Buy Local

Huh…. that was a completely unintentional (and long) blog break. Life has just been incredibly busy, not much time to create, and even less time to shoot photos and write something about it!

I have some things to show you this week, so be sure to check back… But today I want to show you some goodies I purchased over the weekend at a few Iowa shops that are sadly closing their doors. I went to visit my Mom, who lives about 100 miles away, northeast of Des Moines. On the way to her house, I stopped at Grinnell Fiberworks, a shop I once adored, but was forced to seriously downsize a few years ago and are now closing. All of their merchandise is marked 50-60% off and they had some great fabrics still available. This is what I picked up:

Some great Kona Cottons, a few yards of the fabuolous Michael Miller Jet Brown solid, an older Amy Butler print, an older Kaffe Fassett piece, some batiks, reds, dots…all great basics! I picked up some thread, my favorite applique needles, and handbag hardware as well.

On Saturday morning, Mom and I took off for a road trip to my Favorite Quilt Shop in the world, Yellow Bird Art in Lansing, Iowa. Sadly, it is closing at the end of this month, and this was most likely my final visit.

Lansing is nearly a five-hour drive from my home, so I have not been there often in the last few years, but I’ve ordered from her online shop. The owner, Amy, is such a gracious host and great shopowner. Sadly, the economy is forcing her to close the doors on her business dream.

Her shop is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, in a 19th Century building made of local limestone. Her shop has just as much personality and charm as Amy!
‘Yellow Bird Art was once featured in Quilt Sampler magazine. It’s been open for a little over five years, and she has the same employees/staff that she had when she first opened the doors. That says alot about the kind of business she ran, I think! This weekend was a good reminder, for me, of why we need to support our local businesses.

I brought home these lovely fat quarters…aren’t those the softest colors you’ve ever seen?

And some yardage for a few projects I have brewing in my melon…

And this thread holder, which I’ll make a cover for to keep the light and dust off my threads when I’m not sewing.

Be sure to show your local small business owners some extra support this Spring. It’s been a tough year and they deserve our support.

Happy creating,


4 thoughts on “Buy Local

  1. Hello, while you were off to the east I was in Ankeny. I stopped at QC and they were packed with customers! I couldn't even park in their lot. But I did find some fabric I've been wanting. I got the kiwi & black kit awhile back and wanted to add borders of the bigger floral print. I also found a kit for my grandson who'll be here in July. It was the jungle one since my daughter is going to have a jungle theme. I was hoping you'd be there so I could finally meet you! I heard that quilt junction in valley junction is closing also. It really is sad when so many local stores are closing. I've never been to yellow bird, but heard it is amazing. Maybe I'll find you at QC next time I'm in Ankeny.

  2. With Quilt Junction already closed, and the two you blogged about, it makes a quilter start to panic a bit doesn't it?

    I know a quilt shop can't be all things to all quilters, but they try. I definitely support those shops that carry what I'm looking for. But if they don't…

    Thanks for your great photos. I see a couple pieces worth drooling over.

  3. Good for you for visiting these quilt shops while you still can! Love the fabrics you picked up.

    I received a message on my answering machine a couple weeks ago from the owner of our local quilt shop, wondering if I was okay since I hadn't been in the shop in awhile. (I know, bad customer) I went in on Friday, and she was so happy to see me! It was great catching up. Luckily, her shop is doing well. I will definitely be a better customer for her!

  4. This is a good story…a sad story, but good to tell. Small businesses of all kinds are having rough times; when we know so many quilters its hard to think there aren't enough of us to keep our shops open…but they're still just a small business in a rough economy.

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