Category Archives: Quilt Shop Tours

Quilt Shop Tour: Lou Ann’s Quilt Garden and Retreat

Last Saturday Kelli and I went on a “run away” day.  We hadn’t been out on a day with just the two of us with no real plans in a long time.  We started out at my house thinking that we would sew….then we ended up changing plans and decided to go to the Amish south of our house near the Hazelton, Iowa area.  They have lots of shops and we decided to go.

That trip took us to through Oelwein.  While there we decided to stop in at Lou Ann’s Quilt Garden and Retreat.  Lou Ann is hosting the quilt retreat we are doing coming up in the beginning of August.  Kelli and I are planning on going and so is Kayla.  I had heard from Connie that an email had been sent out awhile ago and we never got it so we wanted to make sure we were on the list.

Sadly, Lou Ann wasn’t there so we couldn’t chat but we did talk to one of the gals we love that works there.  She would send out message on to Lou Ann.  I asked and if anyone is interested, there is still room at the retreat.  The more the merrier.  You’ll have to contact Lou Ann for more info.

While I was there I thought I’d snap a few pictures of the pretties that Lou Ann had hanging on the wall.  It’s been a bit since I’ve stopped and true to Lou Ann’s business sense, most of the quilt samples had all changed.

How fun is this??
I love the woven look.

What a pretty star!!  The machine quilting on it is perfect.

Lou Ann has a great style to the shop..a little on the modern side but still very contemporary.

Don’t you LOVE this fabric? Continue reading

Quilt Shop Tour: River Road Quilt Shop

When I was in Lacrosse doing my testing I had one day that I had to kill time waiting for my radioactive iodine pills to come in.  So, what better to do than to go a couple blocks down the street and kill time at a quilt shop.  River Road Quilt Shop was the perfect place to kill some time.  The shop is joined with Nelson Flag and Display.  The buildings adjoin and use the same entrances and check out counter.

I’ve been to the shop before…I loved in then and loved it now.  Check out this beauty on the wall.  Oh, how pretty.  Oh to have a nice brick wall to hang it on!

Right next to it is this cute display with all of the fabrics.  Look, the fabric is sitting in a puller out dresser drawer.

The shop has three rooms to it. the newest things seem to be in the first room.  That room is more spacious and bright.


They have a nice mix of all sorts of a quilting styles…here something more modern….


…another modern.

They have a great collection of Grunge.  If I had to choose Grunge is one of my favorites.

Look how cute the fat quarters are packaged.

Any unicorn lovers out there?  Check out this…. Continue reading

Quilt Shop Tour: Olive Juice

When Kelli went me to Lacrosse for shots we stopped at Olive Juice, the quilt shop in Onalaska, Wisconsin.  We had both been there before but it’s been a couple years since we have.

I came in the door and asked it it would be okay if I took pictures.  Jokingly the gal on the left said, “only if we are in them”….so I said start posing then.  They said….no-no, we aren’t serious.  Then I said, I am…and clicked the camera.

The gal on the left was amazingly helpful and friendly to us as we shopped.  The guy is their long arm quilter.

The shop is filled with lots of artsy projects like the pincushion below.  It’s cute….

This is the fun project behind the counter.  The quilting can’t be seen the best but it’s really cool.  This would be fun to do with a last name or child’s name in their bedroom.

The shop is a little more modern than shops I typically visit.  That’s okay though.  I like to see all….

The shop is big with several sections to the store.

The long arm quilting is done in the loft behind these hanging quilts. Continue reading

Quilt Shop Tour: Merry’s Stitches

Recently Kelli and went on a road trip…not really….just a run to Waterloo for errands.  It was spur of the moment…both of us had cabin fever and I had somethings I wanted but the reality of it all…we both wanted girl time.

We ended up meeting at a ride share spot and off we headed.  As we were going I asked Kelli if she had ever been to Merry’s Stitchins.  It’s a quilt shop out in the country near Jessup, Iowa.  She thought maybe she had but wasn’t sure.  I asked her if she thought we had time to stop and she said YES!  So off we went.  The shop really isn’t far from us…45 minutes I’d guess.  I really don’t know why we don’t go more often either.  I think the shop is in the country and there are not other stores in Jessup that entice me to go that way so I just don’t.

