Quilt Shop Hop Report

Have you ever been on a Quilt Shop Hop?  You know--a couple of your quilting friends hop in the car or van with you and off you go to visit some quilt shops near and far and return home late that night.  It's lots of fun!  But lend me your ears and I will tell you about a Shop Hop that happened recently that will blow the dust off your sewing machine.


At eight o'clock on Friday morning 32 quilters boarded a nice comfortable bus at the Wally-Mart parking lot and headed down  I-55. " Where are we going?"  we asked.  "Oh, we will tell you later," was the reply.  Snacks were passed out and we happily rolled along, enjoying the sunshine after days of rain. Several hours later we arrived at Jackson, Tennessee at the Sew Many Ideas Quilt shop.  There were lots of new things to see :beautiful batiks, patterns, children's clothing, notions, machines and awesome quilts hanging everywhere.  Oh, what to buy?  "Save some money for the other shops--but I have to have this".  After being served a big baked potato with all the toppings and a yummy cookie in the shop's classroom, with purchases in tow we boarded the bus once again for the next stop.


We headed north, again being kept in the dark as to where we were going.  Oh Joy!  We ended up at the Paducah Fair Grounds and there was Eleanor Burn's $5 a yard fabrics, aisle after aisle in the chicken barn.  And anything orange or yellow was $4.50 a yard.  You think the money wasn't flowing there?   Think again.  " I have to have this book, too.  Tell the bus to wait".  Next stop was Mt. Vernon, Illinois at the Drury Inn.  Saturday morning found us rested, and on the road again but where to?  St Louis and the Quilted Fox Quilt Shop.  It is located in an "upscale" area.  It too had gorgeous fabrics, and everything else.  As it was lunch time they were to serve us lunch. We were a little turned off with their hospitality when we were given a Styrofoam box with meager contents and told to eat it on the bus as "one just cannot serve food in a quilt shop."  Okay!!


Then we supposed we would visit some more shops in St. Louis area.  Fooled again!  We headed west.  Are we going to some shops in  Columbia?  NOPE!  we just breezed on through. A little after noon we saw the State Capitol Building and knew we were in  Jefferson City. Not being in a political mood, we arrived at Specialty Quilts and Fabrics and lost ourselves in many lovely fabrics.  The staff was very helpful, friendly and most generous with a lovely lunch for everyone.  I even found a piece of red fabric that I had wanted last year and couldn't find.  Loaded with more "needed" items we headed west again.  As the afternoon wore on we turned north.  Oh, yipes!!! We must be going to Iowa.  A sign said Cameron and we guessed we were going to go to Jan Patak's shop. No such luck. Going east and then south through flat farmland  and lots of pecan tree farms we came to the little town of Brunswick, MO. We were greeted with bags of pecans, smiles and info about the Sew Sweet Quilt Shop .  I must say I had to pinch myself and slap my face.  I thought I had died and gone to Quilt Heaven.  A brand new building, made to look old, and chucked full of every pattern, notion, bolts of fabric, displays of items on antique furniture, and happy people ready to serve us in any way we asked.  So it was "Get out the credit card time".  After feasting our eyes on everything we were served a scrumptious meal on white tablecloths, no less!  Do we really have to leave this charming place? 
Tooling along north again we found ourselves on a gravel road--Oh No!  Are we lost?  A group of farmers talking over the days work came to the rescue.  Humored by our lady bus driver with a bus full of ladies they had to get on the bus to see if it was for real. Thinking they would need to help get the bus turned around on the narrow road humored us.  No problem.  Our very capable driver had us turned around and rolling down the highway in no time. We returned to Cameron and spent the night there in a so-so motel. After a meager breakfast we were on the road again.


The little town of Stewartsville, home of The Quilt Shop, yes that was its name, was our next stop.  The owner of this shop is the one who planned the trip. She welcomed us and told us about her daughter, Tula Pink.  Tula designs fabric and has some in her mother's shop.  Tula was also in attendance that day, so we had the privilege of meeting a real live fabric designer and buying some of her fabric.


On the road again we traveled south--(no Iowa this trip)-to Kearney where the And So Be It Quilt Shop is located.

"Okay!  Slap my hands if I try to buy anything else"!  More beautiful fabrics, food and kits.  Just had to have one kit cut before leaving that shop.  Why do they put so many pretty quilts up to tempt us?


Back on I-70 we came to Columbia where we visited The Appletree Quilt Shop. Getting off the bus in the rain  didn't dampen our spirits one tiny iota.  Get that credit card out and shop some more.  There were demonstrations of different products going on and the quilt god's were tempting us again. Such useful tools that we needed for that particular project.  Lovely fabrics! Needed tools!  We must come back here again.


One would think we'd be sick of all this travel and rain and shopping.  On the bus again we swapped stories, petted our fabric and looked at our new books. There was one more stop.  The Cornerstone Cupboard in Park Hills. Many of us  had been there before but they had new things to see, some demonstrations going on and last but not least, a delicious meal prepared for us.  Though I'm sure most of us had shot our "Wad" we did leave with more packages.


Arriving back in Cape around nine thirty in torrential rain we parted company.  There's more stories to tell about our trip but some things are better left unsaid.

A Happy Quilter.