This tip was written by Jill Martin, my partner in crime on this trip. She is the quilter and much more "in the know" about the materials, procedures, equipment concerning quilts.
Pfat Quarters is in Galena, Illinois. It is quite a clever name for a quilt shop. The name is recognized by quilters as a popular cutting of fabric into a near square (about 18 x 20 inches) measuring a quarter of a yard and a form readily used in making quilt blocks.
This long, narrow shop is the most diversified of those we visited. The owner is very knowledgeable and helpful.
We went to this same shop about three times because we liked it so much. Since Jill is making a Queen-sized quilt for Dee, we kept asking questions, looking at patterns and materials, and showing the owner our ideas.
What to buy: The owner offers a wide variety of services including a machine quilter and workshops featuring nationally known quilting teachers.
She carries a large number of quilting books and patterns as well as magazines. Her fabrics ranged from period reproductions to batiks and novelties. Truly an impressive shop.
What to pay: The prices are typical and not at all out of line.
While on our Ladies Getaway Weekend, we drove to Dubuque, Iowa to visit the shops on Bluff Street. It was a Sunday, and most stores did not open until noon, and all the stores were not open. Probably the best store that we visited that Sunday was called
Basket Expressions. All four of us were able to find items that we purchased, and that is rare.
A mother and daughter own this store [mother Millie Dolter and daughter Jennifer Jennifer Klaas]. It has been open since 1990. Its main purpose is to have a place where customized gifts can be purchased. This is an 11-room Victorian shop.
Inside Basket Expressions is an "in-store Stone Cliff Winery tasting room. This winery is located 7 miles north of Dubuque. The wines that you are able to taste are Cherry, Cranberry, Sweet Concord, White Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Chardonnay. Here you are also able to personalize a bottle of wine with a label that includes a photo or logo with a message. These are good for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and housewarming.
Basket Expressions is a delight to peruse. If we had more time, we would have spent it here.
What to buy: Here at Basket Expressions, they have candy, dips, preserves, snacks, soups, teas, coffee, flavored coffees [both decaf and regular] and other gourmet foods.
They also specialize in customized baskets where you can select food items, teas, coffees and also candles wine glasses, and wine [with or without personalized labels].
In addition, they offer small items such as beautiful jewelry, small apparel items, luggage tags, and holiday decorative pieces.
Jill purchased luggage tags; Marcia bought gourmet coffee; Mickey purchased gourmet coffee [both decaf and regular]; and I purchased semi-precious stone earrings for my daughter Jill and four different decaf flavored coffees [Turtle Sundae, Almond Amareto, Snickerdoodle, and White Russian]
For the last week, I have sampled all four flavors of coffee, and they are so delicious. Because I like them so much, I plan to order more through their web-site.
What to pay: I paid $11.00 for the earrings.
I paid $2.85 and $3.40 per 1/4 pound for the ground, flavored Decaf coffees.
While in Galena, we kept an eye open for book stores. All four of us on the Ladies Getaway Weekend were/are English teachers; thus, we adore books. Jill especially enjoys discovering books about the Civil War that she has not yet read. So, she was completely delighted to find the the book store called Main Street Fine Books and Manuscripts. We were all enamored by this excellent store.
I was particularly excited because it is a store that carries predominately quality used books, rare books, and manuscripts. It is quite well organized, clean, and all the books are covered in plastic. Thus, there is positively no "musty" smell here. That is usually a problem for all four of us when we visit book stores that have rare books.
As you can see from the photographs, it is a large bookstore and a very neat one at that.
We also discovered a new book store that is called Book World. What is of particular interest in this new store is the huge [and I mean huge] amount of Magazines that they carry. I don't think that I have ever seen so many different magazines in one store before this time. In addition to magazines, they carry many books about Galena and the surrounding area. In addition, they carry books written by people in this local area.
What to buy: Jill purchased two or three books about the Civil War, and she was quite pleased with her purchases. The rest of us did not buy books at this time, but we sure had a great time perusing the many rare books and manuscripts that are available at the Main Street Fine Books and Manuscripts.
At the Book World, magazines concerning any topic "under the sun" could be purchased here. We were particularly interested in the books about Galena.
In both bookstores, the people who were in charge were knowledgeable, friendly, and quite helpful.
What to pay: Rare books can be quite expensive, but we found that at the Main Street Fine Books and Manuscripts, the prices were quite reasonable.
The magazines and books at Book World were not overly expensive; they were priced as in most regular bookstores.
1.American Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor
102 N. Main St., Galena, Il
I love the decor inside because they have kept the 1846 cabinets and old fashioned ice cream fountain. They sell candy, cokes, coffee, and popcorn.
2. Galena Garlic & Spice Store
230 S. Main St., Galena, IL.
Since I love spice shops, I was drawn to this one. They specialize in hard to find garlic; they also feature Garlic cookbooks and art.
102 S. Main St., Galena, IL
I like the idea that they stay open in the evening. They specialize in handcrafted jewelry, collectibles, gems/minerals. If you like Raine shoes, this is the place to go.
107 S. Main St., Galena, IL
We were attracted to the shop because of it's name. It has very clever merchandise that you will find nowhere else. They have toys, games, cards, books, and unique [and I mean unique] crafts.
5. Timothy On Main
228 S. Main St.
This shop carries women's accessories, beautiful jackets, handbags, belts, jewelry [especially cool watches] and fabulous hats.
What to buy: %
What to pay: As in any other tourist town, the shops are more expensive; however, you see items that you do not see at the Mall!
This is not the first time that I have visited Wild Birds Unlimited. Each time I go to Galena, I make a point of visiting this shop. It is diverse, interesting, up-to-date, and filled with everything about Birds.
It's also a great place to see the best bird feeders available. They carry the very best. If you enjoy buying in large quantities, it is a good idea to buy bird feed here in the large bags. The birds in my backyard just love the quality of the feed when I purchase it at the Wil Birds Unlimited.
What to buy: Besides bird food, bird feeders, etc., this shop carries the very best cards. Each time I shop here, I stock up on fabulous cards for all occasions. This time, I found the perfect birthday card for my friend in Michigan. Amazingly, the prices are not bad. I paid $2.25 for the card, and if you have shopped for cards lately, then you know that is not expensive.
Whenever you find yourself in Galena, be sure to stop in at Wild Birds Unlimited.