Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Costumes at the Bristol Renaissance Faire

I mentioned awhile back that I had visited the Bristol Renaissance Faire. It was well worth the visit and I'm looking forward to another visit next summer. The costumes were very elaborate with lots of embroidery. Here are a few 'textile / stitchery related photos from my day at the fair'!

Fairy up a tree.
This little one was fascinated with her.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Sewing Store

I'm trying to play catch up with some of the places I visited while in the Chicago area. It was difficult to do a daily blog with an hour commute each way to and fro Chicago to our home base at Leisure Lake Resort.

On one of the few days we decided to stay 'home', I discovered The Sewing Store in a small plaza in Joliet, IL. There is a sister store in Morris, IL.

This shop, in Joliet, specializes in sewing and embroidery machines (Brother, Bernina) plus all the necessary accessories to go with them! I took other photos of the shop but discovered they are in a format not compatible with blogger (too big) and I don't have the software with me to convert them to jpg. I discovered this after I was outside thus the sign was taken as a jpg.

What was interesting: another lady came into the store while we were there. She over heard that we were travelling from the eastern part of Canada and got curious. To make a long story short, her grandmother and uncle are from St. John's, Newfoundland and she had visited there as a child. You never know who you will meet!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


The other evening, on our way back to Leisure Lake Resort, I took these photos out the car window. This is on Interstate 90 / 94 going through downtown Chicago. The clouds seemed enormous. It was quite dramatic! However, the further we drove, the less intense they became. The land is so flat. Quite different from eastern Canada. We are leaving the USA today.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Thimbles is another quilt shop that I visited recently. It is located in Lockport, IL. This shop has over 3000 bolts of fabulous cottons, as well as everything a quilter needs to complete a project. Beautiful quilts and quilted wall hanging were everywhere. Such inspiration and very friendly staff, too!

Take a look inside the store.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Robert's Sewing Center Continued

I had some internet difficulty yesterday loading photos up to Blogger so here are a few more.
from Robert's Sewing Center. I will definitely be making another trip there next summer!


Looking down from the second floor
My purchase
Part of the batik section

Monday, August 12, 2013

Robert's Sewing Center: A Quilter's Paradise

Robert's Sewing Center was next on my 'shop hop' following Prairie Shop Quilts in Batavia and it happens to be close to the RV Park. What a place! At first glance, you find yourself surrounded by sewing and embroidery machines and accessories. Walking a little further to the right and past the sales desk, is a whole other world of fabrics, books, patterns, accessories / tools and quilts. Two large classrooms are adjacent to the over 7000 bolts of cotton fabrics which line the walls and center aisle! I didn't know which way to turn. Thankfully, my husband met Robert and they had a lengthy conversation about sewing and embroidery machines. In fact, I was finished my exploring and purchasing before they were.

I was permitted to take photos as long as I didn't photograph the quilts on display. The sales staff were very friendly and helpful. I did find a rather large selection of batiks at the back of the store.

There is also an upstairs which looks down on the first floor. Robert has a collection of commercial as well as antique machines for sale. All along the upper wall are beautiful quilts. The patterns are available for purchase.

There are quite a few photos so I think I will show them in a couple of posts. Tomorrow there will be some views from the balcony. Please check out the shop's web site for more photos and lots more!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Prairie Shop Quilts

It's time to continue with my 'shop hop'. We are an hour's drive from Chicago and going into the city just about every day doesn't leave much time to blog. By the time I get back in the evening, it's almost bedtime. However, it's amazing the things you see while driving. Have you ever seen an eighteen wheeler do a U-Turn in the middle of an intersection? Last week, as we were stopped at a red light, waiting to go onto the Interstate, a large transport truck did just that! Needless to say, the back tires did a screeching sound as they turned. I didn't even have my camera ready. It would have made a great photo.

I Googled some quilt shops and found three in the area of Leisure Lake Resort, Joliet, IL. We drove about an hour to find out that two of them are no longer in existence. I was reminded that a phone call in future might be in order! However, the third place, Prairie Shop Quilts, Batavia, IL, was still operating. It is a lovely shop with very friendly sales ladies who were only too delighted for me to take photos around the store.

Of course, I had to purchase a few batiks! I asked if there were any other shops close by. To my delight, I found out that there was a three month Northern Illinois Quilt Fest going on. Boy, was I excited! At least this trip, I will get to a few of these and I have a list for next year to explore.

The Prairie Shop Quilts website has lots of photos of its shop. Please take a few minutes to view them.
Here are a few of mine.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Travel Update

I have visited a few more sewing shops this week. However, Sunday, was spent at the Bristol Renaissance Faire near the Illinois / Wisconsin border. This was a blast! Most people were in period costume, some were very elaborate. Every Faire day recreates a time when knights were noble, maids were merry and turkey was, well, turkey! I didn't try the turkey legs, but I was told by a very reliable source, that they were excellent.

Check back to hear more about my trips. My photos aren't loaded on my tablet yet and I won't have very good internet for the next day or two. In the mean time, Sew We Quilt is having a Ho, Ho, Ho blog hop. Day three starts today!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Oldies but Goodies

This post, with its vintage theme, should have accompanied the previous one, Letty Mac's Tea Room, but I didn't have all the information at posting time.

I came across this vintage online pattern book,  An Embroidery Pattern Book by Mary P.Waring. It is well worth a look and can be read online or down loaded as a PDF.

More Free Patterns:
Pattern Bee
Vintage Embroidery Patterns
Needle Crafter


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Letty Mac's Tea Room

The ladies at the yarn shop also told me about Letty Mac's Tea Room. After the visit to the Fabric Center, we (husband & I) walked to the tea room. The food was awesome! I was served tea in a vintage china cup and saucer. Did I mention that the whole place is vintage? Yep! Very charming too.

Enjoying a cup of tea!

Vintage Coke Cooler