As we got closer Kelli confirmed that she hadn’t been there before.


The shop is big and open.  This greeted us as we came in…

There are all types of fabrics here…I think most any quilter could find something they like.


There’s a cute bay window display…SPRING…It’s got to be around the corner with the spring displays up, right??


That’s when this caught me eye.  I really loved the LOVE wool piece…I called Kelli over.  We both liked it…alas.  No patterns left.  UGH.  I can see why it sold out…SO CUTE!


On to more browsing….

Cute farm prints….

Oh my, what a selection of fabrics.  If you need a specific color, they have displays of every color!!

The ceilings are really high and full quilts can be displayed.  Can you image trying to hang them?


So cute….

Kelli and I both laughed and laughed when we saw this….
They have a holiday room.  Typically I walk past them.  I’m not a good holiday decorator.

But then I glimpsed this…it’s a snow one like the love one…Oh tempting!  I showed it to Kelli.  We both sighed….Tempting.

Then the gal that was helping in the shop overheard us and said if you like those, check these out.  We are just starting to make up kits….and that’s when Kelli and I went down the slippery slope.  We opened the coffers and caved to temptation.


From left to right…SEW with the sewing machine at the bottom….Nest that is Easter themed in the middle and Flag is on the shop gal is holding.  Then she said there were patterns but they weren’t kitted.  Oh my…how big would the slippery slope be?  The gal said there was one that said “FARM” and that did it for Kelli.  We ended up picking five of them.  UGH.  I really want to make these.  I have a spot in the house that I think they can go.  Oh, they are incredibly cute.

There were so many other tempting things too…..

It was the wool things that sucked me in.  Kelli too…she loved the oval trucks….


….so many cute things…..

The wool section had lots of tempting things.


I keep trying to remind myself….PACE YOURSELF!!  Ah…I so rarely go to quilt shops.  It’s hard!!!

Kelli loved this quilt and I did too.  Great for scrappiness.


Look at this wall quilt display…oh my!

I had to get a close up picture of the chickens….

This is the opposite end of the store!

There are LOTS of these designs all over the store.  Julie of Patchabilities is the owner’s daughter.


They handle a lot of the wire hangers to display the projects too.  There is one of these for every time in a person’s life.  Julie is prolific.

Here is proof the store is always updating…a cart of fresh fabric ready to be put out.


They had a scrap basket and as tempting as it was…I resisted.
There aren’t a lot of batiks in the store….this is all I noticed.


There is a nice novelty section….

Kelli and I were both reminded that in the end, it’s Civil War prints we like best for our own quilts….


Kelli got caught up in this area too….


Check out the dog and kitty fabrics!!

Here they are made up into a cute quilt…perfect for any little critter lover in your life.

Then right close to there Kelli saw these bags.  She decided she wanted to make the bags using the puppy and kitty fabrics.

…and then we stalled out picking and selecting the fabrics.

The whole visit took us much longer than we anticipated.  Kelli, as we were driving away said, “Mom, why didn’t you take me here before?”  I guess that means she liked the shop.

As always if there is something you see in the photos that you like, I am unable to answer your questions.  Send any questions of inquiries on to the shop.  Here is their website link.  You can find their contact information there.

Warm and Friendly: 5 The shop gal was TOP NOTCH!  Friendly and helpful.  Merry was nice too!
Selection of Goods: 4-I do like batiks and there weren’t a lot…
Neat and Organized: 5
Cozy and Cute: 5
Parking:  4  Merry has a retreat center next door.  The lot was pretty full with retreater’s cars and I drive a pickup.  It was a little tight but do-able.
Outside Appeal: 4 Christmas stuff was still outside.

I highly recommend giving the shop a visit.  Kelli and I had fun.  The friendly service was outstanding!!!

Stop by tomorrow and I’ll show you what I bought.