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The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest — Homeward Bound, Part 6: Threads of Tradition at Sauder Village in Archbold OH

Sauder Village Welcome Center

Threads of Tradition at Sauder Village is a destination quilt shop. It’s also a quilt shop in a destination. And it was also Frank’s favorite shop of all the shops we visited.

Founder Erie J SauderLet me tell you a little about Erie J Sauder and Sauder Village.

Erie J Sauder was a craftsman, an innovator, and an inventor. In 1934, he established a woodworking business in Archbold, making furniture, church pews, and cabinetry. During the course of his career, he also invented the first knock-down furniture which could be shipped in a flat box and easily assembled by the purchaser, a process which revolutionized the furniture industry. When he decided to retire from his successful companies in the mid ’70s, a love of history and the fine craftsmanship of his Mennonite heritage led him to found Sauder Village, a historical center dedicated to preserving and showcasing the craftsmanship of 19th century America and illustrating the progression of farming and industry into the early 20th century. Throughout the village, you will find costumed artisans demonstrating woodwork, blacksmithing, basketmaking, weaving, pottery, and every other craft necessary for a successful pioneer community. It’s a fascinating place, well worth spending a day among the authentic period cabins that comprise the village. We first stopped there years ago, and spent a delightful and informative afternoon wandering through the shops and chatting with the guides.

Historic Village Map

Frank is a committed woodworker and a history buff, too, but that was not why Threads of Tradition was Frank’s favorite stop.

And among its many attractions, Sauder Village also has Threads of Tradition, a truly marvelous quilt shop. The shop is located inside the Historic Village and shares a building with the Village Museum, but you don’t need to pay village admission to visit Threads of Tradition. Just ask for a shopping pass at the Admissions Desk in the Welcome Center.

Volunteer Imogene at Sauder VillageThe first person we met when we arrived at the Welcome Center was Imogene, a volunteer in the Historic Village who was waiting to meet her scheduled tour group. She has been volunteering at Sauder Village for “many years”.  She told us that she particularly enjoys telling school children about how families worked and lived together in older times.

Jeanette at Threads of TraditionAnd then we were greeted by Jeanette, who is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Sauder Village. Jeanette greeted us with passes into the village and offered to accompany us to the shop.

A short stroll across the grassy circle and along the path between the Cooper’s Shop and Anna’s Spinning Shop brought us to the Museum entrance.

Threads of Tradition and Museum Entrance

Threads of Tradition is just inside the door and to the right.

Jeanette and Lynnie Entering Threads of Tradition

You can’t miss it. The quilts spill out of the shop into the hall and draw you in.

Outside the Door of Threads of Tradition

And then you walk inside.

More Fabric at Threads of Tradition

Much of the fabric is displayed in gorgeous wooden cabinets, just what you’d expect in a shop inspired by Erie J Sauder.

Wooden Cabinets at Threads of Tradition

As you might expect from a quilt shop in a Historic Village, you’ll find lovely reproduction fabrics.

Fabric at Threads of Tradition

Challenge Fabric at Threads of TraditionBut there is an extensive array of brights and batiks, flannels and contemporary fabrics, too. In fact the theme of their 2014 Quilt Challenge is “Line Dance” and features a decidedly modern collection of stripes and dots from Michael Miller. It made me happy just to look at them.

The Challenge quilts will be displayed at the annual Sauder Village Quilt Show which will run from Tuesday, April 29 to Sunday, May 4, 2014. (More on the quilt show later.)

And, besides the visual carnival of fabric that fills Threads of Tradition, you’ll find a full complement of notions, patterns, threads, precut bundles, batting, and embellishments — anything and everything a quilter could possibly need or desire.

And, to pique your interest and fire your creativity, there are quilts everywhere you look. Like this amazing star quilt.

Patterns at Threads of Tradition

Or these modern interpretations of classic patterns.

More Colorful Quilts at Threads of Tradition

And these colorful examples that hang above a long rack of patterns.

More Quilts Above the Patterns at Threads of Tradition

And these lovely more traditional designs.

