My good friend Rhea fired up her Denali and we were off to begin out adventure in Fresno, California where we visited Kiki's Quilt Shack. Kiki's is a new addition to our regular group of shops. This is a beautiful shop that caters to both quilters and embroiderers. Their friendly staff is very knowledgeable in the quirks and remedies of embroidery machines and offered me free advice on how I might troubleshoot some of the problems my Bernina has been giving me. The shop is full of beautiful fabric and plenty of patterns. As we walked in they gave us an adorable faux fur Santa bag filled with recipes and goodies. Once we finished oogling all the store had to offer, we helped ourselves to hot cocoa and a variety of cookies. YUM! We will definitely be coming back to Kiki's!
Next on our itinerary was Quilter's Paradise in Clovis. This is one of my favorite shops! Since I am interested in learning how to work with wool, I spent a lot of my time oohing and ahhing over their wonderful selection of wool and flannel. If anyone has a favorite website featuring wool designs and such, please give me a heads up.
Besides their wool section, Quilter's Paradise has an extension selection of beautiful fabric which is right up my alley. I love novelty fabric and this shop has plenty, even several bolts of the Ghastlies. The entire store is full of completed quilts, many of which have available kits. They also have one of the most complete libraries of books and magazines I have ever seen. It's not hard to imagine why this is one of my favorite shops.
I thought I showed real constraint by not buying everything I saw. Rhea ... not so much.
The last shop we visited was Thimble Towne in Visalia. Thimble Towne has opened a branch of their store in Bakersfield, where we live, but the two stores carry different items so it's always a treat to visit this wonderful little shop. Their staff always comes up with a cute idea for their hops, and this time was no different. In their goodie bag they included a recipe and a spiral Christmas tree ornament kit.
I was really looking for a specific type of Christmas fabric and didn't find it at any of the shops we visited, but I did find at Thimble Towne fabric for a couple of other quilts I am thinking of making, so my resolve to watch my budget flew out the window. But really, what's a shop hop if you can't buy, right? Rhea says she allows herself to splurge when she shop hops. I think that will become my motto, too.