Sunday, November 13, 2016

Quilters' Quest Shop Hop is a Must Do

Creativity.  That's the word that keeps popping in my head the day after I finished exploring the 10 quilt shops that are part of the 2016 Quilters' Quest for the Maryland/Northern Virginia area.

There is still one day left in the Quest. I encourage you to drop all of your plans and get on the road to as many of these shops as you can!

Cottonseed Glory is my hometown shop (full disclosure: I used to work there and still write this blog for them), and when I go in there I love the sense of community and creativity I feel.  There are people there who love quilting and sewing and creating as much as I do.  Well...imagine that feeling ten times in one week at ten different shops! That's what you experience when you go on the Quilters' Quest!

Here are some of the highlights of the shopping we did over the last week at we went on our QUILTERS' QUEST:

My partner-in-crime, Jenn, my 19-month-old son Domenic, and I set out last Friday to start the Quest at Material Girls in La Plata, MD.  This is the only other shop on the list that we had been to before, but it was one of our favorite shops.  So, we decided to make that the start of our journey.  Domenic decided that getting up at 4:00 that morning would be a good idea, so I was tired but excited! 

We arrived at Material Girls pretty early, and luckily no buses were there. (That's a good thing to plan around, and the official Shop Hop page publishes the bus schedule for each shop.  Some of the buses are quite large and can make the shops pretty crowded). Material Girls is such a great store, in part, because of the great people who own it and work there.  And their use of technology is great.  If you buy a fabric, that goes into your account profile and they can let you know what you bought if you end up needing more in the future.

Each shop has a small item that you have to look for like a teddy bear or a crab.  Once you find that item, you get a special postcard with directions to make a quilt block.  If you complete the Quest, you end up with enough post cards to complete the secret Quilt Quest quilt.  So, we found our item, got our block postcard, entered the daily raffle (each shop has a daily raffle, so if you can't make it to all the shops it's still worth a trip.  you can still win something!), got our passport stamped, and did some shopping!  Each shop also has a quilt design for the quest that is different from all the other shops.  You get that pattern for free and can also buy a swatch bag called "Quest Cuts" that will be used in making the quilt. The bags are $6, unless you spend $40.  Then you get them for free.  There are 6 10" x 10" swatches in each store's bag this year.

Domenic was in love with this little fox that Material Girls made for display. I loved all of the amazing fabric! But we had to hurry and get to our next destination, The Crazy Cousin in Fredericksburg, so we made our purchases and rolled on!

The forty-five minute or so drive South to The Crazy Cousin was a very pleasant surprise.  Unassuming from the outside, this shop is YUUUUUUUGE on the inside!

 I am pretty excited to see the inside of this shop.  Well worth the trip!

 And Domenic made another friend at this of course I bought the pattern.  I might have to make a whole harem (that's what a large group of zebras is called -- who knew?)!  The women working in this shop were so nice and excited to have Questers.  They were also very kind to Domenic.  For moms with kids, this shop actually has carts! We eventually entered our names into the daily drawing, got our freebies and bought our fabric and patterns and headed home to Annapolis to get the kids off the bus!  That was the start of our journey! What a day!

A couple of days later (another school day in which we only had Domenic and not five other kids with us), we headed out to Frederick, Maryland to check out Bear's Paw Fabric.  A bunch of ladies in my bee have always raved about this shop, so we were eager to see what all the fuss was about. It didn't take long for us to fall in love with this shop too!  Any store with a pagoda on the INSIDE is pretty cool in my book!
This quilt is on display at Bear's Paw.  This is on the short list of quilts I want to make one day, so seeing it in person was inspiring!
This is the kind of store that you can walk around 10 times and not see the same thing twice.  Just full of all kinds of sewing items, all kinds of fabrics, and all kinds of "little gifts" for every sewist in your life.  Really cool! Third shop; third drawing! We were on a roll.

Our next stop was Patches in Mt. Airy, Maryland.  This shop is in a beautiful quaint setting of a charming old house on a street of a small town.

Quilts are on display on the outside porch and throughout the store.  Aside from the wide variety of fabric available in this store, I was impressed by the wall of patterns this store has to offer and the tools.  They also have a University of Maryland kit on display and for sale that would make any Terp fan very happy!  We took care of our Quilters' Quest business and were on to our next shop!

Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg, MD is an impressive store!  Great displays and some kits that I have never seen before -- like fabric bowls and little stuffed animals--are only the tip of the iceburg here.  Just so many great fabrics and collections.  A beautiful mini-museum of quilts on display in one area of the shop.  A great looking classroom.  I could go on and on! They have a little ottoman made of Kaffe fabrics on display that my son really liked to play on.  They also have the most adorable employee, a dog named Butter!

Domenic and Butter hung out a lot while mom shopped!  The employees were so happy to have Domenic in the Shop.  That was very nice to feel so welcomed!

 Look at that beautiful wall of Kaffe's!  Are you drooling, quilters!?  I was!  Well, this was another day down and we were on a tight schedule so we made our purchases, picked up our Quest packets and sadly went home.  We could have spent all day at these great shops!

