Our daughter, also a quilter, joined us for day 2.
The day began early as we left her house around 8. After a quick stop for coffee, we headed down the road. Making our way along I-90, so close to the Iowa border we could almost see it, we stopped at Old Alley Quilt Shop in Sherburn. You can find more photos and info on their website.
The two owners had been school teachers and friends and shared a love of antiquing. Sharon was the quilter with Becky having no interest in it. During those antique-hunting trips, Sharon would drag Becky through some quilt stores and somehow, neither can quite remember how it happened, a quilt shop business idea was born. The big question was where. Sharon had lived in Sherburn for many years and had never thought that the old bowling alley would make a good business. Goodness, it had been abandoned for five years. After a quick inspection at 4:30 pm on Halloween night of 2003, they discovered this “diamond in the rough” complete with bowling balls, pins, and even cases of beer. Using a flashlight, brave Becky inspected the building walking through to the back while Sharon stayed and guarded the front door.
Becky’s husband, Joel, counseled them, “Don’t let a hole in the roof stop you.” So with that advice, they bid a $1.00 and scored the building for $125.00 after additional fees.
Renovations took a full year, even with the help of family and friends, and finally on October 30, 2004, they opened their door for business. By now they’d moved the front door to the side of the building and added windows.
Extra original flooring was used as a cutting counter.
When you visit Old Ally Quilt Shop (it is worth traveling out of your way for), be sure to look on top of the shelves as you will find more antique sewing machines.
Sharon has her mother’s and her grandmother’s machines on display and says that people are now bringing their old machines to them.
The inside of the shop was furnished by dumpster diving and curb shopping. They held a rummage sale selling off the items found in that old building.
So where was Becky today? She’s gone fishing. According to Sharon, “Becky has come a long way (she now quilts and runs the longarm). I don’t fish.”
If you get the chance, and it’s worth going out of your way to find it, do stop in at Old Alley Quilt Shop to look around, talk to the gals, look at their scrapbook of before and after pictures, and of course, shop. Tell the gals that Tu-Na sent you.
During our drive we enjoyed watching a storm build.
There’s much more to tell when I get home and have better internet connections. In the meantime, here’s the three of us at the end of the day.
We each earned a 12 fat quarter bundle of Ariel by Robbin Rawling from Quilting Treasures.
What I Learned Today:
- There’s beauty even in storm clouds.
- Quilters and quilt shop owners are some of the friendliest people I’ve met.
- A bowling alley makes a great quilt shop.
We didn’t get any photos of all of us while you were here! Guess we won’t be in the blog posts–visually anyway 🙂
No, we didn’t. I guess I was too excited to finally see my friend!
Sounds like you are having fun.
Yes, fun but exhausting!
Karen, THANK YOU for such kind words. Your post today was wonderful. We are honored and proud to be featured as a top shop today. How are you doing on your quest for the complete state? I am looking forward to your blog each day.
Hi, Sharon! The quest continues but we are nearing the end; just a couple of days to go yet. It’s been an amazing adventure. I’ve received lots of positive response about your shop!
How lovely… Wish I could tag along 😱
Thanks. Just keep checking back to see what happens on the next day.
I have been keeping up with your adventures…thanks for sharing!
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What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing this one. You are filling up the car already, and it’s only been two days! How fun that your husband likes to quilt, too. My DH used to have his own list of longarm customers for doing pantographs, ’cause I didn’t like doing them. It’s great to share an interest!
Sharing an interest is what makes for a great lifetime companion. I wonder what the car will look like after a few more days…not to mention the credit card.
Sounds like a fun trip! We just got back from Missouri and KY, I got to go to a few different shops and it was super fun. Hubby has not seen bill yet….and he keeps finding more quilts shops asking me do you want to stop?
What an enabler you have! It can be shocking! I will post a pic of all my loot after I get home…But it might be embarrassing!
Sounds like you are having a great trip. I just love finding those little shops with stories! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us!
Thanks, we are having a great trip. So much to see. If only we had more time and could look around each area even more.
You’re welcome. Glad you are enjoying them too. I think it would be fun to travel another state’s quilt shop hop. I wonder if I could convince my husband to go.
You are welcome! It’s been fun seeing what’s around each bend in the road.
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What a great story about this shop! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked it.
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