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8.17.2011

8.09.2011

The Three Month Quilt Shop Hop

I spent a good portion of today hopping from shop to shop: about four hours with a half hour break for lunch.

I decided to join the Three Month Quilt Shop Hop this summer. It covers pretty much all of northern Illinois. I learned of the shop hop at my local quilt shop Prairie Shop Quilts in Batavia. Since this will cover many miles, and I want to get to all those shops, I thought I'd need to get a good chunk of these shops out of the way.

So, I hit the northwestern suburbs today:
1. I started with Quilter's Destination in Arlington Heights. I didn't take any pictures (didn't think of it til much later in the day) of the shop which is located in a small strip mall off Rand Road. The notes I made on my foursquare comments, was Batik City. Lots of batik and it's right when you first walk in. The staff were eager to help and encourage me to continue in my quilting. They encouraged me to take classes... Also, they sell Janome machines. {smile} I would glad go back to this shop. There were several different pre-cuts available for purchase. I think they had an excellent selection of patterns as well.

These are the items I purchased at Quilter's Destination:
2. I headed west to my next shop, A Touch of Amish in Barrington. A Touch of Amish is located right across the street from Jewel... in an older home. There is ample parking in the back of the house -- a whole parking lot. The shop was very busy this morning, which I imagine is a very good thing. A Touch of Amish had batiks and a few contemporary lines but mostly this is mostly an old school quilting store. The woman who helped me seemed to be the store owner and answered my questions. They sell Quilt Smart products... one particular pattern caught my eye: Black-eyed Susan. It's very attractive. A Touch of Amish didn't have many pre-cuts for sale. Fat quarters seemed to be just for left-over fabric.

This is the item I purchased at A Touch of Amish:

3. A few short miles west of Barrington is the Pieceful Gathering Quilt Shop in Fox River Grove on the Northwest Highway. Look for this shop on the north side of the street:


Pretty. The shop is the first floor of the house. According to the friendly clerk, Pieceful Gathering has two long arm machines upstairs where they have a quilting service. While I was there I heard the whirl of the machine doing it's thing. The fabric is almost exclusively civil war reproductions. They had a nice selection of accessories. When it was finally my turn to check out a woman raced from upstairs to show the clerk the pattern she had just finished. She was as giddy as a school girl... wanting the clerk to take a picture of what she'd just done... the clerk reminded her that customers were waiting. I told her it was fine to go take the picture. We went back and forth several times, til I finally checked out. It was a weird exchange. They had a good selection of fat-quarters and some nice patterns... even if the fabric wasn't my style.

This is the item I purchased from Pieceful Gathering:

4. After lunch in Crystal Lake, I headed downtown Crystal Lake to Material Girl. Material Girl was known as Millie's for many years and one of the best fabric stores I'd ever been to. I met Millie once just before she sold her shop and she was wonderful -- the woman knew fabric. She could pinpoint a store my mom mentioned to her in downtown Los Angeles. I'd been wanting to get to Crystal Lake to see what the new owner had done to it.
It's worth the wait. And, it's worth the drive. What a great store. Once I have a real handle on projects I want to start, I am heading to Material Girl. Fabrics are organized by genre then color. All the old buttons Millie had collected over the years? Still available. We're talking buttons that must be more than 20 years.... but also current style buttons too. That is what was so great about Millie's Shop... she had so much. So does Material Girl, but in the best way possible. The staff were busy with fabric salesmen, but available for assistance. I love this shop and I can't wait to go back. They had an amazing selection of fat quarters and pre-cuts as well. It's a good thing I didn't have my debit card because I was ready to buy at least one jelly roll. This isn't really a quilt store as the other stores were. It's a fabric store. And it's great.

These are the items I purchased at Material Girl:
5. I'm as west as I'll get and now I head back south to Huntley, IL and Quilt In Joy. Quilt in Joy is in a small strip mall in rural Huntley.
Quilt in Joy has a nice selection of contemporary fabrics. This was a nice shop with nice women who knew their clientele. They had a small selection of patterns (things were starting to look alike by now) and a good selection of fat quarters and some pre-cuts as well.

These are the items I purchased at Quilt in Joy (I love this line and it killed me when I had to put two away, I ran out of money):
After I purchased these two fat quarters I realized I was on to something. Don't you love how these purchases look together?

6. My last shop for the day. I was tired of driving by now so by the time I located Sewing Concepts in Carpentersville (Google Maps, I shake my first at you, this shop is not on the right side of the street!!) I was done looking at fabrics. It's a good thing... this store was light on the fabrics. It's a Janome dealer as well, which is nice to have close by, but talk radio was playing loudly and the two people working were a little grumpy with each other. I'd been to the Sewing Concepts in Woodstock which I found delightful.

This is the item I purchased at Sewing Concepts:
sorry about the sideways shot: but it's a binding maker. I've been looking for this for sometime, and to have the 15% (I think) discount just made it better.

I have 14 more shops to go in my passport (although I've been to Prairie Shop Quilts, but didn't have the passport to have it stamped.

Do you hop shops? If you don't, try it. It's amazing to see the personalities of the stores. They all seem to have a specific niche they fill.

Shop on...

8.03.2011