The third and final day started with a lofty goal: go to four shops.  We blew that goal out of the water and ended up going to six shops (with Domenic in tow) -- we added one that was not on the Quilters' Quest but we wanted to check it out. We left the house at 7:30 am and got home at 4:30 pm, with 280 miles of driving in between!  We went to Traditions at the White Swan in Hagerstown, MD first.
Domenic is happy! We are happy! Traditions at the White Swan!

It is a beautiful shop that has the feeling of an old school house inside.  Great wood floors, relaxing lighting and a dog named Charlie. This shop is full great fabric and  fat quarters that are displayed in a unique way to look like a flower! A really fun and relaxed atmosphere!  There is also a nearby shop called Wilson's that is also an interesting stop if you have the time.  It's not on the Quest, but we did add a stop there for a few minutes.  Beautiful quilts on display there!

Our next stop of the day was the Scrappy Apple in Winchester, VA.  The town of Winchester has so much shopping and restaurants to offer that you really could make this a whole day affair.  Jenn, Domenic, and I were literally "beating the buses" to the shops, so we raced there and did some quick shopping! Within 5 minutes, I found $50 worth of fabric at this shop! I was so busy shopping that I forgot to take a picture. Sorry! But this store is great! With our Quest passports stamped, we trudged on to the next shop.

Kelly Ann's Quilt shop in Warrenton, VA is a story-book perfect quilt shop!

From floor to ceiling there are details to take in at Kelly Ann's.  Painted floors with quilt blocks, happy buntings hanging from the ceiling and colorful fabrics displayed in the most creative ways makes this shop eye candy for any quilter.  And there was a great presentation in their back classroom by Penni Domikis of  Super friendly, super creative! She was demonstrating her templates and the spray-on fabric stabilizer she uses, Terial Magic.  I like here technique so much that I bought a few of the templates and the stabilizer.  I'm excited to give it a try.  And Warrenton was such a cute town that Jenn and I hope to go back to this town soon to explore the other shops and the bakeries that we saw on our way into town!  Although we didn't want to leave, Domenic was starting to get a little grabby, so we got our passports stamped (which was really starting to fill up) and went on our way.

By this time it was 1:30.  We were ahead of schedule heading to Jinny Beyer's Studio in Great Falls, VA so we were thinking we might actually be able to finish the whole Quest today.  What an accomplishment.  The ride into Jinny's shop is AMAZING!  What a beautiful town! This alone is worth the trip! The fall leaves were perfect...and so is Jinny's studio.  Jinny greets you at the door and explains her version for the Quilters quest shop for her studio and welcomes you to her studio/shop.  Jinny's studio has multiple functions--studio/museum/shop/quilter's paradise.  Stunning fabrics and displays! The silver thimbles that Jinny has available at her shop are incredible and not something you see at most shops. A really impressive studio, for sure!

But, as you can see, Domenic is looking pretty exhausted by this point, so we quickly packed ourselves back in the car after taking care of Quest business and decided to finish up the entire quest -- we felt a little like Thelma and Louise at this point, weary but excited -- so we headed to Annapolis to get our final stamp at our final shop, Cottonseed Glory! Seeing familiar faces and knowing the lay of the land, we felt like we were accepting an Oscar or being crowned Queens of Quest!

Cottonseed Glory is a fun and creative space full of beautiful batiks, lots of Kaffe and friends, walls of fabric coordinated by color, and an entire room of fun fabrics to use for children and baby quilts! I overheard someone talking to her friend while I was in the shop and she said, "Did you see all of those greens? I've never seen so many greens!  This place is amazing!"
She's right, and we were happy to finish our Quest here!

Our unofficial sponsor of our trip was McDonalds.  Because we were on such a tight time budget, we zoomed through too many McDonalds drive-thrus to mention.  I have 4 kids and Jenn has 2, so there's always something to get to.  Thankfully, we made the Quest a priority and got it done.  It was so much fun!

Look at SOME of the Quest booty that I got:

At the end of the day, Domenic had seen enough quilt shops for his taste.  He literally fell asleep sitting up!
I guess that's a wrap! 

Even when Quilters' Quest isn't going on, these quilt shops are worth the time it takes to go visit them.  

Shop local; quilt local!

Thanks to all of the shops for making this experience so much fun.  Jenn and I could see the amount of work it takes to make this event happen, and we appreciate all the effort! The creativity that we felt at each shop is something that can't be felt completely unless you are in the shop.  We are inspired with new project and new ideas and new fabric!



  1. Thank you Jenn for sharing your Quilt Quest adventure! It was nice to hear all your positive remarks about each and every shop! Almost like having been able to go myself!

  2. Wonderful overview! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. One note: Bear's Paw is in Towson rather than Frederick.

  3. Butter loved meeting Domenic! He is adorable. Great blog! Pleasure meeting you (Christine - Butter's owner).

  4. Butter loved meeting Domenic! He is adorable. Great blog! Pleasure meeting you (Christine - Butter's owner).