My Shop Hop in Review

February 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

My Shop Hop haul

My Shop Hop haul

I managed four shops yesterday afternoon, starting as planned with The Quilter’s Palette.  Short work was made of my gift certificate, as they indeed had, as hoped, the queen size Dream Wool batting I wanted for “Ruby Wedding.”  I also picked up some gorgeous batiks in green, purple, and blue for a future curved piecing project I’ve been mulling over for a while, a spool of Aurifil for piecing, and a yard and a half of that crazy huge brightly-colored bird print from (who else?) Alexander Henry.  No, I do not know what I’m going to do with it, but I knew for certain I’d regret it if I didn’t buy it, since fabrics like that don’t get very wide distribution, and the selvedge says 2007.  As I commented to my mom, how do those designers know exactly how to push my buttons? 

From there, we went to Ladyfingers, where I found a Lonni Rossi fabric from several years ago in the bargain corner for $3.95/yd.  That’s a great price under any circumstances; it’s a fantastic price when you’re going to need nine yards to make a back for “Taupe Winding Ways.”  I did the math in the shop:  that particular sweetheart is going to be 96″ x 108″ with that darn border, which makes it officially the biggest quilt I’ve ever made.  Good thing I’ll be warming up with “Ruby Wedding” before I get to that one.  But now it has a back, at least.  I also picked up the “craft size” of Dream Wool so I can play with it before committing “Ruby Wedding” to it. 

After a lovely lunch, I dropped my mom back off at her car and continued home, making a slight detour to Denver, PA to Burkholder’s.  Considering it’s long been a favorite shop of mine, it had been several months since I’d been there; I’d heard rumblings that the business was changing hands and that inventory was low during the transition.  I am pleased to announce that Burkholder’s is well on its way back, with a wide selection of gorgeous fabric, batting, books, patterns, and notions.  Classes are being offered again as well.  I bought a yard of a very unusual fabric that didn’t make it into the picture, as it had apparently fallen out of the bag in my trunk; I’ll have to show it later. 

I almost didn’t go to Sauder’s, because it was already 4:25 when I left Burkholder’s and they close at 5 on Wednesdays.  I never want to be the customer keeping everyone late unless I know I’ll be making a significant investment there, but I was looking for the blue chalk pounce powder to use with stencils (recommended by Pam Clarke in her Quilting with Machines classes) and everyone else either didn’t carry it or was out of it.  As it happened, when I blew in the door at 4:52 (!), Sauder’s doesn’t carry it either, so I got out relatively cheaply with a discounted copy of American Patchwork & Quilting and some dark-chocolate-covered cranberries — an excellent reason to patronize a quilt fabric shop that also stocks bulk foods.  I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for the pounce chalk at Quilt Fest of New Jersey next weekend. 

All told, I bought 15.5 yards of top-quality quilting cotton, 2 wool batts, a magazine, a big spool of thread, and some chocolate, and only spent $71 out of pocket (thanks to the gift certificate.)  Nothing bad about that. 

And when I got home, guess what the nice UPS man had brought me? 

Superior Threads shipment

Superior Threads shipment: like Christmas!

 I only placed this order Sunday night; Superior Threads is in Utah, and I got this Wednesday!  Talk about service.  Not that I expect anything less from Superior; ever since I heard Bob Purcell give his “Threadology” talk at the Ricky Tims Super Seminar in 2007, I have had a new respect for their products and been a very loyal customer.  They are a very service-based company, constantly soliciting comments and making improvements to be as responsive to quilters’ needs as possible.  Their site is a treasure trove of (free!) information, tutorials, tips, and ideas; their email newsletter is excellent, and Bob, his wife Heather (AKA “Mother Superior”) and the rest of the staff run a wonderful, helpful, ethical business that I can feel proud to support while buying their unparalleled threads.  Superior is currently running a shipping sale ($3.95 flat rate!) for the month of February, so my plan to order one single cone of thread kind of mushroomed.  I got two cones of Bottom Line, the light blue I needed to finish “Window on Whimsy” and a taupe to use in the bobbin of both “Ruby Wedding” and “Taupe Winding Ways.”  I also got a spool of dark gray-blue King Tut to use in the blue areas of “Ruby Wedding” and some purple glow-in-the-dark thread (!!!) for quilting a Halloween Attic Windows wall hanging my mom made, and color cards for King Tut and Brytes.  As if that wasn’t enough, Superior has a “Try Me!”  feature for most of their threads; you get a half-price spool of top-quality thread, but they pick the color.  I’m trying Perfect Quilter, MasterPiece, SunBurst, and three colors of Brytes — and they’re all colors I’d use!  I definitely see some quilting fun in my immediate future.

Considering I’ve been talking about stash reduction, yesterday’s exploits can certainly seem like “The Lost Weekend.”  However, I mainly bought batting, thread, and fabric with a purpose:  not so much expanding the stash, but procuring items I need to complete projects I’m currently or soon-to-be working on.  Plus, I hadn’t set foot in a quilt shop in absolute ages — possibly since before Christmas!  I need to meditate on that, but I believe that’s accurate.  And no mail-order, either.  I have been very restrained and well-behaved in 2010, so I earned this.  I just need to make sure it’s not the thin edge of the wedge as we enter quilt show season.

After work:  to the studio!!!

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Entry filed under: Fabric Shopping, Travel, WIPs. Tags: , , , , , .

Hooray for Shop Hops! Whoa…

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