Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A "Girl Day" - Time To Play

Monday was a GREAT day - I took the entire day off to take a 350+ mile road trip with my friends Mary, Kimber, and Lorrie...and boy did we make the most of the day! We had been planning this "day away" for a few weeks...a visit AccuQuilt in Omaha, NE and retail therapy at a couple wonderful quilt shops and antique shops in the area. Since I was only able to take one friend on my prize-winning AccuQuilt trip, I really wanted some of my special local friends to share in my excitement by seeing my gigantic winning quilt block on display and have a "girls day" of shopping, lunching, and sightseeing.

Leaving West Des Moines bright and early, we headed straight to AccuQuilt for a tour. It is about a 2-hour drive...and it was quite fun to pull up to the building and see my quilt block in all it's glory once again. Inside, Carolyn took the four of us on an inspiring tour, where we got to see the new display in the AccuQuilt Gallery - "Quilts In Many Pieces". This new exhibit is based on a small selection of Linda Pumphrey's extensive collection of antique quilts from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century - the antique quilts inspired several AccuQuilt team members, along with Linda (GO!bal Sales Manager for AccuQuilt) and her mother, to create/recreate quilts using the AccuQuilt GO! fabric cutting system. The antique quilts were shown side-by-side with quilts made today using the GO! fabric cutter. The display was wonderful and all four of us were quite impressed - we took lots of photos and read about each of the quilts. Next, we were privileged to see the AccuQuilt Dream Studio...and although it was being put back together after an event, it was still amazing and I still want to spend my vacations everyday in there! Our tour continued through the warehouse, where staff members were happily packing and shipping orders...and I drooled at the racks and racks of AccuQuilt dies...I honestly wished I had a shopping cart and unlimited funds. At the conclusion of our tour, Steve Nabity (Chief Energizing Officer at AccuQuilt) came out of his office to greet us and take a photo...and we got to spend some quality time with Linda Pumphrey and all of the AccuQuilt team - everyone was enthusiastic and accommodating - and it was definitely a joy to take the tour and see my AccuQuilt friends - we had a GREAT time - seriously, working there would be my "dream job"! To read more about AccuQuilt's new headquarters and see additional photos, visit my post from June 25, 2012.

My gigantic barn quilt block greeted us as we arrived...
AccuQuilt Gallery
Left - Flowers and Hearts - c.1900
Right - Love Blossoms - Melissa Merriman - 2012
AccuQuilt Gallery
Left - English Hexagons - c.1840
Right - Diamonds are Forever - Linda Pumphrey - 2012
AccuQuilt Gallery
Left - Irish Chain with Flowers - c.1860
Right - 1860's meets 2012 - Carolyn Marsh - 2012
AccuQuilt Gallery
Left - Square in a Square - c.1890
Right - Patches of the Past- Barbara Scott - 2012
AccuQuilt Gallery
Bottom - Yo Yo's - 1930's - Mida Vesta Gieseker
Top - Yo Yo's Much Smaller - Mary Pumphrey - 2012
A lovely display in the Quilters Dream Studio...
A very fun sampler quilt in the Quilters Dream Studio...
Fabric and GO! dies in the the Dream Studio...aren't the fabric cupcakes adorable??
Pallets of GO! dies in the warehouse...
Racks of Studio dies....a girl can dream...
AccuQuilt Offices

After leaving AccuQuilt we headed to a marvelous quilt shop just a few minutes away (The Quilted Moose in Gretna, NE) for some retail therapy. I always enjoy visiting this shop, where gorgeous models are intermixed with bolts and bolts and bolts of fabric! It always takes me multiple trips throughout the shop to even begin to see everything and I always leave with a shopping bag full of inspiration for my latest projects...

The busy morning really helped us work up and appetite and we headed to our final destination - the town of Fremont, NE. I really wanted my friends to experience to warmth, charm, and hospitality of Main Street in Historic Fremont and visit a couple special places. We started off by having lunch at J's Steakhouse - this was a favorite when I visited in June...I was really hoping everyone would like it - and sure enough, we had a FABULOUS lunch! After lunch we visited two local antique shops - Park Avenue Antiques and Yankee Peddler West- and although it was quite warm in the afternoon, we enjoyed our browsing and did find a few items to purchase. Lorrie had the best finds, purchasing the largest antique wooden spool (bobbin) I have ever seen and a huge loom shuttle. Our last stop was (obviously) Country Traditions, where I got to see the friendliest staff on earth (I love the Country Traditions family!) - I just adore this shop - the atmosphere, the staff, and the selection are top notch - I couldn't wait to share this quilt shop gem with my girlfriends! The shop was decorated beautifully with new Christmas displays and bolts of fabric...making it extremely hard to narrow down my purchases. We shopped till we dropped and found lots of new stash to take home. To read more about Historic Fremont and the STELLAR Country Traditions (and see a bunch more photos), visit my blog post from June 24, 2012.

A (always) smiling Nicole working hard on a shop model - quilting and getting paid for it!

A Christmas tree decorated with fat quarters - LOVE IT!

On the two and a half hour drive home we talked at length about our day, our fun finds, and all the wonderful people we met along the way - it was a FABULOUS trip! It is always hard for me to take a day completely away from my desk, but this trip was well worth a vacation day - I am so glad I got to share some of my favorite places with my dear friends....it was great to spend the day laughing and catching up...and it definitely lifted my spirits and left me feeling refreshed and revived. Thank you so much to my girlfriends for making the day a complete joy...and thank you to the AccuQuilt family, the Quilted Moose, J's Steakhouse, and the entire staff at Country Traditions for making this a road trip to remember!


  1. Thank you Belinda for driving, making all the plans and arranging our tour. It was the est getaway I've had in quite some time. Many fond memories to treasure for a long time from this trip. You are an amazing friend. Love and hugs, Mary

  2. It looks like a perfect dream day!
    Glad you and your friends had fun.
    Thanks for the pics.

  3. What an exciting day and congrats on your win! Thanks so much for sharing all the great pics with us. :)

  4. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your road trip! What a great time you all had! Loved seeing your quilt block again!


  5. What a great girlfriends day out! I keep telling Linda I'm going to come see her new home away from home. Too bad it's so darn far away. I miss seeing her at guild meetings. She and her mom are two talented ladies. I'm lucky enough to have a quilt made by each of them. Love your pics of the quilt shop too. Looks like someplace to put on the "must see" list. Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a fabulous day..and again, great job on the winning quilt block!

  7. How lucky you and your friends are! It must have been a great feeling to go back to see everyone :-) I have been hoping to get out that way, but no luck... yet lol Thanks for sharing your day!

  8. Looks like you had a fabulous day! So glad you had fun!

  9. Lindos trabalhos! Adorei tudo o que vi. Um abraço.