A friend and I took our Saturday and went on the Roanoke Sewing Guild’s Shop Hop. We had a blast, learned a lot about several local stores (including which ones we probably won’t visit again), and got lots of goodies. I tried to be moderate, and I think I succeeded…I think.
Anyway, on to the goodies. At our second stop, Creative Quilting in Roanoke – which sadly does not have a website – they were having a 20% off everything sale and I was able to snag a book that had been on my wishlist and a cute little fat quarter. They were giving away some very happy yellow fabric too. I really liked this little shop and wish I had thought to take pictures of the inside (as well as of some of the others, but oh well). I tend to judge stores based on their internet presence, and while this one has practically none I loved it and will definitely be back, probably more often than I should. I hope they have classes, particularly on how to make the landscape applique’ quilts they had up. So gorgeous.
Next was Quilting Essentials, in Salem, VA. They also don’t have a website, but it was a cute little shop with a large assortment of fabric, books, batting, and thread. Very traditional fabrics though, a few batiks. I didn’t buy anything, though I *almost* took home a stack of reproduction flour sack fabrics for the Vintage-ish Quilt I’ve been planning in my head.
Then we stopped at Alpine Sewing Company, in Roanoke. They’re at least trying to have a bit of an internet presence, and as a result I’d already been in their store a few times. While they focus more on embroidery machines, they have a nice selection of thread and I bought 2 spools of Isacord (yay for not having to order online) to use on the Little Miss quilt. They sell Bernina, Janome, and Elna and I’m happy to have a machine repair shop so close.
Next and last for the official shop list was The Quilting Connection, a tiny little shop in Boones Mill. The people were very friendly and it was the only shop on the list where no one commented on the fact that we were probably 20 years younger than any of the other patrons or employees. I understand people are very happy to have younger fabric artists (:-D) joining them, but really. Constantly commenting on it and staring at us is a very sure way to drive us away. Anyway, I was the lucky recipient of a door prize here! A package of TrueGrips – something I’d not heard of – will definitely be put to use on my Omnigrid rulers. Less cursing during fabric cutting is always a good thing. I also snagged a few more fat quarters here.
It was from here we decided to swing on down to Wytheville to Batiks Etc. and Sew What Fabrics. It wasn’t on the list but since we were already out gallivanting around we took a very backcountry road to get there, which was lots of fun in and of itself.
“Are you sure it (i.e., GPS) still shows we’re on the right road?”
*thump, bump as we hit a gravel road*
“Uh….yeah. Yeah, we’re right on track.”
*more gravel and potholes, accompanied by lots and lots of trees and occasional glimpses of a pretty view *
“Hm. Too bad there’s not some way of showing exactly what kind of road you’re going to end up on…”
We were glad we were in a 4-wheel drive, and not some little low-to-the-ground car.
I have to admit this was my favorite shop of any we visited. Perhaps it’s not quite a fair comparison just because this one was easily 3 times the size of any of the others. But besides all the hand-dyed fabrics appealing to my indie side, they also had several of the more modern lines from designers like Tula Pink, Amy Butler (found some on the sale table), and the brand new Oh Deer! line from Moda (brought some fat quarters home). We arrived only an hour and a half before they closed, which was probably a good thing so I couldn’t think too long about buying out the entire store. But it was sensory overload, as evidenced by the fact that I still did not take any pictures of the inside of the store. Ugh! Next time. Overall, it was an awesome day and I can’t wait to use the goodies I bought.