I have some fond memories of the past few days to share with you. My friend Judy (no blog) and I left early Wednesday morning on our road trip; our ultimate destination was Terre Haute, Indiana for the Tree of Life Samplings Retreat. We mapped out our course to include several needlework store stops along the way!
On Wednesday, we made stops at two shops in Iowa. The first stop was The Stitchery Nook in Osage, IA. Nice shop with a nice selection of patterns, they have lots of fabric and fibers too. The shop owner and her helpers were very friendly.
The shop owner is renovating the second floor of the building and we asked for a tour of the part that was finished. Excellent space for a stitching retreat. Large gathering room with tables and chairs (would work great for scrapbookers or quilters too), comfortable sitting area with large flat screen TV, full kitchen and three bedrooms that sleep at least five each with their own bathroom. Why didn't I take a picture of the retreat center? (There are pictures on her website; click on the link above.) She's working on the other side now, so in the future there will be even more space.
While we were there some stitchers were gathering at the table located in the front of the store and I asked them if I could take their picture - they happily obliged.
Got a kick out of these two guys. One was working on an Ink Circles design, the other on a geometric design; they were doing very nice work. We enjoyed visiting with them.
Our next stop was clear on the other side of Iowa - Stitch'n & Stuff in Clinton, IA. This shop was smaller than the previous one, but they had a nice variety of patterns. They had two chairs sitting inside the front door with a magazine rack that included hunting, fishing, and auto magazines (a place for the husbands to sit and relax!)
We were impressed with the many finished models - particularly the smalls. Pat, the shop owner, does lovely small stitching and finishing. We enjoyed looking at all of her finishes. A few purchases were made and we continued on our journey!
We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express on Wednesday night - check out this amazing little invention that I was introduced to at breakfast in the morning... a pancake maker!
Just push the button and strategically place your plate under the conveyor belt to catch your pancakes as they magically pop out of the machine. Cool, huh?
Our journey then took us to Illinois and we stopped at two wonderful shops in the Chicago area. We promptly arrived at Tomorrow's Heirlooms in Glen Ellyn, IL right as they opened on Thursday morning.
This is a great shop for uncovering hidden treasures. It's a small shop, but jam-packed with patterns, fibers, fabric, and other stitching supplies. I spent quite a bit of time in the back looking through all of the their older patterns - wow!
Next stop - The Inspired Needle in Lemont, IL. We weren't expecting to see shop owner, Cathy, as we knew she was headed to the needlework market in Columbus, but she was there! Had a great time visiting with her and seeing her shop. Friendly, friendly, friendly shop. Cathy often takes patterns and converts them to silk and then kits it up with just enough silk to complete the project. Brilliant!
With our purchases made, it was time to head to our final destination of Terre Haute, IN. Navigating our way through three states to four different needlework stores was quite easy. Judy had taken great care to MapQuest our route and printed directions to follow for each step of the journey. We also had our handy dandy road maps just in case there was any question about the route. But our most favorite companion was....
...MRS. DASH! I know that some of you call it a "Garmin", but this is a special model and I grew quite fond of her. We didn't always get along --- got a little annoyed with her when she would say "Recalculating!" but over all, between her guidance, my navigating, and Judy's excellent driving skills, we made it to everywhere we wanted to go without incident.
We arrived in Terre Haute around 4pm on Thursday...got settled in our room...we're ready to stitch!
More to come...