Wednesday, August 3, 2011

6 Shops - 2 Days 40 Quilters and a "Bus Mom"

This is my 3rd attempt to get something posted about my weekend adventure on July 16 and 17th. I've some how deleted  or copied over my story or for some reason never saved to draft. So hopefully the Third time is the charm. Like many of my quilter friends I've joined quilt shop mailing lists via on-line or while visiting the shop. Last year my friend Carol took me to the big town of Giddings and introduced me to a quilt shop called All Around the Block .
Of course I got on their email list. In April  I received an email about the Quilter’s Quest Bus Tour on July 16-17th. The price was right and sounded like fun so I called Carol to see if she could go and be my roommate….   She said “yes”
Like most quilters or admirers of quilting we love to admire, drool and  touch the fabric. And the Quilter's Quest gave me ample opportunity to do it all. Oh okay so maybe I purchased a few items.
So after work Friday the 15th  I picked up Carol and we headed to Giddings. Being that neither of us are morning people we went up the night before and stayed in a local hotel  so we could catch our bus at the shop before it left at . The luxury bus tour included 6 shops plus All Around the Block where our journey began.  A bus was to leave from each shop at 8am. Only the poor quilter's in Victoria had to wait for 2 1/2 hours for a new bus since the first bus broke down before it got to the shop. 

 Our bus driver "Mona" greeted us and took our bags as we boarded .
Mona was awesome. She got us safely to each shop  and was able to maneuver that bus on a dime. There were a couple of parking lots I thought there was no way a bus could get in or out. Mona knew how to drive that bus.
Prior to boarding the bus all 40 participates received a goody bag filled with a pattern, crackers, fruit snack and other little items. The bus pulled out promptly at 8 am and we're headed for Victoria our first stop of the day. Over the bus speaker comes the voice a man who announces that he is our "Bus Mom" . He's the husband of one of the shop owners. He begins to tell us about tour, the games we'll be playing and the rules. He also passes around a notebook for us to put our name and phone number in.
Meet Harvey Fisher our "Bus Mom". LOL  
His job was to keep us in line, on time and having fun. He did a great job! Harvey also taught us how to play "receipt" poker and black jack. Fun! Carol nor I ever won. Darn it. Now how many men do you know that could ride a bus with 39 women (the 40 participate was the husband of one of the quilters. he claimed to be the wallet and bag carrier) and with permission from the wife collect names and phones numbers in a little black book.
We arrive at our first stop Quilter's Patch in Victoria around 10 am. There was a large crowd of women standing around and the shop doesn't look all that big. Well these poor gals had been at the shop since 7:30am waiting for their bus that had broke down. Shortly after our arrival the cheers roared as their bus arrived and their Quest began. The shop was small but it  packed in the fabric of all colors and brands. There was something for everyone and more.
Thank Goodness Carol is a good sport. I had warned her to be prepared that I would have my camera along and she would be in the pictures most likely.  The shop asked that I not take pictures in the shop so I behaved myself  ;o( 
They had a demonstration in the back on a 10 minute table runner. So that means about an hour for me to complete. I think this fabric will make the perfect table runner for Christmas for my new home. I even won a door prize before heading out the door. A bag with little quilty goodies. Upon that good ending we loaded up the bus and headed for stop 2.
Our 2nd stop was The Quilt Haus in New Braunfels. The Victoria gals were still there shopping so it was crowded but the shop was spacious enough to accommodate all of us and the cash register was humming. 
There was plenty of pretty fabric and quilty stuff to touch and view.

