Day 29 - Cornhusker State to the Land of Lincoln IL via Missouri Star Quilt Company
I am building up several stories to share once I get home. Although I had stellar WIFI yesterday in my new favorite Budget Hotel: Comfort Inn, I am not so sure this one in Decatur will keep me afloat. I’ll just keep typing.
The big drive today was rainy for almost the entire day to get to Quilt Town USA. Frankly, the first in 29 days being in being the roads. Thankfully, the rain was lighter than heavier to make the drive not so white-knuckled (you know, passing big 18-wheelers and the like in pouring rain is no one’s favorite).
Three hours into my drive, I arrived at The Missouri Star Quilt Company’s (MSQC) band of stores - about a dozen - in Hamilton; Jenny Doan started the companyJenny Doan in 2008; it was not a great time to start anything due to the financial disaster that year, but Ms. Doan turned this small town around with jobs and a sense of belonging that was also the home of JC Penney. Unfortunately, because it’s Monday, some of the stores and highlights that are not a part of MSQC were not open.
Hubby Bill has already read Jenny Doan’s latest book on the business she built: How to Stich an American Dream I will get to it in August!
Over the last several years, I have ordered fabric from MSQC and am impressed that there is always a hand-written note in the packaging thanking the customer for their order. Homespun and appreciative is how I would describe their thriving business, a stellar combination! Reaching this quilt mecca was always in my heart and a part of my summer pilgrimage-only if I could arrange the timing.
Since Linda and I did not make it to Alaska, I had a couple of days to play with on my return trip home.
Walking through each store, I petted the fabrics and looked for interesting items I had not seen elsewhere - mostly notions. I found plenty though I only bought a few!
Quilting, as some of you may know from previous of mine, thread people together. I found three kindred spirits when I entered Nancy’s Notions. Shopkeeper, Jan, was excited to talk to another quilter - especially one that makes T-shirt quilts as I do! She mentioned that she moved to Hamilton, MO, 10 months ago after retiring and moving to the Hamilton area from the state of Georgia! A nomad at heart (she’s lived in 35 homes - and not military), she sought out Missoiuri Star and gained part-time employment to be around other quilters.
As we were chatting, a Mother/Daughter duo arrived on the scene and joined our conversation. Esther and Jan drove down about two hours from Iowa, and by the end of our time in the store and talking and bonding over quilting, embroidery, and making leather purses (Esther is an expert in leather!), I was invited to spend the night in a guest room at Esther’s! I was sorry I couldn’t take her offer, but I needed to continue my drive due East, not North. We exchanged contact info, so I hope we will stay in touch!
What a day and great memories made in Quilt Town USA. Although I did not run into Jenny Doan as I would have liked to (I heard she might be in one of the stores), it will have wait until the next time!