My First Shop Hop - Quilters Quest: The Pursuit of Trivia
I've never done a shop hop before. This was my first. The object of a Shop Hop is to buy a "passport" and visit each shop within the scheduled time frame. For the Quilters' Quest Shop Hop, there were seven stores (five in New York, and three in western Massachusetts), all within an hour drive of the Albany area (aka the Capital District). Hoppers had 11 days - 2 full weekends - to visit each shop, get the passport stamped, and participate in each shop's games.
The Shop Hop theme is Pursuit of Trivia. Each store was given a topic from the suggested game. Questions and their answers are scattered through the store, giving the hopper a mini-scavenger hunt at each shop. Hoppers each received a fat quarter, a free block pattern, a chance to win a goodie bag, and a chance to win in-store gift cards. A completed passport, once turned in,, received a cute little notepad and entered into the coveted grand prizes (see above). Unfortunately, I didn't win any of the prizes, but I had a good time getting the know these shops and seeing the beautiful New York and Massachusetts landscapes. Obviously, the COVID-19 changed the original timing of the event, but it was happily re-scheduled to August 13th-23rd. (The above postcard was the original advertising; the the right is the adjusted flyer.)
Alright - on to the shops! I'll put all the shop info at the bottom. Day One:
First I went Quilt Bug in Schenectady, NY. From what I understand the shop used to be owned by a couple who operated their fabric out of a truck or van and called it, Quilt Bus. When they were tried of the road, they bought this shop - a store front. (see below)
It's a small store that boosts a nice "classroom" area. And before COVID-19, they boasted several classes and quilting socials. I hope we get back to that soon. They had a lots pf panels, a small selection of batiks, and a bunch of patterns for quilts, bags, and accessories. You're not going to find the entire selection of a fabric collections, but they shrewdly pick coordinates to match their panels, I would put this shop closer towards a traditional style quilt store. And every time I visit here, the people have a quick smile.
Shop #2: KC Framing and Fabric - Saratoga, NY
This store has a lot to offer. As the name suggests, they not only have fabric, but also offer a picture framing service. On top of this, they're also a Brother dealer even carrying the Brother Scan-n-Cut accessories, and have an in-house longarm quilting service. KC has a nice selection of fabric that tends to lean towards the modern side. You can find Kona Solids, a wide selection of Riley Blake and a variety of kid friendly fabrics; Tula Pink fabric and even a bunch of licensed fabrics to choose from.
KCF&F is also a smaller store, and the PACK the sales floor with a wide variety of items. Several Brothers machines to try out, Florlani thread, a wide selection of fat quarter bundles, books, patterns, and magazines. If you visit Saratoga for the race track, stop by and get your fabric fix here! Just look for the turquoise door.
On my second day I decided to had to Massachusetts and get those three stores in; I also picked up the farthest south store in New York.
Store #3 - Karen's Quilting Corner
Look at that pretty barn quilt - this is what you first see driving up to Karen's Quilting Corner. So bright and cheery! This store is all sorts of cute. It has a rustic feel, and a wide selection of fabric. They had a wide selection of batiks to choose from; lots of flannel - good for those cold winter days and nights. And a lot of finished quilts for sale as well. They didn't participate in the trivia aspect of the Shop Hop, and didn't have a public restroom, which may be because of COVID, but after an hour and a half drive to Mass I wasn't able to spend much more time exploring the store. It's cute and clean though; definitely worth the trip.
Back on the road and heading south to The Pumpkin Path quilt Shop, shop hop #4.
Pumpkin Patch Quilts has the cutest store front right on Main street in Lee, MA. They have beautiful wooden built-in shelving along the walls that make for a pretty display. This store has the smallest amount of fabric however; and the shelving is under utilized. They do have tons of fat quarters; and if you're looking for quilting books, this is the place for you! PPQ is also a Bernina dealer, but on my visit there were only a couple of models on the sales; and there were a few vintage Berninas behind glass cases. Perhaps this was because of Shop Hop, and the space needed for the quilt block display and trivia quiz because the classroom/sewing machine area looked pushed aside for the hoppers. Great walking distance to other area shops and restaurants; and I didn't have any problem finding convenient street parking.
