This tip was written by my traveling partner, Jill Martin, the quilter
The Cotton Shop in Muscatine, Iowa, is bright and busy; hanging quilts help divide the large open space into areas featuring baby quilt fabrics, fabrics by certain designers, flannels, brights, and reproduction fabric.
The shop workers design some of their own quilts and also carry a full line of patterns. Most of the hanging quilts have a warm country feeling with a darker color palette and a twist on traditional patterns. The shop was recently featured in a quilt magazine article as a quilt shop to see.
What to buy: Although I did not purchase anything here, Jill did buy some reproduction fabric and some sale items. Because we had read about this shop in the quilt magazine, I guess that I personally was expecting something more. Since I happen to like more batik fabrics, I was not as thrilled about The Cotton Shop as I thought I would be. [Dee]
What to pay: Prices were in line with most other quilt shops. Because they had some good sale items, it turned out to be less expensive in the end.
It never ceases to amaze me how Jill and I always manage to find places and people with some kind of connection to our lives whenever we travel together.
While in Muscatine, Iowa, at the Pearl Plaza, we went into a first floor shop called Annsarts, and we ran into the owner and artist, Ann Moody who just happens to be a good friend of Jill's friend back home. They chatted away about the mutual friend and realized how much they all have in common.
Ann Moody is a quilter as is Jill. Both Jill and I were interest in the "button history" of Muscatine, and Ann just happens to use Muscatine buttons in many of her art pieces.
Her shop is quite unique. It is filled with quilts, button art pieces, antiques, button jewelry, and various gift items. We had so much fun looking about and being able to obtain "the scoop" from Ann herself.
What to buy: Jill purchased button jewelry, an old postcard or two about Muscatine and the button industry, and a few other items. She was taking most of these items to her friend back home who used to live in Muscatine and was the person who suggested that we visit this lovely city.
What to pay: Very reasonable prices for handmade items.
The Pearl Plaza takes up an entire block. What an excellent way to bring back the historic section of a town. This beautifully renovated group of buildings has the following shops within:
1. Annsarts & Antiques (See Separate Tip)
Handgrafted folk art, Pearl Button Jewelry, Quilts, Collectibles, Antiques
Clothing and accessories for women (We loved This Shop!)
3. Sweet Temptations
Italian gelato ice cream, handmade chocolates, chocolate fodue, vintage candies
4. Greens Tea & Coffee (see separate tip)
Specialty coffees & teas, homemade desserts, Breakfasts and lunches
5. Crazy Girl Yarn Shop
Free knitting lessons, open knit every day, yarn and yarn supplies and books
What to buy: 6. Art Space of Muscatine
Gallery of jewelry, gifts, and art
7. Port City Underground Pizza
Gourmet pizzas and pasta, wines from around the world
8. Just Because
Gifts for the home and accessories
9. The Button Factory Woodfire Grille
Restaurant, Banquet rooms for up to 60