9/22/14

Quilt Shop: Lickety Stitch Quilts, Lusk, Wyoming

We crossed the border into Wyoming this morning. Shortly thereafter, we entered the tiny town of Lusk, Wyoming (population about 1,600). On the way into town, I noticed a small sign advertising Lickety Stitch Quilts. Mike practically insisted that we stop because it meant that I wouldn't be bugging him to unhitch in Casper so that I could see the quilt shops there. A good deal all around!

And let me tell you, it was well worth stopping for. I really liked this shop. Look at this cute storefront:


Here's their business card:


with handy fabric measurements on the back.


And here's how the shop looks when you step inside the front door.


Just after stepping inside, the owner approached me and told me she was a distant neighbor from Oregon. She lived in Molalla, Oregon for 22 years before returning to Wyoming a while ago. Small world, no?

As you come through the door, look to the right, and you will see their fabulous supply of regional prints. In general, these bolts would have been a good supply for any shop. 


As I walked down this first row of fabrics, I realized that the whole wall was regional prints! Whoa! They were mostly of the cowboy and rodeo type, and so if you're a lover of western style quilts, you would absolutely love the fabrics in this store.


There was a good supply of patterns, including dressmaker patterns at the far right of the image.


There were a few new-to-me designers, including this pattern for "Ben's Boots" by Pie Plate Patterns. Cute stuff on their website. They are physically located in Fountain Green, Utah.


Also, this one: Ribbon Candy Quilt Company.


And this one: Buttons & Bees, which is physically located in Texas. I think I've seen these before, but not often.


I've seen and purchased Log Cabin Quiltworks patterns before, but in honor of Wyoming, I wanted to show you the Rodeo Gals.


This is a relatively small shop, but still manages to stocks lots of fabrics. What a find for this little town in the middle of nowhere! A veritable haven for local quilters.


They had a good supply of whimsical prints.


If I hadn't already made a flip-flop quilt, this would definitely have ended up in my shopping bag.


And look at this! M&M's...need I say more?


And swoon! Sock monkeys!


When I complimented the owner on her nice selection of regional prints, she proudly showed me this exclusive-to-Wyoming fabric. 


This is the same bucking horse seen on Wyoming's license plate:


It is also the insignia of the University of Wyoming:


She also had it in a pretty batik. If I were a cowboy fabric lover, this would have come home with me too.


There was a nice selection of flannel and minky as well.

She had a good supply of quilt kits made up, many from their own personal designer.


One of the quilts that was their own design was this "Friendship" sampler with quotations about friendship and its rewards.


So what did I pick? Well, I liked this regional print. I picked up a yard of that.


And one yard of this one, since I couldn't find any cow prints in Wisconsin.


And one yard of this batik...just because I liked it.


So, I've struck it rich this trip visiting some great quilt shops, and this one was as terrific as the rest. I gave it my highest rating of five rotary cutters. It's located in an out-of-the-way little town in Lusk, Wyoming, just inside the border with Nebraska. Definitely stop in if you find yourself in that part of the world. You will not be sorry.


It was just as well that we stopped off at this shop because it was the most exciting thing we did all day. I took a few pictures as we drove down the road, but I'll save those for tomorrow. We are spending the night in Casper, Wyoming, tonight. We'll be on to DuBois, Wyoming, tomorrow and a relatively short day of driving. We have visited DuBois before, and there is a famous restaurant/bar there. When we realized we could get to DuBois and call it a day, it was a simple decision to make a return trip to the restaurant. I'll tell you more about it in my next post.

*Disclaimer:  Cat Patches accepts no advertising, nor any sponsorships.  The opinions expressed on this blog are based on the personal impressions and perceptions of the author. They are formed  on the basis of one short visit, on one day, and may or may not reflect the experience of others visiting on a different day.  They are no more descriptive than a single snapshot image can be, and nothing written in a review of a quilt shop should be construed as objective fact.  The reviews are strictly the author's subjective opinion and should not be interpreted as anything more.


9/21/14

Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area, Merriman, Nebraska

We had a long day of driving without mishaps that ended in a very weird way. It's all good. Before I get onto the weird ending, let me tell you how the day started.

As you know from yesterday's post, we were camped in LeMars, Iowa, last night. It was a great spot except for the large white woofie next door. Smitty stayed busy keeping tabs on its every move.


I was wishing I'd taken more pictures of LeMars as we drove into town yesterday, but I was busy navigating to the campground. Instead, I took some this morning. It is so typical of the many small towns we have driven through in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska...with old buildings that give the impression that time is standing still in this part of the country.



When we left LeMars, we were headed for Sioux City and the Nebraska state line. A few of you mentioned barn quilts after my last post. I have seen a few barn quilts, but I haven't been able to get any good pictures of them. This morning I caught one quickly enough to avoid blurring the image. I believe this quilt block is called a dahlia(?)...not sure. Please chime in if you have another idea.


Soon thereafter, we crossed the Missouri River into the Great State of Nebraska. I'll have to give you the state of the states map tomorrow because (believe it or not) I haven't yet stuck the state to the side of the RV.


While Wisconsin and Iowa were fairly flat landscapes, we've noticed more rolling hills in Nebraska.


We've seen this crop growing along with the acres and acres of cornfields. This morning, we determined that it was soy beans.


And all the fields everywhere are in various stages of harvest.


Can you stand one more barn? I'm about barned out, myself, and I didn't take nearly as many pictures today.


We've driven about 3/4 of the way across Nebraska from east to west today. The western side of the state is more prairie-like with more ranches than farms.


