Visiting Cedarburg Wisconsin

My sisters and I recently spent a weekend in the Cedarburg WI area. Knowing that was our plan, of course this meant I had to take them to the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts – a museum not to miss. They have exhibits that change on a regular basis, so check their website before you head out.

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=”3″]

The featured exhibit at the time we visited (last weekend in July) was Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s “Traditions Made Modern: Full Circle – Sketches From Life — 12 Double Wedding Rings.”

Front Lawn of the Ye Olde Schoolhouse Quilt Shop

My visits to quilt shops in the Cedarburg area were restrained by being the only quilter among my sisters (need to get another one in the family) so I was able to visit only one: Ye Olde Schoolhouse. I liked the shop and they have a friendly staff. Was so busy looking around I forgot to take some pictures. But you can see more photos on their website.

While we only stopped at one quilt shop, we were able to visit a number of other gift and antique shops in the village as well as having lunch and dinner at some of the nicer restaurants in town.

Historic Cedarburg Wisconsin is full of quaint restaurants and shops
Historic Cedarburg Wisconsin is full of quaint restaurants and shops

On our way home from our weekend in Cedarburg, we stopped in a garden center near Colgate, Wisconsin that has been on my list of places to visit for some time: Monches Farm Nursery & Garden Center. Ideally I’d like to be there in the spring so I can get some good quality bedding plants for my flower and vegetable gardens. But now I know where they are located when I am on the hunt for perennials.

To learn more about visiting Historic Cedarburg here is a link to their website:

Monches Farm Nursery
Monches Farm Nursery and Gardens

Quilt Shops LaCrosse Wisconsin

Quilt Shop Tour – LaCrosse

My girlfriend Sue and I had to get one more quilting road trip in before the snow flies in Wisconsin. We traveled to La Crosse Wisconsin, along the Great River Road Scenic Byway, to visit two quilt shops that have been on my visit list for a few years. They turned out to be two great shops less than 100 miles from home.

The River Road Quilt Shop at 2501 South Ave was first on our list. The shop is actually part of the Nelson Flag Company so that is also the website of the quilt shop. In addition to flags and quilts they also have a selection of unique gifts, so you can get your gift shopping and quilting needs satisfied in one visit!

Here’s some pictures of the shop.

River Road Quilt Shop at Nelson Flag

Gifts and Quilting at River Road Shop

Good lighting in the fabric area

All Decorated up for Christmas

The second stop on our quilt shop tour was Olive Juice Quilts at 1255 County Road PH in Onalaska, Wisconsin (an adjacent city to LaCrosse). How did it get its name – Olive Juice? Interesting story, go to their website and find out – This is one of the larger shops in the area and has a great selection of fabrics – both in number of bolts and in variety. The shop also handles Bernina and Baby-Lock sewing and quilting machines. Here’s some pix of the shop.

Olive Juice is located in a residential neighborhood but no worry about parking as it has an off-street parking lot.

Skylights and windows provide natural daylight to better help assess fabric colors

An attractive and spacious arrangement of displays and quilting products

A good selection of quilting patterns and kits

Happy Traveling and Quilt Shop Hopping


2012 Paducah Quilt Show

Paducah is Ready for the 2012 AQS Quilt Show

Paducah's Convention Center, site of the annual AQS Quilt Show & Convention

On the way home from our spring trip Jo and I decided to stop by Paducah to see how preparations were going for the big 2012 Paducah Quilt Show & Quilters Convention. Last year tornadoes, severe storms, and floods almost cancelled the show. The main show site, the Convention Center, couldn’t be used because it was surrounded by water. Eleanor Burn’s Quilt for a Day tent show and fabric sale, always a big satellite event to the show, was hurt badly. A storm just before opening day tore up one of the tents and rain and flooding waters ruined tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise. Even though Mother Nature threw floods and tornadoes, show organizers did an excellent job of scrambling to find several alternate locations for show events and the show did go on.

This year based on our March 29th visit, all is in place to host a terrific show. Lack of snow in the upper midwest has left rivers lower than normal. Just in case reservoirs are also running lower than normal spring levels. So the chance of another flood changing the show are impossibly small. The slightly remodeled convention center is all set and since the removal of the debris from the demolished hotel adjacent to the convention center there is a good deal more parking space close to the center of Quilt Show activities. The inflatable Dome is already in place and all systems are go.

