Saturday, August 22, 2015

My New Favorite Quilt Shop...


...is only 2400+ miles away from home (if you drive it, or just over 2000 miles the way the airplane flies)!!

While visiting DD#1 in New Hampshire this past week, we ventured into Maine to visit a couple of her favorite places (Two Lights State Park, and Portland Head Lighthouse), and to find a new favorite place--Cyndi's Busy Thimble quilt shop.
 Not your typical quilt shop, The Busy Thimble is off the beaten path in Litchfield, Maine, next to Cyndi's home. From the outside it appears to be a quaint little cottage, complete with the cottage garden.

Prepare yourself before entering, if you are a lover of 1800s repro fabric and mini quilts. This is my idea of quilting heaven. I think the term "system overload" describes the experience my daughter and I had here.
Look at those wonderful little quilts hanging behind us!
Cyndi is a delightful hostess, and if you can't be there during her usual Wed-Sat hours, she will try to accommodate you, if you contact her for an appointment. She opened up for us on a Monday morning.
 I have never seen so much repro fabric in one place before! As my friend, Grace, says she tells Cyndi whenever she visits--I'll take a yard of each!
 Every inch of space is filled with temptation. My daughter and I wandered through the aisles over and over again trying to focus and narrow down our choices. I am glad I had made a mental note of color holes in my stash so that I was able to finally settle down and make selections.
Look at the clever way Cyndi is displaying her Stars In A Time Warp blocks.
I didn't even get photos of the fabric on one whole side of the store, but I did get photos of the quilts on display--wall hangings and minis. I was in my element! Click on any photo to enlarge it.















This was not a small quilt, but look at those little blocks! I had my daughter stand by it to give perspective to their size.

The trip to Cyndi's was definitely worth it, and if repros are your thing, you may want to find a reason to find yourself in Maine!

















Maybe these reasons would help. Beautifully rugged coastline greeted us at every turn. It was breathtaking. Coming from a landlocked place, I am awed by the vastness of the ocean.



 Other than this Grand Day Out (for you Wallace and Grommit fans) in Maine, we spent most of the 8 days I was in NH chilling at home, playing with that terribly cute grandbaby (whose photos I cannot post), and trying our hand at some gluten free baking (the zucchini muffins were my personal favorite).

Oh, we did stop here for a few minutes after a run to the local library and bookstore. We just shopped the sale room and the 25 cent scrap bin.
I had to choose my fabric purchases carefully, because I only brought 2 carry on sized bags and they were already pretty full. With the two shops visited, this is what came home to enhance my stash.
The top "fan of fabric" was my haul from Cyndi's. I could have done so much more damage, but I focused on the purples, blacks, cheddars and greens--those reds and blues somehow slipped in on their own.
I bought 2 one yard cuts at Keepsake and found lots of batiks in their scrap bin, along with a couple of Kim Diehl neutrals, a great vintage patriotic print, and some checks and dots for the novelty pile.

Another thing I love in New England, besides the fabric stores, is all the covered bridges. On the way home from church Sunday we stopped at a couple for photo ops.
Had never seen a covered bridge until my first visit to New England 7 or 8 years ago, and then I just saw them from a distance. I had never been on a covered bridge until our first visit to DD#1 after their move here a few years ago.

When did this post become the travelogue that never ends?
I will close with a quilty tip. Before leaving for NH I was doing some "catch up" on my Attic Heirloom Ornament of the Month blocks, and was frustrated that when I tried to retrieve a ball of floss from the bowl by my stitching chair, I would often end up knocking another ball or two onto the floor as I dug for the right one.
At the local Ross store I saw these narrow wooden bowls or trays  for under $3. They hold about 8 balls of floss beautifully. No digging to find the needed color. I am all about finding pretty things for functional purposes. My sewing room is full of wood, wicker and wire containers. I try to keep the plastic hidden under tables and in closets. So this little tray is a much better option to me than the plastic drawer dividers that are currently in the closet. I like my containers to be aesthetically pleasing, if at all possible. Just another of my quirks that I have learned to live with. (Sorry, Mom, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition.)

Wow, did you really stay with me all the way to the end? If so, tell me how far you would have to go to get to the favorite quilt shop you have ever visited. My favorite used to be 2 hours away, but that one now comes in a distant second. : )

Until next time,
Janet O.

53 comments:

  1. Hello ! It's the first time I write a comment on your wonderful blog .... Thank you so much for sharing these lovely photos with us ! This shop is like....Heaven ! Why don't we have the same in France ??
    I'm glad you spent a lovely moment and your fabrics are sooooo cute !!
    I wish you a nice day !
    Hugs !

