Alas, we still have 3 more shops in Region 1 before we complete our Northern Illinois Quilt Shop Hop.
We were able to head out to the Rockford area again yesterday, and frankly, we are getting smarter about these long drives. Now we pack a cooler with lunch and snacks, we chit- chat about the scenery and the history of the area and also about the shops we are visiting.
With 29 stores behind us, we have some solid knowledge about store layout, fabric availability, and to be honest, we have noticed some major differences in shopability (if that’s a word!) When we completely finish, I’ll do a summary blog with general thoughts.
For now, let’s get into yesterday’s trip:
Set in a farmhouse, the quilts, samples and fabrics are laid out in the style of a very charming tour house. You start in the kitchen, enter the living/dining room area and can even go upstairs into a child’s bedroom. Near the stairs they had a civil war quilt that finally gave me the inspiration to embark on a civil war quilt. Generally speaking, not my style, but the accompanying book by Barbara Brackman included the history of every block. I got pulled in.
What I bought: Barbara Brackman’s Civil War book, along with some fabric to work on the blocks. I also found a hand embroidery guide with instructions for all types of hand embroidery stitches.
Reluctant Assistant comment: “An old-fashioned quilt shop.”
This shop is set in a little more congested area of Rockford, though only 10 minutes or so from the last shop. There were a number of shoppers in the store, even though it was a quiet Wednesday. This store was busy.
What I bought: Fatquarters
Reluctant Assistant comment: “No comment.”
This shop has a tiny storefront, so it was easy to miss. It is located in the Edgebrook outdoor mall, 5 or 6 stores to the right of the Egg Harbor but before the Annie’s Popcorn sign. (Some day I’m going to have to analyze the number of quilt shops located near an Egg Harbor…we’ve eaten at 2 so far on this trip, and have passed a number of them along the way…smart marketing!)
The shop is under new ownership – this owner has only been there 1 week. But the shop itself was nicely put together. They do have a lot of reproduction fabrics and some kids/Halloween stuff. No shop hop basket yet.
What I bought: A Civil War book and some stationery.
Reluctant Assistant’s comment: “Don’t ask the barbecuing guys out front where the sewing store is. They don’t know, even though they are practically in front of it.”
A little tricky to get here. Follow your GPS, but know that they are technically on 251, you just have to pull into the service road to get there. Our GPS took us round and round in a circle just near the place, but we finally had to call.
The shop has many beautiful reproduction fabrics, including Barbara Brackman. But they also have some 17th Century French reproductions. I took note, because I would love to come back soon and take another look. Since I did not have a plan for that fabric, I did not buy it. But once I got home, of course, an idea came to me. They also have some reproduction fabric that gives a portion of the sale to Habitat for Humanity.
What I bought: Reproduction fabric
Reluctant Assistant comment: ” Call for directions!! Or you will be going around Clayton Circle for the rest of your life!”
Before we headed back, I noticed that just 2 doors down from Julieanne’s Quilt Shop, was a little cross stitch shop called Just One Stitch. I thought, what the heck, we’re all the way out here. So we stepped inside and found some of the most beautiful cross stitch work I have ever seen! Everything in the shop was created by a mother/daughter team who must have worked endlessly on these pieces for most of their lives. Honestly it was lovely, so I am sharing some samples, with their permission, and be sure to stop in when you are in Roscoe. The work is just spectacular.