Sweet Tea Fabric Party at Mill House

Sweet Tea Fabric Party at Mill House

I just wanted to share with you a recent event I attended.  A few days ago my quilting friend and I took a short road trip over to Mill House Quilts in Waunakee, WI,  for their special event featuring KariAnne Wood called “Sweet Tea Fabric Designing & Home Décor Party”.

KariAnne Wood designs fabric for Hoffman Fabrics and writes a very successful decorating & lifestyle blog:   Thistlewood Farms.  She’s been featured in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, Country Living, Country Woman, HGTV Magazine to name a just a few.  And her work has been featured on several TV programs, such as “Tiny House Nation”.

And the event featured her newest line of Hoffman fabric called “Sweet Tea”in two different colorways … Here’s a link:  KariAnne Wood, Designer


I expected to learn something about her new line (which we did), and maybe a thing or two about the process of how she designs her fabrics (which we also did).  But what I didn’t expect was to be delightfully entertained and literally “in stitches” laughing for over an hour.  She was wonderful.

KariAnne not only showed us all of her newest fabrics, but had on display dozens of ideas of ways in which to use her fabrics–not just in our quilts, but also in our homes.  She talked about aprons, napkins, tablecloths, chair covers, pillows…the list of ideas went on and on.

At the end of her lecture, we were each treated to a sweet charm pack of her fabrics including a spool of thread and an embroidery scissors!  So sweet!  Thank you KariAnne!


So if you’re lucky enough to have KariAnne come to your area, be sure to go on a road trip to see her.  You’ll thoroughly enjoy her!

I only wish I had taken more photos of the beautiful sample items she had on display to share with you.  If you’re interested, you can check out some more photos on Mill House Quilts FACEBOOK PAGE HERE.  (see their mid-October posts).

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Road Trip to Bayfield & Orchard’s Ridge Quilt Shop

Road Trip to Bayfield & Orchard’s Ridge Quilt Shop

We decided to end the summer with a road trip to Bayfield, WI.  We’ve been there several times over the past 5 years, and have always loved it.  If you’ve never been, you have to put it on your “bucket list”.  For a community of only a little over 500 people, it’s brimming with things to do and see.  Fabulous shops and food, too.

Some of the things we’ve enjoyed on our visits have been

  • The boat tours put on by Apostle Island Cruises.  Our favorite so far was the “Grand Tour”, which takes you all around the islands–all the way out to Devil’s Island.  You can experience the views of the sea caves, lighthouses, and shoreline.  This time we tried the glass bottom boat shipwreck tour.  Unfortunately, the recent storms/wind created murky water, so we didn’t see anything through the “glass bottom”, but we did have an enjoyable cruise and saw a couple of shipwrecks in shallower water.
  • Cornucopia (at the tip) to hike the trail at Meyer’s Beach back into the sea cave area.
  • The Bayfield Ghost & History Walk is a lot of fun–the guide (dressed in costume) weaves a few ghost stories into the history of the lighthouses and Bayfield area as you walk through town and see the sights at dusk.

There’s so much more to do, and we still haven’t taken the ferry to Madeline Island or caught a show at the Big Top Chautauqua.  I’d love to kayak the sea caves.  And I bet it’s beautiful with the trees turning in fall for the Apple Festival or the Lighthouse Festival.  And in the winter there’s the ice caves (if conditions permit).

But of course the trip wouldn’t be complete until I stopped at a few of the local quilt shops!


From their website

My first stop was at Orchard’s Edge Quilt Shop, which used to be located at the edge of an actual orchard out in the nearby countryside, but has recently moved to downtown Bayfield.  It’s the cutest little 2-story building on the corner of Broad Street & Rittenhouse Avenue.

Bayfield Qu1

Facing away from the Lake

Only a few blocks from the docks of the Apostle Islands Cruises and the Madeline Island Ferry, you can see views of Lake Superior from their front door.

The store is charming and jam-packed with great inspirational projects lining the walls and shelves.  Fabulous fabrics and kits, everywhere I looked I got distracted from all the beautiful things to see.


Bayfield Qu2

Joe–co-owner of the shop.

I met Joe, who co-owns the store with his mom.  I was so impressed with his quilting knowledge.  For example, I was looking for a particular Moda fabric to finish a quilt and just with a description, he knew the name of the line, who designed it, and where it had been in the store (before it was sold out, unfortunately).  And we talked extensively about different pattern and fabric designers, several he had met.


Front of the shop–lots more in the back.

I highly recommend stopping if you’re in the Bayfield area.

