Thursday, July 3, 2014

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Milo went home last night.  :(     He is just so cute and full of life (OK - my girls are too) but he is much more entertaining. However he does have some quiet moments as well. Look at him...............

I was sitting at the computer and had taken my sandal off.   He decided it was stinky enough to use as a pillow.  

That is so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

So have you heard the buzz???????    A couple of years ago - someone started a shop hop in the state of New York (I think I am getting the story right).  Well it grew into something called Row by Row Experience and this year, there are 34 states and Ontario involved.

Have a peak at the map and you will see all the stores that are involved....................    Yes - just zoom in and you will see close up of any area that you want.   Click on each button and the name and address of the store pops up.

Now they also have a Facebook page that you can LIKE.

Check out the main page for the Row by Row Experience   or just go to the Ontario page.

The Row by Row Experience is on for TWO months - July and August.  And so what do a couple of excited quilters do??  Yep - on the first day - we hit a "few" stores.   Sit back and enjoy our road trip..............

To maximize time, we were prepared.  We had mapped out a route, we had all the addresses programmed into the GPS, tires pumped up, gas tank filled and we arrived at the FIRST store at precisely 9:30 AM - when they opened.  No wasting time!!!!!

First stop - Kindred Spirits in Ste. Catherines - picked up our row, had a good look around and we were off to the next store. 

The Quilting Bee - Fonthill.   OH MY GOD - this store does it to me every time. It is a fabulous store.  As we entered, I saw a woman standing near the back of the store. She looked at me - I looked at her.  Yes - she looks familiar, but I didn't approach her. Then she peeked her head around the corner - OH MY GOD - it's Terry who has moved to Mexico. She was in the area because she just became a grandma and how convenient to do a Shop Hop at the same time.  And her friends  (when they finally arrived) - well I knew half of them!!!!!!!!!!   But I didn't know they knew each other.  That is so bizarre. 

Now we thought we were prepared, but NO  - the navigator of their group had a CHART - yep - all the addresses, mileage between stores, approximate driving time and how much time allowed in each store.  Oh boy - since there were six or seven of them and they created chaos at the check out desk (in a nice way) at Fonthill, I quietly (in my head) wish them good luck with their day!!!!!!   I HATE going on these things with more than two people. It becomes chaos and I don't get to see what I want to see.

 In addition to the Row by Row - there is a Shop Hop (13 stores) for the month of July. Yes - just to confuse things. At the cash as each store we had a check list:

Row by row pattern - check
Row by row kit - check
Row by row license plate - check
Shop hop pattern - check
Get passport for shop hop stamped - check

See what I mean - there was a LOT to think about at each store.

Speaking of the license plates - check out this link to get the story of the license plates.  And now back to the Quilting Bee in Fonthill.

This is the quilt they made with their Shop Hop block  (the theme was red and white and each of the thirteen stores made a block which they shared with the other stores. Then each store made a quilt and many had finishing kits available)
The row by row pattern

They also had a challenge - make something using their  license plate.  Look what they made - pretty impressive that this was finished because those license plates haven't been out very long. But this quilt was DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The display when you walked in the store. 

Whew - hope we don't run into a crowd at any other store - that wasted a few precious minutes and we have NO TIME to waste.  Back in the car - and we were off to the next store.

We then went to Wee Folks which is in a house in Selkirk.

Oh my goodness - I remember visiting this store when it was in Stoney Creek. MANY MANY years ago.   The store now resides in a house on the shores of Lake Erie.   There was so much stuff to see - so much and all of it current. This store is a bit out of the way, but WELL worth the trip.  Their license plate was stuck in customs so we arranged for  it to be mailed to us. 

A view of the lake behind the store. 

Lake Erie

Next stop - The Quilting Corner in Simcoe.  Oh my goodness - never been to this store either, but they had some gorgeous stuff.   We picked up the row, which was made with beautiful autumn leaves.   Pretty fussy to cut - WAIT - they have a kit with die cut leaves. Yep - I'll take one of those.  I figure these kits will make beautiful table runners.

Quilt Junction in Waterford was the next stop.  This store is in the train station.  So beautiful inside.  
This store is featured in the current issue of Quilt Sampler
Article on Quilt Junction in Quilt Sampler magazine

I have wanted to get to this store for a long time.  It was well worth the visit.

