Hello one and all,
Ever wondered what someone else's Shop-Hopping experience might be like?
Here is a narrative from my very own personal Shop Hop taken with my good friend Jessica the other day.
The "hopping" went a little something like this:
We started off meeting up near the Wiscasset Bridge on Davis Island in Edgecomb. After figuring out a parking situation we headed South, armed with Odwalla bars, Sobe juice and pretzels.
First stop was Sew Portland in (where else?) Portland.
Here is a photo of Tyler Stanley, the store's manager.
Tyler greeted us by saying "I didn't think anyone under 50 went shop-hopping!"
To which we replied "We didn't think Men managed fabric stores!"
But they do and they do.
Turns out I went to college with Tyler, so I felt licensed to be cheeky with him. Sew Portland is a great store: lots of different genres of fabric- not just quilting cottons. They have a LOT of sewing machines for sale as well and a wall full of chicken jokes.
Next up was Cotton Weeds in Freeport. Cotton Weeds gets the prize for best presentation of a Shop Hop giveaway: a meticulously wrapped Mary Engelbreit needle-card with a square of delicious, yummy Ghirardelli chocolate and a charm-square of Bonnie Blue from Marcus Brothers, folded into a teeny, tiny little triangle. Nice job!
Here is a picture of their shop sample using the hop fabrics.
In fact, everything about Cotton Weeds is meticulous. The shop is very nicely organized and everything is beautifully displayed, like a magazine shoot. If you are looking for wool or needle-punch supplies definitely check them out. They also have 30's repro prints, batiks and children's fabrics, too.
Heading further north, we stopped at Mariner's Compass in Bath to see Amanda and Mirabelle the cat. I saw my friend Jennifer there, renting out the long-arm machine and I got to meet Amanda's mother, who works at the shop AND writes children's books. I work with my mother, too, so it was nice to see another team like that in action. And what a nice store. It's very bright and spacious and if you ever need batiks, they have a healthy supply. Also, a lot of charm squares, I noticed. Lots of different collections to tempt you.
Next on the list was Alewives Fabrics in Damariscotta Mills. Alewives, it should be said, is my store (I am the manager), but we still stopped in and got our passports stamped and a goodie bag.
Here is a picture of our shop sample:
we added Asian Fabrics to the charm-squares and made a small quilt that would be a great wall-hanging or table-topper. The Shop Hop fabrics were a challenge for us, as we carry mostly contemporary fabrics, but I really like the way the Bonnie Blue Basics worked with the Asian fabrics, giving them a kind of "daiwabi" effect.
If anybody knows how to spell "daiwabi" correctly, please feel free to straighten me out.
I suspect I may not be spelling it just right.
Moving right along we visited Marge at Maine-ly Sewing. Marge had just gotten back from a trade show but she was all smiles and happy to cut us some fabric.
Maine-ly Sewing has a greatselection of dots and bright, primary colored fabric. They had a very nice give-away for the shop hop: enough fabric and a pattern to make a wine-glass coaster. As I am a semi-professional drinker of wine this gift could not have been bestowed on a more grateful recipient.
Next we went to Quilt Divas in Rockland. The Divas had some gorgeous doorprizes on display and their shop is very nicely arranged. They have a Christmas nook, an Asian section, Maine prints, 30's repro prints, aaaannnndddd they have yarn. I've just recently been bitten by the knitting bug so I was super-excited to peruse their beautiful collection. In fact, I was so drunk on yarn that I completely forgot to take a picture at their shop, but take my word for it, it is a lovely place.
Lastly, we circled back so we were headed South again and we ended our day at Country Creations in Jefferson. Country Creations was one of the most pleasant surprises of the whole Shop Hop. I knew that they were mostly a "Thimbleberries" type of place, which is not normally my cup of tea, but I loved this store.
Here is a picture of their shop sample: a Quilter's organizer with pockets. Isn't that a neat idea for using Charm squares?
I bought some beautiful green wool felt (which I have since used for leaves on a pear pincushion I have made) and a green tea-towel. My friend Jessica bought a table-runner pattern and a candle-mat kit. The moral of the story: ahhh, I'm not sure, but I'm glad I went to Country Creations and will definitely be going back for more of that felt.
And isn't that the whole point of doing a Shop Hop? To visit shops you may not normally go to and get to know each store's personality along the way? I think it is!!!
The Grand Total for the day: seven shops in all.
Stay tuned for my next post where we will continue Shop-Hopping on a second trip: this time to the Augusta/Farmington area.
See you again soon!