Saturday, February 5, 2011

A short road trip

Last Saturday it was 70 degrees.  In the past week the temperatures dropped to below zero and a nasty blizzard blew through.  Here is my deck in warmer times:

Here it is last week after I shoveled a path to the studio. 

 I think we only received 5 or 6 inches of snow but the wind blew it into big drifts.  Rosie had cabin fever and was determined to go outside in single digit temperatures.  She came back inside quickly.  Rohrschach however is apparently a Snowcat and stayed out for long periods before coming in to warm up.

Today I guess we had cabin fever and decided to make a short road trip to the little town of Alden, home of an amazing shop called Prairie Flower Crafts.  They were having a Superbowl Sale this week - about the only good thing I can think of associated with a football game.  Alden is really tiny - this is basically the main street with the shop on the right and the grain elevators at the end of the street. 

The shop was started in 1970 in the old Alden Mercantile and eventually it took over the whole block of buildings.  It is a maze of rooms filled with fabric going back many years; it's kind of a trip through the history of quilting fabrics!

It's a cool old building, with wood floors and high ceilings and many of the original store fixtures.  This is the entrance room which has craft items and knick-knacks in addition to fabric:

This room is the brightest of all (It's really kind of dark everywhere else) and has Jinny Beyer fabric dating  back a few centuries, well, decades anyway.  Also a nice selection of Liberty cottons and a huge range of imported Japanese cottons.  The older fabrics have the old prices on them - I bought some Jinny Beyer fabric that was $7.00/yard,

This is the flower room, with flowered fabrics and baskets.

In here are kitchen and food fabrics with cool old shop cabinets. 

Here is a room full of solids:

In here are Christmas fabrics, fabrics sorted by color and black and whites. 

Another old store fixture;

I bought a few things and enjoyed my trip through the history of quilt fabric!  They do have a website:  The lady that owns the store is getting along in years and I hate to think of Alden without her shop!

On the way home we stopped at a cafe in Sterling for a hamburger:

Then admired the wintry Kansas landscape;

There were lots of Red-Tailed Hawks, Marsh Harriers, camels and ostriches.

CAMELS AND OSTRICHES!!!!!!!  Yep - there is an exotic animal park outside of Hutchison where we saw them in the field.

I have been finishing up a quilt for our guild challenge, but I can't post pictures for a while - we're supposed to keep them a secret...


  1. Looks like you had an interesting day. The craft shop has some fun assortment of stuff to look through. I didn't think camels and ostriches lived in such a cold climate. Glad that you are having some better weather. Hope spring comes soon.

  2. Love the flower fabric and food-oriented fabric rooms. Love that there are rooms by type of fabric. Re aging owner: we just lost our cool fabric store in town, the owner, aged 80-90, decided to pack it in before she expired, leaving it to someone else to deal with. She sold everything for cheap, locked the doors and sold the building ASAP. The only good thing is that it is being reopened as our very own west-side (of town) Ace hardware store. We are so excited to only have to go 5 blocks for all our hardware needs. not that satisfying for quilting, though. Maybe you could take over, Jan? No, I like the idea of Mr. Petey standing behind the counter in his polka-dot suspenders, doling out the threads. :)