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.

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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

Restaurants and Camping Grand Rivers KY

Grand Rivers, Kentucky – Restaurants and RV Parks

Our RV campsite at the Canal Park Campground, Grand Rivers, KY

When Jo and I go to the Paducah Quilt Show we usually stay at the Canal Park Campground near Grand Rivers, Kentucky. During Quilt Week I’ll bet at least half the campers at Canal Park are attending the big AQS Show. Located about 25 miles east of Paducah, Grand Rivers is a picturesque little resort village situated between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley and just north of the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

The Canal Park campground is a Corps of Engineers facility and like all Corps facilities we’ve stayed at it is well-designed and properly maintained. Our site (see picture) was typical of Canal Park sites: sturdy picnic table, fire-ring, level parking & tenting area, well-drained, and partially wooded – offering some shade. The main routes through the park are paved as are the dump stations. The sites themselves are graveled with space for both tent pads and vehicle parking (of interest to those w/o motor homes). When we can’t get in Canal Park because it is full or we didn’t make reservations early enough, we’ve camped at the Hillman Ferry Campground which is a National Forest site within the Land Between the Lakes Recreational Area. It is about 5 miles south of Grand Rivers. It is also a nice facility but I’d rate it just a wee bit under the quality of Canal Park. And Canal Park is closer to Grand Rivers (and therefore Paducah as well). Several times to get some exercise we’ve walked to town from Canal Park.

Jo and I enjoyed a fine breakfast of eggs, sausage, and fruit at the Lite Side Bakery and Cafe

Our favorite breakfast spot in Grand Rivers is the Lite-Side Café and Bakery is a funky little Mom & Pop cafe open 5 days a week for breakfast or lunch. The owners, Irene and Bob, are always on-site and do the baking, cooking and service, sometimes with the help of a niece or nephew. The food has always been top-notch, the service friendly, and the atmosphere bright and colorful. They are open Weds – Sunday, 7 am to 3 pm.

Our favorite Grand Rivers dining spot is Patti’s or Mister Bill’s Restaurant in Patti’s 1880’s Settlement. The Settlement is a collection of shops, restaurants, cafes, springs, and gardens and walkways arranged as a meandering old-time village or settlement. While we always come to Patti’s for the food, we also enjoy taking some time to walk through the the gardens and browse the gift shops. Patti’s and Mr. Bill’s Restaurants are served by the same kitchen and share the same menu. The main difference is the dining atmosphere. Patti’s is a collection of small rooms as if a large house had been converted into restaurant and every room in the house was turned into an intimate dining area. Patti’s is also chocked full of antiques and each dining area has a certain motif to it. There is also a little store and gift shop. Bill’s Restaurant has a large main dining room with two adjacent dining areas around the perimeter. Bill’s theme is floral and little lights. If you go, make sure to get reservations because people drive from many miles to dine here at Patti’s and Bill’s. The service is top-notch and the food is terrific and considering the quality the price decent. Southern cooking and hospitality at its finest.

Mr. Bill's Restaurant at Patti's 1880s Settlement

Jo pauses by the water wheel in Patti's Garden

Links and Information on the Grand Rivers community, Canal Park and Hillman Ferry RV Parks

Our main QuiltingPathways website has a page featuring more on Grand Rivers and Patti’s Settlement. It is an attractive little community with friendly people and lots of interesting things to see and do. Grand Rivers website.  Hikers and nature lovers will also nearby Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area.

Canal Park CampgroundReservations and information

Hillman Ferry Campgroundgeneral information Reservations

Canal Park Campground Map
Hillman Ferry Campground Map

See a larger map here

More Grand Rivers RV Park Links

Crockett Frontiers Campground

Lighthouse Landing RV Park


Paducah AQS Quilt Show

Getting Ready for Paducah

Jo has been busy packing ARVY (our Rialta Motor Home) for her first trip of the 2013 season – which will be to Paducah, Kentucky for the annual Quilt Show & Quilters Convention.

We’ve had a very cold and wet early spring here in Wisconsin so we are especially looking forward to going south to catch some warmer weather. For Quilt Week the forecast is for temps in the low 60s to low 70s, a little below average for Paducah but to us here in Wisconsin it sounds quite balmy!

Dogwood Trail
One of the many flowering dogwoods along Paducah's Dogwood Celebration Trail

One bonus of the below average temperatures we’ve had (not only Wisconsin but the entire midwest and midsouth) is that the dogwoods should be blooming later this year, which means the peak of flowering might be during the show days. So if you are going to the Paducah Show this year you might want to plan to take in a Dogwood Trail Tour. If you are not in a private vehicle there are tour buses operating along the trail. There are many other Paducah Attractions to fill any extra moments you have between show events. A few I like are the Floodwall Murals, the Lowertown Arts District, and touring the historic downtown area+ dining and pub crawling!

