The Quilt Shop Navigator led us right to the door of The Fabric Stasher, just off the town square in Tipton IA.
The Fabric Stasher’s building apparently once held quite a different sort of stash. When Kerri and her partner Sheila renovated the building for their quilt shop, they found a cache of crystal decanters and wine and liquor bottles. Curious, they looked into the county records of the building and discovered that, during Prohibition days, the building was a pharmacy. Upstairs was a “Gentlemen’s Club” and speakeasy. The ‘pharmacy’ was fined $5000 – a serious sum in the 1920s – for illegal sale of alcohol on the premises.
It certainly doesn’t look particularly scandalous now, but the contents of the shop are no less intoxicating.
There were colorful sample quilts, fabric, and thread everywhere I looked.
One of the hottest classes in the store right now is based on Teacher’s Pet’s ‘Take Five Goes Crazy’, seen at the right, below. The bargello quilt on the left is also much in demand.
T-shirt quilts are always popular, as well.
But the real draw at The Fabric Stasher is their friendly, helpful service. Kerri and Sheila are unfailingly encouraging and give each customer personal attention. Their obvious affection for all of the quilters who frequent their store shone through every story Kerri told. One of their customers, Joan was sitting in the shop with her sewing project and talked about the support she’s received from Kerri, “I never thought I’d do a foundation piecing quilt, but Kerri encouraged me to try new things.”
Listen to what Kerri has to say about her customers:
We also met Kim, who had come in to drop off a quilt top her mother had made to be quilted. She echoed Joan’s endorsement of The Fabric Stasher as a quilt shop dedicated to welcoming all kinds of quilters, encouraging them to stretch their abilities and try new things, and, most of all, to make beautiful quilts.
When we asked Kerri about local quilting celebrities in Tipton, she immediately thought of Esther, a hand quilter who, at the age of 104, is still going strong. She still comes in every once in a while to pick up a new spool of thread, said Kerri. “She’s amazing!”
We think Kerri and The Fabric Stasher are pretty amazing, too.
Things to Know about The Fabric Stasher and Tipton IA
Facebook: The Fabric Stasher
Things to See and Do in Tipton:
The Old Cedar County Jail was used continuously from 1892 to 2001. It is probably the last “Mom and Pop” jail still standing in Iowa and possibly the nation. Located one block west of the Courthouse Square in Tipton, Iowa, consists of the jail and the Sheriff’s house. The Sheriff’s house was built in 1855. The facility was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Cedar County Friends of Historic Preservation are presently restoring the Sheriff’s residence.
Barn Quilts of Cedar County Cedar County joins many counties in Iowa to construct a “Clothesline of Quilts” across the state. The project began in Adam County, Ohio, to get people into economic depressed areas of South Ohio. Quilt blocks can be painted on barns, or other farm buildings or painted on a wooden frame and mounted to the building. People in the county have joined in the excitement and showcase smaller painted quilt blocks in the community. These are showcased on garages, fences, houses, yards and buildings. Note: You can pick up a brochure and map for the quilt trail at The Fabric Stasher. At Kerri’s suggestion, I chatted with Daisy, one of the founders of the Barn Quilts of Cedar County. She tells me that they are rapidly adding new quilt blocks and hope to have a complete list of the blocks on the town website in the near future.
Where to get lunch: Kerri recommended A Place to Land, just down the block from The Fabric Stasher. They feature gourmet coffee, homemade soup, and made-to-order sandwiches, all served in a comfortable environment with a trendy feel.
There’s still more to share about The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest — Day 3! Next time: The Village Smithy in Bishop Hill IL.