Thursday, November 1, 2012

Visiting Five Needlework Shops in Less than 28 Hours!

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit several needlework shops on my recent teaching trip.

The first shop was Crosse Stitchery and Main Street Framing in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  Sarah, the owner, was the organizer for my two classes in nearby Onalaska.  Her shop is located in a wonderful old historic building in the downtown area.

Things are beautifully displayed in every nook and cranny.  I love the way Sarah has used some antique furniture for display.  I didn't get a photo of her old counter by the door.  She told me it had once been an altar.  I love the fact that she salvaged the altar and repurposed it.

This is just a fraction of the frames Sarah has.  I couldn't get them all in a single photo.  When I mentioned that to her, she asked if I knew that each of these rows of frames was on a door that when opened reveals even more frames!  She had some real beauties.

The next four shops are in the Chicago area.  First up was Welcome Stitchery in Crystal Lake.  

I hadn't contacted Monica, the shop owner, to let her know I'd be dropping in.  As luck would have it, she wasn't in, but her husband, Lee, gave us a tour and some information about the history of the shop.   The shop has been in business for 24 years, so it looks like next year they will be celebrating their silver anniversary.

And just as we were leaving, Monica returned.  What perfect timing!

Not too far away was Tomorrow's Heirlooms in Glen Ellyn.  The shop owner was not in that day, so I asked her employee if I could look around and take some photos for my blog.  Tomorrow's Heirlooms will also be celebrating their 25th year in business next year.

Then it was off to The Inspired Needle in Lemont which is on the southwest side of Chicago.  The Inspired Needle is one of the shops on my automatic shipment program.  This means the shop automatically gets my new designs as soon as they are released.

Don't be fooled by what looks like a small shop from the street.  It's not!  

Here is what you see when you first enter the shop.This shop goes back fairly far from the front door and also has some interesting turns.  Cathy, the owner, has been in business for just 4 years, but you certainly wouldn't know it by looking at her wonderful inventory!

Here are two views of some of the fibers she carries.  There are more!!

It was fun to sit down and talk with Cathy.  She showed me her Quaker Hornbook that she had recently finished stitching. I really like the dark linen she chose. Cathy is now trying to decide what thread color to use for the twisted-cord edging, so that's why you see the three skeins of thread. The Quaker Hornbooks are available only to groups of 10 or more stitchers, and Cathy had bought hers through one of the guilds she is in.

Cathy was busily getting ready for her annual retreat at nearby Shipshewana, Indiana. I believe she was expecting 55 anxious needleworkers. They must always have a great time for there to be so many stitchers attending each year.  In fact, I know they had a great time this year because I've read several retreat reports on some blogs.  Way to go, Cathy!

And then last, but not least, was a stop at The Country Cupboard in Orland Park.  This shop has been  in business for 30 years.

Lots of linen, and look how easy it is to find the count you want.

I thought it was interesting to see how Barb, the shop owner, had displayed Christmas stockings.  Yes, they are on a slanted area of the ceiling!

And here are a few more photos from inside Barb's shop.

And here is a final shot of me with Barb before heading back to Cincinnati.  Barb is smiling bigger than usual these days because she recently learned that she'll be getting a new grandchild in 2013--her first granddaughter!  I think she is buying lots and lots of pink.


geeky Heather said...

Good credit card would have melted into a slag heap after such an itinerary!

Krista said...

wow, Ellen!! looks like you did some power shopping! I am so jealous! :) It is nice to see so many LNSs out there. I wish there were more by me. Hopefully, I will get to attend one of your classes someday! Do you come to the Northeast area at any time?

Kay said...

LOVE seeing the pictures of all these great shops! Hope to get to a couple of them in the next few months, too!

Laurie in Iowa said...

I really enjoyed seeing the photos of all the shops.

CathyR said...

Ellen, it was a great privilege to have you stop by my shop. I loved spending time chatting with you. Wish you could have stayed longer! Thank you for the very kind review!

Barb said...

I think you died and went to cross stitch heaven!!

Kelly aka STITCHNMOMMA said...

WOW! What a fabulous trip!!

Almost all the LNSs in my area are closing and it's rather disappointing. :(


Carol S said...

Hi Ellen, it was such a pleasure to meet you & your husband at Cathy's shop, The Inspired Needle in Lemont! What a pleasant surprise to meet such a famous designer!

Karoline said...

What gorgeous shops! I think I'd be in a stash coma if I ever got to visit that many LNS in one go!

Anne said...

Amazing shops!! MY credit card would have been sighing from all the swiping and purchasing of stash!!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

I loved this post as I have a friend who lives in Chicago and she has mentioned at least two of these shops. It was great to see inside them - even if it's from a long distance (Scotland).

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Ellen, you've just added several shops to my "must visit" list! What a wonderful time you had. Thanks so much for sharing these great pictures with us!