Here is the quilt that they made for the Shop Hop. 
 We grabbed a couple of sandwiches at Tim`s and ate them outside this store. They have a nice patio and you can look out on the river.   Beautiful setting.

Back in the car and program in the next stop.  I do have to say that Elaine made an excellent navigator.  She had everything programmed into that GPS.  This made it super easy to get from one place to another.  Trust me - we would have gotten lost without it.  We twisted and turned through the back roads in rural Ontario and only once for about 6 KM were we on gravel.   I questioned the GPS twice, but both times I was wrong!!!!!!

Next stop - the brand new store in Tillsonburg.

The owner used to sell out of her home, but now she has a beautiful store front.  It used to be a dress shop and the display cubbies in the store are GORGEOUS.   Beautiful!!!!!!

Next up - Seven Sisters in Norwich

Love the colour of the store front

Their quilt designed for the Shop Hop
This was a mural on a building in Norwich

Oh boy - the sky is getting pretty dark by now. Are we going to get caught in the rain??????

A quick detour across the 403 and we were in Paris!!!!   OK - Paris Ontario to visit Mary Maxim.  I have seen them at the CreativFestival all the time, but had never been to the store. 

When we exited the store - it was pouring rain, but the rain lasted only a few minutes. It is getting late in the day now and thankfully the last store stays open until 6 PM.

Another store in the owner's home.   Lots of Kaffe Fassett fabric

A barn quilt block

Then we saw another one on someone's lawn. 

For the most part - it was a pretty quiet day as far as running into people we knew.  That only happened at The Quilting Bee. We did see a few of the same people and at one store later in the day, we recognized a woman that we had seen earlier.  I said HI to her and she said - "Oh my husband knew that they were following someone".  And how did he know that????   Well I have to say that  a RED car with a bike rack on the back and stickers over the back window - pretty much one of a kind and not a common sight at a quilt store.

Note to self: DO NOT use this car as a get away car!!!!!

Then the ultimate test of shop hoppers.  It was just before six PM and nine stores under our belt.  AHA - we could get ONE MORE store. I know that Ruti's is open late on Wednesday. So we hustled ourselves onto the 403 and back home. Just as we are closing in on Ruti's, the lights start flashing and the bar comes down on the rail road tracks.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     A false alarm. Lights go off - bar goes up and we zip the last couple hundred yards to Ruti's.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO - the store is closed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    But it is 6:55!!!    Then I remembered that they started summer hours this week!!!!!!!!!!   Oh fiddle - I'll go tomorrow. But it sure added an element of excitement to the end of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And what did we end up with???????

FOUR  blocks for the Shop Hop (I picked up my Hobby Horse block the other day)

THREE license plates - one is coming in the mail

NINE row by row patterns 

SEVEN kits.  I notice that we did not get kits at the first two stores. I wonder if they had kits?????

I was supposed to be quilting a quilt when I got home, but after driving 450 KM  - I was a bit tired.  What a fun day - it was great to get out and see some shops that I had never seen before. Or seen new locations to the shops. WOW - what an experience.  And we saw parts of Ontario that I had never seen.   Lots of neat houses - if we had more time - I would have stopped for more photos.

For those of us that are number freaks - we did 9 stores out of 82 in one day.   I bet there is going to be some crazy person who will do them all.  I would - just for the fun of it, but I don't have time.

We saw the QUILTmania magazine at several places. No one around here sells it, but we saw it in several stores. So I got the next issue.

As I got to working this morning, I noticed this under the ironing board.  HMMMMM - a piece of blue fabric.   I have NO idea where it came from.   Perhaps it was caught with a kit???????    I haven't done anything blue in a bit. 

Got a binding on a quilt this morning for a customer.  YES - on my new little sewing machine.  But the feed dogs work so much better than my old machine that I used to use.  It just sewed that binding on like a charm. 

OK - so I have a crazy crazy day today - I'll be stuck in the studio working - for the most part. I hope you had fun tagging along on our shop hop.  And if anyone is going to Dryden - I want a LICENSE PLATE!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment