Eastern PA Shop Hop 2012

November 25, 2012 at 8:18 pm 2 comments

Ronan @ Wooden Bridge

Ronan strikes a pose on the Shop Hop

Once again, my mom, Ronan and I did the Eastern PA Shop Hop the first 2 weekends in November. There were only 11 shops this year, as Jeannette from Endless Mountains Quiltworks in Tunkhannock decided not to participate in favor of a new hop in southern New York state. I was sad not to go there, since it has been one of my favorite shops since I first discovered it on the shop hop many years ago, and especially because we missed The Airing of the Quilts this year since it fell the same day as my youngest sister’s wedding. However, the shorter list of shops made it more accessible to do at a leisurely pace, especially with a toddler in tow, and at least this year’s list got shorter because of a shop owner’s choice, rather than because another shop went out of business.

As with last year, I went into the shop hop with a commitment to not add to my stash unnecessarily. The only item on my actual shopping list was a backing for Alyssa’s new baby daughter Evelyn’s quilt, and even that was planned for the discount bolts. I think I did pretty well: I only bought one full price piece of fabric, and I only bought half a yard of that.

I did buy the shop hop blocks, as I really liked the color palette and it’s all batik. The line only has a few lights in it, and some of the shop quilts really demonstrate how important it is to have a range of values in your quilt. While some took advantage of those couple light prints and used them for sashing or setting triangles, others turned out muddy because they’re predominantly mediums and darks.

Also, while I wouldn’t buy the blocks if I didn’t like the fabrics, it does give me an easy out for a shop where I don’t feel called to buy anything else at any given shop. Yes, I know there is no price of admission for getting my passport stamped, and yes, I know not finding anything I want to buy is not usually my problem, but it does feel strange to drive all the way to a shop and then not buy something.

As much fun as I had making my Liddle Lamzy Divey quilt using only the Jo Morton line for the entire quilt, I have four years’ worth of shop hop block kits to make into quilts, and I plan to fill in what I can’t do with the generous kit leftovers with stash fabric. Much as I don’t need new projects in my life right now, I think I’m going to take my block kits to retreat with me and see how many I can knock out. I haven’t been doing much piecing lately since finishing the (grumble grumble) paper piecing for the challenge quilt, and I think it will be fun.

Anyway, we had a very good time. The weather cooperated for the most part, and so did Ronan, helped significantly by his affinity for both the smiling, friendly ladies that tend to populate quilt shops and for the cookies that so many of them had on offer. (I’m a little concerned that from here on out, he will expect all quilt shops to give him cookies whenever we go in.) We went to Pocono Sew & Vac and American Ribbon in East Stroudsburg, The Country Quilterie in Effort, and The Quilted Crow in Lehighton on Saturday, November 3; 118 Fabrics & More in Sweet Valley, J&B Fabrics in Nescopeck, and The Happy Sewing Room in Hamburg on Sunday, November 5; Wooden Bridge Drygoods in Kutztown on Saturday, November 10; and At Piece Quiltery in Easton, Allentown Sewing Machine Outlet, and Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley on Sunday, November 11.

My haul...

My haul…

Obviously, I did buy fabric; I just bought heavily discounted fabric. Pocono Sew & Vac, 118 Fabrics, and J&B Fabrics all had excellent sales going on certain sale fabrics, so I finished some bolts of fabrics that I thought would make good borders or backs for projects or color schemes in the pipeline. I didn’t realize until I composed this picture that I had bought so many Christmas-themed items, as I haven’t really done any Christmas quilting for myself, and it’s been several years since I’ve made any gifts. But the panel was cute, on sale, and had possibilities; the poinsettia fabric was $3/yd (!!!) and the shop model 118 Fabrics had up of the snail’s trail variation pieced santa pattern was just too cute to leave behind. I’m very excited to try out the Inspira needles I bought from Allentown Sewing Machine Outlet for free-motion quilting on the recommendation of their sewing machine guy, but the crown jewel of my hoard from this hop is the gold-plated Roxanne thimble, the correct size for my thumb, that I bought from The Happy Sewing Room for only $42! I’ve wanted to get one for my thumb for a while, since there are certain times in hand sewing where I really need to push the needle with my thumb (plus, someday I want to try Alex Anderson‘s technique for hand quilting with my thumb.) However, Dierdre McElroy hasn’t been coming to the shows I’ve been attending in recent years, and I haven’t wanted to buy one mail order at full price and have to both pay shipping and guess on the size. This one was just sitting in the little glass case as if it were waiting for me.

So, after all that driving and shopping, it’s time, as Leah Day says, to “Shut up and quilt!” I have an excellent opportunity to do exactly that at the guild retreat next weekend. More on that soon!

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Entry filed under: Fabric Shopping, New Projects, Travel. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • […] 2009, and 2011 Eastern PA Shop Hops. And of course, in November my mom, Ronan, and I completed the 2012 Shop Hop, which meant I brought home yet another set of block kits. So when considering which piecing […]

    Reply
  • 2. Michele  |  October 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Hi! My sister, a good friend and I are planning our Nov eatern PA shop hop trip and could use some advice. We can’t possibly make it to all 18 shops on our list in 2 days and would love to hear from you which ones we should definitely not miss and which ones we can visit some other time. Our list includes:
    Pocono Sew & Vac
    American Ribbon & Fabric
    Country Quiltery
    The Quilted Crow
    Allentown Sewing
    Wooden Bridge Dry Goods
    Lady Fingers Sewing Studio
    Generations Quilt Shop
    Chester County Quilting
    The Quilt Block
    Quilter’s Corner
    Cloth & Bobbin
    Steve’s Sewing Center
    Granny’s Sewing Den
    The Round Bobbin
    Byrne’s Sewing Connection
    Sew Smart Fabrics
    At Piece Quiltery

    I tried to find an email address for you but couldn’t so that is why I’m commenting here. If you ‘ll be hitting some of the stores this year, maybe we can meet up.

    Reply

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