Shop Hop

The above images have absolutely nothing to do with this post – I just threw them in for the men in the audience.  This post is about my recent Quilt Shop Hop trip with my quilting friends; if you don’t want to read about quilting, fabric and a girls weekend of  travel you should back away slowly and have a nice day 😉

A couple of my quilting friends and I just returned from the Central Washington Quilt Shop Hop.  For those of you who have never done a Shop Hop, let me explain.

A group of quilt shops get together and sponsor a Shop Hop, a special promotional event to encourage quilters to visit all the shops in the area.  There are prizes and gifts and special hours during the hop.  The map above is the one for our trip.  We visited eleven shops (twelve if you count the Ben Franklin store in Monroe) in two and a half days and covered over 600 miles.  Central Washington has a lot of small towns 50 miles or so apart and I think we saw them all.

At each shop you get your card stamped and a letter to complete the mystery phrase.  The object is to collect all the letters, solve the phrase and turn in your card at the last shop so you are in the prize drawing.

We saw some awesome and inspiring displays on the trip.

Quilt shops have their own personalities too, and some are truly unique.  Here is one in a re-modeled bank building, see the old vault still in place?

This one is really a creative use of an old space.  Can you guess what this building used to be before it was a quilt shop?

OK here is the answer.

Yes, it really was the old barn where they kept the buggy.  It is located on a still working ranch and we drove a mile and a half down a gravel road to find it.  And now it is home to quilts, lots and lots of quilts.  So many quilts they are displayed on every wall and even the ceiling.

There are even bolts of fabrics and quilts in . . . well you can see where they are.  I don’t believe there is ANY space that is not used.

We also found some great places to eat along the way.  At each shop in a town where we were going to eat we asked them for their recommendation – and they never steered us wrong.

This place was one of my favorites.  An old factory (did I mention I like old things?) that was turned into a cafe and bakery.  Filled with antiques and funky finds, lots of personality.

And the food was delicious!  Fresh bread baked daily  and lots of wonderful bakery creations – mmmgood!  We stopped at this bakery the next day.

I’m not sure which was more important to us, the fabric or the food.

One of the things I like best about quilting is to see each individual quilter’s creativity and ideas.  Two people – or a whole group – can use the exact same pattern and their finished quilts will each be unique.

The star table topper above is the one our quilt group is scheduled to do at our October Overnighter.  I bought the pattern last year, our instructor made it up as an example last week and I took this picture before we left on the Shop Hop.

We saw another example of the same pattern hanging on the wall of the first shop.

And we saw another one at the next shop.

And the next.

Almost every shop we went into had that same table topper pattern made up and displayed.  It was very interesting to see all the different looks you can get from the same pattern.

All the same pattern and all look so unique. The one below gets my vote for most creative.

We were talking with the shop owner in Twisp admiring the center circle and spider web she stitched into hers and she told us that was an accident!  Due to a cutting error the center didn’t work out exactly like it was supposed to so she used the fabric circle to fix it.  Then it reminded her of a spider web so she stitched one in.  Quilters never cease to amaze me with their ingenuity.

We had a great trip and a lot of fun.  By my calculations at our current rate of completing one project per month at our overnighter we now have enough fabric and projects to last us through 2015.  You have to plan ahead 😉

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