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  2. What a wonderful post! I stayed with you right to the end. I have ordered fabric from Cindi by telephone but I have never been there. Dropdead awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. you did new england fine janet...and i love the views of cyndis too....will definitely miss it when i go south....another visit soon maybe? and how did you limit yourself to just those fabrics????

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  4. I love reading your blog and this post is filled with so much eye candy. Thank you for taking the time to share your visit to the Busy Thimble. I read Cyndi's blog and hopefully will get to visit her shop sometime.

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  5. Wow! Beauty overload. In the shop and out. Thanks for a visual vacation.

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  6. Great post! Great trip too! I can easily see why your favorite shop is this one! All of those small quilts are exactly up your alley.And you found some nice enhancements for the stash.....I love the sound of a 25 cent bin! So glad you had a good visit and time with the grandbaby......love the covered bridge, just so quaint.

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  7. I love to read her blog. Thanks for sharing pictures of her shop.

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  8. Oh yes, I stuck around to the wonderful end :*) I love seeing thriving, successful quilt shops, and this one looks like a shop you would own yourself Janet! I could be looking at your quilt wall at home! Many of our local shops have closed over the past couple of years, but my favorite is still going strong. It is about 1-1/2 hours away, with my second favorite about 45 minutes away. Of course, I've found favorites in Waynesville NC where my mom lives, and also in Myrtle Beach where she and I go together each fall. But that's still not quite as far away as yours :*) So glad you were able to have a great visit with your daughter and the new grandlove!

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  9. There is never a question of whether I'd stick around to the very end. As soon as I read the first part, I told DH that now we can go to Maine ... he's been chomping at the bit to go to Maine, but I've been dragging my heels (it's so chilly there, there are no flat, walkable beaches, it's so far away, etc.). He tried to lure me by mentioning the lighthouses we'd see ... but NOW I have a reason to go! I would be in hog heaven in Cyndi's shop! I'm not sure I could have exhibited the restraint that you did ... I think I would have had to box up my stash enhancements and UPS them back home ahead of my return. My favorite quilt shop is Homestead Hearth, which is 2-1/2 hours away. But I'd love to be able to say that my favorite shop is 20-1/2 hours away. ;-) It sounds like you had a wonderful trip to NH ... a new favorite quilt shop, time with your daughter and with that new little one.

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  10. Thanks for your kind words and lovely post, Janet! I was thrilled to be able to meet a fellow blogger (esp. one from all the way across the country!). And knowing that your daughter and beautiful new granddaughter live next door in NH, I can see that you will make frequent trips to this neck of the woods!!

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  11. I would truly love to live near this quilt shop myself. I can see by the photo's that there is so much to inspire one's quilting. Love the fabrics and displays. Love the Lighthouse and Covered Bridge! And the little wooden bowl to use for your thread is just perfect. I love to use things that I enjoy seeing and can be an addition to my decor as well as being useful. Great post, truly enjoyed my visit here today.

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  12. You were very prudent in your purchases. I would need only a 4.5" strip from Cyndi's. I love seeing the Stars in a Time Warp hanging there. Glad you got to go. My Favorite Quilt Store is the eeschenck's Warehouse. Floor to Ceiling of Bolts, Books, Notions and Patterns. It's 4-5 hours away, if I stop at the Taco Time in the Dalles.

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  13. Looks like a fun trip and lots of fun goodies... I would someday like to visit that area of the USA

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  14. My favorite quilt store is still in my own county but I would sure love to visit Maine :-) The coastal pictures you included are beautiful. Cyndi's quilt shop is yet another reason to want to go to Maine. Great post!

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  15. Wow! I've always wanted to see what Cyndi's shop looked like. I think I would have been shipping a bunch home. It must have been extremely hard to show self control. I know it would have been for me. Glad you got to go and fun and play with the baby, of course.

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  16. I've never been to New England but this shop is sure a gem to visit, along with all that beautiful scenery! What a fun way to spend time with your daughter and granddaughter! The new home for your perle balls is s great reuse too. I like wire. Wood and wicker too--and pottery!

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  17. I live in Massachusetts in the summer and did not make it to ME this year but I have done business with Cyndi on line and she is lovely and so helpful. lucky you to have met her in person.

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  18. I am impressed by your ability to control your purchases!! You chose some beautiful fabrics and I can't wait to see what you do with them. I love the samples!! That shop sounds like a great excuse to go visit your daughter more often!! Hope you had fun with the baby, too!

