It's finals week. But it's still busy!
Yesterday, I did not get a blog post in, becasue I went to Lansing for the day and taught a workshop at our state autism conference. I think it went okay.
On the way home, I was thirsty. I decided to pull off the freeway at a McDonald's to get a Diet Coke. (Don't you love McDonald's all-sizes-of-sodas-are-$1 deal?! I do.) As I was pulling into the town at which I exited the freeway, I saw a sign that said I was in the town of Charlotte, MI.
"Oh, my gosh!" I thought. "I have always wanted to come to Charlotte, because there is a quilt store here all my primitive friends rave about! I wonder if I have time to sneak in a quick trip?" I looked at my clock. It was only 4:15 pm. "I can do it," I thought. I figured I could make a stop and still be home around 6:00 or 6:15 pm.
So, I got out my smart phone, googled the address, plugged it into my GPS, and off I went, Diet Coke in hand! I was only 5 min away! Woo Hoo!
The shop is called The Hen House, and you may have noticed it was recently featured in the Quilt Sampler as a destination quilt shop.
Here is a closer look at the window display. I was so happy. Nothing tops off a long day of work (I was so tired from just having done a 3-hour presentation for about 160 people!) than enjoying a little fabric and quilting.
The window display also promised some nice English paper piecing projects inside! (You can see it was actually sunny here yesterday, too! It was a beautiful day. When I stopped in the shop, it was 64 degrees and sunny. I really needed that. Back to clouds and rain today, though.)
When you enter the shop, you are greeted by displays of antiques and wool work projects. There is a beautiful wool wall, with all sorts of wonderful wools. Also, there is a nice selection of Valdani threads and other things you might need for your wool work.
There is also a nice selection of Civil War fabrics. If you love Jo Morton, working small, "dark and dirty" fabrics, and the primitive style, this shop is for you. It is full of inspiration and fun stuff.
I always joke that I'm a "bipolar quilter." Someday I'll do a blog post on that. I like the bright moderns, but I also love the Civil War style. And though I haven't dared to try it yet, I really, really love the miniature quilts. This shop is so full of eye candy and inspiration for projects. Look at this display of miniature quilts. I think the patterns are Jo Morton, if I'm not mistaken. I think they are just wonderful.
The owner, Nancy, was there and we struck up a conversation. She was working on a gorgeous English paper piecing project, and I complimented her on it. The pieces she was working with were pretty small. She said, "If you think this is small, you should see what Elise is working on. It's tiny." I saw this project over on the table and asked if that was it. Oh, my goodness! Isn't it amazing?! Maybe you can get a sense of the scale of this project as you see it's laying on an open magazine.
I could have stayed in this shop for hours just poking around. There were so many neat antiques, finished quilts, and little stuff to play with. There were English paper piecing projects, velvets, fun threads, notions, wool, fabric, punchneedle projects, wool rug projects, etc. The store is small, but it's one of those shops that just has the most interesting stuff everywhere you turn and the nicest people working there. I had fun talking to Nancy and Elise. What a pleasure to just hang out with them.
While I was there, I reminded Nancy that I had seen her at a trunk show in Battle Creek once. I told her how I really wanted to learn to hook wool rugs ('cause you all know I need another hobby and more stuff to do!). I have had a hard time being able to come to one of her classes when they are offered, due to my schedule. Nancy said I could call her and just come up for a day, and she'd teach me. So, I picked up this small wool rug project and am going to make an appointment with her sometime in the next few weeks (now that school is out and Sweet Pea is still in school for a while) to learn. I am really excited. How nice is that of her to let me come and learn from her on her time?
This is a wonderful shop. I highly recommend it if you are in the area. If you like brights and modern, you won't find it here. Come here if you are looking for the primitive style, Jo Morton style, wool work, and miniature quilts. You'll find a ton of fun stuff to capture your attention. And you can't imagine a nicer shop owner and staff.
I felt bad after I left, because I realized I didn't even make it into the back room, which I think is the classroom. I was on The Hen House Facebook page this morning and saw photos of the back room. It even had basket weaving materials in it. There were Facebook posts of the "Crankers" group--a group that does all their sewing on hand crank sewing machines. (Wouldn't I love to have one of those machines?!) I believe Nancy has lots of different sewing groups you can get involved in. Check out their Facebook page for lots of fun photos.
EDIT: I went back to the shop for a rug hooking lesson and blogged lots of photos of the classroom here if you are interested!
You can shop on-line at The Hen House website. In addition, there is also a gallery of projects, a class list, etc. on the website.
Sue, if you haven't been to this shop before, you would love it.
Everytime I think I'm kind of "over" the primitive stuff, I realize I'm not really. This shop could so easily suck me back in! I'll keep you posted on my wool rug working!
Hope you enjoyed the review. I tell you, it just made my day to add a little fabric love to it, especially because I got absolutely NO sewing done this weekend. I spent a better part of Sunday in my office, preparing for my presentation. So, it was nice to sneak in a little fiber and fabric inspiration. Thank you Nancy and Elise for being the highlight of my day!
Until next time,