Shop Hop #5 - Brookside Quiltworks
This shop was a pleasant surprise, especially since I initially drove past it; it's situated at a bend in the road and I was completely engrossed in my audio book that I missed the turn. I got to chatting with the owner who said there's over 3000 bolts of fabric; and I believe it! Every inch of wall space has shelving, usually 3 tiers high. There's a beautiful selection of Asian inspired prints, many panels, and tons of fat quarter bundles. (She also carried a bunch of fabric by designer Janet Clare, who is a personal favorite of mine.)
A second floor of Brookside is completely different though. The owner offers premade quilts on consignment by local quilters. She has discriminating taste on quilt quality, so you can be assured all of these quilts are made well. There's also a museum of sorts with quilts hanging on the wall. She said the collection rotates every so often and usually has a them. All of this can be seen on her website. In addition, you'll find two longarm machines upstairs; this is a full-service quilt shop.
Heading back to New York for Shop Hop #6 - Log Cabin Fabrics
I made it to Log Cabin Fabrics with 30 minutes to spare before closing; more than enough time to explore shop. This shop has a little bit of everything (and I DO mean everything), with more of a traditional quilting bent. There's regular cotton, as expected, flannel, panels, wool (for applique and such - very big right now), lots of bag accessories, tons of patterns - and they showcase a couple of local designers - and various pre-cuts and seasonal fabrics. I walked through the store three times just to make sure I didn't miss anything. You can tell space is a premium here and they use it well!
This shop also boasted several monthly clubs, classes and retreats before COVID hit us. And they have an active Facebook presence and Block of the Month programs. You can find out more on their website.
Third day and last shop: Adirondack Quilts.
Okay - I may be a little biased about this shop since I help out there occasionally, but let me give you the scoop anyways. AQ has a nice selection of traditional, 1930s repros, and batiks; you'll also find almost all the Kona fabrics here interspersed with the color wall and seasonal fabric collections. There'a ton of flannel here too, a couple dozen wide-back fabrics, and a few dozen quilt panels. AQ boasts being in the top 25 dealer in the nation of HandiQuilter longarms, and is also a Pfaff dealer. (Ask about Pfaff's IDT on the sewing machines!) They're also an AccuQuilt dealer with one of the biggest selection of dies that I've ever seen in any quilt shop.
AQ managed to do pretty well during the mandatory New York quarantine months because of their in-house sewing machine service. They even transitioned a couple of their monthly meeting clubs to online Zoom meetings. Classes are resuming, so check out their website for an up-to-date list. (And below you'll see the recent Barn Quilt Class.) I hope I didn't gush TOO much. lol
I would definitely do another Shop Hop again. It was weird because of all the COVID rules attached to the hop - ie wearing masks, using hand sanitizer when requested, providing tracing info at shops, and limiting the amount of shoppers in a building at any given time. But I had a good time despite it all. And maybe next year I'll have a buddy who will tag along with. Suffice it to say, I have a better idea of the area, which I sorely needed. I've added several new shops to my quilting shop arsenal. And most importantly, I have a bunch of new fabric added to my stash!
Well that's it for me! I've listed all the shops below so you can check them out too! Time to get back to the Quilt Lab!
Quilters' Quest Shop Hop (in alphabetical order):
Adirondack Quilts, South Glens Falls, NY
22 Fifth St. South Glens Falls, NY 12803
Phone: (518) 615-0134
Brookside Quiltworks, So Egremont, MA
2 Sheffield Rd. PO Box 281 Egremont, MA01258
Phone: (413) 528-0445
Karen's Quilting Corner, Williamstown, MA
723 Cold Spring Rd. Williamstown, MA 01267
Phone: (413) 884-6200
KC Fabrics, Saratoga Springs, NY
67 Davidson Drive, Saratoga Springs NY 12866
Phone: (518) 580-9055
Log Cabin Fabrics, Selkirk, NY
1145 Route 9W Selkirk, NY 12158
Phone: (518) 767-2040
Pumpkin Patch Quilts, Lee, MA
43 Main St Lee, MA 01238
Phone: (413) 243-1635
Quiltbug, Schenectady, NY
3637 Carman Rd Schenectady NY 12303
Phone: (518) 280-2586