For the first time ever, I participated in a shop hop. I had no idea what to expect, but it was fun. My step-mother-in-law invited me, and both our husbands came. Over 1,000 miles later, we managed to make it to all twelve participating shops. Most of them are amazing, though I will be honest and say that one or two was disappointing considering the drive time it took to find them. (As a local shop, they are splendid, I am sure!)
The photos include a mix of freebies and purchases. It is amazing how much I collected during the process!
First, every shop made a block for the theme – this year was Town and Country. As a participant, I got each pattern free. I also got 15% off any fabric purchase of a ½ yard or more, though I mostly buy fat quarters when I am not shopping for a specific project (to someday make my own quilt). Towards the end of the duration of the shop hop, a new event began: Row by Row. I collected two patterns for that, also for free.
The bulk of my (free and purchased) loot was in fabric. Some shops were overwhelming with the assortment of gorgeous fabrics (I am looking at you Countryside Village Gifts and Quilt Fabric Shop and Rossville Quilts). I could lose a pretty penny if they were closer to me!
Charms packs and a mini block:
Oppossums, mice, and kittens so cute it hurts.
A nice mix of colors and patterns:
A heart print should I decide to sew something for my nurse friend who just proposed to his girlfriend:
And these guys, some of which have already been turned into a project from the only pattern I purchased (more on that below and later):
Linen, for my window seat cushions I intend to make someday:
Lots of shops also gave out old patterns (some are quite dated as you can see), but perhaps they will teach me something:
The rest of my loot includes notions and such. I bought a small pack of wonder clips since they seem to be all the rage online. Turns out the praise is worthy so when I spotted another small pack, I picked them up. Then Boy saw a box of them and got them for me. How sweet!
Some buttons, measuring tape ribbon, a thimble, labels, fancy zipper, and a seam ripper with a little rubber end to easily pull cut threads out:
Zippers, three of which have since been dismantled for the above (and below) mentioned project, measuring tapes, a little flashlight that slips on your finger, pens and pencils, and small hairties that was advertised to keep bobbin threads in place. Although I use handi-bobs, it is a cheap and clever idea!
One of my favorite parts was talking to the guy who sells Bernina machines, since I proudly own a 930 Electric. I was wondering how the modern versions compare – are they still all metal? Yes! Which I am on the fence about – I wanted him to say yes, of course, but my machine is so heavy! It does not make it easy moving it about. The other cool thing is that the model that basically replaced mine is still basically the same, and still basically costs what I can sell mine for on Ebay, which means it really keeps its value! Good work, Bernina!
The last thing I want to show you is the pattern I bought. I made three little pouches to practice and Boy has those photos on his camera so I will post them at a later time. I thought this might be a little difficult – and it was the first ever time I’ve used a zipper – but really it was pretty simple! I’ll share more details when I post next.
I learned which shops have the best prices, which shops have specialty items I can’t find elsewhere, and which shops have fabric styles that I totally dig. Even if I don’t win anything (a sewing machine, 120 fat quarters, 25$ gift certificates for all twelve shops, or independent raffles at each shop), the experience was truly worth the time. I’d do it again, no question!