I decide to stay in the cities instead of traveling to New Ulm tonight. I will need to be there by 9 AM, in order to make the best use of my time today. I should be able to get to about 4 shops in the SW section and nearly all of the shops in the SE section.
The day is bright and sunny and a great day for driving and shopping. I arrive in New Ulm and there is another bus! Luckily there are 2 shops here, so the crowd is spread out a little. The first shop I visit is Spinning Spools on the north 'side'. Eclectic shop with a little bit of everything. Very friendly.
On the south 'side' of town in The Thimble Box. The shop has their own little secret garden. Must be something about the creative mind that wants to work with nature as well. The shop is pretty small and is quite crowded. They have some cute samples made of the MN fabric. I have a tote that I made from a pattern from this shop that I use all of the time.
The bus is traveling to Mankato next. I need to get there before it does! The Firefly Quilt Shop is the first of the two shops in town that I visit. This shop has a great classroom with lots of samples. The have a nice MN display, again no pictures. Guess that I will have to get used to that. Sorry folks, I guess that I would be able to show you the good stuff.
River City Quilts is over by the mall. Again, great samples and a good sized shop with a wide range of fabrics. There is an article from the Mankato Free Press about the hop is on display http://mankatofreepress.com/features/x202402890/Fifth-annual-Minnesota-State-Shop-Hop. I think that this is the first news article that I have seen about the shop hop. I really enjoy seeing all of the different things that people are doing with the MN fabric.
The rest of the shops today will be in the South East section of the state. The state has been divided up into 8 sections this year. It was 5 sections on the original hop 5 years ago.
Quilter's Dream in Montgomery is the next stop on today's trip. The 5 inch square of fabric that all of the shops are giving customers, in this shop, are wrapped like pieces of candy. This is a smaller shop, but has a very nice classroom area. The also have a long arm quilting machine on site.
Quilting by the Hearth in Lonsdale has a very good selection of batiks. The sale fabric is in the classroom area and includes batiks. I really need to watch the amount fabric I purchase, I already have too much, given the amount of time that I have to spend quilting.
Cannon Falls has a very nice shop called Fourth and Main Fabrics. They carry mostly contemporary fabrics and batiks and have some clothing patterns, esp. for children. They carry heavier weight fabrics for bags, totes, etc. All of the fabrics and samples are artfully displayed and the shop is not crowded, a big plus during a time like this when there are a lot of people in the shop.
I program the GPS to get me to Lake City without routing me through Red Wing. The traffic is likely to be murder on the weekend. I end up driving on county roads, which in Minnesota, are quite good. The shop in Lake City has moved to larger digs on the main drag through town and looks great! Rather Bee Quilting is nicely laid out and very roomy. Nice selection of fabrics. I am really seeing a lot of traffic in the stores today, even without any buses.
Rochester's store is just off Broadway in a little shopping center. The Quilting Cupboard is a smaller, crowded shop. The have a nice selection of fabrics, including a wide array of wide fabric for quilt backs. I have been seeing more of the shops carrying these fabrics. Speaking from personal experience, it is really nice not to have to go to all of the trouble of piecing a back!
All in Stitches is the shop in Stewartville. Parked out front is a big red, you guessed it, BUS.
I have been on bus shop hops myself and they are very nice. No driving, lots of gossip, er, talking, and you can even do some hand sewing if you don't get motion sickness. But from the other end, they can really slow you down, with all of the waiting in lines, etc. This shop has lots of batiks and contemporary fabrics. The staff separate the non-bus shoppers and we get to jump the line (Thank you very much!).
The shop in Racine is called Pine Needles. The original Pine Needles started in Iowa. This is a large spacious shop, with a nice classroom for display of sample quilts. The also sell sewing machines. Wide array of fabrics from contemporary to reproductions
Quilter's Quarters in Spring Valley is the last stop of the day. Nice sized shop, sitting area for the guys on the trip. Lots of sale fabrics. Many very nice samples to get you thinking about the next project that you will make when you get home. I will backtrack through Rochester and catch up with my sister and her family before heading home. Sorry, forgot the picture again.
And the answer to the original question is no, I can't get to all of the shops today. I will finish this section tomorrow.