The quilt show opens on Wednesday, April 24th with classes, lectures, workshops, and special events (in the evening). The Quilting Vendor areas are also open as well as the contest Show Quilt exhibits. The show runs through Saturday, April 27th. An event not officially connected to the show but one Jo always likes to catch is Eleanor Burn’s Tent Show and Fabric Sale held at Carson Park. The shows run 3 times a day from April 24 – April 27th. The Fabric Sale opens earlier on April 19th. If you’ve never been to one of Eleanor’s Stage Shows, you can see a  video clip of her 2011 show here. Lots of fun.

Golfing, Hiking, RV Camping

Other things we like to do when we travel to Paducah is hike and camp at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area and while Jo is attending some events I try to get some golfing in. Paducah’s Paxton Park course is enjoyable and reasonably priced. A more challenging golf course is the Drake Creek Golf Club in nearby Ledbetter, KY. Another nice course is the one at Kentucky Dam Village near Grand Rivers. A little further away from Paducah but I think worth the drive is the Murray State University course (Miller Memorial) near Murray, Kentucky.

Well gotta go and finish packing. Maybe we’ll see you in Paducah?



AQS Paducah Quilt Show Website

Paducah Visitors Bureau Website

Quilting Pathways Reports from earlier Paducah Quilt Shows

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Park

Tyler Quilt Show

Tyler Quilt Show and interesting things to see and do during the Azalea Festival

Azalea Quilt Show, Tyler Texas

Jo and I traveled to Tyler Texas to attend the 31st annual Azalea Quilt Show sponsored by the Quilters’ Guild of East Texas. (The 37th annual event will be held March 23-24, 2018) The event is held on the third or fourth weekend of March to coincide with Tyler’s Annual Azalea & Spring Flower Festival. The event is held at the Harvey Convention Center in the center of Tyler. This location was excellent. Although located in the center of Tyler it was easy to find, had plenty of free parking adjacent to the convention center, and the auditorium exhibit room was well-lighted and comfortable. For a regional show Jo felt they had a number of well-crafted quilts in the competition.

quilt at tyler quilt show
Stars and Tumblers – A little bit of Blue” submitted by Rebecca Yarbrough

Here’s one of many quilts we liked. This one is “Stars and Tumblers – A little bit of Blue” submitted by Rebecca Yarbrough.

One of the attractions of attending this show, driving all the way from Wisconsin, was also being able to tour the Azalea & Spring Flower Trail in Tyler. The Convention & Visitors Bureau and various civic groups and garden clubs have joined together to create a network of tour trails throughout a portion of Tyler. Most can be toured by automobile but some homeowners have opened up their yards for walking tours as well. A number of the homes on the tour are listed as historic homes; others while not historic are quite distinctive. It is evident that many homeowners in Tyler take great pride in creating extensive azalea and spring flowering gardens. During the two week tour festival, there are also scheduled tours of historic homes, an arts & crafts festival, the annual Rotary Chili Cook Off competition, and tours of the historic Roseland Plantation as well as a number of other events.

Along the Azalea Spring Flower Trail, Tyler Texas

Jo at one of the extensive gardens along Tyler's Azalea Spring Flower Trail
Jo at one of the extensive gardens along Tyler’s Azalea Spring Flower Trail

But that’s not all that brought us to Tyler for the Quilt Show. In nearby Rusk Texas the Texas State Railroad runs its annual spring Steam Train excursions through the piney woods between Rusk and Palestine. Having enjoyed similar old time railroad excursions along Duluth’s North Shore and along the Mississippi River, we thought it would be fun to sample the experience in Texas. We were not disappointed. The Texas State Railroad attends to all the details to make sure your ride is a step back in time to the grand old days of railroad travel. Steam Engine 300 is a 83 ton 1917 Baldwin 2-8-0 and its cars date back to the 1920s.

Steam Engine 300
Steam Engine 300 at the Rusk Railroad Station

Crossing the Neches River Engine 300 blows off excess steam

The final element of attraction (and a major one for Ross) for the Tyler Quilt Show was golfing. Although there are several courses in the area, we were only able to work in one outing on this trip to the Peachtree-Oakhurst golf course about 10 miles south of Tyler near the town of Bullard.

Golfing at Oakhurst Golf Course, Bullard, Texas

The Oakhurst Golf course is an attractive course with a choice of 5 tee boxes. Rolling terrain with groves of trees helping to divide the fairways from one another as well as ad visual interest to the overall layout. Water on ten holes added to the scenic attraction as well as the challenge. I found the course challenging, but fair and enjoyable. The fairways and greens were in good condition. I particularly liked the fact that the fairways use a mixture of grass other than Bermuda which you sometimes find at other mid-south golf courses. Bermuda is great for tolerating summer heat but it is worthless for a spring golfing experience in the mid-south where winter temperatures have killed the grass and it won’t green up until overnight temperatures are in the 70s. I’ll post more pictures from Oakhurst and other golfing details in our regular pages.

