The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest — Part 13: Quilt Essentials in Laramie WY

Quilt Essentials Store FrontWhen we drove into Laramie early on a sunny Saturday morning, the Quilt Shop Navigator map and directions feature made Quilt Essentials easy to find. The shop’s bright blue awning was a cheerful splash of color across the front of the red brick building, echoing a bright blue sky.

The building’s understated exterior belies the quilting wonderland within its doors. Still fresh from an extensive remodeling project three years ago, which included custom shelves for fabric and a huge cutting counter, the bright and welcoming interior offers an eye-catching mix of fabrics, quilts, and antiques that draws you in to stay a while.

Wider View Inside Quilt EssentialsThere were beautiful quilts everywhere.

Sample Quilts Displayed at Quilt EssentialsAnd bolts and bolts of beautiful fabric!

Quilts Above the Fabric at Quilt EssentialsBins full of pre-cuts

Precut Fabrics at Quilt EssentialsStacks of lovely batiks

Beautiful Batiks at Quilt EssentialsMore delightful and delicious fabric at every turn

Antique Display Shelf for Fabric at Quilt EssentialsAnd interspersed among the fascinating fabrics and gorgeous quilts are intriguing antiques like this mirror and Canada Dry crate.

More Quilts and Fabric at Quilt Essentials And you’ll find patterns and more fabric,

Patterns and Fabric at Quilt Essentialsand notions and still more fabric,

Notions and Fabric at Quilt Essentials

and books as even more lovely fabric,

Books and Fabric at Quilt Essentials

and beautiful quilt kits, too. I think I fell in love with this lovely Lemoyne  Star.

Quilt Kits at Quilt Essentials

And, since this is Laramie, Wyoming, of course you’ll find wonderful Western fabrics like those found in this quilt, too. Quilt Essentials is excited to begin carrying the Wyoming Bucking Horse Batik from Hoffman this summer.

Western Bandana Quilt at Quilt EssentialsWe were greeted by “the Saturday crew”, Kara and Chris. When we asked what was their favorite thing about working at Quilt Essentials, they said this:

And we were soon to find out how right they were. It was a Saturday, after all, and the Second Saturday Social was just starting in the rear of the shop. So, of course, we had to join in.

Becky Leads the Discussion at the Second Saturday Social at Quilt EssentialsBecky began with a preview of Quilt Essentials’ upcoming summer classes and projects.

Becky Tells Social about Summer Classes at Quilt EssentialsAnd then it was Show and Tell time:

Show and Tell 80More Show and Tell 80The wonderful quilters of Laramie are very creative, indeed! They presented large projects and small, works completed and works in progress. They oohed and aahed, applauded and encouraged each other. A mother-daughter team displayed the daughter’s bound-for-college quilt with well-deserved pride.

Mother-Daughter Team Shares Daughter's Quilt at Quilt Essentials' Saturday SocialIt was just the sort of fun and friendly gathering you’d expect when quilters come together. We asked them why they came to Quilt Essentials.

Quilting has long been a communal activity, bringing people together to create, to provide for those in need, and to support one another. That sense of community is an essential part of quilting, and it’s alive and well at Quilt Essentials.


Quilt Essentials is about to have a new owner! And that new owner is none other than Kara, who welcomed us when we arrived. The shop will be closed March 28-31 for the transition. Expect new and exciting things to join old favorites there when the shop reopens in April!

Things to Know About Quilt Essentials and Laramie

Website: www.quiltessentials.org

Facebook: QuiltEssentials

What to See and Do in Laramie:The Laramie Plains Museum at the Ivinson Mansion (603 E Ivinson St) provides visitors with a glimpse of Laramie history and life housed in the home of one of the city’s most prominent families. The windswept rock formations of Vedauwoo, located 20 miles east of Laramie just off I-80 offer a unique and awe-inspiring setting for hiking, picnics, and seasonal rock-climbing or cross-country skiing adventures. The Wyoming House for Historic Women stands right across 2nd Street from Quilt Essentials and honors the trail-blazing women of Wyoming who were first to vote, serve on juries and in elected office in the USA.

