I know you do not need to be told what a GPS was but I did. Everybody knew about them but me. Seems like a neat little item, but I have my reservations. We now have 4 new quilt shops saved in the favorites and two pending. I spent this delightful Michigan end of summer day traveling 100 miles going on our own mini- Shop HOP. with my neighbor Renee.
First off we left home about an hour later then we originally planned. I had to wait until my daughter came home from Saturday classes to take over taking care of her son. Renee was late because the tree trimmers came to cut down the damaged limbs from the big storm that occurred a couple of weeks ago. I had never seen or heard of a GPS before and Renee handed the thing to me and told me to program it. You have to have a street address to program it. After several minutes of fumbling I got the thing programmed for the first quilt shop. Now I have been going to this place off and on for 5 years, so I knew how to get to it…… but the crazy GPS had us going all the back roads usually in the incorrect direction. Renee wanted to follow it but I refused and told her where to drive. (I was thankful I had my map-quest maps for the day.) The silly thing was always late on it directions, giving it out after we passed the driveway or exit we needed. We would get past the enterance then it would tell us to turn so we had to backtract alot. I really got ticked at it when it got us on the freeway instead of taking the lake shore drive. We ended up missing some of the prettiest lake shore drive in the entire state… I was bummed. Anyways………
113 East Third Season
Imlay City 48444
First stop was the Pincushion in Imlay City MI. I have been trying to remember if the store had shrunk or my memory was off. The have about 2000 bolts but I always remembered more fabric. But then I was a new quilter the first time I was at the store and was always overwhelmed by the large selections. I am much more jaded now and not easily overwhelmed. They have compensated by having a HUGE notion wall filled with all the tools a quilter would need. They also had a decent thread display. I spent a lot of time looking over their book and pattern selection. The Pincushion had a lot of full size quilts on display and I really liked looking at them. The full size quilts give you a better idea of what your project would look like if you made it or took the classes offered. I had planned to have more pictures of the shops and quilts but there were restrictions on taking photographs. In the back of the store, there was a good size classroom and a long list of classes available.
***Sew Together Quilt Shop
69295 Main Street
Richmond, Mi 48062
Sew Together Quilt Shop
Our next stop on our impromptu shop hop was the Sew Together Quilt Shop in Richmond, MI. This shop had a Handi Quilter on display as it was a dealership, so I got to test it out. I have been noticing that many of the shops are branching out into other craft area by including yarns, and wool material. Sew Together offered doll making classes. The ones I saw were very stylized. ( Photo restrictions.) Of course I picked up several cuts of fabric. I am planning another Kool Kaleidoscope Quilt for my daughter and have been picking up fabric in my travels. Renee wants to make a secret quilt for her husband and she has been picking up various fat quarters for the applique. This was a nice shop to visit and we will go back someday in the future.
Between Times Quilt Shop
New Baltimore, MI 48047
25228 — 23 Mile Road
New Baltimore, MI 48047
We next drove down to New Baltimore, MI and much to our disappointment got to there quilt shops after they closed. ( It was only 2:15pm on a Saturday afternoon…… BUMMER. ) We did not even get a chance to peek in the windows. So back in the car we went. I have no idea of what kind of fabric or how big the stores were. I could see the long arm machine in Tomorrow’s Treasures it took up the whole front of the window but I could not tell about what else they had in the store., but they advertise as a full service quilt shop. The nice thing about these shops is they are located very near each other.
160 South Water St.
Marine City, MI 48039
Well we hit the road again and this time we called ahead to make sure the store was going to be open when we got there. We also stopped at McDee enroute, the GPS got cranky when we turned of the road and pulled into McDees for a bathroom break and food. We had to shut her off cause she kept nagging at us.
We drove to Marine City where we found Quilting Dreams. ( Nice name for a shop.) The shop was very pretty and what was prettier still was the location right across the street was a shore walk park. You could see the water from the windows. The shop had a very traditional ambiance. The quilt samples on the walls were of traditional blocks and patterns. The store specialized in reproduction fabrics… mostly civil war but other repros too not a batik in the bolts. ( 1000 to 1200 bolts) I recognized some of the big names in repro fabrics Jo Morton and Andover. She also seemed to have a good size collection of coordinates and blenders for her repro fabrics. I was able to pick up and interesting light blue fabric that will go great in my very bright quilt. There was a large class table in the middle of the shop and a customer was doing Brazilian embroidery… very intricate and beautiful work. I believe Quilting Dreams plans to help in the revival of the traditional arts of hand piecing, handwork and embroidery.
From Marine City we drove to St Clair and this is when I got disgusted with the GPS. I wanted to go the scenic lake shore drive route and because I did not have a street address I could plug in to keep us on the scenic drive. The stupid GPS kept putting us on the free way. Of course, Renee took us the freeway since she was afraid of getting lost on the scenic drive.
River Place Mercantile L.L.C.
201 North Riverside St
St Clair MI
River Place Mercantile L.L.C.
This was a beautiful shop, located in a mall setting. It was one of the larger of the shops we visited, well over 2000 bolts. This is a Janome dealership with the complete line of sewing, embroidery machines and sergers. She also had a nice display of sewing tables and cabinets available. Many of them at a decent price, too bad I have a Bernina. There was a large selection of fabrics, Moda, Maywood, Urban Delights. I loved her collection of blenders. I was able to find more colors for my Kaleidoscope quilt. I spent more money then I attend to but then is that what quilters do, to feed there stash. ( This is the topic for a future blog.) Renee fell in love with the sewing machines.
I am currently on the hunt of light brights. Have you noticed how hard it is to find good lights that read true? Most of the light brights have a muddied look to them and aren’t very clear. What I am noticing is the true batiks have a muddied, muted look to them because of all the dying process they are put through. Commercial batiks have a much clearer, brighter color to them because I think the traditional screen printing technique is gentler on the fabric griege goods. Regardless, there are very few light batiks or bright fabric, they all read pretty much medium values. Why is that?
2001 Holland Ave
Port Huron MI 48059
Our last stop of the day was in Port Huron. We had planned to go to CALLA LILLY SEWING CORNER and SEW ELEGANCE ( Fort Gratiot) which are located just a few miles from Mary Maxims in Port Huron, but they were closed when we got there just after 5pm. So since we were in the neighborhood we went to Mary Maxims. Now I was expecting a store similar to Super JoAnn Fabrics, since MM has been in the mail order business since the early 1950s . I was expecting yarns, beads and craft stuff. Boy was I wrong. They had all that and over 3000 bolts of quilt shop quality fabric, notions, patterns and equipment.
This was an entire separate section of the store…. entirely devoted to quilting. It was fabulous. I saw Moda, Blank, Timeless Treasures, Hauffman and Kaufman fabrics, Amy Butler, flannels and other name brands. And the ladies who worked the floor and cutting tables “talked” quilts. I was thoroughly impressed and plan to go back again.
3980 Pine Grove
Fort Gratiot, MI 48059
3909 Pine Grove
Fort Gratiot, MI 48059
Tips and Hint to unofficial quilt shop hoppers….
· Plan to get an early start if you want to get to several quilt shop.
· Take cash, you will spend less if you have a set budget. Using the credit card makes it too easy to overspend.
· Always call ahead to check hours and days they are opened. I always thought 10 am till 4pm was the standard times but quilt shop hours vary widely.
· If you are using a GPS have the correct addresses or else you will end up in Timbuktu.
· Take a paper map with you too.
For another trip we plan to go to:
Quilt Friends 4090 17 Mile Road, Sterling Heights, MI 586-976-7422