Go to our regular web pages to find out more the Paducah Show and links to the AQS website for the 2012 show.

Dining at Whaler's Catch outdoor deck

While we were in town we stopped at Whaler’s Catch for lunch. Whalers is a favorite during the Quilt Show because of its location, decent food and their spacious two story outdoor dining deck. It was a perfect spring day in the 70s so we dined outdoors on the deck. We had sandwich baskets and beverages for less than $20. Very large portion size with nice trimmings – leaf lettuce, onions, and tomato slices + fries. Free refills on the beverages and good wait service.

Jo shopping at Eleanor Burn's quilt shop in Paducah

Also while we in town we couldn’t escape without a visit to Eleanor Burn’s Quilt in a Day shop. Jo found some fabric she needed to complete a project.

On the way home to Wisconsin we stopped at the Rend Lake Corps Gun Creek Campground near Benton, IL. About 90 miles north of Paducah this is a good stop over for our last day at the Paducah Quilt Show. In addition to very well designed and maintained RV sites, it offers an additional attraction to Ross and other golfing spouses who indulge their wives’ passion for the Quilt Show. This attraction is an excellent 27 hole golf course essentially adjacent to the camp ground. The course is quite scenic, well-maintained with paved cart paths, electric golf carts, and a nice variety of tee boxes. At the end of March, the fairways and greens were in very good spring condition. The three mens tees range from about 6000 yards for 18 holes from the senior tees to over 6800 yards from the blue tees. Rend Lake Golf Course website.

Rend Lake Golf Course, Benton, Illinois

Rend Lake Golf Course, Benton, Illinois

Ross and Jo

Wisconsin Quilt & Fabric Shop

YDS – A quilting fabric shop in Wisconsin not to miss

My friend Nancy and proprietor Mary at YDS Fabric & Quilt Shop
Sue, Nancy, and Jo after shopping at YDS Quilt Shop stop off for a late lunch at Fin-N-Feather Restaurant
Fin-N-Feather Restaurant on the Wolf River, Winneconne, WI

On a nice sunny Saturday we (my quilting friends Sue, Nancy, and me) decided it was a perfect day for a trip to YDS (pronounced yards), one of our favorite fabric shops located near Omro, WI.

If you reside in Wisconsin (or Northern Illinois) and have never been to YDS, it is worth a trip. Mary, the shop owner, has been running this business since she retired many years ago. We think her fabric prices are the best around. And as you can see from the picture she has quite an extensive fabric collection. Even though she has many, many bolts she knows what she has so if you are looking for something special she can tell you if she has it. So when you go plan to spend some time getting acquainted with that is there. Her shop is open Monday through Saturday,  10 – 3. It is located at 5530 State Highway 116, between Omro and Winneconne, Wisconsin. I recommend you call ahead just to make sure she is there (920-582-7196).

To cap off our trip the three of us had a late lunch at the Fin N Feather in Winneconne, a great restaurant with a very nice buffet for a reasonable price. (See picture). The Fin N Feather is on the Wolf River and we three thought it would be the perfect place for a late spring trip to YDS where on a nice afternoon we could sit on their deck enjoying a late lunch and the attractive view of the river.

Quilting Retreat

How to Organize a Quilting Retreat

Holly wrote me recently with a question. She said: “Hello!  My name is Holly [ ] and my parents and I own two beautiful Victorian Bed & Breakfasts in Soldiers Grove, WI.  We have talked a long time about doing things like quilting retreats because in addition to the beautiful houses, one of them has a reception hall attached.  This would be a great area to set up work spaces for quilting, but you can still retreat to the houses whenever you want. . . . Could you possible connect me with people who organize these types of events?  I would love to talk to someone about it.”

My Answer:
I would recommend that you first start by having a discussion with quilt shop’s in your area – find out the owner’s name and see if she/he is willing to meet with you.  Here are a some quilt shops that are 30-75 miles from Soldiers Grove.

