LC Midwest Meetup 2023 - Champaign, IL

(Alma Mater statue on campus. She just looked nice and welcoming for this thread.)

Hello Friends! As has been discussed in the Snapshot Thread, I’ve had to rethink my Meetup plans for 2023, as we moved. The new location will be Urbana-Champaign IL. (Or Champaign-Urbana, or Chambana, or Shampoo Banana. There’s no one right way to name the two towns.)

Who is invited: Any LC member who wants to come play.

What: An LC Meetup full of good friends, tasty food, and lots of crafting.

When: July 28-30, 2023

Where: MistressJennie’s house in Champaign, IL. (Part of Urbana-Champaign, IL, two towns that together are home to the University of Illinois.)

Why: Because after a long and difficult pandemic, it’s time to gather with our crafty BFFs once more, with joy in our hearts, and creativity in our veins.

Since I have a young kiddo, I’m going a bit easier on myself for this Meetup. Food will be a mix of homemade meals at my house, and local takeout, with care taken for food allergies & dietary restrictions. We will have some crafting/chatting time/visiting time, a few group activities (like a soap making class or tie dye project), and optional side trips to local craft stores like the Idea Store, which is a craft thrift store (more details below).

I can host some folks to stay over at my new home, but if we have a bigger group, we will find a nearby hotel for people to book additional rooms at. (There are 6 within a 5 minute drive of our new house.)

Rough outline for the schedule of events:

  • Afternoon Welcome Party, with snacks & a group craft project (supplies provided)
  • Dinner (provided by Jennie - will include a vegan option)
  • Dessert & Gift Exchange
  • Stitch & Bitch Time or small group exploration of local spots


  • Morning: Stitch & Bitch, play some Arch Ravels, etc.
  • Lunch (provided by Jennie - Sandwiches, fruit salad, chips, & treats?)
  • Afternoon: Group Craft Demo or Class (soap making?) or trip to the Idea Store
  • Dinner (ordering take out or going out in smaller groups)
  • Pool Party time!


  • Make & Take Project (materials provided) and Mimosas

So that’s the rough plan. What do you guys think? Who’s in?


Nearby Airports
Willard - Small airport just 10 minutes from my house; flights connect only from Chicago & Dallas/Ft. Worth; often more expensive to fly in here.
Bloomington-Normal - 1 hr drive away
Indianapolis - 2 hr drive away (via 74)
Chicago O’Hare - 2.5 hr drive (without traffic); route has tolls
Chicago Midway - 2.5 hr drive (without traffic); route has tolls

Nearby Hotels
Best Western Paradise Inn - Savoy, IL (1.8 miles/5 minutes from my house)
Home 2 Suites by Hilton - Champaign (1.5 miles/6 minutes away)
I Hotel & Illinois Conference Center - Champaign (2 miles/6 minutes away)
Holiday Inn Champaign (1.9 miles/6 minutes away)
Hilton Garden Inn - Champaign (1.9 miles/6 minutes)
Homewood Suites by Hilton - Champaign (2.1 miles/7 minutes away)

Local Points of Interest
Craft Supplies
the Idea Store - awesome craft supply thrift store
Klose Knit - local yarn store
Quilting in the Valley - Champaign
Everyday Quilting - Urbana
A Quilting Bee quilt shop in nearby Mahomet (20 minute drive)

Local Treats
Pandamonium Doughnuts - Made from scratch; around the corner from my house (walkable)
Industrial Donut - Made to order icing & topping combinations (6 minute drive from my house)
Baldarottas Gelateria - Gelato flights
Jarling’s Custard Cup - Beloved local spot offering frozen custard
Coldstone Creamery - Non-local chain, but it does offer vegan ice cream & shakes

Local Beer
Rigg’s Brewery
The Blind Pig
Triptych Brewery

Local Wineries
Alto Vineyards
Wyldewood Cellars

Confirmed Attending!
@MistressJennie - Hosting
@endymion - local!

Interested Members

Looking to Carpool

Looking for Hotel Roomate


Yay!! I was wondering about the meet up. I don’t have any date restrictions so whenever works best for everyone else. I’m vegan so my only request is any restaurants have at least one good vegan option. I can stop at a grocery store or bring food for other meals/snacking if needed.

So excited!

seems a lovely idea but US is a bit far for this :slight_smile:

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I will be in Michigan sometime this summer, so I can plan it to take a side trip down to Illinois and maybe even a trip to Chicago to visit my favorite weaver! :wink:

Since I really have no date restrictions, I would say anytime that would allow for at least 30 days in advance to get airline tickets or to drive for some people. I vote for mid July since it is so stinking hot here and the beaches are way too crowded.


