A Trip to the Backstitch

I told you earlier this week that I would do a blog post about our visit to the cross-stitch/quilt shop in Elkader, Iowa.  If you’ve been waiting for it…here it is.  We visited The Backstitch.  I’m actually pretty lucky to have two needlework shops within an hour’s drive of my home.

In general, I tend to go more towards Osage to The Stitchery Nook as they have more samplers and 40-count linen which I love, but the Backstitch is a pretty cute shop too.

They have lots of small pieces to stitch and their models are GREAT!!  If you have questions about anything you see, I suggest calling the shop as I don’t know the names of patterns and availability.  HERE is their contact information.

I do know that the piece that says, “Home is the nicest word there is”…is a Lizzie Kate pattern.  I know that because I stitched that and have it hanging in my house.  I stitched it while Kramer was in the hospital for a week.  It was such an appropriate stitch at the time.

Below are the Little House Needleworks’ Sheep Virtues.  I stitched those too but I haven’t finished them yet.  Sadly, they are all in a drawer.


This is a Little House Needleworks piece as well.


These were so cute…

I was so tempted to buy the pattern but didn’t.

Everywhere there are little vignettes of small pieces.

There was truly so much to see and dealing with the kids and trying to look was TERRIBLE.  Kelli, Kayla, and I were there are we all agreed that we need to come and have an adult-only day.


I got this chart…..SO CUTE!  This is from Plum Street Samplers.

Kelli bought this chart.  This is from the same designer who did our Redbird Sampler that is our current stitch along.  I really want to stitch this…but not in purple.


I’ve long liked this Suffrage Act piece but likely will never stitch it.


See what I mean about LOTS of small pieces!!  So many…so cute.

My only criticism of the shop is that it’s really hard to find stuff.  It looks organized, but there aren’t charts near the samples and the samples aren’t labeled so there is no way to know who stitched it or how to find the chart.

We continually had to ask for help and even then, the employee was helpful and tried really hard we still had to look through a stack of patterns to find the one we wanted.  It was hard when we were trying to watch kiddos too.


I’m sure we could have spent a longer time there just browsing but the kids weren’t having it.

Kayla is stitching some from the piece you see below.  There is a whole year of charts.  I don’t remember which ones for sure that Kayla is stitching.


Kayla managed to get out and not buy a single chart…she did buy some linen though.

They had Mirabelia charts…they are so pretty but not my style.  I don’t like to stitch stuff that has so many color changes in a large area of full coverage.  I love looking at them though.


They have a small section of punch needle…

They have a wall of thread.

They had a cute patriotic cross stitch display near the counter.  I ended up buying the flag pattern in the upper left.  I thought that would be perfect to be my travel cross stitch piece.  It would be so easy to take along to the doctor’s office and stitch in the stripes of the flag.


There is also a small section of wool applique.


I sure hope Georgie wants to be crafty when she grows up.  She loved these multi-colored skeins.


There was lots of cross stitch….but there were lots of quilting goodies too.

The store is really two old main street buildings that are together as one.  1/4 is cross stitch…the rest, quilting.

I never did get to the basement so don’t know what’s there.  I do love these cute quilts along the stairway.


Just like the cross stitch…there are lots of samples.  Can you see Georgie peaking out from the end cap?  I happen to EXACTLY snap a picture when she discovered her unicorn fabric.


I shared this picture in Monday’s post but it bears repeating.  Here is the unicorn panel she is showing off.

You can see why that HAD to go home with me!!

They have TONS of novelty prints…all so fun.


Carver and Scotty were checking it out too.


The boys were getting antsy so when I saw the Quilts and More magazine I pulled out a copy…

I turned to this page and had Carver read about who made the quilt.  I don’t if it impressed them much.

For those of you who don’t know.  It was Kelli and me who made the quilt.

There were lots of things to see.

I spent all of my time in the cross stitch side and only flipped over to the quilt side to snap some pictures for all of you.

I know where to get some different Iowa fabrics if I end up needing more.


Elkader is a cute little town…if you’re a quilter or cross stitcher and want a day away it’s perfect.  There is a bakery, gift shops, a huge three-story antique store, and a theater among other things.  I’m sure you could easily spend a day there.  You can also drive a little further to the south to Guttenberg and take the ferry across to Cassville, Wisconsin.  It’s all simple but those are the kind of days I love.


…but back to the quilt shop…

The store is really long and they fill every inch of it.

I wish I would have had time to look…but, you know, kids.