I’ll share another stop with you on my next post.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Road Trip to Some of the Quilt Stores Southwestern Wisconsin

So the weather was perfect and my hubbie wanted to take me along on a road trip to see some Indian Mounds at Nelson Dewey State Park by the Mississippi River this past week.  On the way he surprised me by making stops at several quilt shops along the way (what a sweetie!).


Our first stop was Petals & Patches in Belleville.  I just love the atmosphere in this quaint quilt shop in an older two-story building downtown.  There are so many rooms to explore–upstairs and down.  It took quite awhile to see everything.  I found three lovely background fabrics (Hoffmann by McKenna Ryan) that will work as perfect backgrounds for my landscape art quilts.  I also found a cute chickadee fabric in the Christmas area.  Andi (the owner’s daughter) waited on me, and gave me permission to take her photo (see below).  She was so helpful!


Patches & Petals, 13 W. Main Street, Belleville, WI


to the right as you come in…


To the left as you walk in…


Andi was so helpful and friendly.


View overlooking the front of the store from upstairs.


One of many rooms to explore–this one has baby fabric.



The next stop on the way was Quilter’s Compass in Monticello.  Their beautiful store is also in an older building on the corner downtown.  There’s lots of light coming in the large front and side windows to brighten up the huge room as you explore all the fabrics they carry.  Everything is nicely organized.  They carry a lot of wonderful Moda fabrics I love (including precuts).  The salesperson didn’t want me to take her photo, but she did allow me to take several photos.  I found a fat quarter (last one!) of a paisley Moda “Double Chocolat” that I needed to stretch my leftovers into projects.  You never know what treasures you’ll find.


Quilter’s Compass, 201 N. Main Street, Monticello, WI


To your left as you walk in the door


to your right as you walk in … and there’s more in the back, as well as a huge classroom.


Beautiful countryside–you can see for miles.


Bet it’s gorgeous in the autumn!



Our last stop was a quilt store in Darlington called Pins and Pieces.  The owner, Heidi, was there to welcome us and allowed me to take her photo.  She has a great sense of humor–I loved the Saturday Hours sign:  “9-ish to 4-ish”.  Even though it’s a smaller store in comparison to the other two, it’s jammed packed full of great fabrics.  In addition to selling fabrics, Heidi does alterations and has a fabulous collection of zippers and other sewing notions.  She tells me there will be a quilt show in Darlington this September, and that she’ll be a vendor at the Quilt Expo.  (That reminds me…I need to make decisions on workshops and send in my registration!  Have you registered yet?)


Pins & Pieces, 208 Main Street, Darlington, WI


Heidi (owner) working in the back of the store; so cheerful & welcoming.


Relatively smaller, but jam packed with luscious fabrics!


Someone we met along the way suggested we lunch at the Potosi Brew Pub, and since it’s not too far out of our way (and we were hungry), we decided to go. It was well worth the trip through the beautiful rolling Wisconsin countryside.  The Pub is in the historic Petosi Brewing Company Building, which has exposed brick, tall ceilings, and a beautiful wood carved bar.  We didn’t take the time for the tour, but the food and service was excellent.  We’ve got it in our Garmin so we will have to stop in again soon.


The Nelson Dewey State Park was awesome…breathtaking views of the Mississippi Valley from the bluff.  The Indian Mounds were a bit disappointing, as they were difficult to make out in the brush and overgrowth, but Dave got some photos…while I snapped a few shots of the spectacular views.



All in all, it was a great day.


These are just a few of the wonderful quilt stores we have in Wisconsin.  We didn’t have time to visit more  on our way to the Mississippi, but there are several more in the area.  I hope if you’re a Wisconsinite, or a summer vacationer here from out of state, that you’ll stop by and explore more of them!

Bye for now…  and HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Winter Quilt Retreat at the Jones Mansion Retreat Center–Priceless

Winter Quilt Retreat at the Jones Mansion Retreat Center–Priceless

I just got back from a week-end quilting retreat at the Jones Mansion Retreat Center in beautiful Mineral Point, Wisconsin.  The February weather was cooperative–no icy or snowy roads to contend with.  Mineral Point is only an hour’s drive southwest of Madison, but I still hate to drive on icy roads.  I’ve been coming to the Mansion for over ten years, and every time I step over that threshold I feel like I’m being transported in to a simpler, more peaceful time in history and instantly feel relaxed.  What a great place for a quilting retreat!

