Today began the 11th annual Maine Quilt Shop Hop, and I started with a bang! Well, a bang compared to last year, anyway; I’ve already doubled the number of shops I visited. My friend Emily and I, accompanied by our two year olds, fairly successfully visited our first two local quilt shops this morning. I say fairly successfully since our sons didn’t wreck too much havoc, AND we were able to look around both shops, get our passports stamped, and even chat with the shop owners a bit!
The Maine Quilt Shop Hop is an annual event in the State of Maine. Participating Independent Quilt Shops invite “Shop Hoppers” to pick up a passport at any of the stores to start the hop, then visit as many stores as we can between April 1st and April 30. We have our passport stamped at each shop we visit, get a free 5″ charm square of the shop hop theme fabric, and sometimes an additional special gift. It’s a great way to see beautiful Maine during glorious springtime, and have a chance at winning some awesome prizes!
Here are the shops we visited today (click each name to visit the store’s website):
Fiddlehead Artisan Supply Store Belfast, Maine
Fiddlehead Artisan Supply Store is my go-to fabric shop. It is a family-owned sewing, quilting, and craft shop right in downtown Belfast. The aesthetic in this store is fabulous. I just love their style. I walk in and I’m in fabric heaven. Many of their fabrics lend themselves more to adorable dresses and clothing items, but they also have a good supply of quilting blender fabrics and of course quilt feature fabrics. Fiddlehead also has a wide selection of books and patterns, felt, roving, Waldorf-style dolls and art supplies, they offer classes in the back, and even have started a Thursday night open craft gathering night. Here’s some eye candy for you from inside their shop.
Fiddlehead at a Glance
Location? Right in the town of Belfast, in midcoast Maine. Great location with street parking right out front. You can shop for fabric and then walk to lunch, catch a movie, walk for ice cream, do some gift shopping for other made in Maine items, and even walk right down to the Belfast Boat Launch. A great store to visit on a day trip!
Sells? Modern fabrics, threads, notions, felt, laminates, a large selection of books and patterns, craft supplies (paints, wooden doll forms, etc), fancy paper, and more.
Modern or traditional? I’d say Fiddlehead has more modern fabric lines and styles
Swag? At Fiddlehead we not only received the 5″ charm square of Shop Hop Theme fabric, but we also were able to choose a free fat quarter, and received a gift bag with a hershey kiss, an adorable sewing machine charm, and coupons to Fiddlehead and Heavenly Socks Yarn, a local yarn shop.
Kid friendly? Yes! While any fabric store isn’t an ideal spot for toddlers on the loose, Fiddlehead has a basket of books and toys to help keep kids occupied, and the owner and shopkeepers are very relaxed with kids (even wild ones, as I’ve learned through experience).
Nancy’s Sewing Center Belfast, Maine
Today was my first time in Nancy’s Sewing Center, but it most likely will not be my last. This shop is clearly created for quilters. There are walls of gorgeous tone on tone fabrics in glorious colors, as well as many pre-cut fat quarters, fat eighths, and even scraps for 10 cents apiece! It is definitely a more traditional shop, but has a wide variety of fabrics that would work in both traditional and modern quilts. As I admired all of the quilts hanging on the walls, the colorful variety of fabric, and the copious amounts of tone on tone fabrics, I made my way to the back room where lives a long arm quilting machine! One day I may go back there and ask if I may give it a try. I would LOVE to try a long arm!
Here are some pictures from Nancy’s Sewing Center.
Nancy’s Sewing Center at a Glance
Location? On Route 3 in Belfast, outside of town. There is ample parking and large signs, but Nancy’s Sewing Center is on a busy road with no other shops within walking distance.
Sells? Quilting fabrics, threads, notions, and quilting books and patterns.
Modern or traditional? Mostly traditional quilting fabrics, with a large selection of tone on tones and batiks.
Swag? 5″ charm square of Shop Hop Theme fabric.
Kid friendly? Yes. Nancy’s Sewing Center also had a basket of toys to help keep kids occupied. In fact, my son Max wanted to adopt the little baby doll from the basket. When it was time to go, he kept saying “I have it. I have it.” We settled on giving the baby a kiss and a hug and leaving her in the basket for the next kids. Even when both kids were running circles, we didn’t get any stern looks. That’s kid friendly to me!
I had so much fun starting off the shop hop and I can’t wait to visit more Maine quilt shops during the rest of April! You can follow my hopping by following @nightquilter on Twitter #mainequiltshophop2014
What qualities do you look for in a quilt shop?