Sunday, August 31, 2014

Shop Hop road trip or Jackie the enabler

Patterns and license plates from a couple of shops.

Last weekend I took a little road trip to Chattanooga, TN which is about 1.5 hours away from me. My friend Jackie suggested we go to some shops that are participating in the Row by Row Experience. (It is a nation wide quilt shop hop and each shop has created a pattern for a row in a quilt.) The state of quilt shops here in North Alabama is pretty sad and there are no participating shops in the state at all. We are down to one shop in Huntsville, if you don't count the sewing machine shops that sell fabric. That means we have to drive to see different offerings in the quilt world. There is always the internet, but you can't feel and pet it :0) My intent for this trip was to get the license plates and patterns only. I don't need any more projects or fabric!

So my super organized friend did the research, called the shops to be sure of their hours, mapped out a plan and off we went, leaving at 6:30 a.m. (There is a time zone change). 

Pattern for row from Hyderhangout
 The first stop was past Chattanooga in Cleveland, TN. Hyderhangout is located in a dark, damp, warm old building. Their offerings were not of the highest quality. So we got our "license plate" and pattern for the row only. 

Pattern from Chattanooga Quilts
Next stop, Chattanooga Quilts in Ooltewah, TN. Not a place you would happen upon just driving by, but definitely worth the trip! It is in an old building, nothing to look at from the outside. But once you get inside... Nice displays and lots of samples and decorated wonderfully with family antiques. A really nice selection of fabrics. Both Jackie and I found lots of stuff there and our tastes are polar opposite. I also liked that she had items from local crafts people like ceramics and jewelry. The owner was also very friendly. We had to order our plates to be mailed. 

Pattern from Sew N Quilt

Then on to the Bernina Sew N Quilt Studio. Jackie loves trains and the Chattanooga Choo Choo and their row is a train silhouette. Again, not much in the way of fabrics or customer service.

Two rows from Ready, Set, Sew

Our subsequent stop,  Ready, Set, Sew. They are also a machine dealer, but for Baby Lock, Janome, Elna machines. They had a big work room and lots of machines. We almost didn't go there because their row was an appliqué squirrel and if we ran out of time they were off the list. We were glad we went though because they had a second offering that was super cute and more regional. We wound up getting both of them. I didn't get the kit though because they had run out of the fabrics that the sample was done with and I didn't love the replacements as much. At this point, I am thinking of doing the rows to coordinate instead of in the colors of the shops. I was able to secure the "barn" fabric that would be difficult to find though. I also found a cute pattern for a Pat Sloan wall hanging. 

Pattern from Spool
Fifth stop, Spool. It is near downtown Chattanooga. The navigation had us cracking up because it took us to the street and then said "destination ahead, navigation ending" and we were not near the shop. The parking was behind the building and we found it because organized Jackie had looked at the street view on Google Maps and recognized the murals on the buildings across the street. Of course by this time we are a bit delirious anyways. This shop has been open about a year and has more of a "modern" feel. You won't find any civil war repros here but it has a good feel and lots of samples and a good selection. I picked up some goodies along with the pattern and ordered two different license plates. I will be back there if possible. 

Pattern and kit from Pins and Needles
Last destination, Pins and Needles Quilt Shop  .  A nice little shop. I got the kit for their row and they had a cute pattern of cars that you could put the license plates on. 

The key to a successful shop hop is to have an open mind and good attitude and a friend who shops like you do. I don't think it would work well with lots of people or if one is on a mission and the others are dawdlers. 

The Row by Row Experience ends this week I think but who ever came up with the idea is smart. It was a great marketing tool to get shoppers into the shops and then back for the contests and drawings. 
I have already been playing with my purchases despite having many projects underway already. Maybe I will be able to share a completed project some time soon :0) Until then, 
Happy Quilting or whatever you choose to do to occupy your time. 



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sounds like you two had a great trip--thanks for taking us along!

  3. I like Jackie. You are so easy to get enabled. :) Glad it was a good time for you! BTW....... Shop Remember When in Whitesboro closed down. I will call you this weekend. O.

  4. yea, and that last comment was Ona. Somehow I am on Meag's profile and need to sign her out. ... #onemorethingtodo