More Quilts at Threads of Tradition

And there is also an eye-catching assortment of smaller projects, too.

A Row of Small Projects at Threads of Tradition

But none of this is why Threads of Tradition was Frank’s favorite shop.

Jeanette introduced us to Glorabelle, one of the managers of Threads of Tradition. Glorabelle has been working at Threads of Tradition since ’95. While she’d been introduced to quilting before and had made a few baby quilts for her children, the encouraging environment at Threads of Tradition inspired her to expand her quilting horizons. She told us about their successful Saturday Sampler Block of the Month program for beginning quilters.

Quilt Show Announcement  smallJeanette and Glorabelle both waxed eloquent about Sauder Village’s annual quilt show. It is a glorious week filled with beautiful quilts, lively workshops and fascinating lectures by a noted guest quilter. This year’s special guest was Kim Diehl. Next year’s show is scheduled for April 29 – May 4, 2014, and will feature Gyleen Fitzgerald. More information about the 2014 Quilt Show will be coming at the end of year along with workshop registration and forms for entering quilts in the show, so be sure to keep an eye on the Threads of Tradition website and mark your calendars. In the meanwhile, take a peek at a few of the quilts from this year’s show on display in Sauder Village’s Founder’s Hall.

Sauder Village Quilt Show 2013 Picture 2

And Glorabelle gave me a quick tour of Threads of Tradition. This is the juvenile and flannel fabrics nook.

Glora Belle Takes Lynnie on a Tour of Threads of Tradition

And this is one of the cabinets bursting with tempting fat quarters and precuts.

Cabinet of Fat Quarters at Threads of Tradition

As you wander through Threads of Tradition, you’ll eventually find your way to the classroom.

Hand Quilting at Threads of Tradition

And there, almost every week day, you will find quilters gathered around a quilt frame.  Meet LuAnn, Freida, Marguerite, and Donna.

Quilters Around the Quilt Frame at Threads of Tradition

These ladies have been sitting and quilting together for decades. Some of their quilts are raffled to support the educational programs at Sauder Village. Others are commissioned works by talented local quilters and are sold to the public. And, as they quilt, they talk about old friends, children and grandchildren, neighbors, quilts they’d made, recipes, the weather — discussing the things quilters have always conferred about as they stitched.

They are always happy to show visitors their work and the finer points of hand quilting.

Donna was working on a beautiful feathered border.

Donna Quilts at Threads of Tradition

Marguerite stitched in the ditch along the boldly patterned sashing that framed the lovely traditional basket blocks.

Marguerite Quilts at Threads of Tradition

When we joined the conversation, they asked about our trip. Frank mentioned that we were scheduled to visit 34 quilt shops, but he hadn’t found a single lumber yard. Then, LuAnn piped up, “My son-in-law’s family has a lumber business! And they’re only five miles from here!” She pulled out her cell phone and began to dial. In short order, we had added King Lumber in Wauseon OH to our day’s itinerary.

King Lumber

We left Threads of Tradition bearing friendly messages for LuAnn’s son-in-law’s mother Ruth who used to quilt with the ladies at Sauder Village and is sorely missed. After a delicious lunch at the Barn Restaurant at Sauder Village, we drove from Archbold to Wauseon and found King Lumber. Half an hour later, Frank came away with two gorgeous pieces of beautiful walnut and a grin of satisfaction to match.

And THAT, my friends, is why Threads of Tradition was Frank’s favorite quilt shop.

Things to Know about Threads of Tradition at Sauder Village in Archbold OH

Website: www.saudervillage.org/Shopping/quiltshop.asp

Facebook: Sauder Village

Things to See and Do: Sauder Village offers a wonderful variety of things to keep you busy for a day or more. Explore an Indian wigwam and a fur trader’s cabin and learn about Native American life in 1803. Visit the Lauber Settlement to see how Mennonite-Amish settlers transformed the Great Black Swamp into prosperous farmland. Tour authentic farmsteads from the 1850s through the early 20th century and see how the growth of technology affected and improved the life of the people in northwestern Ohio. Along the way, you’ll be befriended by knowledgeable volunteers and  fascinated by artisans and craftsmen who demonstrate their work in the various shops and historic sites. In addition, Sauder Village sponsors a full calendar of special events to interest the whole family. Be sure to check their schedule of Special Events and Classes for more information.

