With a free Saturday on my hands and wanting to see the newest fabrics and notions in local shops, I headed out for the Denver-area Rocky Mountain Quilt Fever shop hop last weekend. Our hop featured seven great stores, each with its own flair and flavor, each one successful in developing its own quilting niche. My first stop was at Harriet’s Treadle Arts in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Both the shop and its owner, Harriet Hargrave (who graciously posed for the photo above) are quilting legends. Harriet is a machine quilting pioneer, a revered teacher, and author of many important quilt books. Visit www.HarrietHargrave.com for more info.
What is a shop hop? Each city or group of stores that puts together a hop chooses its own rules and theme, but basically it’s a scavenger/treasure hunt for quilters. By visiting each of the participating stores in just a few days to get your “passport” stamped, you collect free patterns, coupons, snacks, and a year’s worth of new ideas and inspiration. And if that weren’t enough, all finishers in our hop received a beautiful custom-designed pin and a chance to enter a drawing for some very nice prices, including a $1,000 quilt store shopping spree.
Colorado Memories was the theme for this hop, and each shop designed and had on display a traditional-style quilt featuring an exclusive fabric designed especially for this event. This year’s fabric was a rich brown and tan toile featuring Colorado landmarks—you can see it in the large triangle setting blocks in the quilt behind Harriet. Both the fabric and finishing kits were available for purchase at all stores.
Six more stores, eight hours, and a half tank of gas later, I got the last of my passport stamps and collected my pin at Great American Quilt Factory in Denver. By then I was truly in the shopping mode and found nine wonderful vintage floral print hankies (which I plan to use in a quilt) in the antique store just a few doors down from Great American. Take a look at Carol Collett’s Vintage Hankies pattern in the July 2008 issue of American Quilter magazine. This pattern is available free at www.AmericanQuilter.com for AQS members. And in one of the best moments of the day, I reconnected with a quilting buddy, who I had not seen in years, at Holly’s Quilt Cabin. I’m already putting the 2011 shop hop date on my calendar.