9/22/12

Quilt Shop: Friends & Co.



My thanks to Padsworth and Jacque at Lily Pad Quilting for putting me onto Friends & Co. Quilt Shop.  This is the intro Jacque gave me to the shop:

Here are some quick notes from my sis....she has visited in Cody.  (^_^)
YES!!  Friends & Company!  Beautiful shop, featured shop in a national magazine in 2011 ...  See the Better Homes Quilt Sampler button, on top right of website.
Owner Vicki lost a son to some sort of brain thing a number of years ago - now they make pillow cases for "Benjamin Smiles", for sick kids.
Very very nice shop - employees are alternately shy/outgoing.  Dad found an old green sewing machine once that he could not fix, ancient, took it to Vicki and she proudly displays it with her other old beauties.  They sell high end embroidery machines, long arms, and normal sewing machines, Viking Huscavana whatevers.  Anyway, the fabric is heavily cowboy, pine country cabin, with a NICE mix of batiks and 30's repros, Civil wars, I get lost for way longer than I should!!  

That's a pretty good summation of the store, and I couldn't have said it better myself.  And I think I saw that green sewing machine!  Also, I didn't notice anything in the store itself about "Benjamin Smiles", but you can find out more by clicking on this link.  So here's my take on it:

The shop is located right along the main highway and with the large sign pictured above, it's very easy to find.  There wasn't really enough parking for our big rig, and so we ended up parking several blocks away.  I walked to the store while Mike sat in the trailer, petted the kitties, and drank a cup of espresso.  Everyone was happy as a pig in mud.

I had a little trouble locating the front door because it faces the opposite direction from the street.  Not here...


Here it is!


I needed to walk completely around to the back of the building to find it.  It was very inviting once I found it, although I'll admit, I still opened the door cautiously, not convinced I was entering at the right place.  Here is how the store looks immediately upon entering:



This is not your ordinary quilt shop.  It was stuffed to the gills with everything a quilter wants to see, including an unbelievable supply of fabric.  The building is oddly shaped with rooms going off of rooms.  It was something of a maze inside, and one had to do a little exploring to see the whole thing...no machete required.

The largest room of fabric was here, and included mostly batiks.  It was an amazing supply of batiks, some of the prettiest batiks I've ever seen.  I kept pulling bolt after bolt off the shelf thinking I'll get a yard of this and two yards of that...oh and I must have three yards of this one.  Eventually, I had to cut down the bolts to a more affordable quantity.


Here is another shot of the same room from a different angle.


And yet another view of the same room.  At the far end was a terrific supply of regional prints.


The regional prints were very tempting.  About half were batiks.  I fell in love with these two and was sorely tempted to buy a couple of yards, but then I thought better of it.  With the quilts I make, I simply couldn't envision how these fabrics would fit with my personal taste.  Nevertheless, I liked them very much.  



There were other similar regional batiks with cowboys on bucking horses, spurs, and six-shooters.  I loved them all, but decided not to buy any.  Someone else with different tastes might have gone wild in this section of the store.

After spending a lot of time in that one room, I ventured off to another part of the store and discovered more rooms of fabrics.  This next room was devoted to children's prints.


And this next one was wools and flannels.  Each time I thought I had seen it all, a new room came into view.


And corduroy!  In a quilt shop!  Now that's something you don't see everyday.


This next room was bright and whimsical novelty fabrics.


They sold a lot of different kits.  Some of them were reverse applique with pre-cut pieces.  I liked these very much.  Can you see the quilting on this next one.  Very nice.


They had several cowboy kits.  Hanging high overhead, they were a little difficult to photograph, so I hope you can see this one clearly.  (They were lit too brightly as well, and it was sometimes hard to see the colors, even with the naked eye.)


Many of the kits were from McKenna Ryan and Bigfork Bay Cotton Company, both designers that I like very much.

  
 I really liked the next one.  Do you see the raccoons in the tree in the middle top of the quilt?  When I inquired whether they had the pattern alone for sale, she informed me that it was actually several kits put together and directed me to the full kit, which was $200.  That was a little rich for my blood, and so I moved on.


I liked this next one with the bears climbing a tree.


And also this one of the mountain goats.


It was hard, but I managed to winnow down my must-have fabrics to a reasonable number.  I bought one yard of each of the next two.  The one on the left is red with gold metallic polka dots.  I had a fat quarter like this once that I have used up and I loved it.  When I saw it on the bolt, I simply had to have a yard of it.  The one on the right was to shore up my gray stash.