Where to Eat Lunch: The Barn Restaurant sets out a tempting buffet every day, as well as the homestyle offerings on their regular menu. Or for a quick bite, try the Village Cafe in the Welcome Center. Be sure to stop by the Doughbox Bakery for a dozen pecan rolls or apple fritters or sample a hand dipped cone from the Ice Cream Parlor.

Coming Soon: The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus in the heart of Indiana’s Amish country.


Libby Lehman Updates from Caring Bridge — 8-14-13

Libby LehmanUpdate for 8-6-13

Libby made a major breakthrough in her recovery yesterday.

This morning’s update from Caring Bridge has the good news:

Ellen’s husband Bill Askey emailed – It’s Monday morning. I am just leaving the facility. I watched most of the OT and the first part of speech therapy. She did great. Got in and out of bed with a little help from Bola and the therapist. Speech was going well. Then Libby moved her left hand. Thumb first then index finger and finally her whole hand. Amy nearly fell out of her chair. Said she had seen no movement before today. Libby moved it several more times. She did the rest of speech well. Little lapses of attention but always coming back to the task. It was a good visit.

Wow! Libby is left handed so we are thrilled to see movement from this side. Way to go Libby & thanks for sharing Bill.

Way to go, Libby! Keep up the good work! We’re all doing a happy, happy dance for your progress.

Update for 8-7-13

Libby Lehman Wedding Portrait cropped

Today Libby improved in physical therapy from yesterday. She is struggling with balance and leaning forward while sitting, but today she made some progress according to Pia, her physical therapist. She is still learning to swallow a tiny bit of water, which must be mastered before she can eat regular food and be taken off the feeding tube. Verbally, she continues to improve. She told Doris, Lester’s sister, that she wants a chocolate chip cookie and wants to take a shower! Sounds reasonable to me!
Thought you might enjoy seeing a photo of Libby as a bride in 1970. Isn’t she beautiful!

Hooray for Libby! “Chocolate chip cookie and . . . a shower.” Sounds like she has her priorities pretty straight.

Update for 8-12-13

Lester said Libby had a somewhat slow start to the day, but once she was up and dressed she talked to him, with some understandable words. Ellen’s visit overlapped the session with Occupational Therapist Lenora who is working with Libby’s left arm and leg to try to stimulate a little “more action” from that side. She also worked with Bola and others on getting Libby to and from the wheelchair and bed. Progress is being made, and Libby’s contribution in the process is growing but still minimal, so far. Libby smiles when we remind her of how much more and how much better she is doing than just a week ago.

During Susan’s afternoon visit Libby snoozed away in a peaceful nap. Aww. Lester said Libby was talking later in the afternoon and all is well. Sarah is on her way to visit this evening after work. We are so blessed to have so many willing and loving caregivers for our sweet Libby!!!

Update for 8-14-13

Libby continues to work on recovering basic skills.

Lester reported Libby started off the day in high gear, with clear words and a cheerful attitude. She continued to have a good day in OT and PT, as she pedaled away with her right leg on the cycling machine.
Sometimes you’re up!

About noon Libby’s mood pendulum began to swing the other way, with moderate cooperation with Amy in Speech Therapy, including a few sips of cranberry juice and one spoonful of unidentified red soup, then a couple of bites of mashed potatoes and vanilla pudding, topped off with a smidge of vanilla ice cream. She made a funny face at the ice cream, but I identified the problem by asking, “what’s the matter, it’s not Blue Bell?” She quickly and emphatically said “No!” We should be able to remedy that problem in the future, at least.

Libby seemed to be very frustrated and sad this afternoon, and Amy confirmed our suspicions that with Libby’s increased comprehension of her situation comes increased awareness of the difficulties she faces. Lester talked to the doctor yesterday about some anti-anxiety medicine to help even out her moods.

