Last week, in my most epic shop hopping day to date, my kids and I visited four quilt shops! The shops were in a cluster in or near Waterville and Augusta, about a 75 minute drive from us. It amazingly went fairly smoothly, although I learned that a quilt shop is really not the place for a toddler. Here’s the rundown:
Yardgoods Center Waterville, Maine
Reviews for this shop talk about the wide selection of just about everything related to quilting, sewing, and even knitting. This indeed is a large shop, with lots of everything. It has more of a warehouse/department store feel with lots of rows of fabric, rolls of batting at the ends of rows, patterns and books on top of the rows, and rooms in the back, side, downstairs, and next door. The fabric seems to be mostly traditional quilting fabric, with a wide selection of novelty themed fabric. Are you looking for horse fabric? or space-themed fabric? Maybe baby’s rocking horse fabric? food fabric? This is the shop for you. I saw four different popcorn fabrics alone.
Maddie loved this shop, since she was able to find dinosaur fabric with which she plans to make a birthday blanket for her friend Noah.
The large, full store layout made it less than ideal for an “I want to walk!” toddler. Within five minutes, Max had escaped and climbed INTO the window display. I found him five seconds later with a packaged rotary cutter in one hand and a spool of thread in the other. Straight into the carrier he went, to ride squirming and complaining on my back for the rest of the time in the shop. Here’s a look around, albeit blurry:
Yardgoods Center at a Glance
Location? Located in Waterville in a large shopping center. The shop was fairly easy to find with gps and has a large parking lot.
Sells? Traditional quilting fabric, themed fabric, upholstery fabric, batting and other quilting, upholstery, and other sewing needs, sewing machines, notions, buttons, books and patterns, yarn and knitting supplies, books, and patterns, and more!
Modern or Traditional? Traditional with a few modern quilting books.
Swag? 5″ charm square of Shop Hop Theme fabric, and coupons for both during the Shop Hop and afterward.
Kid friendly? Not really. This is a very large shop with many rows down which a toddler will bolt. I’m finding that a quilt shop is not the greatest location for a 2 year old 🙂 Older children who also enjoy sewing may like all of the themed fabric.
Cozy Cottage Fabrics-Alterations & Tailoring Augusta, Maine
Cozy Cottage Fabrics is a cute shop right in downtown Augusta. They specialize in Maine Woods fabric, decor, patterns, etc. but also have a selection of batiks and tone on tone fabrics as well as other traditional quilting fabrics. While we were there, they were promoting the yo-yo quilt patterns by local designer Marcia Layton. This is a small shop with very friendly shopkeepers who were eager to talk all things Maine. They also offer long arm services as well as tailoring and alterations.
Max’s mischief of choice in this shop was to run to the door and stand right in front of the laser bell that set off a loud, high-pitched chime when someone walks in, or in his case, a constant high-pitched chime since he just stood right in front of it. After wrangling him back into my arms the third time, a smiling fellow shopper turned to me and incredulously but kindly asked, “You find time to quilt?!” I honestly don’t blame her surprise with the way Max makes mischief in quilt shops.
Here’s a look around the shop:
Location? Located right in downtown Augusta, this shop was quite easy to find. Free street parking is available right out front. We had lunch at a lovely cafe right down the street after our visit here, too.
Sells? Traditional quilting fabric and notions, specializing in Maine Woods fabrics and patterns. Cozy Cottage Fabrics also sells patterns, books, Maine woods decor, offers long arm services, and tailoring and alterations.
Modern or traditional? Traditional.
Swag? 5″ charm square of Shop Hop Theme fabric.
Kid friendly? They were certainly friendly to kids, and it’s a small store so it was fairly easy to keep track of my toddler and four-year-old. Max was able to be down on the ground, although I had to collect him from in front of the entry bell to save the hearing of all the shopkeepers and shoppers.
Mystic Maine Quilts Chelsea, Maine
Mystic Maine Quilts is a big, bright, spacious shop with a wide selection of fabrics, Janome sewing machines, notions, finished quilts, books and patterns, and they offer custom quilt making services. They have an extensive selection of tone on tone and blender fabrics, as well as batiks. In talking with the shop owners, they, too, haven’t found a market for modern fabrics. In the back room at Mystic Maine Quilts lives a gorgeous long arm machine. They offer long arm lessons, and then rent out the machine at an hourly rate to facilitate completion of the project. The women with whom I spoke were very kind and helpful in answering all of my questions.
Max was an angel at this shop; he was asleep in the carrier the entire time. Maddie, on the other hand, was ready for a playground so our visit was short. Here’s a quick look around:
Location? This shop is located on River Road, in Chelsea. It should be noted that it is NOT located on River Street, which is located on the other side of town. You can trust me on that, since my gps brought me to River Street first. On River Road, Mystic Maine Quilts is a well-marked shop with a large parking lot. As long as you keep your eyes peeled, it’s easy to spot as you’re driving.
Sells? Traditional quilting fabric, Janome sewing machines, notions, finished quilts, books and patterns, and they offer custom quilt making services. Mystic Maine Quilts also offers long arm training and rental.
Modern or traditional? Traditional.
Swag? 5″ charm square of Shop Hop Theme fabric, and a choice of an additional gift from a basket on the table (included measuring tapes, seam rippers, buttons, and seam gauges); I chose a seam gauge!
Kid friendly? This shop is spacious and organized in a way that I think would be suitable for roaming toddlers (of course always under a watchful eye). Since Max was asleep on me during my visit, I didn’t get to test it out.
Whippersnappers Hallowell, Maine
Even beyond the name, Whippersnappers was my favorite quilt shop of the day. The shop is adorable, with gorgeous exposed brick walls and a good selection of modern and traditional fabrics. Whippersnappers sells fabric, books and patterns, notions, quilting tools, buttons, and offers long arm services. The women in the shop were very friendly, despite the unhappy toddler strapped to my back. In the front of the shop, there is a long arm quilting machine that was quilting away as we shopped around it.
Here’s a look around the shop:
In addition to the welcoming atmosphere in the shop, the location is superb. I had never been to Hallowell before, but I would definitely go back! It is such an adorable little town.
Whippersnappers at a Glance
Location? Whippersnappers is located right in downtown Hallowell, about 10 minutes from Augusta. The town is adorable, with many shops and cafes. There is street parking available in front of the shop.
Sells? Both modern and traditional fabrics, books and patterns, notions, quilting tools, buttons, and offers long arm services.
Modern or traditional? Both! This shop has a good mix of both modern and traditional fabrics.
Swag? 5″ charm square of Shop Hop Theme fabric, free fat quarter, and a seam ripper.
Kid friendly? No. This is a small shop without much open space. Especially with the long arm machine running right in the front of the shop, I would not let my toddler free in this shop. Babysitter, next time!
My children especially liked the candy shop across and down the street from Whippersnappers. They spotted the bubbles floating down the street, so we had to investigate. This may be the most clever marketing strategy ever: put a bubble machine right in front of your candy store. Good thing neither of my kids are old enough to read well yet, and they were so distracted by the bubbles they didn’t look in the window.
We played with bubbles for about 20 minutes and then departed FINALLY to a playground. What a full day!