I'm going to divide Saturday in half because we visited a ton of shops. We managed to make really good time. None of us thought we'd actually be able to get through all the shops we got through, but we did. And even stopped for lunch. And never felt rushed in any of the stores. There were five us in our group--me, Kate, Lois, Kathy, and Sonja--and we had a great time!
I spent way too much. But that's another post for another time.
12 shops in the shop hop. I did 2 shops on my own. That left 10. One of which is nowhere near any of the others. Sonja did a fantastic job mapping everything out and figuring out the best route to take--so we met early early in a nearby parking lot, everyone climbed in my car, and we made the longest stretch of drive first. About an hour and 15 minutes to the first shop. Timed it perfectly. Got there two minutes before the shop was supposed to open for the day, but they already had their doors unlocked and ready to go! We'd decided ahead of time that when we got to shop number 7 on our list, we'd assess where we were time- and energy-wise. We got to 7, had plenty of time, and just enough energy, that we were able to hit shops 8 and 9 as well. Some of us are completing the shop hop by visiting 10 today (the one nowhere near anywhere else)--Kathy and I are carpooling. Everyone else is on their own. But more about that later.
So--first shop: Aurora Sewing Center in East Aurora.
First time I'd ever been there. Actually, first time I'd ever visited most of these shops, which is why I did the shop hop. I realized later I should've taken notes about what each shop seemed to specialize in, etc., but didn't. Dang.
Loved this place. I got a quick demonstration on a Baby-Loc serger I'd been considering. A little pricey for the moment, I think, so I'm trying to decide if I want to go with a lesser machine I can afford now and eventually go up, or if I want to hold out a few more years to get one I really want. Hmmm. Anyway, this is definitely a place I'd go back to. And East Aurora is a pretty village center.
Next, Carriage Quilt Shoppe, just up the road from the last shop. Literally. We could've walked from one to the other but didn't realize that until we'd already taken the car.
Nope--never been there either. If I go back to visit one, I'd be definitely visiting both!
Carriage Quilt Shoppe was a very little shop--not a lot of elbow room--but gorgeous displays and lots of great inspiration. Very nicely done! I dropped a disproportionate amount of money here for the size of the shop. Their offerings were apparently right in my wheelhouse.
Cool moment note: the designer of a couple of the patterns I'd decided to buy worked in the shop. Always kind of neat to meet the person behind the product. Martha Eddy of Eddy and Eddy Designs: Check it out.
Another very nice shop. Both Aurora Sewing Centers had nice big classroom space. This one seemed a little smaller than the other to me, but still nice fabrics and other sundry. Both locations have lots of sewing machines for demonstration and for sale--Baby-Loc and Bernina.
Sew What? Quilt Shop (Williamsville). This shop had a ton of kid's panels and specialty fabrics. They also seemed to have a goodly collection of landscape-type fabrics, and a nice section of batiks. The classroom space seemed a bit smaller but still comfortable, and I particularly enjoyed checking out the sample quilts on the classroom walls. Very nice stuff.
I'm trying to remember--I think that might have been the shop where I saw a whole shelf of very pretty pre-quilted fabric; you know, the kind that makes it really easy to make totebags. I wish I'd written down which shop I was in when I saw that. Wherever it was, there were several very pretty options.
OK--ran out of time for blogging this morning. More later!