We just got back from a whirlwind five day trip up to Canada and back to pick up our youngest from college. He’s home to stay for the summer!
It’s a good 15 to 16 hour drive each way and even just a few years ago, we would have driven straight through. But now we divide the trip into two days; usually 10 hours the first day and then the rest on the second day. This time, I also decided that we needed to take a break halfway through the first day. And what better way to take a break than to check out a quilt shop or two along the way.
I got to browse through fabric and Dave got to put the seat back in the car and just relax for however long I was browsing.
On the way up we stopped at The Quilt Box located a few miles off Exit 159 in Dry Ridge, Kentucky. When I started researching quilt shops that would be along our route, I’d read a glowing review of The Quilt Box and was really looking forward to checking it out.
I was not disappointed.
There were beautiful quilts in all different sizes displayed everywhere you looked. Bolts and bolts of fabric and quilt patterns downstairs. And then upstairs… more quilts, a small clearance section and batting. I probably could have spent the entire afternoon there just going from section to section.
Now if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know from my previous posts here and here, that I’ve not been terribly successful in my attempt to destash in preparation for our possible upcoming move. And once you read on, you may think I’ve failed again, but I’ve decided that these are all allowable purchases because most of them were bought either as fabric gifts or to make gifts with or to add to other fabrics that I’ve been collecting with specific projects in mind. Most will to be used in the near future and won’t be added to my stash, except as scraps.
Skinny quarters of Oasis by 3 Sisters (left) & Buttercup by Fig Tree & Co (right). The green at the bottom of both piles is Deco Demure by Laura Berringer for Marcus Fabrics chosen because I thought it co-ordinated well with the others.
For example, I had those 1/4 yard pieces by Fig Tree & Co cut partly as a gift and partly with a specific project in mind.
The true blue fabric was purchased because the colour is a perfect match for the bluework snowman I embroidered and pictured in this post. Now it can be made into a gift bag. The dove fabric and flower fabric will be making appearances in gifts I have planned, not to mention, they were on clearance.
For the trip back home, half way the first day brings us to the Cleveland area. When I googled quilt shops in and around Cleveland, I came across Abigayle’s Quiltery, just a few miles off I-71. Abigayle’s too has bolts and bolts of fabric to browse through though perhaps not the 5000+ bolts advertised on their website. And not nearly as many quilts on display as The Quilt Box. They do however have an entire room of clearance fabric; some on bolts but most cut in 1, ½ and ¼ yard pieces.
The four fabrics on the right are 1 yard cuts from their clearance room. These will be made into gifts. The yellow butterfly fabric is a half yard piece I had cut to add to the fabric I’m collecting to make a Bug Jar Quilt.
Both stops were fun little detours to break up that long first day drive. We will definitely be stopping back into The Quilt Box on our next trip up to Canada. And I plan on checking out other quilt shops whenever we make a long trip somewhere because in stopping into those two shops, not only did I find some great fabrics I also discovered something else.
And that discovery is that I think if I’m not careful, I could quite easily become a quilt shop fabric snob.
All the fabrics I browsed through including those I bought have a completely different weight and feel to them than most of the fabrics I’ve been buying from the chain fabric stores. The differences in some cases are quite subtle but still clearly discernable. Add to that the personal attention that you receive when shopping in a quilt shop as opposed to the chain stores and it is perhaps a very good thing that we don’t make long trips very often and that the closest quilt shops to where we live are in Atlanta and not even the lure of a quilt shop could entice me to drive in Atlanta.