In the meantime, Libby enjoyed flipping the pages (and I mean flipping them with vigor with her right hand) of a magazine and quilt book. Bored with that she began fidgeting with a paper place mat until I began to draw on it with a pen. She is not able yet to hold a pen, but she seemed fascinated with my creative process, even though my artistic talent is nothing to crow about. But her interest spurred me on, and we shared a pleasant time drawing and then letting her fold the paper over and over – whatever it takes to get her mind off her sadness.

Libby briefly enjoyed seeing the photos of the little baby Ashley Elizabeth when Doris came to visit, but she kept going back to a sad expression on her face. She gave me a half-hearted smile when I said “goodbye”. It seemed all she could manage, and I appreciated her effort and admire her courage as she faces her challenges.
Sometimes You’re Down…



Help Kate Cox Prove that Quilting is Art

This article is reproduced from Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson’s The Quilt Show blog:

“You Mean Quilting??!!”

British-born textile artist & quilter, Kate Cox, featured in Episode 605: Improvisational Landscapes, needs your help.  Kate, who now lives in Colorado and is known to be inspired by the American landscape, has a serious O-1 Visa issue.  This is an Artist visa.  Apparently, the US Embassy doesn’t believe being a renowned quilter and textile artist is real art. Capt’n John is convinced that if it was a man who painted on canvas the visa would have gone through unquestioned.

Kate’s story (paraphrased):

I was in London for the first time in 7 years to visit my children and I had to go renew my O-1 visa at the US Embassy. I have a lawyer in Denver who deals with all this and all the paperwork had been submitted and we did not expect any problems.

However, when I got there for my interview it was very clear from the outset that the woman interviewing me was not friendly to say the least. She began by asking me what I did,

I said, “Fiber Artist.”

“What’s that?” she said.

“Textile Art,” I replied, “making art from fabrics, fibers, other mediums.”

So she said, “You mean ‘Quilting’!” in a very scathing voice.  It went downhill from there.

She eventually told me that she was recommending that my visa be revoked because my work was not of a high enough ‘standard’ because I could not sell it for $100,000s of dollars.

Even though Kate creates and teaches quilting and works with the Denver Art Museum, she is now being asked to pack up her goods and return to Great Britain.

TQS is starting a petition to help Kate stay in America and to let them know that our art is to be respected.


You can also see some of Kate’s quilts in the Gallery on her website. They sure look like art to me. What do you think?


An Alternate Winner for The Second Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest Giveaway

Robotex FQ Bundle - Contest 2

We have an alternate winner for the Northcott Robotex fat quarter bundle from Sew n Vac in Ellicott City MD.

Congratulations to

Mary Deeter

Your bundle will be on its way to you soon.


Announcing: The Quilt Shop Navigator Northeast Region 22nd Edition Cover Contest

Cover Quilt Question Mark Updated Small

We’re working hard to produce the 22nd edition of The Quilt Shop Navigator Quilt Shop Directories, due out later this fall. The staff at WRBQ, Inc, is making lists, checking them twice, calling thousands of shops to verify their information, updating the database,  designing new ads, marking up page layouts, writing new copy. The office is a whirlwind of activity.

Every book needs a cover. And we’re looking for the most beautiful, most striking, most exciting quilt we can find to feature on the cover of the 22nd Edition of the Quilt Shop Navigator’s Northeast Region directory.

So, if you live in

New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
and have a quilt you think could be our cover girl, we want to see it.
Guidelines for submission:
  1. Send us a picture of your quilt. The picture should be a full, flat photo as square as possible with little or no background visible. (Hint: Your photo will come out best if the quilt is pinned on a wall.)
  2. The quilt cannot be draped over a bed, chair, or any other item.
  3. You may also supply a few (no more than 6) close-ups of individual blocks, but there must be a photo of the full quilt as well, as described in points 1. and 2.
  4. Use AI, jpg or PDF formats.
  5. All submissions must be emailed to wrbqinc@gmail.com
  6. Submissions must be accompanied by your Name, Phone Number, and Address and a statement identifying the designer(s) and quilter(s) who produced the submitted quilt.
  7. The Deadline for submissions is August 23, 2013.
  8. This contest is open only to individuals, groups, and quilting guilds who reside in the Northeast Region of the US and Canada as described above.
  9. The winning quilt will be chosen by the staff of WRBQ, Inc, on the basis of its design, photo quality, and editorial suitability. The judgement of the selection committee is final.
  10. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the quilt shop of their choice. All other entrants will receive a fat quarter.

