Quilt and Textiles Travels!
Have you ever considered joining an organised quilt and textiles tour? Does travelling with like-minded souls to destinations specifically chosen for your interests appeal to you?
If you have considered this, then take a look at the itinerary for the 2020 Quilters Companion USA Quilting Tour. First stop is Lincoln, Nebraska, where you will visit The Cosmic Cow Quilt Store that stocks more than 5000 bolts of quality quilting fabric and quilting supplies including threads, rulers, notions, books, patterns and so much more.
Next day, after a morning free to explore the town of Lincoln, you will visit the amazing and architecturally stunning International Quilt Study Centre and Museum, which houses a treasure trove of quilts from many countries. People who love quilts and quiltmaking have worked for many years to make this museum a reality and it now boasts the world’s largest publically held quilt collection dating from the early 1700s to the present, representing more than 50 countries.
From Lincoln you travel by coach to Hamilton, Missouri. Along the way you will visit Angela Walters’ store, Quilting is My Therapy, located in the historic downtown square of Liberty. Here, apart from shopping for quilty goodness, you will enjoy a trunk show with Angela. After a further 20 minutes by coach you will find yourself in Hamilton, the town dedicated to quilters!
After a night of rest, the highlight of your stay in Hamilton will be visiting the Missouri Star Quilt Co, founded in 2008 by Jenny Doan and her family. Jenny is a prominent quilter who has published hundreds of YouTube videos, authored numerous articles and quilt patterns and contributes to the company-owned quilt magazine.
At the Missouri Quilt Museum you will find a large collection of antique toy sewing machines, a patchwork room with old sewing patterns patched along the walls and patchwork material on the floor, and a room that features different techniques, patterns and styles of quilting. You can also see the recently installed World’s Largest Spool of Thread that was unveiled in September 2019 outside the museum. The spool contains 1 million yards (914,499m) of Aurifil thread; it is just under 7m tall with a 2.4m-diameter base.
As a quilter you are probably aware of the Amish quiltmaking traditions as well as their lifestyle choices. Missouri has the seventh-largest population of Amish people in the United States. The Amish population in Jamesport is the largest in the state and welcomes tourists and visitors. Currently around 175 families live in the area, where you can step back in time by visiting Amish farmlands, an Amish home and an authentic Amish country shop.
In Jamesport you will also visit Sue’s Soft Stuff, a yarn shop that specialises in Made in America fibre items — including knitting yarns, gorgeous variegated threads, and alpaca yarn and fibre that come from local alpacas. You will also find handmade items by at least 30 local craftspeople.
A visit to the fabric store, The Quilted Fox, which was selected as one of the top ten quilt shops in America by Better Homes and Gardens, will amaze you with its incredible fabrics, notions and more. Then it is on to Paducah, Kentucky. This hub of quilting shops and museums is where you will stay for three nights.
The next day begins with a morning walk to the nearby National Quilt Museum, where you will see more than 150 antique and contemporary quilts. The museum is home to many award-winning and historic quilts. We then continue on to Must Stitch Emporium, where you will find an array of fabrics and quilt supplies.
The next day you will visit Paper Pieces, which supplies premium-quality notions and pre-cut paper pieces for English paper piecing. After lunch you will enjoy a much-anticipated visit to the fabric store Hancock’s of Paducah. Bring your shopping list — this world-renowned shop stocks rows and rows of fabrics. Bargains can be found in the back room where fabric fills the floor area, and the walls are covered in books and notions. Home decorator fabrics and trims are also available. Then after all that shopping, the staff will happily post your purchases home from the shop on the day.
The next destination is Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States and an international business centre. The first day in Houston includes a visit to the large Painted Pony ‘n Quilts store located at La Porte, with its variety of fabrics. Following that is a visit to Governor Ross Sterling Mansion, the largest private residence in Texas when it was built in 1927. The design is a scaled-down replica of the White House in Washington.
Next, it’s the International Quilt Festival, the largest annual quilt show in the United States. It takes place each fall/autumn and regularly attracts more than 55,000 people from over 35 countries around the world. The International Quilt Festival features hundreds of incredible quilts on display in numerous special exhibits; shopping at hundreds of exhibitor booths; and a fantastic line-up of classes, lectures and special events. If you would like to attend any of the classes you must book early to ensure you can register for those you choose. The classes offered include appliqué, design and all aspects of quilting. It is imperative to go online to check out all your options in advance. It’s also a good idea to join the International Quilt Festival’s Facebook page, where you, along with more than 80,000 other quilters, can stay up to date.
No trip to Houston is complete without visiting the Texas Quilt Museum. Housed in an historic 1895 building in La Grange’s town square, this recently opened museum has a wealth of beautiful and historic quilts. Those on display have been made by internationally renowned quiltmakers in a range of styles from traditional to avant-garde. Oh, and if you are hoping for some last-minute shopping opportunities, you will find those aplenty when you stop at Old Town Springs, where you will find many artisan shops.
All too soon it will be back to the airport to begin your journey home, when you can share photos, compare purchases and reminisce with your fellow quilting buddies about an extraordinary holiday.
If this sounds like your dream come true, contact Travelrite to find out more about the Quilters Companion USA Quilting Tour, October 16-November 3, 2020, with Michelle Marvig.