Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Road Trip With Friends

Hello friends! I can't sleep, so while I have a quiet house (before construction resumes in the morning), I thought I would take a moment a share a bit about my trip to the Amana Colonies on Tuesday. My dear friends (Kimber and Merry) both share a birthday at the end of August, so we had planned a little celebratory road trip. Kimber chose the destination and I was the chauffeur...we headed out at 8 AM...we definitely wanted to get an early start, as it was approximately 2 hours to our destination - and even the drive was fun, as we had a chance to catch-up on life and do our usual laughing!

Our first stop was at The Woolen Needle in Williamsburg, Iowa - we all just love this shop - beautiful hand-dyed wool fabrics, gorgeous quilting cottons and kits, yarns, lots of models - a heavenly shop! I picked up some unique plaid wools (I just love the color combination of pink and black, so that was a "must buy"...I also picked up a jar of vintage buttons (upper right photo) and a hand embroidery pattern.

We then traveled into the Amana Colonies...and needing a little boost, we stopped at the Java Junction Coffee shop for beverages - then enjoyed the sunshine as we sipped our drinks outside. We then made our way to Heritage Designs Quilting and Needlework...this is a lovely shop - and although over the years, the selection of cross stitch/needlework has become less and less substantial, they still carry many specialty threads, fabric, charts, and books. I found a nice little selection of quilting fabrics - including the some from the line "My Favorite Things" (seen right in the photo below) by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched for Henry Glass & Co. (I am a big fan of Anni's, so this was a fun find!)...

Our next stop - Grapevine Antiques - it was the first time any of us has visited this antique shop and we all agreed it was well worth the visit! We all three found a selection of fact, we worked up an appetite with all the shopping, so we made our way to the Ox Yoke Inn (my favorite) for lunch - yummy! We enjoyed delicious sandwiches and sweet potato fries (refueled for the afternoon)...and then Merry and Kimber opened their birthday gifts (Kimber even brought me a little goodie bag for driving!)...and then we were off to our next destination: Smokehouse Square Antiques. This large antique shop seemed endless as we perused each room for special buys...and we all three found a few things...Kimber even found a gorgeous antique quilt! I saw a couple antique needlework samplers, but they were definitely out of my price range (I tried to get a couple good photos, but the glare from the glass cases and framing made them unusable). Between the two antique shops I managed to find some great vintage cards of buttons, two perfect condition vintage feedsacks, three vintage handkerchiefs, and a unique vintage trim - not bad - and I didn't spend very much money!

We made one last stop before heading back to Des Moines - a quick visit to Fern Hill Gifts and Quilts. We arrived just before closing, so didn't stay too long...but I did pick up a couple great fabrics (seen in the top photo above - left side). When shopping for fabrics, as a true quilter I always have several themes I am collecting - I just adore fabric with trees, owls, birds, or fruits - so I was ecstatic to find a unique autumn tree fabric and a nice cheerful yellow fabric featuring various fruits.

All in all, it was a fabulous day - I am very blessed to have such wonderful, creative, and patient friends - getting together with them is truly a blessing and lifts my spirits beyond measure!


  1. I voted for you in the finalist round, so far you are ahead! :)

  2. Sounds like a wonderful road trip! I love your button purchases.
    Consider it done, I just placed my finalist vote.

  3. Really enjoyed reading about your roadtrip! It sounds like you had a fabulous time. What great purchases you made, Belinda!

    Congratulations on making the final cut! Off to vote!


  4. Belinda - just voted for you of course. SO, hopefully you are going to win.

    On a different note, loved your blogging about the trip. Have to start looking for some buttons for you when I go to the antique shops. I, myself, look for button hooks, different ones, and so far, have about 30.

    I also just started yesterday your BOO Mansion. Looking good so far.


  5. I voted! Yours is really the nicest!

    Always enjoy reading your blog and viewing your great pictures.


  6. What a wonderful trip with some great friends! I went on over and voted for your block in the finalist round and guess what? You are totally leaving those other entries in the dust baby!