Quilt Shop Tour: Inspired to Sew

Remember when Kelli and went to see Elton John in concert in Moline.  On that trip we stopped at four quilt shops.  Each week I’ve been telling you about one of them.  This week we are in Cedar Rapids, Iowa checking out Inspired to Sew.  I know the owner.  Back many years ago she lived close to me and we did some quilting work together.  Jill is so fun and I always had a great time working with her.

For awhile she owned a quilt shop in Cresco, Iowa and now has moved to Cedar Rapids.  I’ve been to the shop once before but that was when it was first open.

The shop is easy to find and parking was nice.


I appears that they participate in the row by row.  In our area lots of shops make a “row” and customers hurry around to the shops and collect rows to make row quilts.  I’ve never caught the bug.


The shop has a vaulted ceiling and the theme seems to be to stack things HIGH.


The high and winding layout of the store made it really hard for me to find Kelli sometimes.  We couldn’t see over the racks at all.  She would say, “Hey Mom, look at this”.  Then we’d play ring around the rosies going around displays to try to find each other.  I think we noticed this more than most customers would as we had just been in shops that were very open and we could easily spot each other from across the room.

I sure loved this little elephant and was so tempted to make it but…then reality hit and I remembered how much I don’t like sewing with Minky.


There aren’t a lot of Civil War fabrics in the store but there are lots of brights.



and what Kelli and I were looking for….Batiks!!  Check them out!Inspired-to-sew-8


I grabbed the tiger chocolate brown batik.  Isn’t it cool?

They have an upstairs classroom and classes were being held.  The voices carried down.  It sounded like those ladies were having fun.


There was a big selection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.


…and novelty fabrics.

This was the most open spot in the store…what a rainbow of color!


The store specializes in Bernina machines.  I’ve heard they are one of the largest Bernina dealers in Iowa…..I didn’t take picture of the machines…sorry.  My sister and niece have both bought machines here.


What a fun pillow.  I loved it but…I don’t do putzy work.

We rounded the corner and sitting on the cutting table was this!!  It was the quilt book we wrote Country Girl Modern.  How wonderful was that!!??


There was a lot to see!!

We don’t always see 30’s prints in quilt shops anymore but were excited to see they had some.  I’ve noted that and will keep that in mind should we make one.


Being they are Bernina dealers they sell lots of embroidery machines so need LOTS of thread.  There is thread galore!!


…and yes we did manage to find a few batiks.

It was a fun stop.  I’m glad we could add the shop to our list of quilt shops tours.

I decided to start a new system when I do quilt shop tours.  I am going to do a 1-5 rating….five being the best-I’m going to be stingy with my fives.  This is just my impression on the day I visited and took pictures.
Warm and Friendly:  3   We weren’t greeted.
Selection of Goods:  4
Neat and Organized:  3  As I said Kelli and I kept loosing each other in the store because the displays were so high.
Parking:  5
Cozy and Cute: 3  All the samples were up high and hard to really appreciate.
Outside Appearance: 4

Now that I’ve been there again, I need to try to stop more often.  My new grand baby lives in Cedar Rapids so I will likely get to town more often.


4 thoughts on “Quilt Shop Tour: Inspired to Sew”

  1. Betty from Canada

    I made the pillow/ottoman. I found that it went together better than I expected..I found it very easy to make.

  2. You two should have offered to sign the book while you were there! I wish we had such a well-stocked quilt store near me, but the rents in the immediate area are very high (suburbs of NYC). Every year or two I convince the hubby to go to Pennsylvania for a long weekend and hit the stores out there

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