The first year I participated I went to 54 out of 91 participating stores. My friend and I had a ball. I actually rated the stores based on my personal experiences. You can read about it here: http://clkinmd.blogspot.com/2011/09/quilt-across-texas-statewide-shop-hop.html
This year I went to 50 shops out of 58 participating. It was fun, but not as much fun as the first year. Spent three weekends with my friend and two with my hubby. The stores just weren’t really into it. But I still spent a fortune and got lots of goodies. I rated the stores again, kind of. I think I was in a better mood this year. I won lots of prizes the first year and more stores gave thank you gifts. But this year I’m entered into region drawings in 4 regions as well as the grand prize. Hopefully I’ll win something, but if not, I sure did enjoy myself. I’ve been asked to share photos of some of the stuff I got, so I’ll post that here to. So here is my evaluation of the shops I went to that I had never been before:
Alford Inn, Van Alstyne – Cute on the outside, not so great on the inside. Not accessible for anyone handicapped and pretty difficult for me and I haven’t even been using a cane.
Fabric Fanatics, Plano – This shop only has batiks. Someone told me they had lot of beautiful batiks and they do. Someone else told me their prices were reasonable and they are. But they ONLY have batiks. So if you’re not looking for batiks, don’t go there. If you are – go there and enjoy.
The Old Craft Store, Carrolton – Nicely organized and decorated. High prices but great patterns and great selection of fabrics. People were very helpful. Not happy that I paid $3.00 for a pattern that was free online, if I only knew.
Texas Quiltworks, Rockwall – Small shop run by husband/wife team. Not accessible. Not impressed. Owner designed patterns were okay.
Kaleidoscope Quilt Shop, Whitesboro - Awesome! Tons of Moda Fabrics – both precuts and yardage. Fantastic Patterns. Nice Staff. My favorite. Five stars.
Pass Time Quilting, Gainesville – Good prices. Not much selection, but good fabric. Kind of small shop.
Cowgirl Quilt Shop, Jewett - Beautiful western paisley and unique western fabric. Nice solids and mixers. Nice lady. Has online business. Great variety of 108” backing fabric.
Sandy’s Quilt Shop in Joshua is a bad memory - Nothing good. Best part was that Braum’s Ice Cream shop was nearby.
Country Stitches, Burleson – Excellent! Another 5 star. Great decorations. Big variety of fabrics and patterns. Lots of space to roam around. Beautiful display quilts. Especially liked all the minis. Spent a huge hunk of money there and wished I had more money to spend. Seemed like everything they had I liked.
Serenity Quilts of Many Colors, Brady - Pretty nice. Big Variety. Could use more “decorations” on the inside. Three stars.
One Quilt Place, Fredericksburg – Nice but not great. Nice organization. New building. Tons of parking. Great inspirational quilts on the walls. Staff not too friendly. Three stars.
The Quilted Skein, La Grange - Beautiful shop. Beautiful décor. Beautiful fabrics. Lots of different lines. Very classic. Not a friendly/homey kind of shop. No novelty fabric at all. Artsy and proud of it. The gentleman in the store (think co-owner) couldn’t have been more rude or anal.
The Square Quilter, Shiner – Very nice. Lots of selection. Lots of variety. Lots of rooms. Lots of panels include quote panels (one of my favorites). Nice people. Awesome fabric. Four stars.
Fabric Store & Sew Much More, Nederland – I guess if you embroider this is a good shop. About 2/3 of the shop was dedicated to machine embroidery and almost 1/3 to a classroom and it was a small shop. So you can imagine how much quilting supplies they had. But they did have nice solids. I could have spent some money, but the people weren’t very friendly, so I didn’t.
Fabrics Etcetera, Webster - Nice shop. Little high priced. Lots of Variety. Nicely organized. Cute quilts on the walls. Nice classroom area.
Pinwheels & Posies, Dickinson – Okay. Not bad. Not great. All different prices. Lots of patterns.
Cactus Quilts, Texas City – Small shop. Nice people. Pretty western fabrics. Not real memorable.
Calico Cats Sewing Center, Lake Jackson - Nice shop. Nice people. Not too big but lots of stuff in my style.
Quilters Quarters, Conroe - Very nice but small. Little pricey but nice people. Pretty little shop. Three stars.
The Quilt Room, Huffman - Small but good. Little pricey. Lots of good fabrics, patterns and help.
Quilter’s Emporium, Stafford - Nice size, nice selection, nice organization, great display, nice people. A bit slow, but typical Texas friendly. Good prices. Good patterns. Janome supplies. Four stars at least. Too bad it’s not a bit closer to home.
Heirloom Elegance, Corpus Christi – Nice shop. Big variety. Nice sale fabrics. Great samples. Lots of my style. Workers a little ditzy but nice and friendly. Four stars.Quilt Cottage, Corpus Christi – No comparison to the other one 5 minutes away. Not memorable at all. Helpers were no help.
Here's some pics of my "haul" as my quilters friends call it.
For a Twister quilt in the Seattle Seahawks colors for my daughter's hubby.
For next year Breast Cancer charity quilt.
For a bedsize quilt -- some day -- and placemats. My fave fabric bought.
This year's Quilt Across Texas fabric for a number of different projects. The fat quarters were all free. I hope to make a ruler/mat tote, placemats, table runner, Lone Star throw, and possibly a Twister quilt.
My Christmas Wall hanging to be. Love this fabric.
Quilt for friends - they'll never know.
Throw size quilt for my sofa in a pattern I bought
Future table runners - not this year though.
Pretties without a plan.
A kit for a GORGEOUS quilt wreath.
Some of the panels. They don't photograph well -- too big.
Fabric for an Advent Calendar wall hanging.
Throw size quilt in new pattern I bought. Like a row-by-row. Next year hopefully.
I've become fond of Western fabrics. These are some of the pretties I came across. They begged to come home with me.
I also got a bunch of free fat quarters and more than 20 free patterns. Probably a dozen different new patterns that I bought and three new books of patterns. Two signs that I posted on Facebook already. And I can't even remember what else. I definitely did my part for the Texas economy. Too bad I didn't realize at the time I'd be laid off the first of October. Oh well, still had fun.