Last month, I participated in my first ever Washington Quilt Shop Hop as a shopper. I got to temp at a quilt shop one summer in college for a couple of days, and had fun being extra help during the shop hop that year. Since then, I’ve either been unable to get the time off of work to do the shop hop, or I haven’t liked the colors of the quilt that year. This year, the quilt looked decent, and I had the vacation time, so off I went! You can view the sample quilt with the recommended layout here. I’m debating changing up how I finish mine (when I get around to actually sewing the blocks… October retreat maybe?)
Twenty-eight quilt shops in Western Washington participated this year, from Lynden, WA near the Canadian border, down to Vancouver, WA near the Oregon border. Each quilt shop designed a block for the quilt, and had the pattern for free at their shops, with the fabric kit for their block for a couple of dollars. I spent some time on Google Maps, figuring out the best route to hit all of the shops, and figured out that I could get to all 28 shops in three long, exhausting days, which would leave me the weekend for recovery or catching up. I also got to beat the weekend crowds, this way. Thankfully, I also found out ahead of time that the weekend of the shop hop (June 22-26) was also the weekend for the Seattle Pride Parade, the landing of the SeaFair Pirates, at least two home games for professional sports, and that President Obama would be in Seattle that weekend. Therefore, the day I went to the Seattle shop was the furthest from the weekend as I could get – day one!
Millie the Bear rode shotgun, and I took a photo at each shop that I stopped at. Some shops I’d love to go back to, some I don’t feel the need to go back to, and some I’m glad I don’t live closer or the temptation could be my undoing! I also realized that this was also the first time I’ve ever driven a car onto a ferry! I’ve walked on, I’ve been a passenger in a car, and I’ve taken my bicycle on the ferry round-trip, but I’d never driven on before this June.
Day One: the more “local” loop, for a total of 189.9 miles, and a ferry ride from Bainbridge Island to Seattle.
I also made a brief detour to say hello to my Grandma, as one of the quilt shops is less than a mile from where she lives!
- Shibori Dragon, University Place, WA
- Rochelle’s Fine Fabrics and Quilting, Port Orchard, WA
- Esther’s Fabrics, Bainbridge Island, WA
- Undercover Quilts, Seattle, WA (caution, this shop is right next to Pike Place Market. Be prepared for nightmare traffic and parking situations)
- Carriage Country Quilts, Des Moines, WA: When I lived much closer, I used to love going to this shop all the time! This trip, I was excited to find the Farmgirl Vintage pattern book I’d been looking for.
- Running Stitch Fabrics, Kent, WA
- Quilt Barn, Puyallup, WA
- Front Porch Quilts, Buckley, WA (no website to link to)
- The Country Mouse, Eatonville, WA (no website to link to)
Day Two: 351.8 miles. I left the house at 6:30am, heading straight north hoping to be at the furthest north shop in Lynden, WA when they opened at 9am. I underestimated morning rush hour, but still got there early enough to go to all nine “north” shops that day. Only eight of the shops were actually participating on the hop, but I’ve been wanting to get to one that was “on the way” so I took the opportunity and made the extra stop.
- Calico Country, Lynden, WA
- Folktales, Lynden, WA
- The Quiltmaker’s Shoppe, Arlington, WA
- Aunt Mary’s Quilt Shop, Arlington, WA
- Keepsake Cottage Fabrics, Bothell, WA: It’s probably best for my bank account that I don’t live closer to this shop… even if I did (half jokingly) get offered a job while I was there.
- Gathering Fabric, Woodinville, WA: Also safest that I don’t live closer to this awesome shop!
- Circa 15, Kirkland, WA: This shop wasn’t on the hop, but their website has lovely fabrics and I had to stop in to check it out.
- Quiltworks Northwest, Bellevue, WA
- Gossypium, Issaquah, WA: Another really fun shop, although their huge fabric selection can get a little overwhelming!
Day Three: 275.7 miles. A shorter mileage day, but many more shops crammed in!
- Just for Fun! Quilting, Vancouver, WA
- Fiddlesticks Quilt Shop, Vancouver, WA
- Sorella Farm, Woodland, WA
- Longview Sewing, Longview, WA
- Momma Made It, Longview, WA
- Paisley Duck, Kelso, WA
- The Quilt Nest, Castle Rock, WA
- Sister’s Fabric, Chehalis, WA: Definitely one I will have to get back to. They had a great Moda fabric selection!
- Whalen Quilt Works, Centralia, WA
- Ruby Street Quiltworks, Tumwater, WA: I’m looking forward to getting back to this shop as well!
- Gee-Gee’s Quilting, Yelm, WA: One of the three local quilt shops that I frequent.
I also had entirely too much fun with some impulse buys along the way. I blame the bear. In my defense, though, most of my purchases were fat quarters, so I didn’t do quite the damage it looks like… and a lot of the fabrics are discontinued, which made them impossible to resist.
Hopefully I can get myself around to actually sewing the quilt blocks I picked up along the way. If all else fails, I’ll have a guaranteed project for the retreat I’m going to with my quilt guild in October! I still get exhausted thinking about all of the driving I did on the quilt shop hop, but I’m sure glad I did it the way I did. Starting at my furthest north and furthest south points first thing in the morning worked out well – I was able to get the long drive out of the way before the shops opened, and then by the end of the day when I was exhausted, I had a much shorter drive home. I’m sure I wouldn’t have made it to the furthest shops if I’d started at home and worked my way out. I’d be jealous of the ladies that did the shop hop in an RV so they didn’t have to head home each night, but finding parking at some of the shops in my Jeep Grand Cherokee was hard enough!