Sunday, March 21, 2010

Road trip, Or What I Did for National Quilting Day. Part I

Mr. Belfry was travelling for work this weekend. I tagged along to play tourist. Our destination: Bloomington, Indiana. I had hoped spring would be further along there, but alas their winter has been much like our own. These are all of the daffodils I saw. All 6 of them or so. If I'd realized sooner that the Indiana quilt show was earlier in March, I would have pressed to go that weekend instead. However it was spring break while we were there. There is no better time to visit a college town than during breaks or summers.

The trees were just starting to bud and it was wonderfully warm and sunny.

The university does do some wonderful landscaping though, so I did get to see a little spring color.

Of course the color you're all really interested in seeing was indoors. :) My first stop was Yarns Unlimited in Fountain Square Mall on the south side of the square. (

They have a really nice selection of wools and wool blends. They had some great shop samples of felted bags. I always enjoy seeing their selection of specialty yarns, too. They've recently (like in the last few years) added fibers that are locally dyed. Go look at their website for better pictures and a class schedule. The people in the shop are very friendly and willing to help with any project you have questions on. And, of course, I just love a shop that understands that you need to touch every skein in the store before you make up your mind.

They've also rearranged extensively since I was there last. There seems to be a lot fewer weaving supplies and the rest of the yarn has expanded into that space. Everything is better organized and easier to browse. It seems more airy.

I came home with these two skeins:
The one on the left is a hand-dyed rayon blend. The one on the right is a hand-spun silk by Tilli Thomas. It's more dark pink than red. Both of these will become scarves or neck-wraps of some kind.

Stop number 2 for the day was Bloomington's newest quilt shop, Shiisa quilts. They're a little tricky to find if you aren't used to navigating in an area that's not laid out on a grid system. Check Google maps or mapquest before you go. It's well worth the time.

You can see the shopping center from the main highway down and on the west-side. Inside was a wonderful selection of fabrics. It was just a riot of color.

They had a nice selection of Moda and Westminster fabrics (among others), a good selection of notions and thread, and a nicely displayed selection of books. They had a lot of small kits made up and many display samples. They also had some non-traditional quilting fabrics, silks and kimono remnants and some ethnic fabrics. Everything was nicely arranged and not over-stuffed. There was an ok selection of pre-cut rolls, but they added some of their own pre-cuts to the menu, both charm size and rolls.

I purchased most of the fabrics I need for my K. Fassett class next month, plus a charm pack of Oz by Sanae. I also found a really neat pale orange fabric from an Australian designer I've never heard of that I think will go nicely with the Fassett fabrics.

That's all for part I. I found a new yarn shop that I'll tell you about in the next post.
Stay tuned!

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