Monday 17 July 2017

Shop Hop with Friends

My awesome quilty friends C and A and I had the idea that we should do a self-designed shop hop this summer. They were very accommodating because I am the only one with children and since my husband would need to take the day off to watch the kids it worked best for us to do a Friday to Saturday, and for one of them to drive. "No problem!" they said, and so plans were hatched. A arranged the entire schedule and C and I just went with the flow.

We went to a lot of stores, all in Ontario (since the dollar in the United States is so terrible right now). Some of the stores I had been to before and some I had not. I didn't end up taking a picture at every store, but a lot of them!

We started the day at Len's Mill in Guelph. It is a bizarre low-scale K-mart at the front and then there are rows and rows and rows of fabric in the back.
It is in a shifty looking sort of plaza, too.
 Len's Mill is a great place to find very strange fabric. Like this charming Hawaiian cat print. It made me laugh.
 What I actually bought was this:
This Lecien fabric from Japan, with a slightly rougher feel than normal quilting cotton, is perfect for fussy cutting.

We then went to Triangle Sewing, also in Guelph, for some notions. C bought a new 6" square ruler since she always manages to cut the edges of hers. Does anyone else have this issue? I've done it to one of mine, too!
 We also made our way to Quilter's Nine Patch which is a lovely store that sometimes has lots of gems and sometimes has very little.

They had some 40% off fabric and I scooped up these two prints:

When we hit up Creative Sisters it had been awhile since I had last been there, but C and A told me the selection had improved and they were right.

I did find some fabrics here as well, including a fat quarter of this Elizabeth Hartman fabric that I had used up for another quilt and was missing already:
Those pink fat quarters are from Pond which is a line I ordered a fat eighth bundle of and have since used up all the pale pink. Nice pale pinks are hard to find.

A found Spool & Spindle online and we weren't sure what we were going to get. It was tiny, and up a flight of stairs, but some awesome modern stuff and lots of different substrates for garment sewing. Their prices were very high, though, and so none of us bought anything here. I ended up regretting that since there was one print I wanted that I thought I could get at a later store but they didn't actually have it.

Our next stop was Quilting By Design. I had encountered them at Quilt Canada last year and since then C has had quilts quilted by them for a really excellent price. I was delighted by the set up and the selection in this store and bought a few things. I would definitely go out of my way to come back here.

Here is what I bought at Quilting by Design:
That navy C+S print may be is use sooner rather than later for a friend who is expecting this November.
Interestingly, A really racked up a huge bill at this store because she had called ahead and had them make her some quarter kits of Ocean, the new pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. 

We also went to this store, E&E's Fabrics, which was in a charming (and tiny!!) town. The quilt store is also the post office! Hah! The fabrics, however, were more representative of the conservative Mennonite locals than anything we would be interested in.
You had to walk past the post office counter and some rows of shelves with basic groceries to get to the fabric at the back.
C and I did have some success here, though, because they had the new Olfa blades that are supposed to last a long time and they were a good price!
We each bought one to try.
We made our way to Waterford for this quilt store, which is right next to the river. The wind was blowing gently and the sun was shining and if we had stopped and just sat on the porch for an hour I would have been perfectly happy!
I did actually buy some fabrics from here though the selection generally leans towards the more traditional:
I walked past that bundle of five Jingle fabrics at least three times before I gave into temptation. I think I will use them for reusable bags for Christmas gifts. I think the chicks in skates sold me in the end!

We spent the night in Stratford, Ontario, in a nice hotel that was on the edge of town. We had a great walk around town, visiting book stores, toy stores and the Indigenous Art store down there, as well as picking up some chocolate. We went out to dinner at a Thai place which was exciting because A had NEVER had Thai food before. What? She had her first ever pad thai and said she liked it and would have it again!

The next day we started with the quilt store in Stratford, Ye Olde Fabric Shoppe, which is terribly ugly from the outside and next to a 7-11 gas station. Inside it is PACKED with fabrics of all sorts, and it was here that I did the most damage of the shop hop:
Those whimsical children's prints were just too sweet.
It was here I picked up 8 yards of backing for my goddaughter's quilt (paid for by her mother). That is the print on the bottom, which is by Lewis and Irene. 

We planned to head down to Bee Modern Quilts in Niagara on the Lake next but the traffic on the highway was absolutely ridiculous. We decided to back out of that and headed to Needlework in Hamilton instead. This ended up working out beautifully because we had more time, got to eat at a favourite restaurant of ours (The Burnt Tongue) and spent less time overall driving.
Crappy picture because I was rushing. Oops.
Here was what I snagged at Needlework:
Those owls! I couldn't resist.
The embroidery kit and cross stitch kit were not actually for me but for my husband. He has decided he would like to try both of them to see which one appeals to him more so as to pick up a new "in front of the TV" hobby. So far he has started the cross stitch and is enjoying it but made a major mistake and has to start from scratch. He isn't deterred, though!

We also went to a place called European Textiles. Obviously my memory was starting to go with all the stores because I didn't take pictures there either. C bought quite a lot here (including some of their incredibly well priced and high quality pillow forms) and I did find some gems:
The Rifle Paper Co. Alice in Wonderland stuff is for fussy cutting. That Ann Kelle print will be a starting print for some baby quilt one day!
As we were about to head home, C suggested we round out our trip with a visit to Len's Mill Hamilton. Start and finish at a Len's Mill! A was pretty tired at this point but she is always easy going and a good sport, and I am always up for another fabric store, so we were in!

And, of course, as a result of peer pressure mostly, I ended up with fabric from here as well!
They still had FIVE BOLTS of Caste Peeps by Lizzy House. That is INSANE. I was tempted to buy all five bolts in their entirety and resell it as fat quarters on Etsy! I also loved this Riley Blake arrow print.
In total I picked up a LOT of fabric. Here was my collection laid out on the floor when I got home:
(You may notice some C+S and Tula in the middle- that was purchased from Quilt Canada by A for me and she gave it to me the day we left on the trip so I threw it in to the picture)
And the stack photo is pretty impressive:
It was a great trip. Travelling with A and C is a breeze because everyone is easy going. We are always willing to accommodate the others (such as A being amazing and letting me sit in the front seat the entire time in the car since I get very car sick). We laughed a lot and encouraged each other to buy lots of fabric and had a great trip overall. And, for maybe the first time ever in the history of shop hops with these two ladies, A was actually the winner of the most money spent! She is usually the most cautious and the least likely to buy something "just because." Hooray for A!


  1. Looks like you gals had a fun time! It's always fun shopping with friends.

  2. You make me laugh lol. We'll have to do it again next year

  3. That sounds like it was a great time!