Sunday, April 26, 2015

Signs of Spring … Part 1

You can tell when spring has sprung ... When the Shop Hops begin.  The last couple days was full of shop hopping here in Mid-Michigan.  I love reading the "The Country Register" newspaper that we pick up in the area quilt shops.                     

TCR front    TCR back

There is so much to learn in those 40 to 50 pages of printed ink.  This time we found the "Middle of the Mitten" shop hop starting Thursday the 23rd to Saturday 25th. “15 Years of Friendship” was a great theme to celebrate the beginning of spring.  It consisted of 6 shops and many miles on the road.

This little paper is a treasure trove of information for quilter’s to drool over. It has listings of all the area quilt shops listed in the state with a map on the back page.  The paper has store ads that are chalked up with such items as locations, hours and coupons.  Along with quilt/craft related articles, there’s usually one that include a featured quilt shop owner. We can find things like upcoming events, recipes and even patterns.  I have to admit that I have made up some of the recipes and stitchery patterns found in the paper. It was nice to have some kind remarks from the each of the items that I made, but I always gave credit where credit was due.

So back to the shop hop, on Thursday, we started out as a group of four. My friend Donna, her husband, Donna’s future sister-in-law and finally, me. I was picked up just before 11am and we was off.  It was exciting and I loved talking to Celia about her culture, foods and places that she has been in her travels. She recently came to the U.S. from the Philippines, so we had a lot to talk about in the back seat. We made our first stop was at Elm Creek in Farwell.  This a shop that we have visited in the past.  This place has lots of things going on inside.  Quilting, crafts, bird supplies, wood stoves each have their spaces.  There is so many fabrics, patterns and many other things for quilters to love on.  I simply love the batik collections that she has here.

Tricia 047     Tricia 048

Me and Donna was just in time to get the last couple “passports” for the hop. YEA!!  This is the first time I have done this particular shop hop. The “passport” was a jute shopping bag in honor of Earth Day (22nd), some other goodies to go along with a special pin to hold our charms and block patterns on that we collected to from all six shops .  And during the hop, shoppers received 20% off their purchases. Oh My! I think as I fan myself.  Here a couple pictures of the Shop Hop quilt that we are collecting the patterns for during the hop.

          Elm Creek           Heritage

The other things included a tag with a letter in it. This was for matching the letter with someone in the store with the same letter for a prize of a fat quarter. Donna was so generous that she gave me her fat quarters when she found a match.  Hey - it’s always nice to received a freebie.  Some of the stores went all out for the “Hoppers”.  They provided snacks & waters too. 

One shop had taco fixings, another had some subs & cookies to go with their bottles of water.  The 3rd one that comes to mind is the shop. The Heritage Quilt shop in Harrisville was the one that welcomed their “hoppers” with an assortment of homemade chocolate candies with a cheese and cracker tray. They made sure that everyone was welcomed, answered everyone’s questions and keep the crowds flowing with out feeling crowded.  I give big kudos to everyone involved.

Any ways, from there we went up the road to a little Amish ran place that wasn’t on the hop, but when we are in the area we love stopping in at Surrey Road Quilt Shop. It’s a little place but the prices are awesome. 
The Mister of the group needed to make a stop at Jay’s and General Jim’s.  They are just around the curve and he was driving.  {Wink} These are located in Clare, MI.

Tricia 003         Tricia 006

From there we are heading northeast for 3 more stops that had me going new places in my own state. I even spied a Row By Row Experience row that starts in June.  This one was at the Heritage  Quilt Shoppe.  I got to see Gladwin, Mio and Harrisville.  Along the way I saw Lake Huron, East Tawas and Au Sable National Forest. 

Tricia 008        Tricia 007

I would have been quite happy to be dropped off at any given point with my 35mm camera and tons of film. Yea, I’m old school like that.  I love the smell of a roll of film as I open the canister and the whirling sounds as it loads. Of course there is the sounds that the camera makes with the clicking of the buttons as I set up a shot. But I did have my little digital so I was able to take some pictures along the way that day.  Celia sees Lake Huron for the 1st time.  She was even treated to some loons too.

Tricia 018          Tricia 019  
Tricia 020        Tricia 022

With some food stops along the way, I made it home at 8 o’clock. Yes - we even got a picture of Celia in Sombrero at Mario’s in Gladwin.

Tricia 040        Tricia 041

Thursday is wrapped up with me counting 4 shop hop block patterns, 4 charms, 6 free fat quarters, 2 cookies, 1package of  peanut M&M’s and 3 panels for some up coming projects. I have more photos that I can share later, some Mexican leftovers for later on, but I can’t forget that I made a new foodie friend.  I have to admit it with all the fun we had it sure made for a long day.  But who cares!!   Until next time…


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