Tuesday, August 14, 2007

22 Quilt Shops in 3 Days

I'm back...but exhausted. Last weekend, DD and I had a big adventure: We flew to Minnesota for the state-wide shop hop, and some retail therapy at the Mall of America.

92 shops all around the state are paricipating in the shop hop, 19 of them in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Area. In three days time, Thing One and I (joined on Friday by Carol) visited all 19 of the Metro Shops, plus one in the South East Region and two other shops that were not involved in the shop hop. I must admit, I spent WAY too much money and bought too much stuff, but it was lots of fun! Besides the quilt shops, we spent a lot of time at the Mall of America.

We arrived home yesterday afteroon and have been mostly laying on the couch and snoozing ever since.

My big finds on this trip consist of lots of patterns. I am always amazed that patterns are such a regional thing: there are so many designers whose designs only appear in quilt shops in their 'home' area. As a result, everytime I go to a different area, I look for things by local designers. Since Minnesota has so many shops and designers, I knew I'd find a lot...and I was right. In the end, I bought 22 patterns (shh...don't tell DH), and I think that about 20 of them were by Minnesota designers. At least now the quilts I make in the near future won't look like the quilts that everyone else in my guild is making! :-)

Of the 22 shops, I was very pleased with several of them and pleased with rest. There were only a couple that didn't thrill me, and that was only because the stock was just not my style. I think that a few of my favorites would be Blue Bamboo in Plymouth, Quilt Cove in Eagan, Fabric Town in Apple Valley, The Sampler in Chanhassen, Colorful Quilts and Textiles in St. Paul, and Heavenly Patchwork in Waconia. Everyone in all of the shops was super friendly and as nice as could be to us. Some places I've been (not on this trip!) I've felt unwelcome in shops, but everyone in Minnesota was very welcoming.

We met Carol on Friday morning, and had a busy day shopping with her...we visited 5 shops and two yummy restaurants that day. On Saturday when we went to Charlottes Web of Quilting in Stillwater, we met Sue from the Heartstrings group and she showed us some of the string blocks that have been sent to her. I love when I get to meet my virtual friends in person, its such fun!

Overall we had a blast and would go back in a heartbeat! I'll try to take some pictures of the haul later to post.