for your Western IA/ eastern NE bus tour I definitely recommend a stop at Mangelsen's in Omaha. I'm biased. I worked there for 12 years. It is a family owned creative dept store. The fabric dept is as nice as any quilt shop I have ever visited!
Hi Debra, Where is the Flying Frog Farm? It sounds very interesting! There is a great hosta nursery in Princeton IL just off I80. We've gone to it many times but it's a good 3 hours from Waterloo. We usually make a day of it. They also specialize in iris and day lillies.
Also, check the shop over in LeClaire. At the One-Stop-Shop-Hop in Ames a couple of months ago, that shop had some clever ones. One was something like, "Quilters Pumping Irons" Gray shirt with Gold (I think) lettering. Also there was one that I bought that said "Mess with my fabric and I'll rip your seams out". Sorry, I don't remember the name of the shop.
Deb - Thanks for the compliment on my quilts. I love to try all kinds of different quilts. I made my first quilt in college but didn't do much more quilting till about 15 years ago when my kids started needing less hands-on time :) I'm truly addicted now lol
Your quilts are beautiful too and I love your quilting. I'm seriously thinking about a LA. My machine works fine for smaller quilts but I'm really tired of trying to deal with all the bunched up fabric in larger ones. I'm taking a class at LQS this month so will wait and see how that goes.