Highlights from Massachusetts

18 Jul

Fellow Quilters,

                I am finally able to share with you some of the pictures I took on my Massachusetts road trip a few weeks ago.   Technology and I don’t always get along, and I needed the assistance of Jennifer, Northcott’s Marketing Specialist, to get the photos to a size that I could use.

The trip was a delightful whirlwind of fabric – a veritable smorgasbord of eye candy!  It’s a good thing that I was the only person on this 5-day shop hop, because my suitcase would be much heavier if I had company encouraging me to buy.   All of the shop-owners were very welcoming, some even encouraging me to pull a few quilts out of my suitcase for impromptu trunk shows.

My first stop on Monday was Quilts & Treasures in East Longmeadow. 

 Valerie, Sue, Taylor and the rest of the staff overhauled the shop on Sunday, displaying as many of their panels as they could, since my trunk show has many quilts that start with panels.  What a variety!  They cleared the back of the shop and set up chairs for the 71 attendees – here is a picture of the group waving.  The ladies were great, and with some encouragement from Valerie, loaded up on panels for upcoming projects.

My next stop was Sew Inspired in Simsbury, CT, where I met shop-owner Viv Lazich. 

Viv showed me around her dee-lightful shop, including the super-sized classrooms and quilting room.  Her wall of batiks made me salivate.

Then I headed east to Appletree Fabrics in Auburn, MA, and shop-owner Lois gave me the cook’s tour.
 She even had some of the new Stonehenge Ginko in stock.  An evening class was setting up in the shop, and when I showed my favorite Stonehenge Christmas quilt, the customers convinced Lois to offer a class and kits for the quilt.

Tuesday I headed north, stopping at Southhampton Quilts, a charming shop with a wide range of fabrics, including snowboarding fabric that is now in my stash.
 I also picked up some hot pepper fabric to make son Chris an apron.

Then I stopped in at Country Treasures in Chester, VT.  Wow!  Shop-owner Susanne Ashe knows each of the 9000 bolts of fabric and where they are in her store. 
The shop is in a century home, and every nook and cranny has bolts of fabric peaking out.  I went through room after room of fabric, and added a couple more pieces to my apron list, including cupcakes for my son’s girlfriend.

I came back into MA and headed to Textile Co. in Greenfield.  This shop is housed in an old mill, complete with wooden floors.
Shop-owner Nancy was most helpful, and helped me add another apron fabric to my growing stash – stacks of waffles with whipped cream and strawberries for son Alex.  Textile Co. has a huge selection of children’s and novelty fabrics, and I spotted Cheri Strole’s Jungle Buzz on the shelves.

Then it was off to present my trunk show at A Notion to Quilt, Becki Straton’s shop.  Becki and her hubby had just returned from a quilting trip to Ireland!  We put out well over 60 chairs and still ran out of seats for the eager crowd.  My quilting bud Kate Mitchell, a favorite at Becki’s shop, was even there, as was Northcott’s sales rep Mike, who volunteered to hold up the quilts.  Good thing, ‘cause he’s much taller than Kate.  In all of the excitement, I forgot to take pictures.

On Wednesday I headed east to Candlelite Quilts, a charming little shop in Chelmsford, and met shop-owner Cathy Ruggiero.
Cathy showed me her line of patterns, most of which use 8 half-yards, and demonstrated her new embroidery technique that will be the basis of her next batch of patterns.

My next stop was Quilters Common in Wakefield, where owners Antoinette and Collette were my hosts for my PowerPoint presentation to a small but enthusiastic audience.  This shop is only 1½years old, but it is chock full of fabulous fabrics, including several Northcott collections.
It was a visual delight!  After a quick dinner, we headed over to the North Parish Quilt Guild in N. Reading for my trunk show and an ice cream social – yum!  The guild has roughly 130 members, and the room was full!

My first stop on Thursday was the Button Box in Wellesley.
The wall behind the cash register is filled with tubes and boxes of buttons of all shapes and sizes!  There was a fabulous sale starting Thursday, so I added to my stash.  Carole and the staff were most accommodating as I finished up some sewing in the unused classroom.  It was delightful to hear the chitchat and buzz in the shop as I sat working on my sewing.

I popped in to Ann’s Fabrics in Canton, where a sewing day was going on in the back.
Manager Cheryl coaxed me into bringing my suitcase in for a quick trunk show to the quilters.  It was great, and they were so appreciative.  So was I, as I sampled some of the homemade cakes brought in for the sewing day.

Then I scooted over to Emma’s Quilt Shop in Franklin and had a visit with shop-owner Cyndi Rich.
She focuses on basics, and the rainbows of bolts against the white shelving in her shop looked so enticing.  She also has an extensive range of flannels.

My final stop on Thursday was Quilter’s Stash in North Attleboro, where I presented my trunk show to shop-owner Sue Kassler and her customers, who were celebrating the 20th anniversary of Quilter’s Stash.
What a party!  Sue’s shop is fresh and bright, and deceptively large, with comfy chairs up front for spouses.  She has the most extensive display of Stonehenge fabrics that I saw on my trip.

My last excursion was to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH.  It was a delightfully scenic 2-hour drive from Boston, through the Lake District.  Or at least it would have been a 2-hour drive if there hadn’t been a biker convention going on in the small town just before Center Harbor!  There were thousands of bikers on their hogs for miles around.  I eventually got to Keepsake for a quick tour around this iconic shop – aisle after aisle of fabrics.
The batik section was big enough to be a shop on its own.  There were 2 complete aisles of green fabrics!  Of course they had a fabulous selection of novelties (a.k.a. apron fabrics) and I purchased one with rainbow chip cookies and one with chefs to round out my collection.  I even took a peek at the selection of kits and saw my Freckles Frenzy kit and Oh Christmas Tree kit – how thrilling! 

All in all, it was a great trip – lots of exciting shops, welcoming staff, and fellow quilt-aholics!  I am planning a few more trips for the upcoming months – who knows?  I may be in the neighborhood!



One Response to “Highlights from Massachusetts”

  1. Debbie St.Germain July 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    It looks like you had a wonderful trip and got to visit a lot of wonderful shops. When I go up to NH, I always stop at the quilted crow, it is on the way. I plan on going up in september and hitting a few shops for a winter stash and gifts;)


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