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.


Patti said...

How fun Tracey! Glad you had such a good time. I with you on the spending. The one and only time I participated in the western Washington shop hop I visited 9 shops in one day and averaged over $100 per shop!!!! Can't ever do that again!

Shelina said...

Wow three days to go to that many shops! It sounds like a lot of fun, although I'd have to leave my wallet at home to avoid temptation. Maybe they would let me cut some fabric for a fat quarter.
What a great idea to get the local patterns. Support the new quilt designers and get unique quilts.

Mary said...

I'm exhausted just reading about it! I've hit 3 shops in the 7 months we been here - not much of a record.

How nice that you met Carol and Sue on your trip.

Carol E. said...

Howdy, Tracey. Glad you saw so many shops while you were here. I can't believe how cooperative your daughter is with all that quilt shop hopping! She rules! You'll have to come back, because you didn't get to the shop in Rogers. That's a must-do on your next trip.

joyce said...

We stayed very near Blue Bamboo a couple of weeks ago in Minneapolis but time didn't permit a visit. I was quite disappointed. Maybe next time. We did stop at one in Fergus Falls on the way to Minneapolis.

Sweet P said...

You experienced "Minnesota Nice". Having grown up in Minnesota I'm told the MN natives are nice people.

Did you buy any of the Minnesota fabric? I did and got mine in the mail while on vacation.

I wish I would have known about the Shop Hop sooner. I would have rearranged my vacation to visit family and shop hop at the same time.

I'm in New Hampshire. Where in CT are you? I always like meeting online quilters too.

Finn said...

Hey Tracey, you were in my neck of the woods, and I never even knew..! Go happy they treated you well in Minnesota. They really do excel at Minnesota nice, for the most part..*VBS*
Sounds like a marvelous but exhausing time!! So happy you got to do that and also meet up with Carol E. Super gal!! Hugs, Finn

amandajean said...

I live fairly close to the Minneapolis/st. paul area, so I look forward to visiting some of the shops that you have listed here. it sounds like you had a fun (and tiring) trip.