Yesterday morning I took the beautiful drive down Highway 61 along the Mississippi River to teach my Square Deal pattern at Olive Juice in Onalaska WI. As part of their in-store retreat, I came in as a surprise after brunch. Everyone received a gift bag with the pieces for the table topper ready to go ... cut from the Ghastly fabric line. It was cool seeing which parts of the panel ended up in everyone's project and some of the imaginative quilting a few of them did on it!
If you were unsure of the name of the store when you walked in the door ... there was no doubt you wouldn't remember it! Fat quarters were banded with the Olive Juice name and the kits had Olive Juice headers. Love seeing the cohesive look! If I lived within easy driving distance, this would be a store I'd be at often!
All kinds of people were in and out ... including Eleanor! I was worried that she was critiquing my teaching style but she seemed ok with it and just kept on smiling. Olive Juice has a sewing center with Bernina ... and Baby Lock added this week. The machine that fascinated me was a new Baby Lock quilting machine that stitched to look like hand quilting! They had some in boxes ... it's killing me that one didn't end up in the back of my Jeep. I can't quit thinking about the possibilities!!
Need a few batiks? They were easy to find! How about some inspiration? There was plenty of that, too.
There were so many interesting touches around the store but one thing I loved was that there was something for everyone. If you loved bright and bold you could find it. If Civil War and wool are your thing ... well that was there too. It makes it easy for a group of girl friends to go there for a day out.
And I know everyone is going to be asking for job applications when they find out the break room is stocked with Fiestaware ... tables with beautiful centerpieces ... and a quilt gallery! Where do I sign up? Did I mention it has a dishwasher and oven too?
Olive Juice had lots of great displays but it's the little things tucked away in unexpected places that I found really charming. It was layered so that initially you see the fabrics and patterns ... then the displays ... and then your eye catches one more touch as you look up or turn a corner. I loved that! It made me think I was at someone's home and not a store.