we were greeted by high ceilings, mountains of fabric, walls
 covered with delightful fabrics and a warm and friendly face behind the counter.
She was more than happy to answer our questions and help during our shop stop.
 Kathy told me that the shop owner's specialty is to purchase antique
quilts and then create patterns in current fabrics to sell to other quilters.
I think that's a really great idea to keep those old quilts alive. This one is a 
version of her "Martha Washington's Star" quilt. The large quilt was not 
set on point, but all the colors were the same scrumptious blues and whites.

I was especially taken with the "writing on the wall" above it. It reads,
 This is one in a series of woolworked Blocks of the Month. When completed, 
the pieces are just moved in and out of the frame. The calendar page below was 
simply a page from a scrapbook shop. It's mounted into one of two standard
12" (or was it 14"?) square frames that are joined with two hinges. By placing the 
blank calendar behind glass, the dates can be written in with a dry erase marker
and changed as needed month-to-month. Isn't that a clever idea? We both agreed,
and Kathy signed up on the spot for their twelve-month (only $20/mo.) kit program!
 Another clever idea was to take a quilt/applique' piece and frame it.
The piece was not finished and bound. Rather it was mounted on acid-free
stock with reproduced pages from old quilt magazines. I really liked this
idea, and I think it would look especially nice to hang in a studio (like mine!).
 For those of us who do woolwork, this is another way to display postcard-
sized pieces. They were stitched onto a larger wool fabric piece and then 
mounted into an open (and fancy) frame. Its quite a contrast between the
simplicity of the woolwork and the ornateness of the frame. What do you think?
 After visiting JJ Stitches (and leaving a few $$$ with their friendly clerk), we 
walked down the street to the Market Street Diner. The place was hopping and
the food was great. We chatted over our meals and then left to head further west.

 Our second and final stop of the day was at the "Country Sampler" in Spring Green. 
I mentioned how quaint their little downtown area was, and Kathy told me that 
there are only about 1400 regular inhabitants in town, but the tourist trade and 
traveling Wisconsinites, such as herself, help support their commerce.

This shop is a wonderful mix of cross stitch and quilting, all with a prim flair.
 Everywhere I looked, the soft muted colors caught my attention. I found myself 
pondering just how I might purchase the gift of "more time" mentioned in the first
shop, so I'd be assured of completing each and every lovely quilt. Each finished piece 
had nearby piles of bound kits patiently awaiting the quilt shopper's eager hands.
 I also loved how each quilt was thoughtfully displayed in this shop. I could just 
imagine these quilts lying across our own beds and keeping us warm on 
(all-too-infrequent) cool Florida nights. I must find out the name of the light-colored 
quilt pattern. The kits for it are right behind the wool pillow, and although I didn't 
purchase one of the kits, this one continues to call my name. Perhaps "mail order"?
 I adored the antique, wrought iron crib in the front window...and the 
quilts that made up the bed. Again, the kits were part of the display.
 I told Kathy that I have been wanting to make a patriotic quilt of my own,
so when I saw this lap quilt in soft, muted colors - with kits in the basket next
to the bed, I snapped one up to add to my purchases. The flags are pieced and sewn
using a red and white ticking fabric and a blue and white star fabric. Then they're
sashed and bordered with the linen colored cotton to complete the quilt top. This
will make a fabulous quilt that will be finished in no time! You'll see this one soon.

I have to again thank Kathy for being my chauffeur and tour guide to two more
wonderful shops. As always, we had a great time together and we'll do it again
next year. Our most difficult decision will be whether or not to just rotate our trips 
between shops in the south or shops in the north - or to seek out new shops to explore.
We won't worry about that now. We have a years' worth of quilting to accomplish
before then. In the meantime, I'll smile when I remember the day we spent together.
A beautiful day, with a beautiful, creative friend making brand, new memories.

5 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

nancy huggins said...

Wow Donna..What a fun trip and always more fun to go with a friend..So much beautiful Fabric and I am sure you bought some to make some beautiful things. We are back up in Northern IL now and finally able to find a caring Doctor and he did MRI on Billy and found out he has had many mini strokes. NO ONE would listen to me for over a year and I was right but at least we have a caring Doctor now (and me too)

Chris said...

What a perfect day!

Claudia said...

I've been to Country Sampler in Spring Green - that's where I spent 6 weeks a couple of summers ago, coaching a production for American Players Theater. It's a charming shop, as is Spring Green. Also home to a famous Frank Lloyd Wright house.


Createology said...

Oh Donna Dear...I honestly had to read this post three times to absorb all the goodness you and your friend Kathy experienced on this wonderful day. I love the phrase: "Once Upon a Time, There Was Enough Time." I always say life was simpler "back then". How fun to explore all this fabric goodness in your blessed quilting bliss. New ideas and designs to tempt you. Safe travels...

Lesley said...

What a glorious time you had! Loved some of those ideas...the framed quilt surrounded by quilt pages, and that calendar idea...super! I met Kathy last summer ...she is a sweetie and I can tell you had an awesome time! Thanks for sharing!


Related Posts with Thumbnails