 We arrive at our 3rd and final stop for the day.. The Cotton Cupboard in Lakeway near Lake Travis. This was where we found out just how good our bus driver was. Mona pulled into an area of the parking lot that wasn't much bigger than the bus. When I looked out the window all I could see was a deep ravine to the front and the side. Mona backed that bus up and turned it around on a dime. The cheers went up, Everyone was so impressed. I believe this shop was a little green. As you enter you saw frog quilts, frogs in 3D, frog fabric and a frog on a Lily pad. Too cute. But they had lots of other fun and pretty fabric. Now I couldn't pass this little guy up. Just too cute. All I need is time and someone to make a baby quilt for. 
Back on the bus one of the gals showed off her purchases and leave it to me to snap the picture at the wrong time. Honest it's not what it looks like. There was lots of ooooo's and ahhhh's over her fabric choices.
The first day of  the tour came to an end and we headed to our hotel.
Sunday we were up and at'em at 7am for a complementary breakfast. We sat around discussing the shops and our finds so far while waiting for the bus and  folks to finish eating .  Everyone was having fun.
 Carol must of had a profound thought or a vision.  
By 8:30 am we're on the bus and off to our first stop of the day. .. Poppy Quilt N' Sew in Georgetown. They had lots of pretty Christmas fabric and western motif fabric and Fat Quarters galore. How about some Dr Seuss fabric? They had it and more. Some of the group still had some change after their purchases so they slid in next door to the donut shop for a soda and a sugary donut. And before you knew it, it was time to head to our 2nd stop.  

It was around lunch time when we rolled into Tomorrow's Quilts in Waco. At first all I saw was a brick building but nothing that said quilts or fabric then I walked around the corner of the building and there it was. The staff was ready and waiting on us. They even played a couple of games for a door prizes. As I entered the shop I saw a whole corner of batiks, novelty, western and Christmas fabrics for everyone. The shop had several 3D quilts hanging up. Such as Frogs, butterflies, planes and  babies. And there was a corner of solids of every color. So many choices, how does one choose?

Linda the shop's owner made homemade potato salad, cole slaw, chicken salad and everyone's favorite ... a brownie to die for.......Divine .    She packed all this in a lime green lunch kit along with a bottle of water and a Crystal Light flavor packet. Everyone finished up their lunch and made their purchases and we were off to our last shop.
We rolled into Lonestar Quiltworks in Bryan/College Station. I try to visit this shop every time I visit my daughter an Aggie Grad and now Blinn Nursing School student but hadn't been in a while. To my surprise they moved the shop next door to a MUCH larger space. It was bright and roomy. Fabric everywhere and classrooms in the back. Very nice. Terri the shop owner and staff had snacks and iced tea waiting for us weary but happy travelers. I found some fat quarters to use with my cute zebra fabric I bought earlier. 

Before leaving Terri gave each participate a different fabric panel to incorporate into a quilt. My picture here doesn't do my panel justice. It has cute sayings on it like "Kiss your Dad ".

It's back on the bus to head back Giddings.

It's Sunday evening but the owners and staff  at All Around the Block are there to Welcome us back and here all about our quest. They even allowed us to come in shop before crawling into our cars and driving home... be it Houston or Halletsville.
At first glance the shop is very deceiving in size..
You walk in and think dang look at all the fabric choices and thread in the small space. But wait I see more fabric pass the cutting table and "oh wow" you can turn left and go into yet another larger area where there's even more fabric. Can't judge a shop by it's cover.
You may walk in for a yard of fabric but I bet you'll walk out with more. There are just so many choices it's hard to choose just one. In the hallway shown in the picture is where I found the novelty prints.   I had been keeping my eye open at each of the shops for a fabric to make a laundry room curtain. Just when I thought I would give up... I saw it.   
This print caught my eye so off to the cutting table I went. I think it will be just perfect. With our bags in the car and our last minute purchases in hand..... it was time to head back to Cypress.

I'll be ready to do this again next year!
Thanks to all the shops who made this happen. 
I had sew much fun zig zagging thru each of the shops.

So until next blog.................... Happy Quilting
.•*´¨ ) ¸.•*¨) -:¦:-
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1 comment:

Linda Chapman said...

Amazing time!! I know you had fun! My favorite is the zebra print! You KNOW who I have in mind for that!!! SO happy you POSTED!! I know how busy you are right now! ENjoyed seeing you this past Sunday. Hope all is well with all four of your 'you know whats!'