So here's the weird thing that happened. As you might guess, campgrounds are few and far between in these wide open spaces states. We decided to drive to Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area just outside Merriman, Nebraska. The website described it as having some 70 sites, with no length limits, full hook-ups, etc. All in all, a modern campground. When we arrived, the campground was anything but. It is primitive, with pit toilets, no more than a dozen tent sites, and none for trailers. And the place is completely abandoned. We've both looked and double-checked and looked at the map, and we've determined that the website is referring to a campground miles from where we are...literally almost all the way back to where we came from!

No matter. We are completely self-contained, and the solitude is certainly nice. Just before sitting down here, I stepped out onto the top step of our RV and took this picture looking to the left, 


and this one looking to the right where there is a nice big mosquito pond.


Despite the mosquito pond, it's a nice spot, even if it isn't intended for big rig trailers. We are happy. It is very quiet here with no trains and no highway noise. And it should be great star-gazing.

Speaking of mosquitoes, I want to congratulate Minnesota on having the most polite mosquitoes ever. After picking on you for your roads, I'll say that your "state bird" mosquitoes were nothing compared to those we met in North Dakota. It's a dubious distinction to be sure, but I wanted to let you know that we loved your mosquitoes.

And since this is a primitive campground, I'm writing this post on battery power. Surprisingly, we have a cell tower within our line of site, and so I am using my personal hotspot for my wi-fi service. But all of that to say that I need to get off before I run out of juice.

Tomorrow we'll be heading for Casper, Wyoming, and a shorter day of driving. There are a couple of quilt shops there. Timing is everything when I visit a quilt shop, and so hopefully, we can get in early enough in the day for them to be open for business. Until then...signing off to conserve my battery.

Quilt Shop: Quilt Essentials, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

A few days back (they're all a blur at this point), we stopped off for lunch in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. We probably would have stopped there, quilt shop or no quilt shop, just so we could say, "Hey, we're in Oshkosh, by gosh!" Love that name. It was just a happy accident that there happened to be a quilt shop in Oshkosh. Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Oshkosh...I might say it a few more times before this post is over.

The owner, Mary, couldn't have been more friendly. I really enjoyed visiting her shop and meeting her. Here's her business card. She has a website, but explained that she doesn't do a web-based business. In addition to her quilt shop, she also has a long-arm quilting business.


The store is in a small strip mall with easy access from the interstate and a nice big parking lot, which is always appreciated when we are towing our rig. Mike and the kitties enjoyed lunch and a nap while I enjoyed the quilt shop.



Here's how the store looks as you walk through the front door. That's Mary standing there.


Check out these polka dots! Polka dots always put me in a good mood right from the get-go.


She had an entire room filled with the most beautiful batiks.


Step around those displays, and there were more batiks. This shop had something for everyone's taste.


She made sure I noticed these little potholder kits. They were so cute packaged in to-go boxes. 


They were created by a local designer, Made By Marney. It seems Marney is a retired art instructor. I just googled "Made by Marney" but didn't find a website for her. However, she is on Pinterest and Facebook.


She had a ton of patterns in the shop, all paper-pieced, and all adorable. Here's her "Packers" pillowcase.


And this being Green Bay Packers country, the Packers were well-represented.


Also represented were the Chicago Bears and The University of Wisconsin Badgers.


My walking buddy Sue hails from this area. I checked in with her about the UW mascot, Bucky Badger. Sue admitted to being old enough to remember this Bucky Badger t-shirt. Don't blame me. 


Be sure to notice which finger Bucky Badger is holding up in that image above. Too much. Thanks for the image, Sue! What a hoot.

Ahem. (You know I love a good potty mouth joke.) But to get back to the quilt shop, there was a whole wall of patterns.


And more Patch Abilities banners. I really like these.


And an entire room of flannel. All of the quilt shops I've visited this trip have had good supplies of flannel. I guess flannel is sought after in these colder climes.


Also in this room, I knew you vintage machine lovers would want to see this sewing machine. It was high over head, and so this is the best I could do photography-wise.


In the back room, these shelves were 30% off. There was a chatty woman in the back who kind of drove me out of here. Otherwise, I'd have spent more time looking at these sale fabrics. Not that I'm a recluse or anything, but I was on serious shopping business. You understand, don't you?


And here's a unique way to price sale fabrics:


The sign seemed to be referring to the fabrics on these bolts.


All the shops I've visited have their Christmas fabrics out, and this one was no exception. There are some pretty ones this year.


Her regional fabrics were mostly of the animal kind, and so didn't really appeal to me...either that, or team sports for teams that I don't generally root for. Packers? Sorry. I'm a Seahawks girl all the way. And Badgers? You're gonna have to compete with the Oregon State Beavers for my affections. Anyway...I chose this one just because I liked it.


This being dairy land Wisconsin, I was hoping for something cow-related, and I found it in this wall-hanging Made by Marney. Isn't this cute? I have some great polka dot fabrics in my stash to use in this wall-hanging.


and this Made by Marney tabletopper. Pretty for a spring table. It just might be the only way I'm going to have tulips in the spring since the deer love dining on mine when they bloom. Oh yes, and don't forget the squirrels who made a banquet of the bulbs a few summers ago.


I really loved this store. It was larger than it appears from the front and the rooms of fabrics kept going and going and going. For its great supply of fabrics, Mary's friendly and welcoming demeanor, easy access from the highway, and nice big parking lot, I give Quilt Essentials my highest rating of five rotary cutters.


Don't miss it if you find yourself in Oshkosh, by gosh.

*Disclaimer:  Cat Patches accepts no advertising, nor any sponsorships.  The opinions expressed on this blog are based on the personal impressions and perceptions of the author. They are formed  on the basis of one short visit, on one day, and may or may not reflect the experience of others visiting on a different day.  They are no more descriptive than a single snapshot image can be, and nothing written in a review of a quilt shop should be construed as objective fact.  The reviews are strictly the author's subjective opinion and should not be interpreted as anything more.