It was at this point that we knew the kiddos couldn’t handle the store any longer.  Kayla was so sweet and took the kiddos out and played a couple of games on the sidewalk.  We do what we can…
I tried to hurry and snap a few more pictures.

This quilt is so cute!!

I loved these fabrics.


30s prints still call to me.  It’s on my bucket list to make a quilt with them.


When I circled back around to the cross stitch side, Kelli was triumphantly holding a pattern that she had been looking for.  She asked me to take a picture of the pattern with the samples so she could remember how cute they were.


Before we left Kelli and I snapped this picture of us with a copy of the magazine and vowed we’d come back another day…KIDLESS!!

That was The Backstitch…Oh my…fun, but we highly recommend going with NO KIDS!!

20 thoughts on “A Trip to the Backstitch

  1. Kate

    Oh my fun for sure! It looks like a lovely store and fun place to shop. The little town sounds fun too. I certainly would like to take a closer look at all the little cross stitch charts. So many cute ones. Such a good way to spend time with the daughters.

    Reply
  2. Jo

    So glad you had a fun day! I have to ask – how do you stitch on 40ct linen? I think we are fairly close in age. – I stopped cross stitching when I started quilting about 20 years ago. That was on 28-36 ct linen. I can’t work on that any longer…would love to know your tips.

    Reply
  3. Susan from Michigan

    Scrappy Delight is a beautiful quilt. It is good to see Kelli again. Thank you for sharing about the Backstitch, it looks like a nice shop.

    Reply
  4. June

    How sweet that photo of Georgie is. A pure treasure. Is that a new quilt mag you’re in? Sorry been out of the loop. Getting settled now but I stepped on a roofing nail….hope to be sewing again one day….

    Reply
  5. Laurie Williams

    If I remember correctly, you were stitching the sheep virtues during the year of Kramer’s many doctor appointments while you spent time in the waiting room. They all seem very meaningful.

    Reply
  6. brendalynne1

    it is nice to have the outings that help the little ones learn the proper way to behave BUT the kidless outings are pretty terrific too. It appears that you all had a great time anyway.

    Reply
  7. Judith M Fairchild

    Yesshopping with under 7 year Olds is like herding cats. Fun to see but not to do. I’m glad Georgia found the the material she liked. I love going to fabric stores and looking I try to stay out of them if I don’t have something i need. Then it’s hard to turn my back on some gorgeous piece of fabric which will make a wonderful quilt. I’m glad you had a pretty good day anyway.

    Reply
  8. Carla

    There are so many places out of state that I’d love to visit….I just don’t seem to find shops like that in Michigan. Any of you Michigan ladies know of good crosstitch shops? I agree with Brendalynne. It’s good for kids to be in situations where they can learn good manners, but having just adults is fabulous lol

    Reply
  9. Kathy Barry

    What a wonderful shop! It looks like a slice of heaven, I could spend ages in a place like that, not to mention a HEAP of money! A bit far way for me though, seeing I’m in Australia…. But wonderful photos, and yes, definitely need to go without the kids.

    Reply
  10. Sally

    I just can’t get over how much Georgia looks like you, Jo! Go back and look at that first picture of her. She is just a mini-Jo!!

    Reply
  11. Anne Kirby

    Thanks for all the pics! Georgie is adorable…but I have questions… Is her foot facing backwards? In the shoe? It looks…painful!! but kids are so bendy!!

    Reply
  12. Lisa B

    Looks like a great shop. A week ago I went on a 9 day road trip with my daughter, her husband and 3 kids under 7. At a stitch shop outside of Seattle my SIL and I took the 3 kids to a nearby park to play. It was just grass and trees but it held their attention for most of the hour my daughter spent in the store. Fun times and memories. Oh, and my granddaughter has the same cute dress.

    Reply
  13. Ann Wissbaum

    I bought the hummingbird pattern from The Backstitch but I stitched it with Weeks Dye Works Bethlehem an I love how it turned out.

    Reply
  14. Toni W.

    Oh, nice! It looks like you could get lost in that shop for hours! Cross stitch AND sewing…what more could a girl ask for??? In some of the photos there are “block” finishes of several items. Do you happen to know if these are styrofoam-covered blocks or something else? Thanks!

    Reply
  15. Karen in Ohio

    Your Grands are precious. Very interesting shop. Thank you for the great information!

    I enjoy reading your blog.

    Reply
  16. Kim J LeMere

    I have the magazine on my pile by my nightstand. Thanks for the wonderful tour of the shop and all their goodies. I hope to get there on one of my trips to Iowa. It sure looks like a shop for spending some time and shopping.

    Reply

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