Johnson-Lummis-Hunkin Plaza across the street from Quilt Essentials

Where to Eat Lunch: Kara recommended Lovejoy’s Bar and Grill (101 E Grand) for burgers, sandwiches and standard lunch fare. Don’t miss their amazing Salted Caramel Brownie. Other good choices are
Altitude Chophouse and Brewery (320 S 2nd St), known for delicious chophouse salads, and Corona Village (513 Boswell Dr) for a fiesta of Mexican fare.












The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest — Homeward Bound, Part 12: Prairie Point Junction in Cozad NE

Things were really happening when we pulled up to Prairie Point Junction in Cozad NE. Their sidewalk sale was in full swing. There were tables crowded with bins of precut fabrics arrayed on the walk in front of the neat brick storefront.

Sidewalk Sale at Prairie Point JunctionAnd even more tables piled with fabric just inside the door.

Fabric at Prairie Point JunctionThe whole shop was bustling with quilters who were there to revel in the beautiful fabric, find quilting inspiration, and snap up bargains.

Inside Prairie Point JunctionAnd there was inspiration in abundance, like this bold chevron quilt (a Prairie Point Junction original design):

Chevron Quilt and Fabric at Prairie Point Junction

Or this giant Lemoyne Star and more traditional take on an Ohio Star:

Corner Filled with Fabric at Prairie Point Junction

And did you notice those bolts of colorful wool?  Prairie Point Junction is Wool Felt Central. They carry over 90 colors of scrumptious wool felt, plus many, many patterns and kits, including their own original designs.

Sew Many Blessings September (photo courtesy of Prairie Point Junction)(photo courtesy of Prairie Point Junction)

I was intrigued by the welcoming way quilts were displayed in this cozy corner.

Cozy Corner Quilt Display at Prairie Point JunctionBreakfast in bed, anyone?

Another Artful Fabric and Quilt Display at Prairie Point JunctionPrairie Point Junction carries reproduction fabrics

Reproduction Fabrics and Quilts at Prairie Point Junctionand children’s prints, too.

Juvenile Quilts and Fabrics at Prairie Point JunctionJulie at Prairie Point JunctionThe creative mastermind behind this prairie quilter’s playground is shop owner Julie. Julie says that she’s always loved fabric. As a little girl, she spent many happy hours making clothes for her dolls. As she grew older, she joined 4-H clubs and learned to make clothes for herself.

When Julie was 16, she began working at the Ben Franklin store in her home town. That job became a transformative experience for her. The couple who owned the store took her under their wings and taught her the intricacies of running a retail business. Their kindness and generosity and their patient support sparked a new love — business.  And Prairie Point Junction is the happy result of Julie combining her two passions, creating with fabric and operating a successful retail store.

To honor her mentors, a few years ago Julie designed a quilt pattern she called “Working at the Five and Dime”. Listen to her describe it.

And here she is holding a copy of the pattern, which was a very successful Block of the Month program at Prairie Point Junction and is still available at the shop.

Julie and Working at the Five and Dime

And things are still happening at Prairie Point Junction. They’re busily readying the shop for “Wild About Nebraska”, the 16th Annual Nebraska Shop Hop, featuring 35 shops from across the state. The shop hop will run from April 3 through April 12. Read all about it here.

Another exciting program at Prairie Point Junction right now is their Saturday Sampler for 2014. This attractive Block of the Month, designed by Julie, is demonstrated at the shop on the second Saturday of each month and is also available online here.

Block of the Month Quilt (photo courtesy of Prairie Point Junction)

As Julie says, Prairie Point Junction is “a fun place to visit”.

Things to Know About Prairie Point Junction and Cozad NE

Website: www.prairiepointjunction.com

Facebook: Prairie Point Junction home of Wool Felt Central

Blog: Prairie Ramblings

What to See and Do in Cozad: Julie says that you mustn’t miss the Robert Henri Museum (218 East 8th St) which is open Tuesday through Saturday, June 1 through September 30. Housed in Henri’s boyhood home, the museum features not only a collection of Henri’s art, but also tells a captivating tale of assumed identities, intrigue and murder involving Henri’s father, John J. Cozad, the founder of the town. Another fascinating historical site is the 100th Meridian Museum (206 E. 8th St).

