Every year there is a “shop hop” at local shops, Quilt! Carolina. Apparently it use to just be the shops in the Triangle area, but it has expanded to include the Triad and Fayetteville and a few other places. Since I am relatively new to the sewing thing, last year was my first experience with it. Last year I was pretty excited about going to check out all the shops I had never known about, get all the free patterns (even though most turned out to be lame) and try to collect enough stamps for the grand prize drawing. Even though we had a 3 week old baby at the time, I managed to make it to enough shops to get into the grand prize drawing. The grand prize last time was a really nice sewing machine, which was motivation enough for me to try for all the stamps since I only had a little entry level machine then. I also didn’t have a huge backlog of projects at the time.
This year… not so excited. The grand prizes were lame; I already knew most of the shops; there was no way I was driving to the new out-of-town shops (one in Boone!) just for a stamp; I need more projects on my to do list like I need a hole in my head… so yeah. However, I still bought a passport and decided to just go to the four shops in the immediate area that I frequent anyway: Bernina, My Sewing Shoppe, and Wish Upon a Quilt here in Raleigh, and Cary Quilting Company. By going to those shops I was able to take advantages of sales, enter drawings at their shops, support the shops, get coupons for future visits, and even get a few freebies.
So, Saturday (after Tumble Gym and a nap) we got a baby sitter so Sean could go to his Japanese class and I could go shop hop. We had a late lunch together before going our separate ways. The last thing Sean said to me was, “Don’t buy a lot of stuff.” and I said, “I don’t intend to.” … and I didn’t. I really didn’t. As stated… too many projects in the backlog already. Sigh. I have a problem. I really do.
My first stop was Bernina, where I bought a handful of things I needed (interfacing, thimbles, needles) and a neat magnetic wrist pin holder that caught my eye. It is like the “slap bracelets” that were so popular back in the day, but it has a magnetic cup on it to grab pins. I love love love this thing and am so glad I spotted it. Sean is always getting on me about putting pins in my mouth, and I know I shouldn’t do it… but the other wrist pin cushions are so uncomfortable and annoying. It is always easier to just hold a pin in my mouth than to always keep the pin cushion in reach. I used it last night while finishing up my latest project; it was so handy and was completely comfortable. They also gave out a nifty (free) ballpoint pen that doubles as a stylus for touch devices. Score!
From there I hopped over to My Sewing Shoppe, where I was again pretty good at self control. I only picked up a yard of fusible web and some really cool tape that only sticks to itself. The tape has already proved really useful at keeping spools of thread from unraveling. The thought of taming all the loose threads in my thread box has me excited, as soon as I have the time I am going to sit down and wrap them all.
The next stop was Wish Upon a Quilt, where that whole self-control thing went out the window. There I picked up a new quilt pattern, a kit for a bag to put sewing stuff in, joined a new block of the month program, and got two cute hand embroidery kits (on clearance! a giraffe and lion) as well as another type of fusible web that I haven’t tried before. So much for no more new projects. The new block of the month is going to be another good learning experience though, and unlike the Elegance quilt (that I am still way behind on) I actually like this one. It starts October 4th, so stay tuned… I will add a page for that one in a few weeks.
My last stop was Cary Quilting. On the way there I was thinking, “I guess I will just get a stamp and turn in the passport, don’t really need anything else.” Yeah, right. The first misstep was looking in a basket of “tootsie rolls” (rolled up fat 1/8yd pre cut fabric) which are only 75 cent each. Which is great, until you realize you have a pile of 17 of them. There were so many cute fabrics though! They will be great for appliqué and other little things. A few other example projects and kits caught my eye, but I managed to tell myself (rightly) that I didn’t need them. So I was doing good. Really. But then I saw the most adorablest piggie sitting up on a shelf. Luckily that turned out to be a free pattern, but it was all downhill from there. While I was leaving the front room (the shop is an old converted house) my eye caught a pile of fabric on the cutting table. I was immediately drawn to the colors in the kit, and asked about it.
As it turned out, it was the kit for the (free) Koi Garden pattern they had made for the shop hop. When I saw the pattern in the passport kit, I had originally dismissed it. But when I saw the fabrics in the kit, and then saw the actual quilt, I really liked it. So now I have yet another quilt sitting on my shelf, waiting. Then I saw the mug rug example, which was another free pattern for the shop hop. I like small projects and the kit was only $5, so what the heck. One more thing for the to do list. Next I saw a little elephant that was even more adorable than the piggie. Add yet one more pattern to my list of things to make. Behind the elephant, I spotted a little soft book that I thought Anna might like… so, I grabbed the fabric for that as well. There was also a bag hanging up that I absolutely loved, but luckily they were out of those patterns… otherwise I would have another bag to make as well.
In all, I really did have a good shop hop experience and got lots of good stuff. If I had tried to make it to all the other shops though, I think it would have been miserable. I got the feeling I wasn’t the only one that was less than excited about this year’s tour though. Last year the shops were all packed, this year they didn’t really seem that much busier than usual. In fact, while I was at Wish one of the shop girls went home early because they didn’t need her.
Other than that, the only sewing updates are that I finished the little needle book I was working on. I will have to make a page for that under the “hand stitched” section. I also managed to get most of the August’s blocks for the Elegance quilt. I still have to finish July’s blocks too, and haven’t even started on September’s. Sigh. I need to get cracking on that though, there are only four weeks left before the next class. So four weeks to finish three months of blocks and cut everything for October’s block… I can do this! But only three weeks until my first class for the new block of the month. So, maybe I should rethink my deadline. Okay, three weeks to get caught up. I can do this… I can. Really. Right?
Here are several photos related to this post. Some are the needle book, some are pictures I took as notes for things I picked up to make.