Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Road Trippin': Sparks Antique Flea Market & Missouri Star Quilt Co.

My mom is my best friend & I love to go places with her. We have the same interests (junking & quilting, among others) and the same shopping style. So when I want to go on a road trip that the hubby isn't interested in, my mom is my go-to gal. There are places to see & things to do that are on my bucket list & this weekend my mom & I marked a couple of them off my list.

One of those bucket list items was the Sparks Antique Flea Market in Sparks, Kansas, population 9. Midwest Living Magazine called it a 'can't miss' flea market that attracts 75,000 people during the 4-day event each spring and fall. I can't believe I've lived in Kansas for more years than I want to say (a girl has to keep some secrets!) and I haven't been to Sparks!

Sparks Antique Flea Market on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
So mom & I hit the road last week to remedy the situation. Sparks sits at a Y in the road and is home to a couple of occupied homes and a few vacant houses. We would have missed it except for the cars that lined the ditches along the highway.

Sparks Antique Flea Market on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
Most of Kansas has been blessed with rain the past week and northeast Kansas was no exception, which made for a muddy mess at Sparks. It was cold & damp (Hey weather, don't you know it's May?!). But that didn't scare the shoppers, although I think it did keep a few vendors away.

Sparks Antique Flea Market on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
Mom and I spent the day wading through the mud to scour the 450 vendor booths looking for hidden treasures.

Sparks Antique Flea Market on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I hit the yardstick jackpot in Sparks (you know how I love yardsticks!) and came home with my fair share.

Sparks Antique Flea Market on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
And I came home with an upcycling idea or two also. I loved these wagon carts using old iron wheels.

Sparks Antique Flea Market on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
At the end of the day, we had walked a little over 6 miles and found a few treasures. A few of my favorites were some vintage sewing notions and buttons, little vintage Shiny Brite balls, some feedsack fabric, a doily in my favorite green color, and of course, yardsticks!

On day 2, we hit up White Cloud, just down the road from Sparks, which also has a flea market on the same weekend. It was much smaller and by mid-morning we had seen it all and hit the road to visit a few quilt shops in the area. We were just getting primed for my next bucket list item - Missouri Star Quilt Co.!

Missouri Star Quilt Co. on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
With my economic development background, Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s story just amazes me (check out these articles in Inc. Magazine and Business Insider) and I've been wanting to see this quilting wonder for quite some time. Located in Hamilton, Missouri, MSQC fills 10 or 11 (I lost count) of the downtown buildings on main street.

Missouri Star Quilt Co. on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
Each building houses a different themed shop - batiks, florals, reproductions, modern, licensed fabrics, juvenile, holiday, etc. Each shop was so inviting and spacious, and decorated so cute.

Missouri Star Quilt Co. on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
The 'Machine Shed' housed notions - threads, rulers and more.

Missouri Star Quilt Co. on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
The 'Modern Shop' had a hip, retro vibe.

MSQC thought of everything! They even have a man cave for the hubbies to hang out in while the wives shop - or for tired quilters who need to prop their feet up!

Quilting Finds by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I managed to bring home my share of quilting supplies from our quilt shop stops, including some Lori Holt Calico Days fabric & her Aurifil thread collection for my Bloom quilt that I haven't started; some Paw Patrol fabric to make zipper bags for my grandson; some Bobbins & Bits selvedge print fabric by Pat Sloan; MSQC Mod Block magazine; some cute trim; a charm pack or two; and what I'm most excited about - some fabric dye to try my hand at ice dyeing (I feel a new blog post coming in the near future).

I always have a good time with my mom and this road trip was no exception. Thanks mom for being my best friend! Hmmm, wonder what I can come up with for our next road trip? Any suggestions to add to my bucket list?

~Sharla

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