quilt town, usa.

our main reason for a layover in kansas city was to see some good pals who live in the area. but, an untimely illness ran through their entire family, and they weren’t feeling up to it (and it seemed slightly unwise, even if they had already had the covid previously). so, with my day freed up, i was able to visit a spot that i had thought i wasn’t going to be able to work in to the itinerary: “quilt town, usa” (or more officially, hamilton, missouri).

basically, it is the location of the massive fabric/quilt shop, the missouri star quilt company. i don’t know how this town grew to become the disney world for quilt folk, but the entire downtown consists almost solely of quilt shops, all part of the missouri star enterprise.

each store had a different specialty, from floral prints, to vintage reproductions, to novelties, to solids and blenders. there was a sewing machine and notions shop, a holiday store, and a whole place dedicated to baby fabrics. i thought the “mansland” door would lead to more masculine type fabrics, but it was filled with lounge chairs, tvs, and a pool table, where patient husbands could hang out while their quilty wives shopped their little hearts out.

our first stop was in the main store, which had samples of fabric from all the different stores along with plenty of commemorative quilt themed souvenir options. also, it was painted up in this sweet mural.

isaac chose to wait in the car for most of the visit, but anna and hazel hopped out to take a mural photo. and then only anna was willing to walk around to all the stores with me and make various fabric purchases.

eventually, i had to feed the minions, so we found a mexican restaurant and i googled to see if there was anything else worth doing in this little town. turns out, there was. um, worlds largest spool of thread? yes, please.

and that building behind it just happens to be the missouri quilt museum. i managed to talk anna into going in with me, and the two others found some shade under a tree, and played their ipads.

i’ll make it quick, because we had just been in a quilt museum the day before. it was much smaller, and more, well, rustic that the international museum. the main room was filled with quilts on loan from the national quilt museum. (so many quilt museums of varying degrees of geography superlatives). we were amazed by these. (check out that fun mouse de-tail. see what i did there?).

another room was full of mini quilts from a women’s suffrage collaboration, on loan from the smithsonian (i think?)

but our favorite quilts were part of a collection from a family spanning four generations of quilters. the bright colors. the vintage meets modern, knowing they were made to be used and love, we loved them all.

one of the missouri quilt museum’s claims to fame is it’s extensive collection of over 600 childrens toy sewing machines. this was anna’s favorite part. we found several favorites, but this colorful machine with a distinct 80s vibe was the winner for us.

before we left, of course anna took a photo with this giant olfa rotary cutter. it’s the equivalent of a photo with mickey at disney world. 🙂

so, even though i would have rather seen our good pals, the day lone day in (just outside of) KCMO turned out to be a surprise pleasant quilt themed experience.

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