Welcome to the Leadership for the All Iowa Shop Hop 2014

The All Iowa Quilt Shop Hop participating shops are pleased to announce that Kevin Carpenter and Leland Turner of Helios Stitches N Stuff in Mount Vernon have taken on the duties of Co-Chairs of the 2014 All Iowa Quilt Shop Hop Event. This major quilting eveImagent attracts quilters from all over the United States to Iowa and runs from June 1st to June 30th,  2014.
Last year 85 Iowa quilt shops participated in the All Iowa Quilt Shop Hop which drew many visitors to small towns and cities across the state. Carpenter and Turner enthusiastically embrace the leadership because of their creative approaches to marketing and their ability to work well with the many quilt shops in their region.
Their stated goal is to grow this year’s All Iowa Quilt Shop Hop both by increasing the amount of quilt shops participating and the number of visitors to the state.   Featuring a custom-designed All Iowa Shop Hop fabric for 2014, Kevin and Leland are anxious to lead the Iowa shop owners and visitors on a great tour of the best sewing adventure to be offered in the state.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR….June 1-30, 2014.



Jayne Jensen Wins!

Jayne Jensen Wins!People have been waiting with eager anticipation to learn of the winner of the custom designed Bernina sewing machine, the grand prize for those who visited every store in the All Iowa Shop Hop.   Our winner likes to tell that she isn’t normally lucky as she says,

If there are 10 prizes in a drawing and only 9 people enter, I still go home empty handed.  I never win anything!  This was a great surprise.

The winner, Jayne Jensen of Cresco, IA, traveled the state with her sewing friends.  When we’d visited with Jayne she shared with us that she is not a sewer but hangs out with some real sewing enthusiasts.  So enthusiastic, they convinced Jayne to tour the state.

It was a lot of miles, but it was worth it.  No two shops are alike.  It was great to see so much variety as we visited all of the shops.

So what does a current non-sewer do once she wins a brand new and pretty sewing machine?

I’m excited to start learning how to sew.  Before this I didn’t have a machine. I always helped my friends, and we’ve made projects together but they sewed for me.  I just cut, press, and pin.

Her first project on her new machine will be made using all of the Kona squares she collected–she plans to piece a simple throw and tie it.  Jayne also picked up a few kits on the shop hop, so she has plenty of projects in mind for her new machine.  Perhaps it was providential that Jayne would win.  In fact, she must have been destined to win by collecting fabrics and that machine just is so anxious to enjoy the stitches and miles to sew.

During the shop hop Jayne put over 3000 miles on her car… and there were a few days that she didn’t even drive.
She and her friends often get together for sewing days, and they’re all excited to help her get started.  She’s planning to find a space for her new machine in her house and invite her friends over for a sewing day.

Jayne Jensen, Grand Prize Winner,  Welcome to the beginning of an amazing sewing adventure.

Thanks to all for joining us on this year’s journey.  We are already making plans for 2014!

From Minister’s Home to Quilt Shop

Being only one of a few retail businesses in Tracy, Iowa, owner Fay Boyd and her husband Dean are very proud of their community.  Active in volunteer work in their community, the Boyds shared the following about their community for visitors to the All Iowa Shop Hop:

We are located just a few miles from historic Pella which was settled by the Dutch heritage and has much to offer to visitors.  The big windmill from the Netherlands they can tour and the bakeries are a real treat when in this area, also the town here grew up because of the railroad and river traffic and the Belfountain cemetery is just outside of Tracy and many people go there to see where earlier relatives were buried at this time of year.  My shop is located in a 100 year old home moved into Tracy from the Bellfountain area and was a home for the Methodist preachers for many years until we purchased it for our home .  We are often told “I got married in your living room “.  Red Rock Lake is quite near our town and many campers love this area as well as fishermen.  Knoxville located 15 miles from Tracy is the home of the Knoxville raceway and has sprint car races every Saturday night from early April till October.  We live in a small community with a big heart and love to have visitors to our area.