Quilt Basket ‘n’ Creations  – Viroqua
Inspiration at Dovetail Farm – Cashton
Thimble N Thread – Richland Center
Olive juice Quilts – Onalaska

Most towns and cities have what are known as Quilt Guilds – many of the quilt retreats that you hear about  are organized by individuals in The Guilds. So you will need to do some research on finding The Quilt Guilds in your area.

A third group of retreat goers are quilting friends who plan their own retreat – that group could be reached by leaving literature on your B&B’s at quilt shows in the area and quilt shops.

So my recommendation would be for you to start with the local quilt shop owner and also talk with your local quilt guild – attend a meeting.

Hope this has been helpful.


November 2010 Quilt Class “Floral Bunda Tote Bag”

Shar exhibits her quilted "Big Bertha" tote bag!

Last September, my friend and quilting buddy Sue and I attended the Quilt Expo in Madison, Wi, When we saw this big tote bag and fabric displayed at “Thimble N Thread’s” booth, we both thought what a great gift idea for Christmas this would be. Shar, the shop owner, is holding up a sample of the bag in the picture to the right.

Looking for something quilting relating to do, now that our travel season is over for 2010 and Arvy is parked for the winter, Sue talked me into taking a class at  “Thimble N Thread” on making this large Floral Bunda tote bag. What fun we had making the bag. And we liked ours so much that we both decided to keep our bag for ourselves – Merry Christmas Sue and Jo!

Sewing the straps for the "Bunda" quilted tote bag

In this picture, my friend Sue is so intent on getting her bag straps just right.  This pattern was easy, simple to make yet elegant looking.

I was able to make a somewhat smaller version of this tote with some  floral fabric I had in my stash for my cousin who is in wheelchair. I had to make the strap proportionately longer so she could handle it easier.   She later wrote that she loved the bag  (see that picture below).

“Thimble N Thread is a great quilt shop (located at 2315 Hwy 14, Richland Center, Wi).  This shop has all your fabric and quilting needs.  This past summer when my sister, who is a non-quilter, visited the shop with me she said “Now this Is a Quilt Shop.”  Even non-quilters have opinions on what makes a great quilt shop. On our website we have a directory of quilt shops along some scenic byways (Arkansas Scenic Highway 7, the Great River Road, & Lake Superior Circle Tour)

Quilted Small Tote Bag

Thimble and Thread Quilt Shop, Richland Center, WI

Eastern Iowa Quilt Shops

Quilting Pathways goes on a Fall Shop Hop

Every fall I like to take a one day road trip to visit Quilt Shops that I don’t get to in the normal course of our summer travels. This fall my quilting friend Sue and I headed out for Eastern Iowa, across the Mississippi River from Prairie Du Chien, WI.

Pickett Fence
Forest Mills Quilt Shop

Our first stop was a re-visit to one of our favorite shops – The Picket Fence in Prairie Du Chein. Since our last visit they have expanded their quilting fabric area. We then crossed the river and followed US Highway 18 west to Postville, Iowa. Our destination was the Forest Mills Quilt Shop located in rural Postville on Forest Mills Road (also County X16). Located in an attractive country setting and off the beaten path a little bit yet well worth the drive. They specialize in batiks (displayed on an antique bed), wildlife prints, and civil war reproductions. The shop also offers a number of neat gift items, sprinkled throughout the shop. Sue especially enjoyed browsing the wildlife fabrics; she found a panel with an eagle that she’ll use in a quilt she is making for a friend. After spending an hour or so in the shop, it was time to move on.

One Block Over Quilt Shop

Our next stop took us to West Union, Iowa to visit the One Block Over shop, 322 East Main Street in West Union (website address The shop carries the full line of Jinny Beyer’s color palette. What a treat. I love Jinny Beyer’s fabrics. A number of years ago I took a color class from Beyers at the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah; it was a fun class and it sure did help me when choosing fabric colors.

Quilters Window Quilt Shop

Our fourth stop was in New Hampton, Iowa. This town has two quilt shops and they happen to be across the street from one another. Each shop has something unique to offer quilters so if you are in New Hampton make sure to visit both shops. Unfortunately Sue and I had spent so much time at the first three shops on our Shop Hop tour that we arrived in New Hampton near closing time. The shop named Quilters Window (website address is located at 101 East Main Street. A few years ago it was a featured shop in Better Homes Quilt Sampler feature.

