September Quilting Retreat – Part 1 – Friday

Remember the quilting retreat my mom hosted a few months ago? Well, Derenda took her turn and hosted one last weekend at her mother’s house in Hutchinson. The reason she did it in Hutch was because of the Kansas State Fair. She and Kim were already going to be there for the fair because of work and we could also see the quilts and textiles.

Kansas State Fair 2012

I left on Thursday night to go to Topeka to stay with Debbie and then carpool with Debbie and Becky on Friday. Since we planned on leaving early on Fridaythat at seemed to make the most sense. Well, I missed my exit and that is a very not good thing on the highway because there is no exit for 30 miles. I ended up driving an extra 60 miles! Normally, I am extremely good at navigating and getting around, but Google Maps did an awful job of labeling the exit. I finally made it and the trip really began the next morning.

Becky met us at Debbie’s and we left around 9. Marty also met us at Debbie’s, but she drove her own vehicle since she needed to get back to Topeka early on Sunday. We had plenty of time to get to Hutchinson since Derenda and Kim were not going to be available until after 3:30pm or so. Our first stop was Hillsboro at Kessler Kreations. This shop definitely wasn’t my style, but it was still very impressive. Their prices were VERY reasonable and they had a very large selection of wide backings and sale fabrics. In addition to fabric, they offer handmade items, antiques, long arm quilting services, and jewelry. Also, they are attached to a flower shop and hair salon. I didn’t purchase anything, but Debbie, Marty, and Becky totally scored. We met the nicest people during this trip. Everybody was so friendly. The lady who helped us at this shop was fantastic.

Our next stop was Newton. We planned to eat lunch there and then visit Charlotte’s Sew Natural. We were driving along Main Street in Newton and decided to stop and eat at Prairie Harvest, which is a deli and bakery. The food was fantastic. I had the mac and cheese and hummus wrap. It was delicious. What was even more surprising was the insane number of shops connected to the deli. There was an organic food shop, a quilt studio, a yarn shop, a book store, a boutique, and a coffee shop. We just kept wondering and kept running into stores. It was very awesome. The quilt studio, Studio Q, was definitely my favorite. Unfortunately, the owner is moving to the East Coast soon and the shop will be closing. I WISH I COULD BUY THIS SHOP! It had a HUGE space for classes and long arm quilting. The fabric selection was right up my alley. It was adorable. I’m hoping the owner opens something up on the East Cost. I’m planning on following the website to check up on her. I did make a small purchase here. I bought the middle fat quarter in the picture below. It’s a houndstooth print. I wish I could have purchased more, but I was on a pretty tight budget. The owner did offer us a 20% discount on all merchandise since she was planning on beginning her inventory sale soon and knew we wouldn’t be back. Again, the owner was fabulous and I really enjoyed talking to her.

Fabric from Retreat Trip

When we were finally ready to leave the shop the never ended, it was POURING rain. We decided to brave it and sort of sneak down to Charlotte’s which was only about a block away. On our way to Charlotte’s while ducking under store awnings, we stopped at the Et Cetera Shop. The first thing that caught Debbie and I’s eye was a dress made from 30’s print fabric in the window. Debbie is collecting 30’s prints and reproductions for a future quilt so we had been keeping our eyes peeled. The dress was made for a young girl and was on a child mannequin. I looked at the price tag and it said $4.00. I said to Debbie, “It’s only four dollars? Do you think that actually means four hundred?” It didn’t. It was definitely $4.00. Apparently the dress was made in the ’30s for the picnic scene in the Tom Sawyer operetta. Or at least that’s what the tag on the dress said. It also had two little ruffled pantaloon legs beneath it. It was a full garment because it was a costume and I guess it was easier to sew two legs instead of one garment with a waist. And they were made from feed sacks. One had the outline of a duck printed on it and another had some text. When Debbie purchased the dress, even the man ringing up her purchase was surprised it was only $4.00. It was definitely one of the best purchased of the trip.

Becky also got lucky at this shop. She found a whole bunch of 100% wool coats. Wool is SOOO expensive in the quilt shops that it’s WAY less expensive to purchase cheap 100% wool items at thrift shops and cut them up for the fabric. My mom has also been using a lot of wool so I offered to pay for half if she would split the fabric with my mom. Mom got a lot of wool and so did Becky. And when the man was ringing Becky up, half of the items were an additional 50% off. She was getting wool coats for $2. It was pretty awesome.

After that shop, we hopped in The Thousand Villages shop and then moved onto Charlotte’s Sew Natural. Wow! That shop was packed full of fabric. They had both traditional and modern fabrics. They also had half of a room dedicated to 30’s reproductions. The shop was very very impressive. However, I did not purchase anything. I think that I get easily overwhelmed in a shop that size and cannot make a decision. I’m much more likely to make a purchase if my selection is limited.

On our way out of Newton, we decided to stop at Charlotte’s Bargain Fabric and Stitchery. Charlotte’s Sew Natural sends all of their discounted fabric to that shop in order to make room for new inventory. They had some great fabric, but the prices weren’t that discounted. I never saw anything that was more than $2-$3 less than the original price. The fat quarters were a good price at $1.87. I bought one. Don’t you love the dots and the ombre look?

Ombre Dots FQ

It was pouring rain again when we were finished at the second Charlotte’s so we went to the yarn shop next door. There is a VERY funny story behind that yarn shop. When we pulled into the parking lot, Debbie misread the name of the yarn shop. It’s called Odd Balls. You can image what Debbie thought it said. HAHA! The shop was very impressive. I don’t crochet or knit, so I know almost nothing about yarn. The woman was really nice and explained a lot to us. Also, she had some fabulous buttons. If you need awesome buttons, that’s the place. Also, she will dye buttons. And she mentioned wanting to teach a class on how to make batik fabrics. I’ve watched YouTube videos on how batiks are made and I would totally love to try it. I’m definitely paying attention to her shop.

When the rain was finally over, we finished our drive and picked Kim up at the fairgrounds in Hutchinson and went to Derenda’s mother’s house. This house is AMAZING. It’s beautiful. Gorgeous. In fact, it’s on the cover of the Hutchinson city map or something. It’s amazing. The entire inside of the house is the most put together house that I have ever seen. Every single room is decorated perfectly. I cannot even describe this house. It’s something I have never seen and probably will never see again. If you have ever read any of the American Girl Doll books, that is what I would image Samantha’s house looking like…only maybe Samantha’s would be a little bigger. Anyway, it was awesome. And Derenda and her mom are the perfect hostesses. They are truly old school proper hostesses. I felt like a queen the entire time I was there. That is truly a lost art. I was extremely impressed and fascinated the entire time.

My mom and Aunt Cathy were not able to leave home until 5pm, so they didn’t arrive until later. Once they arrived, we ate dinner, set up our sewing stuff, visited and sewed, and then went to bed in preparation for a quilting filled day!

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