It is important to us that Every customer has a wonderful experience while in Tracy at ou shop, from the entry in the door until they leave they are the Most important thing happening in our life at that time.  We strive to be helpful and friendly to all so they will enjoy visiting us.  Had a 92 year old gentleman visit yesterday who had never been in a quilt shop and had lived in this town many years ago and was amazed at the shop.  It was like a history lesson about my town as I have lived her 70 years and we reminisced about people we had known and places that aren’t there any more  while she looked around the shop and got her passport for the shop hop.  I always enjoy the stories I hear from customers and they are amazed at the shop in little Tracy Iowa,  I want them to enjoy the shop and return to see us again.  I hope they will enjoy it enough to tell all their friends about their experience.

Weather Won’t Halt the Desire to Sew

Being from the midwestGirls Havin' Fun, we get the beauty and splendor of weather that covers the whole scope of Mother Nature’s repertoire.

This year while we had a relatively mild (for the midwest) winter, spring ushered in all kinds of interesting features.

However, neither rain, nor wind, nor threat of tornado and even potential of snow halted the steady progress of hearty sewers ready to take on the All Iowa Sewing Adventure.

It used to be if it was rainy, business in a fabric store could be brisk as gardeners were kept from tending to lawn and garden.  A sunny day meant that sewers abandoned their sewing machines for their garden gloves.

However, it seems (these days)….rain drives sewers indoors as they want to sew.  Sun makes people happy and want to sew.  Wind makes them shudder and want to sew.  Threat of storms makes us cuddle our loved ones and want to sew.  Reading about weather anywhere else in the world stirs a desire to give to others makes people want to sew.

Seems like a pattern happening here.  Any day is a good day to sew.  A trip across the state of Iowa will make you want to sew!

Jolley…Lots of Fun

Lee’s Quilt Shed of Jolley, Iowa shares their home area with Twin Lakes–North and South Twin with many opportunities for water sports and play in the park. The Pomeroy Tornado Museum and the Manson Impact Structure featuring the crater whichis buried beneath the surface so it cannot be seen, there are bits of history and intrigue all about.

Lee tells about her shop,

We are a friendly and helpful group at the store.  We have lots of fun here!

Siblings Available for Adoption

Remember all the things you didn’t want to share with your sisters? 

Share your doll and she gave it a haircut? Share your favorite earrings and she always lost one.  Share your favorite blouse and she stained it with spaghetti sauce?  By the time you got to be a teenager, you knew better than to share your boyfriend!!

But seriously, all sibling rivalries aside, as we mature….

We realize that these sisters sometimes become friends.

And sometimes our friends become our sisters.

So is it any surprise that you would be inviting your sister-friends and your friend-sisters on the Amazing All Iowa Sewing Adventure?!

Smiles traveled the state as inspiration abounded among the happy travelers!!  Our friends at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods happily snapped these photos of sisters traveling the state.

We not only had sisters traveling together but sisters who brought daughters and nieces and more friends.  What a terrific hobby to share with kindred spirits!

It is never too late to adopt more siblings and you don’t even have to do the paperwork.  As you journey the state, consider whom you might invite to take a Start Quilting class.  Join your friend and launch them on a hobby that is both endearing and engaging towards a lot of happy fun.

Planting Seeds…Growing a Forest of Inspiration!

The Quilted Forest of Forest City, Iowa is one of the most attractive store-fronts in the downtown area.  A spacious interior affords visitors a chance to enjoy great inspiration.  The store hosts bus tours, shop hops and provides a great attraction for the community.

Along with the Quilted Forest, owner Shelley Robson designs and offers her very popular Pieced Tree Patterns.  Visiting the store, you will get a chance to enjoy a wide array of choices.

A family run business, the Dan & Shelley Robson  tell:

We strive to show our customers that we care about them and their projects.  When they leave our store we want them to feel like they received the best customer service they’ve received at any retail store.  We also pride ourselves on planting the seeds for future projects so they’ll want to come back.

While perusing the north-central community, be sure to check out other sites of interest  in the area.

  • Forest City is the home of Winnebago Industries, manufacturing Winnebago Homes.  Tours are available.
  • Pilot Knob State Park is the sight of one ofhte highest pints in the state of Iowa with great hiking, picnic areas and an observation tower that gives you a great view as much as 30 miles away.
  • Heritage Park of North Iowa is a 91-acre site dedicated to preservation of America’s rural heritage.