Where to Eat Lunch: Julie highly recommends the Green Apple Cafe next door to Prairie Point Junction. They serve all-American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t miss their Broasted Chicken dinner.

Prairie Point Junction

Our next stop is Quilt Essentials in Laramie WY.

Quilt Shop Navigator · Quilt Shops · Travel

The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest – Homeward Bound, Part 11: Cosmic Cow in Lincoln NE

Cosmic Cow SignEach quilt shop seems to have a unique character all its own. At Cosmic Cow in Lincoln NE, that personality is a delightful combination of warm hospitality and cheerful whimsey. Built in around 1880, the neat brick building on Havelock Street had been a pharmacy. Owners Rich and Roxann purchased it and opened the store in 2002.

Why Cosmic Cow? They wanted to call their shop something memorable and fun. Cosmic Crossings? The Purple Cow? When they stumbled upon Cosmic Cow, they both smiled. And the bovine theme has served them so well that they’ve opened up a second location in Seward, a few miles to the west, appropriately called The Udder Store.

Rich’s original intention had been to open a gift shop, but Roxann, a longtime quilter and textile artist, put her foot down. “If I’m going to tend your shop,” she insisted, “I’m going to have fabric.” And now, as Rich points out with a rueful shake of his head as he gestures at the bolts and bolts of colorful fabrics that fill the shelves, the only knickknacks and non-quilty things to be seen are the collection of cows that stand guard over the textiles. And they’re not for sale.

Cows Keeping Watch over the Fabric at Cosmic Cow

Cosmic Cow specializes in modern prints, brights, and cheerful, fun fabrics.

More Panels and Sample Quilts at Cosmic CowThey also carry an extensive collection of panels.

More Panels and Sample Quilts at Cosmic CowAnd they have a wide assortment of beautiful earthy neutrals and Japanese diawabo fabrics, too.

Neutrals and Diawabo at Cosmic Cow

You’ll also find an eye-catching array of precut yardage, like these.

Fabric Precuts at Cosmic Cow

And there are surprises everywhere you look, like these huge fantasy flowers.

Fantasy Flower at Cosmic Cow

Or this lovely and intricate quilt.

Rich and an Amazing Quilt at Cosmic Cow

And the gorgeous star “quilt” hanging just outside the back door.

The Back Door at Cosmic Cow

Here’s a close-up of this intriguing artwork.

Star Quilt at Cosmic Cow

Rich and Friend at Cosmic Cow In the midst of all this fascinating color and texture, you’ll find Rich. Now retired from construction work, Rich has taken up longarm quilting and provides quilting services for patrons of the two stores.

And you’ll also find Roxann, pictured here as she addressed the Lincoln Quilt Guild in January 2012. (photo courtesy of Rebecka Shafer)


The Learning Curve Ruler*






This spring, Roxann is thrilled to be teaching curved piecing using Linda Warren’s Learning Curve ruler. This clever technique takes the fear out of curves and produces amazingly beautiful results.

Cosmic Cow and the Udder Store are gearing up for “Wild About Nebraska”,  the 16th Annual Nebraska Shop Hop. This state-wide extravaganza featuring 35 shops runs April 3-12, 2014. Read all about it here.

Things to Know About Cosmic Cow and Lincoln NE

Website:  http://www.cosmiccowfabricsandquilting.com/

What to See and Do in Lincoln: University of Nebraska is home to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum (1523 N. 33rd St.) with its collection of more than 4000 quilts dating from the early 1700s to the present and both permanent and changing exhibits. Rich also recommends the Dinosaur Museum just 10 minutes west of Lincoln in Milford (923 238th Rd) and the Nebraska State Capitol Building (1445 K Street).

Where to Eat Lunch: The Engine House Cafe, just a block west of Cosmic Cow (6028 Havelock Ave), serves delicious breakfast and lunch fare. For a more substantial meal, try Misty’s Steakhouse and Lounge a block east of the quilt shop (6235 Havelock Ave).

Next stop: Prairie Point Junction in Cozad NE