I went on a bus trip on April 20th and even though it was a while ago now, I am still recovering. I finally got out the camera to take some photos and that even wore me out – honestly. Dealing with fibromyalgia really sucks sometimes.
I bought a lot of quilting stuff. Though not as much as some ladies. There were 44 of us on the bus tour, 7 shops and before we made it to the last shop (before returning to our starting point) we did a quick calculation of how much money we had spent. I think the tally was about $15,500 and that was before the last shop! I also noticed that people were still buying when we returned to our start point. Frankly, I barely had the energy to get off the bus, much less move around to buy things. But I did manage to stick around for the last of the prizes. Good ones too.
Okay, back from the beginning. I went on a bus tour called "In Full Bloom" which started out at Bear Patch Quilting in White Bear Lake, MN. The plan was to visit 7 shops that all had been featured as a top 10 shop in the Quilt Sampler Magazine at one time or another. Great idea! I thought the trip was a real bargain at $119 which included the bus tour, food for 2 days and one nights lodging. I had only been to Bear Patch so I thought it would be a good way to get to know area shops without having to drag out maps, get lost, or more likely – talk myself out of going because of one thing or another.
I am very glad I decided to go. Every shop was very lovely and all the shop owners and their helpers very accommodating. We received a lot of goodies at each shop – free "In Full Bloom" patterns, snacks, fat quarters and such.
Now for the details:
Started out at Bear Patch Quilting who had made all the arrangements. Received our identification lanyards, goodie bag and our room partners. Mine was a no-show so that meant that I got a room all to myself. It also ended up that I sat all by myself which was both good and bad. Good because I had room to spread out but bad because I ended up all the way in the back. I usually don’t do good on car or bus trips (nausea) but I just sucked it up and it was okay.
Our first stop was Eagle Creek Quilt Shop, in Shakopee, MN. Lovely shop, converted from a railroad depot. They featured a lot of wool punch and needlepunch patterns and I ended up buying a needlepunch kit and pattern.
I really don’t need another hobby, but it was so cute!
After lunch there and a more shopping (I only bought that one kit and pattern) we got back on the bus and went on to our next stop, Main Street Cotton Shop at the Hutchinson location. This shop is also the home of Lynette Jensen’s Thimbleberries workshop. The shop was smallish, but it was jam-packed with fabric and books and many kits for Thimbleberries quilts. I purchased a package of 4 books at half-price – what a deal!
We had a treat, and then on to our last stop for the day, Gruber’s Quilt Shop in Waite Park, MN. That place is huge and a bit overwhelming. More gifties, and a great demo of quilts by one of the designers from the shop. I wish I could remember her name – lovely quilts. I purchased a bunch of fat quarters on sale, a plastic case for some of my double-point needles, and a bit of end-of-bolt fabric. After dinner and a bit of more shopping (still at Gruber’s) we bussed up and went to our hotel.
A nice room all to myself! We had to get up early to eat breakfast and then head out to our next shop, Bay Window Quilt Shop in Perham, MN and that is where something just kind of sprung in me. I realized how great quilt kits are, and decided to purchase a few for some smallish projects. Also some books, some fat quarters and such. I spent the biggest amount at this shop, and got a few free goodies there as well. I would say I really like this shop because they have so much, nicely arranged and a wide variety. Good people there too. I will definitely go there again, and maybe soon too!
The image from the pattern is so-so, but the sample at the shop was super – a reversible tablerunner.
Another tablerunner – the pattern is a simple squares design. I really should do this one up soon for July.
The fabrics (kit) for the pansies pattern.
Leaves pattern and fabric kit.
Some of these are from Gruber’s where I got a good deal on fabric too, and some are from Bay Window.
Two books that I just couldn’t pass up because I hadn’t seen them before (I thought) but then I saw them everywhere after that, of course.
20 fat eights (10 light and 10 dark) of 1800’s reproduction fabric. Just because I liked it and I thought 20 was a good number – heh.
Just some fabric I liked, some from Gruber’s here too.
We had lunch there, and then got on the bus for another shop, Common Threads Quilt Shop in Alexandria, MN. There was a good demo there involving fat quarters and they gave us a fantastic deal of buy one fat quarter, get one free! Here is what I bought:
30’s and 40s prints – can’t get enough of these.
I know that our last shop was Quilted Treasures in Rogers, MN. Another lovely shop, but I was just shopped out so no purchases there. It is close enough and I will definitely be back there though. Very nicely lit shop, a range of fabrics, good selection of books and lovely samples and a lot of quilts for sale. We had dinner there and then it was time to get back to Bear Patch.
We wrapped up our bus trip with more free stuff. Here is a bit of all the goodies I received on the trip:
Jill won this from one of the many games we played and asked if I would like it because she doesn’t like to work with wool. I said sure! I gifted a book that I had won that I thought was nice, but didn’t suit me. I hope she was happy with the trade.
So, long story long, if you have a chance to take a shop hop bus trip – do!