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  19. Hello Janet!! So nice to see a post from you as it has been so long since I've had a chance to catch up. Looks like a wonderful trip! I love Cindy's blog and drool at her photos...would love to be able to stop by some day myself. The fabrics you chose look so wonderful. I bet you loved all those small quilts hanging!!

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  20. Oh my! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Love the coast and light houses. I would just fall in love with that quilt shop! So many things to look at and so much fabric! Amazing!
    Kristie

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  21. WOW!! I can see why you love that shop!! Boy, is that you perfectly!! And sounds like you had a wonderful trip!!

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  22. Oh my Janet - what a great posting - thank you for taking us along. How did you manage to ever leave that fabulous shop? The photos make me want to "energize" myself as in Star Trek. Know we will be seeing some wonderful new projects using those gorgeous fabrics you brought home. All quilters should ask the airlines for a special cargo hold just to handle fabric purchases. You must have had a very special trip being with family & shopping!

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  23. I have had to read your blog post twice, once to read it then go back and enlarge all the pictures and admire the eye candy...thank you for all the pictures! I am close to drooling! OK my favorite shop, I think cos I have never been there, is about a two hour drive away...it specialises in reproduction fabrics. In fact I think she only stocks repros. But ten years ago when we lived here I did love repro's and never got there. Now its my ambition to go before the end of the year! I promise to take photos!

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  24. Oh my, oh my!! I have NO reason to visit Maine, but might have to go there just to visit Cyndi's!! What an absolutely lovely shop!!! Actually it shouted "Janet" to me - such lovely fabrics and fabulous small quilts!!!

    So glad Grand Daughter is doing well. Looks like Mom is doing well also!!

    I LOVE that wooden dish!! So perfect!! What a great find!! Of course I love all those perfect fabrics!!

    I laughed out loud about the "preposition"!!!! I'm not sure the "new" generation even knows what that is!!! My grandmother was a stickler for grammar correctness, so I passed it on to my children!! They get accused of being "stickler English teachers"!!!

    Blessings and hugs!

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  25. i just had to go back for another look...LOL...and i go there at least once a month....but i too wander up and down the aisles aka pathways drooling at the luscious fabric; i always see something new when i go there. it truly is a candy shop for repro fabric lovers. and i am rethinking my statement...i want 2 yards of everything!!!!!

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  26. I've never been to Maine; have never even wanted to before, but your post today has me dreaming. I'm sure that's as close as I'll ever be, but I surely would love to visit that shop! Thanks for sharing your fantastic pictures. ---"Love"

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  27. Oh Janet, it sounds like you had a fabulous time - your new favourite shop is gorgeous, sigh, if I ever get to Maine....!! hehe my favourite quiltshop is 20 mins from home - how can I say anything else since I work there... but do enjoy finding new lovely spots to explore. Glad to hear the grandbaby is doing well, and your additions to your stash are just lovely.

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  28. Glad you had such a great trip with your daughter and family. And of course, I'm happy that you found such an awesome quilt shop - it looks like my kind of place! Love the fabric that you picked out (of course!) and am impressed with your restraint! I also love your wooden dish for your floss. My cats would probably think those were toys and steal them, but it sure is a good way to hold the ones that you are currently using. Some of my favorite "far away" shops are in Wisconsin. So many quilt shops, so little time!

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  29. What a great haul... from a wonderful vacation! Love your new acquisitions!
    And that store is what I call heaven... especially for miniature lovers!

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  30. Sounds like a trip to the Busy Thimble is in order! I just google mapped it... and it's a 6 hour drive from my front door! lol! :-) Looks like you had so much fun and found a great stash of fabrics too!

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  31. Lovely post! Fun to see the Cascadia quilt hanging there!

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  32. Wowzers - what a great quilt store you got to visit - definitely a must see if I'm ever in the area (NOT) Fun to see the covered bridges - and the light house - so different from home, huh? Glad you got to spend so much quality time with your family - I'm sure ALL of you were happy about it.

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  33. So much eye candy! Sounds like a great shop! I would have a hard time picking just one shop as a favorite...but one that makes the top 3 is only an hour away from me know that I live in Virginia! It's Millstone Quilts in Mechanicsville, VA. :)

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  34. Once I get home from Texas my fave is still The Gathering Place, two hours away! I can't wait to gather up my quilting buddies that I haven't seen for a year and head down the road! I loved my trip to Maine and Vermont a few years ago, but my heart belongs to The Gathering Place.

