October 22, 2007

Tour de Quilt

I know, I know...what a bad blogger I've been. Over a week and a half with no updates. Well. Now I'm getting my payback and I have sooo much to update on and not enough patience/time to get it all in one post.

This past weekend my mom, brother, and I went on the Tour de Quilt, an event put on by central Va quilt shops. It's really an ingenious idea, increases their business and makes us feel spoiled all at once. I actually stumbled upon this year's Tour by mistake. My sister Heather was getting ready to leave for Boot Camp, part 2 and we drove past my local quilt store (LQS?). I decided to stop in and browse and wow....it was hoppin'. The Tour consists of 10 shops and their is a central theme or challenge to the tour. This year the challenge was involving a new fabric line of 30 different fabrics. Each shop had to design a quilt using a central medallion and the new fabrics. Each shop also offered three of the fabrics cut into 1/3 yard pieces in a little bundle, so if you went to all 10 shops you would have all thirty fabrics, and supposedly enough to do one of the quilt tops. Each shop also gave a free black and white rough copy of the pattern to each person. There were door prizes and snacks at each shop. I figured that my sis would be bored by all the crafty humdrum because she usually starts complaining the moment I get within sniffing distance of any yarn fumes, but much to my surprise she said she was inspired. When she returns from BCT we are going to take a quilting class together. I was caught off guard at the first store so I don't have a picture of their quilt, but it was quite lovely.

Mom and Galen (my bro) came with me to the other shops on Saturday and Sunday. Galen was put in charge of the scavenger hunt that was part of the Tour and really got into it, racing around the shops looking for clues. The first shop we visited was That Little Quilt Shop in Madison.

That is their entry in the cometition. And this is my new project that I must. make. right. now.

I just bought the pattern for it, not the fabric, because I do have some restraint. Never mind the fact that I bought a bundle of the new fabrics at each shop we went too. And never mind that I got completely caught up in yo-yo makers and Christmas projects at another shop. But that's neither here nor there, right? So, anyway.....
After Madison we went to Patchwork Plus in Dayton, Va which is just outside of Harrisonburg.

Next up was Rachel's Quilt Patch in Staunton, Va. If you live in Staunton, I have nothing but respect for you. Every time I go to Staunton I get miserably lost. The fact that 250 snakes through the city and changes street names about a dozen time is ridiculous. Add that to the fact that downtown Staunton is nothing but one way streets, and whew. What a nightmare. This shop is built in an old railroad station. The whole atmosphere just screams quaint and is everything a quilt shop should be. Mom actually won a prize here but she didn't get in touch with the shop today before they closed so we don't know yet what she actually won. After stopping at Wright's for some yummy drive-in we went home.

On Day 2 we started in Midlothian, just southwest of Richmond.

After that we drove into Richmond to Quilting Adventures.

This shop has the whole "get the consumer at their weakest moment" thing down to a T. They actually had a table set up where someone was doing demo's of all their "make your life easier" products. Plus, they have a rewards program. You know, those little scanny things that you put on your keys that all grocery stores use now? They have one FOR THEIR QUILTING STORE! If that's not genius I don't know what is. (You hear that LYS? Rewards program!) It's not like a punch card that you will use or will expire. It goes on your keys and you never have to think about it again except to have the cashier scan your keys that are already on the counter as you try to exit the store without any more fabric making its way into your hands. Needless to say, Mom and I left that store with our pocketbooks significantly lighter.

Last on the stop was The Quilt Man in Ashland (just north of Richmond)

We only made it to seven of the ten stores, but next year we will plan better to make it to all of them. At each store you got your passport stamped and you could be entered into certain drawings based on the number of stores you visited. It was so neat to see how each shop turned the fabrics into totally different quilts.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Hi Karen -

I just stumbled on your blog and wanted to thank you for your review of the Tour de Quilt. Okay, I admit it, you flattered me - I'm the owner of Quilting Adventures. :-) Very cool to read the consumer's view of what we do, and I sure hope you won't be a stranger to our shop!