With 16 quilt shops in 15 towns, the trail has become an attractive itinerary option for group tour planners

Extending from Hannibal to St. Joseph, Missouri’s four-lane Highway 36 is considered the American Genius Highway. Mark Twain, Molly Brown, Walt Disney, JC Penney and Jesse James can each be traced to Northern Missouri, and each had an impact on American history. The Missouri Quilt Trail, established less than four years ago, has added to the lure of Highway 36.

Although quilting pre-dated Europeans arriving in America, early settlers out of necessity patched blankets and mended clothes with the sole purpose of keeping people warm. The artistic style of quilting known today did not begin to surface until fabrics and yarns began to be manufactured. During the 1970s and 1980s, quilting had a revival as granddaughters of older women began to show interest. Today, quilting is done more for relaxation and art, but our history has always been seen in quilts.

The shops along the Missouri Quilt Trail have one thing in common. Both owners and staff offer enthusiastic hospitality and are ready to assist group visitors. From helping to pick out fabrics to aiding beginners with cutting the blocks, they want the quilting experience to be a positive one.

From east to west along the Highway 36 corridor, here’s a look at shops that can add a delightful option to any itinerary.

Hannibal Bits & Pieces Vintage Sewing Notions & More 573-603-1279 In addition to Bernina sewing machines and sewing machine repair, Bits & Pieces has all your quilting needs.

Hickory Stick Quilt Shop hickorystickquiltshop.com 573-221-4538 Located directly across the street from Mark Twain’s boyhood home in three pre-Civil War buildings, they’ve been servicing quilt makers for 40 years.

Shelbina Midwest Quilt Company midwestquiltco.com 573-588-7000 A full-service, family-owned shop offering fabrics, notions, patterns, classes/workshops and sewing machine service and sales. Salisbury Sew Creative 660-388-6287

Kirksville Quilted Square 660-665-7533 Open for more than 10 years and offering 900 bolts of fabric and quilt backings. Books, patterns, threads and homemade gift items are also available.

Marceline Rosie’s Quilts and Things 660-376-2593 This one-stop shop with an extensive collection of quilting fabric has a reputation as a fun, friendly place.

Wheeling The Quilt Shoppe 660-659-2469 A warm atmosphere and a variety of fabrics not found in other shops.

Chillicothe Cuts & Bolts cutsandboltsfabrics.com 660-240-0120 Cuts & Bolts stocks a variety of designer fabrics from notable manufactures and promises to bend over backwards to help customers.

Hamilton Missouri Star Quilt Co missouriquiltco.com 888-571-1122 What began as a small family business in 2008 has grown to become the world’s largest selection of precut fabric for quilting along with all things quilting related. A popular group destination with 12 themed quilt shops, Man’s Land and a Sewing Center for retreats.

Rayville By the Yard bytheyard.com 816-470-6703 Since 2007 the business has grown from the home to the garage to a building across the street from where it began.

Lathrop Sisters Fabric Farm 816-528-3626 Quality fabrics, patterns, instruction in various quilting techniques and assistance with a smile.

Jamesport Shearwood Quilts & Fabrics 660-684-6121 Located in the largest Amish settlement west of the Mississippi, Shearwood offers hard-to-find and well-known manufacturers’ fabrics.

Smithville Cornerstone Fabric 816-873-0005 A cozy quilt shop in a historic building in downtown Smithville.

Cameron Crossroads Quilting crossroadsquilting.com 816-649-0550 Diverse and sometimes surprising Crossroads has an affection for wool and Civil War reproductions, along with everything to make creative quilting possible.

Helena Top Stitch Quilt Shop topstitchquiltshop.com 816-369-2425 On January 1, 2019, Top Stitch will celebrate its fifth anniversary featuring 800 bolts of fabrics, numerous patterns, Elna Machines, Horn Cabinets and Handi Quilter Longarm Quilting Machines.

St. Joseph Glenda’s Sewing Cupboard glendassewing.com 816-662-3105 An all-in-one quilt shop with all the sewing necessities you need to create heir-loom-quality quilts.