Saturday, May 17, 2014

Road Trip

  Today was a day much anticipated by the members of my guild as well as myself.  We have been planning a day trip to three quilt shops in northwest Missouri for several months.  One of them was Missouri Star Quilt Co., the shop which is featured in numerous You tube tutorials, as well as making the national news in recent months because of the transformation they have made in this small town off  the beaten path.  This is a small town familiar to me because I grew up in this part of Missouri and was a frequent visitor to the town.  I had watched it suffer the same gradual decline affecting many small rural towns in the U.S.  It has been so exciting to see the almost overnight success of this town, especially because it has been achieved by QUILTING!
    Here is a little photo tour of our day.  We started with a shop called "By the Yard"  which is located on a narrow, winding, hilly blacktop road in the middle of nowhere.  But, Wow, what a shop.

    The loft houses her long arm and is a great workspace.  Her prices were very good.  I bought the fabric to finish a large quilt, that "row by row" that has been on the back burner so long.

Our next stop was in Cameron MO, which was a great little shop...

with a nice selection of Halloween fabrics….

and a great selection of Civil War fabrics.

    Then, traveling east on Highway 36, we arrive in Hamilton, home of Missouri Star.

Numerous cutting stations, four cash/wrap stations and lots of friendly, helpful staff.  I bought the daily deal, a Jo Morton jelly roll and asked about some coordinating fabric and here is where a a lovely young lady took me….
stacks of unwrapped bolts of fabric just waiting for me to choose the perfect coordinate.  She told me it had just come in from the company and they hadn't had time to stock it.  I felt like I had found hidden treasure.  

Here's what I chose.

    We had lunch at the cute little bakery next door (chicken salad on fresh baked flatbreads), then walked down the street to check out the other Missouri Star shops.  Yes, there are currently three shops and a retreat center, with two more shops under construction.  

Sew Seasonal, selling Halloween, Christmas, and Patriotic fabrics.

The original J.C. Penney store, which houses Missouri Star's solids, blenders and batiks.   The original sign hangs inside. 

I shopped this J.C. Penney store while growing up and bought many fabrics there.   I think its great that they saved the old sign. 

This is the retreat center.  The first floor is a huge sewing space and kitchen with two handicapped bedrooms and baths.  The second floor is all bedrooms and baths.  They can accommodate over 20 quilters.  This building was a former photography studio where I had my senior picture taken.  It is so heartwarming to me to see these shuttered buildings from my childhood brought back to life. 
    We had a great day.  With all of the fabric I bought I will surely need to…
keep on stitchin'

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