The Texas quilting community has recently experienced a new phenomenon called the One Stop Shop Hop. It is a combination indoor shop hop and quilt show all rolled into one. And I had the great fortune to attend one yesterday in Waco called The Heart of Texas One Stop Shop Hop and the Homespun Quilter’s Guild “Airing of the Quilts”.
First, let me say that I almost didn’t go. Severe winter weather hit 80% of the state and that’s saying a lot because Texas is so BIG. North of the I-35 split received 1-7” inches of snow, which is major snowfall here. On top of that the entire affected area received ¼ to ½” freezing rain/ice. So when I woke up Saturday morning, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it. I live roughly three hours south of Waco, and east of I-35, so all I had to contend with was drizzly rain. And having grown up in Michigan, I learned to drive in wintery conditions. I wasn’t worried so much about my abilities, as that of the locals who don’t have the same experience.
My quilting sisters advised me to stay home, not risk it and sew all day instead. And that’s what I had decided to do. But as the morning wore on I kept thinking of all that fabric, all those gadgets and racks upon racks of patterns. Finally, about 10:00am, I made up my mind to try it. I figured I would drive as far as I could, and if the roads/bridges were icy that I would just turn around and come back home. Well, the bridges were salted really well and the roads were DRY! Woot, woot! I made it up there without any problems, and saw several southbound vehicles covered in snow and ice.
Once inside, the Waco Convention Center was nice and toasty. Enough so that I could remove my coat and shop comfortably. Admission was only $3 for the shop hop and $3 for the quilt show. Very reasonable. Once you paid your entrance fee you were given a coupon book that, in my opinion, was worth well more than the price of admission and the gas to make the drive. Each shop had at least two coupons: one for shop hop purchases and one for in-store purchases to entice you into visiting the shop. For example, Fabric Fanatics of Plano, TX had a shop hop coupon worth a FREE fat quarter with purchase AND 15% off any purchase over $50. Their in-store coupon was worth the same with an expiration date of December 31st, 2015. You can bet your bippy this coupon book is going in my quilt shopping bag and staying there!
Heart of Texas One Stop Shop Hop Coupon Book
There was plenty of space to shop without bumping into other shoppers, adequate room to stand and converse with friends, and aisles wide enough to push a stroller. The shop owners were warm and friendly and busy enough that they couldn’t converse for long.
Click picture for a larger version
There were fat quarters galore, quilt kits aplenty, and more patterns than hours in the day. And I wanted to bring most of the quilt samples home with me. For a woman infatuated with fabric, color and texture it was such a happy place. If I had done my research before the show, I would have taken my scissors with me, because there was a gentleman offering sharpening services. I will keep this in mind next year! The only negative thing I can say about the booths is that I wish there had been a larger presence of rulers and thread, specifically machine quilting Aurifil.
There were 41 shops total, and each was decorated with a Western Round-Up theme. Each attendee had the option to vote for their favorite booth. I didn’t take the time, because there were so many wonderful displays that I couldn’t make up my mind. They even had a photo booth of the back end of a covered wagon that my little girl took full advantage of.
The caterer who provided sustenance for the shop hop had reasonable venue pricing and offered a lovely cranberry chicken garden salad, chicken salad sandwiches, and turkey & cheese with lettuce and tomato in a sun-dried tomato wrap. Fresh fruit cups, cookies and potato chips were the side options. I can’t comment on anything but the fruit cups (which were delicious!) because I am unable to eat several ingredients due to food sensitivities. But it all looked wonderful.
After shopping til my shoulders couldn’t carry any more, I decided to tour the quilt show downstairs. The show is a non-judged event, and right up my alley. The quilts have so much more character and you can feel the love emanating from them. These quilts ranged from 12” art quilts on up to queen size traditional quilts. And every one of them was such a joy to view.
My little girl fell in love with a wall quilt titled “Cat in the Night”. The photo doesn’t do this piece full justice. The window was blinged out with “stars” which twinkled merrily in the light. Thank you, Dawn York, for your permission to share this fun example.
Cat in the Night by Dawn York
I took plenty of pictures, but without written permission, I don’t feel that I have the right to share the rest of the photos with y’all. I was, however, able to track down a couple of the maker’s and I’m working on obtaining their okay.
I stayed until almost closing time and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I’m looking forward to next year’s event and maybe I’ll even meet some of you there.
And for you readers along the Texas/Oklahoma border, there is a similar event happening in your neighborhood. If you get a chance to attend the TEXHOMA One Stop Shop Hop in Wichita Falls, TX, please let me know. The dates are March 27 & 28, 2015, Cost is $5 and the grand prizes are a Babylock Melody Sewing Machine valued at $1,799.99 and a Cameo Silhouette Cutter valued at $299.99 You can visit their website at www.texhomaonestopshop.com.