I just completed my first Quilt Shop Hop. I’ve been quilting for many years, but now that I’m retired, I can actually enjoy my hobby. I love taking classes through the Salisbury Rowan Quilt Guild and enjoy all of our guests that share their lovely creations in what quilters call a ‘trunk show’. We have different levels of quilters and I’m always amazed at the talent of these women. We are always eager to contribute to different methods, websites, sales, etc. that educate all. This is how I became aware of this shop hop and couldn’t wait to begin my journey.
The 2019 Mid Carolina Run Shop Hop consisted of ten quilt shops and sewing centers in Central North Carolina. It lasted for one week. To take part, I purchased a passport from one shop on the run and received my free Villa Rosa pattern. As a bonus, all the shops gave away Fat Quarters to the shoppers. During the run my passport was stamped at each shop, officially entering me in the grand prize drawing. A weekend retreat at Summit Sew & Quilt Retreat Center as the grand prize, 100 fat quarters as the second, or a chance to win one of 10 prize baskets.
My travels took me from Gastonia to Blowing Rock, NC, and I completed my hop in two days. Besides the opportunity to explore new venues, I was also on a mission to find certain fabrics for a quilt. Using my trusty travel assistant (no not my husband) Google Maps, I ventured forth. I can tell you there were a few dense areas close to the mountains that had me struggling with spotty service. Never afraid to ask for directions I consulted with a couple of shops on how best to proceed in order to remain on major highways.
I began at the Quilted Thimble Cottage in McAdenville. It was just over an hour from my home. The Quilted Thimble Cottage is a little house turned business just off the main highway. This is a cute shop; there was a beautiful quilt on the rack being quilted. A good assortment of fabric and accessories for all levels of quilters. Goodies were available for the traveler.
Next on my list was Carolina Cotton Company. This is in a downtown area with lots of shade trees, so you must look closely for the shop. CCC has a large assortment of fabrics in large rooms broken down by product. When you visit be sure to check out their room of animal fabrics; if you can’t find what you are looking for here, I’m not sure they make it. These lovely ladies provided snacks, water, and mimosas. Snap! I still had a fair bit of driving ahead, so I declined, but the gesture was terrific. This shop also had a play area for the kids. It’s a large shop.
I continued up the road to Bill’s Sewing Machine Company in Hildebran. I had heard lots of positives about Bill’s from my quilt guild buds. Bill’s sells and repairs machines to residential and commercial users. They have a large array of machines to choose from. But half of the building is dedicated to quilting supplies. The shop may be a little tight to maneuver, but it makes up for it in an enormous selection of fabric and accessories. The prices are good too! Terrie, the all-purpose assistant, is usually on hand to handle any issue. Terrie also teaches classes for your quilt guild. This is a great shop.
After a light lunch, I was on my way to Morganton Sewing Center in Morganton. This shop is like a shotgun house; long and narrow. This is the only shop that did not have a giveaway to offer the shop hop crowd, but there is a fine selection of fabrics and the staff is most accommodating. The shop is easy to find in the downtown area.
As I made my way back home for the day, I stopped at The Cotton Quilt in Granite Falls. This shop is a large farmhouse converted into a wonderful BIG shop out in the country. GPS can be sketchy in this area. This shop has something to offer in every nook and cranny. When you approach the store you are welcomed with an array of quilts draped over the large wrap-around porch. They have an awesome website which provides a good look at their wares. So much fabric to choose from, accessories galore, and if you are looking for some Missouri Star products The Cotton Quilt has lots to choose from. My only regret is that I missed the dog hiding under the tables, but the day was slipping away so I turned to home. I had been on the road for seven hours and driven over 200 miles.
I took a day of rest before I attempted the next shops. The weather was calling for flash flooding in the western part of the state, so I was hesitant to begin my travels. So on the third day, I headed up the road to Yadkin Valley Quilts in Elkin. Andrea DeHaan is the owner and heads up this shop hop. She manages the website and was so helpful in assisting me in fabric selection, directions, and choosing a pattern. Her shop is located downtown and easy to access. She has a great selection of fabric, many quilts displayed and two from quilt guilds; you may purchase raffle tickets as a bonus. Yadkin Valley Quilts has a great lineup of instructors and they display their handy work throughout the shop.
When I headed out that morning residual clouds still blocked the sun, but they were clearing as I made my way west to Sew Blessed Quiltworks in North Wilkesboro. I loved this shop. One side is dedicated to classes so there is plenty of room for displaying wares and quilt supplies. And according to the woman in charge that day, there are more goodies and gadgets on their way to the store. I’d love to return and see the new stuff. This store caught my eye with the basket giveaway, which included a large amount of fabric, sewing accessories and a puzzle. Apparently, they sell a lot of puzzles for when you need a break from the machine. Great store to shop.
About seven minutes down the road was Gloria Sews where I was immediately greeted by a large blonde lab. She was working her way to the door for a walk. This is another great store with plenty of room and a fine selection of fabrics. But check out their buttons – some great stuff for those projects that need a little zing. Good prices too and the staff is so helpful. I wanted an FQ of an item, so they cut me one. Great service.
The weather continued to improve and the next stop was Boone home of The Quilt Shop. This store is located on the main street that is very busy but easy to locate. The staff is helpful and the fabric selection is good. I saw some different fabrics in this shop that are a little heavier blend but then again it is in the mountains so a good selection of different fabrics is a must. I found one I think will work with my project.
My last stop and furthest from home was Mountain Thread Company in Blowing Rock. Of course, Blowing Rock is a very popular tourist destination, and there are many, many shops in this downtown area. The Mountain Thread Company is one of several stores located in a large yellow house, so if you have trouble finding it, call and Lilly will give excellent directions. Mountain Thread Company specializes in rope bowls and they have a wide selection of boxed take-home kits, or you may sign up for a class. The only fabric is pre-cut bundles, but they have plenty of thread and a good selection of buttons.
With my passport full it was time to head home. On my trek back I spotted a lovely roadside stand on Hwy 321. There I purchased some wonderful peaches, a birdhouse, and my husband’s favorite Wildflower honey.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first Quilters Shop Hop and met many wonderful individuals along the way. I look forward to next year to see what shops are on the list and hope some are a little closer. Thanks to everyone who made this happen. Happy sewing!