Row by Row: Illinois to Maryland

Yes, the row by row madness continues. I stopped at several shops on my way back to Maryland. It’s actually a nice way to break up a long trip. Because I took the “southern” route to Illinois and was taking the “northern” route back to Maryland, there was a whole new universe of shops to visit. There were a couple of shops in northern Indiana that I would like to have visited but had to skip because, in order to get home at a decent time, I had to leave Illinois around 6 a.m. Most shops don’t open until 10 a.m. and one of the shops I had to skip didn’t open until noon on Wednesday, which was the day I travelled.

When I lived in Illinois, I could never keep track of when Indiana time was the same as Illinois and when it was different. I think they finally started doing daylight savings time and are always Eastern time. But, part of the state is in the central time zone, which I didn’t realize. As I drove across Indiana I couldn’t understand why my GPS wasn’t changing to Eastern time. Fortunately, it did change before my first stop which is a good thing because otherwise, the shop wouldn’t have been open yet.

Lavender Patch Fabric & Quilts in Bristol, IN was the first stop, a couple of hours from Chicago. This was a cute downtown. I found the following on the outside of the shop.

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I found some nice tone on tones. It was hard to limit myself to just these. There were several more colors of this print. The service was slow. I had to wait for the clerk to take care of a customer who was getting a lot cut while the owner worked at a longarm in the back. I wish she had come out to help speed things up. This was one of the few shops where I wasn’t greeted at the door.

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Another 2 and a half hours of driving took me to Sewing Connection in Milan, OH. This is a small shop in a pretty much deserted shopping center. I couldn’t tell if the center is dying or being born. The owner was very vivacious. I liked their row with the Lake Erie sea monster. I though the batik fabric would make good water.

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She asked if I’d been to the shop in town and gave me some vague directions. I hadn’t planned to go to the shop she mentioned but couldn’t remember why. I should have asked her how far it was. The way she said it made it sound like it wasn’t far away. I headed off down the highway. After several miles, when no town appeared, I decided I should find out exactly where this shop was. Turned out it was another 20-30 miles away, in the opposite direction of the interstate. That would mean an extra delay getting back to the road home. I turned around and got back to the interstate.

Another half hour down the road found me at Quilts & Kreations in South Amherst, OH. This was in the back of beyond. If you blinked, you’d practically miss the town. It looks like an old shop, crammed full of fabric. I managed to restrain myself and only get the license plate. The row pattern with the penguins is really fun.

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Another couple of hours found me at Amy Baughman Sew and Quilt in Cranberry Township, PA. This was a small store. I was impressed that their free pattern came in a sheet protector, ready to go into my notebook of patterns. And, it was nice to see a vertical pattern, although it could be done horizontally as well. I found a print of wine corks to add to my food print collection and a nice birch bark print.

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By this time, it would normally be too late to get to another store, but Creative Stitches Cafe in Monroeville, PA is open until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Although this shop wasn’t far from the interstate, it took forever to get there and back because of the volume of traffic. I picked up last year’s license plate as well as this year’s. The dark teal fabric is potentially for the current Mimi’s grad school project. I haven’t decided what I’m doing yet for that phase of the project so it may not get used for that. I was happy to find the color I need if I decide to use it. The multi-color zig-zag stripe will make a nice binding for something.

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From there I headed for home.

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