The wireless internet connection seems to be working well here so, off we go on the trip.
The first stop of the first day is Silver Lane Quilting in Forest Lake. They are opening at 8 AM during the hop. They one of several shops that are opening earlier than the stated hours for the hop. Some of the shops are also staying open later as well, which is nice for the long distance hoppers like myself. This shop has a nice selection of fabrics and has a huge classroom. They also have constructed a quilt using the blocks from all the shops in the central east section. The directions for the quilt will be available at the last shop that I visit in this section. That will be nice as I have my machine with me this time and am hoping to get some sewing done in the evenings.
Also at this shop, two hoppers who have set up camp by the front door. They have their lawn chairs and totes and are ready to go! One of the totes is the Professional Tote by The Creative Thimble that is made in the tan script fabric from last year's hop. I have this pattern and have been thinking about making the tote for the professional people in my life.
The service at the shop is very good and everyone is friendly. I have to make a return trip later in the morning because I forget to pick up my block pattern. Not off to a good start.
I do a little backtracking for the next two shops. Calla Lily Quilt Shop in Blaine and Fat Quarter Quilt Shop in Coon Rapids are opening at 9 AM, so will hit these two shops before heading north to a shop that is opening at 10AM. Must make the most of the time that I have.
I decide to go to Fat Quarter Quilt shop first. I have been at this shop a number of times as it was close to where my daughter was living. This is a smaller shop, but has a nice selection, especially of batiks. They have very nice samples made up. This shop is part of of the metro section. They are giving away charms if you purchase $10 or more. Each shop has a unique charm.
Calla Lily Quilt Shop in Blaine is a little difficult to get to, but worth the work. This shop is very open and well lit. They have a pattern for a huge tote (think taking all of my stuff to a weekend retreat big) that is exclusive to the shop. Very nice samples displayed. I really like the open plan of this shop, not so crowded and makes the samples and fabric easy to see.
A little backtracking to Silver Lane to pock up the block pattern that I forgot and then on to
Fabric, Fashions and More in Rush City. The gals here have a cute fishing display in the front window of the store (sorry, it does not show in the picture). Large selection of books and a very nice quilt displayed, made from the hop fabrics. The powder room is decorated in a prom theme.
Shop is pretty easy to find but off the main street.
The next shop on this trip is Cole's Country Treasures Quilt Shop in Princeton. This shop is in the lower level of a general mercantile that is on the main street. The shop has a wide selection of fabrics and has a large sale section. They have quite a few samples and also sell wool and have a good selection of patterns and books.
Heading back to the Cities for the rest of the shop hop for today. Cottage Quilts in Elk River has a great selection of kits for 5 yard quilts, including ones made with the shop hop fabrics. Again a nice wide selection of fabrics. This shop also has a large classroom and a large selection of sale fabrics. I like looking in the sale areas for fabric that is suitable for quilt backs. Finding it on sale is a real money saver.
Just down the road in Rogers, is Quilted Treasures. This shop has a great selection, a large amount of samples and a number of quilt kits. This shop also has a great sale section. There is a large classroom with lots of sample quilts to get you planning your next project. One of the kits being made with the shop hop fabric is a table runner designed by Pieced Tree Patterns. I have to give this company a shout out as the designer is from my hometown.
Sorry about the quality of the photo.