Sunday, February 7, 2016

Shopping Heaven in a Small Town

It’s been a while since I’ve ventured north of the cities in the winter.  It’s the beginning of a Minnesota February and we get an invite to travel 3 hours north to Alexandria, MN.  My husband, Dale, and I accepted the invite, packed the car with ice fishing equipment, sewing paraphernalia and our dog, Tula.  Not for a week mind you, we were going for just 2 days!  An hour and a half later we stopped at Gruber’s Quilt Shop in Waite Park, MN for needed supplies.    What a surprise to find hour weekend hosts, Deb & Bob there too.  Of course she needed supplies too!  We switched cars and sent the guys on ahead to the cabin while we had fun shopping.  My friend Deb is working on her Millefiori style quilt and I am working on a repro 30s quilt.  We were successful shoppers purchasing wonderful Kaffes, batiks and 30s repros!!!  I even found some 1800 repro purples for another project.

This is how the country greets its guest...This is down the dirt road from the cabin.

The next day - more shopping.  I don’t know when the actual quilting was to take place but the shopping was certainly fun.  We stopped at a chain fabric store which will remain nameless and bought quilting books.  Then off to Community Vacuum & Sewing Center Quilt Shop.  I know it’s a long name.  This shop is like the old mercantile for sewers offering sewing machines, longram style machine and even vacuums to clean up after a long day of sewing.  But the best part is the wonderful quilt shop in the back.  It’s a hidden gem!  It was a busy place on a Saturday with very short hours.  The staff of one, Jennifer was terrific!                                                                                               

Next stop downtown Alexandria to visit Dawn’s Quilt Shop.  A shop so full of fabric and notions it’s hard to stay focused on only one project.  So much to see and buy.

Downtown Alexandria offers the best in shopping.  The antique stores are marvelous too with wonderful antique quilts.

Now home to do a little sewing.  But to our surprise the guys were home and wanted us to go out to the ice house.  So we went.  Neither Deb or I had ever gone out on the ice to do anything but ice skate.  We drove out in something called a Tracker.  Warm, but scary!  We could see cracks in the ice but we were assured it was safe.  TRUST ME coming from a guy has always made me leery!
Comfy, with a quilt on my lap, to the ice house we drove.  The guys were so happy we came out.  They wanted us to fish.  I think it a little like cheating when you have a camera under the ice and you are looking for the fish.  Not old school enough for me.  But what did I know? 
You've heard of barn quilts, right?  We thought we'd start a new fade with Ice House Quilts?  Do you think it might catch on???

Hope you enjoy the pics of my weekend in Alexandria, MN.