Friday, August 10, 2012


It's been another incredibly hectic week of work deadlines here at Ashton House, but it's also been an enjoyable one, thanks to friends and family. Yesterday morning, my hubby surprised me by fixing me mini Hello Kitty pancakes before heading off to work. Aren't they cute?!

He knows I'm a Hello Kitty fan, so he bought me an HK pancake maker earlier this year. Hello Kitty is a nostalgic thing for me as I can remember my mom buying me little HK notebooks and stickers when I was a kid. I guess a bit of our childlike selves lives on in us adults!

I was so grateful to get out of the office on Monday for a fun quilting road trip. My friend Belinda took me and some friends to Omaha to visit the new AccuQuilt facility, and then to Fremont to visit some antiques shops and Country Traditions quilt shop. Belinda recently won top honors in AccuQuilt's Barn Quilt Block contest and as a result, her winning design is now displayed on the building (see below photo). As the grand prize winner, Belinda was invited to their big annual quilt retreat in June and she got to take one friend along. Her good friend Merry accompanied her there. Because Belinda could only take one friend to the retreat, she planned this follow-up visit to give the rest of her friends a chance to see her winning block in person. I don't usually get out that much to enjoy a day with friends, so I gladly accepted her invitation.

Once inside the building, we were pleasantly greeted by a receptionist and given a tour. As an antique quilt lover, I was especially delighted to find that they had an exhibit on antique quilts in their gallery. Alongside these gems of the past were modern counterparts made by members of the AccuQuilt team with AccuQuilt GO! dies. It was an intriguing blend of past and present.

This circa 1890 quilt is made of 3" blocks. 

The AccuQuilt version is this delightful 17" x 23" quilt made by Barbara Scott.

The sashing in this circa 1860 Double Nine Patch quilt, found in the Pennsylvania area, features appliquéd flower cornerstones. 

And here's the AccuQuilt twist on the previous quilt by Carolyn Marsh—her very first quilted project!

I go gaga for antique hexagon quilts, and this gorgeous 1840s English version was packed with them! I couldn't help but examine all the beautiful antique fabrics. Love this blue one!

And here is Linda P.'s 2012 version called Diamonds are Forever, made with a custom Go! die.

During the tour, I learned that all AccuQuilt employees can quilt two hours a week on company time. We enjoyed seeing their state-of-the-art work studio, which was well equipped with cutting tables, work stations, computerized sewing machines, and this wondrous wall of dies.

I think I might have to buy the new Reiko Kato dies. She has a very similar style to the Japanese quilter  Yoko Saito, who writes some of my favorite quilt books like this one. 

We even got to see the warehouse from which all the orders are shipped. Here's one of the many aisles stocked with AccuQuilt GO! and Studio dies. 

After the AccuQuilt tour, we stopped by The Quilted Moose in Gretna on our way to Fremont. It had been a few years since I'd visited the shop, so it was refreshing to see everything again. I remembered that they had a terrific assortment of Jo Morton prints and bought a few more to add to my stash.

After a wonderful lunch at J's Steakhouse in Fremont, we enjoyed checking out a couple area antique shops. I spotted this cool antique hardware cabinet at one of the shops.

And finally it was on to Country Traditions quilt shop, a-turn-of-the-20th-century building packed with more than 7,000 bolts of fabric. You might say it was 12,000 square-feet of quilted bliss!

As you can see, it was a fun-filled day of fabric and antiques. What more could you ask for?! A big thank you to Belinda for orchestrating the trip. In typical Belinda fashion, she had thought everything out so carefully beforehand and came prepared with directions, shop lists, bottled water, and granola bars. Thank you for taking such good care of us, Belinda!


  1. What an awesome trip! I loved seeing the antique quilts next to the modern version. And you definitely have a keeper of a husband....makes you cute pancakes before he heads off to work.....yep, that's a keeper! :o)

  2. What a great day out you had! I'm glad you got to meet my friend Linda P. I miss her at the monthly guild meeting. Love your little HK pancake maker! I just might have to get me one of those. LOL!

  3. What a great trip! Your quilt shops are wonderful but that cabinet with all the little drawers would have come home with me for sure! Can you just see them full of wool and threads? Have a great weekend!

  4. I love your Hello Kitty pancake maker - so fun!
    what a great post filled with so much wonderful eye candy. Loved the quilts! and great quilt shops.

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful day. I bet you were so inspired by the time you got home. Plus the added bonus of the little shopping side trip. Now that's my kind of job. Being able to quilt and get paid for it! Thanks for sharing your day out.

  6. It sounds like a wonderful trip. I love her barn quilt design. What a great pictorial tour you took us on! Thanks! Loved the hardware cabinet. Wouldn't it be handy storage in a quilt studio? Did it find its way home with you?

  7. Definitely a fun trip! I was interested in the gallery at the factory and the 'paid' quilting time for the employees.

  8. What cute pancakes! And pretty quilts. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thanks for sharing! Loved the quilts and quilt shops.


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