No worries, I’ll always have vegetarian & vegan options. :slightly_smiling_face: Also this is a college town, with 56,000 undergrad & grad students from around the world. There is sooo much good food, and so many wonderful vegan & veggie options. Chambana Moms has a list of where to eat vegetarian in the area, and so many other lists that include vegan/veg options. I’m lactose intollerant and found their list of Best Bubble Tea places had a few that offered non-dairy milk options for me! The Red Herring in particular is known around town as a fantastic vegan restaurant. And just last night Jim & I decided to try Dubai Grill, for Middle Eastern food. Many of their dishes were specifically marked as vegan (as well as kosher/halal, etc.), and everything we ate was delicious.


I would love to try to swing this!! Anytime in the summer would work for me except towards the end of August when we take our family vacation. Exciting!!


I just looked it up…it’s a 4 hour, 58 minute drive for me! I could totally pull this off! :smiley: I’ve never been to a LC/old site meet up!

(Ideally, it’d be great if it was a weekend I didn’t work, but I could try to swing it, even if I do.
Weekends I Work: June 24/25, July 15/16, Aug 5/6, Aug 26/27)


Any interest in doing a supply swap while we’re there? I have some stuff I’d gladly part with (I’m looking at you Sizzix Big Shot) but don’t want to deal with trying to ship them so I haven’t added to the Use it or Lose it thread. Maybe we can discuss types of things beforehand so everyone doesn’t need to travel with lots of extras there isn’t interest in.


I would be interested! I’m actually meeting a friend in Urbana in a couple weeks, so I know it’s a doable drive. I’m flexible, but know I’m booked Jun 24-25 weekend, and August 5-6.

Ah, yes, fishstix’s black out dates reminded me that my son’s moving up ceremony for 8th grade is June 19. It’s a Monday, but that weekend before would be out for me as well (June 17/18).

Regarding supplies, I will likely be flying at least part of the way, so probably won’t partake unless it is smallish supplies (I’m not looking at you, Sizzix Big Shot).


We could totally do this, with a small caveat. At the 2019 Asheville Meetup, people brought supplies to swap. BUT, no one wanted to bring their unclaimed items home with them. That resulted in most being thrown away, as there was no room in my compact car to take them anywhere they could be donated. So my caveat would be that anything not claimed by Saturday afternoon, would either go back to the person who brought it, OR they would bring it to the craft thrift store here in town to donate.


I still have fabric I snagged from @sheepblue in the Canadian meetup…I will also be flying, but, I can always fit stuff into my suitcases by leaving my clothes in the hotel (yeah, done that a few times…lol).

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I could also have some USPS flat rate boxes on hand. If people wanted to mail themselves some supplies that they swapped for we could just buy postage online and have the mail carrier pick them up.

I suppose for that matter, people who are flying could mail a box TO my house ahead of time so they wouldn’t have to carry much.


I would probably be able to bring any leftover swap items to the IDEA Store (creative reuse store where I volunteer). You are only allowed to bring one grocery bag or less unless you make a prior appointment, and there are some restricted days and hours for donations as well. So if I’m available, I can just take care of it so no one from out-of-town needs to try to figure it out.

Looking forward to meeting everyone! I’m supposed to be visiting my sister at some point this summer, but would probably have some flexibility to work around it.

Wish I could offer lodging, but my son will be moving back in with us in a couple of months, along with an apartment’s worth of stuff. So our guest room is going away…


There are a few grocers and cafes that offer some good vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Common Ground (a co-op, but you do not need a membership to shop there).

World Harvest/Strawberry Fields Cafe

Harvest Market (this is a full-size grocery store with a small eatery inside; they try to feature local farms and foods)

The list @MistressJennie posted is also good, although it may be a little out-of-date. For example, Destihl no longer has a Champaign location, alas!


I thought that might be an option, but didn’t want to speak for you.

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I am totally in! I don’t know of any dates that I can’t work around so am pretty flexible at this point. I think a July or earlier August date would work better for me though, as I work for a university and right before the start of the semester (end of August) schedules can get a little hairy.


You don’t think that’s a long drive???

I think you peeps in the US love to drive or something.


It would be 15 hours if I drove! I can barely do ten hours.
The almost five hours would be my plane ride.
I’m not sure if I would be able to make it. I guess it depends on the dates… my anniversary with my husband is the 16th of June, his birthday is the 28th of June, we’re going to a lake the first week of August and my son starts school the 8th of August again I think.
I would also need it to be when my parents or in-laws can watch my son since he’s not yet old enough to stay at home by himself, even though I think he would be fine and wouldn’t burn my house down.
So, don’t count on my vote.

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