The last leg of my recent Wisconsin/Minnesota trip was spent visiting the 12 metro Minneapolis/St. Paul area quilt shops participating in the Minnesota Shop Hop. I cannot remember the last time I went on a shop hop; it had been a number of years since I’d participated even before I opened Sweet Home Quilt Co., and the last four years I’ve been on the shop side of the Shop Hop so definately no opportunity to actually visit other shops. It was fun, and a different experience from a shopowner’s perspective.
I did manage to pick up a few things for my stash (what, you didn’t think I only added to my stash from Sweet Home’s inventory, did you???), and I picked up a few gifty things and some great patterns from regional designers that I’ll be testing for possible sale at the shop. This is just a small portion of my goodies – I don’t dare show all of it!
LouAnn and I boarded the shop hop tour bus early Friday morning for the first day of Shop Hop. While the bus tour experience was not my favorite part of the shop hop, I did meet some terrific quilters on the bus and we all had a lot of fun together. I realized that while I thought the bus tour would be a smart move for me instead of driving a rental car all around Minneapolis/St. Paul, it was probably not the best choice for someone who likes to be in control! I like being able to go when I’m ready or stay longer when I want to, and obviously that isn’t possible on a tour bus. Next time, I’ll know!
Long lines were the order of the day at most of the shops we visited. When you have a busload of 50 quilters pile into a small shop, the wait is inevitable – a shopowner’s fondest wish and worst nightmare all rolled into one! Fortunately, everyone was in good spirits and no complaints were heard. After all, no one could leave without the rest of us so what was the point of complaining. Trust me, there were lots of “add-on” sales made while we stood in line!
One of my favorite shops was Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in Shakopee, MN. The shop is in an old train depot, and has a flavor very similar to Sweet Home.
I enjoyed the beautiful samples and the unique displays. Lots of eye candy and ideas here!
Fabric Town in Apple Valley, MN was another fun shop to visit. Shopowner Patti Peltz is a new friend from the retreat I attended, and her shop was a delight, too. She had lots of Civil War, which is right up my alley! Be sure to visit the website for a tour of this great shop!
I think I took a gazillion photos at my friend Roseann’s shop, Rosebud’s Cottage. Roseann’s specialty is the folk art look, and she has loads of wool and cute vintage stuff in her shop. I was in my element there, and did NOT want to leave! This is where I was really regretting not having my car so I didn’t have to leave when the bus did!!! It was probably a good thing I had to leave when I did, though. Let’s just say I helped Roseann pay the rent that day!!! Don’t judge! You’ve all done it, just admit it! I’m no different …
LouAnn loved it at Rosebud’s Cottage, too. Here she is saying good-bye to Roseann (far right) and her staff (sorry, ladies, I didn’t get your names!)
I wish I’d had time to visit a lot more of the shops in the Minnesota Shop Hop, but I only had two days. It was a great way to end my “working vacation.” Maybe next year when I go back I can visit some shops in other areas of the state. I have said I’m going back, right?!?!?