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  35. Yummyscrummy shop! I can see why you enjoyed yourself......many mini quilts to get you dreaming up a storm!

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  36. I have to agree with you, Janet and Cyndi's is my fave shop as well!

    We were in Maine a couple of weeks ago on vacation but I couldn't convince my DH to drive down to Augusta this time around. We're planning another trip in the late fall so I'm hoping I'll make it then.

    Sounds like you had a great trip. What can be better than quilt shops and grandbabies?

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  37. Wow Janet from all accounts you had a wonderful trip, complete with a covered bridge! Never been to NH but I can vouch for the beauty of Maine. I'll be certain to keep Cyndi's place in mind should I find myself anywhere close. Your wood bowl looks like it might have been intended for an ear of corn. Sandi

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  38. So super fun! Wish I could have been with you two :)

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  39. What a lovely accumulation of fabric. Anxious to see what you do with them.

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  40. How fun to spend time with your DD and quilting! Combine that with east coast scenery and you've got a winning trip. Thanks for taking us along.

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  41. what an amazing shop - wow! I've heard of it but never dreamed how wonderful it is. I'll have to add it to my list of things I have to do.
    What beautiful travel photos - the light house and porch, oh my! I'll bet you're missing that baby!

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  42. Wow! What a neat shop! We visited New England, including Maine, 3 years ago and went to many quilt shops that were unique, but I don't think I got to that one, even though we were close to it when we traveled to Bar Harbor, ME. We did get to Keepsake Quilting, though. My favorite quilt shop before moving to OR was 30 minutes away from our TX home and I haven't found one to compare to it, although the one in our town is very nice. My favorite TX shop would be about 2,000 miles away now. I have been following Cyndi's blog for a while. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!

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  43. I can definitely see why this shop is your new favorite... it has "JANET" written all over it! I'm so glad that you found such a wonderful shop that seems to have been created just for you. Oh, BTW, I can certainly see Grace there too! ;) I know you had a too-short visit to New England, I hope you got in enough hugs and cuddles to tide you over 'til next time.

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  44. I enjoyed your whole post and especially catching up with you! It's a bummer that your new favorite shop is so FAR AWAY! LOL! I thought a forty minute drive was a long one. Actually, my very favorite quilt shop is Olde Quilt Shoppe in New Jersey. Sigh. I don't make it there very often! Teehee! And for your mom (and the English teacher in me) . . . "Just another of my quirks with which I have learned to live." BAHAHAA! :)

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  45. It is too bad Cyndy's is about as far away from me as possible! It looks completely amazing!

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  46. What a Lovely Quilt shop..Love the wide floor & wall boards..and my heart is still beating fast from gazing at all that gorgeous fabric!......What a very nice trip you had...I Love it here myself..
    Blessings
    Debra in W. Ma.

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  47. I've been every place you wrote about - love them all. Especially liked your photos and your comments about each place you went.

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  48. I think I have shopped online at Busy Thimble. That shop is just crammed full of all kinds of goodness. I could break the bank there.

    I have been a fan of covered bridges since I was a child and my father took us to see one. We have tracked down many of them over the years.

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  49. That looks like a lovely part of the country! What a treasure that quilt shop is! Isn't it fun to discover new favorite places? Now you have another excuse to make more trips to see your daughter - not that you need one! :) I'm impressed with your self control - I would have been in a lot of trouble there!

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  50. The Busy Thimble is my favorite shop. Cyndi is great and so helpful, her fabrics are fabulous, and no matter how many times I enter....am always in awe of her many small quilts she has done. My hubby even enjoys going in there to look around; and appreciates all of Cyndi's work also. Always fun to check out her bargain fabrics too before entering the shop.

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  51. Thanks to your pictures of Busy Thimble I found a fabric I am looking for since a moment!
    I contacted Cyndi and she has been very helpful and now I have my fabric! :))
    Best wishes!

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  52. I'm quite behind in reading blogs but I was thrilled to see that you were definitely in your element at Cyndi's. You found quite a few pretties to bring home but...next time, I would bring a bigger bag...just in case :)
    I can't say that I have just one fav store...each one offers something a little different. Now if I get to visit the paperpieces store next year with Denise that might be an easy win....

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  53. I read this post a while back, but before I started on my current big project. Today I noticed the mini on the wall that is like my big one. Wish I knew the name of the pattern; do you? Thanks for sharing all the beautiful pictures. I enjoyed them all over again! ---"Love"

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