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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


From there I headed for home.



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