Coincidentally when packing up after golfing we struck up a conversation with another couple who just finished the course, Illeice and Al Baker. Turned out that Illeice is a member of the East Texas Quilter’s Guild and was on the committee planning the quilt show! At the quilt show her term begins as President-elect so a year from now she’ll be the incoming Guild President. So if I am down here next year when Jo attends the show I can go golfing with Al.

Well that’s it for our report on the Azalea Quilt Show. Summary. The Azalea Quilt Show is a well organized good quality regional show and there are lots of other good reasons to travel some distance to attend the show.

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.

Dubuque Thanksgiving Trip

Lobby of the Hotel Julian, Dubuque, Iowa
Dan, Donna, Jo and Ross with Hotel Julian's Christmas Tree

Jo and I continued our tradition in spending Thanksgiving at a historic hotel along the Great River Road with her sister Donna and husband Dan. This year we traveled to Dubuque, Iowa to spend the holiday at the Hotel Julian Dubuque. Previously we’ve enjoyed Thanksgiving at the Desoto Hotel in Galena and the St. James Hotel in Red Wing. The hotel lobby was gaily decorated for Christmas and the second floor atrium was set up with 10 uniquely decorated trees that are part of Dubuque’s annual Festival of Trees celebration. We had a great dinner at the hotel’s signature restaurant Caroline’s and later enjoyed the Christmas Lights exhibition in Louis Murphy Park. (See our Dubuque Holiday Web Page for more pictures and information on these events)

Gulf of Mexico Aquarium at Mississippi River Museum
A little tyke enjoying the Gulf Aquarium tank at the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

The next day, Friday, we visited the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Always an interesting tour. It is especially fun for kids with lots of interactive exhibits and a water play area. Educational too. In August we took our niece Kylah to the River Museum & Aquarium and she loved it. The museum’s ticket is good for two days of admission, which is useful because several exhibits have considerable educational information packed in them. We’ve been at the museum several times yet there are several multi-media productions and exhibits that I haven’t had time to explore in any depth.

Crust Italian Kitchen Restaurant, Dubuque, Iowa
Crust Italian Kitchen, Dubuque, Iowa

During this visit we discovered a new restaurant near the hotel: Crust Italian Kitchen. There used to be a brewpub-restaurant at this location but it ceased operations and the space was vacant for a while. The interior was much the same as the brewpub. Nice bar area with a variety of beers on tap and a few TVs for sports fans. We had their soup and salad special. Fresh greens, beets, carrots & goat cheese – an ample serving for a soup and salad special. Soup was equally impressive. And price was decent. Great service. If you are in Dubuque I highly recommend Crust Italian Restaurant.


Grand Rivers Quilt Show & Spring Festival

Grand Rivers, Kentucky

Grand River Community Center, inside the Quilt Show, outside were craft vendors

Each April, coinciding with the big AQS quilting show and convention in Paducah, Grand Rivers also hosts its own show at its Community Center. Grand Rivers is a quaint little village that sits between Kentucky and Barkley lakes, at the north end of the National Park/Recreation Area appropriately named Land Between the Lakes. As it is only about 20 miles west of Paducah, its area motels and B&Bs host many quilters attending the Paducah Show. So with all the quilters in town it is a good time to host its own quilt show and spring festival. When we go to the Paducah show we stay in the nearby Canal Park RV park so we are regular spring-time visitors to Grand Rivers.

Here’s a few pictures of quilts I liked at the Grand Rivers Show. One I particularly liked was made from a 100 pound antique flour or feed sack.

Amish Quilt by Ella Bontrager
Detail on Amish Quilt by Ella Bontrager

Here’s another one I liked, made by Joyce Puffenbarger of Symsonia, Kentucky.

Quilt by Joyce Puffenbarger
Mr. Bill's Restaurant, Grand Rivers, KY
Mr. Bill's Restaurant, Patti's 1880s Settlement

The Community Center is in the heart of town. Nearby across the street is the Badgett Playhouse which usually schedules a production to run during the Quilt Show and Festival. Across the street in another direction is Patti’s 1880’s Settlement (see our web page on Patti’s and Grand Rivers here), a very popular regional attraction featuring a restored log cabin village with shops, gardens, ponds, streams, walking paths, a little country church, a mill pond waterwheel, and two fantastic restaurants. Last month we posted a blog on our dinner we had at Patti’s Restaurant. So this trip we decided to try brother Bill’s restaurant, appropriately named Mr. Bill’s Restaurant. We found the menu similar to Patti’s and the wait staff were similarly costumed in 1880s attire. Basically the only difference in the two establishments is the interior design motif. While Patti’s is filled with antique furniture from the era and dining is in several smaller more intimate rooms. Bill raised roses so his restaurant is filled with roses and a floral motif with liberal sprinkling of LCD lights. The dining rooms are larger and more open. But that ends the difference because like Patti’s we found the service and the food outstanding.

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,