Enter your prettiest quilt today!

Quilt Shop Navigator · Quilt Shops · Travel

The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest — Homeward Bound, Part 5: Sewing Connection in Milan OH

The morning of our second day on the road home began with a visit to Sewing Connection in Milan OH.

Storefront Sewing Connection

Marjorie's Vest at Sewing ConnectionThere we were greeted by the owner Marjorie, who graciously started her day a half hour early to accommodate our schedule. We hit it off right away. She said that she’s been sewing “forever”.

She worked for a sewing machine dealer in Cleveland. Then the dealer decided to relocate to a site on the east side of Cleveland. Marjorie’s husband was working on the west side of Cleveland near Milan. So she said to herself, “I’ll try this!” That was twenty years ago.

Selling sewing machines and running a quilt shop isn’t the only adventure Marjorie has pursued. Take a peek at the vest she’s wearing. It’s her own creation, made with her own hand-dyed fabrics. Here’s a closeup:

cropped wide vest fabric closeupIsn’t it lovely stuff? And it’s only one of the reasons quilters travel far and wide to shop at the Sewing Connection.

And a glance around the shop reaffirms that niche.

Inside Sewing Connection

There are beautiful quilts created from glowing batiks and hand-dyes.

summer solstice

Incredible machine embroidery, quilting and applique.

Wearable Projects and More

Take a look at the detail on the front of this lovely black dress.

cropped embroidered dress

cropped rotated embroidery detail

Beautiful!  And Marjorie can show you how to create such masterpieces, not only on clothing, but on quilts, too.

Different Rail Fence Quilt at Sewing Connection

And she can help you find the perfect Bernina or Husqvarna machine with which to accomplish such marvelous feats as well.

Machines at Sewing Connection

Marjorie can help you with simpler projects, too, like this easy-going four patch design,

Four Patch Squared Quilt

or these cheerful hearts.

Heart Quilt at Sewing Connection

Sewing Connection is all about Sewing, but as its name implies, it’s also about Connection. Quilting and sewing have always been communal activities, first connecting quilters as they create their quilts and then connecting them with the people who are warmly wrapped in those same quilts. When Marjorie talks about transformation that takes place when someone discovers sewing and quilting as a creative outlet, you can see how deeply she cares about that process, about her customers, and about what Martha Pullen calls, “the ministry of sewing.”

The shop is a collection center for the ConKerr Cancer pillowcase project. Marjorie frequently refurbishes older machines and donates them to women who are ready to graduate from a local women’s shelter program. Listen to her tell one of the resulting stories:

“If you do not know the answer, it is not a foolish question. If you already knew the answer, you wouldn’t need us.”

Words to live by.

Things to Know About Sewing Connection and Milan OH

Website: sewing-connection.com

What to see in Milan: Milan (pronounced “MY-lan”) is home to the Thomas Alva Edison Birthplace Museum (9 Edison Drive in Milan, Ohio) which offers a fascinating look into the life and inventions of one of America’s most famous innovators. Marjorie also says that the annual Milan Melon Festival, held every Labor Day weekend, is a celebration not to be missed.

Where to eat lunch: Marjorie recommends Berry’s (15 W Main St, Norwalk). There are also several restaurants on the Town Square in Milan — Invention Family Restaurant (15 N Main), Jim’s Pizza Box (10 N Main), Park Square Tavern (51 Front St ). A little further afield, Marjorie likes Marconi’s Italian Restaurant (424 Berlin Rd, in Huron).


Next Stop: Threads of Tradition at Sauder Village in Archbold OH