I bought two yards of each of the next two batiks I found among the regional prints.  It was hard not to buy more.


And I fell in love with this next one, and bought three yards of it.  I have no plans for it, but I wanted enough to make it the feature fabric in a future quilt.  (Awesome alliteration.)


So if the amount of fabric purchased is any indication of how much I liked the store, then this shop is a winner.  The only problem I saw in the store is that it is packed into a too small a space.  There were several customers in the store, and it was hard to look at the fabrics without getting in someone else's way or without them being in my way.  "Excuse me" were oft-spoken words.  The rows were too close together to make it possible to back up for a larger view.  I tried a couple of times, and ended up tripping over something.  They really need a larger space for all that they are trying to pack in.

I wanted very much to give them five rotary cutters out of five, but this was a significant downside to the shop.  For that reason, I decided to give them four rotary cutters with a plus.  It's a great shop.  Really.  Well worth driving out of your way to see.

+

Definitely if you find yourself within driving distance of Cody, Wyoming, take the time to visit this shop.  You'll want to bring one of two things:  lots or money, or lots of personal restraint.  It's that good.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I love the McKenna Ryan kits. I've seen them in catalogs, in fact the one with the raccoon. You make several and then put them together. It's too complicated for me, I'm not at that level. I adore the batik with the pine trees along with the pine needle ones. I'd buy those.

I'm suffering from withdrawl right now. Since my husband hasn't been working we're really watching every penney. ( He's going to try to work next week and assuming that he can manage it, he's got a couple of weeks on the job. Hopefully he'll get off the blood thinners and can get back to normal construction work- they are worried about bleeding if he gets cut.)

If I ever can get to this area, I've got to go to this shop!

SewCalGal said...

What a cute quilt shop.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

shannon said...

i am thoroughly loving your traveling posts, including the shops...

i too, find fabrics i love, but the fabric wouldn't fit into my piecing/quilting style. i found the perfect solution- i buy enuf to make a pillowcase!! if i ever do decide to include it in a quilt- i have the fabric instead of regrets :)

Winona said...

LOL Mine would have to be personal restraint. Looks like you got some pretty fabric and restrained yourself, so it was a good day for you.

evelyn said...

The BEARS, oh my, don't you just love the bears! I love little nooks and crannies. But you are right-no body wants to feel crowded in a fabric store.

otterdaughter said...

That otter section of the big wildlife quilt is the coolest! I'd have to buy that pattern if I could find it. :) Your restraint is admirable!

quiltzyx said...

I almost drooled all over my keyboard at the sight of that room-o-batiks! Wow!! The 2 piney ones you bought would look good in a Christmasy quilt.....

I did get a bit claustrophobic feeling from some of the pics, but it was easier for me not to reach for the fabric this way :^)

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying your travelogue. I love shopping at quilt shops, but can't stand sensory overload. I got that just looking at your pictures of the Cody shop, without even being there. I don't know if I could have stayed long enough to buy anything.

Stay safe in your travels. I'd also like to hear how that beautiful Gracie is doing.
Sharon ssauser@dishmail.net

mahoo said...

I glad you found your way out out of the store Barb, so we can see your next stop! Wow, to paraphrase Dolly Parton "That's 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound sack"!

Celtic Thistle said...

I am green with envy Barbara, wish I could come across a shop like that on my travels! Love the Bear quilt too.

Kate said...

Lovely acquistions! Looks like a wonderful shop.

Snoodles said...

I might have to visit my kin folk there, just to get into the shop! LOL I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit...it does look awesome! I love how your first photo is cropped -- it looks like you can buy trailer loads of fabric there....and I think I would want to!! LOL

kc said...

Oh my, oh my! Lots of money and personal restraint are (at least) two of the things I have the LEAST of! I'm glad you've shared with us through your post - saved me a ton of money and anguish!

I adore anything animal or nature, so , of course, I'm right there within you loving the kits & batiks you chose to feature (or purchase).

I totally agree that stepping over others and them stepping around you tends to spoil the experience a bit, so your rating is right-on for me!

So glad you got to go tho!! Can't wait to see what you do with your fabulous finds!

desertskyquilts said...

Your post reminded me so much of the years Paul and I traveled in our 5th wheel, and he often found quilt shops for me. We never did go through Cody, though I've been to Big Horn Quilts in Greybull, WY, and hit several in the Great Falls area of Montana. Isn't it fun to see so many of them?