Material Magic Quilt Shop

Across the street at 22 East Main is the Material Magic shop. Owner Pat Vsetecka generously stayed open past closing time so we could tour her shop. Thanks Pat. Next time we visit New Hampton we are going to have to do it earlier in the day so we an see more of these two shops.

Our little Shop Hop tour turned out to cover more miles than we thought – 375 miles. After getting dinner we headed back towards Wisconsin, arriving home around 10 pm. A really long day but a fun trip.

Happy Quilting – Jo

Fall Color Lake Superior

Tahquamenon Falls near Paradise, Michigan

Wisconsin-Upper Peninsula Lake Superior Circle Tour

During the last week in September we were up north along Lake Superior catching fall color from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan to Duluth, Minnesota.

Along Lake Superior the area that generally turns full color first is in the Michigan Western Upper Peninsula around the Porcupine Mountains and the middle of the Keweenaw Peninsula on the way to Copper Harbor. We hadn’t been in the central and eastern UP during fall foliage time so this trip we spent most of our time in that area. We saw very pretty color around Tahquamenon Falls and the State Park forest. Due to lots of recent rains the river was high and the falls were roaring. Outstanding scenery. While we in the area I visited the Village Fabrics & Craft Shop in Paradise, Michigan. It is a great shop offering everything a quilter would need, plus it has a fine offering of yarn for the knitter.

We also spent some time in the Marquette area. My sister and her husband Dan climbed to the top of SugarLoaf Mountain were they had a great view of Marquette Bay and Presque Isle. Ross and I were doing something else that morning – I think catching up  on our Internet work or just being lazy 🙂 The last evening we were there in Marquette we dined at the Portside Restaurant where they had excellent sandwiches, very good wait service, and served a number of Michigan Craft Brews on tap. After we left we were driving down the street and I saw a quilt shop on Marquette’s Washington Street that I didn’t know existed. I’ll have to do some research and find out about it . . . and for sure the next time I am in town have to stop in and see the place.

Ashland Area Fabrics & Quilts
Inside Ashland Fabrics & Quilts

By the time we left the UP heading towards Bayfield and Ashland, we were seeing good fall color from the Central to Western UP. On the way to Ashland from the UP color was also good, but across the bay from Ashland in Washburn and Bayfield the color was just starting to change. When I was in Ashland I had a chance to stop in the Ashland Area Fabric & Quilt Company which used to be located in Bayfield and known as the Bayfield Quilt Company. I had a nice talk with Barb the owner about why she moved and how business was doing.  The shop has a nice variety of fabric for the quilter to chose from and as you can see from the picture the lighting is superb.  So if your visiting Ashland or just passing through stop in – it is easy to find on Hwy.2.

We spent some time up in the Bayfield Orchards, including a stop at Hausers to get some apples and apple butter. Originally we had planned to stay around for the Bayfield AppleFest but cold and rainy weather in the forecast plus some pressing business at home caused us to change our plans.

Covered Bridge at Aminicon Falls near Superior, Wisconsin
One of several falls on the Amnicon River

We decided to head towards Duluth where the weather was supposed clear and maybe we could get one more sunny day before we had to go home. We took US 2 from Ashland to Superior, Wisconsin rather than the usually more scenic lakeshore drive (Hwy 13) around the Bayfield Peninsula and west along the lake. In the fall in late September US 2 is generally much more colorful than Hwy 13 and we found this was the case this year. The best time to take the lakeshore route is the first or second week in October. In addition to the colorful fall foliage we were surprised to find Amnicon Falls (in Amnicon Falls State Park) not only in good color but the rapids and falls roaring. A rare treat because the Amnicon River usually turns to a trickle of its springtime self in August and September.

Ross was going to golf at Nemadji Golf Club in Superior but a sore back changed those plans so we headed on home with a nice sunny day for a drive.

Get more Lake Superior region fall color tour info on our ScenicPathways blog: Upper Peninsula Fall Color Scenic Drives and Fall Color Minnesota Scenic Highway 61.

Til next time,