Front Entry to the Jones Mansion in Summer

Front entryway to the Jones Mansion in summertime

This retreat was organized by the owner, but there are other retreats to join in with–or you can create your own.  For this retreat, I came with a friend, and others joined us–some I knew, some I met for the first time.  (Aren’t quilter’s the best people?)  We all brought our own projects to work on, and because the third floor has been made into the perfect work space, we can easily share ideas, chat, and just enjoy the creativity going on in the room.


I’m an early riser (still PJs)–anxious to start a new project.


Looking at some “show & tell”









We’ve got the freedom to quilt whenever we feel like it–early in the morning, or late into the night.  There’s several tables in the room with extension cords, Ott lighting, and the dormers each have large ironing stations and cutting tables with mats (which means less to pack!) 🙂  It’s fun to see what everyone’s working on.


Cutting table in one of the dormers (ironing station on right


View from the 3rd Floor in Fall

I was in my favorite room this time–“the Master”, although I’ve stayed in almost all the rooms at the Mansion and love each one.  Every bed has a hand made quilt…some share bathrooms, some have adjoining bathrooms, most have 2 twin beds, one has 3, and a few are single rooms…but all are very comfortable and welcoming.  I don’t have photos of all the bedrooms, but here’s a few…   the Mansion will hold up 12 very happy campers.


Each room has its own personality


Each bed has a hand-made quilt


Claw foot tubs & beautifully renovated fixtures


This room looks out onto a porch.

Each of us shared the cooking responsibility–we had Saturday night (soup and salad)…simple.  We all eat in the downstairs dining room.  Such beautiful woodwork and hand-painted wallpaper (original).  Lori (the owner) can tell you all about the history of the house and how she so lovingly restored it back to its former glory.


Notice the beautiful built-in cabinets


…hand painted wallpaper (orig), fireplace & deep window seats

Sometimes we relax with tea and snacks in the sitting room.  And at night (one of the perks of being there in the wintertime), Lori can start a wood fire in the fireplace.  We bring our knitting and handwork and enjoy it.


Friend (Jean) enjoying tea & treats.


Sitting room with fireplace & large window seat.


Becky showing us her new quilt

My favorite spot in the Mansion is the front staircase with the large balcony overlooking the first floor entryway hall…


2nd Floor Balcony overlooking the first floor entry fireplace with stairs behind

And if you look up, you’ll see the beautiful stained glass skylight that floods the second floor with light.  Each of the bedrooms have large transoms that filter light into each room.  Wasn’t the builder forward thinking for 1906!


Close-up–this would make a great quilt!


Stained Glass Skylight

Here’s what it looks like from the third floor…or course there’s a quilt on the wall!  …and a photo-op with the lovely owner & hostess, Lori Bartol.


3rd floor view of skylight (stained glass is below)


Lori (the good looking one on your left) at summer retreat

Wish I had taken more photos–once I’m there, I’m so wrapped up in talking with people, sewing, and eating I forget to take any.  Lori has wi-fi at the Mansion, but I hardly checked my email.  In February it was so cold outside, but so cozy warm inside the Mansion that we didn’t want to leave, so we didn’t go downtown for a shopping spree this time–but downtown Mineral Point has a lot to offer in the way of unique shops and restaurants.  However, we did manage a quick side trip to the quilt store in Platteville called Hidden Quilts.  It’s not as “hidden” since they moved to a larger location on Main Street, and it’s always fun to go there.  I didn’t do too much “damage”–but couldn’t get away without buying something.  Be sure to stop if you’re in the area.

We also missed going to Hook’s Cheese, but if you ever go to the Mansion on a retreat, you HAVE to stop downtown Mineral Point at Hook’s Cheese on the day they make the fresh cheese curds!  …wow!  They also have award-winning Blue Cheese.


Making the fresh, squeaky, cheese curds at Hooks. YUM!

I’m coming home refreshed with all kinds of new ideas.  Isn’t it great to spend time with other quilters?  Each time I go I get what I like to call “Pearls of Wisdom from the Mansion”.  This time I learned about a new quilt store to check out in eastern Wisconsin that just opened, and learned how to create an apron from a recycled men’s shirt (Lori showed us how).  So cute.


“Modeling” our new aprons (Lori, Jean, me & Kathy)

For more history on the mansion, see the website on the history of the William Jones House.:   (But note that many of their photos are not up to date; they show the mansion in various stages.)

I can’t wait until the next time.  If you’d like more information, contact Lori at: The Jones Mansion, 215 Ridge Street, Mineral Point, WI 53565   (608) 332-7210, e-mail: jonesmansion@gmail.com

The Jones Mansion Retreat Center Website

Until next time,



Mulberry Patch Quilts